How the Food Industry is Destroying Your Health & What YOU Can Do About It

accentIn the video presentation below, I explain many of the sneaky tactics used by the food industry to disguise toxic chemicals in our food.

I also explain how such additives in food cause and exacerbate a wide variety of health problems, and I share a little bit about my own personal struggle with chronic pain and fatigue (i.e., Fibromyalgia).

If you are living in more pain or with less energy than you would like, please take the time to watch this video and share it with anyone it may help!

You will learn why food additives matter and how to avoid them when shopping at the grocery store!

(If you’d like some help getting started, grab a copy of my “Eating Additive-Free” book that I mention in the video. It’s jammed packed with natural recipes and the grocery shopping guidance you need to get started avoiding food additives!)

And for even MORE great tips about living a “Completely Nourished” lifestyle, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our site, and we’ll send you a message when we post new goodies here! 🙂

How I cured my own auto-immune disease with natural lifestyle changes

This guest post below comes to us from one of our Completely Nourished readers, Angelia. I’m so honored that she took the time to share her personal story with us here, and I hope many of you find inspiration in her journey. Please comment below to let Angelia know if her journey resonates with you in any way; and feel free to forward this critical info about the importance of being our own health advocates to anyone who may find it useful! (And if you have relieved or eliminated your own health condition through natural dietary and lifestyle changes, please submit your story to us here so we can consider sharing your journey with our readers!)

Disclaimer: All information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional before making any changes to your medications or other treatment plans. Please do your own additional research regarding any of the information shared here on our site.        

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Pain ruled my life back in May 2013 when this photo was taken

Angelia writes…

“My story starts when my mother passed away in 2010. Although this was an extremely painful part of my life, one good thing did happen during that time – I met up with my mother’s lifelong best friend. During my brief visit with her, she taught me two life-altering lessons about the importance of real food for our health:

  • Lesson #1:  Waste not, want not. This lesson included how to can fresh foods to preserve them for later.
  • Lesson #2:  Food and herbs (and even some wild plants) = medicine. This lesson also included being mindful of what we eat.

However, there was also a bad thing that happened as a result of my mother’s passing. The grief shattered my world, and I ended up drowning my sorrows for the entire next year – so I didn’t put her wise friend’s words into practice until later on.

As the months of 2011 went by, I started to realize that the alcohol which I was drinking every day was doing damage to my heart. Determined to get back to taking care of myself, I sought the help of the local mental health clinic. The doctor also diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. I also had thick brain fog. The doctor prescribed 2 different drugs, which didn’t work; and I gave up hope for their help for a year and a half.

(On a side note…when I had lost my husband in ’95, doctors prescribed two different antidepressant drugs for me, which made my behavior worse and also made my body sick back then, as well.)

I quit drinking, but I noticed that my body didn’t feel better. I was overweight, but I had always attributed that to my low thyroid. I found out about that problem when I couldn’t get my period after my son was born. It was also the cause of the preeclampsia I had at the end of the pregnancy. Come to find out that this happens to a lot of women during pregnancy, and I feel it is one of many diseases that is preventable with proper diet. The doctors told me I would always have hypothyroidism and have to take thyroxine for the rest of my life, and so I blindly believed that. I was also fatigued, yet I didn’t sleep well; and I started feeling arthritic.

medsIn 2012, a traumatic event at work had me seeking help at the mental health center again. This time, I was ready to take their help seriously and get healthy. The doctor, who already had 4 drugs on his list that he couldn’t prescribe me, tried 4 more drugs with me in the next 6 months. After 6 months of sickness from the pharmaceuticals, I told him to give me just an “as-needed” pill for the anxiety because practicing meditation at home and receiving therapy services from the mental health center had started to really help me.

I also started studying herbs to find alternatives to the pharmaceuticals. None of this made my heart feel better – I would have palpitations and weak, fluttery feelings, especially in the evening or whenever I didn’t eat. I was having increased pain in my neck, which I knew was from inflammation, that made it feel as if my neck was made of pea gravel. I was also having trouble with my arms from the base of the neck to my fingertips. There would be burning pain some days, pins and needles other days – pain, nerve impingements, or a combination of any of those. I was taking 12 to 16 Ibuprofen pills per day in order to function, and I took Tylenol on top of that if I had a headache – which was often.

By February 2013, I was in such pain I couldn’t hold back tears. I was losing range of motion in my shoulders, arms, and neck; and I had constant back pain. I gave up and found a clinic. The physician’s assistant was probably horrified by how much medicine I was taking. She did an x-ray, which showed minor degenerative changes. That was scary. She gave me Aleve. I went back the following month because, while the Aleve would help the pain somewhat, it didn’t work well; and I was still suffering the nerve impingements. She did an MRI and saw the inflammation. She gave me Vicodin to take as needed, and she sent me to physical therapy.

exerciseHere was when I really started getting a clue. I realized at this point that exercise, oddly enough, relieved my pain. I got the “okay” from the physician’s assistant to exercise at home. I noticed that on days I did exercise, between that and the drugs, I was pain-free. I could even have good days where I could break the Aleve tablet in half and get by. When I got the nerve impingements, I only took the Vicodin in half-tablet doses because I was afraid of it, and it made me constipated – I didn’t like taking Milk of Magnesia for that. I was happy that I was taking less medication overall, but I was also sad because I realized that this was like a band-aid, and not the real solution.

