NICOLE JARDIM, YOUR HEALTH ADVOCATE
I know from my own experience that food choices and lifestyle can have a massive effect on one’s health. As a teenager I tried every diet out there. Remember those banned Fen-Phen pills? Yup, you name it I tried it! I didn’t understand the importance of eating well consistently until I started to suffer the consequences of my actions.
It all started to catch up to me around age 17. Suddenly I wasn’t getting my period regularly anymore — it would make an appearance every three months or so! Oh and when it came, it came with a vengeance! Think nothing-fits-bloating, horrific cramps that kept me in bed for two days, really heavy flow…you get the idea. After a year and half of this madness my doctor decided to put me on the pill. I didn’t know it then, but the pill was only a temporary fix that masked my hormonal imbalance, while creating a whole new set of symptoms.
So while I began to have lighter, easier periods (yay!), I found myself starting to battle chronic yeast and urinary tract infections. A whole bunch of other symptoms started cropping up too — stomach problems, joint pain, chronic colds and a constant feeling that I was not well. I tried all the western medical resources but the doctors I saw had no idea what was wrong with me — all the tests were”normal.” One doctor thought I had Rheumatoid Arthritis while another thought I had Crohn’s disease! I spent thousands of dollars on tests and procedures and got nothing. Can you relate to this frustration?
By then I was 23 and totally over my mystery ailments and the wanna-be diagnoses! A friend in college suggested I see her acupuncturist and since I had nothing to lose I went to see him. Of course he totally rocked my world! During the first session he gave me more answers than any doctor had given me in years! I knew then and there that I was on the right path.
IF I HAD A
TO HELP ME WHEN I WAS 17 YEARS OLD
IT WOULD PROBABLY HAVE CHANGED
THE TRAJECTORY OF MY LIFE
It took me a couple of years to get my health back on track. During that time I discovered Whole Foods, I changed the way I ate, I picked up yoga and tried a bunch of different healing techniques. I also got off the Pill — one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At the same time, I started to suspect the chemicals in my house were part of the problem so I got rid of the toxic cleaning and personal care products. And it worked. For one thing, I no longer got headaches when I cleaned the bathroom!
In the meantime, I had graduated from university and was working freelance on television commercials and live events. The Video Music Awards, Tiger Woods commercials — all dream jobs, or so I thought. Unfortunately, the entertainment industry is not kind to personal schedules so it wasn’t easy to maintain good eating or exercise habits. After a couple of years it began to take a toll on my body and I knew I had to shake things up.
It took quite some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do but eventually I found my niche. I took courses on green living, trained to be a yoga instructor and then made it my mission to leave Florida and move to New York City to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. By then I knew beyond a doubt that helping young women live healthier lives was my mission. After graduating from IIN in 2010 I apprenticed at a women’s holistic health center, so that I could learn all about women’s hormonal health and how to heal conditions caused by hormonal imbalances through a natural approach. I knew that if I could help just one woman by sharing my personal struggles then I had succeeded.
After my apprenticeship I founded The Healthy Elements so that I could help more than just one woman! Through my Fix Your Period Program, I teach as many women as I can get my hands on that their hormones don’t have to ruin their lives and I show them how to take back control of their health and their bodies.