About Me

annick-600The short story

I am Annick Lewis practicing as a nutritionist (BSc) for the company Green Balance by Organnick 2014 est.

Growing up, I was highly allergic to almost all processed foods, which meant dealing with daily to monthly symptoms such as consistent colds, allergies, sport asthma, IBS, brain fog, low concentration, chronic fatigue, weight gain, dark circles and puffy eyes.

I knew that I had to make a change and fast in my late teens. Each day that went by I became more aware of my body rejecting the foods that it was being fed. I could no longer ignore the signs so I decided to dedicate my life 100% to healing my body.

I practice self love through living a balanced lifestyle, through being mindful about eating habits, eating a plant based diet for improved gut function and hormone balance, keeping active regularly, breath awareness to control body more efficiently, but most importantly about making a lifestyle which transforms you to strive toward your ultimate body and health goals.

Focussing on the 5 pillars of health, I am able to check in to keep my health and wellbeing exuberant. I feel great and I choose to thrive everyday, with making empowering choices.

HEALTH UPDATE 2017:

I am happy to report that I have lots of energy, have an excitement for life, my digestion has improved, my skin glows, my hair and nails are healthy. I shed off the extra llbs and now my body is stronger, leaner and recovers faster than I have experienced

My moods are more stable and I am a happier, calmer and more productive human being.

I no longer suffer with bad breath, extreme fatigue, body pains, extreme bloating and my thinking is crystal clear. My body has never looked better and felt more energetic and supple and my performance in sport, exercise and in life has exceeded my expectations.

MY PROMISE TO YOU:

I aim to motivate, inspire and educate your journey through self and health discovery. I practice and preach self love. I work on this through living a balanced lifestyle, through being mindful about habits. Habits including diet and eating a plant based diet which is great for improved gut function and hormone balance. Exercising regularly,  breath awareness to control the body more efficiently is a practice that I commit to. Most importantly I care about your success and helping you achieve your ideal lifestyle which has the power to transform you in achieving your ultimate weight and health goals.

The Long Story. . . . .

I am OrgAnnick

Hello, I am a 23 year old earthling, motivator, nutritionist BSc, L2 Personal trainer, wanderer, clean-eating-food-experimenter and coach, and this is my story.

University- The Reality:

You know that feeling when you wake-up with your eyelids glued together, your throat is dry and cottony and your entire bedroom reeks of stale vodka from the night before? Do you recall, eating those greasy fries and that pizza when you got home last night? That feeling of tiredness, fuzziness and pounding headaches a.k.a. a hangover? Yes I am sure many of you can relate. That used to be MY LIFE.

Like most, I lived a toxic lifestyle that included smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of sleep and consuming an acidic diet fuelled by sugar cravings and junk food binges. While at University it was so easy for me to get caught up in late night munchies and weekend splurges including Dominos, Mc Donald’s, Doritos, popcorn, chocolate, ice cream and cheesy French fries.

Far worse, was my reality back on my home island of Trinidad. Trinidad has an overall population of a mere 1.2 million people and the island is only 1,981 square km in size. However, we have a whopping 55 KFC outlets strategically positioned throughout the island. It has been my personal experience that junk food awaits you at every turn and the guilt-free consumption of empty calories is a norm due to convenience.

We are all wearing blinders and we choose to ignore our tired bodies that are functioning far below their true potential. I was effectively starving myself, not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was one of the many passengers on the fast train to obesity, disease and early death.

The Condition:

Growing up, I was highly allergic to almost all processed foods, dairy, artificial colours etc which lead to a miserable childhood dealing with daily to monthly symptoms such as, consistent colds and coughs, bronchitis, sports asthma, brain fog, low concentration, weight fluctuation, mild breakouts and dark circles under my eyes.

Waking up in the morning was one of the biggest struggles I faced. I had no desire to wake up and I suffered from chronic fatigue, which made it difficult to focus in University lectures and I would find myself napping too regularly.

My symptoms slowly progressed into leaky gut which furthered my sensitivity to foods.

I knew that I had to make a change and fast. It was as though I had a wild animal caged inside of me, clawing its way out and destroying my internal plumbing, organs and clouding my ability to think, see clearly and feel deeply.  No one could understand the fear and panic that I experienced waking up everyday with a new symptom—that seemingly developed overnight. Not even the countless doctors I visited knew how to properly diagnose me. They kept shovelling antibiotics down my throat, most of which caused equally harmful side effects.

I could no longer ignore the signs so I decided to stop half-assing my nutrition and to dedicate my life 100% to healing my body. I understood that it would take years to be fully healed, but I had to start NOW.

