My Journey to Health and Wellness
My name is Arlene Salcedo. I am a health conscious wife and mother of four children; three lovely princesses and one handsome prince. I currently live in the city of Temecula and I love the city,
We have our very own wine country, which is practically in my backyard. Temecula is a wonderful city that offers many healthy lifestyle options for myself and my family. We have local farmer markets that I enjoy visiting on a weekly basis. We have a wonderful (Whole Foods type) organic/natural store that I frequent often. The employees all know my kids and I.
Temecula is my new “home.” It is the place where I grew into my womanhood. I was in my late twenties when my husband and i decided to move to Temecula. It is the first time I moved away from my family and close friends. I moved an hour away from everything I ever knew. I know it doesn’t sound like much of distance but to me it was life changing to be away from my parents, siblings, and friends.
When I moved here I was fortunate to be recommended to a well established moms club. I immediately sought out the group. Seeking out this local mom’s group is way out of my comfort zone but I needed to get past my discomfort and make some new friends in this new town I now called home. The friends I have made in Temecula have become my new extended family and without the friends I made in Temecula, I am sure I would have fallen into a depressed state.
During this transition, my husband and I were trying to conceive a child. We tried for what felt like an eternity, and finally we got pregnant. Unfortunately, the pregnancy didn’t last very long as we miscarried. My husband and I felt devastated. I felt like I couldn’t finish the family that I wanted. Though I already had three children, I wanted one last one. My first daughter had passed away suddenly to SIDS when she was six weeks old. This was was a devastating loss that will forever affect my life on an everyday basis. That being said, it was important for me to have one more child; and the miscarriage was causing me to believe that perhaps “it wasn’t meant to be.”
I have always been a “natural” and “holistic”-type woman (I just never knew there were names for it), but being exposed to different health issues between myself and extended family made me interested in becoming more conscious. Many of my close family members’ battle with different health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid issues.
I, myself, went through my own scare with pre-cancerous cells that forced me into my own surgical procedure. It is because of these everyday health realities that I sought a healthier lifestyle in my mid- twenties. In my mid-twenties II became a full blown vegetarian. This lasted for two years before it came to an end when I became pregnant with my third child. During this pregnancy I craved meat so badly that I ended my days as a vegetarian. Though my days as a vegetarian ended, my interest in “natural” and “holistic” living continued.
Fast forward to my thirties, and I was forced to started researching about my body and the symptoms I was experiencing. During this research, I came across many articles that spoke about fertility and how the best natural way to track fertility was to do daily temperature tracking. I was desperate for answers and I knew something was way off with my body. I became moody, always hungry, menstrual cycles were off, and I just felt abnormal, so I went to My OBGYN and would later diagnose me with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). The PCOS was the cause of my infertility. I left the office with mixed feelings of relief and sadness. Yes I had answers but what about completing the family I wanted to grow? Would it ever happen?
As a result of my diagnosis, I had to a prescribed fertility drug called Clomid. Clomid forces your body to ovulate by stimulating the ovaries to release more than one egg. I was allowed three cycles of this drug, and if the drug didn’t work I would have to consider artificial insemination. Month one, two, and three passed. I took my last round of clomid so my husband and I discussed what we should do. At this time I was emotionally drained. I could not go another month trying to conceive and being let down. It was like every month I was mourning a child I never had. I told my husband that if this last round of Clomid didn’t work, then I am done trying to conceive and ready to accept my reality. I told myself that I should just be grateful for the family I already have.
On Father’s Day 2013, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wasn’t even late for my period but my gut told me to take the test. The results came back: positive!! My fourth child was on it’s way! I was so happy. My family would be complete. I became blessed with another child, a baby girl in February 2014. She completed my family tree. She was the last branch of strive for. Building my family was now complete. I look back and i am thankful for this hard time life. It opened me up to a path of well being, opened my eyes to my personal health, and the wellness of my family. The struggle to pregnancy truly made me focus on maintaining a high degree of health awareness and paying close attention to my body.
My journey of health and wellness began after my diagnosis of PCOS. During my pregnancy I researched and researched how to treat PCOS naturally. I knew this was something I would live with for long time and refused to succumb to the doctor’s recommendation of permanently putting me on birth control. During this time I also became aware of the side effects that go along with PCOS. One of them was becoming insulin resistant. I realized that i had all the symptoms that come with insulin resistance and as a results, I knew I had to address the issue. I researched diets that would help with insulin resistance and PCOS.
There is one diet that stuck out the most: “The Paleo Diet.” This particular diet is based off whole nutrient dense foods, organic fruits, vegetables, grass fed or pastured raised meats, free range chicken and eggs, as well as low glycemic complex carbs. In researching the Paleo diet, I realized it was perfect for my needs. I spent my entire pregnancy researching this Paleo lifestyle. I didn’t commit to the lifestyle when I was pregnant because I chose to take baby steps and focused on just eating clean. Two months after my daughter’s birth I was ready to take charge of my health and follow this Paleo lifestyle.
In my first year of going Paleo, I followed many Paleo bloggers, bought a ton of Paleo cookbooks, and listened to tons of podcasts. As a result of this diet, my sugar crashes became a thing of the past. I wasn’t hungry every two hours, my skin was flawless, and my breastfeeding baby was healthy. My daughter Delilah is seriously the healthiest baby I have! She had no colic, bowel movements were perfect, no spitting up, no rashes, and she was a bright, happy little baby.
