4 Ways to Keep Spirits Up When in Chronic Pain

Dealing with chronic pain is literally no fun. One of the hardest things for me to do when I was at my worst pain levels for so long was to stay positive. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no glimpse of ever having a pain-free or even pain tolerable day again.

Once I realized how far my Spirit had fallen I had to really figure out how to pull myself out of that rut. Here are a few things that I was able to do that helped me deal with the chronic pain battling my Spirit. Continue reading “4 Ways to Keep Spirits Up When in Chronic Pain”

How do you Combat Cravings?


Cravings are the downfall for most people when they’re trying to change their diet. There are a lot of theories on what causes cravings ranging from habit, mineral deficiencies and even a form of gut bacteria called candida (which can be the hardest to combat! More about that at another time!)

SO, what is the best way to combat cravings you ask? Continue reading “How do you Combat Cravings?”

Can Fibromyalgia Be Cured?

Whether fibromyalgia can be cured or not is most definitely a loaded question!  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked how I cured my fibromyalgia and in truth there isn’t an easy or simple answer.

First of all, I definitely haven’t ‘cured’ it.

It’s not gone and it will never go away completely. This means I will always have to be careful to manage my energy levels and ensure I don’t over exert myself physically.

Second, I will never be 100% pain free.

There will always be a part of my body that hurts. And while I’ll never be able to run a marathon or ride a rollercoaster again, what I can say with confidence is that I feel sure I’ll always feel better than I did before.

Let me explain…

When all this started six years ago, I was in the midst of a flare up lasting over two years.

For twenty-four months and counting, I’d been in the grip of a migraine so painful that it felt like I was being struck repeatedly over the head. For weeks at a time, my whole body would feel stiff and I was prevented from doing day-to-day things like driving a car for example, because I could barely turn my head from left to right.

Thinking back to how I felt then, I would never have believed that I would ever be capable of working 50 hour weeks, travelling across the country twice a month, or living any kind of normal life ever again.

So what did I do? How did I ‘heal’ myself?

First, I divorced the traditional medical community.

All doctors ever did for me was prescribe new drugs or recommend new therapies that did nothing except make me feel worse.

Stopping conventional treatment meant no more steroid injections in my back and neck, and no more lidocaine injected into my neck, shoulders, or facial muscles. I stopped my physical therapy massages too and just let my body relax.

Next, I did A LOT of research.

I discovered a health coaching school that taught you how to take control of your own health by adopting different approaches to nutrition. I spent an entire year learning from amazing teachers like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Gabby Bernstein, Danielle La Porte, and many more.

As a result, I gave up soda, stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy, or anything else loaded with chemicals, and cut my meat consumption way back.

I gave up my beloved beer and wine and instead, started drinking green smoothies, juices and kombucha.

I learned how to make quinoa and make it actually taste good, and spent hours in grocery stores searching for foods that would nourish my body the way it needed to be nourished. By experimenting with the many diets that I was learning about in health coaching school, I basically put myself through a long-term elimination diet.

Then, I detoxified my life.

I ate as much organic food as I could. I learned about the “clean fifteen” and did my best to only consume organic produce from the “dirty dozen”.

I removed as many chemicals as possible from my house. I started using non-toxic cleaning and personal care products. Sure, it took a LONG time to find the brands that suited me best, but after a little trial and error, I finally found non-toxic products that worked just as well – if not better — than anything else I’d previously used on the market.

For the first year of my ‘journey to health’ I continued taking prescription medications while working hard to strengthen my body. After a year of living a non-toxic life, I finally felt strong enough to consider phasing them out.

I found an amazing naturopath to support me.

When I shared my medical history with him for the first time, he commended me for the progress I’d already made and successfully pulling myself out of a three-year-long flare.

Together, we decided on a combination of high-quality supplements and IV supplement therapy to further strengthen my body before finally weening me off the meds completely. We also decided upon a strict candida-free diet which required that I remove all fruit and sugar from my diet and increased probiotics to help the good bacteria regain control of my gut.

After working together for a few months, we slowly began lowering the dose of my prescription meds. I was on Lyrica and Savella and let me tell you – those meds fought tooth and nail to keep me from giving them up. At one point I wound up with such bad vertigo that I had to stop driving again for a few weeks. Fortunately, I found some amazing essential oils that reduced my symptoms and after a few days, the dizziness and nausea miraculously subsided.

