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Amy’s Journey Part II – Rethinking Nutrition: Learning that everything we thought we knew about ‘eating healthy’ was wrong.

Once Amy endured her horrific Mother’s Day nightmare at Piedmont Hospital, both she and her husband were determined to educate themselves about IBS and all of its many permutations. Clearly, the doctors, nutritionists and the FDA did not have the answers. So almost nine years ago Amy began her journey to good health. Little did she know that her journey would change her life in so many ways. In the process of learning everything possible about healthy nutrition, Amy and her husband learned that most everything they thought was true, was false. Salt doesn’t increase your blood pressure; eating eggs, shrimp, and avocados — all full of cholesterol — does not increase the cholesterol in your body; cholesterol in your body does not increase cardiovascular risk. And our favorite: American workers who work predominantly outside — construction workers, lifeguards, etc., have the lowest levels of skin cancer as a group. Guess why: The people who get the most sun — and the most vitamin D, by definition — have the least chance of getting skin cancer.

Amy learned that although working out is great for your body tone and your long-term health, what you eat determines ninety (90%) percent of your health and body composition. She learned that more than eighty (80%) percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to animals. And she learned that most polyunsaturated oils — the ones that everyone says are so good for you like canola oil & soybean oil — are really slowly killing your body. And the oils that the government and so many nutritionists told you were so bad for you, like butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil, are actually really good for you. Once Amy started eating all the good food she learned about, and avoiding grocery store meat and milk, bread, sodas, beans, soy, her gastrointestinal issues went into complete remission. More significantly, Amy was able to stop taking antidepressants for the first time in years as her stomach issues subsided. She felt better than she had ever felt at 35 years old. This is her story, in her own words.

The first question, I get when people come into Journey Juice is, “Are you a vegetarian?” And the answer is NO! I personally, could not survive without meat. I don’t eat commodity meat. All the meat I ingest is farm raised or wild caught. I need the animal fat because I eat very few carbs. I need the animal collagen because I don’t do supplements. I could never be a vegetarian because my tummy does not digest soy, beans or cruciferous vegetables — raw or cooked. This is why juicing is so important to my health. Liquid veggies are my way to veggies at all! And veggies are so hydrating to the body. And we are 70% water, so hydration if of UBER importance. And another cool fact– I am supporting local farmers by sourcing, juicing and drinking local cold pressed juice. Do you have to drink a bunch of juice a day to reap all these benefits? NOPE! One juice a day will do. But you ​do ​have to clean up your diet. You do have to get rid of those packaged, sugary foods and eat more whole foods. Basically, you have to eat Whole 30. If you don’t know what that is, then google it. It’s all the rage. Is it convenient? Not necessarily–It’s just a new discipline. But, it’s for real. And it’s the best plan for the human body.

When the body is hydrated then all the systems function the way they should, the mind has more clarity and the body has more energy. When the mind is clear and the body is energized appropriately, there is less anxiety. Less anxiety means less depression. Hence, my reason for juice. I don’t think juice is the end all be all, but it’s a start!! When I incorporated juicing into my daily regime, my whole world changed. My moods stabilized. Anxiety lessened. My sleep improved. My outlook was more positive. I personally cannot explain why. But, after reading about foods and how green veggies and whole foods affect the overall body, systems and mental game…well, duh then it’s not hocus pocus. It’s a real thing!! So, yes, I’m a heavy juicer. Why? Because juice became my new prescription. Is it expensive? Yes. Does it cost more than my copay of antidepressants? Yes! But, does juice have long term, adverse effects of antidepressants? NO! Not at all.

When I learned that I had to stop drinking beer because the yeast was so hard on my tummy and caused inflammation in my joints, let me just tell you I was S-A-D– SAD!!!. NOBODY loved a cold Miller Lite with lime like I did. And I didn’t want just one, two or three..I wanted six or nine. Learning that there were no more bowls of Cheerios..not even Gluten Free. That was sad. That revelation was hard. But, then you just kind of re-evaluate and think…UMMM, first world problems. This is not sad. You are so fine. You are feeling so much better. You are NOT taking pharmaceuticals and all you had to do was give up some processed shit and light beer. Girl, you are being a DIVA. So the gratitude list became a daily. Every day, I listed all that was well. And can you believe it?!–that list could get long fast! I mean really. If I just looked around, so much was going well. I just need to change my words and my diet, and my whole life shifted into a place that I never knew existed. I was 34 years old with insomnia, severe joint inflammation, depression and my tummy hurt ​all the time​. But, if changing my diet and giving up several comfort foods could cure these awful feelings, I was down. It sounds so simple. And it was simple ​but ​it was ​not ​easy. However, I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. So, I did it. I gave up the comfort foods and started eating food for what it was: FUEL. I emotionally broke up with food– FOREVER! Next, Part 3: Life as it is today.