HI, I'M ASHLEY!
Let me tell you a little about myself & my health journey...
Most of my life, I was constantly sick. As a toddler, I suffered from chronic ear infections and as I got older, it was chronic sinus infections; whenever the weather changed, I would get extremely tired, my head would feel like the size of a balloon, sometimes I even came down with a sore throat & fever. I thought being sick all the time was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. As time went on, I experienced severe allergies, anemia, muscle pain, acne, chronic fatigue, headaches, migraines, sinus infections, PMS, insomnia, anxiety, depression & chronic stress–this was what I was dealing with on a daily basis.
But everything began to change when I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in 2009.
I realized that this could be the answer to my ongoing health problems and dove head first. I began to read every food label & I researched like crazy: any online articles, blogs & websites devoted to gluten sensitivity that I could find, I read, highlighted & reread.
Soon after my diagnosis, I became lost and disheartened, at times angry.
The more I learned, the more frustrated I became: frustrated with the quality of the food available to me, with my doctors, with grocery stores and with myself for not finding the solution sooner. I also was extremely frustrated with my body. I felt as if I was "broken" because my body couldn't be like everyone else's appeared to be–vibrant, healthy & strong. I felt betrayed by my own body for being so sick.
It wasn't long until I became completely fed up with food labels, too. Grocery shopping became a paralyzing chore rather than something I enjoyed. Navigating a restaurant menu was near impossible without feeling as if I was a huge inconvenience asking for special, customized orders.
You know that saying things will get worse before they get better? That's what my life felt like. I kept telling myself, "This HAS to get better, it just has to!"
Then, things did improve.
Instead of focusing on the foods I couldn’t eat, I began to focus on all the foods I could eat: all the fresh fruits and vegetables I wanted, rice & other gluten-free grains, nuts, seeds, protein, dairy and of course, chocolate. I started making green smoothies, my own almond butter, and even my own date & nut bars...I began to fall in love with food again!
But, just as I was getting the hang of things, BAM!
In the summer of 2012, my face broke out in painful cystic acne, I developed severe chronic fatigue, my anxiety went through the roof, my digestion went downhill and I started getting hot flashes. What?! I was 23 years old, and completely falling apart. But if I've learned anything from this long journey to health, it's that there's always a reason for the pain or illness, physical & mental.
Thankfully, I discovered the healing power of yoga and meditation.
I was only practicing 10 minutes a day at first because that was all my body could physically handle. As I got stronger, the longer my practice became. I slowly began to realize the importance of mental and physical health for overall well-being.
When I first cut out gluten, I noticed I wasn’t getting sick as often and the length of time I was sick was cut in half. Then, I cut out dairy and refined sugar and my health improved even more, but it wasn’t until I began my yoga and meditation practice that I noticed the last jump of improvement in my health. My ability to bounce back from being sick and my ability to stay healthy improved immensely!
It was around this time that I learned about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and discovered that my health journey could help others in their own journeys.
Fast forward to the present: I am still gluten-free, I've been plant-based for several years, I continue to practice yoga and meditation daily & am getting stronger with each passing day.
I finally realized my purpose: I could help others find health
& happiness by helping them heal themselves from within.
Something switched within me.
I started practicing yoga & meditation every day.
I started health coaching so I can share what I have gone through to provide support for those struggling to pinpoint why they can't seem to feel better no matter how much they spend or how many different diets, supplements or exercise they try. Because I have gone through my own personal health rollercoaster, my hope is that I can help you navigate what your body needs, so you don't have to feel frustrated and as if you are constantly fighting against your body. I want you to feel empowered, inspired & free, in your body & in your life!
I strongly believe each of us is presented with experiences and events to make us stronger, but sometimes we need a hand of support and understanding to guide us through to the other side. I want to be that hand for any of you that feel lost, discouraged and alone. I want to help you take control of your health and life again! You were born to be the star of your own life, not to live day by day, managing your illness or pain.
If any of this resonates with you, let's talk it out! If you want to know how you can begin to heal & live the life you so deeply desire, schedule a free consultation with me. We'll chat, talk about your goals & discover how you can heal!