My health struggles

I’m about to get a little personal with you.  You cool with that?

It’s hard for me to share this because part of me feels like a failure.  

The perfectionist in me tells me I should have perfect health, but the reality is, I don’t.  

So here it goes.....

I’ve struggled with acne since I was a teenager.  

You might be thinking, “Well, acne...that’s no big deal”, right?  Wrong.  

As I’ve become more natural minded in my thinking about health I discovered that acne was actually my body waving a red flag and screaming, “SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT!”

Over the years I’ve created the perfect storm and imbalance.  Now almost 30 years later I’m working to straighten it out.


Growing up our diet was poor at best.  Lots of processed, sugary foods. We followed the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a T.

As a kid I was a frequent flyer in the doctor’s office for strep throat.  

One more strike and my tonsils were coming out.  This meant lots and lots and lots of antibiotics.  It got to the point that amoxicillin wouldn’t do anything anymore.  (except destroy my gut microbiome)

Fast forward to the teenager years.

Hormone changes led to painful, cystic acne covering my face, chest, and back.  

The solution? Birth control.

Then I left for college and the constant stress of schoolwork, excessive caffeine, a little alcohol, and terrible diet made my acne so bad that I was left no choice other than to see a dermatologist.  

She prescribed a lovely dose of daily antibiotics.

I took the antibiotics for 1 ½ years, but shortly after I stopped, the acne came back.  

Now I was at the “adult” point in my life.  I had a real job as an RN (working nights) and we had our first child. Two more kids followed a few years later. Translation... pretty sleep deprived.  

Thankfully, at this point we had began understanding the importance of eating wholesome, organic foods and were beginning to make the switch.


Disclaimer to the gents reading: The next section might be TMI for you so you might want to skip it.  Ladies, read on...I know you can relate.


In between pregnancies and breastfeeding my cycles were unbearable.  

I couldn’t function without a bottle of ibuprofen, yoga pants (because of the bloating), and heating pads because the cramps were so painful.  

Oh, and I was told I wasn’t the nicest person around. (probably an over exaggeration……..)

I no longer had acne on my chest or back which I attribute to cleaning up our act with our diet (eliminating processed foods, eating pastured, organic meats, milk, eggs etc) but my face still broke out terribly every month.

After refusing to take more antibiotics and more birth control I went and saw a Naturopathic Doctor.  

She is treating me for hormonal imbalance from adrenal fatigue and some underlying gut imbalances from all the antibiotics I had.


What is adrenal fatigue?

In very simple terms...adrenal fatigue occurs when your body is under a constant state of stress.  Motherhood anyone?

The adrenal glands (2 tiny glands that sit on top of the kidneys) are responsible for much of the hormone regulation in our body.  

In times of stress they are overstimulated and produce a constant stream of cortisol.  

Cortisol is like a big bully to the other hormones in your body.  

If cortisol is being produced the other ones that your body needs to function properly don’t get made in the appropriate amounts.

Things like alcohol, coffee, lack of sleep, stress can all add fuel to the fire and make adrenal fatigue worse.  Honestly, what mom doesn’t rely on coffee and wine and whose kids sleep all night?!

I was prescribed an Adrenal supplement that has lots of B vitamins and things like licorice root that soothe my tired little adrenal glands. I also work very hard at getting fermented foods in my diet to get healthy bacteria back in my gut.  

And of course it’s a no brainer that I must eat wholesome, chemical-free, hormone-free & antibiotic-free foods that we raise on our farm.


It’s been about 4 months since I’ve started my treatment and I’ve noticed a drastic improvement in my acne.

I no longer need ibuprofen, heating pads, or yoga pants.  And Tom very cautiously made the comment, “You didn’t even...get.... crabby....”

I always thought the pain, bloating, and mood swings were a normal part of being a woman.  They absolutely are not.  Read the Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried if you don’t believe me.

Our skin is a direct reflection of our health.  Things going on on the inside will be reflected on the outside.  

I need to be taking care of myself now to avoid more serious health problems later in life.


Maybe I’m the only frazzled mom out there who obviously can’t handle all the stress.  Maybe I’m not.

I used to think “Get over yourself...there are bigger problems in the world.  Slap on a little make up and get on with your day.”

But I’ve come to realize that this was the clue that I better pay attention to what’s really going on.  

And I've also come to realize that our bodies have an incredible ability to heal themselves if we give them what they need.


The Naturopath I saw was Dr. Jodi Kunkel from Between the Bridges Healing Center in Mankato and she’s going to be the guest speaker at one of our tours this summer!  

Dr. Kunkel will explain how the use of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals can be affecting your health. She'll teach you how to choose foods that can be used as fuel for your health and how to avoid foods that add to the development of disease.  

Please join us for a tour this summer, we'd love to see you at the farm!


What do you struggle with?  

Do you always feel tired?  Are you dealing with digestive issues?  Maybe you suffer from chronic pain.

Whatever you struggle with, it’s important to know that our bodies are amazing at letting us know if something isn’t right.  The question is….are you listening?

I’m listening!  I’d love to hear from you.  Shoot me an email with your struggles: sarah@naturespantry-farm.com


Can you relate to any of this?  Join the community at Nature's Pantry and we'll share with you more ways to overcome your health struggles with diet and natural remedies!