Hello and welcome to Healthy, Wholesome Me!

I'm Lori. I've been a Registered Nurse for fifteen years and a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, with a passion for learning about holistic nutrition with a focus for bariatric patients. I love to be in the kitchen cooking and baking with foods that help me to stay healthy and maintain my 155 pound weight loss. I started out as an overweight child and eventually dieted myself up to a 283 pound, morbidly obese adult with a growing list of health problems. I was constantly on some sort of "diet" from as early as 10 years old. But I just got heavier over time, and I found that all I had really done was diet myself into a depressed, unhealthy and defeated state of body and mind.

In September of 2005, I made a life changing decision to have gastric bypass surgery. Nothing could have prepared me for what I would have to endure. The first four years following surgery just about did me in. Unrelenting nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal pain, recurrent, perforating ulcers and blood sugar problems are only a few of the complications that followed surgery. I've required five additional surgeries for various complications plus seven additional procedures and countless doctor visits. I lost 155 pounds, but five years after the bypass I still felt awful.

I had more and more trouble tolerating foods and maintaining my weight loss, from the typically prescribed, 1200 calorie bariatric diet which I found to be non-filling and learned are nutritionally deficient. When you are limited to just 1200 calories, you need to make every one nutritious if you hope to heal. When my doctors ran out of explanations for my continuing symptoms, I began my own nutritional research looking for answers. I looked more closely at the foods I was eating and began to make associations between particular foods and how they would make me feel to identify trouble makers. The first dietary modification I tried was simply reducing my intake of wheat/gluten and certain dairy products. For the past two years, I've been following a gluten-free, whole foods template, and I have seen great improvements in my health and well-being that conventional medicine couldn't offer alone.

Why am I writing this blog? When I had gastric bypass surgery, there were no online resources available to even remotely prepare me for what was to come. Weight loss success statistics for bariatric patients are dismal! But I want to help you to be successful in achieving your weight loss, in keeping it off and most importantly, in improving your overall health through a healthy and nourishing way of eating. I have had to experiment with and radically adapt my dietary habits to learn what works and doesn't work for me on a day-to-day and meal by meal basis over a long stretch of time. But through this process I have found it much easier to maintain my weight loss and to continue to improve my health in exciting ways. I want to share my experience with you and in so doing maybe spare you some of the difficulties I've encountered. Food is still my life and love, but it is now a much healthier obsession! I've learned (the hardest way) that the right foods can actually work for me, and that lesson has opened a door for me to explore a new kind of freedom. I look forward to sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with you to help you on your journey to a healthy, wholesome YOU!

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