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My name is Howard and Iím a Certified Health Coach.

I've had many health challenges over the past fifty years, from allergies to asthma to a weak immune system to a life-threatening digestive condition. For each of those challenges, I had followed all the recommendations that I was given by traditionally trained medical doctors, but I wasn't getting any healthier and I was actually aging faster.

By researching natural medicine and finding science-based solutions that I could put into practice, I was able to resolve numerous health challenges. Doing that research over the past thirty years has given me a foundation of knowledge that I continue building on as I continuously get healthier. As any new health challenges arise, I feel confident that I will find solutions to them. That knowledge has given me a passion for helping others as Iíve helped myself. Being your personal health coach is how Iíll work with you so you can get to Optimal Wellness, too!

Years of Poor Health

Ever since the age of four when I learned to read, I've always tried to keep learning. After my first thirty years of suboptimal health, I started reading about and researching natural health. From the beginning of that process, I put what I learned into practice and my health kept improving.

After my early years as an overweight, weak kid with allergies and bronchial asthma, I made a radical change in my attitude toward the unhealthy food that I had loved and lost 40 lbs. in three months. A few years later, I started working out at home with weights to build the strength that I never had.

In my early thirties, I started seeing an asthma and allergy doctor, who tested my allergies, then put me on five prescription drugs to manage both the allergies and asthma. While those two conditions were "managed" by the prescription drugs, I still wasnít very healthy and regularly got whatever illness "was going around," (a cold or flu) at least once a month and sometimes, getting it a second time before it was finished ďgoing around.Ē

Fortunately, a friend told me that I probably just needed more vitamin C than I was getting from my diet. So I bought some vitamin tablets to try. After three months without a single cold or flu, I decided to read all that I could about vitamin C. From what I had read, it was safe to slowly start taking much higher dosages, which allowed me to slowly discontinue all of the prescription drugs with assistance from my doctor.

Fifteen years later, an old intestinal problem became much worse, so I started researching what could help me. I tried many different natural treatments that were known then, but nothing was helping. Along the way, I had lost 40 pounds and my appetite was mostly gone. I ended up in the hospital, diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

The gastrointestinal (G.I.) specialist at the hospital told me that there is no cure for this condition, it's unknown what causes it, and diet has no effect on it. On my third and final day at the hospital, the doctor sent a licensed Nutritionist into my room to give me recommendations on how to put the weight back on that I had lost. She recommended eating large quantities of pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread. After about one week of eating more of those foods, my condition worsened and I lost another 10 pounds. I called the G.I. specialist's office, but all the doctor could recommend was that I take a multivitamin.

Time for More Research...

After two weeks out of work and no improvement in sight, I regained enough energy to sit upright at the computer and get on the internet to try to find information on ways to help my condition. I found a Usenet Group for Crohn's disease and colitis. Quite a few users in the group were recommending a book with a diet that helped them tremendously. So I bought the book and it explained the root cause of my health condition. I learned that many of the carbohydrates that I was eating (mainly the sugars and complex carbohydrates) do not get broken down properly by people with this condition. With help from two doctors, the bookís author developed a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) that recommended avoiding all the carbohydrates that aren't digested properly for two years. This includes everything from table sugar to complex carbs, especially pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread--the exact foods that the licensed, degreed Nutritionist at the hospital recommended to me that made my condition worse.

Within three days of being on this strict SCD diet, I had significant improvement in my intestinal condition. The book stated that most people experience improvement after three days and a bigger leap in progress at the 3-week point. On the 22nd day of the diet, I made a significant leap in progress with my condition. The following day, I went for a scheduled colonoscopy. Afterward, the doctor reported that my colon (large intestine) was "too far gone" and needed to be removed surgically. Since that "solution" seemed too Draconian for me and I had already started seeing major improvements in my condition just from diet changes, I told the doctor that I'd have to think about that surgery for a while. He then tried to put some fear in me by stating that, if I don't have the surgery, Iíll be at high risk of colon cancer. But I had no plan to have that surgery by a specialist who 1) didn't know what causes the condition or its damage to the intestinal lining, 2) didn't know how to heal the condition or its damage, and 3) thought that diet had nothing to do with the damage. Since the diet was already helping, I was going to have to do my own research to find more information and solutions.

Due to the lack of energy I had during my recovery, I was out of work for three months. During that time, I started listening to a nationally syndicated daily call-in radio show called Duke and the Doctor, with Jan McBarron, who's both and MD and a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She knew many natural options to offer callers for their health conditions, so I started taking notes from her show for future reference. Between listening to her show and reading a newsletter that I had been getting from Julian Whitaker, MD, I learned a lot of safe natural methods for treating a variety of health conditions. Armed with that knowledge, I began putting some of their recommendations into practice for my own health and also started sharing what I learned with family and friends for their health conditions. My intestinal condition continued improving as I kept making changes that I learned about.

Since that time, I will typically spend a minimum of ten hours each week reading natural health newsletters, magazines, documents, and research papers. In addition to that, I also spend a minimum of five hours each week listening to audio health expert interviews, natural health radio shows, and watching video interviews & health documentaries. Iím going to keep learning in order to help my health and yours.

Getting Healthier Every Decade!

After accumulating thirty years of information on natural health, at age 60 I realized that I was healthier than I was at 50...which was after being healthier at 50 than I was at 40, and being healthier at 40 than I was at 30.

With more than 30 years of researching natural health and experimenting on myself, that has made me realize that natural health strategies and tools are the best methods for helping the body do what it's intended to do--heal itself.

This is how the journey to Optimal Wellness worked for me. With my knowledge and help, your journey to Optimal Health should be a quicker one. All you'll need is the desire, some self-discipline, and openness to taking the new health information that you learn and applying it daily!

Howard Northrup, CHC

Serving the Melbourne and
Cocoa, Florida areas.

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Note: Howard is not a dietitian, nutritionist, or a licensed or registered dietitian or nutritionist, nor does he provide nutrition-related services to a person under the direct care of a medical doctor for a medical condition requiring nutritional intervention.