I’m Nicole Bonilla!
An urban cowgirl deliciously supporting your digestive and mental health!
Here’s My Story…
I was a workaholic who epically ‘broke’ in 2019 from an inflammation-inducing anxiety overload caused by stress.
I was in a chronic “fight or flight” state
I’m a mother of six and business owner who wasn’t processing stress, trauma, and emotions. I worked harder, faster, and stronger to avoid them. After several particularly stressful events during the fall of 2019, my stress-reserve tank was empty, and I epically ‘broke’. I was stuck in a chronic “fight-or-flight” state and had painful inflammation throughout my digestive tract. I experienced intense bloating, IBS, and my anxious feelings were unrelenting.
I found healing through food & mindfulness
I immediately got help from a naturopath doctor who quickly diagnosed my dysregulated nervous system and helped release my digestive inflammation. I immediately removed processed food and refined white sugar from my diet to help heal my gut. I also began incorporating mindfulness and meditation, which released a flood of pent-up emotions. Within several days I was feeling considerably better. Within a couple of months, I was feeling great! And I continue these healthy habits today that I’m sharing with you.
So, what’s in it for you?
Creatively delicious and emotionally satisfying recipes for a gentle tummy!
What can you expect from my recipes?
- Naturally sweetened without refined white sugar or powdered sugar
- Nutrient-dense ingredients that are easily digestible
- Simple instructions, photos & videos for tasty success
- Mostly gluten-free with options for vegan, and dairy free
Can you trace your anxiety to childhood experiences?
Mine began as a child performing in our family’s wild west show
It’s random…I know 🙂
The Carson Family Western Show
began in the early 1930’s with my Grandfather, Buss Carson, and included roman riding, trick riding & roping, liberty drill, and dog acts. I started singing in the show with my 5 siblings at the age of 3, and singing, dancing and trick-roping by age 6. At the age of 15, I took over the main horse act with my beautiful palomino stallion, Majestic (great-grandson of Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger). I’ve continued to honor my western heritage with the Cowgirls Historical Foundation.
We only rode stallions
and they are very spirited and can be difficult to handle. We were the laborers and the performers, which brought unusual responsibilities and physical demands on a young girl. I’m grateful for the work ethic, grit, and resolve I grew up with. But I can also trace my current anxieties of physical safety, claustrophobia, and fear of making mistakes to this lifestyle, which was outside my control.
As a mother of six I know how it feels to receive ‘bad news’ requiring unwelcome dietary changes
I’ve been through gestational diabetes, gluten restrictions, dairy restrictions, and calorie deficits. Each time felt like a gut punch, literally and figuratively. The silver lining was knowing I was helping to bring six incredible humans into the world who call me ‘Mom.’ And now I’m dealing with the battle wounds. Of course, I wouldn’t trade any of them, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. But that doesn’t mitigate the sorrow and depression that come with these restrictions. And the lifestyle changes that can be challenging and painful.
Postpartum Mental Illness
No one warned me about postpartum ‘baby blues’. Losing control of my emotions and mental stability was terrifying and gave me an immense appreciation for others who suffer from mental illness. Giving birth for the first time changed my life, and I’ve never been the same. The PTSD of sleep deprivation and recovery still linger and manifest themselves sporadically. Awareness and acceptance have been key to healing and working through the anxiety.
A family cornucopia of anxiety
I’m grateful for all that I have learned through dealing with my anxiety because I’ve been able to help my children navigate through theirs. I have an empathy and understanding I couldn’t have acquired otherwise. They each have incredible gifts and talents balanced by insecurities and fears. Processing feelings, allowing the tears to flow, and acknowledging the good times and the bad have helped us all improve our mental health. But that’s not all…
Despite unwelcome dietary restrictions, you can still enjoy what you love with some creative modifications!
Creative problem solving happens to be my business
I’ve worked as a creative director for Bonilla Design & Advertising since 1998 with my husband, Gabe, also a designer. Our creative services include graphic design, website design, commercial photography, fine-art portrait photography and videography.
We all face day-to-day work demands, such as project deadlines, personality conflicts with coworkers, difficult clients, financial instability, etc. It’s no wonder we’re struggling with our mental and digestive health. I know it isn’t easy, so I want to help you feel gentler digestion and inner peace.
Are you making time to enjoy your passions?
It’s been proven we feel more content and fulfilled when engaged in hobbies or projects we love.
I’m experiencing joy and creative expression in mine, which became my creative therapy and a welcome distraction after my epic breakdown in December 2019.
In 2021, I became the 14th photographer internationally to reach Fellow in The Portrait Masters Competition & Accreditation Program. You can check out my youtube channel for Creative Fine Art Photography…