ABOUT DEENA

An intro

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After a roller coaster of dieting that began in my teens followed by chronic fatigue, hormone imbalance, a diagnosis of Crohns, and other health issues in my later twenties, I saw, firsthand, the harmful effects of conventional living and approach to health.  I've been a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach for 10 years and have been on a quest to optimize my own health for over 20 years.  

My hope is that this site is a place you can come to be inspired, relate, and open your eyes and heart to some new ideas. I’ll do my best to keep posts short since I know you have a full plate.

Through my journey, I discovered the healing power of natural living and have been more empowered daily with the incredible tools we have available to us to optimize our physical and emotional wellbeing. .  This transformation has spread into every area of my life - emotional, physical, and spiritual. 

It is now my goal to support other women on this path.

A little more…

For as long as I can remember, I hadn't felt great in my body.  The message around me growing up was that I was normal and most women I knew talked about how they wanted to change their bodies.  In the earlier years, it was all about how I looked. 

My core belieFS

I love raw, open honestly and you’ll get a lot of that here. I’ll share so much of this journey over on the blog. I believe that the more we share the process, the struggle, and the questions, the more we have an opportunity for true connection. So much of real life happens behind closed doors, in a hush-hush, “we don’t talk about that” sort of way and it’s just not me. This site will be a home for talking about things like miscarriage, marital struggles, disordered eating, anger, grief, aging, fears, and more. Oh, and vaginal steaming. You’ll get that here too!

I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all. Anything that is prescriptive across the board makes me question. We are all individuals with completely different makeup and the more in tune with our needs, the best we can take care of us.

The mainstream path does not appeal to me, for the most part. When it comes to health, beauty, food, parenting, love, relationships, you’ll usually find me outside of the norm because the more I dig into these areas, the more I question the conventional ways of doing things. And the more I question, the more I take a right turn and life feels more meaningful.

I don’t think “self care” is a real thing. Caring for oneself requires a village and I think so much can be gained by embracing the village and bringing community into our lives.

 

Being aware of my body and how I felt in my body began, like many, when I was a teenager and assumed skipping breakfast and having a bag of pretzels (they're fat-free, right?) and diet coke was an appropriate lunch.  Many of my girl friends had body image or eating issues just as I did and many of us grew up with mothers who were on and off diets.  In college I gained the typical freshman weight, lost some, gained it back, lost, and the cycle continued.  After college, I moved to New York City and worked long hours for a non-profit organization.  From there, on to an organization that fed me 3 meals per day plus snacks - for free.  My days consisted of moving from one craving to the next, crashing in the afternoon, and bingeing in the evenings in my studio apartment. 

I felt like crap. 

During my early twenties I had cystic acne, bloating, constipation, gas, and extra hair in unwanted places, low energy, and mood swings.  Just a busy, over-scheduled, single woman living in New York City trying to get through each day, right?  I figured it was normal for my weight to change constantly and to feel bad much of the time. I canceled plans all the time because I felt bloated or low energy. Looking back, I believe a cycled through phases o

In my later twenties my energy declined even more.  My hair was falling out, I had pain that made it almost impossible to climb the steps of a subway station... even walking was a chore.  My skin looked terrible, I had bags under my eyes (and this was still pre-baby) and I got sick very often.

I went to several ISTs (internists, gastroenterologists, dermatologists, endocrinologists, etc), but I didn’t feel any better.  After years in this cycle, I realized it was up to me to take matters into my own hands and make changes. 

From the start, it was clear that sourcing my food and products well made a big difference. 

Here's a list of the health issues I was able to heal with an integrative approach to my health:

  • Overweight

  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Chronic digestive issues

  • Cystic acne

  • Chronic pain

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Adrenal Fatigue

  • Thinning hair

I'm so thankful to feel empowered with so many tools to support my vitality. 

And now I have a son, a joy and responsibility that is beyond measure.  I want to create a wonderful environment for him so that he can flourish in every aspect of life, which includes his health and wellness. 

I need to know that when he gets a skin irritation, cough, takes a while to settle into sleep, or falls and gets a booboo, that I have the best solutions on hand for him and I never have to question the safety of the ingredients.

Becoming a mom means it is now even more essential that we have the best ingredients in our home.

Becoming a mom means it is now even more essential that we have the best ingredients in our home.

I continue to change my diet, herbs, essential oils, movement and other lifestyle practices as I change.  There is no perfect fix out there and I keep listening to my body, learning and tweaking.  As I go through major life changes, it provides an opportunity for me to tune in.  Healing requires active participation by the individual, but no one has to do it alone!  I learn more every day and could not have reached this point with out help from naturopaths, acupuncturists, doctors, doulas, midwives, herbalists, friends, my mom, my husband, my son, the list goes on.  

It would be my honor to work with you on your journey towards optimal health and balance.

My Training

I am a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating dozens of dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional diets like Macrobiotics, Ayurveda and others with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone, raw foods and much more. I have completed the seminar, "Transforming Your Relationship with Food" through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I learn more and more every day, constantly reading, attending lectures, workshops, collaborating with other practitioners, and researching so that I can offer you the best support possible.

Contact

Email deena.barselah@gmail.com for anything!