Growing up in Iceland in the 70’s, I had the great fortune of basically living organic, well at least up until my teens. Fresh fish from the Atlantic and lamb meat from lambs that ran around free in the mountains of Iceland was standard. Fruits and vegetables were eaten seasonally and were pesticide free. We would play outside all day, steal fresh rhubarb (still remember the sour sweet taste in my mouth) from the neighbors garden, and eat it right away to delete all evidence. In the summer I would go to what we call “school gardens” where I was taught how to grow my own potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes and so much more. In the fall we would go to “berjamó” to pick wild blueberries and eat until our whole mouths were blue. We had no tv, well it was only in the evenings for grown ups, and not at all on Thursdays or the whole month of July. There were no Oreo cookies, Cheetos, or doritos. Looking back I am so thankful.
Compared to my children growing up today, it was easy being healthy. Now it can honestly be really difficult to feed your child healthy foods, and with childhood obesity, diabetes, and autoimmunity disorders on the rise, it is really difficult for me to watch and not do anything to try to help. Did you know that in some countries life expectancy is actually on a decline? That really means in some countries babies that are born today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. All are a result of our life style. Those are really terrifying and sad statistics.
Unfortunately I did not stay healthy. The teenage years came and in the eighties Iceland, too, got flooded with all kinds of sugary candies, cookies, cereals like Bo berry, Lucky Charms, and co. I fell deep into it all, resulting in acne, IBS, tooth decays, frequent colds and minor illnesses.
The 90s came and I was in my twenties studying cardiopulmonary science in the University of Texas. It was all about trying to stay slim by eating all the “fat free” and “sugar free” food I could get my hands on. I wish I knew then that it was basically feeding my body a “chemical shitstorm.” I also became a vegetarian but ironically completely stayed away from vegetables. Still, somehow, I did not connect my bad acne, IBS, migraines and all my other issues to my eating habits- after all I was a vegetarian eating a fat and sugar free diet.
While earning my Bachelor of Science degree from UTSA Health Science Center in Texas, I met my German husband, best friend, and soulmate. After graduating, I moved with him to Germany, where I later went to midwife school. I was finally where I wanted to be, to me being a midwife is more a calling than work, I absolutely love my work, and feel privileged to get to help my clients go through pregnancy, birth, and the first months there after.
However, I still struggled with my health. When I got pregnant for the first time my acne turned into a painful cystic acne, I had bad digestion problems, and really bad headaches. My beautiful daughter was still born at 33 weeks. Something that I thought could not happen to us, did. Now 18 years later, even though I have come to terms with what happened, and I love my life how it is today, the loss still hurts.
I was fortunate enough to become pregnant again soon after, but the pregnancy was difficult. Being high risk this time, I got screened for gestational diabetes (this was not standard screening at that time in Germany) and the diagnosis was there: high risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes, frequent vaginal bleedings, and premature labor ended the pregnancy at 35 weeks with a C – section. Our baby boy was born healthy and that was all that mattered. Two years later we were blessed with another baby boy and I was blessed with a successful VBAC.
In my work it became my mission to help women to work towards a successful VBAC and supporting women who were going through pregnancy after a loss. I also became more and more interested in real clean food, healthy eating and the connection of a healthy lifestyle to a healthy pregnancy.
My husband’s work took us to New Mexico, where I worked as a labour and post partum doula, taught childbirth education classes, and post partum exercise classes. I devoted my self to learning everything about nutrition, reading every book I got on the subject (and there are many out there), and completely changing my lifestyle. I stopped drinking soda, reduced sugar and processed food, but more importantly added the healthy fresh organic foods, similar to my childhood, back into my diet. The results were nothing short of amazing, my acne disappeared as did my IBS , Migraines, and also the kilos fell off without any effort. On top of all this the most amazing thing that happened was that I became pregnant again and this time over 40. With my previous history, this pregnancy could have been a recipe for disaster but against all odds, it turned out to be my easiest pregnancy: first time without any complications, no diabetes this time, no vaginal bleeding, no premature labour. I felt healthier than ever before and ended up giving birth naturally to the healthiest and most beautiful baby boy- without any complications.
Now our family is living in Spain and I’ve finally got a degree in nutritional counseling. Along with my education, work experience, as well as my own personal journey, I am so happy to be able to help women to feel strong and confident in their own body, experience a healthy pregnancy, and prepare them for a beautiful birth the first months thereafter.
It is not only my passion but also my honor to guide women through a beautiful and healthy pregnancy.