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Hello there! My name is Kelsey and am a 22 year old student pursuing a carrer in Nutrition (with a minor in Spanish! Que bueno!). My journey towards Nutrition has definitey been an interesting one. I was always raised in a household that valued health, nutrition, and physical activity but, as a child, I always took things for granted. It wasn’t untill my third year of college when I lost all three of these essential aspects that I realized how important they really are. Enter: The College Years.

After graduating high school I decided that I wanted to attend college in another state and study the field of Architecture. This was quite the proclaimation for I was the biggest “home-body” that the world has probably ever seen. But I was determined to “make it on my own” and off to college I went (a full two-day drive away from all my friends and family). Unfortunately, the demands of the Architecture field (stress, stress stress!), the lack of close source of support (ie: family), and the negligence of treating my body right (alcohol, dorm food, lack of exercise) began to take its toll. As a child I had recurring bouts of stomach sensitivity and mild discomfort but, after three years of the amount of stress I was subjecting myself to, my body all but completely shut down. There finally came a point in my junior year of college that I was completely unable to digest food. After years of tormenting my stomach with alcohol, spicy foods and fried and/or fatty treats, it had finally given up and simply refused any food without it causing my intense pain, nausea, bloating, etc. Needless to say I was terrified. Enter: Early Mid-Life Crises.

It was at this time that I realized I couldn’t continue on the path that I was going. Something needed to change and it needed to change fast. Within the period of 24 hours I had withdrawn from Architecture school, packed my belongings, and was flown home (thanks mom and dad). So, there I was, back at home after three years of being away at college. Although it was a relief to be home, I was completely miserable. I was depressed by my waifish frame (I had lost a ton of weight due to the terrible state of my stomach), angry that my body refused to digest said food properly (Ensure became a dietary staple. Ew.) and sad that it seemed as if I had virtually “wasted” three years of my life. I wasn’t, however, about to give up. In an effort to get my health and happiness back I consulted every doctor, nutritionist, and dietician I could get an appointment with. Positive the my stomach had imploded (no joke, I was in that much pain) I was prepared for the worst. But after many tests and procedures there was no serious condition (cancer, tumor, etc.) but just a severe case of IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) as well as GERD (Gastroesophigal Reflux Disorder). Enter: Opperation Figure-Out-Your-Trigger-Foods.

My doctors then suggested a seemingly simple yet profound solution. Find the foods that seem to irratate your stomach. Seemed simple right? HA! It has taken a year to determine all of the foods that cause my IBS and GERD symptoms to emerge. The process was long and excruciating but as each pain-causing-item was eliminated from my diet, I began to heal and my stomach slowly began to trust me again. At first I was resiliant and angry to give up the foods I loved (ummm hello, carrot cake?) but as I did and my symptoms dissapeared it buffered the sadness I felt for the delicious goodies I had to give up (french fries, milkshakes, even citrus fruits). I eventually navigated my way through the foods that would cause my IBS and GERD and endined up with a diet that was filled with bland foods (rice, oatmeal, bananas, etc.). Needless to say I was incredibly bored with my diet. Then, something amazing happened. In an effort to “spice up” my current state of food choices, I stumble upon my first Vegan Food Blog. Enter: Vive Le Vegan!

It was as if this whole new world was opening to me! Delightful pastas with sauces made from nuts? Heavenly roasted squashes with coconut butter spread on top? Oatmeal topped with peanut butter and carrob chips? And, the moment when Im sure the heavens parted and songs of rapture surrounded me: Vegan Treats. Oh how I will never miss any other dairy filled goodie again. You have officially gotten your butts kicked by the goodness that is Vegan Pasry Heaven. I had once again found my excitement, love, and zeal for food again. Veganism made me realize that I could treat my body right and indulge in wholesome and delicious food withought having to sacrifice taste, fun, or flavor. Enter: Vivaciously Vegan.

While I have come a long way in learning about my body and its specific needs, I am still learning. There are days when my symptoms emerge (I swear, IBS has a mind of its own sometimes) and there are days when my stomach is completely happy. But I’ll continue to try new dishes and feed my body right! I hope that with this blog and my future carrer in Nutrtition will only serve to enhance and broaden my positive experinces with food and hopefully to inspire and give hope to those that live with the same gastrointestinal problems that I do.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 8:25 am

    All the best with your IBS journey. It’s a frustrating condition isn’t it. Being vegan has helped HUGELY with my IBS and I’ve now almost found a diet that fits for me and keeps my IBS flare-ups minimal. Unfortunately my body hate sugar whilst my tastebuds LOVE it. Ah well, yay for veganism! xxx

  2. March 8, 2010 1:53 pm

    What a wonderful story and truly inspirational! You found what works best for you. That’s all that we can do right? Not what works best for that girl in yoga class or that man who works out at the gym every day but what works for yourself.

    I also changed my life dramatically after 1 year in university. I was a home body just like you were and I moved to SWEDEN for 2 years!! It was hard to get used to and I enjoyed my experience there but I was happy to return to the states and the world of “knowing what the heck is going on” haha. I am happy I found your blog and I will definitely be returning to read more about what you have to say.

    xoxo
    Haleigh

  3. conradvisionquest permalink
    March 8, 2010 2:04 pm

    glad you’re on the road to healthy… love the hamster in your banner!
    ~wendy
    http://conradvisionquest.wordpress.com/

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