The Holistic Chick is under Construction. In the meantime, here’s some information. Better, prettier content to come soon!
The Holistic Chick, LLC was born out of a passion for helping others thrive! I want everyone to feel their best, live a long and vibrant life and pass it on to the next generation. Getting Healthy is simple when you have the right tools and support. That’s what The Holistic Chick is here for!
Me, the short story: My tale is like so many others out there: I ate terribly until my mid 20’s. At that time I had to change because my health was declining fast. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. I was fat, depressed, uncomfortable and hormonal. Sick of being sick, I made getting healthy my life’s mission. I started questioning everything. I surrounded myself with people in the holistic health industry, got educated and now even work with the holistic doctors.
My sick journey started when I was very young. I had a “lump” in my throat when I was 4. I’m pretty sure that was my thyroid throwing it’s hands up and saying “I’m Done”! Everything came to a head in my 20’s when I became very sick. That’s when I tried to figure out what was wrong. This is what I’ve gone through since the late 90’s.
- Problems: Hypothyroid which has effected the heart, adrenal fatigue with low morning cortisol, unbalanced hormones, taxed liver and gallbladder. Deficient in hydrochloric acid, vitamins and minerals, especially iodine. Sensitivities include anything artificial, food, light, sound and smell.Looking for help: General doc, GI, Endocrinologist, Holistic Doctors, Chiropractors/Nutritionists
- Tests: Blood tests, ultrasounds, barium test, sigmoidoscopy, poop test, pee test, hair analysis, muscle tests
- Solutions: Thyroid meds (I take Nature Thyroid now), eat real foods that work for me, NAET, workouts, supplements, herbs, chemical free house and dealing with stress
- Learning: Consistent reading, seminars, classes, personal training certification through National Academy of Sports Nutrition and a Holistic Health Counselor certification from the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and general obsession with health is how I have learned so much and can help YOU get to where you want to be.
I’ve been consistent about getting to the root of my problems and working to find out why all this has happened to me. Most of my progress came when I gave up on Western medicine and started nourishing my body and mind. I am always in a work in progress and learning new things. Be proactive with your own health too!
The Long Story: In 1972, Jim and Rita learned that their adopted daughter, Stacy, had a sister that was just born (that’s me!) They adopted Stacy because their son Jimmy died of kidney disease at the age of two and their other son, Michael, had the same kidney disease. Michael passed at the age of 11, when I was 3. My mother then passed away from Wegner’s disease when I was in 5th grade. My dad left this world in 2012 at the age of 74 from a long list of ailments. His last days were when he decided to stop dialysis. My family ate terribly and my parents smoked for most of their lives. I tell you this because even though genetics plays a role in your health, LIFESTYLE plays a bigger role.
I was around 4 when I had a mystery lump in my throat that eventually went away with bubblegum tasting medicine. Following that, I also remember not being able to see my feet when I was in the shower because my belly was so bloated. I went to the doctor for back pain and had terrible rolled over shoulders. These should have been clues as to what was going on with me. To keep me healthy, my parents fed me McDonalds, Burger King (a double cheeseburger, onion rings and a milkshake every Monday before dancing school), Wendy’s, pizza, meatball Parmesan, candy, diet soda, Kool aid, bologna, hot dogs, mall food, Twinkies, white bread and more candy. So naturally, as an adult, I flourished. HA!
In my twenties I became very ill and was never the same again. It started with my throat. It closed up and I had to go to the emergency room. It still comes on every year, but now I know how to handle it. About two years later I looked like someone shoved a pump up my butt and filled me with air. I was so inflamed. I went to see my doctor who had no idea what to do with me. He ordered tests like barium test, ultrasound (stomach), blood tests…no conclusive results.
I went to a GI doc…the unhealthy looking doc in front of me said “Maybe you should go on that meat diet thing (Atkins)”. He then ordered a thyroid test. My result TSH was 365 (normal range is .4 to 4). A-Ha!
