About Me and My Health Journey

KatieFolds1

~ (Updated October 2015) Hey Y’all! My name is Katie Folds and I was born, raised, and still reside in South Georgia. I am the wife of an amazingly supportive husband, and we are the parents of two precious little southern belles. I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and a Special Education Teacher (teaching students in varying grade levels ranging from Kindergarten through Fifth grade).  After some amazing experiences with essential oils I also became an essential oil educator with doTERRA as well.

~ I have always had a passion for nutrition and  have a true love for reading and absorbing any materials I can get my hands on! I have always yearned for a deeper understanding of how nutrition, essential oils, and supplements affect our bodies. I myself have dealt with intestinal complications for years. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) around the age of 15, but starting in 2011 (especially after the birth of my second child) my health took a real downward spiral. Some of my symptoms consisted of: severe abdominal cramping, chronic lower back and pelvic pain, fatigue, chronic sinusitis, adult asthma, insomnia, and anxiety.

~ After going through several medical exploratory procedures and receiving two diagnoses within a month of one another, I finally began to piece together the puzzle of my pain.  In May of 2013 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and in June of 2013 I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).  Endometriosis was determined after a laparoscopy procedure completed by my gynecologist. It took me by surprise, because I had never considered that Endometriosis could be causing some of the issues I was having.  Once I was educated about its symptoms, though, it made sense.  I still thought most of my pain, and varying symptoms, were related to my intestinal complications (though now I believe that both of these diagnoses were battling out daily for years, and I just always blamed it all on “my bad stomach”).

~ The EoE diagnosis was made by my gastroenterologist after completing both an Enteroscopy and Colonoscopy procedure. My gastroenterologist wanted to rule out Celiac Disease, and did, but in turn found the damage done by EoE. He said that my esophagus looked as though a plow had been running up and down it… My gastroenterologist mentioned me trying an elimination diet so that I could identify which foods I have an allergy to (but did not highlight that removing the food culprits would provide relief/even “recovery” if you will) .

~After my appointment I immediately dove into any information I could get my hands on explaining EoE, and how to go about eating a Dairy Free and Gluten Free diet.  Through my research I learned that if I could determine which food items were wreaking havoc on my system, and eliminate them from my diet for good, I could decrease my symptoms and maybe even eliminate most, if not all of them.

~ In my research I stumbled onto the blog Mark’s Daily Apple ran by Mark Sisson, and it really jumped out at me. I felt that reading his book The Primal Blueprint would be a great starting point for me on this new journey. I also learned the most from following other blogs about people who follow a more natural, primal and/or Paleo lifestyle. I began documenting various tactics people took to help aid in their struggle with ailments and food interactions. I wanted to learn from other people and their personal health journey so that I might could figure out what my personal relationship was with food.  I even found out through my research that the foods I needed to eliminate were the same foods recommended for elimination through Endometriosis Nutrition (trying to naturally decrease symptoms and pain by regulating the types of food you ingest). After removing specific trigger foods outlined in the Primal guidelines I found that the root of my problems were caused by: Milk, Wheat, and other Gluten containing grains (I discovered various food sensitivities along with some food allergies during the process). Once removed most of my symptoms vanished I couldn’t believe it!

~It’s amazing to me how I can take something as simple as food, and supplements, and use those components to turn my body into a powerhouse of health…instead of letting it break me down into a fragile existence. It’s hard for me to understand now how the power of food keeps being ignored, and how we are taught to dismiss its connection to everything. Nutrition is the basis of everything. It is our foundation. We have to re-wire our brains and constantly ask ourselves: “What am I putting in my body, and how does it make me feel?”

~On my journey I am trying to focus really hard on how my body is responding to the foods I am eating, the essential oils/supplements I am using, and the steps in life I am taking to better myself. I do believe that no matter what, it’s important to try and stick to the basics of a healthier lifestyle by continuously striving to provide and consume clean/whole foods that are nutrient-rich (part of what I like to call living “Life Fromscratch”). We must try very hard to stay clear of the highly processed and refined foods that we have grown accustomed to. We resort to these items for convenience, and sadly so many are still misinformed by major corporations about the quality of these products. Not realizing how unnatural and destructive these foods really are. Our bodies are ever-changing and we must all try to be in tune with what our bodies are trying to tell us every day, and stay educated about what we are putting in them.
~ There have been a lot of ups and downs on this journey so far, though I would not trade this experience for anything! If I can share any advice for you to take along in your pocket during your journey of great health and best self it would be this: Try to not get overwhelmed and caught up by the abundance of information, and “rules,” when it comes to varying nutritional philosophies. Think of all the information you acquire as guidelines and tips; something to give you a starting point. Use those guidelines to formulate a plan, and once you find your bearings you can then venture out and discover what works best for your specific body, your mind, and your soul (because only you have the key to your individual wellbeing).

~ I started this journey in June of 2013, and I haven’t looked back yet. This process has led me to investigate nutritional lifestyles that I knew nothing about before. With the information I have acquired I am on a mission to create the best lifestyle for me, my family, and help anyone who needs my support. Both of my daughters were born with allergies and asthma related issues, and my quest is to not only better my health, but to better the health and the lives of my two little girls. My dream for my daughters is that they take control of their health at a young age, build a strong foundation, and nurture a powerhouse of health now and for years to come.

~We all have different needs and none of us are wired the same, so find what works for you, and what makes you feel like your best self! I feel better than I have ever felt. I am continuously finding ways to tweak my lifestyle so that I’m always growing, and striving for wellness…my best me! I am constantly striving to live my “Life Fromscratch!” Now, that doesn’t mean I am perfect (because I’m far from that), and that doesn’t mean I don’t still come across bumps in the road. It just means I take the hiccups, make adjustments, and keep on truckin! It has been an amazing journey so far, and I can’t wait to see where it leads me!