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Taking Power Over Your Own Health, with Cheryl Meyer

| Episode 011

Cheryl Meyer

Toxins are everywhere impacting our health. How what you eat, and what you put in your body is enormously important. Question your doctor. Do your research. And take power over your own health.

Cheryl Meyer is a “health muse” that helps people take control of their health by eliminating toxins and eating healthy. She is the author of numerous books, including It Feels Good to Feel Good and Feeling Good: Living Low Toxin in Community and Everyday Life.

Click the play button above to listen to our conversation with Cheryl.

Highlights from Today’s Episode

  • Cheryl’s five-year health journey from pain to newfound health through functional medicine.
  • How people can take power over their own health.
  • What a toxic load and leaky gut are, and how they’re connected.
  • How a visit to a functional doctor differs from a visit to a traditional medical doctor.
  • Why GMO foods may cause long-lasting damage to your gut and overall health.
  • Some of the different toxins that can be in your drinking water, and what you can do about it.
  • How what you eat, and what you put in your body is enormously important.

Industry Spotlight: Cheryl M Health Muse

Cheryl Meyer’s mission is to help America become healthy again and to ditch the toxins. Now in the midst of the pandemic, it is more important than every for her to get her message out to other people who need it. She wants to be a beacon of light to others with chronic illness. As a coach, Cheryl specifically works with clients with chronic illness giving them hope and helping them find solutions. Her first session with a client is free. She encourages you to listen to your body and to own your own health.

Colon Health Podcast with Dr. Dac and Ariel Bridges

About the Colon Health Podcast

Co-hosted by Dr. Dac Teoli and Ariel Bridges, the Colon Health Podcast features guest interviews with expert physicians, leading researchers, nutritional scientists, integrative health specialists, and other foremost experts in colon health.

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Episode Transcript

Ariel: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the “Colon Health Podcast.” This is Ariel, your new co-host. And I am so excited to have you all here for this episode today. We have a wonderful guest who’s going to be chatting with us about autoimmune disease, functional medicine, health coaching, and so much other helpful and wonderful information. And I’m going to throw it over to her now so she can introduce herself and share a little bit more about what she does. So, hello.

Cheryl: Hello, thank you for inviting me to come on. I love to talk about this.

Ariel: Amazing. Thank you. We’re so happy to have you here. Can you please share your name and just a little bit about what you do?

Cheryl: My name is Cheryl Meyer, and I have named myself Cheryl M Health Muse. I’m a muse because I wanna inspire everybody to take back their power over their own health. I was a solopreneur. I had my own jewelry business. I was designing jewelry and manufacturing it overseas and selling all the big box jewelers like Macy’s and JCPenney and Amazon. And I was not doing anything to take care of me. And there’s something called toxic load and mine was building up. The universe was trying to tell me mine was building up, but it slid past my eyes so quick, I didn’t even stop to think about it. Until one morning, I was 62, I woke up, and literally, I could not get out of bed because everything in my body hurt, so I was girl interrupted. I had no choice but to pay attention that something had gone terribly wrong in my body. And I was really lucky because I had a very well-trained staff that had been with me a long time, so I turned the business over to them and I started going to my conventional doctor. We ran four rounds of tests and she came back to me and said, “Good news. There’s nothing wrong with you.” I said, “That’s ludicrous. I hurt.” She said, “Well, since you say you hurt, I’m gonna give you steroids. But really what I think you need is mental therapy.” And I said, “All right. Let me tell you something, this body does not hurt on a regular basis, so something’s wrong and I’m gonna go find it.” She said, “Well, you’ll be back to me for the steroids.” I said, “No, I won’t.” If there’s nothing wrong with me, why would I take steroids? So, I didn’t even know what I was looking for when I dug in. And I swear I had an angel’s hand on my back because I tripped in what’s called the functional medicine community. Functional medicine is a little bit different, in that they look at the whole body instead of trying to find what single system in your body is not functioning correctly. And at the time, they were running 19 different symposiums with multiple doctors and I listened to them all. And all of the doctors I was listening to had become functional and gotten the additional training because they couldn’t help themselves and that got my attention.

