Why I became a nutritional therapist

I honestly never thought about nutrition as a child. I stayed the same weight while eating and drinking whatever I wanted. I didn’t think about whether was something “healthy” or not, I just ate it.

But, at a very young age I began struggling with panic attacks, random upset stomachs and bouts of diarrhea. For the majority of my life I had no idea that these were issues. I just kept thinking, "this is my body and this is normal for me.”

But, as I got older I realized that these “issues” were anything but normal.

Throughout elementary and middle school there were several mortifying times where I didn’t make it to the bathroom and had to go to the nurse or call my parents for a change of clothes. My parents would ask me what happened and I just told them I had an upset stomach and didn’t know. And honestly I didn’t know- I had no idea what was happening to my body and why these episodes would occur.

But, I managed throughout high school and made it through freshman year of college without any issues. Then sophomore year the panic attacks and digestion issues started again. Yet- I continued to convinced myself it was due to stress and excessive partying.

Then everything came to a head a few weeks after my college graduation when I ended up with colitis and diverticulitis. I was hospitalized for two days and on antibiotics for 14. My small intestines had swollen 3x the size of their normal capacity and I was in excruciating pain. For me this was enough- I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted clear answers as to why these digestion issues were happening. Reaching out to doctors was hopeless as their answers consisted of IBS, IBD or “you’ll likely have issues every now and then.” Umm no thank you. I refused these answers and was determined to figure out what was going on.

I spent the next several years digging deep and looking for the root cause. While I was spending hours researching, listening to podcasts and reading wellness blogs I realized that this was something I was really passionate about. I enjoyed learning all the ways nutrition, supplements and traditional herbs could support and restore the body. So after careful consideration- I decided to switch things up and go back to school to study holistic nutrition.


Selecting a school was tricky as there were many programs to chose from. But, I researched, read reviews and reached out to people who had already gone through the program to get a clear picture of what the program entailed.

And after careful consideration I settled on the Nutritional Therapy Association and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as my schools of choice. It was a little crazy going through both programs at the same time- but I made it work.

Finally, I found my purpose - I could feel it in my bones. I was made to do this.

Finding my life purpose was critical to my well being. I needed to know that I was making a difference in this world. And sitting at a desk job - wasn’t that. I was constantly restless and always feeling like I was made for more.


So, as you read this I want to encourage you to find your purpose, whatever it may be. Maybe it is a corporate job or a barista at Starbucks or a PE teacher or real estate agent or mechanic. Whatever it is- FIND IT!

You only get one life- use it to the fullest! Take risks, be brave, make mistakes and don’t wait until tomorrow. We are never promised a tomorrow- so don’t wait and do it today!



Danielle Hively