Hello and welcome to Working Natural Wellness! I’m Karly Baughn an FNTP (Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner). Thanks for joining me for my first blog post! I want to start by sharing my story and how I came to start Working Natural Wellness. It all began about a decade ago in 2010 when I got super sick after a really stressful move and some life changes. I spent months seeing doctors who did test after test and continued finding nothing. I gained about 30 lbs in a month or two, was in constant stomach pain and constipated to the point of an x-ray showing what they feared was an impacted bowel. I was on prescription strength laxatives and high doses of fiber for weeks with zero change. They tested my thyroid and my levels were a little off and my thyroid was enlarged. They did an ultrasound and then a fine needle biopsy on some nodules they found and they all came back normal. Finally, as a somewhat last-ditch effort they decided to do a Celiac Panel. I went home and looked up Celiac Disease and immediately stopped eating Gluten and within a week I was feeling so much better. Shortly after this I got pregnant with our first son and 2 years later we had our second son. Fast forward to 2017 - I was having a ton of joint pain, exhausted, mood swings, anxiety, depression and random fevers multiple times a week that wiped me out. I went to the Dr. over and over for months (it felt like déjà vu from the years prior). Again, they ran a ton of tests and I was told repeatedly that I was fine, I just needed to rest… This went on for about a year and a half before my husband insisted I do something more aggressive – either see a psychologist or maybe consider going back to the Functional Doctor I saw when I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I opted to go see the Functional Doctor. Upon review of my symptoms and all of my bloodwork it was found that I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis (which the other doctor’s missed on my blood work), Epstein Barr Virus, and it was also suspected that I had Lyme disease. In addition, my blood sugar handling was a mess, my adrenals were shot, and I was living life on a roller coaster physically and emotionally.
It was time to do the hard work… I thought I was already doing the hard work – I was going to the gym and busting my rear 3-4 days a week. I ate a mostly Paleo diet, I ran my own business, we were a chemical free home, I was taking care of my family and managing my autistic son’s wellness - all while doing my best to be a supportive wife to my medically retired former Army Officer – who, by the way, was in the midst of his new career and starting graduate school. My hard work started with switching from high intensity gym work outs to very gentle leisurely walks and some yoga. Next came starting the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet to figure out what was causing my inflammation and additionally inflaming the tickborne illness that I tested positive for. I also did 30 days of raw celery juice to help my body begin to heal. In addition to all of these changes I had to slow down and I had to start prioritizing what had to happen in my life and where I needed to start saying NO. I had to make myself the priority, then my family and, outside of that, not a whole lot else got done for a while. Slowing down and learning to meditate and find a calmer head space was important and a required part for me to heal my body. In addition, I have taken the right supplements to support my body and to support my healing journey – which, I can proudly say, I am starting to be able to reduce and still feel like a productive human being that is actually FUNCTIONING, not just a zombie wandering through life.
Every day is a new experience and each day requires grace for me, my body and for my family. We aren’t all perfect and many days my husband gives me the look or the gentle coaxing that maybe it is time to slow down and maybe not take on so much. Maybe it is time to reevaluate the projects and the items on my To Do List. I take a lazy day every few weeks and literally do nothing, I give myself grace to sleep more and not feel guilty about it.
I know you are wondering how I decided, with all of these changes, that I should go back to school. Well…I have experienced so much improvement when I got serious about the quality and types of food I was buying and eating. Following the Autoimmune Protocol and reintroducing foods back into my body, made me realize that people don’t necessarily see how different foods and different food qualities affect them. It made me realize that I wanted to help more people find the freedom to feel their best and to use real food to do it. I am passionate about finding ways to to indulge ourselves and our families, while also eating for wellness and being your best self without feeling deprived of the good stuff!
Karly is a Wife, Mom, Entrepreneur, FNTP and Non-Toxic Living Specialist and Lover of Food - living in a small suburb of Austin, TX.