Got Pain? This book is for anyone with chronic pain looking for answers. It will give you a place to start. You don’t have to resign yourself to a life of pain and pills. In this book you will learn: • What is causing your pain and how to eliminate it. • How to find a practitioner that will help you gain back your health. • Identify the toxins in your life. Learn how to purge them. • 3
What’s in your food? Organic vs Conventional vs GMOs. Processed food, fast food, canned goods, Dairy, meat, soda, soy, and sugar. Whats in your water? Identify your sensitivities and heal your leaky gut. •34 stress busting ideas, and four simple exercises to reduce your stress. • 32 suggestions from leading functional experts on how to get a good night’s sleep. • How to recognize a toxic relationship and make it work or walk away. • How to tame Anxious Negative Thoughts “ANTs”. • How to take control of your health, reduce your inflammation and feel great again!
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I got autoimmune disease 5 years ago and learned that “leaky gut” was a major contributor to my disease. One of the main things that cause “leaky gut” are toxins. As part of my get well journey, I started researching so that I could eliminate as many as I possibly could from my life. I was appalled that they were everywhere. Literally, there were toxins everywhere. I believe these toxins are the cause of our being 37th in the world in health. Our children are not supposed to live as long as us. Our healthcare system is broken because of these toxins and we can take control of our own health, vote with our dollars and be part of the solution
• We are spraying our food with pesticides and herbicides, which are poison.
• With GMO foods, we are breeding the toxins right into the food.
• Our can goods have BPA in the lining which are endocrine disruptors.
• Plastics release toxins into our water and into our food and plastics are everywhere,
• We are treating our farm animals so poorly and in such abhorrent conditions, that we have to inject them with tons of chemicals and antibiotics so that they can make it to market, and we are giving them massive amounts of growth hormones so that they can get there faster. Then we are feeding them the GMO foods with the toxins bred right into them. Their toxins and their stress hormones are being passed right on to us.
• Our dairy, also has hormones, GMO’s, antibiotics, and stress hormones right in it.
• Our cooking oils are the opposite of what we have previously been told, the good oils have been the bad oils all along, the bad oils are the good oils. Olive oil is being cut and mixed with the bad oils by the mafia as a huge money making enterprise.
• Fast food and processed food are all chemicals that have no nutrients in them. They offer no food value to fuel our bodies.
• Sugar is a chemical as addictive as cocaine and heroin.
• Fake sugars are harmful chemicals.
• Our drinking water has been corrupted with many toxic substances. Flint is not the only city in America with a problem. Most water systems have chemicals in them that are harmful.
• Our cosmetics are not regulated, and many of the ingredients are toxic and harmful. Skin is our largest organ so it is a critical area to clean up.
• Our cleaning supplies are not regulated and again are toxic and harmful.
• Over-the-counter drugs are harming our body, and yet we pop those pills for every whisper of a discomfort.
• The things we use to cook in our kitchens from many of our pots and pans to our utensils, to our storage containers are emitting toxins into the air and into our bodies.
• Most of us now have a heavy toxic load of toxic metals in our bodies.
• And I have 18 food sensitivities which are foods that are my kryptonite. Eliminating all of these foods was my first step to feeling good again.
Disease begins at the tipping point of toxic load. I started step by step 20 years ago having issues, I just didn’t recognize what it was. First it was my deodorant, then my mascara, then cleaning supplies and dust, then fragrance. I woke up one morning and my lips and my tongue were swollen and finally I figured out it was fabric softener. The toxic load just kept building up until I erupted in inflammation and autoimmune disease
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My book is non fiction, and my story is intertwined throughout the book
I am writing this book to help others who have pain from inflammation. I want to share what I have learned in the process of eliminating my own pain.
I got sick, really sick five years ago, and I was saddled with pain.
I got sick because I was not paying attention to how I was eating and I was ignoring my body. And, to boot, I had oodles of toxic lifestyle habits.
• I was not listening to my body.
• I had an ostrich approach of not paying attention to the available information that could have helped me.
• I took no time to take care of myself, or even notice what my body was saying or feeling.
• I was busy taking care of everyone else, my staff, my mom, my friends. It’s a lovely thing to be a caretaker, but I had to learn that I also had to take care of myself.
• I was eating on the fly, or going out to dinner often eating rich, heavy food.
• I was eating late at night.