So, I started writing down things that were threads that they were saying in their presentations. They started talking about leaky gut, which I will explain. They started talking about toxic load. And one of the big things that cause toxic load was stress, and I had had friends pulling me aside and talking to me about the fact that they were reading articles that stress accumulated, and they were concerned about me. And so, it ends up my cortisol was so low because I had been so stressed out, I was almost to Addison’s disease, so that’s where I started because it seemed like a good place to maybe make some motion in the right direction to get myself out of bed and functioning again. And I started doing a Tao form of yoga, and I learned this series of breathing exercises. And I bought something that the Tao group that we were exercising with recommended called the Belly Button wand, which is this T, yellow, plastic bar. And the theory is that your belly button was where you were born, so through your belly button, you can get to every organ in your body and you can massage it and heal it. And while you’re doing that, it resets what’s called your reptilian brain. It’s your parasympathetic nervous system in the back of your neck, and that will take the top off of chronic stress. So, I started using the Belly Button wand on a regular basis and doing the Dr. Andrew Weil 4-7-8 breathing exercise, which also resets the parasympathetic nervous system, so my stress came way down, but my conventional doctor was what to do about the cortisol because I wasn’t diseased yet. And that actually got corrected the minute I found my own functional doctor, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, then the next thing I wrote down was toxic load. So, I knew that stress was part of toxic load, but they were talking about a website called ewg.org, which are the people that you might be familiar with because they put out the dirty dozen clean 15 lists every year of the dirty vegetables that have so many pesticides and herbicides on them that literally we’re poisoning ourselves by eating them. And so, I dug into their database. They have thousands and thousands of items on their database. It isn’t exactly user-friendly, but the first thing I looked up was my French, very expensive cosmetics and they were a 9 on a 10-point scale. I was literally poisoning myself right through my skin, which is our largest organ, so that opened up my eyes, and I started taking all of my everyday products and looking them up. Now sometimes they’re in EWG by their brand name. And sometimes you have to look up ingredient by ingredient, but I literally looked up everything. And then I found a replacement product that was much less toxic that I went and it took some trial and error, but I found things that this was almost 10 years ago. So, there’s a lot more available on the market now than there was available when I first started researching. But by the time I was done, I had traded out dozens and dozens and dozens of products. And I had started to lose the pain and feel better. And I found my own functional doctor, which if anybody’s listening to this and they’re interested in pursuing that they can go to ifm.org, for Institute of Functional Medicine, you put your zip code in, and everyone who’s been trained functionally will pop up by your zip code.

And they come as… My medical doctor went to Yale. Sometimes they’re naturopaths, sometimes they are nurse practitioners. There’s a series of…sometimes they’re nutritionist. But everybody who’s been trained by the functional medical community and their school shows up in that database. And it was like a breath of fresh air. I walked in to see her and she looked at me and said, “Cheryl, you’re sitting on a tack and we’re gonna go find that tack.” It was like going on a treasure hunt. It was unbelievable. And she did not run one test that my conventional doctor had run on me. Whereas my conventional doctor ran an allergy test, the only thing I was allergic to was the tape that huddled down my back. My functional doctor ran a sensitivity test, and I had 18 of them. And the difference is an allergy is like peanuts, you could eat it, and bam, you could die because you have such a strong reaction to it. Whereas sensitivity is something that builds up a slow flame of inflammation over time. And by eliminating the 18 things that showed up on my sensitivity test, I had instant relief from pain, so that was the first thing that my functional doctor and I did together.

