How I Became The Holistic Hipppie
Updated: 6 days ago
My name is Sarena-Rae Santos, and my journey to holistic health began in June 2019 when I became an affiliate, also known as an Earthologist, with a truly clean, mostly organic, natural, toxin-free, and affordable company: Earthley Wellness. You will often find me recommending Earthley's products throughout my posts because I find them to work for me and have been a significant part of my recovery from many ailments. Earthley's products are formulated and approved by a well-skilled herbalist, whom I know, trust, and often quote, Kate Tietje from the Modern Alternative Mama blog.
In 2019, when I started as an Earthologist, I was in a wheelchair due to multiple health complications resulting from primarily Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus. This was when I learned my CRPS diagnosis stemmed from the Gardasil vaccine I received roughly 13 years prior, which is when my CRPS symptoms started.
Before 2019, the closest I was to practicing anything holistic was my chiropractor, who was helping me manage cervical lordosis (abnormal, excessive inward curvature of the neck) and scoliosis, which I was advised against by my pain management team.
In my mid-20s, many people followed my story on Facebook as I went from doctors to specialists to discovery centers in an attempt to figure out what was generating these symptoms that kept me wheelchair-bound. Unfortunately, no one ever had explanations for me, so I had to figure it out independently.
Aside from my diagnosis of Complex Regional Syndrome (CRPS) and nystagmus, I have also been diagnosed with the following conditions that all required medication or supplementation of some sort:
Complex Ovarian Cysts
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Reactive Airway Disease
With such a long list of diagnoses, it's not surprising that I was spending HUNDREDS on my daily pharmaceutical medications every time I visited the pharmacy, which was several times per week. I had those extra-large medication trays that I was not fond of filling because they were overwhelming and time-consuming each week. My medications that were prescribed for the conditions listed above and were taken daily were:
Aczone Gel 7.5%
Calcium 500 mg+D (2x per day)
Certizine 10 mg
Lamotrigine 200 mg (2x per day)
Lansoprazole DR 15 mg
Lidocaine Ointment USP 5%
Magnesium 250 mg
Probiotic 10 Billion CFU
Singulair 10 mg
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim 800/160 mg
Symbicort 160/4.5 mcg
Trazodone 300 mg
Trokendi XR 100 mg (2x per day)
Vitamin B-12 1,000 mcg
Vitamin C 500 mg
Vitamin D 5,000 (1x per week)
Zohydro ER 50 mg
That’s not counting my “as needed” medications like inhalers, nebulizer treatments, additional sleeping pills, over-the-counter supplementation recommended by my many doctors, or my CBD.
In 2019, I started removing everyday toxins by slowly transitioning my personal and home care products to all-natural, toxin-free alternatives. Although I noticed a difference, this was just the beginning. Only so much can be done from the outside before you need to focus on the inside too.
That’s why in January 2020, I adopted a plant-based and 100% natural lifestyle, influenced by a book recommendation, How Not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger, which discusses the discovery between foods and diseases and scientifically proves you can prevent and reverse most diseases. At that time, I was still in a wheelchair. Still, I stopped taking over-the-counter medicine and over twenty medications for the medical conditions I mentioned earlier, which I soon learned left me riddled with side effects—some worse than the actual conditions they were meant to be treating.
My symptoms began to subside within two weeks of treating myself 100% naturally through herbal remedies from Earthley Wellness and MaryRuth's. The chronic pain I once experienced is now minimal, symptoms of epilepsy are controlled, dizziness is completely gone, asthmatic symptoms have vanished, insomnia is a thing of the past, and overall I feel fantastic. I can now spend time with my husband and family whenever I want, without having to cancel plans due to dizziness or pain, and I even managed to let my service dog retire. Oh, and I am no longer in a wheelchair!
Going plant-based has completely transformed my life into something more fulfilling than ever before, even compared to life before my many ailments. Plants and herbs have benefited me greatly, and avoiding all animal products, except for honey, has done me wonders. This is what worked for me. It was not easy to walk this path or find what worked for me, and every story will be different, and that’s okay.
These experiences led me to create The Holistic Hipppie website to give my readers accessible and accurate content on natural remedies and holistic approaches to health.
People often called me a hippie due to my way of thinking, my natural mindset, and being plant-based; the only thing I was missing was the hallucinogenic drugs. I soon became The Holistic Hippie and created The Holistic Hipppie website to inspire others to take a holistic approach to their health. Since there were a few other holistic hippie groups and pages on Facebook, I chose to stand out the most and add the triple P, which stands for peace, passion, and purity.
My inner peace is essential; I practice yoga and mindful meditation daily for considerable health benefits and refuse to let anyone destroy my inner peace.
I am very passionate, especially about a holistic approach to health and living toxin-free, as this is something I have lived through with many chronic illnesses and has literally transformed my life.
I want my followers on all my platforms to know how truly pure my intentions are for them. I'm sharing this journey with you guys, not for money, because I honestly don't make much; it's primarily to provide easy access to reputable and easy-to-understand information, so my readers do not have to learn the hard way like I once did.
Aside from my website and email list, I advocate for these healthier lifestyle changes on several social media platforms, including TitTok, Facebook Group, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Additionally, I have overcome many health obstacles and have blogged about them in detail, including:
I am not a functional medicine practitioner, the FDA has not evaluated the statements I make in my articles, and the products and information in these articles are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything. The pieces I have written are based solely on my personal research. Do not delay seeking or ignore medical advice because of anything you have read in my articles. Before implementing any products or information in these posts, always seek professional medical advice.
Aside from my blog and online presence, after eight years of being disabled, I have been empl