Hi, my name is Ilana and this is my blog.
A little background
I grew up in a home with a very natural approach.
When there were lice in school all the parents put chemical pesticides on the heads of the kids (it was in the 70s, there weren’t any natural anti-lice substances in Israel). My mother mixed rosemary essential oil with some kind of carrier oil, rubbed it all over my scalp, and combed my hair with a dense comb. After 3 days I didn’t have any lice. And every day, before school, she would put that oil behind my ears, around the edge of the hair on the forehead and on the nape of my neck. I didn’t have lice after that.
When I was sick, my dad would grate an onion on a cheese grater, squeeze all the juice from it so it wouldn’t burn my eyes, and put it in a bowl in the corner of my bedroom at night. I would wake up healthy. The longest time I was sick was a couple of days with the flu, when the whole class was in bed for a week.
Every morning they would squeeze a juice for me with beets, carrots, various greens and fish oil. It was disgusting, but they wouldn’t listen and made me drink it. In retrospect, I realize that it was a daily vitamin dose (at that time, there were no vitamins for children).
We ate only whole grain, rye bread, no sugar, plenty of vegetables and fruits, lots of fish, and very little meat. As a result, I had a very healthy childhood.
When did everything change
In my early 20s I moved to the US, where I went completely wild. I started smoking – and not just cigarettes – and became addicted to cigarettes. I became addicted to coffee. I ate mostly junk food and went out a lot, so I drank a lot of alcohol.
When I returned to Israel after five years I moved to Tel Aviv, enrolled in professional makeup studies and started to work as a waitress. Of course, the natural way of living wasn’t even on my horizon.
Eat whole rice?
To give up white bread?
Coffee is the taste of life and I need to drink more!
But on the other hand…
I gained 20 kg (40 pounds), it was hard for me to fall asleep and harder to get up in the morning. I’d get up at 9:00, but I felt awake only after 12. And as early as 14:00 or 15:00 I would start yawning. After three hours at work, I felt like I was dragging and barely functioning. Long story short, my body was in a bad shape and I was only 26 years old.
I started looking for solutions, and luckily, something remained from my upbringing. I didn’t go to a medical doctor, but to an alternative one.
I met an amazing man named Arnon Brandes who is ND (Natural Doctor) whose main treatment was based on Therapeutic Touch in combination with other things like plant medicine, nutrition, Bach flower remedies etc.
We talked about my childhood and the extreme change I made in life, and he explained to me that because I came from such a healthy background, I felt the damage so badly.
From there he started working with me to rehabilitate my body. I changed my diet to a healthier one (not like in my childhood, but a more moderate approach that I could actually live with). I reduced the amounts of coffee and cigarettes, started taking vitamins and other dietary supplements, and began to feel much better.
As a result of all the changes I experienced in both directions – the positive and the negative – I really understood what a tremendous influence these things have on the body. And this time I began to be interested in the subject as a personal choice, not because my parents bugged me.
This is the point where I started my real change in life.
My Study & Discovery Path
I asked Arnon to recommend books on the subject and began to read and learn the subject more thoroughly. I also read a lot of case studies about nutrition, vitamins and their effects on the body and all kinds of other essential substances such as fibers, amino acids, enzymes, and so on.
At some point, I also started studying with Arnon Brandes. He taught a year-long Therapeutic Touch course during which he also taught body cleansing with herbs, sugar detox, balancing the body with nutrition, how to work with essential oils, specific herbal mixtures for all kinds of problems and many more gems.
Meanwhile, I finished my makeup studies and worked as a makeup artist and started to study cosmetics in the same place (a center that was years ago in Israel called “Mula Center”). When I was about two-thirds of my studies my mother got ill and I had to go home to help her. By the time I could go back to school and finish, the center closed. To this day I didn’t finish all my cosmetic studies, but I got a good grounding in the subject.
Due to my interest in the natural approach, I started to take all kinds of specific courses – mainly online – on natural cosmetics, how to prepare recipes for natural cosmetics, what active ingredients are there and what are they suitable for etc. I also enhanced my knowledge of the subject from other sources like books on the subject, various studies and researches on all kinds of active ingredients, etc. And every new thing I’ve discovered, I tried on myself and on friends that were happy to be my guinea pigs and the recipients of all my experimentations.
And here the food came in
I wanted to rally learn the basic techniques of cooking on top of what my mother thought me. So I took various cooking classes and workshops either in an establishment or online. My goal was to learn the basics and from there I progressed in the healthy direction.
This whole study period lasted many years, and I accumulated a lot of knowledge that combined into a comprehensive picture of a healthy and natural lifestyle.
During this long period, I worked as a makeup artist and also as a waitress to cover the cost of living in Tel-Aviv.
Then I got an offer to work as a Diet Coach in a large diets company. I worked there for a quite a few years and loved every moment. This time I got to use my knowledge not only to develop recipes at home and prepare natural cosmetics for friends but to actually help people. During this job, I also came across all sorts of problems that I had to go and look for solutions. I read professional literature, consulted with doctors and Arnon Brandes that over the years become a friend, and was always happy to help and advise.
In this capacity, I really had to use all my knowledge and to enhance it more and more. Every day I would come across a new question and a new problem that I needed to find a solution to. Constipation, hair loss, blood sugar drops, weakness, fatigue, excess energy, sensitivity to foods and finding substitutes, lack of weight loss, too fast weight loss (yes, that’s a problem too, it’s unhealthy), disruptions in the menstrual cycle and on and on and on…
Before that I thought I had a lot of knowledge, but this job was my university degree with an internship. And the amazing part was that I didn’t learn for myself, simply to know, but I used this knowledge to help others. This feeling that you helped someone improve his life or the condition of his body is amazing.
The beginning of the blog
I fell in love with the idea of helping others, but something was missing. I would coach the person during the weight-loss period, really help them get the desired effect, and that was it. Most people didn’t really experience a change in viewpoint towards a healthier or more natural lifestyle. They wanted a certain result, got it, wrote me a lovely thank-you letter and that was the end of the story.
I decided that I want to help people make a real change in life. Not for six to twelve weeks to lose weight, but a real change in attitude and perspective regarding a healthy lifestyle.
Initially, I thought about teaching courses on the subject and even checked some places to do it, either as live seminars for groups, or online like on Udemy or SkillShare.
And then my husband had a brilliant idea:
“Why don’t you start a blog about the subject?
“This way people who are really interested in the subject will be able to find the knowledge that you have, and you really can publish everything you know, not just a specific course on a particular subject.”
So here it is:
Congratulations, a new baby is born, its called “Healthy LifeStyle & Much More …“.
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