By this point I was about 18 months into my healing journey. During the entire time I’d managed to keep my spirits up no matter how much pain I was in. I’d watched lots of comedies and made sure that laughter always filled our home.

Then an opportunity came up that enabled me to leave my job and take a six-month break from work. This allowed me time to rest and gave my body the space to heal. I still kept a fairly clean diet and maintained my supplement regimen, including a new vitamin therapy. Soon after I found an amazing meditative practice called Yoga Nidra and focused on practicing for 40 minutes every day for 60 days. It was transformative and completely life-changing.

Six months later I felt well enough to go back to work part-time. A few months in, I discovered Anthony William, the Medical Medium. Through Anthony I learned that the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is the root cause of fibromyalgia, as well as a whole host of other conditions.

Upon learning this I looked back at my personal health history and realized that I’d suffered with Stage 1 EBV when I was 13 and sick with mono. I realized I’d been pretty sick at various points of my life.     Like, REALLY sick. In actual fact, the six-year stint that I was just emerging from wasn’t the first time I’d been so sick that I’d had to put my life on hold. A similar thing had happened in my early twenties…then again in my late twenties when I got so sick I had to give up my apartment and move back home to live with my mom.

Realizing that EBV was the root cause of all my issues was a revelation. Once I realized this, I adjusted my diet even further. I cut out most of the meat in my life and went as raw vegan as my carnivore self would tolerate. I added in a few more supplements, drank more smoothies, downed celery juice, drank even more smoothies and, after a few months, I was amazed at how well I was feeling.

Fast forward another four months and I was strong enough to go back to work full-time. I bumped my hours up to 40 at my company but I was still working flex-time so if I didn’t feel well or wasn’t able to work the full 40 hours, I still had a little flexibility.

Four months after that, I started feeling like my old self again. My brain sharpened up and I realized that I could handle a “real” job again. I had an opportunity to go for a big promotion that had come up at work and I wanted to apply. I knew it was a huge decision and that I risked not being able to live up to the expectation. But deep down I also knew that I had come far enough in my healing (yep, took about 4 years of constant focus and care) to take a leap of faith.

I am SO happy to say that I am now able to work more than full-time and run marathons with my brain, juggling meetings and cross-country travel every two weeks from Arizona to Florida and New Orleans. But even with all I’ve accomplished, I know there is still more that I can do to strengthen myself.

Do I still flare?

Yup, I sure do. I’m always adding new products into my regimen and working on strengthening myself so that the travel and constant ‘brain usage’ don’t negatively affect me. The flares don’t happen often – around once a month if that. I still don’t have the social life that I had back then, and my evenings and weekends are mostly spent resting but life is SO much better now than it was back then.

So, how can you ‘cure’ your fibromyalgia? (Remember, I’m using the term “cure” loosely here. There is no cure for fibromyalgia.)

  • #1. Change your diet. Get rid of the junk. Stop eating things with ingredients that you can’t pronounce or draw a picture of. Stop with the soda and sugar. Quit the fast food. If you aren’t strong enough to cook, find a local Trader Joe’s or Farmers Market with freshly made, cleanly prepared foods that you can eat. If you live in a rural area, check out Thrive Market. They have tons of options that cater for practically every dietary restriction.


  • #2. Remove the toxins from your environment. Get ‘clean’ household and personal care products. LivingClean.Me is where I buy my deodorant, toothpaste, cleaning products, and other personal care products like shampoo, face cream, body wash etc.


  • #3. Add a little liquid collagen to your regimen. I have noticed a lot more energy and less flaring since I started taking collagen. THIS is my must have can’t live without! (It has also helped me keep my 43-year-old face from looking 43!) I recently ran out of this and realized after a few days of not taking it that I was starting to flare. I never want to run out again!! This again guys is my must have! (I get this at the LivingClean.Me site. You get $10 off at checkout if you use this link or use discount code 627227 at checkout)


  • #4. STOP using regular tampons. Switch to organic, chemical-free, tampons. I get mine from Amazon or Thrive Market. Natracare is the best brand that I’ve found.


