“Fibromyalgia to Pain Free!”

Shan Swain - originalToday we are pleased to share with you the guest post below written by one of our clients, Shan Swain. We hope that you find her return-to-health story to be an inspiration. Please share with anyone whom this may help! We are so incredibly happy for Shan that she is feeling so much better these days! Food is an amazing thing!

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Shan’s Story…

“It has been 9 months since I have started my new food journey. I must give you a little health history prior to this. About 15 years ago, I was beginning to have joint pain – it wasn’t bad at first but as time went on it increased. Between the cold weather and other health issues, exercise started to become more and more painful. I went from walking to not walking because of the pain. I would have to organize my schedule according to my pain level. In a matter of 5 years I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The only thing they could do for me was physical therapy or medicate for the pain. So I begin to seek my own relief, like going for a massage (which I intently did for 3 to 4 years). Also, heat seemed to provide some relief and acupuncture helped for a short time. But even with trying all of this, my pain was still there and worse as the years went by.

In January of 2012 my daughter Courtney told me about an article she had read about someone who had lived for years with Fibromyalgia but was currently pain free. She told me that the gal’s name was Christy Pooschke and that she had a website full of information at http://www.CompletelyNourished.com. So I read Christy’s whole return-to-health story on her website, and in her story I found the light! I could relate to everything she was saying about her health issues, it was my story! The light was that Christy had discovered a solution to the PROBLEM – not a fixer upper or a band-aid, but a true, real solution!

I was a skeptic at first. It was hard for me to put my mind around all that I needed to change with my diet. I called her with no hesitation, and we scheduled a time to meet. In the mean time, we chatted on the phone about some of my history and food journaling. As the time was approaching for us to meet, I was beginning to have some doubt that this could possibly take my pain away. It seemed to me that I would be in this pain forever. But I started to go through my cabinets and switch out some of my foods that I have always eaten. I had no idea that these things could’ve possibly been causing my health issues all these years!

When the time came for Christy, my daughter and I to meet for our consultation…I still thought it wouldn’t work. But Christy put us at ease and said “these changes take a little time, so don’t overwhelm yourself.” She went through some of my foods and explained that it’s the ingredient information that matters because so many of the additives in our foods can make us sick. As we continued, she challenged me to start switching out my food for more additive-free foods and to cook my own food at home. Christy’s “Eating Additive-Free” Cookbook & Shopping Guide was a huge help in that regard because it is filled with recipes for the “typical American” types of foods my family already enjoys!

When we finished our consultation, I began to go full speed ahead and switched out everything in my cabinets for real food and clean food. This took time and required my attention as to what I really was eating. It was shocking to find out that something as simple as canned tuna fish often contains hidden MSG! One of MSG’s most commonly known side effects is headaches but also for me the effects of MSG were bloating, aches and joint pain, and chest pain that felt like a heart attack. A few times I thought I was having a heart attack, which led me to get an EKG…but my heart always tested out just fine.

I started to go out to eat less often and began cooking more at home. This gave me satisfaction to continue this new journey. Within 2 months, I started to feel a difference! The days and weeks went by, and I had less and less pain. I am not even aware of the joint pain anymore…unless I go out to eat. Then, soon after I eat I can either get a headache or joint pain which I know is from an additive in the food. It’s amazing how I can tell a difference immediately! I have been so careful (with help) when I grocery shop for clean foods. I make sure that I purchase real food ingredients. For example, now I make sure to select peanut butter that contains just peanuts and salt. Nothing more!

As for my activities I am trying to work in some simple exercises and walking. This has been amazing because the walking has been easier and fun! I’ve also been able to thoroughly enjoy several vacations with my family since recovering from my Fibromyalgia pain – and that has been an absolute blessing! I also love outdoor activities, and maybe I will try to bike again. In the mean time I am totally enjoying the flavor of my new foods, my new menu ideas and how much better I am feeling. This is now 9 months into my new food requirement. And I don’t say that lightly, it is a requirement for me to avoid food additives if I want to feel good. I have also lost 30lbs., not that it was anything I was working towards, it just happened as a “side effect” of avoiding the additives.

