“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”

Earlier this month on Facebook I asked the following question:

Have any of you (or someone you know) been able to stop taking some prescription meds after making a change to your diet? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

I was definitely expecting to hear some great success stories, but was completely taken aback by almost 800 comments sharing amazing and – in some cases – truly unbelievable transformations. I just had to recap some of the really amazing feedback here in an effort to inspire and help others. But as I’ve stated on our Terms of Use page, “This information on this blog is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Never dismiss any advice your health physician gives. The authors shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages bla bla bla.” So now that our arses are covered please read these stories below and be inspired. And in all seriousness, it is advised that you not stop taking any of medications unless under the guidance of your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t believe that it’s possible to improve your health through a change in diet (instead of immediately resorting to pharmaceuticals) then – GET A SECOND OPINION! Just my two cents :)

let food be thy medicin - 100 Days of Real Food.jpg

Reader Feedback…

“I stopped anti-depressants for depression and anxiety that i’d been on for 3 years (post natally) after I cut out sugar and processed foods.”

“My husband had AWFUL eczema…topical and oral steroids to treat…couldn’t get is hands wet for more than a few minutes, had to use special soap, etc. 6 weeks on a gluten free diet and the eczema is 100% GONE.”

“My husband had to take Rx med for his acid reflux! We started eating clean 10 weeks ago and he has been off his medication for 4 weeks now!”

“I have a friend that does a Paleo diet and has not had to take meds for Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

“My fibromyalgia pain is so much less since eating clean.”

“After going unprocessed and mostly organic as well as using food for medicine- I stopped three meds for migraines. My daughter no longer has eczema, son’s allergies and chronic sinusitis is gone and we’ve all lost weight!”

“Yes! My husband was on two allergy meds and an inhaler. He was using all three every day. His doctor was also telling him he needed to go on meds for cholesterol. He changed his diet and ditched all meds and lowered his cholesterol 76 points in only 4 months. Nothing short of amazing!”

“My daughters were able to stop their daily Miralax and I am off antidepressants for the first time in my adult life!”

“I have Crohn’s disease and am medication free after giving up dairy, coffee, and limiting fried/processed foods.”

“Pulled artificial dyes, flavors, sweeteners, and petro based presertives and was able to remove stimulants for my ADHD son. http://www.feingold.org/

“After getting rid of processed food and soda, I was able to come off antidepressants.”

“I did away with my asthma meds after going paleo.”

“I had a RARE case of hives that were considered idiopathic. (No known cause) I had 12 vials of blood taken on me, and was on prednisone and Allegra every day for a year and a half. If I didn’t take the meds, my throat would start to swell and I would have to be taken to the ER to get a shot of adrenaline. Starting January 1 of this year, I started juicing and clean eating and boom… Hives went away. People might think it was a food allergy, but I had hundreds of pricks in my back with my allergist and nothing! So today my hives are gone and I am medicine free! I also got off my high blood pressure meds and reversed type 2 diabetes!!!”

“After cutting out processed foods I got to cut asthma medicines and steroids.”

“My husband was taken off his acid reflux medication once we went on a real food diet.”

“I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and after eating clean and cutting out processed crap, I was able to conceive AND lose weight! Prior to eating clean I took Metformin to get pregnant with my oldest two…awful stuff!”

“My son quit eating dairy and hasn’t needed a breathing treatment in quite some time and his ezcema is almost completely gone.”

“My husband took out aspartame and other artificial sweeteners from his diet and his cluster headaches/migraines ended.”

“After cutting out processed foods, I stopped taking Ambien for insomnia and the occasional round of Prednasone for bursitis. Funny how when you cut out things known to cause inflammation such as hydrogenated oils you don’t have problems like that anymore. What is most surprising was how quickly my healthcare provider would write that script without even asking about my diet and offering suggestions.”

“I suffer from stage 4 endometriosis. Have been on a number of pain prescriptions/ “natural” hormones for several yrs now…started clean eating about 8 weeks ago and stopped ALL prescriptions 2 weeks ago today. I am sleeping great and have been more active now than I ever was able to before!”

“My kids were on allergy and asthma meds for years… No longer the case. We also pretty much made my daughters ADD symptoms disappear.. Amazing stuff what real foods can do. Also cut a lot of gluten out as well.”

