After living in pain for 40 years, my tenacious spirit led me to discover what doctors didn’t know they didn’t know was wrong—and how to make it right. Hint: It was harder to break up with the foods I loved than to break up with my significant other of 20 years.
I even wrote a book about my experience using nutrition and exercise to combat inflammation—a subject that has been under-the-radar until now.
I love speaking to individuals and groups who have hit a wall on their search for a pain-less life. For people stuck in a medical maze, it’s uplifting to hear my story and see me on the stage—fully energized—talking about setting records at the gym, eating well, traveling around the country, and forgetting what life was like when pain and excess weight were my forever companions. Giving up gluten, dairy, and sugar in exchange for feeling great was a no-brainer for me, but we all walk different paths.
“I remember conversations from 30 years ago like they were yesterday, but I can’t remember what it felt like to wake up in pain every day.”
Stefanie “Stef” Freeman is an author and holistic health coach who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age three. She spent years zigging and zagging through a medical maze, searching for relief from daily pain and stiffness. Stef refused a future of surgeries and a wheelchair and found a naturopath who looked at her in a way no other doctor did. He ordered a blood test that revealed abnormally high inflammation in her body. Knowing why constant pain was her forever companion was a big deal, but learning what she could do about it was a different story entirely. It made her rethink everything she put in her body.
In her breakout talk about second chances, Stef tells people why going to Harris Teeter to say goodbye and “break up” with the foods she loved was as hard as leaving her first marriage. Letting go of an unhealthy diet and relationship initiated a new love of life and herself, which lead to a new love of food and a new marriage.
Stef took her new insights into inflammation triggers and did a lifestyle backflip. By lowering her inflammation score through diet and exercise, chronic pain flew off her radar and her energy skyrocketed. She immediately started to focus on other people’s complaints about pain and fatigue. With every migraine, IBS, or arthritis story she heard, she shared her secrets about inflammation and disease.
Today, Stef is a certified holistic health coach who gives hope and support to clients seeking to manage pain and fatigue through an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.