61 episodes

Our self-awareness journey through our son Theo's Autism and PANDAS diagnoses. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

The Pure Living Family Podcast Shawn Blymiller

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Our self-awareness journey through our son Theo's Autism and PANDAS diagnoses. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    Resilience Unveiled: Alicia Schoolman's Journey from Health Struggles to Holistic Wellness

    Resilience Unveiled: Alicia Schoolman's Journey from Health Struggles to Holistic Wellness

    Alicia Schoolman, a resilient individual with a remarkable journey, has overcome numerous health struggles that have shaped her into a stronger person. From wearing leg braces as an infant and a urinary system surgery as a child to multiple surgeries, chronic pain, fatigue, and chronic severe illnesses as an adult. Alicia's challenges fostered her resilience and ability to find joy in life.

    Her path led her through gymnastics, competitive sports, and a career in coaching, ultimately transitioning to Functional Medicine. Despite financial challenges and a debilitating health crisis involving a gallbladder surgery gone wrong, Alicia persevered, finding healing through mind-body practices like Qi-Gong and adopting a holistic lifestyle to get her health, body, and life back following exploratory abdominal surgery. 

    Alicia's journey inspired her to help others facing health and life struggles. She became a certified personal trainer, delving into holistic approaches before the term "health coaching" became popular.

    Battling idiopathic health issues during pregnancy, childbirth, and post-childbirth, Alicia explored holistic nutrition and researched the connections between toxins, autoimmune problems, asthma, allergies, and chronic pain/fatigue. 

    Her journey of cleaning up her life from toxins, adopting dietary changes, and addressing health issues serves as a testament to continuous learning in the realm of nutrition and wellness.

    Facing severe chronic pain, fatigue, and a near-death experience from pneumonia, Alicia's dedication to self-discovery, honoring her body’s messages,  and a toxin-free life led her to crucial dietary changes. Despite initial resistance, she embraced a gluten, corn, and dairy-free lifestyle, realizing the profound impact on her well-being.

    Alicia's story is a testament to the ongoing journey of wellness, emphasizing the importance of adapting and learning throughout life. Through her experiences, she discovered her calling to assist others in their health struggles, blending her expertise in fitness, balance, stress management, reducing toxin exposure, and holistic health coaching. Her remarkable journey and commitment to continuous learning inspire others to embark on their paths to holistic well-being. 

    #HolisticWellness #ResilienceJourney #FunctionalMedicine #HealthCoaching #MindBodyHealing #ToxinFreeLiving

    You can book with Alicia here:



    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 31 min
    From Buckwheat Snacks to Wellness Coaching: The Inspiring Journey of Leeann Rybakov

    From Buckwheat Snacks to Wellness Coaching: The Inspiring Journey of Leeann Rybakov

    Leeann Rybakov is a board-certified functional medicine health coach. As an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and what is now Kyiv, Ukraine, she is bilingual in English and Russian. Her curiosity about food began when she realized at a young age that other families did not serve the same food that hers did, and the role that this played in her concept of self. She took this curiosity to study psychology and food via multiple channels. 

    Leeann attended the University of Michigan, where she found herself in the developmental psychology program. Leeann had the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Dr. Chris Peterson, who helped birth the study of Positive Psychology. Leann states: “In Psychology, there is this draw to label people and to find out what is wrong with people but Dr. Petersen’s work was finding what was right with people.” Leeann utilizes this teaching in all of her coaching sessions. She says that we need that momentum. 

    After graduating from the University of Michigan, Leeann was accepted to law school but she continued with her passion for food. With the encouragement from her husband, she enrolled in culinary school. She loved learning about food and how to prepare food for herself and her family. At this time she was active in running and that is when she had the idea to create a healthy snack out of the family staple she grew up eating, buckwheat. She called it “BuckWHAT” and she was able to develop and distribute it nationwide. 

    After 5 years in business, and 2 kids later, she realized that this business was running her health into the ground, and it was time to part ways. This is when Leeann sought out the help of a health coach to improve her own wellbeing. 

    Seeing how much her health improved she had this idea to combine her passion for healthy food and helping people and that is when she decided to apply to the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. Leeann has been coaching people ever since. 

    Her biggest coaching advice is to listen to your body to know which foods to eat. There is a lot of noise in the health and wellness space of which diet is superior but she says our body is always communicating with us and we need to learn to listen to it to know which foods are right for our body. What is right for one person, might be completely different with someone else. Leeann takes a personalized approach with her clients to create a plan for them to reach their health and wellness goals. 