” I’m off thyroid meds and Heart palpitation meds. Two years ago I was forced by another disease Meniere’s onto a low sodium diet, the only way to do that is with real food. It was one of the best things that has happened to my body.”

“Eliminating aspartame from my diet, eliminated my migraines.”

“My daughter was on concerts for ADD. She went gluten free and stopped meds. Changed her life. No ADD symptoms for 2 years. She is 10”

“Yes! i am 18 years old and i have had asthma since i was 2 and would get very sick and be on tons of inhalers and steroids. Since eating clean and cutting out processed foods and food dyes I take no medicine at all and rarely get sick!”

“I started eating healthy (after eating terrible my whole life) at the age of 24 and I was able to get off my acid reflux medicine as well as medicine for IBS”

“Stopped taking Zoloft after almost 10 years! Eating clean and exercising. Never been happier!”

“My 5 year old daughter was constantly on antibiotics for various things in the winter. She also took Miralax daily for digestive issues and had really bad eczema. I took her off of gluten and dairy 5 months ago. She hasn’t been on a single antibiotic, her eczema has drastically improved, and she hasn’t needed any Miralax. We’ve noticed major improvement in her mood and behavior as well. I’m a believer!”

“After 14 years of Ulcerative Colitis and taking cortisone, prednisone and corticosteroids I was diagnosed with genetic allergies to beef and dairy as well as sensitivities to gluten. I completely removed them from my diet and added whole foods and non processed foods. I’ve now gone 15 months without taking any prescription medications at all! I have no symptoms at all of Ulcerative Colitis at all!”

“Yes! Husband quit taking two kinds of blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine (neither could be controlled very well, even with meds), and narcolepsy medicine. Turns out, ALL of those things were caused by diet. Switching to clean eating for 30 days cured ALL of those things!”

“Yes son who had been diagnosed with ADHD came off meds after finding intolerances to amines, salicylate & preservatives/colours. Made a huge difference.”

“I was on a host of anxiety medications for years and years. I also ate a lot of processed food and sugar, drank a lot of caffeine and energy drinks. After meeting my husband, who owns a local wellness business here in California, I was persuaded to eat real, unprocessed foods, exercise regularly, avoid my nasty caffeine habit and learn cognitive methods of coping instead of popping a pill and being a zombie. He was the first person who had natural, sustainable, holistic answers instead of pills and gimmicks. It’s why I am such a big believer in the unconventional methods he uses that WORK and change lives (and not just because I’m his wife). I have never felt better in my entire life. It’s like I’m actually ME again instead of a shell. I am such a big believer that we have the power to heal ourselves with food. It can be a potent healing agent or send us into a state of suffering, and it is ultimately our choice. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we know what foods can do to our bodies and mental state and still choose to consume them. I am proud and happy to say I have been med free for over 2 years now.”

All, I have to say is…wow! If you have a story you’d like to share please do so in the comments.

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135 thoughts on ““Let Food Be Thy Medicine””

  1. Such an amazing post! What i did was switching to plant-based supplements . Even studies have revealed that supplements are demonstrated to be safe, both in quantity and quality. Also, following the increased awareness of the importance of lifestyle for disease prevention, we are now facing a renaissance of nutrition, or lifestyle in general, for disease management as well.

  2. Hey Lisa. I have faced the problem of weak metabolism earlier. I was tired of getting so many medicines daily. Then I started eating foods that helped me in treating my metabolism. I found that those foods not only increased my metabolism but also kept me energetic for the whole day. Thanks for sharing such an amazing post. Loved it.

  3. Seeing the world wake up to the dangers of excessive sugar consumption is so great, and your blog is helping to get the info out there. Diet and nutrition are so central to our overall health!

  4. Hi Lisa, thanks for opening the conversation up!
    Talking about PCOS is a great way to help overcome the stigma and shame that can come up around it. I have a few friends with PCOS who not only struggle with their weight but are having issues having a baby too.
    Fortunately, they have given their diet a reset and eating much cleaner. This is helping a lot with weight, insulin resistance, and hopefully their fertility! It’s so good to see someone working towards a goal of better health through good food.
    Keep up the good work everyone! And thanks for sharing :)

  5. Hi Lisa. That’s a great information! I really love eating and now I’m trying to change my life from junk food to clean eating. I agree that many symptoms come from bad eating which cause effect to physical and mental health. By the way, I have a problem with wake nails so I try to find some food and nutrients to cure my nail in the long run. I’m also using nail strengthen which I found a positive result from https://www.womenangle.com/best-nail-strengthener/. Could you please suggest me some good food for my nails. Thank you in advance.

