This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Winged Woman, Whitney Shook, NTP of Rooted In Healing.
Hi Whitney, please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Whitney. I’m a Feminist Holistic Nutritional Therapist & blogger who helps women overcome autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle changes. Having an autoimmune disease can be so lonely and most women don’t realize their illness is not only manageable, but oftentimes reversible. I’ve been able to help many folks come off their medication and get rid of their symptoms altogether through 1:1 and group coaching programs.
What inspired you to become a Holistic Nutritional Therapist?
My passion for nutrition began after I found my hair falling out in patches. It turned out I had something called alopecia areata, a disease you get when your body attacks your hair follicles. I went to doctor, after doctor, after doctor, and no one seemed to understand why it developed. They shrugged their shoulders, said it was likely caused by stress then told me I should get steroid injections and see a therapist.
I was so confused that multiple doctors wanted to give me a topical solution for what was clearly an internal problem. My combined heartache and curiosity got the best of me and I began diving into research on autoimmunity. I learned my body was attacking itself because of systemic inflammation and something called ‘leaky gut.’ The good news was, I had read testimonials from folks who were able to reverse their autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle changes, so I decided to give it a try.
In one week I went from being a vegan for 10 years to being on a paleo diet. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but after a few weeks I started noticing my hair was growing back. My body was getting the fuel and nourishment it needed to heal me. I wanted to spread the word and teach others how they could heal, too, so I went back to school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
What would be your number one piece of advice for someone struggling with autoimmune disease?
Oh boy, I think my number one piece of advice would be to question everything and have confidence in asking. It’s so important that patients are seen as the center of their care team but that gets lost in a lot of conventional settings. Show up to every appointment prepared and get opinions until you find one that resonates with you. It can be a very discouraging road but if you show up empowered and ready to fight yourself, you can and will get to a better place.
I also highly recommend finding a health partner, like me, to help you ask the right questions and fiercely support you as you navigate healing.
What has your biggest challenge been in dealing with autoimmune disease? How have you overcome this and how has it impacted your career?
I think my biggest challenge with autoimmunity has been navigating relationships. I changed a lot once I began to focus on healing. Folks were used to me going with the flow, not advocating for myself, and putting others needs before my own. It was a big shift when I became unwavering about avoiding things that didn’t support me feeling well. Many thought my self preservation was selfish, and I let them. The ones who benefit from you being a pushover are the ones who have the hardest time with you putting your needs first.
I showed up for myself one day at a time. I let go of the things that weren’t serving my healing journey and that was really hard at first, but ultimately helped me release a lot of relationships that were one-sided. In doing so, I’ve been able to blossom in ways I never knew were possible. Amazing things happen when you start to trust and value yourself, and that’s exactly what led me to this career path in my early 30’s.
What makes you a Winged Woman?
My unwavering commitment to helping women show up for themselves.
Lastly, what’s one thing you would say to your younger self if you could?
Your darkest days all have a purpose and will lead you to your life’s work.
Thank you so much, Whitney Shook, for sharing what makes you a Winged Woman and how you’re helping women reverse autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle changes. To learn more about Whitney and Rooted In Healing follow @rooted.in.healing.