My Story

Hello my dear friends, 


I know that many of you have arrived at Natural+Lovely because you've found yourself facing uncertainty.  Whether it be food intolerances, allergies, gut issues or many other similar struggles, you were looking for encouragement, inspiration and help.  I truly hope you have found a bit of that here.  I understand the heartache, the frustration, the disappointment and the social awkwardness of sorting out changes to your diet. Today, I thought I might share with you some of my own journey, a glimpse into how I started this health adventure and where it brought me. 

I'm a southern California girl through and through, born and raised in a very health-conscious community. My food journey began when I was young.  I grew up with a mom who always packed the apple instead of the fruit-roll up.  As a result, I have come to love most all things healthy and have learned to choose the apple over the fruit roll up all on my own.  Appreciating the fresh, light and energetic feeling I receive from eating well, I continue to pursue new and exciting ways to eat and live.

The reason I dove into the unique and beautiful world of gluten-free, cow-free, soy-free, etc.... was a result of heath complications.  Ironically, my healthy upbringing could not prevent the issues that began to arise in my high school years.  As I entered college, I had already experienced frustrations with doctors' attempts to quickly label and band aid my troubles. When a dear friend suggested food as a possible culprit I was intrigued.  I lined up a blood test.  The lab documented my antibodies' response to different foods on a low, medium or high reaction level.  The results were off the charts and overwhelming.  I can still remember the phone call. My doctor simply listed off the foods I would have to remove, sighed and said "well...good luck?"  I think she was a little overwhelmed as well! I was expected to removed many key ingredients in a normal diet.

I had a choice right then, to ignore the results and continue on my easy merry way or turn my current world upside down. As you can guess, I chose to take on the challenge and see it as an adventure.  
There have been many ups and downs since.  My courage has faltered more than once, but that's why I see it as a journey.  It has now been over five years since that fateful October day and to many people's surprise I am still alive!  Apparently it is possible to live without those previously necessary ingredients.  Over the years I have discovered many creative ways to enjoy food, I have made many like-minded friends, and most importantly, I have learned how to listen to my body and take note of how it works! I wouldn't trade it.

God has given each of us beautiful, unique and intricate bodies that are fascinating to observe and learn about. I challenge you to take notice of the simple and intricate ways your body functions. The mere fact that you are able to breathe, eat and move is incredible.  Observe how your individual body goes about each of these functions.  Notice if you slow down or get tired after eating certain foods or if you have trouble thinking clearly or responding calmly to situations.  Believe it or not, everything in your body is connected.  Food affects your brain, which controls all the parts of your body! Spend time learning about the human body and educate yourself on ways to live well and live long.  You will be so thankful you did as the years pass on.

So here I am, continuing on towards whole health, sharing my process with you and the many others that may be traveling on a similar road.  I would love for you to join me on this adventure.  Please come back often for inspiration or fun updates.  Share your story, your thoughts, your comments and ask questions!  Let's encourage one another as we venture along.  Thank you for taking time to read my story.  Now I can't wait to hear yours!

May your life be refreshed and renewed as you view photos and attempt new ways of eating with me!

With much love,

Jessi

A Trip Away


 It came upon us quickly, our trip away, yet we felt ready. The glorious mountains beckoned us. In a season of rain and cold, we braved the outdoors. Yosemite was our destination. 

It was beautiful. Worthy of the long drive and almost too perfect for words, the great rocky peaks and rich green forrest-filled valleys soothed our road weary souls. Every majestic waterfall flowed with such power and grace, filling us with wonder. I loved watching the water danced in front of me, rushing over dramatic cliffs, crashing into deep pools and sweeping through rocky rivers. It seemed alive. 



The valley was full of this water dance. We traveled from one great display to the next, amazed at the artistry and splendor before us. We felt God's joy and passion for His earth. His artistry was overwhelming. 

A short, but sweet trip, it was the breathe of fresh air we required. I am reminded, as I come home, of the beautiful heaven I live in every day. With the salty sea a light walk away and the might mountains a simple drive away, I will forever embrace and give thanks for this sweet home of mine. There truly is no place like home

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