  • #5. Start doing Yoga Nidra! It’s life changing and the deeper you are able to let yourself go during your practice, the more room you are giving your body for healing.


  • #6. Keep laughter in your home. Read, watch, and listen to something funny at least once a day!


  • #7. Watch educational documentaries. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead changed my life. Let it change yours. Hungry for Change is another show that was a huge inspiration.


  • #8. Start a gratitude journal. Encourage yourself to notice all that’s good in your life and document it daily.


  • #9. Write your story. Mourn the loss of your old self so that you can move on with your healing. Until you accept the fact that you will never be the same person that you once were, and that your friends and family will probably never get it, you won’t be able to move past the pain. When I wrote my story I cried about the things that I’d never be able to do again, and the years that this condition took away from me but afterwards, I meditated, brought in the light, and felt so much lighter.


My wish for you is that this article somehow inspires you to find your own path to health.

Don’t worry about being perfect right away — it took me a year to get my diet to a place where I was truly eating clean enough for it to have made a huge difference.

Take small steps. Add in a green juice every day. Add in a daily smoothie. Start removing the toxic chemicals from your home and from the personal products you use on your body. Give yourself the space to take your time.

It’s not an easy journey. It will take every ounce of energy that you have and then some, but I promise you that it will be SO worth it when you break through to the other side.

Finally, accept that some of the products and foods you need to eat are more expensive, and realize that it’s way better to spend $200 on healthy food and supplements than on prescription medication and doctors’ visits – at least, it is for me!

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Stephanie Sinagra

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Consummate Health Nerd ✌ always exploring new avenues of healing ~ learn w me! ?my dogs, ginger kombucha & healing people! #spoonie To learn more about my story visit here. Have a burning desire to email me? You can do that here! hello@healthnerd.me

Thyroid Woas

Yesterday I went back to my Dr for a follow up visit. About a month and a half ago I had some genetic testing done and it was found that I had some genetic issues that they wanted to take care of so he gave me some supplements to help with those. I also had a nodule on my thyroid so he wanted me to go in for an ultrasound and some follow up blood work just to test out the thyroid levels and see how the thyroid nodule was looking.

When he came into the room for my visit he asked me how I was feeling and said, with a very stern yet caring face, that my thyroid levels came back and although they look good, they do support me going on Synthroid. Synthroid is a synthetic thyroid hormone. It’s the T4 hormone. Your thyroid puts out 2 hormones that help regulate things, the T3 and T4. There are some other things in there but T3 and T4 are the most prevalent. So, he said that he would put me on a low dose of the Synthroid and we will see how it goes. He also said that he is concerned because the thyroid nodule has grown since my last ultrasound. It’s grown about 20% in the last 2 years which seems significant. It went from a 2.0 size to a 2.2 so it’s still really small but apparently anything over a 2.0 is when they start having concerns about it may keep growing and eventually turn malignant.

He is a Nurse Practitioner who used to work in an Endocrinology office so he is very familiar with this scenario. Because of his background and expertise in Endo he recommends, and would have recommended if I were a patient of his at the Endo practice, that I go to a surgeon and have a partial thyroidectomy. With a partial thyroidectomy they actually take out the area that has the nodule and the immediate surrounding area.

For someone who fought so hard to get off of all of the medications that were making me so sick, it was really a struggle to embrace the idea of taking another medication. I know that eastern and western medicine need to work together. I know that there is some merit to the issues that I’m having and understanding that I do need the support of western medicine right now BUT the medication that I’m starting is something that once I start, I could technically have to take my entire life and that is exacerbated if they need to remove part of my thyroid.

Once I got home from my appointment I scoured the internet and my resources doing a TON of research and what I am hearing and understanding in my natural healing circles which include some very respected names in the field that I trust wholeheartedly, I found that there understanding of the need to remove part of the thyroid and that if part of it is removed their thought I that the remainder will compensate and start working it’s magic and picking up the slack. There is a hope and chance that the function will go back to normal and negate the need for the thyroid medication moving forward.

