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When we were creating our coaching programs we knew we wanted to develop something that combined clinical nutrition and functional medicine with something that other coaches and medical practitioners weren't offering. Something that helped our clients and patients to navigate not only the physical aspects of their illness but the psychological and relational aspects of their lives as a whole.

Functional medicine as a practice is one of the most powerful tools we know of in terms of getting to the roots of our physical challenges. However, our experience is that the most profound healing comes from addressing both physical and emotional stressors without neglecting the other. Most of the people we've met and worked with who suffer from chronic conditions face a great complexity of emotional challenges as well. We found that the majority of life coaches we know had no background in medical sciences and that the majority of functional nutritionists focus almost entirely on food and lifestyle modification, without addressing the inner story and personal truths that add to our stress burden. We aim to address both. 

What is "Functional Medicine?"

Admittedly, we have yet to hear a definition of functional medicine that does the practice any justice. It might be considered the brainchild of evidence-based and integrative medicine. To our mind, it is an effective branch of what is commonly referred to as "precision medicine" in the medical community. In other words, it's tailored to the individual, rather than the illness, and so addressing the root causes for two people with the same condition may look very different.
We think in terms of the relationships between systems. We dive into exploring each individual's complex physiology and pathology, and look "upstream," to discover whether our perceived "root causes" may themselves be symptoms, instead. Have you ever been frustrated, for example, that you have to see two different specialists for digestive issues and joint pain? Functional medicine aims to understand how those are connected and what to do about it.

In functional nutrition, we focus not just on what you eat, but on the question: "What's going on in there?" That way, we can get a better idea of what our bodies are able to do with what we eat, and how to improve our digestion, elimination, and neuroendocrine function. Excitingly, these things can have a huge impact on our energy, immune system, mood, cognitive function, sleep quality, joints, skin, and general sense of well-being. 

Physicians that specialize in functional medicine can often get an excellent bird's eye view of our physical health and how to improve it. They are well-equipped to address autoimmune conditions and lifestyle diseases as a whole. Nevertheless, they are typically very busy and simply don't have the time to guide you as you navigate the steps towards improving your condition and living a healthier, more fulfilling life. That is where a functional nutritionist comes in. 

I created Indomitable Spirit and became the person
and coach that I am today because I've walked this road,
myself. I have been bed and housebound,
and at times utterly crippled by fatigue and pain. 
I know the challenges of post-exertional malaise (PEM),
brain fog, fibromyalgia, post orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), cluster headaches, a depleted immune system, and limited ability to communicate the sheer extent of my “invisible” illness to others. 


I grew up in Namibia and South Africa.
Despite being healthy and active most of my life,
I fell ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) /
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) when I was nineteen years old. 
For about a decade, there were long periods of time when I was bed, house, and wheelchair-bound.


Determined to get better, 
I eventually discovered that functional medicine, nutrition,
and deep self-work helped me to improve and recover over time. 
I was so successful that despite being severely ill when I started,
I was eventually well enough to return to a physically demanding
full-time job.

In time, I was able to run five to ten miles, most days. Or cycle eighteen miles to work. This gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. For four and a half wonderful years, I felt that I had overcome 'the beast.' 


But in March of 2020, I caught covid and did not fully recover. 

As I turned back to functional nutrition, I felt myself return to center.
Over time, the bulk of my symptoms receded. My energy slowly started
to return, and I was less drained by physical and mental activity. 


I now consider myself a work-in-progress. I know how to return to health and well-being, but more importantly, I hold great store in the value of rest, radical self-care, and surrender. I’ve learned to navigate the inevitable feelings of loneliness, self-pity, and frustration, that can come with illnesses like these. 

I have a master-coach certification as a health and life coach, strategic interventionist, and functional nutrition counsellor. I am adding a degree
in public health to my skill set because I recognize that our healthcare systems need a change, and in order for many of us to get the support we need, social health reform is needed. Especially in the face of climate change, social inequities, and exponential human population growth.


I encourage everyone to make their own decisions and happily work with people who choose to eat meat. I specialize in plant-based nutrition, autoimmune conditions, and multiple food sensitivities because that is what has worked for me. I believe that a plant-based diet is a powerful needle-mover in terms of personal recovery. For anyone who may be concerned about this, please rest assured that I value and uphold your personal agency over what and how you eat, at all times. This is a judgement-free zone.

I live in Bellingham, Washington, in the USA, with my dogs, Malaika and Akiko.


Getting to Know Cat

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