Updated: Jun 22
Hi, I am Laura.
I am a Colombian girl living in Dubai.
In this blog post, I would like to briefly introduce myself and tell you why I’ve chosen to become a Holistic Nutrition Coach.
I was born on May 24th 1987 in Bogota, Colombia.
According to my parents, I used to hate all things kids love the most, like playing in the park with other kids and getting on the carrousel. I was called “miss no”
I grow up in a normal middle-class family in Colombia and attended a catholic school for 11 years.
I didn’t know what I wanted to study so I became an English-Spanish teacher.
In 2009 I moved to Chicago to study English and worked as baby sitter.
In 2012 I moved to Dubai to work as flight attendant for Emirates airlines and travelled pretty much to all over the world.
I used to have digestive issues that were not a big concern for me as I thought it was normal to be bloated and uncomfortable after each meal. I struggled with depression and anxiety since I was 15 years old. I never told anyone that I was having those problems. Only my close friends knew about it.
After joining the airline and having changed my lifestyle radically, my digestive issues got worst. I developed an acute gastritis and I had to take medicine every day. I was not digesting food properly. I was so bloated all the time, it was extremely painful and uncomfortable. My depression and anxiety levels were higher than ever.
In 2018, I decided to take matters on my own hands and I decided to change my diet (that was basically a feast of fast foods, fizzy sugary drinks, cakes and desserts every day), into a healthier one. Without knowing anything about nutrition, I did a sort of elimination diet for 30 days. I eliminate all dairy, legumes, sugars, alcohol and grains. I felt like a whole new person. I lost weight, my digestive issues were gone, I had more energy than ever. I started to exercise and most importantly, I didn’t have any anxiety or depression episodes.
However, after two months of feeling great, I couldn’t keep up with that diet and I went back to my old habits.
Little did I know, that was the worst and best decision ever. When I stopped exercising and eating healthier, all my stomach problems came back stronger than before as well as my depression. I went into a depressive phase that was killing me from inside out. My mind was out of control and I couldn’t keep up with it. I ended up in the hospital for 5 days and was diagnosed with clinical depression. (By that time, I had been taking antidepressants. They didn’t help much).
That same year I developed a chronic cough (yeah, a cough that lasted for over 6 months) that couldn’t be diagnosed by a pulmonologist. He advised me to see a gastroenterologist who finally told me I had GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) that was irritating my throat and that’s why I was coughing no stop. He did a bunch of tests and I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption. He sent me home with a bottle of probiotics and a list of foods I should avoid.
In 2019, I started to study nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NY as I wanted to learn more about how to keep a healthy diet so I could deal with my own intolerances. I was not expecting to become a health coach, but after graduating I realized there are so many people out there who are having so many issues similar to mine and they don’t know how to address them.
Since joining IIN, I learnt how to approach health from a holistic point of view including body and mind. I now use food as medicine and I know how it affects people’s mood too. That is why I keep my diet as healthy as possible because I don't want to go back to feel sad and depressed. I also learnt how to deal with my emotions so I could make peace with my mind. I got off all my medications (for depression and for my digestive issues) and I feel healthier and happier than ever before.
It is hard for me to believe that I have changed so much in just a year. I am a happier person, I no longer cry all the time for no obvious reason. I have healed my gut (most of it; I am still in the process) and my relationship with food so I can now enjoy meals without guilt and restrictions. I love Pilates and I am fitter than ever before. I have accepted my body as it is and I love and respect myself so much!
Now, I am here to help men and women who struggle with depression and want to improve their physical and mental health. In my work I help people transform their lives by making changes in their relationship with food and in their mindset so that they can finally break free from depression and live the vibrant, happy life they deserve!