Here Toni give her personal store of illness, recovery and health
Hello, I am Toni (last name removed for student privacy) from New Jersey. To really explain why I have chosen to pursue a career in the Holistic Sciences there needs to be some background!
I have always had a great interest in being “healthy”, but of course what that meant has changed over the decades. My first actual memories of pursuing a holistic lifestyle dates back to the 1980’s where my newly found friend named anxiety reared its ugly head. As a new mother, I began dabbling into vegetarianism, mainly macrobiotics, to help to reduce these symptoms. Of course as time went on, and more children came into the picture, my healthy lifestyle went on the back burner.
I have always been an avid exerciser and although perhaps a bit overweight, considered myself to be “healthy”. In February 2010, as I was getting ready to go to a soccer tournament for my youngest son, at the age of only 49, I had a heart attack! What?? How could this happen to someone so “healthy”? As it turned out the attack was not caused by a blocked artery, no buildup of plaque. It was something called a vasospasm, something I had never heard of.
We have always known that stress can make our bodies react in crazy ways, one of which is causing your coronary artery to spasm, pretty much cutting off the blood supply to the heart.
I came home from the hospital on 4 different medications, Zoloft (which I had been taking since 1995), fosinopril, norvascand Lipitor. I was way too young for all of this, so what can I do? My transformation was gradual, starting out eating a vegetarian diet. I started looking into the way I was exercising as well. I was doing a lot of cardio but little resistance training. I started to add weights into the picture and to my surprise, I lost over 40pounds! Well, this was a huge inspiration.
At the same time I had an acquaintance that unfortunately was battling cancer. She was in her last stages and had pursued a holistic approach to healing that included juicing and a raw food diet. I was scheduled to bring her family meals and I wanted to also take something that she could eat so I started researching raw foods. I was so intrigued by the information that I found that I decided to give it a try myself!
Fast forward almost 3 years from that time and I am still at the same weight, I now only take Norvasc, which I am hoping to eventually get off and I feel amazing! I now include yoga and meditation into my days as well as a bit of Ayurvedic cooking. I have personally seen how Holistic nutrition and lifestyle works. I also personally see how the standard American diet and lifestyle can cause such havoc on our bodies. Understanding these simple principles and being able to share them with others has become my passion. It just makes sense then to pursue a career in something that I so strongly believe in and support!