• I was rarely cooking.
• I gained a lot of weight.
• I was working 24/7.
• I was feeding on stress.
• I was in a love relationship that had turned toxic.
And … I didn’t understand why organic was important or what damage GMO’s (genetically modified foods, defined in Part 3, Chapter 6) and toxins were doing to my body.
Unaware that all the pre-signs and circumstances for sickness were in place, the pain began.
I did not recognize the early signs of inflammation and didn’t understand what was happening to my body. However, I was aware of the increasing pain in my body. I often woke in the middle of the night in pain. When I woke up in the morning, I could barely get out of bed. It was painful to move, and sections of my body hurt. My brain was confetti. My moods were all over the place.
My MD took a conventional approach that wasn’t helping me. In all honesty, I think she didn’t know how to help me. And I was resistant to taking additional pills.
I knew I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t want to diet, and I didn’t want to change the way that I ate. It seemed that changing what I ate would lead to a life of deprivation.
So, it was Pain with a capital P that set me on a five-year journey to get well and to make drastic lifestyle changes.
“You change, when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
My significant other broke up with me. More pain.
Since my conventional doctor was no help, I started looking for a medical practitioner that could help me. Little did I know that unless I was in a diseased state, conventional medicine didn’t want to tackle my symptoms like low cortisol or a slightly off thyroid. My medical tests showed results out of range but not diseased. Therefore, my conventional MD didn’t perceive these results to be an issue because I wasn’t in a “diseased state.” In my case, I later learned that conventional medicine was not even running the correct tests to find the problem and that also may be true for you. My doctor certainly didn’t know where to go digging for the source of my pain. And she expressed that it was “all in my head” and to take 2 Aleve.
The only solution offered for my pain was drugs.
I went to the “leading expert” on autoimmune disease in Southern California, another conventional MD, but this time a specialist. Since I didn’t have all of the symptoms of any of the commonly known autoimmune diseases, he also didn’t perceive that I had an issue. All my symptoms combined were an odd sized peg that didn’t fit into a round hole. Therefore, in his mind, it couldn’t be autoimmune. He offered me steroids. When I refused, he too told me to take two Aleve a day. Again, he had been trained to assess the symptoms and prescribe the pill.
My conventional doctor missed that I had Type II Diabetes. I had to push her to test me. I had dealt with Hypoglycemia as a young adult and knew something could be wrong with my blood sugar. Little did I know that since I had had Hypoglycemia earlier in my life, it was normal to get Type II Diabetes later in life.
I found a Doctor of Chiropractic who was an integrative nutritionist. He started me on my path to eating healthy and exploring my medical tests beyond “normal.” After six months, when none of the weight came off, and when the aches and pains only showed modest improvement, he announced I was a very sick girl and that he didn’t know how to help me.
So, I decided to take ownership of my own health. Taking ownership was the “ah-ha” moment when my health began to turn around.
I found Functional Medicine online, and I started to listen to every Functional Medicine symposium on health issues that was available, from autoimmune to thyroid to adrenals, to gluten sensitivity. I am enormously grateful for the incredible knowledge I gained from the functional community for free. I started buying books by these experts and reading like a fiend. Most of the speakers had been very sick themselves and were renowned in their own respective fields. They were accomplishing amazing results with their patient base. They had found a way back to wellness themselves. Their approach was very different from my experience with conventional medicine, both for myself and also for my parents, where I had been very involved, but who were now deceased. See my upcoming chapter on Functional Medicine (Part 1, Chapter 3) to understand the difference in approach.
I studied toxins that might be impacting my life. I had been born with several allergies, so it made sense to me to start there. (I now understand that they were probably sensitivities. They didn’t make that distinction 60 years ago. I suffered from foods that gave me rashes and made me sick. I often reacted to medications. My joke was that I popped out allergic to Pittsburgh. Whenever I got within 50 miles of Pittsburgh, I broke out in a rash from head to toe. I remember them oiling the streets to keep the coal and steel dust down. We left when I was 4.)
I had taken an allergy test with my conventional MD, but found I was only allergic to the tape that held the test on my back.
When I found a Functional MD that practiced “root cause” medicine, she helped me discover all kinds’ imbalances that needed correcting in my body. I took a sensitivity test, and I found out I had severe reactions to a variety of foods from chicken to herbs and common vegetables, to dairy, to soy, and to gluten. At the time, I reacted to gluten so severely that I even reacted to meat from animals that ate grains. I removed all these foods from my life. A sensitivity test looks for different markers than an allergy test. (More about this later.)
