Updated: Dec 26, 2019

It's time for a confession... are you ready? I started a wellness company having no idea just how unwell I was. What a racket, right? I didn’t jump into business a fraud of any sort, mind you - I was totally healthy on paper. All my numbers and stats (you know the important ones they check for life insurance and such) were precisely where they needed to be, and I had poured myself into this business as a way to share everything I had learned and was continuing to learn with others. It has been an absolute dream from the very beginning in many ways, one the Lord allowed to come to fruition. But over the course of a few months not long after the launch of Prescription Wellness, God would embark on an altogether different mission - an excavation way down into the depths of my heart. If you’ve read my story before (you can find it HERE), you should know it was incomplete. I was 32 years old - OF COURSE my story was incomplete. All of our stories are incomplete in this life, but I didn’t recognize that at the time. The story I wrote nearly two years ago was all about me and my choices, and a gaping hole is so evident. I left out the most critical component of true wellness. Jesus. Much of what I teach about health and wellness could easily be construed as self-help, so let’s make sure we’re clear on roles here. This is not a space where you are told to be the hero of your own story. Jesus is the hero here. You, however, are called to be an active participant in your life with Him, and let me assure you: it is a ride. I’m sharing more of my story over the course of the next several days as part of hope*writers #hopewriterlife fall writing challenge. Today’s writing prompt was ‘start,’ and I am so grateful that in Christ, any starting point really is just the beginning. I am beyond excited and honored to share with y’all. Love + All My Best,

Beth Ann

No really, you probably are, and so was I! But I don’t mean ‘Oh, you’re too kind,’’ type of sweet. I mean your blood has too much sugar in it. “Yikes!” level sugar. I realize that jumping out into the blogging world telling people they don’t need to eat sugar is probably not my best move, so instead I’m just going to tell you why I don’t eat refined sugar for the most part at all anymore. And maybe it will be good motivation for you to be aware and intentional about decreasing sugar this season, or at least not giving in to the oreo balls at every holiday gathering.

First of all, let me explain why I shifted my mindset from just “cleaning up sugar” i.e. eating organic sugar, to virtually eliminating refined sugar whether it was clean or not. I learned a fact, and it is this: Children today consume in one day the amount of sugar our bodies were designed to consume in one YEAR. If you need to read that sentence again, go right ahead. It blew my mind and scared me half to death. I needed to know more about why this was happening and what on earth it was doing to our bodies.

Well, the why I actually already knew. It’s because sugar is addictive. Food manufacturers put sugar in our food and in our children’s food because having it makes us crave more of it, and we, in turn, buy more of it. And what is it doing to our bodies? To these physical vessels of which we each receive only one and must steward it well? It’s doing a whole lot, and not one bit of it is good. I don’t want you to stop reading this because it sounds sad or depressing, so I’m saving the deep-dive post on the major issues that come with sugar (#1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease! impairs brain function and focus, decreases immune function, negatively affects mood, causes a myriad of skin issues, and contributes to leaky gut to name a few… wah wah). I’m going to skip to the good and the how and the why I don’t eat it or want it anymore.

I, Beth Ann Davenport, was addicted to sugar. And I didn’t even know it! But it became very evident to me within days of giving it up because I benefited so much from giving myself a hard NO, on all things sugar at the beginning. There was no decision to make, no wondering how much was too much, or like an alcoholic with wine, could I have just one? Nope, not at first. But unlike an addiction to alcohol, which you often hear described as “day by day for the rest of your life,” I only needed to get sugar out of my system, and then the craving for it was gone. No joke, gone!

We hear that phrase a lot, right? “Get it out of your system” normally means have a whole bunch so you get sick of it or something to that effect. But, if I tell you that you need to get sugar out of your system, I mean sugar is already in there, and it needs to exit and not really come back. And it’s going to be really tempting for you to say that you can’t get it out of your system like that. That’s what I would have said not long ago, I assure you. I tell people all the time that the whole reason I think God called me into the role is because I am the absolute world’s least likely candidate to accomplish anything health-related successfully, so if I can do it, ANYONE can. But that’s easy for me to say on this side of the sugar, and hard for you to believe with holiday puppy chow available in your break room at work. So here is the science behind the addiction and how you can step out of the cycle.

First, you need to know this: you’re outnumbered. What do I mean by that? I mean that you have exponentially more bacterial cells in your digestive system, your “gut,” than you have your own cells in your entire body. Some estimates suggest that counting cell-by-cell, your body is actually 95% bacteria! What?! This plethora of bacteria in your belly are referred to collectively as your microbiome, and there are a whole bunch of different strains (strain is really just another word for type in this instance) of bacteria living as part of it. Which strains survive and thrive in your microbiome is dependent on what you’re feeding them. So if you feed your body sugar, then the bacterial and fungal strains that love sugar will multiply and thrive. As those cells are living and thriving, they produce neurochemicals that send signals via your vagus nerve from your gut to your brain telling it to feed them more of that thing that makes them thrive. Sugar. *Enter craving more sugar and eating more sugar, and the cycle is completed and begins again.* Their mission is accomplished. But that mission can be futile if you’re equipped to fight it!

Remember how we said that your body is up to 95% bacteria by cell count? Then how is it that you’re not just one giant bug walking around? Because bacterial and fungal cells are teensy tinsey itsy bitsy. And teensy tinsey itsy bitsy cells have a teensy tinsey itsy bitsy life span. It takes three-ish days on average for your microbiome to turn over. Three days, and a big chunk of those little buggers could be starved off! You can give up anything for three days, right?

