It all started when her father provided her with her first application to nursing school...

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Mishell Ellis, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNWC

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Integrative Nutrition Health Coach/Founder of Trinity Evexia

Mishell Ellis (Little) graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse (2003) and earned her associates degree in nursing (2005) from Florida State College in Jacksonville. She attended the University of North Florida, earning a bachelor of science degree (2010) before graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with a masters of science in nursing (2013). Mishell currently works as a nurse practitioner in the specialty of general cardiology and electrophysiology. She also has worked in the specialty of nephrology. Prior to starting her journey as an advanced practice clinician, she worked in progressive care/telemetry and critical care medicine at the University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, a level one trauma center. She also educated seniors and children in urban communities in Jacksonville, Florida on the importance of nutrition and heart health through a National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored program called With Every Heartbeat is Life. She has worked as a medical volunteer for the homeless as well as children with terminal medical conditions. She learned the importance of helping those in the community from her father who also volunteered with such community programs as Boys Base in Pensacola, Florida and Ronald Mcdonald House. She holds a certification as a nutrition and wellness consultant (CNWC) from American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) and she is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (TM) which is the largest nutrition school in the world and has recently been accepted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she will be studying to earn her masters in nutrition science and take on the dual role of also becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to complement her current profession as a nurse practitioner. In her 16 years in the healthcare profession she has helped treat or diagnose chronic disease processes and decided it was now  time to really contribute more to preventive care and get back to the basics of nutrition for the management and maintenance of general health. 

Mishell’s Personal Story

“Genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.”

Mishell has overcome her own health scare that resulted in the devastating loss of her baby almost 2 years ago. She developed early onset pre-eclampsia characterized by hypertension, worsening edema and proteinuria. At just 5 months pregnant, she developed worsening hypertension and kidney damage ( she already had a history of hypertension and proteinuria), and weighed over 180 lbs at that time. She was told that she may possibly need dialysis if she developed further damage to her kidneys as the level of protein in her urine was over 5000 mg (normal is zero to 30 mg/g). Furthermore, her blood pressure went from 160/90’s, 170/90’s and 196/124 (you never forget that number) by the time she drove herself to the triage labor and delivery unit. Regardless of the amount of guideline medical therapy IV anti-hypertensives, it was not coming down. Concerned that she would not only develop kidney failure, but also a stroke, her maternal fetal specialist strongly advised that she deliver her baby. Weighing less than he should due to intrauterine growth restriction and reversal blood flow he died. Grief stricken, depressed and at a loss of words, she leaned on God, her family and church that gave her continued hope. She thought she was eating right. She even exercised while pregnant to optimize her health and pregnancy…but it did not work for her. She decided she would not stay down and instead she channeled that sadness in a way that would inspire others to make a change in their life for the better. She did not want the loss of her child and her father to be in vain. She started researching on her own what to do to improve her own individualized state of health. She refused to believe that there was nothing more to do and she also refused to believe that having high blood pressure and kidney failure was her fate as it was for her father. After taking matters into her own hands and researching foods that would help her overcome her health condition she successfully lost to date over 40 lbs, significantly reduced her blood pressure without the help of medication and her kidney function has miraculously improved (no protein in her urine and no renal failure). Her blood pressure has been as low as 109/78 (and lower) without the aid of medication. Amazed at her lab work, her kidney specialist asked her what she had been doing differently. Confidently, she advised him that she has avoided animal protein and gets it from plant sources instead. He told her that she achieved the optimal level of health as far as he was concerned and now instead of 6-7 month follow ups, she now can see him annually. Usually she has white coat syndrome ( significantly elevated blood pressure when checked in the clinical setting), her blood pressure at that time was 118/82 (nerves and all!) With the level of knowledge and experience she has obtained over the years (personally and professionally), she knows it is necessary to provide others with the same information to become empowered to be their own advocate and change agent regardless of their current health status. This is her way of paying it forward.

In memory of Chief Robert B. Little, Jr. (1955-2004)