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Greetings From A Health Nut

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Feb 18, 2011 6:04:00 PM

I wanted to take the opportunity to tell a little bit about my story. I would like to share highlights of my journey to becoming a holistic health and nutrition educator. I'm hoping that by getting to know me a little better, you will more easily understand my perspective on health and wellness.
Without going into too much detail, I'll start with my childhood. As a little boy I had always suffered many ailments, including digestive issues and allergies. I always had a very dry scalp, and suffered horribly from hay fever. I remember at times having terrible light sensitivity and could not open my eyes in the daylight. I often awoke with my eyes sealed shut. My very weak stomach often resulted in hours spent in the bathroom eliminating whatever meal had bothered me this time. One time I ended up in the hospital due to dehydration.
Growing into my teenage years many of my symptoms seemed to subside. But I always had trouble keeping my weight down. In fact at 15 years old I was almost 30 pounds heavier than I am today. It seemed anything I ate would cause me to gain weight. I looked swollen.
In my early twenties I ended up homebound when I was struck with a phase of anxiety attacks and revisited by those horrific digestive issues. I could barely eat anything without eliminating it almost instantly. My doctors found nothing and sent me home to relax and play video games. Surely I just didn't know how to handle stress. "Take a Valium and call me in a month."
Once again my symptoms seemed to subside. I was, however, trying to live healthier at this time. I began to read some health books and worked on my nutrition to try and manage my weight. I also ran many miles hoping to shed the pounds that kept me feeling down. It was a constant struggle.
In my early thirties I hit another wave of unexplained bowel problems. I remember having to leave work one day because I had a pain in my stomach I could barely handle. I had to take a cab home and when I finally arrived I had to throw myself on the bathroom floor to withstand the pain. Once again the doctors excused it as stress or maybe "irritable bowel syndrome." This, however, did not explain the hives on my stomach, the vision problems and constant anxiety.
I was fed up! I knew there was something wrong with my body, I just couldn't pinpoint it. I began to read more and more about nutrition and health. I started to realize there was a big chasm between mainstream medicine and a whole world of people just like me out there. And that's when I decided to take my health into my own hands.
I looked for a long time and finally found a program in Holistic Nutrition at a very nearby city. I immediately enrolled and thus my journey in health education began. I completed the certificate program at this nutrition college. But then I realized I wanted more in depth education. I found a master's program, once again in a nearby city, in Holistic Health Education with an option to specialize in nutrition. I was sold! And here I sit today half way through my master's degree, with about five years of nutrition education, including self study.And I have fully devoted myself to coaching others in finding the health and vitality that I've been able to enjoy once I took being healthy as my personal mantra.
I believe in healing and nourishing the whole person, not just the body, but including the spirit and the mind. These three things are intricately intertwined and it is virtually impossible to separate them. I'll explain in a later blog post how this relates to nutrition. But the important thing to note here is that modern medicine clearly ignores the whole person. They focus on treating disease and symptoms, ignoring the person sitting on their table.
I am passionate about keeping others from suffering needlessly. The more I studied these last five years, the more I realized that much of the diseases of the modern world are brought on by poor choices and unhealthy habits. Have you heard that 90% of diabetes is preventable? It must be because people don't know better, right? Well, I am determined to let people know what they need to do to have a better quality of life, better sleep, more energy, less pain, balanced emotions and void of lifestyle disease. All these things can be better had with the right tools and knowledge.
As far as my elusive symptoms? I finally discovered that I had inherited Celiac Disease. And eating foods with gluten in them was causing my immune system to attack various organs and tissue in my body. Sounds horrible, and it can be if you let it go unaddressed. But with the proper diet and lifestyle I hope to live a healthy vibrant life to the end. Follow me on my journey to optimal health and nourish your body, mind and spirit with all that is good and available here to you.
My blog is written primarily to the American audience. And much of what I discuss applies to the American diet and the foods that are available in the US. For those reading this in other parts of the world, keep in mind that I am writing to a population of people that primarily eats processed foods void of many nutrients that are lost in the refinement process. I am writing to an audience that drinks more soda than water. I am writing to an audience that eats at a fast food restaurant about once a day. I am writing to the people of America that have now been subjected to genetically modified foods, pesticides and chemicals on their fruits and vegetables. I am writing to a population of people that spends hours a day watching television with little exercise and movement in their life. I know this is happening in other parts of the world as I have traveled a little and have seen it. I hope that my words will reach those beyond these borders that may need to heed my call to a healthier way of life. Thank you!

Topics: nutrition professional