    1. I was diagnosed with diabetes in September, cut out almost all sugar and started following portion sizes and very little processed foods. By January i had lost 30 pounds and cut my a1c by 1.4 and am now in the normal range.

  6. We already try to eat fairly “clean” but my year old daughter started breaking out with severe eczema all over her hands a little over a year ago. We had her tested for food allergies (including celiac) and everything came back normal. Knowing that food intolerances don’t always show up in bloodwork we removed gluten from her diet and it helped so much but the gluten free bread substitutes really don’t taste very good, which is hard for a child (or an adult) to live with long term. Anytime she would have a few bites of something with gluten her hands would start getting read right away. Recently, a friend introduced me to the Tartine method of homemade sourdough bread. A lot of studies show that people with gluten sensitivity can tolerate real sourdough bread. We gave it a shot and her hands look perfect! The ingredients are water, flour, salt and sourdough starter.

  7. After stopping my excessive drinking of diet drinks with artificial sweeteners, I have been able to stop taking my anti-inflammatory prescription for arthritis in my knees and aching in all joints! It’s amazing and I am a true believer!

  8. Since getting off all steroids over two years ago and adding smoothies to my diet almost 8 months ago, I have felt a lot better. I noticed that when I don’t have my smoothies, my body doesn’t like that too well since it has nutrients that it needs. The steroids were constantly making me sick but since getting off them, I no longer get sick!

  9. After discovering I had to watch my blood pressure because of having an episode where it was 210/110, I lowered my numbers to the normal range by making simple changes to my diet, watching stress, and other natural means. Only time I took blood pressure meds was in the beginning when I took one. The side effects from it were enough to make me search for other ways to get my body to heal.

    1. Using food in place of drugs is so amazing. When I was young I had allergies with SP drugs. So I had to opt drug and use food for healing.my mom helped me a lot.

  10. Since first reading your blog two years ago, my family and I have made many gradual changes in our diet and are now eating about 95% clean. We are now both on an exercise regiment. My husband has lost about 80 pounds and looks and feels great, and my 3-year-old is a happy, healthy boy!

    The only thing I still struggle with is my “need” for caffeine and sugar :( I am a 2 cup-a-day coffee drinker, with cream and sugar added (organic, non-GMO, but still…) Recently, I decided to stop taking my anti-depressants, which I have been taking since my son was 9 weeks old for PPD. We are trying to conceive again, and I do not want to be detoxing during pregnancy!

    I am having a really hard time without my meds, and was wondering what to do, but after reading other reader’s comments, I see the answer is before me! I’ve got to get off caffeine and sugar!

    Does anyone else have any other advice for me?

    1. Hi Rachel, 2 years ago I found a nutritional system that helped permanently get rid of my caffeine and sugar cravings. I’d be happy to share with you if you’d like to learn more. :)

    2. Congratulations on the changes you have made so far! For the continued anxiety, etc. symptoms, check out the book The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross. The book outlines the specific amino acids you need based on your symptoms (there are several “quizzes” you can take which help to determine what might give you relief). I have three friends who have had great success weaning themselves off anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines with the help of this book’s advice. Read the reviews of the book on Amazon for more inspiration. Best of luck to you.

  11. I had horrific migraines for years. It got to the point where I was making regular trips to Urgent Care and the ER as the medication that I was prescribed didn’t always work if I didn’t take it on time. Some of these migraines would last more than a day. They were debilitating. I kept going back to the doctor who told me that all that could be done was to treat the symptoms. Two years ago I changed my diet and my lifestyle (diet and exercise)- Part of this lifestyle change involved (and still does) educating myself about the nutritional and health value of the food I eat and an attempt to avoid processed food wherever possible. Since then, I have lost 130 pounds, I have gone from a size 26 to a size 6, my cholesterol is well within the health range (it was very high prior to my weight loss), in fact, all of my “numbers” look great. And, best of all (and unexpectedly) my migraines have disappeared. Every once in a great while, I will start to feel like I’m going to get one – I take Advil, drink water and it goes away. Poof. Easy. That was not the case before. Honestly, I don’t know what did it – the new diet, the exercise, the increased water intake…I don’t know – but whatever it was, it was well worth it for the improved quality of life.

