5 years ago when I became a nurse, I never imagined ever…..”not practicing.” My dream job was taking care of others! I started to struggle in my journey when my own personal convictions about health and wellness interfered with my role as a nurse. I LOVE taking care of patients. I LOVED putting in Foleys (like, LOVED it!). I loved starting IV’s. And I loved every second of physical care I was able to give my patients. Whether it was walking in the hallway or straight up wiping their butts, I LOVED it! I got fancy awards. I was always recognized by my patients, and in fact, I was greatly respected by my peers. But my heart began to hurt so deeply on a daily basis when I learned more about how our healthcare system/business functions and how so much of what we do is treating symptoms of DEEPER issues, and ignoring the root causes. I began to lose my passion for traditional bedside nursing when I began to learn more about how CLEAN LIVING AND NUTRITION truly changes lives.
There is a time and place, but…..
I’m not going to sit here and bash conventional medicine, don’t worry. I 100% believe there is a time and a place for what we do in healthcare, and it has saved SO many lives! My Dad was one of them. He had a STEMI on January 12th, 2014…..the day before my 27th birthday. They rushed him to the cathlab, intervened, and saved his life. I will forever be grateful for those doctors and other HCP’s who were on call that day. They are truly my heroes! What I will acknowledge is that after my dad left the hospital, he was given no education about diet other than eat low salt and low fat foods. Umm…okay? There were pictures of some brands of Omega 6 vegetable oils, fish, and chicken….4 prescriptions were attached, and a follow up appointment. The nurse went over his medications, but didn’t touch the diet….which my Dad will agree with you, was part of the problem in the beginning.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve learned a lot about “clean eating” and went on my own health journey! I got off every lick of medication I was on and lost 30lbs. I received my Health Coaching Certification early last year because I wanted to start helping people in a different way. When I say “clean eating”, I’m referring to foods that don’t cause inflammation, don’t contain the pesticides and chemicals that most non-organic produce do, no unnatural preservatives, and food that FIGHTS disease, not feeds it. Our food recommendations that our leading “health” organizations promote support the use of processed foods, processed oils, and non-organic produce and meat. They even make a point to tell you that it hasn’t been proven whether organic foods make a difference or not. For some of you reading, your eyes are rolling right now. But I know many of you know exactly what I’m talking about….and it’s sad that some of our nations leading health organizations that we so freely donate to are not supporting natural and safe prevention, but will GLADLY back up cancer causing processed food brands and promote multi-billion-dollar studies put on by the Pharmaceutical Industry with the newest “miracle drug” on the street, that they’re most likely getting a HUGE financial kick back from! Lets try putting our money into supporting our nations organic farming practices and regulate the food industry more aggressively, than pouring it into “trial drugs” and tricking people into thinking they can’t LIVE without this pill that will steal every ounce of income they have and more.
Food Is Medicine
I remember when I, KELSEY ROWELL, used to think organic produce was a gimmick. I thought it was a money scam and it’s really all the same. Then my sister got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Predominant Stage II in her mid twenties. After reading about the harmful and scary side effects that her recommended conventional chemo treatment presented, she and her husband did something that most every red-blooded American in the world wouldn’t even think to do. They decided after EXTENSIVE research, to pursue natural approach. My whole family was scared to death. “YOU WILL DIE, CORT!” The doctor told her she was crazy. But with a lot of research, support from local Alternative Medicine Doctors, a commitment to changing her life (literally), and a LOAD of FAITH, she set out on her natural cancer fighting journey. 10 years later, she’s the mama to 3 of my most favorite and beautiful little people I know, and has a story that changed my life as a nurse, and has changed the lives of so many others! She has also made a lot of skeptics and critics squirm in their seats. How do you argue, LIFE people?! You can’t. She’s a natural cancer FIGHTER, and will fight the rest of her life! Because here’s the truth, cancer never leaves. And we choose to either feed it or fight it with the way we live and eat.
So back to organics….Part of my sisters protocol was basically detoxing her life to the best of her ability by eliminating (reducing) the chemicals in both the foods that she ate and and her beauty and house hold products. She also has a strict immune boosting and cancer fighting protocol that she adheres to. You can read more about what she does here. Essentially, she eats to live instead of the other way around. And no, she doesn’t feel deprived. It’s just a way of life. No harmful side affects. No chemo-induced heart failure. No chemo brain, and her biggest fear, no fertility issues…..we are THANKFUL that she was able to make that decision personally, and for many I understand that it would be out of the question.
