My Story

Like many people who work in nutrition and counselling, my passion for nutrition, health and wellness stems from my own health challenges. I can’t tell you exactly when my health issues started, but I remember being plagued with severe seasonal allergies when I was as young as 8 or 9. Years of conventional allergy shots did nothing to alleviate any of my symptoms.

At some point in my teens my wonderful parents took me to see a naturopath. I was put through more ‘desensitization’ treatments that were unhelpful, although some of the suggestions around food made a slight difference and reduced some of the inflammation in my body.

Unfortunately, food choices were presented as ‘all’ or ‘nothing’ as in have all ‘bad’ food in one day and then eat ‘good’ food the rest of the time. This set me up for a different issue: years of disordered eating that was very challenging to find my way through.

Digestive and hormonal issues surfaced in my late teens (fun, right? As if being a teenager isn’t challenging enough!). The histamine issues were still there, and I felt like I was always inflamed even when I was consistently eating a typical healthy diet.

Susan Cachay

In my early 20s I started reading everything I could find on the topic of nutrition. I went down some paths that were helpful and others that weren’t at all. Conventional Western medicine offered no solutions other than medications, which dampened the symptoms but did nothing to get to the root cause.

No one was able to help me figure out what was happening and what to do about it. It was a lonely and frustrating time.

Skin Rashes

I then developed eczema and dermatitis for the first time. After trying a lot of natural things myself, I finally consulted a doctor who prescribed steroid cream. The cream cleared up my skin but caused my hair to literally fall out in clumps after one application.

I was told the skin condition can happen ‘out of the blue’ at any stage in life and the only thing that I could do to keep it under control was to keep using the steroid cream. I was referred to a dermatologist who echoed the doctor’s message.

No one asked me about the foods I was eating, no one asked me if I had started using different kinds of skin care, no one asked me if I had gone through any kind of stressful event before all of this started.

I stopped the steroid cream and started searching in dermatology publications, knowing that there must be a root cause and therefore a true solution. I discovered research showing that foods high in nickel can cause eczema and dermatitis in some people.

During the year-long struggle I had already tried eliminating foods that were possible offenders (those with oxalates, histamines and salicylates), which didn’t make a difference. After eliminating high-nickel foods, my intense itchiness and rashes resolved in 3 weeks.

Since then, I’ve been able to help a number of clients who have had the same issue. Talk about a silver lining!

Adverse Reaction to Medication

Fast forward a few years…. I was already working in the nutrition field when I had a severe adverse reaction to a pharmaceutical medication.

That reaction brought up almost every symptom you can list! I became intolerant to almost everything (histamine, oxalates, salicylates and more) and my body was in a constant state of panic.

Again, conventional Western medicine couldn’t help me at all other than to offer more medications (with their own possible adverse effects).

Those of you dealing with POTS, dysautonomia, reactions to antibiotics or Botox, and vagus nerve injuries will be able to appreciate how varied and intense the symptoms can be with a condition like this. COVID long haulers also fall into this category.

My Recovery

What a learning experience that was! My healing journey took twists and turns but my recovery was based on 4 key strategies:

  • removing interference such as foods, thoughts, products, supplements and habits that were incompatible at that time with my bodymind, which was reacting to many ordinary things as if they were major irritants
  • adding foods, products, supplements, detoxification procedures and lifestyle changes that were compatible with my unique bodymind
  • balancing body chemistry based on Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to address underlying stress patterns
  • healing past trauma and unhelpful core beliefs

I learned that just because a particular program or supplement works for others, it might not be the right fit for me. I also learned that aggressive detox and supplement procedures (to encourage the quick release of toxins and metals) often throws the bodymind into a state of panic.

My approach is about enhancing and supporting healing. I’ve come to think of true healing as a marathon, not a sprint.

Along with removing foods and other things that can interfere with your bodymind being at its best, it’s just as important to look at your core beliefs. They may be causing trauma looping in your brain’s limbic system, keeping you stuck in old patterns. Part of my own healing journey has included rewiring my limbic system.

The combination of nutrition along with a strong focus on mental and emotional health allows for the greatest possibility of long-lasting positive change.

Why is my story important? Because it helps show how the bodymind can be brought to better health and vitality by combining nutrition and counselling, no matter where you’re starting from or what your specific challenges are.

I feel healthier and happier in my 50s than I ever did in my 20s, and I’m confident I can help you get there too.

I’m Here to Help

I get that you want to partner with someone who brings their A game. I’ve been a nutritionist for 25+ years, specializing in Mineral-Nutritional Balancing for just over fifteen. For ten years, I worked closely with Larry Wilson, M.D. (author of Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis: A New Science of Energy). When I look back over my formal education, everything ultimately brought me to what I do now. I have a Bachelor’s in Health Education and English, a Master’s in Psychology Counselling, and advanced training in Mineral-Nutritional Balancing. I’m also a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner with specialized training in the areas of digestive and hormonal health plus concerns specific to women.

I’m a long-standing member of the BC College of Teachers and the International Organization of Nutrition Consultants.