I then started to see an endocrinologist who put me on Synthroid and worked with him for a while to keep tweaking the dosage. He told me my chances for a miscarriage were high which was so upsetting because I was ready to get pregnant. By this time I had started to clean up my terrible diet. I no longer drank soda and was introducing more vegetable into my diet, I felt like I was eating pretty good. Of course, the only person who mentioned anything about diet to me was the fat guy who told me to just eat meat since vegetables bloated me (no one ever tried to figure out WHY they bloated me).
About a year later I gave birth to Jake on 9/11/2000. Twenty-two months later I had Sean on 7/30/2002. I continued to feel sick. My second pregnancy was really tough. Extreme nausea the entire pregnancy, extreme fatigue. At this point I had cleaned up my diet a lot and had been doing a ton of research on health. A friend gave me the book “Super Baby Food” by Ruth Yarn when I had Jake. The book inspired me to feed the kids whole foods. Parents would look at me like I was nuts when I took out a banana or avocado and mashed it.
I started to see natural docs who gave me a bunch of diagnosis (leaky gut, fibromyalgia) and told me to ‘try’ a bunch of supplements, try the blood type diet or get B injections. They did a hair analysis which revealed I had uranium levels that were off the charts. The doctors wrote that off as weird and did nothing about it. No one really knew what to do with me and never came up with a complete program for me. A friend told me about NAET, a way of muscle tested and clearing your body of allergies. I have to say, it did help me with my lactose intolerance.
I finally joined a gym when Sean was 6 months old. It took a few months, but with constant exercise (cardio, weights and Power Yoga), as well as eliminating all sugars from my diet and extreme stress with planning a move to SC and trying to sell our house, all the stars seemed to have aligned and I lost a ton of weight (and my boobs)…fast! I felt better than ever and bonus, I looked so much better too!
Fast forward 1 year when we moved to Charleston, SC from PA in 2004. I was starting to get sick again. I had traveled back to PA and forgot my generic Thyroid med Levothyroxin. I felt SO much better after not taking it for a few days. I decided to find a natural doctor for help get my on Armour Thyroid to replace the synthetic. A practice of two women 3 hours away sounded perfect. I filled out copious amounts of paperwork and mailed it in. Weeks later it was sent back to me. I forgot a couple of questions. I was so mad! At this point, without medication, I was so sick and had gained over 20 lbs in a few short weeks. I finally talked a local doctor into giving me Armour Thyroid, a desiccated natural form of it. He finally agreed, even though he said “you can try it, but it won’t work”.
During this time I had joined a network marketing company that was supposed to have healthy products. I became deeply involved (brain washed) and worked hard so I could make lots of money, help others make money and help people get healthy. As it turns out, the products weren’t that safe, pure and beneficial. I new I wanted to help people get healthy, but this was not the right avenue to do that. In the meantime I was getting sicker, I was so blown up (bloated/inflamed), I could not get out of bed in the morning. I joined a Pilates studio and made some strides. There was someone with a “nutrition” program there. She was very specific on what to eat, like oatmeal in the morning. Ugh..it was like rocks in my stomach. She also said I wasn’t losing any weight because my mind was not thinking I could. Yes, the mind-body connection is powerful, but I wasn’t losing weight because her “nutrition” program was a one size fits all and that’s NOT how it should be.
I found another doctor who is a holistic doctor. After doing a cortisol test, he found my cortisol levels were flat lined (they should be peaked in the morning: imagine a lounge chair shape)…a-ha! I took licorice for a while, but to no avail (now I know why this protocol did not work). Over the years of seeing me, he put me on a major antibiotic thinking maybe I had candida (that doesn’t sound very holistic). He also though I may have Hep B because my liver number were through the roof. He asked if I had a drinking problem. “If getting drunk off of one beer is a problem, then yes! I have a problem.” Another nutrition/chiropractic doctor looked at that same blood work later told me that it was clear I wasn’t drinking a lot as my cholesterol levels were fine. They would have been sky high if I was an alcoholic. I also did some saliva hormone tests that came backed wacked. Where to go now?
I started doing an intense hip-hop followed by a workout 2-hour class twice/week, walking the bridge (our big bridge in Charleston…the only hill) and getting workouts in whenever I could. It was working. I was feeling a bit better and not as inflamed (fat). I was taking all kinds of classes, like raw food and cooking classes hoping one of these ways of eating would make me feel better.
