That's a big statement. I know. But I can passionately say it with conviction. It's why I'm so thrilled that today Chris announced in his newsletter that The Healing Farm will be producing a week-long "Paleo Reset" retreat April 17-24, 2016.
Why do I want to produce a week-long retreat featuring Chris' work? Because I want to shout from the mountaintops that you do not have to live with chronic conditions or you can significantly reduce the debilitating pain or discomfort they may cause in your life.
When I was going through the first week of my paleo reset I longed to be with like-minded people with whom I could talk things through. I wished I could consult with Chris as questions popped up. I wished I could have someone show me how to make bone or chicken broth. I wished I could have someone make it easier for me by preparing the foods that would help me change my life. So after I worked through my own reset and cured my own chronic health issues I was inspired to share my journey and change my own life with a career change. I now had the energy having lifted all of the chronic conditions that were weighing me down.
I was fortunate enough to meet Chris through a mutual friend. Through our friend (who is also my massage therapist (Angela!) Chris and his wife hired me to photograph their maternity session. Having done body work on me for years, Angela was intimately knowledgeable about all of my chronic conditions and asked if I knew what kind of work Chris was doing. When I found out about Chris' work, I immediately contacted him about my health issues. I was lucky enough to get in with him and began working with him. He was the first to tell me that living with all of my discomfort was not normal and that I could probably overcome at least some of these issues. Having ruled out an auto-immune disease (although this could still be a contributing factor) and getting rid of a parasite in my system, Chris encouraged me to try his "paleo reset" elimination diet. This was even before he had written his book which when first on the shelves was called "Your Personal Paleo Code"
What I loved about Chris' approach and the first title of his book is that he's really pretty hands-off. Even though I didn't have much money to spend, I was desperate to keep meeting with him because I was so encouraged to know that I could probably live pain-free. Chris really encouraged me to listen to my own body throughout the process and to find what worked for me. Basically after a few months, when I wanted to schedule a follow up he asked me if I was still feeling better. I said yes and he said, well then you know what works for you. Keep at it.
It's now about five years later and I'm happily living (almost 100%) without the following conditions (most of which I had been living with since my mid-twenties (I'm now 49):
Add "chronic" to all of these conditions:
- sinus headaches (so severe most people would consider them migraines)
- indigestion (sometimes so bad I thought I was having a heart attack)
- low libido
- restless leg syndrome
- weight fluctuation
- and finally the straw that broke the camel's back (no pun intended) chronic back pain that started about eight years ago
What was so incredible to me was that by simply changing my diet (I'm mostly gluten and dairy free) and strengthening my core, I could literally change my life. Living with chronic conditions is debilitating. I was living my life, running a business, in a successful marriage, but struggled every day to pull myself up by the bootstraps to live my life. If you had asked me seven years ago after the chronic back pain set in that I would be 49 years old, almost pain free and would have enough energy to work on switching my career I would have laughed. Sometimes I wished I could just curl up in a spot of sun like a cat and spend the rest of my life like that. That's a pretty sad state to be in. In the past year since working toward starting The Healing Farm, there have been some times when I've been so elated I would say I was having "mountaintop moments". I didn't think I could feel that way in my life any longer and I hadn't felt that way since my early 20s since the first symptoms started creeping into my life. I laugh these days and say that instead of having the seven year itch in my marriage (we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary last June) my husband and I are in our seven year renaissance. That feels REALLY good to say. Now when I'm tired, it's because I'm literally running two businesses, am experiencing a typical mid-life family crisis and well, I'm almost 50!
So, do I want to get people together for a first week of their paleo reset? Do I want to give 40 lucky individuals a chance to unplug in a gorgeous location and listen to Chris Kresser speak and answer their questions? Do I want to make the first week of meal prep easy (non-existent) for the attendees, do I want people to be able to meet one-on-one with one of Chris' nutritionists. YES. And I want to continue to shout from the mountaintops that you can change your life and it can be a simple few changes that can get you there.
So join us for this incredible week. The hills should be green and lush from El Nino and we can all experience the beginnings of change together. Sign up for Chris' newsletter or "like" his Facebook page to find out a special coupon code to get a 10% discount and sign up by December 1st on The Healing Farm site to get into a drawing for one free pass for the week (based on double occupancy)!
The Healing Farm - Cultivating Practical Wellness