If we met in person, you probably wouldn’t believe that I used to live off mac & cheese and Burger King fries.
In fact, tomatoes and potatoes were probably the only vegetables I ate from 5 years old to about 25 years old.
I know! Shocking coming from a Plant-Based Nutrition Expert, right?
As you can probably imagine, my plate looks wildly different today. And my health? It’s leaps and bounds better than it was for those first 20 years.
But you should know how bad it was for me—and how I finally found relief.
For about two decades, I suffered with symptoms that could have been remedied with certain diet & lifestyle changes. But I had no idea it could be that simple.
I thought I had to live with the digestive issues that kept me from fully participating in my life. Issues that were often so painful, I couldn’t get out of bed.
Doctors couldn’t offer a cure or an explanation that made sense, which had a part of wondering—could there be another way?
After researching vegetarianism and veganism, and then reading the well-known book Skinny Bitch, I decided to give eating more plants a try - because the way I’d been eating for years wasn’t getting my anywhere.
You might be wondering about the person who'll be guiding you through your plant-based health journey. I'm Mary Ellen, a veggie-phobic serial dieter turned licensed nutritionist.
A few things to know about me:
• I am extremely passionate about helping people feel their best because I understand what it’s like to struggle with health & wellness
• I consider myself a vegan mac & cheese connoisseur. And before you ask, yes, there's always room for some plant-based mac & cheese in a healthy lifestyle!
• I love animals, especially my two sweet angel-faced shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie
• I'm obsessed with sparkly things (hence the little gold diamonds all over my site). I wish nifflers were real because I think we’d get along well.
Cutting out unhealthy foods and adding in a whole host of vegetables into my life was nothing short of miraculous. I was amazed at how quickly I felt better.
I kid you not, within days and weeks, my digestion improved, my abdominal pain lessened, and my weight balanced out. Yes, weeks!
Instead of having to stealthily manage unpredictable symptoms every day, I finally had the headspace to live and enjoy my life. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.
What I did know for sure though—I was in love with plants and their healing power and wanted to learn everything I could about them immediately. So, I invested in my education big time.
What started as the pursuit of my own health, resulted in not only becoming a licensed nutritionist, but getting my master’s in nutrition and functional medicine, becoming a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and completing my functional nutrition residency with the incredible Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.
All while growing a successful food blog and working full-time. (Yep, I know a thing or two about how to fit your goals and dreams into a busy schedule.)
This entire journey allowed me to deepen my knowledge and expertise in the field of nutrition as it relates to plants, to expand my understanding of how to support the body’s natural detoxification processes, and to learn the essentials of stress reduction.
If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, it’s this: unburdening the body from the debris of unhealthy eating and chronic stress is ESSENTIAL to wellness.
And as we remove what burdens the physical—from foods that cause inflammation, imbalance, and dis-ease—we must also remove the debris that weights on the mental—the toxins of anxiety, stress, and worry.
Here, I bring those two worlds together—mind + body wellness—to empower busy women to effectively adopt a plant-based diet to detox the body, support the resolution of chronic health issues, and leverage the power of stress-relieving techniques to find more clarity and peace of mind.