I think it is time to write this post because I have something to say. I've drafted a Facebook status or two but always ended up deleting them because I just didn't want to deal with it and it would be a really long post that most people wouldn't read. You see, I don't like feeling vulnerable.. at all.. whatsoever. I was not always this "put together" person. I wasn't always "sure" of who I was- in fact, I was extremely insecure.
When I began to share my natural lifestyle on Facebook, it was downright terrifying. I wondered what people would think of me and then as time went on.. I stopped caring because I was so happy with the way my life was going. It is important for my followers to know that I wasn't always super health conscious, health conscious to an extent but not the way that I am now. I didn't think about minerals, vitamins, fermented foods, and food pairing too often. In fact, I was more concerned about calories than anything until about five years ago.
Health and wellness seemed to fall into my lap. I didn't always know that I wanted to be a nutritionist or a naturopath or even a doula for that matter. I was raised to live a healthy lifestyle. We had home cooked meals, a vegetable garden, rarely ate out, and my parents always instilled in me to get good exercise, but I wasn't the picture of health. As life tends to go, you put one foot in front of the other and then one day you look up and you can't believe your life (this could be a good or bad thing, and for me, it was a good thing). I went from wanting to be a surgeon to changing my mind because I wasn't too thrilled about the way the medical system worked. I then changed my mind and took on nutrition (I also took on accounting for fun). Even though I was studying nutrition, I was working at a pizza place and ate pizza or bread sticks regularly.
You want to know what else was regular at one point in my life, just to shock a few of you:
Yeah. I was what a lot of people would call normal. I also had a lot of "normal" problems. I didn't know it then, but every single class I took about health & nutrition, every book I read, every health professional I met (natural health, medical doctors, etc) were pointing me in the direction of where I am today.
Flash forward a couple years and an associates degree later when I stumbled upon the Institute for Integrative Nutrition around 2011. I came across them in the midst of a misdiagnosis. I was told I didn't have a heart condition, it was all in my head (in a nutshell). This was when I really began to take my health seriously. I had been suffering with a lot of health problems. I mean chronic pain, migraines, constipation, irritability, you get the picture. I had to believe that this wasn't all in my head, but I ignored my symptoms until one day I unloaded on my health coach. I was having more issues with my heart and none of the medicines I tried worked. I was working with clients on changing their diet to help with their problems, I was jealous when they started getting better. It was interesting because at this point in my life, I had no interest in working on my own diet or lifestyle. My health coach called me out on it and told me:
Jessica, you need to be an example. Why would you go to school to be a nutritionist if you aren't going to walk the walk?
I vaguely recall being irritated with her but then I realized she was right. I decided it was time to make a change, you never know unless you try right? I began to follow people on social media who were into natural health and nutrition and following some interesting blogs. I began to make small changes here and there. After a while those small changes turned into big changes and a couple years later I can't imagine living the way I used to live.
If you follow me on social media, as either a friend on my personal Facebook, follow my business page, and/or follow me on Instagram, you will see quite a few posts about living a natural and healthy lifestyle. I honestly live a natural and healthy lifestyle most of the time. I write posts about how fat is good for you. I'm not for Monsanto at all. I'm all for the natural way first if possible. I show you how I shop at Farmer's Markets, Whole Foods, and buying things directly from the farmers.
Over the past six months more than five people, friends, family, clients, and strangers included, have told me that I seem like such a healthy person that they don't know how to read me. They think I think that I am perfect, they can't believe that I'm so committed to this lifestyle that I wouldn't have a little bit of fun, and some people have even said they feel bad for my son that he will never know what trick or treating is because I wouldn't let him eat the candy (Okay.. give me a break).Friends and family members don't know what to cook when I come to their house for dinner, people don't know what to buy me for gifts when the holidays run around, and people do a lot of eye-rolling. It was hard for me to fully see and understand where people might think these things... that was until I talked to my mother. She sweetly agreed with some of my friends and clients. She said, maybe it is time to show people all of you-- or at least a little more than you show, then you would be more relatable.. and some close friends agreed.
I began talking with other friends of mine who seem to have the same type of career I do. Some are doulas, naturopaths, nutritionists, health coaches, midwives, etc. and they all said they seem to have similar issues with friends and family.
I am here to show that there is another way, I'm here to be the inspiration. I am here to teach you.
I feel like some explaining must be done to help people better understand me and a lot of the people who work in the natural health field.
I have been told by countless amount of people that I inspire them. I inspired them to try to make something at home that they usually buy at the store. I inspired them to try coconut oil. I inspired them to try essential oils for a migraine rather than take a drug for it.