But I also made a joke to her and said I popped out allergic to Pittsburgh. And she said, “I know you’re joking, but let’s check and see if you have something called MTHFR.” Which it ends up I had from both my parents, which indicates that my body doesn’t detox. I don’t sweat. I always knew I didn’t sweat. I didn’t know that and I didn’t detox. And so, all the toxins that went in my body in Pittsburgh when I was born, and that was a town that was doing steel, and it was doing coal mining, all of those toxins went into my body and I never released them. So, when we tested for heavy, toxic metals, it was like eureka, I had them all. So, getting my body to release those was tricky, but it took me two years and we did it. But one of the things I have learned about the liver is when the liver no longer can handle anymore, it starts to stuff things in your belly fat. And so, two years after I got all the toxic metals out of my body, it started releasing them again because it started releasing them from my fat, so I had to go through the detox all over again. But each one of these things was a step back in the right direction to me returning to health. And it took me five years to eliminate all the toxic products and to bring myself back to a pain-free life. But although I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease by my functional doctor, and I will always have that, I no longer have pain and that’s enormous.

Ariel: Wow, you just shared so many things, so much helpful information, so much interesting information. I want to back up and ask you to define for our audience, I think you did with a lot of the context that you provided, but can you share just a clear definition of what toxic load actually is. And then also, you mentioned leaky gut, can you explain that a bit more for our audience as well.

Cheryl: Right. And they’re immediately connected. There are a series of things that create toxic load, and it all starts with the gut, so the gut becomes enormously important. Stress is one of them, lack of sleep is one of them, parasites, toxic products that have to go through your gut that then go through your liver, which is the clearinghouse for all toxins. So, like the cosmetics that I was using was going in my skin, and then it was going down into my gut, and then it was creating toxic load. And when all of those toxins accumulate in your gut, they stop you from digesting your food down to the proper size, so you start having large particles that are not the right size pushing up against the lining of your gut, which is, believe it or not, only one cell thick, that threw me for a loop. And so, they’re pushing against the lining of your gut and they will eventually rip a hole and go through to your blood system, and that’s why it’s called leaky gut. Now, when it goes into your blood, your body does exactly what it’s supposed to do, it doesn’t recognize it so it screams foreigner and then your body attacks it, your natural immune system attacks it. And then the body is even more interesting than that. Where your body attacks itself, those little particles mimic wherever you’re weak in your body. And I was weak in my joints and my muscles. And so that’s where I got attacked. And then they go through the liver and the liver does the best they can do to try to get them out of your body. And it can either get them out through your colon, which is what we’re talking about today, through your kidneys, or through your skin. But when it no longer can keep up, that’s when the whole situation gets exasperated. And the one piece that I haven’t mentioned that’s even as important if not more so is if you don’t deal with this when it starts to happen, there’s something called multiple autoimmune disease, where you don’t just get one, you start to accumulate them, and you get a variety of syndromes.

Now, the first thing that I actually got, which is considered in the autoimmune family was diabetes. I didn’t know that so I didn’t know that that was gonna lead me to getting something else. And the name of my autoimmune disease interestingly enough is undefined. There’s 140 defined autoimmune diseases, but I joke I’m a little bit from column A, a little bit from column B, and a little bit from column C because my syndrome doesn’t have a name. And in functional medicine, they don’t care because they wanna heal the whole body and find out where the body, in general, has gone berserk because unless the liver works well, your kidneys can’t work well, your gut can’t work well, your lower gut can’t work well. It even impacts your lungs and your heart and your brain. And so, we started looking at tests that would tell them where I was not functioning in my whole body. Another test that my functional doctor ran that was different from conventional was conventional ran my thyroid from the thyroid down to…from the back of my head, from penal gland down to my thyroid. Functional doctor ran it from my thyroid down to my adrenal, and that’s where I was broken. So, they wanna see the whole body. They hover over you and look at everything. Whereas conventional medicine really will probably just look at your thyroid and say, “You know, it’s functioning okay.” And conventional medicine runs tests and tells you you’re fine if you’re in range. And believe it or not, what that means is you’re in range with all the other people who have taken that test that might also be diseased. So, it doesn’t mean because you have a test in range that you’re fine. It might mean that you’re just as fine as the other people who have the same problem that you have. So, it’s great to be able to go to a functional doctor and dig deeper. And really, it’s like going on a treasure hunt with my doctor each visit.