But her story showed me that we down play the costs of non-organic and processed foods and everyday chemicals in our home too much. And we rely way too much on medication and just so freely hand our body’s over for treatment and intervention when there might be other, safer, more natural, and effective options for it. We need to be more informed. If we can HEAL with food, we can definitely die from it too. And we don’t teach this to people. We don’t emphasize this in healthcare like we should, because so many don’t believe it. We teach them to take their meds and follow up. And be indebted to RX costs and doctor bills for the rest of their lives. It’s easy money to do a check up and refill an rx, right? It’s also just to neglect your health and take a pill….but does that make it right for use to just keep pushing that? We would lose billions of dollar a year if we got even a quarter of our nations population off medications….so no wonder why no ones quick to move in that direction….
The quality of life, living, and our healthcare system today would be SO much different if we broadened our treatments to more than just conventional intervention and diagnostics. I am not against conventional medicine, but I do firmly believe that 90% of health issues today (maybe all), start with food and what’s added to them. And I think that if this type of education were priority, we could DECREASE the use of conventional treatment and intervention that many times come with scary and uncomfortable risks and side effects that are almost worse than the diagnosis or initial problem itself.
Because of all of these reasons, I decided to leave healthcare in whole and pursue my own wellness business! Today I teach Essential Oil and Wellness Classes, and blog fulltime. I’ve learned that when you do what you love, the money truly will follow! Starting a business isn’t easy, but its rewarding and life giving! I know everyday I “come to work”, I am teaching people knowledge about how food, chemicals, and toxins can impact their health and how the right foods and plant “chemicals” have the potential to change their life and their family’s!
People who struggle with auto-immune disorders: PCOS, IBS, CHRONS, ASTHMA, PSORIASIS, ECZEMA……they are rarely educated appropriately about their diet or gut health in the hospital . They’re given options like steroids, chemo agents to suppress their immune system, and surgery. Why are we not teaching people that the RIGHT types of food that can manage their conditions, and potentially eliminate the surgical options? Auto-Immune disorders will never disappear. You are BORN with them. And you can mange and control them with the food and chemicals that you put into your body, contrary to what so many people are told!
No, diet does NOT cause your autoimmune disorder, but it IS what triggers it and it’s what can MANAGE it! My middle sister Lindsey cured her IBS through strict diet changes. I have a friend who manages Chron’s naturally after years on steroids, and no hope…until she found a blog just like mine out of desperate hope for something more because she was threatened with a colectomy after being told there is no other option. And my older sister, Cortney…..10 years down the road from a scary cancer diagnosis, is healthy, thriving, and not a lick of conventional treatment!
“Each patient carries his own doctor inside of him…”
So do I miss nursing? Of course I do! I LOVE making people feel good and caring for them. But I went into this profession not fully aware of the business that it is, and also the amount of picking, prying, and over prescribing that we do. We call the doc EVERY problem, and get prescribed a medication for EVERY problem. Most people don’t even like taking meds, they just feel they have to! When’s the last time your patient said, I LOVE BEING ON 12 MEDICATIONS! So yes, I miss my conventional practice at times, but I have strong belief in the natural and alternative approach to care, and introducing this knowledge and lifestyle to others without being looked at like I am crazy (that happened in the hospital so much) is what truly gives me life! It’s become my passion! It’s what gets me up at 6am when I could sleep till noon if I wanted to! It makes me thankful for the opportunity to change and impact lives in a way that I wholeheartedly believe and KNOW changes peoples lives!
So to all of the Natural Nurses out there, this world has a place for you and I feel you! I do believe there will come a time where we will be seeing more natural approach, because theres lots of stuff that “just ins’t right” thats coming to the front lines. And I still if some of you are at the bedside, your not alone and you still can make a difference with your knowledge there! Our roles look different from person to person, but care isn’t just inside the hospital. And like me, sometimes it isn’t actually practicing or starting a business as a Registered Nurse, but as an advocate or coach for Health and Wellness. Follow your dreams. Make your passion your job. Don’t feel “stuck” just because there aren’t a ton of alternative nurse job postings out there! Be bold, be brave, and create what you want for your life and the people around you! And most importantly, do what you believe in!
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this blog! I know so many nurses out that currently feel the way that I did. Don’t settle. You have that passion, mindset, and conviction for a reason. I realized my calling was support people in this way, and yours may not be in the hospital either. We all have our place! There is a time and place for both conventional and natural approaches to this profession, but be true to your nursey self and do what you love!
(Disclaimer: I do not practice in my Wellness Business as a Registered Nurse. I share knowledge and education as a Certified Health Coach. All opinions are my own, and this information is based off of my personal experience as a RN in a traditional conventional setting.)