Growing up, I had a simple way of determining what to eat– “did it taste good”? As you might imagine, this led to the same consequences that all of us who eat the Standard American Diet experience – weight gain and fatigue. By high school I weighed 230 pounds and was consuming energy drink after energy drink, coffee after coffee, just to get through the day.
But what was more impactful to me, over and above the weight gain, was the unshakable feeling of dissatisfaction, the certain knowledge that there had to be something more for me, there had to be a more fulfilling, joyful, and creative life than this.
I knew the answers were out there somewhere. I read through book after book looking for them – yoga, breathing exercises, bio-feedback, zen koans, old 50’s beatnik literature – but my frustration was growing. Now I knew all these different attitudes and techniques, and had even applied many of them, but still I was not feeling the way I knew deep down I could.
The turning point was something so simple and obvious to me now, that it’s hard to remember how much of a revolution it really was in my life at the time. It started with a research assignment in high school – “Research some aspect of marketing that impacts our lives”. I chose the Fast Food Industry. I knew how much it was impacting my life because I ate it multiple times per week. Pretty soon my assignment went from a tedious chore to a life-changing experience. I watched the film “Supersize Me” and saw for the first time the outrageous health effects fast food has on a previously healthy person. I read the book “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” and learned where my cheeseburgers really came from, what was really in the fries, and all the clever ways I had been marketed to in order to convince me to eat this food, and to never stop eating it.
Now my eyes were open, and as I moved on to college I continued to read, but this time about food and nutrition. Now my mind was really being blown as I learned in depth – for the first time in my life – how the food we eat effects the way we feel, impacts our mood, cognition, focus, and determines to a huge degree our energy levels. This was a totally new concept to me. Even though I had been interested in Psychology for a long time, I had never heard of the connection between food and mood.
I started applying what I was learning at once – eliminating soda and energy drinks from my diet, eliminating fast food, eliminating processed food in favor of whole foods, eating organic food as often as I could – and I started losing weight, increasing my energy, feeling happier and lighter, and experiencing the type of life I knew was possible all those years ago. I experienced a transformation and I wanted to help others experience the same.
As I continued my studies in the field of Psychology, my undergraduate Major, I became aware of the general lack of communication between the fields of “physical health” and “mental health”. This was frustrating to me because I had experienced firsthand just how inseparably these fields are linked. Even though I knew that mood and cognition are affected profoundly by the quality of our diet, lifestyle, and exercise, I was also learning that no major figures in the field of psychology had discussed this link, and that none of my training in this field would equip me for these problems. At the same time, I knew that the conventional medical system was, for the most part, also unaware of the necessity of evaluating and treating people holistically. It seemed there was no profession that would offer both the training and the freedom to implement knowledge from both sides of the fence, no profession that would enable me to put into practice in other people’s lives what I had directly experienced in my own.
I felt like I was at a crossroads. After learning what I had there was no going back, and yet the way ahead seemed uncertain, difficult, and like nothing I had ever experienced. Still, I knew something had to be done, something had to change…
That’s when I discovered naturopathic medicine. I knew my other options were dead ends. I also knew that naturopathic medicine was the road less travelled, would not be easy, and would require taking a stand for what I truly believed. In the end that is the path I chose, and I am immensely happy I did.
Having walked these phases of my life and experienced first-hand the challenges every step of the way, it’s my passion to be a guide to others who are dedicated to doing the same. I know how debilitating low energy can be to a fulfilling life, and how challenging these changes may seem at first. I also know the fulfillment that comes from overcoming these challenges and recovering health and joy in our lives! It’s an effort that is worth the reward.
My mission is to help individuals like you struggling with health problems preventing you from living your life to the fulfillment of your biggest hopes and dreams. At Arizona Natural Health Center we utilize our years of experience restoring our own health by walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We combine the most cutting-edge, science-backed, life-changing therapies and lifestyle modifications that are safe, gentle, natural, and effective to help empower you to take the steps you need in order to regain your health. We support you every step of the way with mentorship, cutting-edge medical knowledge, and holistic, individualized treatment tailored to your specific needs. It is my hope that by empowering you to live the life of your dreams you may in turn inspire and empower others to do the same.