The other big difference between functional and conventional is my conventional doctors spent an average of six minutes with me. And she would hear the first thing that I said that was a symptom, and then immediately down the chute would come up pharmaceutical. I don’t like taking drugs because I’ve been sensitive my whole life. And so that’s why I wouldn’t take steroids just because she thought maybe that would be a good idea. If there’s not a reason, I’m not taking it. And pharmaceuticals give and they take it away. They do help. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take them, but they take something away from your body. As an example, I was on Metformin because I was diabetic. And Metformin was depleting my body of magnesium. Well, magnesium is responsible for 350 different enzyme reactions in your body, so you need magnesium, and I didn’t realize how low I was. And so, getting my magnesium levels back up was a big giant step back towards health as well. A functional doctor will spend a lot more time with you. My average appointment with my functional doctor is 40 minutes. I research, she researches, we get together, we have this great robust conversation and then decide what we wanna do next. And although she has pharmaceuticals in her toolbox, she always starts with the holistic solution first. And like, my cortisol was very low. What I take for that, and I’m gonna mispronounce it is, ayurvedic flower drop that allowed my body to make its own DHEA and build its cortisol back up to a regular level.

So, it was an easy solution, we just had to do it. And that’s why I was dealing with fatigue and brain fog, all of that was immediately related to the dysfunction of my adrenals and how low my cortisol was. So, that was an easy solution. Some of them were not so easy. And I’m not saying I don’t take any pharmaceuticals because I do take some, but when I add a pharmaceutical down to my regimen, we also have the conversation, “What do I have to do to get my tests back into the correct range so that I can wean myself back off of that pill because I don’t wanna be on that pill because it gives and it takes away, so that’s how I’ve approached everything. I have gone from an A1C in diabetes of 8 and I’m now down to 6.1, which is considered pre-diabetes, and I’m on my way out the other end, so I’m no longer on Metformin.

Ariel: Cheryl, that’s amazing.

Cheryl: And even toxic relationships, toxic relationships can cause leaky gut because they interrupt the way you digest your food. And I was in a toxic relationship when I got sick. I’ve been in a 10-year relationship and I woke up with him one day and he looked at me and said, “I don’t like it that you’re sick.” I said, “Ducky, what would you like me to do about that?” Well, obviously we broke up. But that was an angel’s hand on my back too because I decided at 63, I was rather lousy of this relationship stuff. I took a class from a woman named Alison Armstrong. And she teaches about men who love women as women who love them. I didn’t want a male-bashing class. And she looked at me in the class and said, “Your problem is you’re trying to fit into his life. You write down what your non-negotiables are, and you find somebody who wants to fall into your life.” So, I made my non-negotiable list. I went on the old fogey dating site, which is our time and somebody answered in three days. He lives 10 minutes away from me and I married him six years ago, and he wanted to go on a get-well journey with me. So, I had a partner in crime. As we completely changed the way we ate, we started eating organic, we started cooking our food, 75% of our plates are now vegetables and fruits that are organic because you don’t need a heavy, toxic load with all your food. You need to eat your food as clean as possible. And as close to the farm as possible because when I first started researching, they thought there were 6000 phytonutrients in the different colors of the rainbow of food. Ends up now they think there’s 25,000 phytonutrients in that food. And so, the closer you get that food to when it’s picked, and then on your plate and in your body, the better it can do its job in your body, and you need all those phytonutrients to keep you healthy, to keep everything running correctly. Every cell in your body has a shelf life, so you pull from all those phytonutrients to rebuild yourself. And your gut lining, which is one cell big, it replaces itself every six days. So, if you only have McDonald’s hamburgers to build from, you’re not gonna build a very good gut lining from that. Instead, you need all those beautiful, bright, vibrant, glorious, rainbow colors that are giving you nutrients that they’re just beginning to understand how important they are to keeping us healthy.

Ariel: Man, there’s so much…so many gems that you are dropping and everything that you’re saying. I think everyone that’s listening is going to find this to be so helpful. You’ve shared so much information. Thank you so much. Something that I think is really sticking out to me is that throughout your entire health journey that you’ve shared with us, whether it be navigating your personal relationships, and then figuring out also all the different steps that you needed to take to feel better in your own body, you didn’t take no for an answer when it came to, that’s the result.

