When I first came across Carly Hicks and read about the journey she has been on I reached out immediately to see if I could interview her. Carly’s story about self-healing from chronic illness is exactly what I love to share with you all.
I hope you find her story as inspirational as I do and that it encourages you to continue on your own journey of self-healing. Carly and I both hope that you enjoy this interview as much as we have loved sharing it with you.
For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to tell us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now?
My name is Carly Hicks, or you may know me as Holistic Life.
I created my website Holistic Life in 2014 after I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Gastritis two years prior. It was a space for me to share my journey with chronic illness and I hoped to inspire others to look after their body through food and lifestyle changes. I never thought I would be connecting with people all over the world, sharing their stories with chronic illness and having a space where others could feel supported in such a dark time in their life.
Chronic illness can be hard and I wanted my space to help others to not go through the journey alone. Together we can support each other and help each other rise up above chronic illness.
Can you tell us how your Autoimmune Disorder made you feel physically and emotionally, as well as how it impacted your life?
I lost my grandmother who was the light of my life a week before my 24th birthday and exactly a month later my body shut down. I started experiencing memory loss, was unable to gain weight, extreme chronic fatigue, paralysis to my right side, light sensitivity, and I was only about to digest 4-6 foods without my symptoms intensifying, or being in extreme pain in my stomach. I was bounced around from so many doctors and specialists, all of whom really had no clue what was going on until I finally found an amazing Naturopath who put me through for an endoscopy where they picked up Autoimmune Gastritis, Helico Bactor and B12 deficiency. I was also tested for MTHFR which came back positive, as well as Pyrolle disorder. It was a lot to take in at the time and I really had no clue what it all meant, but I was grateful I had an amazing Naturopath who I worked with to slowly get my health back on track.
I was only 24 at the time and not having the energy to do anything, whilst my friends and partner were leading the life I used to live was hard. I just had to take it day by day. I found that gradually each day would get better and it allowed me to look at my life from a different angle. I was able to become more aligned with myself and let go of certain situations and people who didn’t have my best interest at heart.
The last four years have given me the biggest gift … my self worth. It was a long slow process with regaining my health, but one I wouldn’t trade for a second. My disease brought me closer to myself and I’m forever grateful for that.
You talk a lot about how you were able to heal the damage done to your mind and spirit, and that you were able to halt the symptoms of your Autoimmune Disorder through natural remedies, healthy eating and a lot of self love and self care. Can you tell us a little bit more about what this journey looked like for you?
To start off with it was a low salicylate diet which was only 4-6 foods for approx 12 months. From there I slowly introduced certain herbs to help heal and seal my gut, as well as a lot of vitamin supplementation because I was so deficient in practically everything. Once my body slowly started to allow more foods into my diet I transferred over to the Autoimmune Paleo portocol, and from there I discovered I had a love of cooking and creating new dishes. I found being in the kitchen helped me lower the anxiety and stress associated with my illness, plus my creative side kicked in and I found I had such a passion for it that my passion became my purpose.
I then started to incorporate daily meditation and more time in nature. These then allowed me to practice more mindfulness in my life. It’s amazing once we start to quiet the mind, and come back to ourselves, how much our life starts to flow and we stop resisting what we really desire.
I know that you followed the Autoimmune Protocol Diet during this time. I’d love for you to share more about what this is and how it made a big impact on your health.
I first started on a low salicylate diet for the first 12months of my healing because my gut was so damaged, and my nervous system was reacting to everything. From there I incorporated my healing protocol to the AIP and found that I was making leaps and bounds, because the AIP protocol allows the body to basically reset itself.
The AIP protocol is amazing for anyone with chronic illness, Autoimmune Disorders, Allergies or any form of inflammation in the body.
I’ve had such success with the AIP that I’m in the process of creating my own AIP cookbook and meal plan. It’s in the works as we speak!
What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?
The number one tip that worked for me is to always follow your intuition. You know deep down what is going on and the more space you give yourself to tap into that, the quicker you will get to the root cause of the issue and treat it. Our body knows exactly what it needs to heal and the quicker we allow ourselves time to listen, then the quicker we start to heal.
Always listen to that inner voice, your intuition will never steer you wrong.
If you could give those starting out on their own healing journey one piece of advice what would it be?
It’s hard to give just one!
I would say to always follow what lights you up, because when your soul is happy your life will flow with ease and grace.
Never be ashamed to do what makes you feel good no matter what others think. We only have one life to live so live this life for you, and only you.
What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?
I light up when I talk about health, and that’s why I decided to study a Bachelor of Health Science to become a qualified Naturopath. My passion is teaching children and parents the importance of nourishing our bodies from within with quality food, so that future generations won’t have to suffer through the growing rise of chronic illness.
I get a lot of inspiration from my nieces and nephews. They truly teach me that the importance of life is to laugh and not take things so seriously. We can learn a lot from the way children view the world.
And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?
To follow me on my journey with healing chronic illness you can find me over at http://www.myholisticlife.com.au/
I also share recipes catered to food intolerance, as well including gluten free, dairy free, and grain free meals.
Being diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disorder at 24 helped Carly find her passion for creating healthy recipes, her love of natural remedies to heal the body, and how the importance of living a healthy lifestyle has allowed to heal from within. She’s a Naturopath in the making and now on a mission to help show others how to take control of their health through healthy food choices and lifestyle changes. If you suffer from food intolerance’s, looking to get that spark back in your life, or just looking for some tasty nourishing meals, then Carly has you covered.