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How It Began

By: Lilly Zaborowski
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It all started with a little baby eczema.

My newborn son, Leo, was a few weeks old, and he had a case of baby acne that wouldn’t go away.  As the weeks went on, I asked about it at our pediatrician appointments, and I was eventually referred to a dermatologist who basically told me that there’s no root cause for eczema.  He may outgrow it, he may not, and here are some things you can do to manage it.

As someone who had already learned a little bit about the differences in eastern and western approaches to medicine, I wasn’t satisfied with the answers I was getting.  

I began googling, and despite being told by my dermatologist that it was probably not related to food, I suspected that some foods were triggering it.

I was breastfeeding, so I tried eliminating some of the common food groups that I was hearing could be tied to infant eczema.  Dairy and wheat. I noticed some improvement, but then it would worsen again. It was so hard to track, and I was trying to figure it all out on my own.  

I was back at work, hated pumping, and was definitely not interested in trying to eliminate all of the Top 8 food allergens from my diet, so I gave up breastfeeding and switched to a hypoallergenic formula.  His eczema stabilized and improved significantly, but it didn’t go away completely.

As we introduced solids, I held off on dairy and wheat, but I gave him some scrambled egg around his first birthday.  He reacted immediately by crying and rubbing at his mouth. His cheeks turned red, and his lips began to swell.

We ended up in the emergency room with a prescription for an Epipen, and our pediatrician ordered allergy testing within the week.

Leo tested positive for egg, dairy, peanut, tree nut, wheat and soy allergies.  I thought of the dermatologist who brushed off my questions about food.

As I began to navigate this new world of food allergies, I talked to a few other moms I knew who had small kids with food allergies, and one of them told me that working with a chiropractor had cured her son’s food allergies, seasonal allergies, and asthma.

She told me a little about what he did with them (diet changes, muscle testing, and a variety of supplements).  It seemed like it was worth a shot, so I got us on the (months-long) waitlist.

His office was a long drive for us, sometimes over an hour if there was traffic, and appointments were every three weeks.  I didn’t doubt that what he was doing would help, or even cure, Leo’s food allergies, but his style was rubbing us the wrong way.  I thought to myself, there has to be another person we could work with.

It took some serious digging, but we found the right place to help us.

Stephanie Belseth at Newbridge Health and Wellness has helped us immensely over the last year, and they’re only a fifteen minute drive from our house.  Much easier for us to manage.

The windy road that led us here was the inspiration for Well Connected Twin Cities.  

When I started researching that baby rash at the beginning, I found a wealth of knowledge online from sites like Wellness Mama, Kula Mama, and Mamavation.  I listened to wellness themed podcasts, and I was fascinated by the experts they featured from around the country.  

But as I explored the real life wellness community in the Twin Cities, I found that there’s a wealth of knowledge right here in our backyard.  And the way people were finding them was through word of mouth and local facebook groups. I saw an opportunity.

I created Well Connected Twin Cities to be a place to explore and be inspired by the local wellness community.  

You can search our directory with all kinds of keywords, from type of practitioner to a specific chronic illness you’re looking for help with.  Our blog will cover locally relevant wellness topics and highlight local businesses like cleaners that don’t use harmful chemicals, community acupuncture studios, and salons that use safer products.

We’ll also profile local wellness providers, so you can get to know some of the faces behind the websites and discover people to support your total wellness.  

And we hope to hear some great stories of health and healing from this community.  If you have a story you’d like to share that includes a local wellness provider, please email us with the subject line “testimonial.”

Our events page is an amazing resource to check out wellness talks and events around town, and as our community grows, we’ll begin to host our own events as well.  Sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay in the loop on all the good stuff!

What do you think?  Are you excited about what we’re doing?  Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter, and give us a shout out!  We can’t wait to hear from you.

Lilly Zaborowski is a Twin Cities mom of two, yoga instructor, and founder of Well Connected Twin Cities.  She’s a nutrition nerd who also loves ice cream and Punch pizza.

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