Laura Wigglesworth, MS, CNS is a graduate of the Maryland University of Integrative Health. As a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist, Laura has worked as a health educator with Inova and at a local weight loss center. Currently, Laura is a graduate teaching assistant at Maryland University of Integrative Health with a focus on cooking. A self-proclaimed foodie and cooking enthusiast for most of her life, she only learned how to truly eat for maximum health in the last few years. She also knows that she is continually learning.
Laura was not born with a natural inclination toward healthy living. Like most, she was raised on the Standard American Diet (SAD). Food was never scarce, family dinners were commonplace, and while food encompassed all celebrations, it was also viewed as something to be concerned about.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1991, Laura worked in the accounting and finance industry and traveled extensively. It was during this period that she discovered her passion for cooking. She survived long days in the office by planning what she'd make for dinner which was often inspired from a recent excursion. After her first son was born, Laura chose to stay home and raise him along with her two daughters that soon followed. Her love for cooking grew and she used her spare time to perfect her skills and learn new techniques. The greatest impact on her during these years was spending hours on sports fields and at school events where she became intrigued by the different kinds of relationships people had with their food. She realized this relationship informs every aspect of a person's mental, physical and emotional health. This knowledge would eventually prove critical after Laura became extremely sick in 2012, and eventually was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease; she spent the next five years struggling with constant physical and mental pain. There are letters in her drawer today that are sealed with the words “To be opened on my death.”
For more than two years, Laura took handfuls of colorful antibiotics and supplements each day in an attempt to combat the disease that ravaged her body. While these pills never took all the pain away, they brought stability back to her life. Unfortunately, they also caused her GI system much distress. Food, which had always brought Laura so much joy, was now a source of pain. At first she was angry, but soon Laura realized that she could eat to heal herself. As she changed her diet and lifestyle, her lingering Lyme symptoms slowly started to disappear. She describes the experience as “falling into the biggest black hole that I could possibly imagine and crawling out by my fingernails.”
While she would not wish the experience on anyone, Laura knows that ultimately, it transformed her life for the better. Laura has an instant connection with those who suffer from physical or mental ailments and those who are simply trying to better their lives by healthier eating.
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