Cheryl: I’m not big on people telling me I can’t do something that’s right away. It’s gonna set me off to go find a way to do it.

Ariel: That is evident. Yes, but I feel like that’s very inspiring. And I think there are some people that are listening that probably relate to that, but there are also some that are like, “Wow, I wish that I could be like that.” So, I wanted to ask you what are some ways that people can better advocate for themselves when it comes to finding answers to why they’re feeling the way that they do.

Cheryl: Well, let me start with what I did do so that they have their jumping-off point. When I graduated, I went back to become a health coach because my BA was in English and I didn’t think anybody was gonna believe me. So, I went to IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And when I graduated, they asked me if I’d like to write a book. Well, I had kept everything organized in file folders on my computer, so I said this book is waiting to happen. So, my first book talks about my whole journey, where I started, what a functional doctor is, what leaky gut is, what oils we should be eating, and what oils we should never put in our body, all the things you need to know. And then I started with how I was researching, what I found that was toxic in my life, and what I replaced it with. And my first beta readers tried to do it all at once. And I said, no, it took me five years to do this. So, if somebody goes and buys my book and they write to me, I’ll send them a workbook because you write down what you find is toxic in your life as you’re reading the book and you’re doing your own research, and then you only replace it when you run out of the old irky items. You’ve been using it all this time, it’s not gonna do that much more damage until you use it up. Otherwise, you’ll go bankrupt and you’ll go crazy because people were going, “Oh my God, it’s overwhelming. I can’t do this.” Sure, you can. It’s very systematic. You do it one step at a time. And I also talk about what I do for stress and how I learned to get a good night’s sleep and what I do for anxiety. Ends up I inherited my mother’s worrying gene. And I worried all the time and it ended up I have a chemical imbalance in my body that by taking a supplement that Metagenics made, it took me about a year and I don’t have anxiety anymore, which sort of blew me away that I had dealt with that my whole life and that it was gone. But everything that I learned in my initial stages of my journey is in my first book, and it’s easy to remember the title. It’s “It Feels Good to Feel Good.” And it’s available on Amazon. And then the second part of it is learn to eliminate toxins, reverse inflammation, and feel great again. So, that will give you a head start because as I said when I first started researching, I had no clue what I was looking for. So, I wanted to give people a place that they can start so that they didn’t have to go through that. So, that’s the beginning.

And then when you get on your journey and you’re getting along your way, my functional doctor asked me to write my second book, which is okay, ducky. I now live in the world in a community and I don’t eat the American standard diet which is processed and fast food. I would not put that stuff near my mouth to save my soul because my body immediately talks to me and tells me it doesn’t like it. So, my second book is “Feeling Good: Living Low Toxin,” and I talk all my tips of how do we go out to dinner? How do I vet a restaurant? Because they’re also buying food, believe it or not, in little baggies that they’re microwaving and arranging on your plate, and I don’t eat that. So, I go to places that get farm-to-table vegetables and buy clean meat that’s pastured that eats his own species-specific diet, so I’ll only eat beef if he’s been grass-fed, grass-finished. I don’t eat beef that’s eating GMO corn. And one of the places that I started was what the heck was GMO it had been on the ballot in California and I had no clue what it was. Well, GMOs are one of two things. They’ve either been sprayed heavily with RoundUp, which we all know now causes cancer because of a lawsuit that was won two years ago that now Bayer, who bought Monsanto has paid out billions of dollars to people who got cancer from the product. Or also by the wonderful Monsanto, it had BP toxin grown right into the plant, which means you can’t wash the stuff off. And BP toxin, when the bug bites the plant, it blows up his little stomach, which is all fine and well because then they get more of that vegetable or fruit, but the problem is when it gets into your gut, it blows up your good gut bacteria as well, so you don’t need it.

