Growing up I lived the average low income american lifestyle. I don’t blame being low income for everything but it was definitely the main reason I was taught to eat the way I do or did (Still, lot’s of progress needs to be made). I’m an east coast girl, Philly to be exact. Home of the cheese-steaks. Damn, I miss them! Neither African-Americans or Americanized Latinx regularly eat healthy foods. I’m positive it’s due to the lack of grocery stores containing fresh fruits and vegetables, along with mass chains of fast food, Papi stores (Latino owned corner stores, predominantly in the hood) or chinese stores in our communities.
My earliest memories take me back to the year 2000 when I was in kindergarten walking to school with the kids on the block and stopping at the Papi store to get “Lunch”. My lunch always consisted of Little Debbie’s Star crunch, Hot fries, Frooties, and Hug Juice. (I still can’t believe I used to get all that for just $1.00. The good ol days! ) That was just lunch and most of the times I skipped breakfast. I didn’t eat the slop served in school because it always tasted fake. Then when I got home it was always to something crunchy, greasy or microwaved.
As a child and teen I’ve always been overweight. I was borderline high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes by age 12. At least every person in my family was so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal or that it was hereditary. Living a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and being on birth control for several years only added to my physical discomfort. What I didn’t know was that these things were going to haunt me later in life. I would have constant pain in my stomach for weeks at a time and after frequent visits to the doctor, who advised nothing beneficial, it only got worse. I was later diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome in 2012.
As I changed my diet I started to feel better. Ginger juice was one of the main things that helped ease the bloating and helped with digestion. Then in 2013 I heard of “pink slime” which is was/is used in fast foods. It was quite disturbing… What comes next astonished and scared the hell out of me! Genetically Modified Organisms and Monsanto. I felt betrayed by the food industry. I became obsessed with comparing organic vs conventional foods and their nutritional values, eating healthy and spreading the little that I knew to those closest to me. Everything I knew about food, nourishment, and healthcare was a lie.
I later began to feel pain constantly in my pelvic area which felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly. I was put on tons of antibiotics because the doctors thought it was recurring Urinary Tract Infections. A few months later I got an ear infection…. Because of that and all the times I took antibiotics as a child my body resisted the antibiotics. Even then can you guess what the doctor prescribed? More antibiotics. I was fed up! The ear infection went away on its own after nearly taking away my hearing (me just being dramatic). Early 2014 that stabbing pelvic pain I was struck with was finally discovered to be Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. So my intestines get irritated from eating unhealthy foods and because of the birth control I was put on due to painful menstruation my hormones are completely out of whack. I get mini cysts that develop on my ovaries and burst without my consent or knowledge. And the cherry on top of it all that no woman dare talks about… Hirsutism.
I’m Shakira. I’m very fickle and because of that it has taken me so long to discover my true calling in life. I wanted to be a lawyer and then I wanted to be a psychologist. I truly love psychology and I believe everyone should see a psychologist during their teen and young adult years. It’s very crucial that we understand early on that life holds no punches. I then wanted to become a nutritionist because I firmly believe that God has put blessing in food, plants, herbs, etc.
“And He set on the earth firm mountains standing above its surface, and He blessed the earth and measured therein nourishment for all things, in four periods: in accordance with the needs of the seekers”. (Quran 41:10)
This specific verse describes the four seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, and in them they have seasonal foods that are beneficial according to that specific season. Finally I decided that I wanted to become a Naturopath. That way I can intertwine my psychology skills by helping people learn to heal and rediscover themselves holistically.
This blog is dedicated to my journey to becoming a Naturopathic doctor (God Willing). I will be featuring my struggles with PCOS, weight, health issues, implementing holistic health care, learning to eat for nourishment ALONE. My dream is to become an entrepreneur sharing my passion for natural, nontoxic, organic everything!