It Feels Good to Feel Good: Learn to eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation and feel great again
1. Tell us briefly about your self
Cheryl Meyer 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.
Five years ago, Cheryl got autoimmune disease. This led her to go on a get well journey that ended up with her eliminating all of the toxins in her food, her cosmetics, her over the counter drugs, her kitchen utensils and storage, her cleaning supplies, and her water, and also led her to lower her toxic stress, her ANTs “anxious negative thoughts”, toxic lack of sleep, toxic relationships and toxic lack of movement in her journey back to wellness. She wrote a book, It Feels Good to Feel Good, which is the manual that she wishes she had had when she began her journey.
2. First of all who is your book"Its feels good to feel good for"?
Originally, I wrote the book for others with chronic pain and inflammation. But truly this book is for everyone; for parents that want to raise healthy children, for people who are ill and want to get well, whether it is from autoimmune disease, cancer, or heart problems and for anyone that is healthy and wants to stay that way. I am hoping to reach people before they get sick and tired of being sick and tired, and if they are sick, they need to know they don’t have to have a life of pills and pain.
3. You say beauty begins in the gut explain
You are what you eat, and your skin is your showcase to the world. Toxins can only leave the body 3 ways. Through breathing, through excretion, and through your skin.
The skin is our largest organ.
If you are eating real or fake sugars, GMOs, processed foods, fast food, chemicals sprayed on our crops, chemicals in our water, they go into the gut and need to find a pathway out of the body. For some people, gluten also creates havoc in the gut and can be reflected in our skin. Some people have sensitivities to other foods, which impact the gut, and are reflected in our skin. I have 18 sensitivities that I now eat around. Acne, psoriasis, eczema, even dry skin all start in the gut.
There are also unhealthy chemicals in many of our cosmetics, which have not been regulated, so the toxins have an easy pathway into the body, and a difficult pathway out.
Even stress and toxic lack of sleep impact the health of the gut, and therefore also the health of our skin.
A healthy gut leads to healthy skin and a healthy body. Healing your gut also leads to healthy hair, healthy nails, and a healthy attitude, which are also all part of beauty.
One of my clients followed my advice, changed his diet, and his psoriasis diminished significantly.
3. In your book, you talk about skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne are often caused by inflammation. Tell us about this
Eczema and psoriasis are actually considered to be autoimmune diseases. Without getting too technical, autoimmune disease is caused by leaky gut. Food particles are not broken down properly and then these particles and the toxins get into the blood-stream through a small rip in the gut wall which is only 1 cell thick. The rip is caused over time by sugar, alcohol, sensitivities, toxins, gluten, GMOs, infections, and stress. When the toxins and larger particles of food get through these rips, the rips get larger. Although the gut wall heals itself every seven days, it eventually can’t keep up. The body burden is too great. When these particles slip through, the body detects these as foreign substances and screams “attack” because it triggers the immune system. These particles mimic different body systems, wherever the body is weakest, which varies by individual. If it is your skin, it shows up as psoriasis or eczema. On some people it attacks their thyroid, on some people, it attacks their muscles or their bones. Healing the gut is the first step in reducing the inflammation and in finding relief. Bad skin is one of the early symptoms of leaky gut.
Acne is often a response to conventional dairy. Conventional dairy has lots of cow hormones in it, both natural and synthetic, which then impact the skin. Eating grass-fed organic dairy products can help with skin issues.
Acne can also be caused by things put on the skin that block the toxins from coming out. Petroleum jelly products, including mineral oil, can do that. Acne can also be caused by low zinc. It can also be caused by bacteria on the skin which can be taken care of by dabbing tea tree oil on the skin. (I like the tea tree/lavender blend.)
4. Tell us what are some of the unsafe cosmetic ingredients
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): (rubbing alcohol)a very drying and irritating solvent and
dehydrator that strips your skin's moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more
venerable to bacteria, molds, and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrance, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a "carrier" accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of the skin. A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine): hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. In the United States, however, they are still used despite the fact that Americans may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day with products such as shampoos, shaving creams, and bubble baths. Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated skin applications…. of DEA-based detergents resulted in major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. The FDA's John Bailey says this is especially important since "the risk equation changes significantly for children."
DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may also irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds. Other possible side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer.
FD&C Color Pigments: synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins into the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.
Synthetic Fragrances: mostly synthetic ingredients can indicate the presence of up to
four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.
Alternative – Organic Essential Oils.
Mineral Oil: petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products such as baby oil which is 100% mineral oil!
Alternatives – Moisture Magnets (Saccharide Isomerate) from beets; Ceramides, Jojoba, and other vegetable oils, etc.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners.
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: gaseous hydrocarbons which in a liquid state act as“surfactant” (wetting olagents and solvents). They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn't even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications.
Alternatives – water extracted herbs, Therapeutic Essential Oils, etc.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, and engine degreasers – and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. SLS may also damage the skin's immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. When combined with other chemicals, SLS can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain the SLS for up to five days, during which tie it may enter and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain.
Alternative – Ammonium Cocoyl Isethionate.
Triclosan: a synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient – with a chemical structure similar to Agent
Orange! The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment. It is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion; that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Hormone disruptors pose enormous long-term chronic health risks by interfering with the way hormones perform, such as changing genetic material, decreasing fertility and sexual function, and fostering birth defects. It can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings, so contact with it often causes little or no pain. Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, and convulsions. Stored in body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys, and lungs and can cause paralysis, suppression of immune function, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. Tufts University School of Medicine says that triclosan is capable of forcing the emergence of "super bugs" that it cannot kill. Its widespread use in popular antibacterial cleaners, toothpaste, and household products may have nightmare implications for our future.”
Other Common Toxic Ingredients To Avoid:
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)
And also petroleum jelly products.
5. You say some face powder can cause inhalation risks tell us about this
Depending upon the size of the molecules in the powder, if they are small enough they can cause serious inhalation risks. Talcum powder, mica, Titanium Dioxide, and Zinc Oxide are all used in face powders and can all be small enough to get into areas of the lungs where they cause problems. Talcum powder has additional health hazards. The risks increase if inhaled over several years.
6. You talk about a diet that is sustainable. what do you mean by that?
I believe in eating real live food that is as close to the farm as possible and in all of the colors of the rainbow. When available I prefer to eat food that is locally grown. If we would all do that, there would be no need for diet books. Our bodies want to participate in keeping us healthy if we provide the correct building blocks and eliminate all of the chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and fake foods that have penetrated the American diet. The body feels fantastic on real food, and once that is experienced, it becomes a sustainable method of eating and fueling the body. There is no need to “starve” the body short term to lose weight. Eating “healthy and clean” becomes a lifelong strategy.
7. You say "When cooking at home, you can take any recipe and make it healthy" how do you do that?
There are so many hidden toxins in our food, it is really important to cook most of what we are going to eat so that we can control what we are putting into our bodies.
I avoid using processed foods loaded with chemicals, and also avoid things like canned soup because of the ingredients and the BPA in the cans.
By cooking I ensure the maximum number of nutrients to fuel my body.
First of all, I should share that I have sensitivities to 18 different foods, so I have become very inventive in the kitchen to make old favorites. As a result, I am a fast order cook, and I have become very inventive. Because I love to eat , I also turn out really yummy food.
I can not have dairy, its kryptonite to me, so if I want a cream sauce, depending on what dish I am using it in, I will do soaked cashew nuts, and/or steamed cauliflower. I would use almond cream instead of dairy cream. This all gets a spin in my Vitamix. I also add sea salt and the appropriate seasonings.
I have even made dishes like Swedish meatballs and clam chowder using my cauliflower cream sauce (with mushrooms and onions, and almond cream from Califa).
