Cheryl Meyer’s message is simple, “Eliminate toxins, and heal your chronic pain. Own your own health. I got sick and didn't want a life of pain and pills. “
Thus, began an odyssey that culminated in Cheryl 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, she explains how she discovered she was suffering from inflammation and autoimmune disease, how she actively searched out, purged, and replaced toxins in her life, how she found the right doctor (a Functional MD), and how she finally returned to wellness.
In her book “Accidentally Overweight”, Dr. Libby Weaver makes the argument that until the body functions like a symphony, weight loss is hindered. It has nothing to do with “will power." This basically means that your body needs to be working efficiently so it can start shedding the unwanted pounds.
And for the body to work efficiently, Cheryl advises that we do the following:
There will be instances however where we do all these and yet still can’t lose the weight or worse, remain sick. That’s because of TOXINS. Toxins are everywhere, thanks to advancement in science and technology.
In this interview, Cheryl shows us how we can lower our toxic load. The process can be lengthy – it took Cheryl five years to lower hers – as well as expensive. So the journey doesn’t become overwhelming, make sure to be systematic and realistic about lowering your toxic load.
KNOW HOW YOUR FOOD IS GROWN
Try to avoid GMO and Roundup Ready foods as much as possible.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — also labelled as genetically engineered, bioengineered, or recombinant) — are organisms that contain artificially altered genetic material that would not otherwise occur in nature. Scientists can physically edit the DNA of an organism to achieve a desired change, such as improving the yield of a crop or causing bacteria to produce insulin. When people talk about GMO foods, they’re generally referring to genetically modified plant crops.
In the case of our food system, the risks of GMO foods go beyond the genetic modification itself. GMOs such as Monsanto’s Bt toxin crops literally produce pesticides themselves — you can’t rinse that off.
Even more common, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand extreme doses of weed killer glyphosate, allowing farmers to spray billions of pounds of glyphosate-based Roundup each year to protect their crops from weeds. In 2015, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The same mineral-chelating effects that make Roundup so great for killing bugs, also make it a potent antibiotic in your body.
So how do we stay away from GMO and Roundup Ready plants?
Cheryl advises us to get most of our produce from local farmers markets and more importantly, build a relationship with the farmers. Most markets have a say in which vendors they allow in, and often, they’re the ones who produce their goods in a manner the market is proud of. This means less GMO, and more humanely- and naturally-raised livestock and produce with less pesticides sprayed on them.
STAY AWAY FROM FOODS WITH INGREDIENTS YOU CAN’T PRONOUNCE
Cheryl generally stays away from processed foods. If however there’s a need to get one, she makes sure the product doesn’t have more than five ingredients and she makes sure she knows what all these ingredients are.
And for good reason. Some additives are banned in other countries but not in the U.S. For example, citing health reasons, Europe and Japan have banned brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, a chemical used to distribute flavor in popular bottled drinks.
Update yourself with the Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen list.
Cheryl also suggests to keep yourself updated with the Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen list that EWG comes up with every year.
When a fruit or vegetable is on the Dirty Dozen list, you need to make sure that you buy organic. So, you should buy organic strawberries, organic spinach, organic kale, etc.
When a fruit or vegetable is on the Clean Fifteen list, you don’t have to worry about harmful preservatives and chemicals coating it wherever you buy the produce.
STAY AWAY FROM Too Much SUGAR
Sugar has a bittersweet reputation when it comes to health. Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay.
However, problems occur when you consume too much added sugar — that is, sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor or extend shelf life.
Cheryl calls sugar the addictive toxin that people can’t stay away from. If you need to have a little bit of sweetness in your baked goods, Cheryl recommends using only half the amount of what’s indicated in the recipe. She also suggests you use almond flour and coconut sugar.
Beware of Plastic Products
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical widely used in common plastic products, such as baby bottles, children’s toys, and the linings of most food and beverage cans. Many scientific studies—including the largest study of BPA ever conducted on humans—have found links between BPA and serious health problems, from heart disease, diabetes, and liver abnormalities in adults to developmental problems in the brains and hormonal systems of children.
Depending on your tolerance for risk, you might want to minimize your exposure to BPA. Given the wide use of BPA in so many products we encounter every day, it is probably impossible to completely eliminate your exposure to this potentially harmful chemical. Still, you can lower your exposure—and your risk of possible health problems associated with BPA—by taking a few simple precautions.
One of these precautions is to eat fewer canned foods. If however you can’t get away from totally eliminating canned foods, Cheryl suggest you try the canned goods from Sprouts Farmers Market.
CHECK your COSMETICS AND CLEANING PRODUCTS
Overall, cosmetics and personal care products don’t carry the levels of toxins needed to cause cancer. Bigger concerns are skin irritations and lack of proper cosmetic hygiene. Still, the American Cancer Society says that health risks related to long-term exposure of toxins cannot be completely ruled out.
Cleaning products on the other hand is a different story. In fact, some home cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home.
Cheryl recommends a line of cleaning products she discovered – Branch Basics.
But if natural cleaners are quite expensive, just remember that most household cleaning needs can be met safely and inexpensively with a sturdy scrubber sponge and simple ingredients like water, liquid castile, vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda for scrubbing grease and grime.
Here's my Facebook Live interview with Cheryl if you want to watch the whole thing:
Cheryl holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley. She is an Integrative Nutrition Coach, Cheryl M Health Muse, 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. If the interview and blog post resonated with you and want to reach out to Cheryl, please go to her website: https://cherylmhealthmuse.com
Cheryl's book, "It Feels Good to Feel Good" has won 14 awards to date. You may purchase a copy of her book in Amazon. If you write to her, she'll give you her supplemental workbook for FREE.
If you want helpful tips and articles on fitness and nutrition specific to people over fifty, please join my private Facebook group, Weight Loss After 50. You'll get the support and motivation you need from me and the other members.
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.