~ Donna Jo Wagnitz, FNTP, LMT
Hi, I’m Donna (aka, Birdie). I grew up all over Michigan and spent my summers in Florida. I was the toe headed little girl who fluttered around without a care in the world (this is where my nick name, Birdie, originated)
I come from a large and loud blended family. Like many of you, we were a busy family without the time or budget to eat real food all of the time. Don’t get me wrong we had home cooked meals, however, we also had plenty of TV dinners and boxed foods. I was taught to work hard with a spirit of excellence. Which means do your job and do it well even if it means working yourself to the bone. I carried these learned habits with me into my early adult years and passed on convenience and fast food eating to my family along with a strong (don’t quit even if you’re exhausted) work ethic. With that, I had created an environment in my body for disease and pathogens to wreak havoc. I was a Mt. Dew drinking, cheesy tortilla chip, peanut butter cup eating, work-a-holic! It wasn’t uncommon for me too finish the evening off with a bowl of ice cream covered in hot chocolate pudding and glass of wine, while I stayed up too late to watch whatever the DVR had recorded after a 12-14 hour shift + 2 hour commute, take care of my families needs, kind of day. Rinse and repeat…. At 40 years old I would wake up, struggle to roll over, to climb out of bed and then do the “old lady shuffle” to the bathroom. I was only 40! Test after test there were no answers. So my question was “do all 40 year old women feel like they’re 80?”
I knew there was a better answer! There had to be!
I found an alternative doctor whose focus was nutrition. She discovered I had Lyme Disease! In order for me to receive her care I HAD to go Paleo. It was a requirement! I did my first Whole30 (but for 90 days) and I started treatment for Lyme Disease. Not only did I have Lyme, I had Leaky Gut! The perfect environment for Lyme to thrive! Three months into my new lifestyle and I had dropped 30 lbs, Lyme was in remission and I felt like a million bucks!
This lead me to get even more hands on and follow my path to becoming a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Licensed Massage Therapist