For me, it all started one night in 1999 when I went to sleep as usual and awoke blind in my right eye. Soon afterward, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
I was told that 80% of MS patients experience significant disabilities within ten years of diagnosis and that the only way to extend this timeline was to take one of three available injectable drugs. The doctors all told me that there was nothing else I could do, and even the drug wouldn't save me from becoming disabled.
I was just about to turn 30, and now they were telling me I could be in a wheelchair by my fortieth birthday.
The MS drug made me feel awful and even worse, gave me hives all over my body for the three years I took it. I had to face that my body was in rough shape.
It was my then-fiancé, now-husband of 21 years, who suggested it might have something to do with my diet. I couldn't deny his point as the staple foods in my apartment during the decade of my twenties had been Crystal Lite, Diet Coke, and Gummi Bears. But I didn't know what a healthy diet was, or how to cook. So I started studying.
The more I learned about health and the connection to food, plants, and energy, the more I wanted to know. I began taking weekend workshops, and then heard about Trinity's Certified Nutrition Consultant (CNC) program. After completing that in 2006, I wanted to learn more, so I went to Trinity to become a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP) in 2008 and an ND in 2011.
Since graduating from Trinity, I invented and patented a unique method for preparing quick, easy, and wholesome meals which I introduced in my award-winning cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch Oven Cooking (2009, Clarkson-Potter). Glorious One-Pot Meals spent more than 12 weeks on the Local Best Seller's List, has seen Amazon's Top 100 List, and has currently sold more than 60,000 copies worldwide.
In 2011, as a newly minted ND, I opened my clinic where I still focus on customized anti-inflammatory food recommendations and other anti-inflammatory protocols for people all over North America.
In 2013, I passed the ANMA board exams to become a "board-certified" traditional Naturopathic Doctor!
In 2014, I gave a TEDx talk titled, "We Are What We Eat: Poisons In Our Everyday Foods," which has received more than 23,000 views. In it, I warned about such radical things as genetically modified foods, which earned me a disclaimer banner from TED, but has proven to be prescient.
I'm a professional speaker and have toured the country speaking about healthy eating and how what we eat affects how we feel. I often speak about MS and autoimmunity, but also about how inflammation affects how we look, think, act, and feel.
I've been blogging about natural health and healthy eating since 2008 at ElizabethYarnell.com, and have two teenagers and a rescue dog.
Perhaps my greatest achievement has been learning how to manage my autoimmunity so that not only have I not had a serious exacerbation since 2002, but through my clinic and the "Fight MS with Food Project" that I began in 2011, I've created a system that more than 500 clients have already followed with similar results.
First and foremost, I love helping people feel better! Because of the widespread unfamiliarity with natural healthcare, I am often "the last resort", and my clients arrive with a stack of medical reports and notes from previous medical professionals who weren't able to resolve their issues.
After a decade in practice, I am very confident in what I offer and how I can help. Watching clients emerge from years of pain and discomfort and knowing that I have provided them with the tools to continue their journey toward health and well-being is immensely gratifying. This is what feeds my soul.
I designed my practice to be online because, as an immune-compromised person, I regularly try to avoid contact with sick people whenever possible, also, so that I could tailor my schedule to be available for my kids during out-of-school hours.
I love continuing to learn from other health professionals, as well as sharing my knowledge through my writing and speaking.
My studies through Trinity School of Natural Health have given me the knowledge and credentials to be taken seriously in my work. At each step along my journey, I evaluated and considered a number of natural health and naturopathic programs before returning to Trinity. Each time I found that Trinity offered the courses I wanted along with the learning style I preferred for the best price. I was able to complete each of my certifications without accruing debt and I could do it all from my home town.
Thank you, Trinity!