I had always been a bit of a sick kid. I got colds very easily and frequently, and had a couple of ear surgeries. At 12 years old, I injured my lower back and also had sinus surgery for chronic sinusitis. As a teen, still getting sick often, I became anaemic with incredibly low zinc levels, and was generally pretty miserable. Finally, at 16 years old, I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and the conversion to a gluten free diet transformed me. I started rowing competitively and had never felt so well in my life. At that point the transformational effect of what you eat sparked an interest that has never left me.
Just before my 18th birthday I injured my lumbar spine again. It had happened on and off over the years but this time I had a MRI scan which showed three degenerated and prolapsed discs in my lumbar spine. This meant no more competitive rowing for me, and eventually, major spinal surgery at 23 years of age. I coached rowing for four years, which I truly loved, and it led me to study Sports & Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology. This next led me to working in a cardiology department and the study of cardiac sonography, and from there, I jumped into the corporate medical world. I enjoyed it and felt like I was "achieving" something, but the 80+ hour work weeks and constant flying started to take their toll, and my body was telling me so. I had bowel surgery that I could barely find the time to have done and during a three week work trip with multiple long-haul flights I noticed my right hip was sore. A MRI scan showed multiple degenerative and inflammatory issues with it. I was limping everywhere and prescription anti-inflammatory medication did nothing to resolve my condition. This was right around the time that low-sugar, Paleo and anti-inflammatory diets were starting to really gain momentum and showing some evidence of treating inflammatory and auto-immune diseases. I decided to give Paleo a try and it helped a lot. Through trial and error I managed to get to a point using Paleo, Ayurveda self-care practices, and eating natural, low-inflammatory foods, where my hip healed enough to stop limping. I had found a way to be healthy and keep up with my demanding work schedule. I even managed to walk the Milford Track in New Zealand.
Even though I had found a solution to being relatively healthy, on-top of my auto-immune and degenerative diseases, and able to keep up with the demands of corporate life, I still had little niggles in both my body and mind telling how I was living wasn't in alignment with who I truly was and what I should be doing with my life. I left my job to complete my Masters and also studied Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching, Yoga Teaching and Ayurvedic Cooking, and traveled widely learning from a number of different alternative healing modalities for both body and mind that had always fascinated me. During these two years I was unknowingly synthesising systems and ideas that not only simply brought about physical health through aligning with nature but also mental and spiritual wellbeing through learning to love the unique individual that each of us is and the unique gifts that we each bring to the world and that we all deserve to live in alignment with our unique Aligned Natures.
Having always gained deep satisfaction from helping others I wanted to be able to help others heal and know and love their Aligned Nature. I started Aligned Nature in 2018 as a way of sharing information on health and wellbeing and as a web-based coaching practice where I use very practical knowledge like what foods and lifestyle practices will help a person recover from a particular condition, right through to intuitive healing work.