So much inflammation accumulated in my body that it began to damage my own tissue internally. I discovered this was happening because I’d had breast augmentation, and my body started to reject the foreign substance. Because of that, I had a lot of damaged tissue and the implants ruptured as a result—so I needed to have surgery to remove all of it.
After that surgery, I constantly felt sick, and I knew something was off. But I didn’t have too many tangible, visible symptoms, so it was hard to describe to doctors what was going wrong. I felt exhausted and miserable from the moment I woke up in the morning. All the tests doctors ran came back inconclusive, except they found I had an elevated white blood cell count.
Eventually, the doctors suspected I had MRSA, a stubborn bacteria, resistant to most antibiotics. Because of its nature, MRSA lingers, and when it colonizes inside of you, it’s difficult to eliminate. The infection had taken over a big part of my chest area, near my heart—I kept having surgeries to try and get it out, but they were unsuccessful.
Alongside all of these physical health issues, I still hadn’t dealt with the psychological and emotional side of what happened with my family. So here I am, with layers of unresolved trauma.
Then, during one of my surgeries, I almost died on the table. I’d lost so much blood that I had turned gray, and the surgeon wasn’t sure if he could continue. But he carried on and took the risk and ultimately ended up saving me.
During that entire illness experience, and while recovering from surgery, I remember feeling like I’d fallen so far from my path and purpose. So I made a commitment to myself: I was going to shift gears and focus on my own healing, in order to find my way back.
As a nutritionist, I already knew what I needed to do to optimize what I was eating, so I got very deliberate about filling my body with nourishing foods. I also focused on moving my body in a healthy way.
In addition to all of this, I began focusing on my spiritual journey and started working with a healer on a regular basis. She helped me understand where I was experiencing imbalances and stuck energy.
Inspired by what I learned from her, I decided to pursue and study reiki—an ancient healing energy modality—to help with my own journey.
From there, everything really came together for me. After focusing on my health journey, and accelerating the healing in my own body (physical, emotional, mental, energetic), I was able to shorten my own recovery by weeks, which shocked my doctors.
Ultimately, I was able to combine what my healer taught me, my reiki education, and my knowledge of nutrition to create Culinary Alchemy, my practice that combines integrative and functional nutrition with energy work and mindfulness practices to help people find sustainable holistic health.
Since then, I’ve been able to expand my work and help support so many people in their healing journeys—many of whom are recovering from surgery. By allowing me to put myself first and prioritize my own healing, I was able to ultimately help so many others, in a sustainable way.