This post is a continuation from my health story last week where I wrote about the stomach issues I’ve had my entire life. In this post, I go into detail about my initial visit to my nutritionist.
Four years ago, I was a sophomore in high school and I really wasn’t taking care of my body: Staying up too late, not exercising, not eating well, working too much, not getting enough sleep, etc. It was two years after I started this blog, I was just getting into fashion photography and I felt invincible: Fueled by passion. However, my body started giving me signs that it was time to start taking better care of myself. These signs came in the form of anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, terrible bloating and acne. Granted, yes, I was a teenager and yes, a lot of these symptoms are typically associated with the hormonal changes one goes through during puberty, but I knew something more was going on. I did my own research and tried going gluten-free and dairy-free. I’d like to say it was a miraculous recovery and I immediately felt better than I ever had in my life, but that wasn’t the case. I felt better but I still wasn’t close to being healed. Although my eczema hadn’t flared up since I was 13 and my acne subsided, I still felt bloated and anxious. But I slept like a stone, which gave me enough energy to keep on trucking for three more years.
In late 2013 / early 2014, my body went through another iteration of ailments. Some of them were the same, but some of them were new: achey muscles, perpetual coldness, brittle nails, constant thirst and the overall feeling of weakness. I loved to run, but after a while, pounding my poor, achey muscles on the pavement felt more like torture than anything else. There is a good family friend of ours that has MS and I got really scared that I might have MS too. I did online research (hello, WebMD!) and diagnosed myself with a myriad of possibilities: hypothyriodism, Crohn’s disease, IBS, MS, adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto disease, amongst many others.
I made my first appointment to see a nutritionist in July of 2014. I also started seeing a chiropractor that same month to help alleviate my tight and achey muscles. My body was badly out of alignment.
I was so nervous the day of my first visit with the nutritionist. A friend recommended me to see her. She had good Yelp reviews, but I still didn’t know what her personality would be like. In my quest to eat healthier, I was very drawn to the raw vegan high carb low fat diet. I loved the idea of eating as close to nature as possible and being able to eat in large quantities, but I knew the criticism my type of diet got: Where are you getting your protein? Where are you getting your fat? It’s not balanced to eat that much fruit, etc. My ultimate fear was the nutritionist would tell me I needed to start eating meat. The notion that maybe my body wasn’t liking my 99% vegan (I still ate eggs) diet always lingered in the dark corridors of my mind. But I knew I needed to take care of myself and I needed to see the nutritionist no matter what the outcome would be. My mom came with me for support.
Click through to read the outcome of my first visit.