Since I can’t use butter, I use ghee in its place. Ghee is clarified butter, which means the milk solids that I am sensitive to are removed. It adds the taste of butter without the downside. If canola oil is on the ingredient list or a vegetable oil (corn, soy, safflower, soybean, sunflower oils) I would use olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
I will often make cauliflower rice instead of a carb rice. Cauliflower takes on whatever flavor you are looking for. I have made cauliflower Italian, Greek, Moroccan, and I made paella with it and even made it with apples, garlic and onions once. Cauliflower also is fantastic mashed instead of potatoes and loaded with wonderful nutrients. I had one guest tell me my mashed cauliflower was the best-mashed potatoes they had ever eaten.
Instead of sugar or fake sugar, I cut the sweet way down, probably in ½ and use either honey or maple syrup. They are still sugar but have trace elements that are healthy. Things taste better less sweet, and sugar is toxic. Sometimes I use applesauce for part of the sweet, like in cakes.
I use organic cocoa. And I use 70% semi-sweet morsels. (or 69%) (Real Life, also soy free)
I use organic spices and seasonings.
For meat, I substitute grass fed grass finished beef, heritage pork, pastured poultry. We only eat wild fish.
I use pastured eggs.
For flours, depending on what I am making I would use almond flours for baked goods and cookies, or cassava flour for pie crusts. Often a mixture of coconut flours with almond flours get the best results. I like Honeyville blanched almond flour because of how fine it is for how it bakes.
So, I take a recipe and go down the ingredient list and use the healthiest substitution possible.
If the recipe calls for olive oil, I make sure it is either Californian or a certified Italian or Spanish oil that declares it is 100% olive oil The mafia has gotten involved in the olive oil industry and is cutting it with less expensive oils.
8. Why does stress cause weight gain?
Stress triggers cortisol, one of our hormones and puts us into fight or flight mode. This response gives us a burst of energy, changes our metabolism and blood flow which impacts our digestion and appetite. Cortisol triggers a desire to eat what we know as comfort foods that are generally high in carbohydrates and sugar. Stress impacts us to store belly fat.
9. How do anxious negative thoughts sabotage our diet?
One reason you may find yourself binging on carbohydrates when you feel anxious or stressed is that carbohydrates temporarily raise serotonin levels. A powerful neurotransmitter, serotonin affects your emotions, alleviating anxiety and depression. The temporary lift you get from binging on carbohydrates, though, is often followed by a crash, and it certainly isn't worth the increased calories and resulting weight gain.
10. What is functional medicine
Functional medicine is a new paradigm in medicine. A functional practitioner has gotten additional training from the Institute for Functional Medicine. My MD graduated from Yale but then got the additional training when she got sick and was looking for a solution. Conventional medicine tends to try to match up the symptoms with a pharmaceutical.
Although a functional MD has the same drugs in her toolbox, her original approach is to find the”root cause” of the ailment. Drugs could be used as a temporary solution. Appointments are longer, and treatments are more inventive. Different tests are taken to identify what is causing the symptom. One major difference is a functional MD reacts before a test shows a disease state, and tries to improve the result before the patient enters a disease state.
11. In your book, you help people Lighten the toxic load and inspire people to eat healthy, what are some of the topics in your book?
The first part of the book is written to people with chronic pain that don’t know where to start to find a solution. The second part of the book identifies where the toxins are- in our food,(which is broken down to organic vs conventionally grown vs GMOs, processed foods, canned goods, fast food, dairy, sugar, soda, clean meats, soy, oils, our cosmetics, our over the counter drugs, our kitchens, our cleaning solutions and our water and then also in our heads- stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, toxic relationships, lack of exercise. I not only identify the toxin, I share what I have replaced it with and why, and if you don’t like my choice (bio-individuality) I explain how to research to find your own. Once you buy the book, if you write to me, I send you a workbook to use as you read my book. My idea is that since it is all about toxic load, each toxin you eliminate gets you one step closer to health. You write down in the workbook the things, that you identify that you want to replace and then when you run out of the toxic item you replace it with a much less toxic choice. I wrote the manual that I wish I had had when I got autoimmune disease 5 years ago, and I share everything that I have learned. As a result, my book has now won 8 awards.
12. where can people find your book and where can people find you?
My website is https://cherylmhealthmuse.com
To receive the catalog write to me at cherylmhealthmuse.com. I
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