Who am I?
My life is pretty quiet – by design. I live a few blocks form the beach and outside my windows is a natural wetlands conservancy with some of the most breathtaking wildlife birds I have ever seen. Every day I go to one or the other for daily exercise and to get myself centered. Vast open quiet spaces do the same trick for me, but the beach and the natural wetlands conservancy are right outside my door.
I spend a great amount of my time in the kitchen exploring new foods and cooking. I have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Pancolitis and Celiac along with many other conditions that are independent and also related to these. My food choices are an crucial element for giving my body what it needs to manage the conditions as best possible.
I have a stack of “to read” books with some 20-30 paper hardcopies. It may be old fashioned, but I very much prefer a real book rather than a digital version. Trainings, classes and other group learning spaces are another important element to my life.
I love animals and they have taught me more about who I am, life, happiness and loss in ways that few else compares. The current duo is Little Bear and Roo (picture on the left).
My story… How did I end up where I am?
I was working for a small international marketing agency in the South of France and living only a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean shoreline. My lifestyle was very comfortable… a small boat, a beautiful garden apartment, a charming cat, friendly work environment, great colleagues, an incredibly interesting job and an active lifestyle which included scuba diving, boating, canyoning (rock climbing in mountain waterways), skiing and kiteboarding. I traveled often, thanks to the 5 weeks per year vacation time which is standard in Europe. When I was at home I enjoyed renovating antiques, living spaces and usually had an art project going.
It was upon returning from a three week vacation in the Caribbean that my health began deteriorating FAST, in every way. I went to doctors, then more doctors and all types of alternative health care professionals. No one and no test results were able to indicate what was wrong. None of the drugs, homeopathy, herbs, treatments or other suggestions helped, they actually seemed to speed up the decline. As time passed it got more depressing. Soon professionals were convinced my conditions were psychological and the result of mental illness. Nothing made me crazier faster than hearing professionals tell me my health decline was not physical, as I truly believed.
With the passing of more time, and still no answers I began to wonder if my conditions were in fact related to a mental illness. With that doubt I located a well-known psychiatrist and began seeing him weekly. After only a month he told my very clearly “Krista you have to find a doctor who can figure out what is wrong – you do not have a mental illness”. It was helpful to hear that, but I stayed under his care as I navigated the medical maze with my elusive medical problems. He kept me grounded, focused and moving forward as I saw more doctors who invariably would tell me that my problems were psychosomatic when they were unable to determine what was wrong.
I kept looking and kept coming up empty handed. Eventually I decided I had to go back to school, hit the books and find the answers myself. Little by little my new understanding led me to private laboratories who were offering unique types of lab work and gave me the names of medical doctors who used their services. Once I had the right doctors using the right labs I began to get some answers. Blood, urine and stool tests by these private labs revealed heavy metal poisoning. I remember getting the lab results – I had three times max levels of mercury in my blood, many more times maximum levels in my urine along with a lot of lead. How did healthcare professionals not see my symptoms as directly related to heavy metal poisoning? It was so obvious. My body had been primed for the problems with lots of heavy metal exposures from my hobbies (renovating antiques, living spaces and art materials). My diet was a very healthy whole foods based diet, but I ate fish a couple times a week. My body crashed upon returning from a 3 week stay in the Caribbean where I had been served two big portions of fish two times a day. It was a recipe for disaster.
Once Pandora’s box was open, as my mom often referred to it, subsequent biopsies over many years would indicate several different, but related auto-immune diseases.
Even though I had begun proper medical treatments, my health was not returning and so I kept on with my studies looking for solutions. I completed studies in nutrition, herbalism, holistic and alternative healing techniques, environmental factors, became a hydro colon therapist. From there I branched out into hypnotherapy, interactive guided imagery, dream work, art therapy, family/systemic constellations (not astrology, but based on Bert Hellinger’s work) and other spiritual types of practices in an effort to see the bigger picture of well-being.
Years passed and I continued crawling my way back to more body function. It was painstakingly slow and arduous. I just did what Dory, in the movie Finding Nemo does, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming“. It required an extremely detailed and strict diet, herbs, supplements, medical and alternative treatments and a personally appropriate lifestyle. I began giving talks about what I knew, offered classes and began working with kids and adults via phone consultations, office visits or in their home. I knew what questions to ask, I listened, asked more questions and followed my nose.
I continue to question, study and ponder, not only for my own well-being and sense of peace, but also because what I continue to understand benefits those I work with.
The individuals I work with have not consciously chosen the path they are on, nor did I, but as time passes and their new understanding braches out they see how their life has become far more meaningful as a result.
I listen, interact, ask a lot of questions, guide, teach and involve my clients rather than dictate or preach. Your person is unique and needs a unique personal recipe to move forward.
If you would like more information about the tools I use to help people, please visit my website at:
As you read my blog entries or listen to the podcast you will learn a lot more about me. My hope is that my sharing enables you to find your own path with greater peace, trust and well-being.