Hey, I'm Ryan!
I'm a Health Coach, entrepreneur, and Paleo advocate from Toronto, Canada.
If you're wondering what lead me to start my journey into the wellness world, then my story begins here...
Back in 2014 I was suffering from chronic sinusitis and digestive problems. Unfortunately, sinus issues run in my family, and well it appeared I was part of the generation that it didn't skip (lucky me). From seasonal allergies to changes in the weather to flying, you name it and my sinuses didn't like it!
In August of 2014, I had a career change. While I was still in the same field, I was now working for a new company and found myself travelling a lot more than I had been previously. I was not eating at consistent times, or even consistently for that matter, and found myself eating in my car quite often and going through drive-thrus while on the road.
Now, I've always had sensitive stomach, but in recent years I started to notice that certain foods were beginning to disagree with my digestive system that never used to. Not only that, but I found myself becoming more fatigued and lacked the energy I once had. As we age our energy levels will change, but I was only 27 at the time!
My sinus headaches went from occasional to frequent, sometimes lasting 16 hours and felt like a migraine in terms of the severity. Even when they weren't as severe, I still had a dull headache and pressure behind my eyes almost daily. I was taking anywhere from 1 to 3 over-the-counter sinus pills A DAY!
These medications provided temporary relief and were merely a bandaid, only treating the symptoms and not the underlying cause of my issues. I didn't know else to do, but I knew the answer wasn't going to be found in a bottle of medication. Continuous use of anti-inflammatory medications can not only cause your body to build up an immunity to them, rendering them less effective, but can potentially be detrimental to your liver and kidneys.
"I didn't know what else to do... but I knew the answer wasn't going to be found in a bottle of medication."
What Happened Next?
I began researching alternative treatments for sinus pain/pressure and digestive issues. I was desperate. My top priority was to fix my digestive issues and reduce my chronic sinusitis. I read online about several different alternative medicine treatments that MAY help, but I wasn't willing to wait to find out so I decided to throw everything at the wall and see what stuck, figuratively speaking. Within the next few weeks I started trying massage therapy, receiving chiropractic adjustments, as well as attending a naturopathic doctor for acupuncture treatments. Desperate times called for desperate measures!
After I started seeing a naturopathic doctor and explaining to her the issues I was experiencing, she suggested that I may have a food intolerance that could not only be causing my digestive issues, but sinus problems as well! Say what? A food intolerance, unlike a food allergy, means that you can still eat specific foods without having a severe reaction to them, however your body may have a hard time processing these types of foods. I opted to take a Food Sensitivity and Intolerance test, also known as an IgG test - a blood test that looks for food intolerances. A few days later the results came back and it turns out I had a HIGH sensitivity to wheat and dairy.
Go figure, two of the food groups that I consumed the most on a daily basis could literally be causing me pain from the inside out. It was conflicting news for me though because part of me was elated to know that I may have discovered the answer to my problems, however the other part of me couldn't help but think What Am I Going To Eat?!
The reality is that the majority of foods that we eat today contain gluten, wheat or dairy. For those of us that work long hours, it's often more convenient to grab takeout on the way home. Unfortunately, this means we're consuming highly processed food and the majority of these options contain wheat (pizza, burgers, sandwiches, breaded chicken). If I was going to commit to cutting wheat from my diet I needed to meal prep and cook my OWN food. With the help of Google and searching for recipes that do not contain wheat or dairy, I discovered the Paleo diet.
Did It Work?
It has been over 2 years since I started my journey toward a Paleo lifestyle, and though there have been challenges along the way, I can say that today I have seen an 80-85% reduction in my sinus headaches and a significant change in my digestive health.
My social life has improved as I am no longer stuck at home with sinus pain and an ice pack, while friends and family are out enjoying life. I am able to say YES to going out for dinner more often, knowing what to order on the menu, and not having to worry that my meal is going to cause me digestive discomfort or cut my evening short.
I have discovered a new passion for food and wellness that I never realized before. I guess I should be thanking my sinusitis now?
My passion for Paleo and wellness has led me to becoming a Health Coach and starting my own business. In 2019, I enrolled in the Primal Health Coach Institute to obtain my health coach certification. The knowledge I now possess allowed me to make a massive health change in my life, and I knew that I wanted to help others do the exact same.