In 2003 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, after two years of seemingly un-related health issues. I was so relieved to have a diagnosis, and I felt fortunate that a simple pill could fix my thyroid imbalance and help me feel better. I was a designer and college professor at the height of my career. I was neither unhappy nor unfulfilled — quite the opposite. Soon my heart palpitations and my weight gain disappeared and my body felt more stable. In fact, at the time I was blissfully unaware what a journey I was starting on.
Hormones as I learned (and will teach you) are the determining factor to a woman's health and vitality. They are what make us women.
For six months my husband and I tried unsuccessfully to conceive.
It wasn’t until I started seeing an acupuncturist and an herbalist that I realized the extent of my autoimmune disease and how many areas of my body were not functioning as they should.
I had been operating at Wonder Woman speed, determination and endurance--and I am sure you can resonate with that.
My hormones were completely out of whack, and looking back my body had been screaming for years--only I wasn't listening because I was in overdrive.
I was starting to properly understand what a brilliant organism the body is, relying on powerful interactions to function at its full potential.
Two healthy pregnancies and several GP's, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, natural doctors and acupuncturists later, the one factor that had the most profound effect on my body--by far--was the understanding how profoundly interconnected the mind and body are. But putting it in these terms is oversimplifying.
What started as a diet evolved, though, to discovering and embracing so many different kinds of food--both on my plate and the food I fed my brain through my thoughts and my lifestyle.
The whole thing blossomed in ways I couldn’t EVER have imagined it would.
I started to feel whole again, without limitations.
I was creating meals that embraced my new life and health rather than merely excluding ingredients and dishes (and feeling excluded).
Along the way, my yoga practice, the mindset work plus meditation, and a natural approach to personal care complemented my new approach to food.
I was able to move past the oughts and ought-nots of a restrictive diet to an enjoyable and worthwhile journey in itself — an awakening of strength, clarity, and calm.
Now I blend my years of personal experience, studying over 100 dietary theories, medical chef work and my professional certifications through IIN and AADP to empower, educate and guide women to recognize their genetic predisposition doesn't have to be their fate. Women have the power to prevent chronic disease and increase longevity with lifestyle medicine.
Michelle P. Aspinwall
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