Taking Control of Your Life To Recover with Jolene Hart

taking control with Jolene Hart

Taking Control of Your Lifestyle and Making Changes That Can Lead to Healing

Stress, nutrition, and an imbalance hormone system can all lead to exacerbated chronic Lyme symptoms – it’s essential to prioritize building a lifestyle that enables you to look and feel your best from the inside out. Jolene Hart is a former beauty editor and chronic late-stage Lyme warrior whose healing journey inspired her to pivot into 1-1 coaching other chronic illness warriors into feeling better. Beauty Is Wellness’s coaching focuses on holistic healing: everything from stress and gut health to clients’ products because it is all about taking control of your lifestyle in order to heal.

Tune in to hear why it’s essential to have a low sugar diet and avoid cortisol spikes, the power of energy and positivity in the healing process, and her top advice for improving your lifestyle when fighting Lyme.

Jolene’s Lyme Journey and How She Took Control of Her Healing

Mimi:
Jolene, thank you so much for coming on today. I’m excited to have you, and I want to hear about your Lyme journey and how it relates to skin and what you’re doing now that you have become an editor of a beauty magazine. 

Jolene:
Thank you for having me. Like so many others, my Lyme story is not short, so I’ll give you an abbreviated version. I think I know now that I’ve had Lyme and co-infections for about 12 years, but for a very long time, about eight years, I just managed my symptoms. I was undiagnosed, and those symptoms were really limited to my nervous system and heart, so cardiac and neuro system. I didn’t have any pain, that wasn’t one of my presentations, and I think that was one of the reasons why it took me eight years to be diagnosed.

Jolene:
But during that time, I did have some serious heart issues. I had two ablations, two heart surgeries. I was on different medications for my heart to resolve episodes of tachycardia, which would send me to the ER, and they would stem from any exertion. So for me, having been a runner, loving the outdoors, and just moving my body as part of my health and my therapy. Still, I managed my symptoms, and I was always told that it was an idiopathic condition and one day it might resolve itself and all of that.

Mimi:
So how did you ultimately figure out that it was Lyme?

Jolene:
Well, about six years in, it was kind of like a perfect storm of life events. And I know I’ve heard this scenario through many other people, but my son was around 23 months old, and I had just started to wean him, so I have some hormonal fluctuations. I had a stressful business trip across the country; there was a stressful health issue in my family. A few different things were going on at once within the same few weeks, and my body just completely crashed. And I went from being able to manage my symptoms as long as I kind of restricted my movement or a lot of exertion to not being able to walk down the street or carry my son for a block or push a stroller.

It was so dramatic and so debilitating. And my cardiologist couldn’t figure out a solution. Primary care doctors didn’t really have any answers. And I immediately went to see a functional medicine doctor. I spent about two years with that functional medicine doctor before I finally got my Lyme and co-infection diagnosis. So it was another two years of just completely debilitating illness even to try to get that diagnosis.

Mimi:
So your functional medicine doctor didn’t think of Lyme?

Jolene:
My functional medicine doctor, who actually calls herself a Lyme literate doctor, tested for it but could not get any results until we started treating it with Biocidin and some herbals that were started to bring out the evidence of Lyme. For me, she pinpointed mold toxicity from an apartment that we were renting in Philadelphia. And I had all the symptoms of mold toxicity, and we were working on that, but I wasn’t getting better. And because I was a health coach, I already ate organic, I was gluten-free, I was mostly plant-based, I was doing all of the things with my diet, and still, the needle wasn’t moving at all. And so it really took, yeah, it was like in nearly two years with her to figure out that Lyme was at the core.

Mimi:
Wow. And so, what did you ultimately do? How did you ultimately get better? What kind of treatment?

Jolene:
So I’m still not in remission, but the improvements have been dramatic. I actually went from doing only diet and herbs and holistic treatments to moving to treat with antimalarials and antibiotics and have used the combination of both. So I’m still treating with both of those. For me, babesia has been a huge thing, which contributed to a lot of my heart issues and dysautonomia, autonomic nervous system issues. What really remains for me is many dysautonomia and pots and a little bit of mast cell. So kind of my immune system being overactive now from so many years of being under threat and stress.

Mimi:
It’s funny because I’m at the same level in the process.  I get horrible hives just from my mast cell, and I have yet to meet anybody I get; it looks like I had a bee stings, like a hundred bee stings all over my body when I get it. And it’s only from my waist down. It’s just the weirdest thing.

Jolene:
It’s amazing the different manifestations. So for me, mast cell, it’s gastrointestinal, and it’s my cardiac system. It’s my nervous system. So if I eat something that’s a trigger, I get heart palpitations, tachycardia, fast heart rate, incredible shaking, weakness, need to use the bathroom immediately, and nothing on my skin at all, no itching or anything like that.