My other kids always had some sort of issue ranging from skin rashes with eczema, colic, and spitting up all the time. My baby and I were looking really well and feeling just as good. I breastfed her for a year and half; so that meant my hormones were under control since I wasn’t getting a menstrual cycle. Hormonally and physically I was in the best moods that I had been in year. My hormonal roller coaster had calmed down.
Once I stopped breastfeeding my daughter, I decided to try and maintain a life-long Paleo lifestyle; but in a more manageable manner. I still missed some foods like rice, french fries, and bread. As a result, I decided to follow the 80/20 rule. This rule allows for you to eat non Paleo foods twenty percent of the time. I have been eating and following the 80/20 rule for the past year and a half. During my consumption of the twenty percent non Paleo foods, I generally seek gluten free options.
At about a year into my Paleo lifestyle, my five year old (at the time) daughter was experiencing many digestive problems and skin issues. I started to suspect that she may be allergic to foods. I became aware of the signs because I had been reading so much about my symptoms that I began to connect the dots. Once I became convinced that she had food intolerance’s, I made an appointment with her doctor for allergy testing. Luckily the pediatrician is great and ordered labs draws for my daughter Leila. From there, the doctor promised she would send my daughter to a specialist.
A few days later, my daughter’s blood results came in showing that she was allergic to a plethora of foods including: gluten, soy, peanuts, and shellfish. I was freaking out! We went to a specialist as promised and they did a skin patch test. That day it confirmed, Leila is extremely allergic to peanuts and shellfish. She had moderate allergic reactions to gluten and soy. The doctor advised that she could never have peanuts or shellfish and to remove them from her diet. As for gluten and soy, he advised to remove them and see how she does. So of course, like any freaked out mother, I went straight home and cleaned out the pantry removing those items from her diet.
Three weeks later, all her eczema cleared, her stomach aches ceased, and her bowel movements were normal. It was day and night for this little girl. Her poor little body had been battling the food we were feeding her this since birth. I felt so bad as a mother. I was thankful to have caught the issue and lucky enough to already know how to feed her new diet because she basically needed to be on the same lifestyle diet as myself. It’s been two years since she has been on a gluten free diet and she is happy little camper.
During this time of pursuing better health for myself and family, I also started to focus back on fitness. I wanted to get back into the gym and get into the best shape of my life. I had always enjoyed working out, so purchased my first gym membership at fifteen and have, for the most part, continuously owned a membership. Right before I had my last daughter in 2013, I was working with a personal trainer and I was in the best shape of my life. Ironically, I was not the healthiest. I did have muscles that made me proud.
I wanted to get back to my former self. So last year, in January 2016, I decided to become a Beachbody coach to help get myself back into shape, while at the same time help others achieve their goals as well. I wanted to encourage women to maintain a healthy lifestyle that included both exercise and diet. During the past year I ran multiple clean eating groups and monthly fitness challenges in small private groups on Facebook.
This year I began meal prepping my own food and started a workout routine that I committed to. Therefore I have loved every moment of this past year. I love helping women lose fat and build muscle, I love motivating them to reach their goals while at the same time sprinkle their lives with holistic wellness information, furthermore; I love helping other women live a healthier lifestyle. Living a holistic/ wellness lifestyle has helped myself and kids so much that I want to share it with anyone it can help.
This past year has made look even further into other areas of holistic living besides nutrition. I discovered a deep interest in yoga and decided that I want to teach it to the others so I became a certified yoga instructor. I also decided become a consultant for Beautycounter which is a company that sells high quality, safer, non-toxic, skin care, body care, and kids care lines. A company I happened to stumbled across Beautycounter in search of quality non toxic makeup and face care products. I was a hardcore MAC makeup fan for years. I also loved the face care line (Obagi) that I had used for years. However, I felt the need to change my makeup and personal care products. So I read a lot on hormonal health and became aware of everyday products we used are loaded tons of hormone disrupting toxins.
Having PCOS is a monthly on-going struggle to keep my hormones and cycles balanced, as well as keep the ovarian cysts away. So for myself, my reality is that I need to change everything in my life in order to keep the scales balanced in my favor without taking birth control pills. Beautycounter fit the mold for the makeup and care products that I needed in my life.
As I read the mission of the company I decided to become an independent consultant. I have loved teaching women about the awareness of toxins at my socials and in my private Facebook-Beautycounter group. I empower women by teaching them about the effect of toxic products and how they affect their bodies.
The mission of this wellness blog is to bring awareness to women’s health, the health of our families, and the future generations to come. I will help educate others in one area of topic to help them live a healthier lifestyle.
I want to share my journey in hopes of inspiring others to make a change in their lives: whether it be to safer products, weight lifting, yoga, or making new healthy recipes. Just by doing one or all of these things in your life, it will change your life for the better. I am here to help you achieve that. Every step of the way. I am still on my journey of fitness, I am learning the avenues of yoga, and I am in love with growing my Beautycounter business. I love cooking and making healthy meals for my family and I love running my small wellness groups. In this last year I have saw so many changes in my body. So why not share it? Join me on this wellness journey together. You have nothing to lose, and a healthier life to gain.