Do you want to know how those people found me? They didn't just meet me at the grocery store-- they found me through social media. My profiles are mostly public. People have found me through Instagram, through hashtags, through my website, people sharing my page, and by word of mouth.
I am setting an example. I am showing people that IT IS POSSIBLE to live a natural lifestyle in today's world. Yes, it is true that I love to eat beets. Yes, it is true that I do my best to live as natural as possible, but I eat a whopper from burger king every so often. I'm not the foodie that is here to shame people. I am here to show that there is another way, I'm here to be the inspiration. I am here to teach you.
We live in a world where social media is so apart of our lives. Social media is what puts ideas into people's heads. Social media is responsible for people learning about factory farming and many other very big subjects that a lot of people may not have ever known about without it.
I am a passionate person. I always have been. I was a passionate child, passionate about everything. I was raised in a Christian home. I was taught to say "Yes, Sir" and "No, Ma'am". I was taught to thank people whenever they do anything for me. I was taught to think of others before I think of myself. I was taught to do nice things for people and not expect anything in return. I was taught to be a good human being. That is all my parents wanted out of me. They wanted me to be a respectful lady.
I will admit that I'm probably not everything my parent's hoped I would be. In some ways I'm more than they hoped for and in others I'm sure they wish I would have made other decisions.
I will say this though. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, all of us foodies & natural health professionals are. We have a responsibility to set an example. This doesn't mean that we don't have coffee dates with our friends at Starbucks (I had a coffee date there a few days ago). Living a natural lifestyle doesn't mean we don't indulge from time to time, in fact, I had a dipped cone from McDonald's the other day-- shocked yet?
There is more that goes on in the life of a natural health professional, there is a life behind the camera, there is a lot more than you see. Most of us have children that ate a cookie for breakfast because they didn't want their eggs. Most of us have sat with a tub of ice cream in front of the television for three hours and didn't care about the chemicals that were in the ice cream-- we just wanted the ice cream. Some of us don't exercise for weeks because we know that life is all about balance. Sometimes we purposely stay up just because we don't feel like going to bed, we would rather watch another episode of our favorite show. Sometimes we take a tylenol when we have a headache! We also don't view things we eat or do as "bad", we just don't make it our way of life.
In fact, I've witnessed the naturopath that runs my school eating a burger from a local fast food joint. When I asked her about it, she laughed and said it tasted good and that was all that mattered to her at the moment.
I am unapogetically passionate about Natural Health and Nutrition. I will admit, it is bothersome to know that people view you as differently than what you really are. I used to be an open book, but I'm not anymore and that is okay, I will choose the pages I would like you to see. I share quite a bit on social media outlets that seem to help people and inspire them. People finally feel like it is okay to be themselves, it is okay to be vegetarian in a carnivorous family! I think it is important that I share somethings with you that go on behind the camera..
Life happens and I eat fast food occasionally (growing up fast food or eating out was only for special occasions). I, for one, enjoy a glass of wine, chocolate, and binge watching Netflix-- especially Grey's Anatomy. I hate wearing jeans because I don't think they are comfortable. I hate wearing a bra and would go braless everywhere if my husband let me. I like the way the naked pallet makes my eyes look and choose not to look at the ingredients label. My favorite pizza is from the Dominoes down the road from me, and I always get extra sauce, light cheese, sausage, pineapple, and jalapenos-- and I usually eat 4-5 pieces in one night. I like to get coffee for my friends when I show up at their house, I like surprises so why wouldn't they?? My favorite coffee from Starbucks is an iced coffee with coconut milk and two raw sugars or a chai tea with coconut milk. I'm a sucker for dipped cones. I'm not a fan of chain restaurants and not because they might be unhealthy, but because I don't think the food tastes that great. I like local, mom and pop restaurants because the food tastes like it was home cooked. I could eat my mother's chicken and dumplings every day followed by my mother-in-law's black bottom cupcakes. If someone invites me over for dinner, I will happily eat just about anything (unless its like oysters or octopus). If someone gets me a gift, I will probably squeal with delight (maybe cry) and say thank you.. then go home and send them a picture of me using whatever they got me.
You see, I'm like you, just passionate about something a little different than you and that is okay.
When you come across a Natural Health Professional and begin to roll your eyes, stop for a second and remember, it is just social media and we are real people too.Social media isn't a joke for us. We are trying to help other people, encourage others to be weird, and plant positive seeds in someone's life. Sometimes social media helps us stay accountable. We like to help people. We love seeing it when people take our advice and run with it. We love seeing lives changed.
I hope this helps you see me and your other Natural Health professionals a little differently. Maybe you can relate to them more? Ask them-- many of them will tell you the truth!
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!