  12. Taking medicines are not that bad for some can really relieve our illnesses but what is most important is living healthy. This is the best medicine to illnesses and this is also one way of preventing one.

  13. I just saw this – a bit late to the party – but I had to share that I once suffered from severe sinus headaches, and since eating cleaner, my headaches are gone. I also had a bump on my head that was apparently secondary to the sinusitis, and it is almost gone now. When I lapsed for a few days, everything came back, and then I got better within 1 day of switching back to “clean” foods. I’ve eliminated processed foods, and we are trying to become a more “whole food” family, with a growing emphasis on organic foods.

  14. It’s amazing to me the number of people who mentioned depression and asthma…two things one wouldn’t immediately link to diet and nutrition! Very inspiring stories!

  15. Seven years ago I started teaching. It is said that your first year of teaching will be the hardest year you’ll ever go through and that’s no lie. About two months into the school year, I started having terrible abdominal distress. I suffered from daily boughts of diarrhea, causing me to have to leave my class with another teacher so that I could make it to the bathroom in time. There was no waiting for recess. Needless to say, my digestive system issues were effecting my quality of life. I finally made an appointment to see the doctor. Tests were run, interviews were had, suggestions made. In the end, I was diagnosed with what I call my tummy trifecta. I was told that I was suffering from acid reflux, IBS, and gastritis. I ended up on a daily regime of Imodium, acid reducer, and a prescription muscle relaxant for the gastritis. I lived like this for about five years.

    I hit my breaking point last school year. Not only did I continue to suffer from the tummy trifecta, but I began presenting with three more ailments. I began to suffer from daily abdominal bloating and I mean bloating to the extreme. I had a close friend ask me if I was expecting. She said I looked several months along. YIKES! The second new problem was extreme pain in my back around the kidney area on the left side. All I could do was sit a particular position and teach from there. Lastly, I was suffering from chronic fatigue. I could barely make it to lunch without feeling like I was going to fall asleep where I stood. Needless to say, I was not being a very effective teacher at that point.

    I saw the doctor and she had no explanation for the abdominal bloating, but my back pain was being caused by kidney stones. Kidney stones! Oh for heaven’s sake. At that point, I couldn’t bare taking yet another drug. I was desperate. I remembered that I had, a long time ago, purchased a nutritional healing book. I pulled it out and stated reading up on all my ailments.

    With an eye towards nutritional healing and an overall change in my lifestyle, I took to the web. I found 100 Days of Real Food and slowly started to follow what Lisa and team had to share. At first it was overwhelming. I knew nothing about the additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring and the like. I was truly one of the masses following what the industry told me was ok.

    I have been following the real food eating habits since last summer. This is the first school year in which, I have not had to run daily from my classroom in hopes that I make it to the bathroom on time. I no longer have abdominal bloating. I no longer have pain from my kidney stones. They are still there, but because my kidney is not inflamed from the all the extras that is in processed foods, I no longer feel them. My asthma is under control. I no longer suffer from chronic fatigue. I have had only one gastritis attack this year and that was my own fault. It was caused by over eating.

    It is what I have learned from this blog that has helped me heal. There is real healing power in whole foods.

  16. I went gluten-free after trying a diet that excluded gluten. I lost a few lbs on that diet, so went totally gluten free and lost 11 lbs in 6 weeks (after trying for 4 years all sorts of diet restrictions). And suddenly my TSH thyroid scores were normal, after two years of taking bio-identicals and bouncing up and down only slightly.

  17. I have not made the switch to eating clean, mainly because I am out of a job, and I live with my parents, who make the decisions on what food is brought into the house, even though I do the shopping/couponing/etc. Despite this, I am doing a lot of research on my own to become aware of the toxic poisons in our food.

    HOWEVER, I am a caffeine addict, and I love soda. My nutritionist–yes, a registered nurse who worked with me to help me lose weight so I wouldn’t become diabetic like everyone in my family–was adamant that I switch to Diet Mtn. Dew if I had to have a caffeine or soda fix. Growing up in a family of diabetics, I am used to the taste of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in soda, so this was not a problem for me.

