I became interested in nutrition about 15 years ago when I became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's Colitis. I went from being an extremely active 110lb athlete, attending up to 6 judo classes every week and weightlifting 3 or more times per week, to weighing less than 90lbs and being unable to stand long enough to take a shower. This transition occurred over a 3 week period. Long story short, I spent a lot of time in the hospital and had a very poor prognosis which included a lot of surgery and potentially being bed ridden within 5 - 10 years.  I took it upon myself to come up with a different plan. I hated taking medication and I hated not feeling like myself. Over the next year I did a lot of experimenting with food and came up with a diet that worked. I became really good at substituting ingredients and figuring out which foods reacted poorly with my stomach.  I was completely off medication in less than 2 years from the time of diagnosis (virtually unheard of for this disease). I  have never had surgery, and  had only one minor relapse when my father passed away. Since then, instead of being bed ridden I have earned a brown belt in judo and a black belt in taekwondo. I've lived overseas in 2 continents, both non-english speaking countries (and I did this alone). I've competed in 2 fitness competitions and 2 half marathons. I'm also a fitness instructor. I share this story because I have been accused of not knowing what it's like to be in poor health, and have to watch what you eat or how you exercise ("How can you tell me what to do, you don't know what it's like!"). I want readers to know I have been there.

While I have a lot of personal experience and am certified as a Holistic Nutritionist, I am not a medical doctor. I, therefore, urge you do additional research or consult a physician when in doubt.