After waiting four weeks my microbiome test came back and when I saw the results my jaw literally dropped. The findings showed that I had no good bacteria found in my gut. ZERO. Nil. Nada. Zilch. My gut was completely void of any healthy microbes; however, I did have a decent overgrowth of Candida “bad bacteria” and I discovered that I had intestinal permeability, otherwise known as “Leaky Gut”.
It was 2015, I was 22 and I felt like my health and my life was falling apart.
For years leading up to this moment I had been experiencing sever bloating after almost every meal. I would wake up in the morning with a flat stomach and by the evening I literally looked like I was 6 months pregnant. You can only imagine what this did to my self-esteem, particularly through my teenage years. From the age of eight to nineteen I had trained to become a classical ballerina and was already extremely body conscious and obsessed with being runway model thin.
I ended up in emergency more times than I can remember due to debilitating stomach pains and severe tummy cramps. On almost every occasion that I visited the hospital for digestive discomfort I was given Endone, a heavy-duty pain killer to provide some relief. My skin was constantly breaking out, my mood swings were horrendous, I was getting sick frequently and battling allergies everyday but now I was FINALLY getting some answers.
So how did I end up in this hot mess in the first place?
I developed severe allergies when I was a child, I was highly reactive to all the usual hay fever suspects… grass, pollen, dust, mould, animal hair. Now the problem was we lived on a farm, with cattle, four horses, three dogs a cat and a couple of birds so it was virtually impossible to avoid these triggers. I had to take antihistamines and medicated eye drops almost daily or my eyes would completely swell shut. I didn’t have the strongest immune system and I frequently got chest and ear infections, which lead to frequent rounds of antibiotics. Keep in mind that antihistamines disrupt the gut microbiome and antibiotics completely wipe out the good bacteria, providing the perfect conditions for bad bacteria to thrive.
As a teenager I developed disordered eating patterns which saw me lose my period for nine months. I was put on the contraceptive pill (another gut disruptor) to “fix” the problem, which only added to my gut health issues. From there I developed food sensitivities to gluten and dairy and my battle against food and my body waged on.
It was a recipe for gut health disaster and in short, I did a pretty great job of killing off any good bacteria I had started off with as a baby.
My physical and mental health was on a downward spiral, and I knew it was time to pull myself out and make some big changes.
I let go of a very toxic four-year relationship with my then boyfriend and instead put my time and energy into self-love practices. After months of mental work, I gradually fell back in love with myself again.
I stopped fad-dieting and instead healed my relationship with food and my body.
I swapped eating gluten, dairy, and refined sugar for fresh, wholefoods that would nourish my body.
I stopped drinking alcohol and started drinking probiotic rich kombucha.
I stopped punishing myself with exercise and instead started moving my body in ways that felt good.
I came off the pill, stopped taking pharmaceutical medications and instead started supplementing with vitamins and minerals that would support my body and improve my health.
I dove headfirst into the world of natural and alternative health practices, and I read as many self-help books as I could get my hands on.
I cleansed my body of Candida and started healing my gut one celery juice at a time.
Do you know what happened next?
My body dropped the excess weight it had been holding onto, I no longer looked or felt “puffy” and I returned to my normal, healthy body weight.
I stopped getting sick all the time and my allergies significantly improved, with my asthma flare-ups completely disappearing.
For the first time in a VERY long time, I felt genuinely happy and healthy. My gut was in balance and so was my life.
With this newfound energy and passion for holistic health, I felt inspired to help others turn their health and lives around for the better too. In 2016 I became an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and in 2017 I launched my dream business.
Fast forward to today and I am helping women with Candida and Leaky Gut, to heal their gut, so they can kick digestive discomfort and feel like their happy, healthy, and sexy selves once again!
I believe it all starts with the gut. Our gut health is the foundation for our overall state of health and well-being so if you can get your gut in balance, you will set your life on an exponential path to success (however that looks for you).
Additionally, when we learn to respect, love and care for our inner ecosystem we learn to respect, love and care for the ecosystem that surrounds us too.
Health is a journey, not a destination. I have certainly come a long way over the years, but I am still on my own wellness journey. I am still healing. I am still learning, growing, and evolving every day.