I cut sugar out of my life and went through drug withdrawal. It felt as if I was coming off a high from cocaine, or maybe even heroin, and in fact, it was similar. Who knew? I was so sick in the beginning of the detox; it was worse than a bad flu. I was super sick and in bed for days.
I was diagnosed with Undefined Autoimmune Disease. I will offer an explanation of inflammation and autoimmune disease, next in this book, including what it is and how to heal it. This information could save your life. It is the fastest growing disease in the United States.
This information will explain to you if you hurt why you hurt, why you have gained weight, and how your body should work as an orchestrated symphony. If your adrenals are not working correctly, they impact the liver, the gut, the brain and the rest of the body; similarly, with the liver, or the pancreas, or the thyroid, etc. Your gut is the second brain and impacts your entire immune system, as well as depression and Alzheimer’s. Any part of your body that is off key will affect the entire performance of your body.
Finally, I will cover toxins and how they impact your body, your family, and the environment. You will begin to understand inflammation, and I will give you some of the necessary tools you will need to put out the fire.
Regaining my health has been a process, like peeling an onion. Under each layer, there are new issues to address and correct. My Functional MD and I are still finding new conditions that need to be targeted and healed. But I am no longer frustrated. We are finding answers, and looking in entirely different places to find the keys to wellness.
Six realizations that made the biggest difference to my pain:
1. The conventional MD that I was seeing wasn’t helping me; I needed to own my own health to alleviate and end the pain (without steroids or over the counter drugs)
2. Pharmaceuticals weren’t going to cure me. There is no magic pill. Although they can make the body “feel better” the majority of drugs do not get to the “root cause” of the ailment. Even worse, they often carry their own set of complications and side effects.
3. I needed to discover and then avoid all of my sensitivities.
4. I had to begin to eat as clean as possible (eating fewer toxins, eating live food.)
5. Toxins needed to be removed from my life as quickly as possible from all of the products I was using at that time. I started an investigation to discover what they were.
6. I found a Functional MD and a Functional Chiropractor who practiced “root cause” medicine. Because of them, and their knowledge and guidance, my pain is almost gone.
This book is mostly about these six revelations. It took me five years of research, and trial and error to clean up my food, my cosmetics, my personal care products, my cleaning products, my mind (I cleared out the ANTs*), my stress and my toxic relationships.
These revelations made me decide that I am a primary player in healing my body and my life.
It was about learning how to pay attention to my body and to start taking care of myself.
What I recommend in this book is a lot to take on. It is a process.
This book encourages you to partner with your doctor on your quest for wellness and to become educated enough to find solutions to your own health issues. Both you and your doctor are critical players in helping you find wellness. Your health care professionals (and I have a team of functional health care professionals) will guide you through the way the body works and how to make it well. This book is a proactive guide for you to follow, outlining the things that you can do to find wellness on your own.
If you follow the advice outlined in this book, you will be well on your way to healing your pain, but I repeat, it is a process. These are all things that you can do for yourself to improve your health. I want you to do the best you can, each step of the way. Incidentally, along the way, I have lost 45 pounds; 45 pounds of toxic weight. Not from dieting, but by eating real food. I still have more weight to lose, but by eliminating all of the toxins, my body is functioning closer to how it was meant to, and my excess weight is starting to slowly fade away.
I also found a wonderful new guy who totally supports my journey, and married him two years ago.
This book is for you if:
• You are healthy and want to stay that way
• You are sick, and you hurt, have brain fog and low energy and need help cleaning up your lifestyle and eliminating your pain
• You are gaining weight
• You are puffy from inflammation
• You are taking care of a sick family member or sick child that has lots of sensitivities, or allergies, and you need guidance
• You are sick and willing to do anything you can to improve the quality of your health. (You can accomplish it without deprivation).
As your Health Muse, I will also make suggestions of things I have found that make my eating and my life quite enjoyable, in spite of the out of the norm way I am eating compared to the majority of America. No more SAD (Standard American Diet) for me, no more processed foods or fast foods or too much sugar or genetically modified grains and vegetables. These things were killing me. And I do NOT feel deprived, in any way, eating completely different from other people. In fact, by eating healthy, I feel good again. Being delightfully different from others, in this instance, has incredible benefits.