I began to research natural solutions to inflammatory problems through herbs. I noticed that from a lot of sources there were foods on the list that reduced inflammation, and there was another list of foods that increased inflammation.

monstersmoothieYou can imagine my shock at the realization that I was poisoning myself with food! My body literally attacked me every time I ate. That’s what my mom’s wise friend was talking about! I was super excited about the idea of curing myself through food. I read Bob Harper’s book, The Skinny Rules, after which I started drinking a lot of water. Man, did that help. It seemed to make my energy more efficient. Also, the smoothies in his book kick-started my replacing processed food with real fruit and veggie smoothies made from things like kale, spinach, apples, and blueberries. I researched macrobiotics and a few other nutrition books (some of which I dismissed), and then I read The China Study.

It was now June 2013. I had lost 10 pounds, and my pain didn’t plague me quite as much. As I read The China Study, I figured out my body may be affected by the GMOs (genetically-modified organisms), hormones, drugs, and other things in meat.

food labelI was becoming mindful of my eating, reading ingredient labels, and looking out for GMOs; but there were 2 more times I ate bad foods and noticed the pain and inflammation, and that really drove home the lesson that I could never eat processed food with additives again. One time was within 30 minutes of eating bacon, and the other time was right after eating a small order of French fries at a fast food place. That small fry had me in agony for 2 days! I never ate fast food after that. I also stopped eating meat, and as soon as I did, my pain was 40% less within the first week. I was now eating a whole foods vegetarian diet. My skin looked better, and I had lost 20 pounds by August, but I was not 100% better yet. I was still plagued by nerve impingements, and I was relying on the Aleve, night and day.

One day in August, I shared a cheese pizza with my sons, and I had to go to bed early that night. I had fiery pain in my shoulders, and I felt sluggish the next day. I realized it was either the cheese or the crust, so I became vegan. When I did, I noticed a jump in my energy and a significant drop in my weight, and the level of pain dropped in those last 4 months of 2013.

In 2013, I went from 200 pounds to 160 pounds. I’m only 5’3″, so at the start of the year I was obese. By October, I dropped down into the overweight category.

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Here I am feeling GREAT in 2014!

I have continued eating a whole foods vegan diet and researching nutrition, and I am now free of all drugs for pain and anxiety since February 2014. I have now lost 55 pounds, and I’m in the average weight category. I am down from a size 20 to a size 10. I still exercise every morning, and I’m in better health now than I was when I was 16 years old. (Of course, I was a rebellious and repressed teenager back then who just needed to express herself. Unfortunately, it was in negative ways that affected my health like caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.)

I have enrolled in college to become a dietician, so I can have a career helping people become more mindful of their food, remove processed foods from their diet, restore their health, prevent disease, and relieve their pain. I want to help others in the same way I helped myself – with real food. I also took up the banner for real food by signing petitions, spreading awareness over social media, supporting the farmer’s market, and I am on the lookout for other ways I can help.

I hope my story helps someone today.

Blessings to all who read this,

Angelia”

My Journey from Fibromyalgia to Food

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If you know anyone who suffers from any chronic symptoms for which no one has found a solution, please share my return-to-health story with them! I’ve included the video version below or you can access the written version by clicking here, instead.

Reducing the amount of food additives in my diet back in 2007 relieved my Fibromyalgia symptoms beyond my wildest dreams – I truly “got my LIFE back”!

Did you know, for example, that the flavor enhancer MSG overstimulates the nervous system, causing and exacerbating a variety of conditions…and that it can be legally HIDDEN in foods under DOZENS of innocent-sounding names like “NATURAL FLAVOR” and “YEAST EXTRACT”? (Click here to check out my “Eating Additive-Free” Natural Cookbook & Grocery Shopping Guide that I created to help you start reducing the amount of food additives in your diet!)

Please take some time to listen to the recording below to learn how such additives may be affecting you, and feel free to share this post with ANYONE it may help. (Oh, and be sure to subscribe to my blog over in the left margin of this page, so you don’t miss any of my natural living info in the future!)

Asperger’s, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD and Diabetes are no match for this determined mother!