The Transformation:

Year 1- I attended Oxford Brookes University and pursued a Bachelor of Nutrition. I chose to follow this path to enlightenment so that I could not only help others to overcome their personal health struggles, but more importantly to get to the root of my personal issues with food. My course introduced me to a number of specialized diets that included; blood type diets, the palaeo diet, eating vegan, gluten free, pescatarian, vegeterian, raw foods—I tried them all!

Unfortunately, I did not find the cure to all of my ailments in any of these diet regimes, but what I did walk away with was the knowledge that eating raw, fresh, unprocessed food greatly reduced most of my pesky reoccurring symptoms.

After one full year of being strict with my diet, eating for my blood type and ingesting lots of enzymes and probiotics—I could, for the first time, truly say that I felt “better”. I was full of energy, mentally alert, my physical symptoms such as breakouts, itchy rashes and puffy eyes began to disappear and my once defective digestive tract could now tolerate the foods that I was putting in.

Year 2- I decided on Pescetarianism, but my weight, excess fat and cellulite still lingered and my energy levels were higher, but nothing significant.  I was not fully gluten free and did consume wheat products in moderation but I aimed to choose gluten free options most of the time. My moods were very unstable and I was still unfocused and unmotivated. Unfortunately my poor snacking habits of candies persisted, especially after nights out and on weekends.

Year 3- I had gone Paleo (low carb, wheat free and high protein) aiming to starve my body of sugars that were feeding my disease.

It had become very noticeable that the moment I touched wheat or sugars my body would react with horrible cramps, bad gas pains and I suffered from athletes foot which caused my toenails to look ugly and discoloured (thank God my boyfriend didn’t mind or even really notice, but I was very aware and embarrassed by them).

All in all, during my third year I worked out a lot and I was in the best shape of my life. My housemates and I cooked healthy meals together and positive energy flowed through the house. It was amazing to see how my actions were inspiring my surroundings and the people that I loved. We were the “fit football” house and we loved every second of it.

My housemates were my continuous support system and they understood my struggle and journeyed with me on my road to a healthier life. Many of them have adopted a similar lifestyle and we motivate each other to stay focused. I could not have done it without them.

No pain, no gain

I opted to embark on this life-changing journey at my peak socializing years, 19-21 years old. This meant that I faced a number of challenges while at University and I was forced to pull away from the crowd, thereby branding myself as “different”. I faced not being able to drink socially, declining invitations to go for group meals and limited partying. My boyfriend would want me to have a glass of wine with him, my football team had weekly drinking meetings, my house-mates wanted to sip prosecco on the weekends. I chose to pull away from these things, not because I wanted to, but because I was not yet strong enough to be faced with these stark alternatives—I had to stay focused. I was like a recovering addict, because I knew that one slip up could mean that the pain and symptoms could return at anytime. Alcohol, as I discovered, was one of my major triggers and it also made me crave naughty foods like McDonalds fries and ice-cream which being allergic has detrimental effects on the body.

One of the most frequently asked questions I faced was, “Why do you do this?” or “Is it hard?”. My response to them would be, “Why do you breathe? Is it hard for you to breathe? Eating cleanly and eating the right foods for my body comes to me as naturally as breathing comes to you, we both do it to stay alive and to create energy.” Within that first year, my taste buds had transformed themselves completely, and my cravings were not longer for sugars and grease but instead for raw, crisp plant based foods.

I remember it like it was just yesterday, “Dad stop!”, my father turned to me holding his basting brush, dripping with BBQ sauce in mid air, leaning over the BBQ pit. “What?” he asked, looking confused. In my newly converted, health-conscious mind I saw that BBQ sauce as being processed, sugar-laden and containing high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil, I had to stop him! “Dad please do not put any sauce on my fish, I would prefer it separate from the others on the grill, thank you.”

He sucked his teeth and complained that I was being difficult and picky. My journey had thus far brought me face to face with many “doubters”, just like my father; I was armed and ready to stand up for my health. I told him, “I have studied this as my degree, it is the way I live my life and if you knew the effects of these foods on the body, you would make the same decisions.”

That was the day that I decided to dedicate my life to educating the world on the dangers of certain foods. Armed with the truth they are free to make their own choices.

I am Organnick:

When I returned to Trinidad, the island where swimsuits, shorts and flip-flops are a must, I could no longer hide my ugly toenails or the truth about my new life. I succumbed to the party-drinking culture initially, but I switched to drinking Gin. I visited a holistic nutritional therapist to see what progress I had made. Unfortunately the results were not good and I was devastated. The tests showed that my liver was weak, my circulation was poor and my bone density was lowering.