Each of us is unique, so the solutions that have worked for me may be different than what will work for you. At least I can get you started, share resources with you, and name the products that have been beneficial for me so that you have a jumping off point. If my recommendations are not right for you, I will lead you to where you can research on your own to find optimal products.
Buying organic and locally sourced foods are no costlier than buying that daily Frappuccino and fast food, especially when you are preventing costly medical bills in the long term by doing so.
My advice could save you money in other ways. I have bought dozens of products that were low in toxins, but that did not do the trick for me. After a lot of trial and error, I have been able to compile a resource list of excellent products that I have found that work, and I share many of them with you in this book. There are additional resources on my website, www.cherylmhealthmuse.com. As I discover new products, I will add them to the list on my site.
I am slowly purging all toxins out of my life, and now have excellent suggestions so that you can do the same.
I have tried a variety of eating principles and have settled on Paleo . But we are all different. Vegan , Vegetarian or Raw may work for you. I have experimented with all of these approaches. The key is to start somewhere, purge the toxins, eat real food, and then listen to your body. The key is that the majority of your diet should be beautiful vegetables and fruits that give your body nutrients to live.
Some of the things I have learned along the way are downright frightening. Many of the ingredients Big Food companies are using are synthetic fake ingredients that your body can’t use and have no food value; these fake ingredients are even causing your body harm and creating your pain. Your body is starving on these “foods.”
What Big Chemical is doing to our Food supply in conjunction with Big Food, is poisoning us. Big Chemical is inserting many toxic chemicals into our lives, our fabrics, our cleaning supplies, and our personal care products.
We will also look at what Big Pharm is doing to cover up your ailments with drugs that are creating an entirely new list of issues and dysfunctions in your body along the way. This conversation about Big Pharma includes over the counter drugs.
It’s all pretty frightening stuff. But you have the power to avoid these toxins for you and your family.
I have even learned how conventional doctors only get half a day of nutrition in medical school. Hence the general advice, you need to lose weight with absolutely no guidance as to how to do that, except to be vigilant. You know the good ole Willpower advice that doesn’t work and makes you feel bad. Their only other advice is to exercise, which is good advice and an important part of the puzzle, but the advice they are offering is not enough to lead you back to wellness. Conventional doctors have good intentions; they just never learned a nutritional approach in medical school so they don’t know how to help you.
Other things that I have learned are just down right amazing.
The body has an incredible ability to heal itself if we give it proper nutrients.
What an amazing machine this body is that we call home.
Why aren’t we shouting this from the rooftops? (Because there is no money in it!)
I want to set you off in the right direction, as you begin your own journey. I want to teach you to own your own health, and then you can take it from there. But for you to “buy in” to what I am telling you, I am asking you to change your “known truths,” which are often not true. These thoughts are what you have been told and accepted your entire life about doctors, about what you eat; about your food and about how you live. These outdated thoughts are still accepted by the majority of Americans.
I am asking you to believe that the world is not flat.
You can do that, right? You’ve already accepted that the world is round.
I am asking you to believe that our medical care system is broken and that there is a better way.
We are living in the dawning of a new age of health, food, and self-care that will take a bit of faith in the beginning but will serve you well the rest of your life. It is a complete paradigm shift from what we have been told is true.
If this all seems daunting, I can help you; I am a certified Health Coach, and I have been through all of this. I can inspire and guide you to find a new path where you take responsibility for your own health. Please contact me through my website. Https://cherylmhealthmuse.com. I do coaching via Skype, Facetime or any other platform that you have available to you. I also do face to face coaching in my office in Monrovia, California. I plan to start group coaching in my Monrovia office to help people return to eating real food and also help them purge the toxins. I will expand this to webinars later in 2017, so if you are interested, sign up for my mailing list on my website.
If you want to know more about me, my website is very transparent about where I have been, what I have gone through, and how I think it could help you.
The bottom line is I want to educate you to begin to heal yourself and make some drastic changes. We are a very sick nation, and there are solutions.
One of the first things said to me was:
“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you planning to live?”
Dr. Tony Ganem
I heard it, it resonated, and I changed.
But as I say this to others, there is resistance and confusion about the concept.
