This article is by Joyful Heart Foundation

 

Beth Manos Brickey is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, a yoga instructor, and a blogger with a love for food and wellness. She was chosen as one of four bloggers to compete in the Canyon Bakehouse Sammie Smackdown, a challenge to create the tastiest gluten-free sandwich. Canyon Bakehouse will donate $10,000 to the winning blogger’s charity of choice, and Beth is competing for Joyful Heart. You can vote for her sandwich up to three times a day until August 20.

We talked with Beth about her popular food blog, Tasty Yummies, and her healing journey as a survivor.

 

Tell us a little about how you got your start in food blogging.

I started sharing recipes on Tasty Yummies in 2010 after significantly changing my health through changing the food I was eating. Since discovering a severe gluten intolerance in 2005, after years of struggling with my health and my self-worth, I wanted to share what I was learning to hopefully empower others to take control of their health, to feel confident in the kitchen, and to feel strong enough to choose what is right for their own personal healing journey.

Why did you choose Joyful Heart as your charity of choice for the Canyon Bakehouse Sammie Smackdown?

When I discovered Joyful Heart Foundation and learned of this important work you are doing, I was instantly struck! As both a healer and a survivor, I am very passionate about the connection between unresolved trauma, chronic stress, adverse childhood experiences, and our health and wellness.

Why is Joyful Heart’s work personally important to you? 

We cannot ignore that the body and mind are inextricably intertwined. More and more research shows that chronic disease and autoimmune conditions can be linked to stress, fear, and unresolved trauma. Suffering from autoimmune disease myself, I have spent years not only investigating my food and nutrition, but simultaneously digging into the sources of my biggest stressors and my most deep-rooted fears.

For me, having experienced a sexual trauma in my late teens that for most of my early adult life I  was not only ashamed of, but at my core I truly believed was my fault, I feel close to any work being done to change the stigma surrounding this type of trauma and abuse. I learned many years later how carrying around this heavy stressor, fear, and shame affected my self-worth and in turn my health and wellness. I know now in my heart that internalizing for so long what felt like a secret, and being filled with a very deep and profound shame, extended into all areas of my life and my vitality. I also know that, sadly, I am definitely not alone in this experience. I see it in many of my friends and loves ones, as well as many of my nutrition clients.

After quietly carrying the shame of a sexual assault that wasn’t my shame to carry for over 15 years, it wasn’t until this past year, seeing other people publicly speak out and speak up in the #MeToo movement, that I finally felt supported, comfortable, and no longer alone or ashamed. I was able to really dig into the damage the abuse did to me and my health. I am finally learning to be able to openly speak about this trauma with others without shame or fear.

I believe unresolved trauma is one of the biggest challenges to our health that many people are still not talking about or investigating. I want all survivors of these types of heinous abuses to have as much support accessible to them as possible and to receive the justice they deserve, but most importantly for survivors to reclaim their joy and vitality. Seeing the small but important shifts in the stigma and the dialogue over this past year alone has been quite healing and cathartic for me in my own journey. I would love to see this change continue and for support, education, and healing to be available to anyone who has had to endure the pain of trauma or abuse. Discovering Joyful Heart and this very important work has truly touched me as a survivor, as a healer, and as a woman.

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