Mimi:
Yeah. Did you ever read Gone in a Heartbeat? I think that’s what it’s called.

Jolene:
I haven’t, I feel like it would be very triggering for me, but I do know about the book.

Mimi:
Well, it’s interesting because I had a lot of heart palpitations. I remember one time go to the emergency room thinking I had a heart attack, and they’re like, “No, you’re having an anxiety attack.” And I’m like, “No, it’s not an anxiety attack.” I read this book four or five years ago, and I started crying because I felt validated.

Jolene:
It’s so validating, and I’ve read that story. And it still amazes me that I live in Pennsylvania, so that’s the number one state for Lyme, even though it is everywhere in the US and presenting with the symptoms that I had in my early thirties, I was 30 years old, I think I was 29 when they started, as a runner with no other health issues, it still shocks me that it was never part of the conversation. And I was told you need to relax.

Mimi:
Yeah, your job is too stressful.

Jolene:
You’re drinking too much green tea. And I’m like, “I don’t even drink. I don’t drink any caffeine. I don’t drink coffee. Trust me. I know my body; this is not normal.” And it just never came up.

Author of Multiple Books & Her Health Coaching Work

Mimi:
Yep. So I would love to dive into what you’re doing now. You’ve written a couple of books, and you have another one coming out next week. And so, I would love to see how that ties back to Lyme.

Jolene:
Absolutely. So around the same time, this is all happening with my health. I was working as a health coach. So I come from the beauty world, which was fun. It was my dream job. It was working as a beauty editor at In Style. But I found at that point in my life; I was having a ton of cystic acne, eczema; I had manifestations on my skin, that products weren’t cutting it, nothing was getting to the core and healing my skin. And I come from a family. My mom is a nurse. She’s a holistic health mom, birth mom. She started a food co-op when I was little. And she used always to say, “Food is so connected to what’s going on in your body.” So I went on this journey and left my position as a beauty editor to become a health coach and really focus on healing skin issues, focusing on beauty, I guess, from the inside out is how we say it now, beauty from the inside.

My first three books, Eat Pretty, are all about nutrition for beauty season by season. So what’s happening in your body, different seasons of the year, and what foods can you eat? What habits can you have to stay balanced in those seasons that keep yourself thriving, glowing, and healthy? And that was where I was when Lyme really hit me hard. I actually had just finished writing my third book. And that was part of that perfect storm was like, I had a book deadline that week, and it all came together, and I crashed.

And since then, I’ve really shifted to look at your personal energy and what does that do for not only beauty, because it is going to factor into the way your body ages and the way your health affects your day-to-day, but also your resilience and the healing process. What does energy have to do with healing, and how can you maintain something like a chronic illness, six, seven, 10 years of living with an illness and still find that joy day-to-day. And if and when you can do that, how does that support your body and its healing process and thriving?

Jolene:
So my latest two books that you’re mentioning, the first is called Ignite Your Light, and that is all about the power of our personal energy to be basically a superpower that does drive the healing process, but also drives finding happiness day to day, even amidst challenges, life stresses. We had this pandemic hit last year, and our personal energy really determines how we will move forward from a lot of it. So the book is all about, it’s arranged by the times of the day, so sunrise, daylight, sunset, and moonlight, and in those kinds of quadrants of the day, which you can all kind of put ourselves into and I designed it that way so you can really think about what your day looks like in terms of those moments.

Jolene:
Within each chapter, I talk about the main influences on your energy at that time of the day? So during the workday, it might be your creativity; it might be your relationships at work. It might be the pace of your breath. In the evening, it might be how you, your home environment, come home, and what are you eating? What is the light like in your home? What are you doing as you close your day, your release practices, your spirituality, the way you settle into sleep and reset for the next day? And the book really looks at 13 core aspects of your energy; I call them the energy influencers that really impact the healing process and your health, beauty, and resilience.

Mimi:
That’s great. And then the Shine On is next week?

Jolene:
Yeah. So Shine On is now coming out. It’s actually a guided journal that goes along with Ignite Your Light. It also stands alone, but if you like to write and I use it as a therapeutic tool, I swear writing these books was also really cathartic to me if you like to write. You like to reflect, and I think in our culture, and I know we’re both moms, what time do you actually have to reflect during the day, to have quiet and to think about what’s affecting you, just noticing as the first step to making any energetic change in shifting the way that you feel, it’s just stopping to notice and reflect, yeah, that the interaction really did impact me, or this habit that I do every morning, it really sets me off on the wrong pace for the day.