And in the beginning, they taught that our bodies were gonna eject it right away. Well, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It just starts to replicate itself in your gut, so you don’t wanna ever eat a GMO because it’s gonna create all kinds of havoc. And the one thing I haven’t mentioned is it can take as long as 20 years for toxic load to build up. And there is a blog on my website which is cherylmhealthnews.com that is the 20 ways you may not be as healthy as you think you are. They were all the things that I noticed were happening in my body, but I didn’t know why they were happening and I didn’t really pay attention to them. I would wake up in the morning and be all puffy. When I looked in the mirror and go “Whoo, this is not a pretty day.” I would feel my fingers in my hands and know that I was all swollen, my ankles were swelling. I was getting tremendous…what my family called Agita, which is acid reflux because of what I was eating. I was waking up in the morning more tired than when I went to bed at night. And it would take me one, two, or three cups of coffee to get rid of the brain fog. All of those are signs of toxic load. I was getting random rashes, and maybe they were only on one side of my body, or products that I had used my whole life started bothering me. Underarm deodorants either made me rash or made me blister, mascara made my eyes water or made my eyes itchy, things like that. I knew I was having a problem with fabric softener. And so, I had hid my sheets for fabric softening up way high in a cupboard and the girlfriend came and stayed with me and did me a favor and did my laundry and pulled them down and used them, and I woke up and my mouth, my lips, and my eyes were swollen shut because my body reacted that strongly to those fabric softener sheets, and believe it or not, what we do our laundry in, those little pods, the fabric softener stuff, that’s some of the most toxic stuff in our house. So, if a toddler was to eat one of those little pods that we wash our clothes or our dishes with, you might not even be able to get them to emergency, they are that toxic. And Tidy even has an ad right now where they show you how to turn the lid to click it on so that a child doesn’t get to it. I recommend there are better ways to do your laundry that you don’t even have that stuff in your house. There are some very low toxin products that you can wash your clothes in. And one of the great products I found for cleaning is called Branch Basics. They are plant enzymes. And I fell in love with it when I found that because I was eating a lot of pastured eggs and I hate the way it sticks on the plate and you spray it with Branch Basics, walk away for five minutes and it washes right off. And I started doing my laundry in Branch Basics. I do my toilets in Branch Basics because I have pets, and I don’t want them dying from all the toxins that are around in our lives. I wash my floors with it. It’s just this amazing product, and it comes in a concentrate. So you think it’s expensive when you buy it, but it makes so many bottles of cleaner. It really doesn’t. And it’s a 1 on the 10-point scale.

Ariel: Man, there’s so much. I can see now how it’s very easy for people to get overwhelmed because there’s so many different things that you don’t even think about, like things like laundry or washing your dishes, these are just everyday things that people, I feel like, you buy that one thing you’ve always…yeah.

Cheryl: People think Flint, Michigan is unusual, it’s not. Toxic water is in many of the cities in our country. Now I live in LA and I live in a city called Arcadia, and we have artesian wells under our city that come down from the mountains. But even at that, there were things in the water that I didn’t want in my body. You can get a water report from your city unless you have a well, and if you have a well, you should get somebody to come out and test your water because we have a second home in Sedona, Arizona, and their water is loaded with arsenic. It’s important that you know that stuff because your bodies can handle it. And it was easy. In the beginning, I bought a fairly inexpensive system that went under my kitchen sink, and took all the heavy toxic metals and pharmaceuticals that people put down the toilet, all that stuff comes out your water system. And so that was the water I cooked with and I drank from and that was probably five years. And then eventually, we put a whole water system on because I didn’t want the water in my shower and my bathtub going through my skin. But if you just start with your under the sink in the kitchen water, that’s a big leap forward. And that system was from Aqua Sana, and it was maybe $150. And then you stop drinking water in plastic bottles, you’re paying 1200 times more for that water to get the added benefit of the toxins that are leaching from the plastic into the water. And in addition to that, like, that’s glue for little tiny plastic microbes or little balls, so you’re getting doubly poison from the plastic water and you’re paying a premium price to have that happen. So, you pay $20 and you buy yourself stainless steel bottles, and you fill them up from your own kitchen sink and you take your water with you everywhere you go. I bought big jugs that sit in the backseat on the floor in my car so that if I need more water, I fill up my own bottles. The only time I drink plastic water now is when I’m on an airplane. I don’t want those chemicals in my body. And I feel way too good having eliminated them.