Please give a warm welcome to Em, an amazing mom in Omaha, NE who will stop at nothing to give her boys the healthiest life she can. I had the pleasure of meeting Em recently, and I’m thrilled that she was willing to share her story with all of you here! I’m sure many of you will relate to her journey…from realizing that her boys’ health was suffering…to struggling for answers…and then putting in the hard work (and finances) it takes to implement the natural solutions she believes in so strongly…

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emberEm writes…

“My life changed after the birth of my oldest son in November of 04′. Born with many issues, one of our struggles became something called MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance). Which, after all was said and done from surgeries to NG feeds (Nasal Gastric feeding tube) left a lot of stress and confusion in our home, where new parents had to maneuver through a new food world. All that being said, when he hit 2 years old, we were told he’d out grow his MSPI and to feed him regularly – Even though he failed a conventional milk challenge with pasteurized store bought milk, we were told to feed him normally and see. By the time he was 4 years old, he had been diagnosed as “Failure to Thrive” for his entire life, had a diagnosis of Functional Abdominal Pain and was just a few days away from being in the hospital. He had no energy, was lethargic really, dark circles under his eyes and only wanted to eat macaroni and cheese and ice cream!

It was during this time that my youngest was born and also diagnosed with MSPI! I breastfed the entire time with him. Though he was so sensitive I literally was allowed to eat less than 10 types of food the entire year. None of these foods came from a box or can – this should’ve been my first clue!

dathenBeside myself with worry over my oldest son, I was talking with a friend who jogged my memory of an article I’d read when he was first diagnosed. The article explained that we begin to crave the things we’re allergic to. So, I took to the internet to find what I could and recipes that I could use if I removed the milk from his diet again. This is around the time I stumbled upon the holistic online community at Completely Nourished. I found a few recipes and promptly removed the milk proteins from his diet. Within two days, he was asking for second helpings of food. I added liquid vitamins that were easily digestible for his tummy (all gluten-, casein-, preservative-free, etc.). Within one week, the dark circles under his eyes were gone, he’d put on 2 pounds and most of his personality changed!

Diagnosed with Asperger’s, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, etc. I pretty much couldn’t think about his future – I knew what all of these diagnoses together meant. Well, just removing the gross processed milk proteins changed a majority of his issues! His tics were so bad that it would take him 5 minutes sometimes to finish a sentence because he’d tic, stop talking and have to start the sentence over. He was beating himself and had just expressed the desire to have coprolalia (This is what people think of when they think of TS). It was really bad. We removed just the milk and in 3 years, I have not seen his tics come anywhere near that degree anymore. Truth be told, now, when his tics are on a downswing, you wouldn’t even notice he has TS! To top that off, he went from 8 medications down to just 5!!

JaxSo, I went back and read Christy’s story again. I followed a few of her recipes and started to slowly cut out all those additives in his food and his brother’s food. We’re still not 100% additive-free, but we’re probably 99% additive-free now. We also made sure that their food was organic whenever possible as well.

Flash forward 3 years and my son was again being tested for Celiac. So, standing there holding him down for yet another blood draw, I realized that rather than keep doing this, it made more sense to just go gluten-free for him. So, we went gluten-free, too. Within 4 days he had what one neurologist termed “withdrawal” symptoms! It was awful really but, by the next day, just like when he was removed from milk, he was almost the little boy I knew at 2 years old!

Which prompted me back to Christy’s story here, where I poured over anyting that I could get my hands on. Then I went went back and got my geek on. I researched for hours sometimes on the internet about foods, GMOs, preservatives, etc.,  After a little over 2 weeks now casein/gluten free, my oldest is being titrated down on the dosage of 2 of his medications with the hopes that he can get completely off of them! My youngest, who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in November of 2012, was originally put on ADHD meds during the day and awful Clonidine at night to help him sleep. Today, after just this short time off of gluten too, he’s now medication free! Unlike my oldest, who you wouldn’t even know had Asperger’s, you will notice my little guys eye contact problem and sometimes his communication issues, but, overall, his whole personality is different. He’s still a little wilder than the neighborhood kiddos, but nothing like he used to be.

em and kidsOn a side note, before I took them gluten-free and as preservative-free and additive-free as I could, I weighed almost 300lbs on the dot. I got whooping cough last year and couldn’t shake it. Went in a second time to the ER and had pneumonia. They sent me home with some antibiotics and strict instructions. Two days later, I got a call from my GP’s nurse. She told me that I was hands down diabetic, but that they needed to perform another test to be thorough. She read off my entire CBC to me and explained what all these numbers meant. While she did say that my illness would give some of these higher readings, it wouldn’t account for how high all of them were or why they were all out of control.

I found out that I had metabolic disorder, my adrenals were running on empty, etc. I sat there and realized that with two parents who had congestive heart failure, one of which had died at 61 years old from it…and my mother at 64 has already had numerous heart attacks, a stroke and 2 stents put in her heart…I had a choice to make!

As I sat there listening to my numbers being read off and listening to my children digging through their Legos in the other room. I realized that I could keep going the way I’d been going or I could die younger than my parents. So, I headed back to the Completely Nourished online community to find recipes and as much information as I could to get myself healthy enough to take care of my boys. To date, I’ve lost a tad over 40 pounds in 2 months! I have way more energy than I have had in years, and I’m emotionally happier and more together than I have been. My whole life has changed!

Had I not found Christy’s site or story here, I have no idea where we would be now. THANK YOU Christy! We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you! And, for anyone out there reading this…KNOW that diet DOES matter!”