Jolene:
So just stopping to reflect is the power of that journal. So it guides you through all 13 of those influencers throughout your day, but in a way that you can kind of write through them and reflect on how they impact you. And then it ends with 30 days of the morning planning an evening reflection. So you get up in the morning, and you’re planning the goals you have for the day, setting intentions. And in the evening, you’re reflecting on what kind of interactions really affected me today? What were the things that stood out to be the most healing and the most joyful for me? And how can I do that and make that better for tomorrow?

Jolene:
So the journal is a more interactive tool, and I love using both. I like using journaling with my clients because when they journal and come back to me, they have the most profound insights themselves, just realizing things about themselves that they never took time to make space to notice.

Mimi:
That’s great. Well, I wish you the best of luck with your launch, the newest launch, and both books, that isn’t very nice to have two books in a short amount of time. So that’s great. Now, do your clients, you don’t specifically work with Lyme patients, but do you have any Lyme patients at all, or do you find?

What Your Skin Might Be Telling You When It Breaks Out

"Many of us are on a blood sugar roller coaster all day long and as we do it, it sends stress signals. Your body's pumping out cortisol and that is a big driver of hormone imbalance that fuels breakouts in so many women." - Jolene

Jolene:
I actually don’t, and I don’t feel like I’m in a place where I could; I don’t know, I’m still on my journey. It wasn’t until I healed my skin that I felt like I could be a coach and guide others, and I still kind of feel like that with Lyme. And it’s interesting; it’s such an individual experience. That’s true with skin issues too. I mean, someone comes to me and says, “I have acne.” There’s not a single thing that I can say, “Oh, you just need to eat this food or do this.” There are half a dozen core root causes of what could be an imbalance in your body that might be causing something like acne, but with Lyme, I think it’s even, it’s even more nuanced, right?

Mimi:
But I actually had terrible cystic acne that started scarring during my time.

Jolene:
I’ve had that too, and it’s funny because I hadn’t had breakouts for over 10 years. And when I started then, as I know now, supporting my liver a bit more, doing some more castor packs, that completely went away. So I knew at that point, my liver was kind of overburdened with maybe I wasn’t detoxing enough. And that’s been a core of my treatment, and progress is just making sure that I detox as much as I’m treating along the way.

Mimi:
And what do you typically find as the most common causes of acne?

Jolene:
So the surface of your skin is really reflective of what’s going on in your gut. And it’s interesting because if you go to a dermatologist with acne, you’ll be given an antibiotic to treat it a lot of the time. The antibiotic is not doing any favors for your gut health, so you wind up sometimes in a worse place than where you started treating acne. So for some women, it’s for sure hormonal; for others, it might be gut dysbiosis. For others, it might be a nutritional imbalance.

We work on blood sugar balance, and as women, we don’t get this core class that I think we need on hormone health, blood sugar, how to eat for feeling satiated and having steady blood sugar until the next meal. We’ve had so much messaging around to stay at a certain weight you might want to skip a meal or eat a yogurt, or that’s not a meal that’s going to give your body what it needs.

You need to have a quality source of protein; you need to have healthy fat and abundant, colorful produce at each meal and combine that. And that’s how you burn slowly and evenly over four or five, maybe even six hours without a crash that leaves you craving sugar, caffeine, simple carbs to get you through to the next meal. And so, so many of us are on that blood sugar roller coaster all day long, and it sends this stress signal as we do it. Your body’s pumping out the stress hormone cortisol because it’s stressful to be in that blood sugar imbalanced state. And that is a big driver of hormone imbalance that fuels breakouts in so many women.

Mimi:
Wow, this has been great, and I really appreciate your time. And if anyone wants to find you, it’s at Jolenehart.com. Is there anything before we wrap up, is there anything else that you think we haven’t covered that the listeners would find useful, especially as it relates to Lyme?

The Power of Energy and Taking Control

Jolene:
I do really think energy is so powerful in your journey. I’m in charge has been really powerful for me. And just remembering that you are the one that writes your story, I think has been so motivational and so empowering to me to keep going and to keep pushing and driving and following my intuition in certain areas of this journey, that just remembering that I could settle for a diagnosis or one treatment or something that’s not working, but remembering that I write my story.

Mimi:
It’s very true. Please take this as a journey and embrace it and learn from it what you need to.

Jolene:
Absolutely.

Mimi:
This has been great. Thank you. I really appreciate it. And I wish you the best of health as we both continue to get back to our a hundred percent and continue following our passion. So thank you, I really appreciate it.

Jolene:
Thank you so much for what you do. It’s been so informational to go back and listen to your archives, and I will continue to be a follower because there’s some amazing information on these podcasts.

Links To Find Jolene and Her Services

Lyme 360 Social Share
 If you want to learn how I detox and check out my detox for Lyme checklist, go to Lyme360.com/detoxchecklist. You can also join our community at Lyme 360 Warriors on Facebook, and let’s heal together. 

Episode Sponsor

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Come Heal with Me! XX, Mimi