I grew up in your typical Standard American Diet (SAD) home eating some of the best American comfort food and spending my allowance on junk food and sugar. It was tough to get me to eat veggies and I rarely enjoyed fruit. Even though my mother tried to limit my intake, soda was a daily beverage. I was never very active but wasn’t exactly lazy either.
In June 2003 at 23 years old, I was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, a rare Autoimmune disease. I struggled with reaching my feet and lifting my hands above my head due to severe connective tissue inflammation. My menstrual cycle was so irregular I had even gone 70 days between cycles.
My Journey to Wellness Begins
At 5’7″, I was 175 pounds, a SAD eater and struggling to find the strength to be an active person. I enjoyed dance, hiking and the occasional yoga class but I was far from routine and needed a lifestyle change.
So I quit my corporate job, moved back home with my mom and took my savings to see a Naturopathic Doctor. He put me on several herbal concoctions and an anti-candida diet. I avoided all things packaged and processed and completely stopped ALL sugar intake, including fruit. I was overridden with Candida from the inside out. I began losing weight quickly. I maintained this system steady for 3 months until I couldn’t afford it anymore. I had rid my body of all yeast overgrowth, walked around 20 pounds lighter, and started hiking and doing yoga regularly.
Relapse and Injury Created an Opportunity to Grow
That Christmas I was in a horseback riding accident and broke my back in 4 places. I was bed ridden for several months wearing a lovely designer body brace (insert laugh here) and unable to continue my new found
physical independence. During my recovery, I began reaching for comfort foods again. Due to the lack of physical movement and the foods I began eating, I gained back the pounds and battled with the disease and Candida once more.
After a little more than a year of limited mobility, I moved to Germany and started to incorporate walking and yoga into my lifestyle again. I ate rich German food and comforts of home for the first year until I started school for Holistic Medicine. My first class was a Certificate in Nutrition,
Bodycare, and Herbalism. Then in January 2006, I did a 30 day juice fast and became vegetarian thereafter.
My First Juice Fast
During my fast, I lost more than 25 pounds and achieved a sense of empowerment over eating. Yoga was a daily routine and food became part of nutrition rather than comfort. I went raw vegan in June of that year and have made fasting and high raw eating my lifestyle ever since.
When I sway into less than healthy eating (ie. Kettle chips, cooked foods, gourmet, gluten-free breads, pastas or crackers), my body alerts me straight away. These foods are 100 times healthier than what I used to eat but they are still less than optimal for me. This doesn't mean I don't need knocked over the head with consequences from time to time, because I do occasionally indulge until my body suffers. Thing is, I now KNOW BETTER and tend to live most of my life with few symptoms and even less suffering.
In order for me to feel optimal, I need to eat a high raw, vegan and gluten-free diet and fast routinely. I cleanse every January for between 2 and 6 weeks (depending on how I feel) on fresh pressed juices and I continue juice cleansing or water fasting at smaller increments throughout the year. The longest juice cleanse I've completed lasted 58 days and the longest water fast went for 12 days. I've done as little as one day on juice or water as well.
This January 2013, I embark upon my longest juice cleanse of 60 days and I will be blogging about it here. In addition to my cleanse, I will be coaching the 10-day Juice Cleanse several times each month throughout the year. It's a fully online program - read more about it here.
Need motivation to add juice to your lifestyle? Watch the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflicks tonight!
This blog is on the many avenues that interest Coach Stephanie. Subjects are a vast array of hobbies, career, desires, coaching and lifestyle.
"I am here for support, guidance, education and as an example of what works for ME. What works for me may work for you or at least provide you with a starting point from which to explore. I am discovering what works for me at every moment. I don’t have it all figured out, but I do feel I have a teaching and healing nature with which I am here to share. In this blog, I offer you a view into my practice of being that which makes my experience - MINE."
Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Practitioner, Stephanie Austin, was guided into holistic living in 2002 when she was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, an uncommon autoimmune disease affecting the skin and muscle.
Opting for education rather than medication, Austin enrolled in a Holistic Health Practitioner program in 2004 after realizing she'd been gifted with disease so that she may learn to heal herself and later teach others to do the same.
Since her education, Austin has released over 60 pounds and conquered years of junk food addiction through holistic healing and nutrition techniques that she now passes onto others through her business, Wellness by Mother Nature.
Austin has been the Director of Education and Board Member for the nonprofit organization, The Wellness Kitchen. She is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award from www.ACHS.edu.
Austin is an author, coach and speaker who empowers people on the healing value of nutrition and the innate self-healing abilities of a body in balance.
She has helped hundreds of people achieve balance through methods such as meditation, herbs, movement, supplements, aromatherapy, homeopathy, nutrition, mind-body connection, energy healing and by closely listening to the needs of her clients.
It is awareness that brings change, not your effort. Why does it happen through awareness? - because the awareness changes you. And when you are different, the world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world, it is only a question of creating a different you. You are your world; so if you change, the world changes.
My Other Blogs
I've used several websites over the years to journal my juice cleanses. Since there are many years worth of journals, I am slowly moving them all to this one. Meanwhile, you can view my First Juice Fast blog here and a few others here and here.
If you're looking for program specific blogs (ie. Juice Cleanse or Gluten Free) visit the Classes and Programs here for their respective blogs, which are password assessable to clients only.
The Traveling Homesteader has an entirely separate blog here.
Otherwise, I write everything else here at www.StephanieAustin.com.