Hi, there! I’m Crystal. I’m a best-selling author and speaker. I’m also a Certified Health Coach, Certified Life Coach, and Certified Color Analyst. That’s a mouthful! Put more simply, I’m passionate about helping others who are facing the challenges I’ve faced in my own life… specifically gastroparesis, anxiety, and body image issues.
A little background…
I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003 with a degree in Sociology. After a semester at the New York Film Academy, I thought I’d end up in Hollywood, writing scripts for the big screen. A gastroparesis diagnosis in 2004 changed that plan and many others. By 2008, I was unemployed, malnourished, anxious, and very overwhelmed. Between weekly ER visits and month-long trips to the Mayo Clinic, it was a long way from the life I’d imagined!
In 2009, I decided to enroll in a Health Coaching and Holistic Nutrition program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I started classes the week after I had a gastric neurostimulator surgically implanted to alleviate the symptoms of gastroparesis. My only goal was to be able to “coach” myself back to some semblance of a normal life.
Soon I started blogging, in an effort to share what I was learning and the difference it was making in my life. One year later, I graduated as a Certified Health Coach and I also found myself with a good number of blog readers, many of whom started asking me to coach them.
As the people I coached noticed improvements in their well-being, word spread and I gained more blog readers. I started to receive the same questions over and over and so I decided to write a book to answer their questions more efficiently. I self-published my first book, Eating for Gastroparesis, in 2010 (a new edition was published in 2014). My second book, Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis, was published in 2011 and became a best-seller on Amazon.
In the past seven years, I’ve worked directly with hundreds of people with gastroparesis and talked with thousands more via email and social media. It has been an incredible blessing to provide people not just with information and guidance but also with hope during what is often a very scary time.
In 2016, twelve years after the original diagnosis, my own gastric emptying normalized and nearly all of my gastroparesis symptoms resolved. My gastric neurostimulator was turned off in November 2016 and I no longer take any medication or follow a “gastroparesis-friendly” diet. It was a long road but I am so grateful to be where I am today.
After over a decade of being personally and professionally enmeshed with gastroparesis, I decided to expand the focus of my work… personally and professionally. Anxiety and body image struggles were constant sources of pain in my life long before I ever received a GI diagnosis. I was finally forced to face these things head-on, however, during my experience with gastroparesis and I believe that doing so played a role in my eventual recovery.
In 2016, I trained with psychologist Amy Johnson and became a Certified Life Coach, specializing in anxiety and body image issues. To round out my training, in 2017, I became a Certified Color Analyst and I now use all of my training to provide guidance to women who want to feel better about themselves inside and out… exactly as they are.
My life and my work have always been intertwined, so it feels appropriate to share a few personal details here. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Ray, for 10 years. We have one bright, spirited, hysterical five-year-old daughter, whom we homeschool. She’s my constant inspiration and reminder that every body is perfect.
Lily has multiple severe food allergies and I am proud to say that I have learned how to make a variety of dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, gluten-free treats… that actually taste like TREATS.
In addition to gastroparesis, which I suppose I don’t even really have anymore, I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – Type III (hypermobility type). I was diagnosed with this condition three years after Lily was born, as the symptoms flared up significantly after giving birth. It’s something I’m currently addressing through yoga, MELT Method and Yoga Tune Up exercises, massage, and physical therapy. Story developing…stay tuned!