Hi. I’m Sarah. I am one of those weird people who truly loves vegetables. I wanted to share a little bit about who I am, and why I want to help couples ready to start families and take charge of their fertility destinies.
After high school I found myself at SAIT, getting a diploma in Cinema, Television, Stage and Radio, as well as playing a year for the Trojans Women's Volleyball Team.
Abruptly stopping all activity and sitting on a couch eating, I was diagnosed at 20 with an underactive Thyroid (and now believe could have been addressed with lifestyle changes, instead of a prescription pad).
At 25, I married the peas to my carrots and quickly found out what the hardship of infertility meant. I'll be the first to admit that what I was eating probably wasn't top-notch; having to commute over an hour to work left us with fast food and convenience pre-packaged foods more that I would like to admit. The manager at Tim Hortons near work knew my breakfast order by heart (extra-large mocha, no topping, double cup. 10 Timbits, half sour cream, half chocolate). I still cooked somewhat frequently, but it was the same dishes week after week. At least I was active, finding Roller Derby shortly after getting married.
I now know I could have done better. Way better.
After 5 years of on and off treatment, we decided to try the big guns – In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). After a successful egg harvest (too successful; being unable to do a fresh embryo transplant due to hyperstimulation), the embryos would be put into the freezer for storage and a later attempt. For an infertile couple, Peas and I were extremely lucky, and our first frozen embryo transfer resulted in “The Boss”. She was born with a condition called Craniosynostosis - a premature fusing of the sutures (plates) in her head. She had to have major surgery at 3 months old to remove a section of her skull approximately 5 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. I still wonder if it was something I did (or didn't do). Maybe the fertility medications. I don't think I'll ever know, but I'll always wonder if there was more I could have done.
Three years later, the second frozen embryo transfer resulted in “The VP of Operations”. Not once through any of our treatments did the subject of diet, nutrition, or other alternatives ever come up.
When reviewing thyroid medications (as a lot of people find out, Synthroid isn’t the answer), I had my endocrinologist order a full hormone panel. It was discovered that high testosterone was an issue. I was determined to discover how far back this could have gone untreated. I obtained lab reports as far back as I could and found that there were multiple lab results that were never seen, showing the elevated levels. The solution from my endocrinologist – Metformin – often prescribed off-label for PCOS/elevated testosterone treatment. After getting the go-ahead for a little time to research the medication, I started researching how diet and supplementation can be used to improve hormone levels.
Less than 3 months later, success! I was able to reduce my testosterone level by over a whole point putting me now back in the normal range (one of the few times I was glad to be normal!). This was done with food, supplement and lifestyle changes, and it also started me on my path to helping people through nutrition.
In February 2018, I obtained my Diploma in Holistic Nutrition, First Class Honours from The Edison Institute of Nutrition. I also hold a Precision Nutrition Level One Certification as well as an Advanced Child and Brain Development Nutritional Advisor certificate from The Health Sciences Academy. I also am board certified with the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.
Most recently I battled a psoriasis treatment with digestive enzymes (over topical cortisone steroids that would contribute to thinning of my skin). I'm constantly experimenting to see what works for my body as I *gulp* age.
I am an active advocate to get IVF treatment publicly funded in Alberta and am always willing to share our experience – if what I went through helps just one person; I believe we can all make a difference by telling our stories. I LOVE to read, and usually have multiple books on the go. I still sometimes have to fight to get my kids to eat dinner (they are learning that Mom does not make gross food…and that it tastes better warm). I love the fact that I now get paid to talk about poop. I live outside of Wainwright, Alberta with my husband and two daughters. Along with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 19 chickens and a tambourine.
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."
- Art Williams