In 2008, I’m still sick, unhappy in my marriage and eating up every bit of information I can about nutrition and living healthy. I was reading an article and the title behind the author’s name was “Holistic Health Counselor” Light-Bulb moment…I want to be a Holistic Health Counselor!!! I want to help people get healthy. People were already coming to me for advice all the time. I found the school she went to, Integrative Institute of Nutrition (IIN) in New York City. It would have been much easier if I went while I lived in PA! My husband was supportive (guys: life is easier when you are supportive to a hormonal, sick bitch!) so I signed up without hesitation.
While I waited to start my travels to NYC for IIN, I decided to become a NASM certified personal trainer as well. I felt it was the perfect complement. I’m so glad I did! Training people is so fun and what an awesome feeling to get people moving, feeling great and making life-long friends in the process.
Going to NYC about 12 times in 9 months was a great experience. In fact, it was life-changing. While the classes at Lincoln Center were fun, the amazing part was coming to terms with things in my life that needed to change. A friend had decided to take the program with me and we became friends and roommates with another Charleston student. After a full day of class, the three of us would go out to dinner and talk all things nutrition for hours. Being away and immersed with information made it so clear to me that this was not only what I wanted to do, but it was what I needed to do so that I could help so many!
I enthusiastically started The Holistic Chick in 2009 with the goal to get people healthy: mind, body and nutrition. The only problem was that I was still on a roller coaster ride of health myself. I was also still really not happy in my marriage. How can I tell other people how to get healthy if I’m not? It took some major life changes like divorce, taking a waitressing job for extra money and having roommates at age 38 to answer this question: Getting healthy is a process. It can be in slow steps or you can go for it all at once. Just keep going towards your goals and don’t quit, no matter how hard it is. Things always do get better and life works out the way it is supposed to. You just have ot keep taking the steps to get you there.
My health has honestly been up and down since then. My body is in a constant state of freaking out. If I didn’t live the way I do, I can’t imagine how sick I would be. I’m pretty sure I’d be obese, on tons of meds and just plain miserable.
I know more about why I couldn’t get healthy than I ever did. The cause of the ‘lump in my throat’ was probably from our Pennsylvania mountain vacation house. A lot of toxic stuff had been dumped down the street. We were not allowed to drink the water, but we don’t know how long it had been there. For all we know, my bottles could have been filled with that water. We still bathed in it and used it to brush our teeth and wash the dishes. It never had occurred to me that the Uranium came from the tainted water at the mountain house was likely the cause of the lump in my throat (a thyroid that had been zapped). I know that the enormous goiter that I’ve had since my 20’s is my body screaming for iodine. I know that my adrenals were completely spent from being sick, stressed and unhappy. They were also stressed from all the sugar. Sugar handling is a big problem for me (and the rest of America). This screwed up the rest of my hormones and taxed out my liver which could no longer process my hormones. Since my liver was not fully functioning, neither was my gallbladder. I was getting sick after I ate because I could not handle anything. I know that my heart is compromised because my thyroid was so under active for so long. The junk food and soda I grew up with depleted my body of vitamins and minerals. I know that I do not have enough hydrochloric acid in my stomach to properly digest my food and essential nutrients. My problems have led me to be highly sensitive to light, sound and anything chemical. I can pick out fake food and fragrance from a mile away.
Holy crap, no wonder I’m so screwed up! I have been addressing these problems through what I teach you in the Get Healthy program plus whole food supplements and herbs. Now I am ready to pass the information I have learned on to you!
Personal information: I am madly in love with my talented husband, Mark. I have two gorgeous boys, Jake and Sean and two sweet step-sons, Dylan and Bray. We enjoy life outdoors in Charleston. I love traveling and experiencing life! I used to be an Interior designer and now feed my need for creativity through my photography business Blueberry Ocean Photography. I am on the board and was formally the Program Manager for a non-profit, Fields to Families, which harvests fresh veggies from farms and farmers markets and gives them to agencies who distributes them to those in need. I am also a local associate rep for Standard Process, whole foods supplements sold through health professionals.