Is This You?
You're a driven adult professional who has been sidelined in your life by chronic health struggles.
You were once highly active and engaged in life but chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, and perhaps other symptoms now often make daily life a struggle.
You've likely been handed one or perhaps a few different diagnoses to explain your issues and have spent significant money, time, and energy on trying to get well yet you're still struggling.
You're feeling burnt out as years of navigating health issues, and the resulting stress have taken a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing.
You want to feel well and be living a normal life, but you're overwhelmed about how to make that happen and often wonder if it's even possible.
I understand how all this feels and I found my way to the other side. I can help you find your way there too!
Who I work with
The clients that come my way are most often highly driven adult professionals who’ve been sidelined by the trifecta of chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive challenges, and often other issues. They want to take back control of their health but are overwhelmed by all the health information out there and don't know where to begin!
I help them figure out what is keeping them stuck and guide them through creating a personalized, step-by-step plan for restoring their physical and emotional wellbeing and reclaiming their life.
Here’s my story to show you that deep healing IS possible; no matter how far out of balance you’ve fallen!
The “Perfect Storm”!
From Lyme, CFS, and Mold Illness Hell to Deep Healing and Transformation
In 1997, as a young bride of three months and embroiled in a stressful student-teaching experience, I began experiencing crushing fatigue, widespread muscle pain, and migraine headaches. ,
One November morning of that same year, I woke up with swelling in my lips, tongue, and throat. Giant, wheel-shaped hives made tracks across my body. I collapsed in the shower and went into full-blown anaphylactic shock—the first of many episodes that required hospitalization and an arsenal of daily prescription drugs. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of a long and hellish life-altering journey. I had fallen into a rabbit hole, and it would over a decade to find my way out.
Between 1997 and 2005, I consulted with countless medical specialists and followed a barrage of prescription drug protocols. With each passing year, I continued to spiral downward, and the list of debilitating symptoms grew longer. The names alone of these dire diagnoses made me feel completely helpless and hopeless: Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria/Angioedema Swelling with Anaphylaxis, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and more.
Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts
In 2005, to add fuel to the fire, I developed a bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis. The all-encompassing and incapacitating pain of this condition sent me spiraling into the depths of depression and anxiety. I thought to myself, “I am in living hell! What’s next? How will I ever escape from this nightmare?”
The list and severity of symptoms were growing at exponential rates despite trying many different protocols and consulting with myriads of practitioners across all specialties. I felt alone, unsupported, and invalidated by doctors, family, friends, and work colleagues. Hopelessness and despair took over. I wanted to die not because I didn't want to live but because I had lost hope and thought it was my only way to end the pain and suffering. I spent nights crying myself to sleep and often researched ways to end my life.
Lyme, Parasites, and More Oh MY!
In 2005, I consulted with an integrative medical doctor who diagnosed me with Chronic, Neurological Lyme Disease and Company and (CIRS) Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. The treatments for this condition, which I endured for four years, led to random bouts of improvement but never fully restored my health.
In 2011, I underwent liver resection surgery to remove a melon-sized, complicated cyst. This cyst was initially discovered on a CT Scan many years earlier when it was only 2 cm and deemed “simple and benign.” The cyst turned out to be a calcified infestation due to a Central American parasite, to which I was exposed while living abroad.
The nightmare continues!
While removal of the parasitic cyst resolved some of my health challenges—most notably the recurring hives and anaphylactic episodes—I still suffered severe, chronic fatigue, immune deficiency, chronic inflammation, and the resulting life challenges. The physical, emotional, and mental stress of the years leading up to the surgery had drained me. I was operating on sheer will to survive each day.
After 18 years of high stress as a teacher, while managing ongoing, serious health challenges, my mind and body delivered a profound message: I had a nervous breakdown and collapsed into severe burnout syndrome that forced me to walk away from my career.
My inner critic screamed, “Don’t be weak! You’re crazy if you walk away! What will people think?
I had reached my threshold! This profesora de Español and varsity soccer coach had no más to give to anything or anybody. My body was sick, broken and in horrific pain 24/7.
The part of my mind, which had supplied me with endless creativity throughout my years in the classroom, went into offline mode. Meanwhile, my stress response system remained online and engaged at all times. Additionally, I developed severe anhedonia, which is a subset of depression that causes one to lose the ability to feel or anticipate any pleasure or joy. I was emotionally flatlined!
Hidden Attic Mold Was Sabotaging My Health!
I also need to mention that during this time, my husband and I discovered a significant, hidden mold issue in our attic caused by faulty construction. While this mold did not seem to affect my husband outwardly, it had been sabotaging my health for many years, unbeknownst to me.
This was evident by increasing blood, inflammatory markers that are common to see with mold illness, particularly C4a levels. C4a is part of the complement immune system, and while high values can correlate with other conditions, it is often highly associated with mold illness.
So, not only had I worked in a water damaged school building for 18 years, but I also had toxic molds in my own home! Ay!
As painful and scary as my crash into burnout syndrome was, I feel it was a necessary wakeup call from the Universe. It was my catalyst for deep healing and transformation.
Time to Take Charge of My Own Health and Well-Being
Now it was time to take charge of my life, to engage in extreme self-care, and connect to my body. I would apply the principles of functional medicine to correctly identify and remove physiological stressors that were blocking health. This included labs to assess gut health, toxic burden, oxidative stress, hormones, nutrient status, and much more.