Ariel: Yeah. Wow, thank you so much for really highlighting all of these different things, again, that I think most people don’t think about. And also, I really appreciate your being so specific with the symptoms that you experience as you are kind of detoxifying because I think a lot of those things add up and people don’t realize it or they write it off, like you said, you know, maybe just a random rash here or there or I’m starting to react to my deodorant. So, I think this really gives people…this gives people an idea of things that they can be looking out for and maybe helps them feel validated in a lot of ways, so thank you so much for sharing all of that. And also…

Cheryl: And I want, you know… I was running into women who were frustrated, and lonely, and not getting answers or not being heard and that’s why I went back to become a health coach because we deserve to be heard. And conventional medicine doesn’t identify autoimmune diseases easily. There are tests for it, but for whatever reason, they don’t seem to go there.

Ariel: Yes.

Cheryl: So, it’s important that you know about all this, and it’s important that you take back your power and become your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to question your doctor and to challenge him and to do your research and go have robust conversations with him. I mean, there’s even things in my book where I discovered, number one, medical schools were all started by pharmaceutical companies, I had no idea. And so, they don’t get very much nutrition. And the average is a half a day in nutrition in a medical school. So, when your doctor says to you, “You need to lose weight.” You go “Okay, how do I do that?” He doesn’t know because that wasn’t part of what he learned. But they don’t tell you that, they just eat less. And it ends up one of the things that I discovered because I have had a weight problem my entire life. And I’ve tried every New York Times bestseller book and only gained weight at the end of it.

All of these chemicals and sugar turn off two hormones that regulate hunger. And so, I would eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner and then be in the kitchen eating the rest of the pumpkin pie going, “How could I still be hungry, I just ate a huge Thanksgiving dinner?” Well, that’s because my two hormones were turned off, so my brain wasn’t getting the signal that I had had enough. And when you clean up and you stop eating all the toxins that are sprayed on our food, and you stop eating processed food and all those things you can’t pronounce and don’t know what they are. And those foods are loaded with sugar as well as with chemicals and they’re loaded with MSG, which is now marketed under 69 different names so that we don’t know that. When you stop eating that stuff and you detox off of it and you break the addiction that they’ve caused, I’ve lost 65 pounds without dieting. I wish I’d known that in my 20s. I wouldn’t have beat myself up for all those years.

Ariel: Wow. Yes. And I think there’s a lot of women that can probably relate to having a struggle with their weight and trying all these different things and just not being able to shake it. So, every…

Cheryl: There is too much process… Big food, big farm, they don’t want us to win so they actually put stuff in the food that is making us addicted.

Ariel: Well, I think it’s…

Cheryl: It’s insanity.

Ariel: Yes, but it’s great that you’re here sharing this information so people can become more aware, you’ve shared so many great resources about how people can better advocate for themselves and their health. You shared some awesome resources to help people just get started and not be overwhelmed.

Cheryl: I have resources for everybody. I have a very good blog on my website where you can go read all kinds of articles that I have written. I write for international magazines, I write for people all over the place. And so, you can go begin to educate yourself for free just by going to my website noodling around. The Dirty Dozen Clean 15 Card is on my website, What’s Genetically Modified is on my website. And I also now have my own podcast that runs on Voice America but it just went up on Apple, so it’s almost everywhere that podcasts are run. And it’s in two parts. One part is me just talking about health. And like I did three podcasts on the liver, what it does, what to eat for it, and what supplements will support it. And then the other half is where I’m talking to other people who, like me, got sick, took back their power, owned it, changed their lifestyle, and have returned to relative wellness like I have. So, I’ve talked to people with cancer, and with heart problems, and with autoimmune disease, and with multiple autoimmune diseases, and bipolar so that whatever your problem is go listen to that podcast because whatever’s happening to your body is not what has to continue to happen. You may not get all the way well, but you will. There are things that you can do that can impact your health, and it is never too late.