Will you despise sugar after three days? No. But you will crave it less, maybe even less enough that you’ll want to go another three days, and then another? By two weeks, you can significantly reset your body and stop all the yuck that sugar can accomplish in your insides? Just try it! Three days with no sugar, and let me know how it goes!! I know, like I know know, that you can do it! Annnnd GO!

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

...and THANK YOU for following along! My name is Beth Ann Davenport {yes, I go by ‘Beth Ann’ - this is The South!}, and I want to share my story with you.

I am a pharmacist who is finally convinced that the best medication is prepared on the kitchen counter. I say finally because I should have reached this conclusion long before I did! My father, also a pharmacist, has always been ahead of his time, and he's been living functional medicine principles for as long as I can remember. He even hired a nutritionist to focus on natural health in our small town community pharmacy in the 90's - The 1990's! The decade of "low fat" high sugar / uber processed everything. But as the story goes, I had to come to the knowledge on my own, and that took more time than I care to admit.

I survived the majority of my twenties on microwavable mac’n’cheese, fun size candy bars, and diet drinks. I wish I were kidding. The concept of portion control has always made sense to me – I’m just a little over 5 feet tall, so it seems reasonable (albeit unfair) that I can’t eat as much as someone closer to the six foot mark. Calories were the only measure that mattered, and I was convinced that all calories were created equal until I found out I was expecting our first child a little over seven years ago.

Teased by some coworkers that I would have a “macaroni baby,” I harnessed all the super power that comes with pregnancy and nursing, and I made the healthiest decisions of my life up to that point. But then, ever so gradually, I slipped back toward poor eating amidst the chaos that is the everyday life of a modern working mama, and I only seemed to prioritize quality nutrition and healthy habits when I was growing or nourishing another life besides my own. I am not a fan of mama martyrdom, so I’ll move on.

Fast forward a couple of years, and my husband, Josh, and I had two precious children. Our daughter was three years old, and our youngest son was 9 months. You may be wondering why I specified youngest son when we only had one, but it’s not a typo. It was at this time that we added our third child to the family, a second son also three years old. A few months into life as a family of five, a turning point came. No bolt of lightning struck, and no dramatic last straw broke the proverbial camel's back as a catalyst for changing my life. I just looked up one day and saw three children staring back, all three years old or under and all depending on me. And when I looked in the mirror, the woman staring back at me was well on her way to becoming the stereotype of a mom who had given up on herself. I was tired and crazy and unhealthy in too many ways, but I couldn’t accept that it was all downhill from here.

I began to recognize that this body I had been given had done so much work growing and nourishing two and now raising these three little ones in addition to trying to fill the roles of wife, pharmacist, friend, and I can’t even remember what else. Recognition was followed by gratitude, and gratitude was followed by a pivotal decision. I decided I was not going to be a victim of motherhood or of American culture or of aging or of anything else. I was going to need to take care of myself in a way I really hadn't ever before, and then, I would give my best to each of those callings.​​

​Not long after I began to make changes in my life at home, I also started incorporating what I was learning into my work. As I helped patients manage their medication, I quickly found myself spending more and more time on the nutrition and therapeutic lifestyle changes that are really first line therapy for almost every chronic disease. I quickly began shifting the focus of my continuing education and clinical experience to nutrition, disease prevention, appropriately studied supplements, and lifestyle modifications for improved overall health, and that eventually led to Functional Medicine {What is Functional Medicine? Read about it here!}.

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. Rather than simply looking to a pill to bandaid a symptom, functional medicine looks at your whole body, determines from where the symptom derives, and seeks to heal from the root up. While modern, traditional medicine does an incredible job keeping us alive (treating acute health disparities like traumas, injuries, infections, etc) and fixing broken parts, it’s not doing the best job of keeping us well (treating chronic/lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, etc.). In other words, it isn’t fixing our broken systems.

Functional Medicine looks at you as a whole person, one with a completely unique combination of genetics, lifestyle, relationships, environment, and many other factors specific to you. And ultimately, Functional Medicine looks to restore health to your life in every capacity, largely by looking to food as medicine. ​

The more I learned, the more I began to understand that our bodies are made up of intricately connected and co-dependent systems, and accounting for those connections is critical to health. I dove into IFM’s intense and thorough coursework, and immersed myself in all things "natural healing."

Here's the thing - there is so much hope! The information I have learned and continue to learn everyday {literally!} is simply too good, too fascinating, and too crucial to keep to myself. I knew I needed a way to help people understand and implement it, but that opportunity didn’t exist behind the traditional pharmacy counter. So I launched Prescription Wellness, a concierge wellness consultation company. Prescription Wellness exists to accomplish that very purpose - to share knowledge and tools about functional nutrition, physical activity, quality rest, and healthy stress management to make a real impact in the lives of others - in your life!

My goal for this space is to help further spread the news about this incredible movement in healthcare - a shift toward allowing our bodies to function according to their incredible design. I am also so excited to highlight my favorite healthy restaurants, brands, and products in Arkansas and beyond. There are so many folks really doing it right, and supporting them is a win for everyone!

Official G O A L :: #improveARhealth together!

All the Best!

Beth Ann

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