I would come to shine a light on my long-suppressed emotions. I would cultivate awareness of mind stories that no longer served me.
Healing from past traumas, I worked toward creating healthier boundaries and funneled my experience to build a Functional Health and Transformational Coaching practice—and I would come to do the work in the world that I am meant to do.
No words can accurately describe the lengths I’ve gone to unravel the complex web of health challenges that I have experienced. In my quest for wellness, I’ve learned so much about the foundations of good health and the factors that prime a person for illness.
The Winds of Change, Transformation, and Deep Healing
While medical diagnoses served a useful purpose for me at one time, I’ve since gained new perspectives. I now view illness—regardless of the diagnosis—as a state of dis-ease. When the mind-body system falls out of balance, a person can no longer adapt to and overcome physical, physiological, emotional, mental, or spiritual stressors.
My soil scientist father, David Eames Ellis, always said, “Create the correct environment and health will follow.” These words of wisdom are now the backbone for how I live my life and how I help my clients to heal theirs.
How Did I Create The Correct Environment For Healing? Here Is The Framework I Used…
I minimized the burden on the body by eliminating as many environmental and emotional stressors as possible.
I dialed in on the pillars of health: diet, rest, exercise, and stress reduction.
I Identified and addressed hidden, physiological stressors in my body using the right investigative tools to guide my path.
I made supporting my mitochondria and increasing cellular energy production a top priority. Fixing my broken circadian rhythm was KEY in this process!
I detoxed and healed my cells.
I engaged in self-kindness and made extreme self-care a TOP priority.
I learned to feel and process emotions rather than resist or stuff them, so they longer became trapped energy in my body.
I worked very hard to break destructive mental patterns that hijacked the present moment and triggered my stress response.
I established and maintained healthy boundaries.
Amidst my healing journey, I learned that magic bullet; “fast-fix” protocols do not exist.
Additionally, while addressing physiological imbalances was imperative to my recovery, taking back control of my health and reclaiming life from the grips of chronic health challenges transcended physiological systems.
It required time, active participation, willingness, and courage to address ALL aspects of my being.
My Qualifications & Credentials
I possess an MSc in Counseling Psychology and am a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner (FDN-P) through the Institute of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®.
To complement the above, I am also a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach through the Institute of Transformational Nutrition®, an Endorsed Anamsong MindBody Coach, a Certified Neurosculpting® Facilitator through the Neurosculping Institute in Denver, a certified Emotion Code Practitioner, and a Trained WellCoach with WellCoaches® School of Coaching. I continue to update my skills through seminars and various programs of study.
Because I have extensive training in and a deep understanding of the stress-illness-pain connection, I combine mind-body principles with physiological re-balancing into a multi-therapeutic approach that helps my clients to address all aspects of healing – body, mind, and spirit.
Are you interested in learning more about the FDN certification program and becoming a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® practitioner yourself? If so, click on the button below!
Additional & Recent Trainings:
Full Body Systems through Holistic Nutrition Labs
Functional Blood Chemistry Intensive through FDN
SIBO Intensive (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) through FDN
True Cellular Detox® Training through Revelation Health
MTHFR, Methylation & BioChemistry Intensive through Metabolic Healing
Amen Clinics Brain Health Coaching Program
Dr. Nelson’s Emotion Code Training
HPA Axis Function and Hormone Metabolite Assessment and Correction
Mold Illness Made Simple Intensive with Dr. Sandeep Gupta, MD
Digestive Intensive through Holistic Nutrition Labs
Blood Sugar & Insulin Resistance Intensive through Metabolic Healing
Background and Prior Education
Before my career in Functional Health and Wellness, I spent nearly two decades in secondary education, instructional design, and counseling at-risk students. I hold a Bachelor of Science In International Business and Marketing, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and Spanish Language and Literature, and as mentioned earlier, a Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology.
In addition to my academic focus, I was a girls’ varsity soccer coach and former competitive player myself. My years in the educational, counseling, and athletic coaching arenas armed me with a broad base of skills for helping my clients understand and apply health-building tools.
I consider myself a lifelong learner and avid reader particularly in the areas of healing, wellness, the mind-body connection, and neuroscience. I keep current on the latest research, trends and medical breakthroughs, and am inspired by the works of Dr. Gabor Maté, Dr. Candace Pert, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Lisa Wimberger (founder of The Neurosculpting Institute – Denver, CO.), and Annie Hopper (founder of Dynamic Neural Retraining System).
Comprehensive Approach to Jumpstarting the Body's Natural Healing Capacities
My top priority is to foster a collaborative relationship with you and provide you with the level of support and guidance that I desperately yearned for in my journey but never quite found. From here, I help you to figure out was is keeping your stuck and then unravel your challenges one layer at a time.
While addressing biochemical imbalances is critical, I understand that a truly effective health restoration program must go way beyond this. Because of this, I help you to identify and address all factors (body, mind, and spirit) that converged to create the “perfect storm” that lead to your current challenges.
I implement functional lab testing and energetic assessments, mind-body healing modalities, transformational coaching, and I provide comprehensive education on how to get well and stay well.
Additionally, my functional health practice is 100% online, so if we work together, it will be from the comfort of your own home and from anywhere in the world via Zoom video conferencing.