Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
*Crusader of Health
Hi! So, let's start with my name. It is Tusdi. It is pronounced (Toosdee). I don't have a brilliant story that goes with it just that my parents wanted something different. I think they overshot their goal. At any rate, it was pretty tough name to have as a kid and it didn't help that I moved around a lot (6 elementary schools). I also had big buck teeth. (ugh!) Needless to say, the teasing was relentless. What I didn't know back then, though, was how this funny name would help me build strength, resiliency, and the ability to laugh at myself. Now, let's fast forward. In my early 40's, after several major life changes (career, divorce, etc) that occurred simultaneously in a short amount of time, I started getting sick...really sick. All my life I have been an over achiever, a type A personality who prided herself on the ability to juggle many things at once, all the while being successful at each one. So when I started barely making it through at work and I didn't feel like playing with my beautiful daughters , I knew something was wrong...really wrong. This went on for quite some time. I had a myriad of unexplainable symptoms and I was getting worse.
After many months of doctors, procedures, and lab work, the diagnosis was handed down. I have lupus, an incurable auto-immune disease. The doctor told me that I would likely be on medication for the rest of my life and that I had better learn to slow down because with lupus my life would never be the same. He was right about one thing...my life would never be the same. At first, I was scared out of my mind. I have 2 young daughters that needed me today and for many years to come. I couldn't be sickly...what kind of life is that for them? I started doing research, which only scared me more at first. I read some where that many people with lupus have to quit full time work within 5 years of the diagnosis. Again, this was not an option for me. I needed to support my daughters and myself. I continued to do research and discovered a book that discussed how eliminating all animal products (veganism) out of your diet had helped many people with lupus, so I tried it. Within 6 weeks, I started to feel better and took myself off my first medication. Within a few months, I was off all meds and was feeling much better. This was really just the beginning. I had always been interested in nutrition and fitness, so I enjoyed learning more. However, the more research I did, the more I realized I had a lot more to learn. Meanwhile, I went back to my rheumatologist. I was excited to tell him my discovery and learn what he might know about this. He told me it was a coincidence...a spontaneous recovery and that diet had nothing to do with it. I don't want to say anything mean, so I will just tell you that because of his words and lack of interest in the possibility, I never went back. I soon learned that many nutrition experts recommend that people with autoimmune disorders should avoid gluten, so I did. Now, I was vegan and gluten free. Next, I discovered GMO's, antibiotics, hormones, and all the other toxic additions to food that could be bombarding my system, so I went organic. Through my research I understood that a diet that was mostly plant based really is good for everyone, though maybe not everyone needs or wants to be vegan. (Again, we are all different!) I wanted to get more plants in my diet, so I started juicing. Each of these steps I took made me feel better and better and better.
This education and pursuit of health became a passion and ultimately has led me to want to help other people. I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and graduated this year as a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Coach. Lupus was not a curse. It has taught me so much. I think I am healthier now than I have been in a very long time. I no longer get colds all the time, In fact, I went from having multiple episodes of bronchitis and sinus infections every year to zero. I haven't taken an antibiotic in over 4 years now. I have learned to balance my life and understand that health on the inside is more important than beauty on the outside. My daughters have learned all about health and nutrition. They watched me get sick and fight to get healthy again. They understand the value of taking care of yourself and to start doing it now not later. What a wonderful gift that is! Lupus has led me to a new career and a new freedom that I have never felt before.. Lupus doesn't control me...I control my lupus. Whatever your story is, I know and believe with all my heart that you too can live a healthy, happy, harmonious life!