My final thoughts…if food additives are causing folks like me to be so sick, what other problems are people having that might be a result of their diets?! Let’s be sure to inform those who are in need.”

Very Thankful,
Shan Swain

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It’s Everywhere!! The Many Hidden Names for MSG!

accentSo…you’re not eating MSG anymore because you’ve heard all about its health effects, right?!

Unfortunately, many products that say “MSG-Free” on the front of the package actually still contain hidden sources of this toxin. And it’s perfectly legal according to current labeling laws!

Outraged?! You should be!

It’s difficult to list all of the possible names that can disguise MSG because the food industry always seems to stay one step ahead of us consumers when creating new ways to “describe” their ingredients. For starters, though, click here for an overview of many of the names which disguise MSG on food labels.

Commonly reported physical effects of MSG ingestion are also included in the above link. I’m sure most of you will see a few ailments on that list that “hit close to home.”

This is just one example of the crap that we’re better off avoiding in our food as much as possible. Reading food labels can be really tricky, so it’s best to just:

1) Avoid foods with lengthy ingredients lists.

2) Don’t assume that a food has no ingredients list. For example, you may think that “sour cream,” “ground beef,” and “garlic salt” are pretty self-explanatory. But you’d be surprised at what you’ll find lurking on the back of the package of certain brands (I’ll blog about those later)!

3) If a food contains even ONE ingredient that you don’t understand, then leave it on the grocery shelf!

For many of us, it doesn’t take much of a toxin to have a devastating health effect, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that a little bit doesn’t matter! And, unless you enjoy spending hours at the store and online researching chemical ingredients, just stick with basic additive-free foods! If you’re not sure where to start with making such dietary changes, I’ve worked hard to create a book just for you! My “Eating Additive-Free” Natural Cookbook & Grocery Guide contains 160 delicious and simple natural recipes as well as ALL of the grocery shopping guidance you need to make every one of my recipes! Click here for more details, pictures, complete Table of Contents and ordering instructions. It’s available as an e-book (instant download)!

Beware of “anti-caking agents” in salt (and sea salt)!

As you may or may not be aware, most table salts contain quite a few ingredients. Some of these are “anti-caking agents” which function to keep the salt granules from clumping together so your salt will fall freely through the holes of your salt shaker. There are anti-caking agents in table salt, sea salt, and both iodized and non-iodized versions of both. If you wish to avoid such ingredients, just inspect the containers in the salt aisle until you find one whose ingredients list contains solely: “salt.”  And don’t assume, as I did, that just because a salt is coarse and comes in a fancy grinder that it is free of additives. Not true – check the label every time!

Several years ago at my aunt’s house, I was introduced to the ingredient, “yellow prussiate of soda.” I was enjoying some baked cabbage with my aunt that we made ourselves with just cabbage, olive oil and sea salt. By the time I finished eating, I had the worst hot flash!! My face was beat red, and I was literally running for the fan in the next room!! (And I never have hot flashes!) I couldn’t believe that this could’ve been caused by anything I’d just eaten, but I also couldn’t deny the timing of the reaction! Cabbage, olive oil and sea salt seemed like pretty “pure” ingredients to me, but I double-checked the ingredients just in case – and there it was on the back of the Morton sea salt: “yellow prussiate of soda (anti-caking agent).

Can I prove that my hot flash was from this additive? I suppose not, since I’m not willing to eat that salt again. However, I can tell you that I had never seen that ingredient on a food label before (and I pretty much read labels for a living!); the salt I use everyday at home does not contain it; I eat baked cabbage using this same recipe at home all the time with no effects…and I never, ever have hot flashes otherwise. So you be the judge!

For 40 more pages of my best additive-free grocery shopping tips plus 160 of my favorite natural recipes, check out my book (and e-book) “Eating Additive-Free“!!

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