Featured Fitale Marquita Taylor

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I have always been bigger than my peers. In middle school I was the first girl to have to wear a bra and I failed gym class in high-school because of my disinterest in physical activity outside of the sport of competitive swimming. The need to be well changed my life. So many times African-American women attribute our “assets” to genetics but ignore the stresses and impact on the health of our body. In childhood I was pre-diabetic and suffered from a hormonal disease called Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome which is often brought about by metabolism issues.  At 240 lbs, 5’5 at the age of 22 I knew something had to change when I suffered a serious Multiple Sclerosis relapse six months after my initial diagnosis. In just 11 months, I journeyed, read, researched, learned, and transformed because my quality of life depended on it.

My weight loss started at the end of May 2011. M.S. is an Autoimmune disease which means that it causes inflammation in the body. My first quest in this journey to good health and wellness was to reduce the symptoms and processes of my disease. The added benefit was the 100 lbs I lost in the process. My diet consisted of gradual elimination. In August I was eating dairy, red meat, and minimally processed foods. By Thanksgiving I was only eating chicken and fish, almost no simple carbohydrates, and a surplus of fresh produce and organic products. As I transitioned into the new year, I was semi-pescotarian, only consuming very minimal amounts of diary, no shell-fish and tuna, flounder, and salmon almost exclusively.

Apart from competitive swimming in high-school, I was pretty physically inactive most of my life. I started my physical components to my weight loss by walking. I walked to the grocery story everyday to limit my portion control and to get in my physical activity. Walking turned into sprinting, sprinting turned into jogging and by the end of that year I was running no less than 3 miles a day. Now I enjoy hiking, climbing, cross-country, weight lifting, yoga, and strength training.

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Nutrition and Physical activity is my preventative medicine. I do not take the recommended therapy for M.S. and instead use good nutrition as my therapy for my condition and dealing with symptom relief. I use food and nutritional therapy to cure my stomach-ache, headaches, colds, and fevers. I am a Masters of Science candidate at the Maryland University of Inter grated Health. My MS will be in Integrated Nutrition and Health focusing on holistic weight-loss, food as alternative medicine and prenatal nutrition. I am currently freelancing as a Nutritional Counselor out of Baltimore, Maryland. I provide full nutritional counseling, meal planning preparation, assisted shopping, healthy cooking lessons and cooking workshops/demonstrations for groups and functions. I also make my services available to those outside of the region via Skype consultations.

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