    I have always had a suppressed immune system, and it got worse after a nearly-fatal bout of mono, so I would chug at least one 24 oz. Diet Mtn. Dew at my last job (a teacher working at a child development center) to keep my brain functioning until my shift ended at 6:30. I started having these “attacks” where I felt extremely hypoglycemic, I would nearly pass out, and sometimes I would vomit. I even bought glucose tablets to keep in my purse in case of an “attack”. I went to my doctor, because my blood glucose levels were normal at home, and after extensive blood tests, she determined I was hyperinsulinemic, meaning my body was producing more insulin than it was supposed to and my system couldn’t handle it; this is also a precursor to diabetes. I was devastated, because I have lost 40-45 lbs. in the effort to avoid the diabetic curse in my family.

    I knew about BVO in Mtn. Dew, and after reading many articles about how artificial sweeteners can actually cause *more* insulin issues (because the brain believes it is receiving sugar, so the pancreas sends out more insulin, when in reality there is no sugar for the insulin to attach to), I decided to try an experiment. I stopped drinking diet sodas, and went back to drinking regular (and I am trying to come off of soda completely, and drink water or my own homemade sweet tea). My hyperinsulinemic attacks have reduced DRASTICALLY. Now I only have the attacks if I’ve gone too long without eating, which has always happened since I was a little girl. I had a diet drink last week, and lo and behold, I had an attack.

    1. Laura, I cut out soda because I was drinking 3-4 cans a day about 8 years ago. I’ve never drunk diet as I can’t stand the taste. Anyway, I started drinking sparkling water to wean myself off of soda for good, because I discovered it wasn’t the sweet I was missing but the carbonation.

  18. I am an RN and work in a trauma/medical ICU and I was very passionate about my work for the first several years. I used to get angry with my sister that she did not want to go to the gynecologist for a yearly pap smear or a mammogram. I preached the benefits of annual screenings and vaccinations. I truly believed that I was helping people. But things changed for me when I really started trying to solve my own health problems through conventional medicine.

    I have been plagued with migraine headaches since I was about three years old. I would get several a month but would deal with them thru chiropractic and rest. However, I started having more migraines and decided to go to a world renown headache clinic. Needless to say, they did not help me. Other than placing me on many medications that did nothing to prevent the migraines while giving me many unwanted side-effects. I went from clinic to clinic and doctor to doctor with no results. Things were getting worse, I was up to 20 to 30 debilitating migraines per month. I felt like I was losing my mind. Then I did lose my mind. I was placed on yet another preventative medication that gave me mood altering side effects. On Thanksgiving day 2010 I had an emotional breakdown at work in the ICU. I left work and went to the ER where they called psych to deal with me. I was sent to an outpatient day program. I was diagnosed with bipolar. I was placed on Lithium. I went crazy. I have never thought of myself as bipolar until I went on Lithium. It was horrible. It got to the point that the psychiatrist wanted to do electrical shock therapy on me. I said NO!

    I found a new psychiatrist and a therapist and started doing research. I had recently found real food and had been following several blogs. I sought help from a holistic nutritionist. She suggested gluten free. I really didn’t want to try gluten free because I LOVE bread and pizza and anything that contains gluten. I told her that I needed to have empirical data to support the idea of going gluten free (a little bit of my RN background showing thru, I needed proof). I decided to order some blood work thru a functional medicine doctor in Atlanta. I got the labs done and paid cash. Money was tight because I had been off work since the breakdown but I needed that data in order to move forward. Once the test results came back, I booked a telephone consultation with the doctor. We went over the test results which showed that I clearly had a gluten sensitivity but also that I have the gluteo-morphin reaction where gluten proteins seep into the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier to hit the morphine receptors in my brain. I am literally hooked on gluten. So I made the decision to go gluten free and I started doing research on gluten and unresolved neurological issues. To my amazement, there is a TON of information and studies that show that people with refractory neurological conditions are often gluten intolerant and once placed on a gluten free diet their symptoms go away. Well this happened for me. I went from nearly daily migraines to a couple a month. I was livid!!!! Backup, I was thrilled that I was feeling better, but I was LIVID at the medical community. I had suffered needlessly for years while being a guinea pig for doctors. I could have had a productive life with no side effects if only someone had told me about this earlier! I became so disillusioned with my beloved medical community. I had tried holistic treatments before but really food made the difference for me.

    I was eventually able to go back to work, which I did but I found it difficult to just pump my patients full of drugs and offer them no other hope. I am still working as an RN but I am going to school for holistic and functional nutrition. I will be done next year and hope to start my own business helping people to heal with foods and nutrition rather than drugs.