So, where am I right now? I reluctantly took my first dose of Synthroid this morning. It is Synthroid 50mg once a day on an empty stomach. From what I’m understanding, the Synthroid will actually bind to other elements in food or chemicals in your system and they could attach to your thyroid if in your system when you take the medication. Water only, no kombucha or tea or anything else. So, I took it about an hour ago on an empty stomach and I’m not really feeling anything from it yet.

I didn’t really sleep very well last night. I think that I am just a bit stressed out trying to figure out what direction I want to go in and trying to wrap my head around the insurance. I have my insurance with a yearly deductible but my flexible spending is from November to November SO if I get the surgery before the end of the year my $2,000 deductible will be covered by my flexible spending, however my deductible will reset on Jan 1 so any follow up care or follow up procedures that I may need will again be a $2,000 deductible.

It’s the beginning of October so I don’t know – I think the next step is to find a good endocrinologist. I’ve got some feelers out asking for any referrals for a good one in our area that will actually sit and talk to me and help me understand what my options are. If I do the surgery, after the surgery will I need the Synthroid for the rest of my life? I’m really worried most about the side effects. I really don’t like taking prescriptions because of the other things that they do to your body.

I also need to get another biopsy and testing done. I’ve have a few biopsies in the past and they all came back ok. The third decision that has been weighing on my mind is, do I get it cut out now while it’s still small since it’s growing or do I try to support it with the Synthroid and hope that it stops growing but if not hen have to have a larger portion of the thyroid taken out if it does grown…I don’t know. It’s a really tough decision to make.

I wanted to share this with you guys because this is a perfect example of the things that we with ‘invisible illnesses’ go through. As healthy as I am and as good as I usually feel, I still have issues. I still have problems. I still have the fatigue. They’re telling me that the Synthroid will help with all of that so we’ll see…I don’t know, I don’t know. That’s where I am right now…I don’t know…

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Stephanie Sinagra

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Consummate Health Nerd ✌ always exploring new avenues of healing ~ learn w me! ?my dogs, ginger kombucha & healing people! #spoonie To learn more about my story visit here. Have a burning desire to email me? You can do that here! hello@healthnerd.me

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is said to be as restorative as a good night of sleep. Yoga Nidra actually means Yogic Sleep. It isn’t the typical thing that you think of when you picture someone doing yoga. I was describing it to my guy and he’s like, “so you go to yoga to lay on the floor and sleep?” Basically that is exactly what Yoga Nidra is! Although instead of physically sleeping you are engaged in a form of conscious deep sleep.

Yoga Nidra is an extremely deep form of meditation. You lay on the floor in Savasana, or corpse pose, with a bolster or pillow under your knees, a blanket over you for warmth and an eye pillow while listening to the voice of your guide and focusing on your breath and just letting go. I’ve meditated before but with my fibro body I have never been comfortable meditating while sitting up so Yoga Nidra was an absolute blessing to find.

In every class so far I’ve been surrounded by people who have fallen asleep mid class and I’ve even fallen asleep a few times, only once in class, the other times have been when I was doing a Nidra at home. It is hard to describe but if you’re with an experienced guide then you will find your body becoming extremely heavy and still and your breathing very automatic. You will find yourself visualizing the scenes that your guide is walking you through and when I experienced this during the first class it was to say the least life changing.

My first class, 13 days ago, was at a brand new studio with a brand new teacher and I thought it would be uncomfortable but I stayed open to the practice and trusted her guidance and my mind was blown! She walked the class into an extremely deep state of consciousness where she asked us to picture a body of water and as we walked closer to the water we see an alter next to the shore where she asked us to leave something that we want to get rid of or release and then we see this magical being place a present and inside that present is exactly what you need.

Well, let’s just say that I had come into the class with an intention in mind. After being so sick for so long I’ve been working lately to regain my true self. It hasn’t been easy and before class I had been thinking a lot about it and written out the mantra, I now give myself permission to be my true self. As she walked us through that scene I kept this mantra in mind and put my “sick self” on the alter to release it and in the gift that I opened was an image of my true self. I was the laughing, smiling, social person that I was just 5 years before. I was so moved it literally brought me to tears while in this deep state of consciousness.

For me to explain how refreshingly cathartic that experience was would be an understatement. After class when I went home I wrote down the story that I envisioned during the meditation. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share it quite yet but once I am I will post a link here for you guys to read it. It still makes my eyes well up a bit when I re-imagine it!

