My name is Antonia Lafaye.
My immersion into health and wellness began about 6 years ago when my body took a total nose dive. I woke up one morning and literally could not get out of bed. My body was exhausted. It felt like someone let the air out of my tires and stole my engine. It seemed as if overnight, my healthy active body was replaced with someone else's. Someone who didn't do yoga 5 times a week, eat organic whole food and work at an athletic company that focused on yoga and wellness. I was completely freaked out. After several months of allopathic doctors telling me I was “just fine” and to “slow down”, I took matters into my own hands.
I decided to enroll in a yoga teacher training. You might think what a strange thing to do if you are sleeping 14 hours a day but to me, it was the only thing that made sense. I thought if I had a better understanding of the way my body works, what it needs, what isn't working, I could heal myself. And that is exactly what I did. It did not happen overnight, it has been a long and sometimes challenging road to return me to health but it has been worth every moment. And there have been many teachers on the way who jump-started me when I needed it. It takes a community.
My first teacher training indeed gave me more insight on the way my body (and mind) worked. It allowed me to discover through an elimination diet that I was severely allergic to gluten, in fact my body had an auto-immune dis-ease called Celiac. Celiac creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. It is very hard to diagnose because the symptoms are quite insidious. They mimic a million other possible dis-eases which is why my whole life, no one caught it. I had severe stomach problems since I was a little girl but it was misdiagnosed as Chrohn's and IBS. And to add insult to injury Celiac is triggered by gluten which is found in wheat, barley and rye. And I am an Italian American who grew up eating pasta and pizza literally almost every day. So since the day I could hold a meatball in my tiny hand, I was poisoning myself. I was living with Celiac unknowingly since I was a toddler so it was no wonder why at the young age of 30 my body said enough. Wouldn't you?
People tend to give their condolences when they hear I cannot eat gluten. But honestly, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It pushed me to really strive for a deep understanding of food and nutrition and to explore what system of medicine I want to employ when something in my body, mind or spirit comes out of balance.
I became a certified yoga teacher, now with 500 hours of training in both hatha and prenatal yoga. That lead me to dive deeper into my love and curiosity of food and nutrition. I took numerous classes and workshops in nutrition including the study of Ayurveda, Western-Price (which is similar to the Paleo diet), the gut and psychology syndrome diet, anti-inflammation diet and raw and living food systems. I had a rigorous self study program for the past 5 years and finally took several nutrition certifications including a raw nutrition certification with David Wolfe (www.davidwolfe.com).
In addition to educating people on how to heal with food and nutrition, I wanted a system of medicine that felt natural but was also effective. That is when I decided to study Western herbalism. I went through several other non allopathic systems like homeopathy, TCM, naturopathy, Ayurveda and it was only when I found herbal medicine things really began to click for me. It is what I love the most and find it to be so healing to one's body, mind and heart. It has been a rocket ship in my personal healing and I owe my vibrancy to the plants.
I completed my first certification in herbalism in November of 2012 with Shelley Torgove (www.artemisiaandrue.com) and I am currently enrolled in a herbal program that focuses on women's health created by Dr. Aviva Romm (www.avivaromm.com) which is my focus along with the immune system.
I also study midwifery and birth and competed a midwife assistant program with Ina May Gaskin at The Farm in Tennessee.
I am a highly curious person and I have a deep love for knowledge and awareness. The truncated information above is just a snippet of how I fill my time! I love to travel especially to warm, humid destinations, I crave visual contemporary art with my deepest appreciation for instillation and performance art. I am a voracious bibliophile and mainly read contemporary fiction in my free time. I love sewing and crafting, medicine making, writing and I may be a bit obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. My family which includes my husband and two dogs are my heart.
My intention behind this website is to provide a unique perspective and resource about holistic health and well-being that isn't easily found in the mainstream arenas. And that those of you who are interested in deepening your understanding of your own health and wellness will find Sage and Spirit a source of inspiration and motivation.