About Me & This Site

Andrea Toole, Finding Health & WellnessCertified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC™)

A long-time reader and writer, I've been blogging since the dawn of blogging.

Several years ago I adopted the mission statement, “writes to educate”.

The Call to Help People

I'm an introverted empath- though I generally avoid labels. I imagine that some of you just nodded your heads because you understand, and/or relate. I've always known that I want to help people. One of my first answers ever to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was “doctor”. When I was 7, I thought, “Doctors help people”. In high school, I thought I wanted to become a lawyer to help people. The mere idea of taking the LSATs sent me into a panic, so I kiboshed that. (At 7, I was too young to know about the MCATs.)

Writing as a career choice was always somewhere in my head.

For many years, I considered myself a “nutrition researcher”. After several years, close to a decade, of fighting my destiny of studying to become a healer of some sort, I enrolled in The Institute of Transformational Nutrition .

People love a “How I healed myself” story…

Although my idea for ADD coaching came from my own ADD dominating me, I'm keeping this section as it has been for years even though I realized that it's not 100% accurate:

I don't have a big transformational story. I didn't have a disease that I cured. My natural healing success stories are more subtle.

For example, I've never been on meds for ADHD. When I was around 20 years old my mom casually dropped the phrase “ADD” into a conversation noting that she'd been discussing it with my aunt, a renowned psychiatrist. My aunt subsequently advised me to read the book The A.D.D. Nutrition Solution: A Drug-Free 30 Day Plan  by Marcia Zimmerman. It changed my life. I remember a moment after I'd been following the advice of the book for a month or two: I was in a job interview and held eye contact with the interviewer. This was a significant achievement for me. My life changed when I started on a regiment of essential fatty acids and started eating more fish (among other recommendations that I've mostly long since abandoned). My ADD is worse when I'm not consuming enough fat.

The new, 2017 version of this: All true, but I discovered other triggers that I'd forgotten about, and hazards that make my ADD “flare up”. I also discovered that people really don't understand ADD, so in keeping with my desire to use my website as a resource, this site isn't just for people with ADD, it's for anyone who wants to understand what it's about – from someone who's lived it for over 40 years.

Back to my “natural cures” examples…

I've used diet, herbs, and probiotics successfully to treat my excessive candida population. St. John's Wort, kava kava and other herbs have helped with depression and anxiety. In my later university years, I found that taking kava kava before an exam reduced my anxiety and allowed me to think more clearly so that I could access the information I needed and do better on the exam. Green tea/matcha/L-theanine helps me focus.

I've successfully used essential oils. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. When I have a headache I'm still more likely to reach for the ibuprofen, and sometimes I turn to cold meds to kill symptoms while the immune-boosting “natural” remedies are doing their thing. When my menstrual cramps are “Kill me now, I don't plan on having kids so OMG why is this happening to me?” intense, the peppermint oil (Young Living's “Pan Away” blend, actually) is accompanied by ibuprofen. 

Food philosophy

I am an advocate of healthy eating and healthy living.

I believe in eating real food. Not all processed food is bad nor are all ingredients that are hard to pronounce. Some additives that sound dangerous aren't.

Some items that are considered “food” shouldn't be designated as such. Putting it in your mouth doesn't make it “food”.

I also believe that there is no one perfect diet. Everyone's needs are different. Need change throughout one's life. I've seen and heard about raw vegans go paleo.

We can all agree on a lot of what is uniformly “bad”.

Life Philosophy

Here are some quotes to illustrate:
“I don't believe faith and reason are natural enemies. I believe our human desire for certainty and our often-desperate need to ‘ be right' have led to this false dichotomy.” -Brene Brown, Rising Strong .

“NOBODY knows better than you what’s right for you. NOBODY….All that experts offer you is data for you to take into consideration. YOU are the centrifugal force that must filter, interpret, and give meaning to that data. Your body knows. Your heart knows. Your mind will help you act on what you know….My guiding philosophy about any philosophy is: take what you want and leave the rest.” Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth .

ADD and Me

Some facts:

  • Sometimes I get headaches from focusing too hard.
  • It takes me longer to catch on to easy things.
  • I crave routine.
  • Fluorescent lighting often makes me cranky or gives me headaches
  • Change can be overwhelming and the idea of change can be even worse. Not to say that I'm inflexible or can't be spontaneous, but I get used to things.
  • If I don't have notes in front of me to use as a reference, I'm screwed. Except for tests, though I always did better on reports and essays.
  • I like playing games such as Whack-a-Mole or video games that require clicking on fast-moving objects because I like the type of focus required.

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The Family Business, or How I inherited my passion for healthy living)

My story is my history. I grew up in and around the medical profession. It was ingrained in me. I was raised on it.

Here's an early memory:

I'm perhaps 4 years' old. Maybe 5. I'm sitting on my mother's lap in a chair in my grandparents' kitchen. In one hand I'm holding a bowl of sugar. I'm moving my hands up and down, like balancing scales, as instructed by my aunt who was visiting from her home in Sherman Oaks, California. At the time I was aware that it had something to do with the fact that I was still peeing the bed at night (this is how I'm estimating my age – I stopped when I was 6). Several years later I learned that she was testing me for sugar sensitivity, which may have been related to the bed wetting.

My maternal grandfather was a doctor. When I was sick he'd come over or I'd go to his house. His black bag always had the tools to diagnose my earache or my sore throat. I'm almost 40 now, but I distinctively remember sticking out my tongue so that he could look at my tonsils with his light scope and him changing the bit on the end so that he could look in my ears.

That's where it starts.