I’ve done a Yoga Nidra meditation 10 times in the last 13 days and I have seen some really significant changes in my mood, stress levels, overall presence and my sleep and pain levels. I’ve been getting tired early in the evening. By 10pm I am passed out in bed and I find that I am wide awake and feeling refreshed somewhere around 5-6am. I know that’s early right!! I’ve actually started doing a Nidra in bed before I get up for the day when it’s still quiet in the house and the dogs are all still sleeping. I just roll over, grab my phone and put my headphones in and play the Nidra that I had chosen the night before. It’s said that one session is equivalent to 3-4 hours of sleep so my thinking is that adding that restoration on top of the 7-8 hours that I had gotten would set me up for a great day. I’ve been able to start the days with renewed energy and a very peaceful disposition. One day all of my senses were extremely heightened. The sky was bluer and all of the songs that played on my morning drive just sounded so much better.

My pain levels have greatly decreased. I’m not sure if it’s because of the Nidra stress relief or because I am sleeping better but there is a lot of body restoration that is happening during the meditation and I’m convinced that has a lot to do with it. It’s said to also elevate moods and help lift depression which I can definitely attest to. It’s a very peaceful euphoric feeling that you get after a session. I haven’t had a headache or migraine in a while but it’s said to help alleviate those as well.

If you’re open to trying out a Yoga Nidra session then I HIGHLY recommend listening to one of the recordings from my favorite guide Heather Wiest on her website https://loveserveinspire.com/.

Do your best to find a dark, quiet space in your house. Lay on your back on the floor on a blanket, yoga mat or on the bed with a pillow under your knees to support your lower back. Place a pillow under your neck or head to ensure that it’s comfortable. Prop your arms up on blankets or with pillows if you have to for comfort. Put a blanket on and if you can either put an eye pillow over your eyes or fold up a hand towel if you don’t have an eye blanket. Get really comfortable and just melt into Heather’s words.

Like I said, I tend to do my Nidra early before the house starts to wake up but I have also done a few at home later in the day. Make sure you let your partner or anyone else in the house that you need 30 minutes alone so they don’t open the door. There will always be distractions. The air kicking on, a dog barking, a car beeping, but you just have to refocus on the guide’s words and keep melting into the session.

If you do make the step to do a Nidra then please let me know! I’d love to hear about it!

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Stephanie Sinagra

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Consummate Health Nerd ✌ always exploring new avenues of healing ~ learn w me! ?my dogs, ginger kombucha & healing people! #spoonie To learn more about my story visit here. Have a burning desire to email me? You can do that here! hello@healthnerd.me

Medical Medium Detox!

The Medical Medium aka Anthony William is an amazing gifted man who blessed us all with his knowledge when he wrote his book, Medical Medium. I had been hearing about this book in my health coaching circles and thought that it sounded good so added to the list of many on my Amazon wish list. I didn’t actually buy it until after a chat that I had one weekend with the amazing Dr Christiane Northrup. We spent the weekend sitting together at a retreat and I was discussing the work that I have been doing to heal myself and help others with fibro to be as healthy as they can be. She immediately recommended Anthony’s book. She was gushing about how life changing and advanced his work is to the point where I bought the book as soon as I got home from the retreat. And oh boy, am I glad that I did!

To summarize the book quickly, it’s a book about how Anthony has used his gift to help pinpoint illness in other and help guide them toward treatment. He has an external Spirit guide that helps him scan a person and diagnose their underlying conditions. It all started when he was very young when the Spirit first appeared and told him to tell his grandmother that she has lung cancer. Everyone was in shock that such a young boy would say that but weeks later when she visited the doctor, his grandmother was told that she has lung cancer.
One of the areas that he spends a lot of time talking about in the book is fibromyalgia. He, and Spirit, explain that fibromyalgia is really caused by the Epstein barr virus (EBV). He outlines that there are 4 stages of the EBV and stage 4 results in fibromyalgia or a myriad of other autoimmune type diseases such as lupus, Lyme disease and even type 2 diabetes.