People will listen once they begin to recognize they are losing their health and they start to search for a better way.
“You will change, when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
This book is a guidebook of all of the self-directed things you can do now, for yourself, to impact how you feel. It’s about how you can be proactive and own your health. It’s about creating an environment where your children can thrive.
“No one said it was going to be easy; they just said it was going to be worth it.”
It starts with education and then takes commitment to feel good for the rest of your life.
I am hoping to inspire healthy people to change now so that they don’t get sick. Inflammation and Autoimmune disease begin years before the actual symptoms start to appear. The approach I want to teach you is the healthiest lifestyle you can have for long-term health, for you and for your family, no matter how you all feel now.
And I am especially encouraging people with inflammation and pain, and/or autoimmune disease to make these changes now to create a better future and reverse the inflammation.
What I am suggesting is a new way of viewing food, what you eat, and your social interactions over food. It’s a significant shift in paradigm. Eventually, as a country, we all need to do this. We are a nation in a state of disease and it is getting worse. I am asking that you be a pathfinder with me, and an example for others. I assure you that your health and your body will thank you.
As I contemplated changes for myself, some resonated with me immediately. I knew they were right and that they made sense.
• It resonated that I needed to eat more live food.
• I knew I needed to eat food that was local so that the nutrients were still prime.
• I knew I needed to eliminate pesticides and herbicides from my diet and my body. (Ingesting these substances that kill bugs and funguses couldn’t possibly be good for us.)
By understanding these concepts on a core level, I was able to make those changes and to incorporate them into my life fairly quickly.
Other changes I needed to make were harder to accept.
• I didn’t want to be different from everyone else; I am very social, and to me, food was also community; food was love.
• I needed to see the success of this approach before I accepted it was the correct path.
• I needed to understand why it was important to eat organic. I learned, that at the very least, it is important to eat organic fruits and vegetables that are subjected to the most toxins. (The Dirty Dozen list) I have also learned why it is crucial to avoid GMOs (genetically modified foods.)
• I needed to know that this approach wasn’t about deprivation.
Once I did, these all became easier to do and maintain as a permanent lifestyle change. And I eat plenty of delicious food that is also nutritious. There is no deprivation in my life.
I learned that community has nothing to do with food. It has to do with enjoying the people you are with at the time, whether you are eating the same foods they are or not. I have learned that there are many kinds of food, and not all of them go into my mouth.
I am also asking you to root out all of the toxins in your life. This book is a comprehensive guide to accomplish that.
These changes are things that I stumbled upon in my journey to find wellness. I had no idea that I was living in such a toxic environment: the food I was eating was toxic, the cosmetics I was using were toxic, the cleaning products I was using were toxic, and the over the counter drugs I was taking were toxic. That even the water I was drinking was toxic.
One of the main reasons I wrote this book is because all of this information was not available in one place. It was scattered all over the place, and although all of this information can be found on the internet, I had to do quite a bit of digging to find what I needed. This was a five-year discovery period. In the beginning, I didn’t even know what information I was looking for and what I needed to learn. I want to give you the advantage of learning what I have discovered all in one place. I don’t know about you, but it is much easier for me to implement and sustain lifestyle changes when I understand the “why.”
And now that most of the toxins are out of my life, I feel amazingly better.
All I can tell you is, it feels good to feel good!
The changes I have made have been worth it and are long-term lifestyle changes.
“The best project you’ll ever work on is you!”
Your life depends on it.
There is no going back now!
*”ANTs” is a term coined by Dr. Amen and stands for anxious, negative thoughts
Five years ago, Cheryl Meyer discovered she was suffering from inflammation and autoimmune disease. She found a functional MD, actively searched out, purged, and replaced toxins in her life, and returned to wellness. Thus began an odyssey that culminated in Meyer’s writing the manual she wishes she’d had when she got sick. In her award winning book It Feels Good to Feel Good: Learn to Eliminate Toxins, Reverse Inflammation and Feel Great Again, Meyer explains toxins are everywhere and impacting our health, the health of our children, and the health of our earth. “It’s all about toxic load. Each toxin that is eliminated is one step closer to health.” Cheryl holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley. She is an Integrative Nutrition Coach and received that designation from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition©, in New York City in 2017. She is a self-employed business owner and is a member of Wellness Universe. Her book has won 7 awards to date.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!