    You can book with Leeann here:


    #FunctionalMedicine #HealthCoaching #WellnessJourney #PositivePsychology


    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 27 min
    Mare Tomaski the Original OG in Functional Medicine Coaching

    Mare Tomaski the Original OG in Functional Medicine Coaching

    Mare Tomaski is one of the course facilitators for the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (https://functionalmedicinecoaching.org/) and one of the coaches for Pure Living. 

    Mare was introduced to Functional Medicine through Mark Hyman’s practice back in the day before he called it Ultra Wellness because she had this chronic strep throat that wouldn’t go away. He was in western Massachusetts and she was in eastern Massachusetts so Dr. Hyman referred her to the Marino Center in western Mass. Dr. John Bordick, Ed Levitan and his wife Wendie Trubow were her primary physicians.  Sidenote: Ed Levitan and Wendie Trubow have recently released a book called Dirty Girl: Ditch the Toxins, Look Great and Feel FREAKING AMAZING! Check it out here:


    These physicians coached her through the functional medicine model and started her on a food protocol. Mare could not believe that there was some form of medicine that was so closely aligned with naturopathic medicine, which was her reference point. She thought “this is naturopathic medicine with science behind it.”

    The care she received at the Marino Center was absolutely revolutionary compared the conventional medicine that she was accustomed to. Between the homeopathy and the change of diet, that strep throat went away and it never came back. 

    She stayed in touch with all of those doctors for years and years and they referred her to The Institute for Functional Medicine who referred her to the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. Mare attended The New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she learned about structural integration, massage therapy, yoga, stress reduction and more. She later completed her training with the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and became a course facilitator.

    We are so fortunate to have Mare as part of our team at Pure Living. You can book with her here:


    She says that the real value of Functional Medicine for her is getting to the real root cause or causes and getting a more complete healing. 

    Tune in to explore Mare's inspiring odyssey and the transformative power of Functional Medicine. 🌿 #FunctionalMedicine #WellnessJourney #HealthTransformation #PodcastSummary #PureLiving #HolisticHealth #FunctionalMedicineCoaching


    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 28 min
    An Adventure of a Lifetime with Functional Medicine Coach- Kevin Arnold

    An Adventure of a Lifetime with Functional Medicine Coach- Kevin Arnold

    Let me introduce you to Kevin Arnold one of our Pure Living Functional Medicine Coaches. Kevin has a pretty awesome story of his adventure of a lifetime of why he became a Functional Medicine coach. After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and working for a few years he decided to sell everything and move to Australia and New Zealand with his wife. 

    He talks about how he became frustrated with the American lifestyle where you work all day just to make ends meet. So he and his wife decided to move to Australia and have an adventure together. In the process, they bought an old Nissan Nomad van and lived in that to save money. They were able to save a significant amount of money over their 1-year adventure in Australia and New Zealand.

    Once they moved back to the U.S. they bought a Sprinter Van to continue that lifestyle but in the process, Kevin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after losing vision in his right eye. Kevin talks about how this is how he found Functional Medicine and in particular the Wahls protocol. Dr. Terry Wahls is a physician who developed multiple sclerosis (MS) and experienced a rapid decline in her health. Despite conventional treatments, her condition worsened. Subsequently, Dr. Wahls began researching and applying dietary and lifestyle changes, notably adopting a nutrient-dense, whole-food diet rich in vegetables and adopting other wellness practices. For example, the Wahls protocol is explained more as a modified paleo diet that is plant-rich but also stresses the importance of quality proteins (wild caught/grass-fed/pasture-raised) it even promotes introducing organ meats due to their rich vitamin content. She saw significant improvements in her MS symptoms with this new diet and lifestyle, leading her to develop the Wahls Protocol, a dietary and lifestyle approach aimed at managing autoimmune diseases. You can read more at the terrywahls.com link below. Kevin saw similar results when he was able to get his vision back to where it was in his right eye with a new nutrition protocol. 

    Kevin is an example of what he terms the Patient who is the Practitioner of the future. Because he has suffered through this autoimmune neurological degenerative chronic illness, he can guide others through their own healing. I loved another term that Kevin used called “Diagnose and Adios” where he explained the divorce he had with his neurologist. His Neurologist said that if you are not going to take the medications I prescribe and listen to what I have to say, you can’t be my patient. Kevin just knew that there had to be more than taking a pharmaceutical. 

