In a trying 2020 year, every bit of inspiration and cheer is welcome. I’ve had the privilege to work behind the scenes with amazing private clients and help them achieve bold health goals. One courageous lady, Sierra, transformed her health and healed Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease naturally at age 33 over the course of a year. We just got the last set of test results this summer. Sierra and I worked hard and I wanted to share her inspiring story with you. Her story shows that it takes grit to turn around your health, it takes time, it takes support from a village and there is a roller coaster of emotional and mental challenges that pave the way to successful physical healing. Her story also shows how self-care can transform your relationships and improve your career. I could not be prouder of her and I hope she inspires you to be your own superhero everyday, even on the bad days.
1- What was the issue that led you to seek Emma’s help?
S: I sought after Emma for help after an annual physical revealed elevated liver function tests. Prior to my diagnoses of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) I started on a wellness path with Emma. To me it didn’t matter the cause of the elevation in order to start a new lifestyle change.
E: What is interesting to notice here is that alcohol is not the only reason why people develop liver issues. In your case, a rabies shot coming on top of a heavy regimen of allergy medications caused your liver issues. The liver is the gate-keeper of the body and I find that the Standard American Diet heavy in processed sugary foods, low quality supplements and medications can cause the liver to fail.
2- What are the dietary changes you made?
S: In the beginning of my wellness adventure Emma placed me on a strict raw-vegan diet with extremely limited fat to address the liver concerns immediately. I was an omnivore before so it was very challenging. I learned many new recipes from Emma and some inventions I created myself, most of which I still crave today! Fresh vegetable and bean salads for lunch, and usually a huge salad with avocado for dinner in the summer. In the winter months I would make massive sheet pans of roasted veggies and zoodle dishes. I also invented fun mocktails recipe (pic down below).
E: You used food as medicine. Each bite was meant to support your liver detoxification and regeneration.
3- What other lifestyle changes did you make to support your recovery?
My entire lifestyle changed. I was able to swap out the disease causing medications for high quality supplements. I started an exercise program on my own and continued to lose 35 pounds. I started jogging 10 miles a week with my Siberian Husky Enzo, and doing more yoga. Another huge change that my family and I made was the installment of a vegetable garden. There was something so satisfying about growing your own food and making delicious meals from it. This was our second year of a great harvest!
4- How did your body respond to all the self-care?
S: My skin cleared instantly. I battle with combination sensitive skin, & cystic acne and so far it’s still gone! I noticed right away changes in how my clothes fit. Suddenly my bras didn’t fit correctly, my pants getting looser. More room in pockets for my epipen at work. Mentally I felt like the changes were hard but very rewarding because you could actually SEE it happening. Emotionally I was still really scared because I couldn’t understand what my body was going through. Being in a type of medical field your mind can’t help but wander. My motto is, “I know enough to be dangerous!” One thing I noticed more recently is the muscle definition in my legs and the reappearance of my collarbone!
5- Tell me how your overall health changed, such as your allergies, as a result?
S: I have severe allergies and have struggled with them for a long time. I also have anxiety. I was on Claritin, Singulair, Zyrtec, Prozac (which did not agree with me. It made me much worse causing concern enough to see my Doctor again and in turn revealed the Liver problem). On days that I had anaphylactic type reactions I would be placed on a high dose steroid taper, the major contributor to my Liver problems, and Benadryl every 6-8 hours for 24 hours on top of the daily regimen. This antihistamine schedule went on for about 2 years while I tried to find my trigger.
E: In Eastern medicine, the liver is the seat of anxiety and anger. When the liver is congested, one may feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, and confused. Clearing the liver, such as doing a detox a few times a year or a lifestyle change after an initial intervention will lessen your anxiety for sure.
S: Once I discovered my allergic trigger was a new peroxide based cleanser used at work, I was able to find out how to make my body happy. I felt a sense of relief to know what it was finally! I modified my schedule and personally used a different cleanser. I made sure to not be around places like the mop closets where the cleanser was used in bulk. Co-workers were kind and cautious when using it around me and alerted me when there was an abundance sprayed, and to stay away from that location. For that I am so grateful. In one year with Emma I have completely weaned myself off of everything and have not had a severe reaction in over 8 months. Going from having alarms set throughout the day as a reminder for these medications to being on absolutely zero daily medications is nothing short of liberating.
6- How did this transformation affect your relationships and your career?
S: My relationships with family and friends have grown stronger because of these changes. I have learned to take time to express my concerns and fears with my husband because it would just get to be too much to hold inside anymore. He would walk with me, exercise with me, and eat the raw-vegan recipes without hesitation. Relationships improved in general. When you’re scared to go to the Doctor and hear the results you have someone like Emma to help talk it through. To trust more, to realize it’s ok to be scared and need support. To take a step back and get out of your head and see how someone else sees how far you have come. One relationship I was surprised to see grow is through my Doctors too. They cheered me on the entire time and after all of it I’m the most healthy I have been in a long time. My career has changed as well. I’m realizing what is important to me in my line of work and figuring out how to make it work for myself. You need to be your own advocate and sometimes it takes a moment like this to realize it and make it happen.
Below is Sierra’s Liver Function Test results over the course of a year. Nothing short of remarkable!
Test name: my result (reference ranges)
ALT: 78 (0-40)
AST: 96 (0-32)
AST: 63 (0-40)
ALT: 64 (0-32)
AST: 28 (0-40)
ALT: 24 (0-32)
AST: 23 (0-40)
ALT: 20 (0-32)