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If you follow me on my FB or Instagram pages (link) you probably know that I have recently been in New Orleans for a stretch with my autoimmune lifesaver and friend, Jan Johnson, RD Superstar.
I tell people all the time that Jan is the smartest woman I know. When it comes to food and nutrition, that’s not an exaggeration. She knows more about the curative powers of food than anyone I’ve ever met.
She also has a knowing way beyond her professional designations and job experiences. Because she spent a big part of her career dealing with people who had addictions and eating disorders, she’s really connected to the emotional side of food that so many folks just don’t talk about. She’s got it all, ya’ll.
Jan and I are joining forces and we are about to help some people get their healing on. But first I want share a specific story about how she helped me one day when I thought all hope was lost.
Autoimmune Lifesaver Introduction
In an earlier iteration of my business I was focused on general wellness rather than what I’m specifically doing now with autoimmune disease and inflammation. I had a client who was a nurse and she introduced me to Jan, knowing that we needed to be connected. Boy o’ boy was she right. Thank you, Therese!
That was 8 years long years ago. While I wasn’t sure then how we’d be working together, I always knew we would. I kept telling her,
“We’re going to do something together. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like but it’s coming. Mark my words.”
We stay connected and communicating over the years, but life happens….all of it, and we both got side-tracked.
I got sick and then progressively sicker. I was tossed from one specialist to the next (based on what my insurance would cover) and I got increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with the process of healing. No one seemed to want to help me get better, they just wanted to turn me into a pill popping drug addict.
I was insistent that my body was trying to tell me something was wrong and that I needed to fix. Doctors wanted to give me drugs to mask my symptoms.
No one would listen to me so I dove into the internet seeking answers. I sought people who were getting results and tried what they were doing. Much of it worked, not fully, but I found that many of these things gave me way better results than what I was achieving via the guidance of my traditional medicine docs.
Root cause medicine was my new passion. Getting to the core of my issue and fixing it was key to my improving my health.
During a particular low point in my journey, I called Jan (and the nurse who introduced us) and told them I needed a medical intervention. I could no longer make heads or tails out of what was happening to me. Doctors were failing me at every turn and I was depressed to the point of wanting to step in front of a train. I couldn’t hold on much longer.
We met at a restaurant in New Orleans and I basically fell apart. I had been working with a very well known functional doctor in Texas and I thought I had finally stumbled onto the missing link in my wellness journey. Unfortunately, I kept getting sicker and sicker. More importantly – depression had crept in and I was starting to feel powerless over its hold on me.
Both women (God bless them) sat patiently and listened to me say everything I needed to say before opening their mouths. There were a few side-ways glances between the two but they never spoke until I was finished. Completely depleted and teary I looked at them both and said, “What the fucking, fuck?”
Jan looked at me, took a deep breath and said, “Honey, you’ve had a Herx reaction.”
“A Herx reaction. That fancy doctor you’re seeing who prescribed that strong anti-fungal you are taking for your candida overgrowth should have made some accommodations for the chemical die off that is currently polluting your body. You just need to take something to carry that garbage out of your system and you’ll be just fine.”
At the time of my autoimmune diagnosis I was also diagnosed with a candida overgrowth. This particular doctor and I decided to hit the candida hard with a prescription anti-fungal medication called diflcan. Normally opposed to prescription drugs, I wanted to knock the candida out as quickly as possible so I could get on to the bigger issue of autoimmune disease.
Jan proceeded to teach me that there is a chemical called acetaldehyde that is the byproduct of candida die off. It is also known as the hangover chemical, because it is also a byproduct of alcohol metabolization. You know that funky, quasi-depressed feeling you have when you are hungover?
Yeah, like that.
I was chock full of the shit and it was depressing the living life out of me.
Prescription? Ah….nope. Jan had a better idea, activated charcoal — nature’s big sponge. The activated charcoal basically mopped up the mess inside my body and carried it out via the colon.
My paralyzing depression was gone in 3 days.
Mind you, the doctor I was currently working with was a functional medicine doctor and like all the rest who came before her, she hadn’t done her job fully. This is the conundrum of health care. You’ve got to be an educated consumer (because traditional medicine IS A BUSINESS). If you aren’t keeping yourself informed, you have to got have someone who is hand holding you through the process.
This is where women like Jan and I can make a difference in your health journey.
We’ve navigated all the tough stuff.
We’ve kissed all the frogs.
We stay educated by attending conferences and educational events.
We believe in getting to the root cause of your issues.
More importantly, we know what’s happening in the autoimmune space now.
This past week, Jan was in Hollywood, Florida at the annual worldwide conference for the Institute of Functional Medicine. Their theme this year? Autoimmunity.
She’s back and she’s loaded with cutting edge info that can help you get on track with your autoimmune disease.
I’ll be heading to New Orleans next week to spend a few weeks with Jan working out the details of our future offerings together. I’ll also be attending a weekend conference at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine.
It’s game on, full throttle. All of the work I have been doing for years has lead to this point.
While we continue to work out a few more packages that we will be doing together, we do have two events coming up in Louisiana that I am linking below. Please consider joining us.
Thank you for your patience with me. This process of healing my life while building my business has been full, to say the least. It’s been a slow process but we are on the precipice of some really great things and we look forward to helping a lot of people heal.
I hope you’ll join us.