“I had almost no energy. I slept as much as I could. If I overdid it – tried to live what is normal for other people – I’d get flu like symptoms.
Aches, fevers, my skin hurt to touch. It hurt to comb my hair. I could hardly move because my muscles ached so much.”
This is the second story in our series on women and health. We, here at HBP, are so inspired by the women who share their stories with us. They give us a glimpse into their lives and illnesses and what they learned that helped them to get better.
In every situation, the women took a holistic approach to combating illness – from changing their eating habits to learning yoga. As a beauty site, we ask women how their personal care products come into the health and wellness equation.
In each story, you’ll see women who are choosing to lessen or completely remove mainstream beauty products from their routines in favor of products with a mostly botanical base.
We aren’t a medical site and we aren’t “prescribing” anything by covering these stories. What we are hoping, however, if that if you see your symptoms in any of these very personal accounts, you’ll begin to ask the right questions and seek out answers that will lead to your highest health.
Lauren Brooke, 39, is the creator of Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques, a natural boutique line of makeup that offers an alternative from your usual mineral makeup line. With cream foundations and concealers that match the performance of any luxury brand, and beautiful blushes, eye and lip colors, Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques is poised to become great.
But this article isn’t about her brand, per se. Nor is it in any way a sponsored post. This is Lauren sharing her story.
Lauren: I was 23 when I first started having health problems. I had my three sons who were all under the age of five. I was a stay-at-home mom with a body that was shutting down from toxicity. It was horrible. I had these three little boys and I was so sick. I’d wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed.
HBP: What were your symptoms?
Lauren: I had almost no energy. I slept as much as I could. If I overdid it – tried to live what is normal for other people – I’d get flu like symptoms. Aches, fevers, my skin hurt to touch. It hurt to comb my hair. I could hardly move because my muscles ached so much. And I’d get Migraines frequently. I was in bed for days if I overdid it.
HBP: I can imagine that would have psychological effects, as well. Here you were this young woman with a young family trying to do normal activities and your body is not allowing you to.
Lauren: It was awful. I was really depressed. The doctor put me on antidepressants, but they didn’t really work. Adding to the frustration was the way others couldn’t see my illness. I didn’t have a broken leg or sores all over my body. If you’re in a wheelchair, people can see it. Even my husband didn’t understand. I remember my neighbor asking me to watch her kids while she was in school. I couldn’t do it. I felt stupid because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and get over it. And worst, there didn’t seem to be anything that triggered it, but I now know I was overdoing it for the toxicity level of my body. Toxicity does a lot to the system to pull it down and depress it. You just can’t feel good when your body’s not working right.
HBP: Did doctors know what was wrong with you?
Lauren: Doctors weren’t really sure. They thought I had what they were calling, “The Yuppie Flu.”
HBP: What is that? It sounds condescending, like it’s something in your head instead of a real problem.
Lauren: It’s what doctors called Fibromyalgia back then. They didn’t have the name for it yet. So they told me I had The Yuppie Flu. And then they said there was little they could do to help me.
HBP: So they give you this weird diagnosis and then say, “But we can’t do anything about it.”
Lauren: Exactly. I had to do my own research to figure out how to make myself well. It took me about ten years of research to figure out what to do. I had nothing to go on with Western medicine. I started researching Chinese and Native American medicines and essential oils. And step by step, I started to feel better – until ten years later, I felt fine. I didn’t have to take naps and I had more energy. Each time I learned something and did it, I felt a little bit better.
HBP: Where were you getting information from? How were you learning about the different things to incorporate to get better?
Lauren: I was reading everything I could get my hands on – books from the library and websites. I did a lot of Ayervadic medicines. And as I said, Chinese and Native American medicines played a part, too. It was a holistic approach that wasn’t so popular here in the states back then. We’re starting to explore it more now.
HBP: What were some of the things that made you feel better?
Lauren: I stopped eating meat. My body would feel sluggish after eating meat, so I cut it out. It wasn’t working for me. I took out the whites – rice, sugar and flour. I have gone vegetarian. I used essential oils for illness instead of a pill for everything. And as I got the energy, I enrolled in esthetician’s school. There I met a formulator who was making an all natural beauty line. I was intrigued by that.
Lauren: Because I was beginning to question the safety of traditional skincare and makeup. I was questioning everything trying to figure out what my body needed. And the idea of making something that offers other women a choice not to use toxic makeup was intriguing to me. I started researching that. It took me a few years, but I learned how to make natural products and I began putting together my line.
HBP: So you saw natural personal care items as part of the overall equation to taking better care of your body and getting the toxins out?
HBP: How would you describe your health now?
Lauren: It’s great. I have lots of energy now. My boys are 12, 13, and 16 and I can keep up with them. It’s wonderful. I run a business and I have my family. I get tired, like the other night I got home at 1:30 AM and I was tired, but it was nothing like it used to be. I know fatigue versus tired. It’s wonderful to be tired.
HBP: When was the last time you saw your family physician?
Lauren: We don’t have one (laughing). We’ve been really healthy because we’re doing things that are healthy for our bodies. I have a certification as a home and family herbalist, so when small illnesses, like colds, arise, I know what to do.
If you’ve got a wellness story to share, we’d love to hear it. Contact us at info AT healthybeautyproject.com