In his book, Medical Medium, he has laid out a plan of attack for healing the EBV and by doing so ridding yourself of these disease labels. There are pages of information on which herbs and supplements you need to take to kill the virus and strengthen the immune system, what foods to eat and which you should not eat and he breaks it down into a 28 day detox to follow.

I am embarking on the detox journey now. I am 7 days into it and I have to say that I am feeling better than I have in many years. I’ve already had a few bumps in the road and BIG time flare ups so keep an eye on my blog for updates on the journey and to reap the benefit of my setbacks so that you don’t face the same ones!

If you aren’t sure where to start your journey or just need some guidance then please reach out to me to see how I can help!

Email me at: Hello@HealthNerd.Me Or book a Quick Chat HealthNerd.Me/BookIt Use promocode ‘quickchat’ when booking to get the chat for free!

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About the Author

Stephanie Sinagra

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Consummate Health Nerd ✌ always exploring new avenues of healing ~ learn w me! ?my dogs, ginger kombucha & healing people! #spoonie To learn more about my story visit here. Have a burning desire to email me? You can do that here! hello@healthnerd.me

7 Tips for a More Restful Sleep

I had SUCH a hard time sleeping a few years ago that I had to go to a sleep specialist and do a sleep study. They hook you up to all kinds of machines and put sensors on your head, face and legs. They put a belt with wires and cables around your waist and they put a sensor in your nose to see how well you’re breathing over night. Amazing how they think that you can sleep like that but apparently I was able to fall asleep although the sleep wasn’t good at all! Continue reading “7 Tips for a More Restful Sleep”

Living with Fibromyalgia is Hard!

My Story

As I sit here and type to you I am in pain. To be honest with you, I am pretty much always in at least mild pain. As hard as I have worked and as healthy as I have gotten, I have yet to really know a day without fibromyalgia. If the pain is low and the fatigue is low then it is a good day and it is as close to ‘normal’ as I have been in many years. On those days when the pain is high or the fatigue is high I know it’s going to be a long day. But on those days when both the pain and fatigue are high I just want to crawl into a cocoon and rest until it’s gone. A suspended state of warm love wrapped around my body until it passes. Continue reading “Living with Fibromyalgia is Hard!”

Stop Getting Mad for No Reason

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Have you ever gotten mad at someone for not doing something that you wanted them to do even though you never expressly told them what it was that you were expecting from them?

I have a few family members, who shall remain nameless 🙂 that get upset with people because they don’t act the way that they expect them to.

Let me see if I can explain what I mean with this example.

Have you ever gotten upset with a family member or friend because they didn’t call you on your birthday or a holiday? I mean, you call them all the time to wish them a happy birthday so why aren’t they calling you?

Well, have you ever let them know how important it is to hear from them on those special days? Do they know that a quick phone call is how you feel the love from them? Honestly, they aren’t mind readers and if a phone call isn’t something that they value then why would they think that it would be important for you. Maybe they feel like a text on these days is what makes them feel special or a nice shout out on Facebook letting everyone know what they mean to you.

We are all different. We all have our own value systems. We can’t assume that other people hold the same value to certain things that you do. If you want someone to call you on a special day then let them know that you would like them to do that yearly. If you want them to bring you a muffin every time they go to your favorite coffee shop then let them know.

I know that said family members hold a lot of resentment towards others that don’t conform to what they think that they should. Honestly, life is WAY too short to hold resentments and be angry with people. Especially for things that they don’t even know that you value and wish that they were doing.

Remember, your friends and family are not mind readers. They don’t automatically know what you need or want or expect so tell them. The more we understand these concepts the less resentment we will hold on to. We have much more important things to worry about on a daily basis, like having enough energy to get up and shower and wash your hair, than to waste any spoons being angry or festering about a situation that a little communication might have circumvented.

About the Author

Stephanie Sinagra

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Consummate Health Nerd ✌ always exploring new avenues of healing ~ learn w me! ?my dogs, ginger kombucha & healing people! #spoonie To learn more about my story visit here. Have a burning desire to email me? You can do that here! hello@healthnerd.me

Let’s Get Healthy!

Join the community and start Nerding out on health and wellness with me. Let’s have some fun while we learn to be the happiest and healthiest version of ourselves that we can be!