Ariel: And for those that might be listening that want to work with you as a health coach, how can they find you and get in contact with you?

Cheryl: The keyword is again, [email protected] and you can write to me and we’ll set up an appointment. Your first appointment is free because I have to hear your health story. And then you can decide from that conversation that you think I’m right to help you, but I love to work with people. And I’ve had some really great successes working with clients. And somebody said to me, the thing about me is that I’ve been through it all. And so not only do I know it, but I have lived it. And so, I have lots of tips. To be a good coach, you set what your goals are, and then I help you be accountable to them, but I’ve got all kinds of tips to help you along the way, so I’m a great person to help you reach your health goals.

I also am doing quarterly now sugar and process chemical detoxes. And my next one starts next Tuesday, so if you go to the store on my website, you can join us. I made it very affordable. It’s $99 for five classes because you have to break the addiction with a community. And so, we have a private Facebook group. I meet with everybody once a week. There are replays, so if you can’t make it, you can go into my Dropbox and pull up what we talked about, and then we support each other in the group. And this is the third one I’ve run this year, and I’ve had people go from severe diabetes to pre-diabetes. Somebody just wrote to me that her husband was eating because she was cooking the way I was suggesting. And he has gone to pre-diabetes and is close to coming out the other end. And she had pancreatic cancer and is currently cancer-free. So, believe it or not, it doesn’t work like this for everybody. I don’t want you to think you can completely revert to your disease, but you certainly can impact your body by putting some of these things into place. And you can impact it in a very positive way.

Ariel: Awesome. And everybody, I will be linking a lot of these resources that Cheryl is mentioning in the show notes. So, if you are curious about some of the things that she has mentioned, be sure to scroll down and you can access those links easily. Cheryl, we are just about out of time, but did you have any other kind of parting words that you wanted to share with our audience about what you do about colon health? Anything that’s on your mind.

Cheryl: Well, colon health is directly connected to liver health. Liver impacts every other organ in your body, so start with the liver. And the best way to start with the liver is go listen to my free podcasts on voiceamerica.tv because everything you wanna know from a layman’s point of view about your liver is in those podcasts. If you… Believe it or not, the number one cause of heart disease is fatty liver, but it also impacts your colon, so you start by cleaning up the toxins and then you’ll give your body, your other organ systems an opportunity to start to return to a balance and to a more normal life. So that would be where I would start and that’s why I did those three podcasts. It’s really important that you love your liver. And I don’t think most of us even have any idea what our liver does for us. So, be proactive, take back your power, research, and don’t be afraid to have conversations with whoever your doctor is. The one disadvantage of functional doctors is most of them do not take insurance, mine does. I literally called everybody in the Los Angeles area that was on that list and found the one that takes PPO and she takes Medicare. I’m now 72 and I feel better than I did in my 50s. So, you might be able to find one, but I’ll warn you, they’re worth it even if they just get you started on the right path. But what you eat and what you put in your body is enormously important, so start to clean up the toxins and start to eat real food because that’ll be your first leap back to health.

Ariel: Cheryl, thank you so much again for all this incredible information that you’ve shared and for being here on the podcast today. We so appreciate it.

Cheryl: Thank you. I’m very passionate about this. I think everybody should know what I learned. So, I’ve done over 200 guest podcasts to share this information. I want people to know this. And don’t let anybody tell you that you’re sick and you’re gonna be on pills for the rest of your life. You might be, but you have more power over that than they’re giving you credit for.

Ariel: Yes. I think, let’s all take a page out of Cheryl’s book. Let’s advocate for ourselves, ask questions, do research, and don’t be ashamed, embarrassed, or nervous because we all have colons, let’s just take care of them. All right.

Cheryl: Absolutely.

Ariel: Thank you, everybody. Thanks, Cheryl.

Cheryl: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

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