THE STORY BEHIND GUTSY BAKER
I’m Stephanie, a graphic designer in the film and entertainment industry, a lover of fitness and a healthy lifestyle, a self-taught baker and a frenchie mom. I live in California and love it, the sunshine and warm weather give me life!
I started Gutsy Baker as an outlet to my healing. It started as a wellness-focused Instagram account which evolved into a healthy baking blog. My health came crashing down in 2016 when I was working too many hours, over-training and running, and not managing my stress properly. It happened out of nowhere with gastritis attacks that put me in the hospital, along with bad reflux and respiratory reflux. Not knowing the cause of my pain, I listened to ‘doctors’ and had my gallbladder removed. This did not help, and immediately triggered new digestive issues including SIBO (too much bacteria stuck in the small intestine) and a Candida overgrowth.
After months of some crazy testing and thousands of dollars later, I was finally diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease by my integrative gastroenterologist. Lyme attacks the nervous system, affecting all the nerves in my stomach which slows down the digestion and causes chronic inflammation. I tried every non-conventional Lyme treatment imaginable in the next year. Ozone therapy, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, a year of bi-weekly IV infusions to boost immunity, cocktailed with anti-malarial herbs. For those who don’t know, long-term Lyme does not have a ‘cure’, and many patients go into debt from all the out-of-pocket doctor appointments and treatments.
"SOMETHING WILL GROW FROM ALL YOU ARE GOING THROUGH AND IT WILL BE YOU."
At the end of 2017, I decided to undergo a Lyme-specific stem cell treatment program based out of Germany. This was to repair and heal nerve damage done by the Lyme. I’d be lying if I said it was an easy treatment and recovery. The first year leaves you completely fatigue (along with other weird symptoms) while the stem cells start to work — heal and repair.
But now at almost 3 years out, I’m feeling a lot more energy, mental clarity and just more myself. I am now just focusing on healing my gut and fully eradicating SIBO. I’ve been taking probiotics, immunoglobulins and working on motility. I adapted a low fodmap and paleo diet. I feel improvements with just these changes.
I’ve always loved to bake. I mainly bake for others. When I first got diagnosed and couldn’t eat literally anything besides baby food, I had to start over and create with the foods I knew I could still eat. After years of following a very specific and restricted diet, I’ve learned to create delicious original and copycat recipes with limited ingredients. I love to share these with you all, in hopes that if you are struggling with digestion or food intolerances — or you just want to be healthy and indulge without the guilt — I’m here for ya.
So I hope you enjoy my little corner of the internet and mostly, my sweet creations!
Thanks for being part of my journey.
"I KNOW THIS TRANSFORMATION IS PAINFUL, BUT YOU'RE NOT FALLING APART; YOU'RE JUST FALLING INTO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, WITH A NEW CAPACITY TO BE BEAUTIFUL." - WILLIAM C. HANNAN
10 OTHER THINGS ABOUT ME
1. I live in Los Angeles but I’m from Boston. I say my ‘R’s though.
2. I work on feature films as a graphic designer as my full-er time job. I design and make graphics for film sets: signs, props, photoshops, fictional logos, packaging etc. I’ve worked on features such as Ghostbusters, Logan, Ted... I’ve been working on films since 2008.
3. I am a french bulldog mom. He’s a lot of work but has helped me so much with my healing. We are inseparable! He’s trained as an ESA and support animal.
4. I have always been into health and fitness. I was a long distance runner and fitness enthusiast before Lyme. Since, I’ve done over 1000 pure barre classes!
5. I attended an amazing cooking school in Tuscany. I stayed on a villa, cooked all day and ate and drank wine all night. I can’t eat most of that food anymore, but I know how to cook it now!
6. I was almost on Big Brother season 8.
7. I’ve been skydiving.
8. I’ve worked and briefly lived in Vancouver, New Orleans, Iowa, Atlanta, NYC, Seville, London, Windsor and other UK towns.
9. I’m a Disney nerd. I try to go to Disneyland at least twice a year.
10. I love the holidays and everything festive that comes with them, including fun baked goods.
...10a. I love to help and inspire people; I am so happy I could turn my journey into this little community!