DewDish: Karen Thomas

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What is your guilty pleasure?

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Frozen Lime Margarita. Yes, even nutritionist’s cheat once in a while. 

What is the best gift you ever received?

The best gift I ever received is my husband. Truly, I don’t deserve him. He is the best thing to ever happen to me. He rarely complains and has supported me throughout my 10-year battle with illness and into my newfound love for functional medicine. I’m grateful for all his support. Left to my own, I could have never picked someone as kind, loving, and supportive as he is. My mom says she prayed him in

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

The past 10 years have been the most difficult—the last 6 years focused on recovering. Losing my stepfather, my house fire and rebuilding, my husband fighting to survive in ICU for 3 months, the death of my mother-in-law, and then changes in my own health, it all took the breath out of my sails. 

Those first two years of tremendous stress left me lifeless with no will to live—the darkest days of my entire life. Wanting to commit suicide due to my own failing health, I realized only I could make the changes needed to get through it all. 

What really blew my mind was being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, Major Depressive Disorder, Adrenal Fatigue and more, all at the same time. Pills being thrown at me from all directions, yet, deep inside I knew there was a way out which did not include a list of prescription medications. 

In my darkest moment, I realized, “God has a purpose and a plan for me, and it isn’t a life of illness.” 

This is when I took over my own care. I fired everyone, started reading, and began my journey back to health.  

Using food as medicine, and a new education in nutrition, I’ve now regained my life, 100%. 

Now eight years after taking back responsibility for my health, I am a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Dental Hygienist and the CEO and Founder of Holistic Digestive Solutions. I now help others find their root causes of illness. 

My training has honed and sharpened my detective skills. Nothing makes me happier than when I receive the blessing of finding the puzzle pieces others have overlooked. This is what I was born to do.  

Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

The most influential woman in my life is my mom. My mom is an incredible woman with a fighting spirit I have inherited. When my dad died, he had forgotten to pay the life insurance policy and the mortgage on our house. In 13 days, my mom pulled it together and saved our house and changed our future forever. I don’t know how she did it. Her perseverance taught me essential life skills.   

What is your favorite place on earth?

My favorite place on earth is Aruba. For over 30 years, my dad and mom owned a timeshare in Aruba. I’ve had the pleasure of going since I was in my early 20’s. I wrote my 1st book there because it’s the place where I can completely rest and think—without a phone or computer distracting me. 

The beach there is the most beautiful I have ever seen. This is the place I go to unwind and reconnect with my husband and my mom. 

They are playing your theme song as you walk on stage. Name that tune!

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten 

What is the best part of your job?

I have the best job in the world. Not only do I get to use my skills as a dental hygienist; I get to use my investigative skills. Being able to link the oral cavity to other body systems while using my knowledge of functional medicine is more rewarding than I can say. Complex chronic disease is preceded by dysfunction that can be identified by running functional labs. Ordering, reading, and evaluating functional labs is the best part of my job. These specialty labs help find missing pieces of the puzzle that went unrecognized by others. 

What famous person living, or dead would you like to have lunch with and what would you ask them?

If I could have lunch with anyone living or dead, I would choose to have lunch with Queen Ester in the Bible. God had a plan and divine purpose for her. There are so many times I feel I have descended from her lineage. I don’t know what I would ask her. I would merely enjoy getting to know her. 

What does balance look like?

What’s that? Balance is my new mantra. Without balance we burn out. For me, balance has evolved since I first became sick. Now, I start my day for me. I am the priority. Whether this means exercise, or time doing my Bible study, then I do what’s right for me. I have built this into my schedule—making sure it happens. Previously, my priorities were upside-down—these essential actions were last on my list. 

What is your favorite Indoor/Outdoor Activity?

I love to workout with my friend Linda. She keeps me moving. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, as long as I am working out with her, I’m happy. 


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