I have always been a highly motivated woman. That Type A personality has gotten me far, but it has also taken its toll on my health.
While in graduate school, I experienced severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It caused much pain, weight loss, and difficulty in studying. I had to drive 1-1/2 hours each way in the evening to class, and the stress of going back to school when I was pushing 40 was quite high. I had three colonoscopies, already, and no one found any problems. Unfortunately, the doctors wanted to help me, so they prescribed a medicine to reduce the excessive diarrhea. I chose to not take the medicine. Two years later, I learned the FDA had removed it from the market.
At the same time, I was also experiencing major back pain which was diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. The amount of pain I felt was akin to birthing pain. I never slept at night and felt miserable during the day.
When my two daughters, Danielle and Andrea, were in late elementary school, I was concerned about my youngest daughter, Andrea. She suffered from severe asthma for so many years, and the steroids she was on were causing her to gain excessive weight, and it appeared that she was not growing taller.
In 1996, my concern led me to an Iowa church. There Reverend Malkmus spoke about how people did not need to be sick. The Lord led me there.
I began juicing and removed meat, refined sugar, bread, and dairy from our diet. Immediately, we saw relief. My seasonal allergies were not so severe and, as I cleaned up my diet and worked through the stress, I found significant relief from the frequent trips to the restroom with IBS. As I continued on the diet, and cleared my body from the toxins, allowing it to rebuild, I am here, today, Fibromyalgia-free.
My older daughter, Danielle, didn't get as many colds, but the change to The Hallelujah Diet affected Andrea most significantly. She began to complain of her legs and arms aching, and within two years she grew four inches. No wonder! She was experiencing "growing pains!" Today that little, swollen body has turned into a lovely 19 year-old young woman who is 5'9" tall and a slender 130 pounds. Andrea is still following The Hallelujah Diet and is a successful college student.
Not only was my family's health taking a turn for the better but, slowly, I was also being led down a different career path. In one of my graduate school classes, I had the opportunity to give a one-hour presentation on the topic of my choice. I chose alternative medicine. As I researched for this speech, I found myself falling in love with the idea of nutritional healing. Every free waking moment that I had would find me in the library consuming information. However, my degree was in communication � not nutrition.
After completing graduate school, I worked for an engineering technical college as an instructor. It was a great experience, but people made fun of me for bringing in that strange "lettuce juice." Ironically, though I was in contact with hundreds of students daily, I never got the "bugs" that would be circulating.
Soon, I was promoted to Academic Dean of the College. It was an exciting job, but it never could replace that yearning desire and passion to continue to learn more, and do more, with nutrition and health. In 2005, Andrea graduated from high school and I decided that I was to no longer make that two-hour drive to work each day, so I did not renew my contract. It was a leap of faith, since I didn't have another job in front of me. I decided this would be the perfect time for me to pursue my passion, and I enrolled in a Get Healthy! Stay Balanced class, that I drove to for nine weeks. Did I mention that it was a 2-1/2-hour drive one way?
It was an exceptional experience. The Health Minister, Carolyn Mehr, created a phenomenal course. I went directly from there to Health Minister Training, which began an incredible new chapter for my life. After I returned, I began speaking at area churches, and I even made a contact through another patient at my chiropractor's office, to speak to her civic group. But, I had to cancel that engagement because soon, I moved to Shelby, North Carolina to take the position of Health Minister Director with Hallelujah Acres.