Welcome! I’m Carrie Forrest, MBA, MPH in Nutrition, and I’m the creator of this website, Clean Eating Kitchen.
If you’re looking to feel healthier or address a chronic health concern using real food and a balanced lifestyle, then you’ve come to the right place.
I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed with health issues and not know where to start. I hope I can help.
My Health Problems Started Early:
The first few years of my life were stable, but then my dad’s financial bankruptcy turned my childhood upside down. My parents were in chronic stress and our lives were a disaster. I lived with my aunt and uncle for about a year before moving from Oklahoma to California to be with my parents and younger sister. For most of my childhood and adolescence, we lived around the poverty line. I ate mostly processed foods, and turned to sugar binges to manage my own stress and lack of stability in my home life.
I didn’t understand the connection between food and health until decades later and after I had developed a laundry list of health issues, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and then thyroid cancer. Some of my other health struggles have included:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Chronic migraines
- Weight problems and fatigue
- Irritable bowel disorder
- Eating disorders
- Allergies and food intolerances
- Anxiety and panic attacks
It seems pretty overwhelming looking at that list, but I know so many other people are suffering, too. If you’re feeling down because of an endless list of issues, I can honestly say that I know what that feels like.
My Health Journey:
I finally started to understand the connection between food and health after seeing the movie Super Size Me, the one where the guy eats McDonald’s for 30 days. I was so inspired by this movie that I went back to school to study nutrition.
By that time, I had moved away from home, finished college, and had met a wonderful, stable man who later became my husband. I worked full-time and later earned a scholarship to attend graduate school, but this busy pace of life exacerbated the health issues I had been set up for earlier in life.
By this time, I was in my late 20s and I was really looking for a magic bullet to help me with my chronic panic attacks, migraines, fatigue, weight gain, and lack of a menstrual cycle. I saw Alicia Silverstone on the Oprah show talking about her new vegan book. I grabbed a copy, thinking that maybe a plant-based diet was the key.
I took things too far by jumping on the super-strict vegan bandwagon, thinking that this diet would be the answer to all my health problems. While I benefited from adding more vegetables to my diet, I ultimately decided that such a strict diet was not supportive to my mental or physical health (you can read more about the specifics of what happened here).
At this point, I am gluten-free and dairy-free, and follow what I like to call a “clean eating approach.” While I still have to respect my ongoing food sensitivities, I eat lots of fruits and vegetables with animal protein, without consuming dairy or gluten. I try to avoid refined sugars as well. I include some grains and legumes when my health tolerates them.
Where I Am Now:
It took a lot of self-growth and help from other health specialists to let go of my guilt and fear around my food choices. The struggle was worth it because my disordered eating patterns have been put to rest and I now feel healthy, strong, and vibrant most of the time. I can’t describe how wonderful it is to not obsess about food anymore.
Thankfully, I am over 5 years cancer-free and my PCOS, migraines, anxiety, IBS, and allergies are under control and hardly bother me at all. I hope my story inspires you to take control over your health and realize that you are capable of healing and feeling better. I hope I can show you how!
My goal is to inspire and inform your health journey, so that you feel strong and vibrant. I do that by sharing recipes and resources, along with my podcast, blog posts, weekly newsletter, and community.
My professional background is in non-profit healthcare fundraising and product marketing. I have masters degrees in business administration from the University of Southern California and in public health (nutrition) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
I’ve been honored to be an invited panelist at the BlogHer Main and Food Conferences in 2013 and 2014, as well as the Women’s Conference hosted by the Motion Picture Television Fund in August, 2018.
If you run into any issues or have questions, just ask! I can be reached through e-mail: carrieATcleaneatingkitchenDOTcom,
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