    I have also been diagnosed with hypothyroid (which I do take Armour Thyroid for and have had to for over 20 years), bipolar, depression, narcolepsy, fibromyalgia, allergies, leaky gut, Celiac,PMLE (polymorphic light eruption which causes rash and itching from the sun) and I think that is all. I have been working for the last two years to heal my gut and my health. I am a work in progress but am down to only 2 regular medications (one being my thyroid drug and Cymbalta for depression) I am working with a counselor and my teacher for functional nutrition to see if I can get off of the anti-depressant. I also take a migraine abortive if I have to. But this is down from the handfuls of pills I was on and some of them very scary ones.

    I am so thankful that I found several real food blogs a couple of years ago. These were my stepping stone to finding my health solutions.

    Thank you Lisa and team for all of your hard work and for sharing yourselves and your information with us.

    Blessings,
    Nichole Patrick

  19. I love this post. I am currently focusing on how changes in diet can improve my family’s overall health. (I have become so fascinated with this subject, think I might even go back to school for nutrition!)

    I find it very frustrating that most general doctors, including pediatricians do not have any formal training in nutrition. They are not required to take any nutrition courses during undergrad, and while in medical school nutrition courses only take up a couple of weeks. It sometimes feels like medication is the only way doctors think to fix ailments. Our diets have such a profound impact on our health, it would be much more beneficial from patient’s standpoint to focus on a complete treatment, including diet changes, before resorting to medication. We really are what we eat!!

  20. I would like to recommend the documentary, Forks over Knives (available on Netflicks) . This film shows scientific research to back up the claim that food is the best medicine. The studies on rats who ate food with animal proteins was a major wake up call to me!

    1. My boyfriend and I saw that and changed the way we ate accordingly to help out his cholesterol. He is otherwise very healthy, extremely fit and active. I focused on cutting out processed foods in addition to meat and dairy, but now my digestive system is all messed up (after 4 months) and I am doing an elimination diet through my nutritional therapist to see how to fix it. We are adding back meat and some dairy, because there was a lot of information from those studies that they left out of the movie. Do your research before following that path, and decide what is best for you after. We totally fell for it, and I like the overall message, but be careful and do your own research first.

  21. Wow, I just heard your interview on the radio here in town, and it was BEYOND frustrating. I feel like the host was totally missing the point (or maybe just trying to rile you up for a good show). It’s attitudes like “I grew up on Kraft and I’m just fine” that make me feel like this is going to be a looong battle. You ladies did great and held your own – kudos!

  22. I started eating bladderwrack seaweed about 5 years ago. I have hypothyroidism and was taking synthetic hormone at the time. Once I started eating seaweed every day, I was able to drop the medication and I feel great! Seaweed is a great power food for your hormones and is the only plant based iodine. The seaweeds that are healthy include those that are not processed into little sheets and then have salt and oil added. Look for real seaweeds, sun dried and wild!

  23. I have been able to stop using hypothyroid medication by adding bladderwrack seaweed to my diet every day. It needs to be “real” seaweed and not the type that comes in snack packs, which has been totally denatured by the processing and then adding back in salt and oil. You can get fucus/bladderwrack at http://www.seaweedmermaid.com

  24. What an awesome post!! It’s truly amazing what real foods can do for the body! Definitely hard to break habit, but what makes healthy eating, exercising, & staying motivated easy, is the right mindset. A weight loss mindset is 90% of the game if you wish to see lasting success! Diet & exercise is only 10% of the solution.

  25. I wish I would have been able to respond on FB. (Gave it up for Lent.) My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 11 years. No success ever, until November of last year. The ONLY change I had made was about a year before, I found your site and began eating non-processed foods.

    For other physical reasons, the pregnancy didn’t make it, but I truly believe that eating real food was the factor. Now, I have hope for the future. Thanks so much, Lisa and team!!!!