    We are so grateful to have Kevin as part of our team. 

    You can schedule with Kevin on our website here:


    Know that when you do book with one of our coaches, 10% of the proceeds will go to The Pure Living Family Foundation, a federally recognized 501-C-3 that exists to help support the parents of kids with autism or other chronic auto-immune illnesses like PANS or PANDAS. 

    Check out some of the other links that were mentioned in the conversation


    https://www.alomoves.com/ - a mobile way to practice yoga 

    https://www.downdogapp.com/ - another mobile way to practice yoga.


    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 28 min
    Tyler Larsen Board Member Reps Pure Living Family Logo for My Cause My Cleats in the NFL

    Tyler Larsen Board Member Reps Pure Living Family Logo for My Cause My Cleats in the NFL

    Tyler Larsen is the starting center for the Washington Commanders in the NFL and is our favorite professional athlete in the entire world. In this episode, Tyler talks about his experience going through the autism diagnosis of his oldest son Ty. All while competing for a starting position in the NFL. He expresses how difficult and challenging it was to manage all of his emotions.

    Tyler wants to help special needs dads face this diagnosis and know that they are not doing it alone. The reason he chose The Pure Living Family Foundation for the Cause to represent on his cleats is to help special needs parents, especially dads, to feel like they have a community that they can lean on. If you have a special needs child and feel like you need support, reach out to Tyler and to The Pure Living Family Foundation on social media.

    Check out this episode and we are sure that you will become a huge fan of Tyler as well. You might even cheer for a rival team just because Tyler is on it.

    Make sure you watch the Washington Commanders host the Miami Dolphins on December 3rd and check out Tyler's cleats. Go Commanders!

    #specialneedsdads #autismparents #mycausemycleats #nfl

    Tyler Larsen Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tylerlarsen58/?hl=en



    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 25 min
    Getting to Know Marissa Conover - A Founding Board Member

    Getting to Know Marissa Conover - A Founding Board Member

    Let me introduce you to Marissa Conover another member of our board for the Pure Living Family Foundation. Her daughter Lila was diagnosed with Autism around age 3 after witnessing signs of regression for about 6 months to a year.  About that same time, we were going through the same things with Theo. Marissa was introduced to Angela (Theo’s mom) through a mutual friend and Angela introduced Marissa to the bio-med mom’s group on Instagram. Marissa talked about what an amazing feeling it is to be connected to like-minded parents. Within the autism community, you can be judged and dismissed as a conspiracy theorist if you want to pursue a holistic diet approach when you try to avoid gluten and dairy and when you try to remove sugars and food coloring. Marissa said how amazing it is to be connected to moms who share similar beliefs and she feels like she will be connected to these moms forever. Our goal with this Foundation is to connect more parents in this space. 

    Marissa also talks about the process they went through to find a stem cell therapy, where they eventually took their daughter to Panama for this treatment. They really felt called to stem cell therapy because they had worked on the gut and they decided that they needed to break through the blood-brain barrier to help Lila reach her potential. We know that you will love Marissa as much as we do. You can connect with her on Instagram @marissaconover.

    The Pure Living Family Foundation is a federally recognized 501-C-3 nonprofit. 2024 we have a goal to run 3 camp retreats for parents of kids who have been diagnosed with autism or other chronic autoimmune illnesses like PANDAS. We need to raise $20,000 in order to run these camps that will serve both as a networking event and an educational summit. We invite you to donate to the nonprofit to help support the parents of kids with special needs. You can donate here:




    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purelivingfamily/support

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings


Thanks for bringing awareness to the world through Functional Medicine!

I’m a new subscriber to your podcast. Thank you for bringing awareness educating your viewers through your personal story and knowledge in functional medicine!

Erin1429 ,

Authentic and real

Have truly enjoyed following this family on multiple platforms. Mainly for the realness and the way they continually advocate and share they’re journey as a neurodiverse family.

Alvarez1433 ,

We don’t feel alone

Through the journey with my son of being diagnosed with autism I honestly felt lonely with no hope I cried and cried but finding Angela through Instagram and seeing her share what other moms may be going through was a huge help and the research she has done is so helpful. Thank you Angela and your family looking forward for more too hear from you guys ❤️

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