I am so excited about all that I have learned at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition regarding the key role that nutrition and primary nutrition, plays in addiction recovery, and in everyday living.  I am now a Holistic Health Coach/Practitioner! I had no idea how much fuel my body needs every day to run effectively, and to be whole healthy! Through a holistic lifestyle, I am creating a whole healthy environment for my body, mind, and soul, so that I will be able to continue to achieve optimal health, and blissful wellness!

I had been struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs for about 40 years, as well as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Did you know that addictions come in a variety of forms? People suffer from food addictions/cravings, eating disorders, alcoholism, gambling, sex, shopping addictions, etc. These are considered types of compelling, uncontrollable behaviors, and can also be addictions.

What I have learned is that underlying these types of unhealthy behaviors is an addiction to dopamine which is the brain’s neurotransmitter that controls the feelings for pleasure, and feeling “high.” Therefore, people actually become addicted to whatever activity produces an escalation of dopamine. This is also known as “process addiction,” which is described as “A condition in which a person is dependent on some type of behavior, such as gambling,shopping, or sexual activity. This term is often used as a blanket for any behavioral addiction which does not involve an addictive chemical. This is ironic as there are actual chemical processes which occur during the behavior which are very similar to the chemical changes which take place during substance abuse.” When one looks beneath the outer layer of addiction, we can see the nutritional deficits, and imbalances, which so often helps to provide the right conditions for, or support addictions. This is because poor nutritional habits fail to offer the necessary nutrients for a healthy brain, and overall optimal health.

In the last two or three years of my active addiction, I did not eat much other than small amounts of sugar, and carbs, and then abused laxatives, fleet enemas, and diuretics. Most of the time I starved myself, and what little that I did eat, I listened to my eating disorder that used to “scream at me” to get rid of the food. Whether I ate one sugar cookie, or one low fat yogurt, I “HAD” to “eliminate” it. By the time I was admitted to treatment on April 3, 2013, I weighed approximately 112 pounds, and I was as weak as a rag doll. I had an addiction to sugar, chocolate, and diet soda in addition to my prescription drug addiction, which no doubt contributed greatly to a “short circuit” in my brain. Prescription opiates and benzos, sugar, carbs, laxatives, diuretics, and enemas, depleted not only my organs of necessary nutrients, but my brain as well. I was depleted of all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and energy that a healthy body, and brain, needs. I presently weigh about 120 pounds, and have been living an organic, holistic lifestyle for the past 2 1/2 years.

I have been practicing a holistic and organic approach to whole healthiness including a nutritional plan which excludes gluten, dairy, sugar, and grains, and is based on my blood type. All of the recipes that I create are made with natural and organic ingredients. I take daily supplements and vitamins which are plant based, and I use essential oils in my daily regimen which are also plant based, for chronic pain, relaxation, immune support, anxiety, etc. In addition to eating the right foods for my bio-individuality and blood type, it is even more important to me to surround myself with loving relationships, an exciting career, exercise, lots of water, spirituality, and being of service to others. These components are known as PRIMARY NUTRITION. You can eat all of the right things for your body type, blood type, ancestry, etc., but if you do not have the necessary primary nutrition, the foods will not suffice. I practice daily relaxation techniques,  positive thinking, grounding modalities, and self care such as exercise, breathing exercises, meditation, writing, and being outdoors for at least one hour a day. I engage in daily prayer as part of my spiritual growth, and MUSIC is the cure all for me. I share my story of “Wellness Recovery” to offer hope and inspiration to others. I have so much support from family, friends, acquaintances and my community who continue to guide and support me. I have found love again, and for the first time it is so delicious because I am completely present and able to enjoy and savor every moment of time that we spend together…in love. I am laughing again, happy again, and full of hope and dreams. I LOVE my life! I AM A SURVIVOR OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG ADDICTION!

In October, 2015, I will receive my certification as a Certified Holistic Health Coach/Practitioner, and I am eager to guide and support others who find themselves in the grips of addiction, and those who would like to begin their own journey of recovery. My vision for this program will be an alternative program to the traditional programs that are offered by the recovery community, and hope to join forces with the recovery community to combine our resources and our experience to offer guidance and support that will empower others to enjoy a successful, lifelong recovery that is tailored to their needs.  I believe that most people will benefit by having the choice to determine which of these programs will be beneficial in their own recovery. Many will find a balance between the Wellness Recovery Program that I have created, and the traditional 12-Step Recovery Programs that work for millions. We need to empower and educate everyone about this disease that has reached epidemic status, and we must stand together to make the needed changes.

I am reminded on a daily basis that I need to take “baby steps,” or what the smartest man I know (Thank you Honey!) calls “letting things happen organically.” So many of us get caught up in the instant gratification mindset without letting things happen “organically” and naturally, which is also the mindset of an addict.  I PROMISE you that I have come to appreciate everything in my life so much more, including all of my relationships, as they have been slowly, but steadily growing. As I’ve put in the work in nurturing  my relationships, it has been so much more delicious because I enjoy the tasty rewards of love, respect, honesty, integrity, trust, and commitment with all those I have rebuilt with. My new relationships are built on these components of a healthy and loving relationship from the onset and are flourishing, one baby step at a time. I’ve learned that something my son, Matthew, said to me two and a half years ago when I came home from treatment is so profound. He said, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Thank you Matt. That was great insight. Each day as “more is revealed” organically, I am grateful that it is not being “dumped out” at once. I love to savor every detail of every moment that I am blessed with both personally and professionally, and I am always mindful of how blessed I am.

My children and my grand-daughter have been my inspiration throughout, and I have had what seems like global support these past 2 1/2 years. We all need a helping hand, and I have been truly blessed with all of the love, guidance, and support I have received and continue to receive.

I also must mention one of the most inspirational women that I have the pleasure of calling my friend, my empowerment/relationship coach, “Dr. Love!,” and my “soul mother,” Sheila Pearl. Sheila has been a part of my “team” for nearly two years, and has been one of the most important and influential guiding forces in helping me to understand human behavior. Sheila’s insight and wisdom has helped me to gain a whole new perspective on relationships, boundaries, and love which is so instrumental in helping me to co-create a successful loving relationship with the new love in my life, with my children, family, friends, and even relationships in my work environment. I have slowly learned that once I change my old ways of thinking which was indicative of an addictive mindset and thought pattern, I am able to change my behavior and re-train my brain to join the rest of my body in being healthy!

My journey has been a slow but steady process made up of baby steps, and organic living at its finest. I will continue to bask in, and appreciate each moment that I work for in my sobriety. I am able to enjoy everything that I feel, see, taste, hear, and smell, which is MY “high” in life now. To be grateful of all of my blessings each day is what I strive for, and I have achieved most everything that I have set out to accomplish.

My nutritional needs are being met, my primary nutritional needs are being met, and my life is awesome! God has been so good to me.

If you have a story of recovery or survival of addiction that you’d like to share, please email me at I’d love to hear all about it!

Wishing You Harmonious Health 4 Life!




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