Me? How could this happen to me? I thought I was so healthy?

I just want everyone to know that even when you think you are being healthy, you never know what is going on at a cellular level, what organs are really working, how strong your bones or body really are and how efficiently your blood is circulating through your veins. Stay as present as you can and see food as fuel or medicine otherwise you are heading towards some sort of illness or disease in your future. Genetics plays a huge role, which is the reason why I was chosen to suffer with this, but it does not limit my ability to heal it completely so that my body can run at its optimal potential.

My drastic lifestyle change drew a lot of attention from my peers and family members and I felt asthough I was living under a microscope. But, I stood my ground and whenever I was confronted by a doubter (which was all the time!) I began to enjoy it because I realised it was getting people to THINK.

I packed my own food everywhere I went because of the limited options available at social events.

I was determined to be a major influence in the health society in my country. I pushed education through social media, interviewed different health stores, suggested products for import and I researched the availability of every store.

I began my journey working under a private gym owner and I used this time to soak up as much knowledge as I could and to plot my journey to owning my own business.

I noticed that while some of my clients thrived off of my eating plans, others lost interest very quickly. I knew that I needed to provide even more support to my clients during their busy days and the idea of daily lunch delivery took off from there.  I was working 10-12 hour days and using my spare time to research and build creative menus. The meals were a hit and as a team we were educating clients on the amazing fact that healthy food—i.e. those with no refined sugar, more vegetables, no MSG, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, higher quality meats and cleaner cooking techniques—can taste as amazing and possibly even better than junk food.

Shortly after, I left the gym to branch out on my own and I did some traveling, which helped to broaden my horizons and motivate me to create my own Company or rather, my own Image. My clientele grew rapidly and so did their demand for weekly meal plans. I realised that I had the skills to design, create and mimic “unhealthy” flavours through my studies of different herbs and spices. I discovered mason jars and kicked off “Jar Love by Organnick” which were layered salads served in a jar. Producing these healthy meals enabled me to practice and enhance my cooking techniques and it also required regular market visits and the opportunity to learn more about our local culture and farming. I was happy, very busy and my business was thriving!

Unfortunately, I eventually realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew and it caused me to loose my focus. I was spreading myself too thin and this left little time for my own personal education, reading and development. I found myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning as I was bogged down by my confusion.

However, the Universe had other plans for me and I fortuitously met some significant people and had several life altering experiences:

Yoga helped me journey towards staying present. It is one thing to desire it but to actually practice helps you to take it a step further. It also teaches you patience, compassion, love and acceptance. The breath and body connection teaches you how to live your life and how to deal with the stresses that you may face on a daily basis with grace.

Attending Church also helps with reflection and positive self respect as they preach messages to help let go of past hurts and teach you to get back up when you fall down. The church taught me to have faith, worry less and to be happier every day.

Eckhard Tolle: ‘The Power of Now’ taught me how to live so presently that worry does not exist. The thought of not having enough time is what holds us back from achieving and the more that we act now, when the thought comes to mind, the more we get done.

Tony Robbins: ‘How to Grow Your Business’ was a defining moment for me because it finally occurred to me that I was running my own business and that my customers are my primary focus.

IDEA World Fitness Convention 2015: The mantra “You are a Leader and You can change the world by changing yourself first”, will forever be ingrained in me.

Brendon Burchard: a motivational speaker, encouraged me to take my self-empowerment to the next level. I gained the necessary skills needed to become a Success Coach, changing people’s lives through nutrition.

Health Update 2017:

I am happy to report that I have lots of energy, have an excitement for life, my digestion has improved, my skin glows, my hair and nails are healthy. I shed off the extra llbs and now my body is stronger, leaner and recovers faster than I have experienced

My moods are more stable and I am a happier, calmer and more productive human being.

I no longer suffer with bad breath, extreme fatigue, body pains, extreme bloating and my thinking is crystal clear. My body has never looked better and felt more energetic and supple and my performance in sport, exercise and in life has exceeded my expectations.

My Promise:

I aim to motivate, inspire and educate your journey through self and health discovery. I practice and preach self love. I work on this through living a balanced lifestyle, through being mindful about habits. Habits including diet and eating a plant based diet which is great for improved gut function and hormone balance. Exercising regularly,  breath awareness to control the body more efficiently is a practice that I commit to. Most importantly I care about your success and helping you achieve your ideal lifestyle which has the power to transform you in achieving your ultimate weight and health goals.