Hey everyone! I'm Rachel. Born and raised in beautiful Billings, Montana, I called Boise, Idaho home for several years. As of June 2012, I've officially gone back to my roots and living in Billings once again. I'm married with two beautiful daughters. I often tell people if it were not for my them, I would be somewhere in India with my head shaved, looking for a higher purpose. Funny how our purpose in life is usually right in front of us, waiting to be unveiled.
Looking back, I grew up in a textbook breeding ground for an eating disorder. In fact, my childhood plays out like a bad after-school special. Today, I’m super grateful for this fact and wouldn’t change a thing. Really. As cliche’ as it sounds, it’s made me who I am today. I trust my journey.
As if a traumatic childhood wasn’t enough, I had other cards stacked against me. While others in this life may be missing a sensitivity chip, I seem to have gotten an extra one at birth. For me, the world was scary and something to be feared. I spent much of my life feeling exposed, judged and alone. I was always a very reflective, analytical and aware child. Because of this fact, there was always this odd distance between me and the rest of the world. I was certain I would be eaten alive without proper protection.
Enter eating disorder.
For more than ten years, I used food, pills and alcohol to numb myself. I turned off my emotions and strived for perfection; a vicious illusion that kept me sick. I led a double life to the fullest extent. My world revolved around scales, calories, laxatives, diet pills and binges. When that wasn’t enough, I turned to alcohol to numb. Depression was my norm. In 2007, when my oldest daughter was almost two-years-old, I broke down crying and told my husband what had been going on. He knew I had been to treatment at age 15, but didn’t realize things had gotten so out of control again. He said that was the day the clouds parted and all my erratic behavior made sense. So, I took a final crack at treatment. Doctors told me I shouldn’t be alive. Although at the time, I thought this was a vicious plot by the treatment staff to keep me there, I now know I had angels watching over me. I really shouldn't be alive.
At my core, I knew total healing was possible. There had to be a better way. Although treatment got me back on track, I still felt lacking and was not impressed with the notion of being on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. Then, in 2010, my journey towards healing led me to The Institute For Integrative Nutrition. While I set out to learn more about holistic health and nutrition in hopes of guiding other women towards wholeness, I ended up discovering myself and the missing links in my own recovery. Contrary to what I was taught, all calories were not created equal and my body needed more than processed food to thrive and heal. This was the final piece of my puzzle.
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel broken. My sensitive nature has become my greatest gift. Tapping into my own wholeness has allowed me to let go of any shame about my past and embrace the woman I am today. It’s also given me the courage to share my story of healing and hope with the world.
Although, my goal is to help others who struggle with the same issues I did, this website is also for my own healing. The more I write, the more I realize they are one in the same. When we heal ourselves, we find outlets to heal others. It’s just how the world works. It’s why we’re here on earth. The simplicity of that fact is overwhelming to me.
My hope is that this website will shine light on the missing element in recovery; whole, nutritious foods that honor and nourish the mind, body and spirit. While I am aware that recovery is about much more than adding kale to your breakfast smoothie, I will never underestimate the importance that learning to eat intuitively and mindfully played in my healing process.
With all that being said, thank you for being a part of my journey. I hope by sharing my truth, you can discover your own, and in return, shine your unique light on the world.