My Journey Jamianne Verkade


Hey, there! I’m Jamianne (Jamie-Ann) Verkade.

I’m a California girl who took a life-long chronic illness and turned it into a passion: a passion to teach other people how to listen to their unique, beautiful bodies and give them what they need to thrive in a way that promotes compassion and self-love.

As a kid I was always tired, had a stomach ache, a debilitating migraine, a cold that wouldn’t go away for 3
months at a time… you name the vague, invisible, impossible-to-convince-my-parents-and-teachers-that-I’m-not-faking-it symptom, I had it. I went to the doctor, but he just told me “You’re too young to be this tired. Just take more vitamins!”

Jamianne Verkade Childhood

I was a goody-goody who sucked up to the teachers and behaved perfectly in class, but I still constantly fell behind because of all the days I had to stay home sick. By the time I was in college, it got to the point where my roommates couldn’t even wake me up for class in the morning. That’s also around the time I started to gain excess weight. I immediately began torturing myself with restrictive diets and intense exercise routines. Even though I was killing myself with diet and exercise, I only continued to gain more weight and feel even more terrible.

Flash forward five years. I broke my neck in a car accident, took a break from college, married the love of my life (poor guy had no idea what he was signing up for), and found a new doctor who diagnosed me with Celiac Disease. Wah huh? “Just go to the store and get the cereal that says Gluten-Free on the box.” If only it were that simple. In 2008, even Google couldn’t give me a clear, non-medical-termy answer to my question, “What the heck is gluten?”.

Jamianne Verkade Karl

And that’s when it finally happened: I became my own advocate for a healthy, vibrant, balanced life. I was forced to be the one to figure out what was wrong with me, what my body needed, and how to get it. I learned quickly that not all doctors are created equal. I surrounded myself with family, friends and competent health professionals who believed in me and genuinely cared about me.

{You can re-live my transformation from Taco Bell to Tofu to Grass Fed Burgers when you read the posts from my Urban Cave Couple archives}

Now, I can happily say that all my hard work has paid off, and then some! Eating clean foods, learning how to listen (and respond kindly) to my body, managing my stress levels and learning to love my body for what it is instead of what I wish it was transformed my body into the healthiest it has ever been. So healthy, in fact, that it decided to make another little human. 🙂

Jamianne Verkade Bowen

Although, even on my healthiest days, I will always have a Severe Genetic Gluten Intolerance (yeah, my Celiac diagnosis was bogus. Can a girl catch a break in this healthcare system?). That means no matter how healthy I am, one bite of gluten incognito and I will be suffering from exhaustion, nutrient malabsorption, weakness and weight fluctuation for 6 months or longer. It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient of times… during the holidays, right after a health breakthrough, right before I launch a brand new nutrition website (yup, I’m battling the evils of accidental gluten ingestion this very second!). But with each challenge that comes my way, I learn more about how beautiful, amazing and capable the human body is, and I’m so glad to have an outlet to share that knowledge with you!

Maybe you’ve experienced a similar healing journey, or maybe you are just looking for the energy to survive this moment right now. Wherever you are on the path to a body you love, I would love to keep in touch! Every month I send out a recap of my blog with tips and insights for a life of compassion and love for your beautiful bod. Plus, you’ll get a free guide with my favorite wellness tips for a solid self-love foundation!

Or, if you’re looking for someone to personally walk you through your wellness journey, contact me about private Health & Wellness Coaching. I would be honored to be on your team, but space is limited so be sure to contact me ASAP.