Hi! I’m Hope Reynolds – welcome! I’m a tea obsessor, book addict, Sci-Fi junky, archer, traveler and wife to William, a guy who is incomprehensibly loving and patient. We live in our favorite city, San Francisco, where we want to stay forever. And, as you’ve already gathered, I’m also super into experimenting with healthy food and natural skincare.
Why I created this blog
I’m a visual designer who constantly questions how things can be better. How things can be more beautiful, more useful and more of a delightful experience in people’s lives. After health issues started affecting my life, I turned some of those energies towards my lifestyle.
I don’t like how health and beauty are currently portrayed. It’s a false image that people feel they must to live up to. It’s stressful, wholly impractical, and can I just say kinda stupid? To me, beauty and health aren’t defined by a set of numbers (counting calories, pounds or measurements), but rather a lifestyle.
I’ve had a crazy health journey throughout my life (read about it below). Through that journey, I’ve discovered new things and tried things that I never thought I’d be doing. I love learning and experimenting to try to find the best possible solution for my body. As I keep experimenting, people keep asking how I do things. Beauty products are also so darn expensive. I’ve realized I could make things naturally that were much better for me and a fraction of the cost. So, I decided to put all my crazy ideas and experiments in one place. I hope you can learn something from them or have fun trying something new.
My Health Journey
My health forced me on this journey. This wasn’t in my perfect plan for my life so I went kicking and screaming at first. Now I’m glad for what’s happened and the discoveries that I would never have made, but it took a while. I was sick most of my childhood and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. At the end of high school, the doctors diagnosed me with Celiac Disease. My first thought? “Oh. Hell. No.” I’m Italian and I’m not giving up my precious pasta! I did though. During college I discovered a love for cooking and trying new things. That was my first big turning point.
After college I discovered I was allergic to dairy as well and had to learn how to cook both gluten and dairy free. A few years later I met William (my future husband) and found out he also had a gluten allergy, but had decided to go a step further and follow a paleo lifestyle. His response to me asking why he wanted to limit himself even more? “Because I feel better this way.” That was the second big turning point for me. I realized I didn’t need to be able to eat everything to feel good. Me wanting to be “normal” wasn’t allowing me to have a diet that fit well with what my body needed.
I started eating paleo with William and was feeling good. I thought going paleo was the health answer and that everyone should be doing it. But then I started to get sick again. After lots of tests, we discovered a lot more allergies. Adding to gluten and dairy were now egg yolks, leeks, artichokes, peanuts, hazelnuts, banana, mango, pineapple and food coloring. That was frustrating. But I was ready to do anything to feel better at this point, so I embraced the new allergies and adjusted my diet again. Food coloring ended up being the trickiest and most eye-opening one. I realized all my makeup had coloring in it which led to the epiphany that not only what I ate, but also what I put on my skin would affect me as well. So that began my adventure in learning how to make my own skin care. That was the third big turning point for me.
A few months later I started getting sick again. At this point you can imagine my frustration with my body. Why can’t I just be normal? Why am I going through this? Am I going to end up allergic to everything? What is going on?! We finally realized that my gut had never fully recovered from before I was diagnosed with celiac and that my body couldn’t tolerate high-FODMAP foods (i.e. insoluble fiber, basically most paleo food). So cue intense amounts of probiotics and supplements and a diet change again. It took about a year for me to recover and get back to normal. I’m still learning and experimenting with my body, but I learned some very important things.
- Everyone’s body is different. You can’t expect what works for someone else to work for you. You need to be aware and be willing to adjust and try new things.
- Natural ingredients are the way to go. Not only is it important what you put inside your body, but outside as well. Your skin is a major organ of your body and you need to be careful what you put on it.
- Your health isn’t just about food and exercise. It’s your entire lifestyle – what you eat, what you put on your body and your outlook on life all affect your health.
- There isn’t a “normal” for foods. I needed to stop fighting back and wishing I could eat what everyone else was. Me wanting to be “normal” wasn’t allowing me to have a diet that fit well with what my body needed.