  26. Thank you Lisa for such a great post! I too want to share! About 10 years ago the doc prescribed reflux medicine for some chest pains I was having. I did a tiny bit of research and discovered I needed to remove sodas from my diet and bam- didn’t need that med after all-Yeah! Then about 5 years ago put on thyroid med as a result of fertility work up. A year later thinking, I don’t want to be on this med forever, I discovered the truth about iodine in my diet and after finding a whole food vitamin that would be naturally assimilated by the body, I went off my thyroid med as well. (I did A LOT of research before I quit it-educate yourself!!! Iodine is in a lot of good foods too.) My doc was no less than amazed and I consistently have good blood work results of my thyroid and I have been off the thyroid med for 3 years now. Since then, I have conceived naturally and have lost overall, 20 lbs since having the right supplement. If I ate even cleaner diet I could probably go off the supplement too. Kudos Lisa for this great post!!!!! I have learned a lot!!!

  27. Wow! these are all amazing! Could any one explain to me does process foods means it had to go on cooking? Does every one only eat fruits and vegetable without cooking it?.. I wanted to go on this but I’m not sure where to start with. I guess this knowledge could help a diabetic person a lot.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Elizabeth. Welcome! While we really love carrots and a great crispy salad, we are not a raw food site. In fact, once you dig in you will see lots and lots of recipes…most of which require conventional cooking methods. ;) ~Amy

  28. We began our journey of clean eating along with amazing all natural organic supplements Genesis PURE about two years ago. My 4 year old daughter was throwing up daily. They sent us to the best of the best in the MD world and after a year she was worse than ever. That’s when we decided we were going to let food be our medicine and heal from the inside out instead of covering up the symptoms .

    Our entire family of five has not been to Dr in two years, our immune system is awesome, and our daughter is thriving! I have lost 25 pounds, no longer suffer from migraines, and my hormones are in tact for the first time in my adult life. Now during what used to be mandatory nap time, I exercise or look at new clean recipes!

    We knew we would spend our money somewhere, but for us we choose to spend it in prevention vs. Dr’s, scripts, and hospitals ! You truly are what you eat !

  29. I’m now 23 – I grew up with terrible IBS and was also diagnosed with “non-specific Ulcerative Colitis” at 14 years old. All of these things caused stomach problems for the majority of my life. That is, until just last year when I introduced clean eating to my household, as well as cut all red meat out of my diet (the biggest known IBS trigger). I can honestly say I’ve never felt better! I’m naturally thin with a high metabolism, so it had nothing to do with weight and I’ve maintained the same weight for over five years, but I’m convinced it completely changed my insides. I have more energy, take no medication for IBS, and just FEEL BETTER after every meal! I never regret the food I eat, because I simply don’t eat “crap” anymore. I now eat all fruits, veggies, whole grains, organic as much as possible, and no ingredients I don’t recognize/can’t pronounce. An indulgent dessert = sweet Greek yogurt!

    I’m a firm believer that diet can make or break our bodies, and I think the majority of us can be well without unnecessary medication and medical intervention!

  30. I eat a completely clean, vegan diet due to rheumatoid arthritis, but, unfortunately, I still need to be on medication. I’ve tried removing gluten, nuts, and nightshades, not mention other foods at various points, but nothing seems to truly help. There are so many possible and contradictory “therapeutic” diets out there for RA that I’ve nearly driven myself mad trying to figure out the one that might work. I’ve done acupuncture, chiropractics, massage, taken fish oil, did a food intolerance test (comments on that by the peanut gallery: “maybe it’s all in your head”) and seen an ND. Again, so much conflicting information and the cost became a tad overwhelming. Any real world advice?

    1. Andi – I so feel for you when I read this. I am going through a similar situation trying to rid my son of his almost debilitating eczema. I’ve tried every diet and cream under the son for him until we finally had to resort to steroid creams. I feel like a little bit of a failure, but seeing the cream actually HELP when nothing else would makes me a little relieved. It does get a little disheartening when I read that people were able to cure their kids’ eczema with diet and other natural remedies. I guess I have no real advice, just that I sympathize and please don’t feel like a failure when you’ve already tried so hard.

      1. I used to have super bad eczema and psoriasis (behind my ears, around my mouth, elbows, knees, huge spots on my calves, and one ankle. I didn’t completely change my diet but I did do a colon and internal organs cleanse from Blessed Herbs. I would go with the ginger vs mint. I struggled for a better part of a year and shortly after I finished the cleanse, it all of the sudden went away! I also had to eliminate any lotions, shower gels, etc that had parabens in them. Look up what parabens are. I also, after the cleanse, resumed taking my healthy vitamins from Mannatech. The mannatech cleared up all the skin issues above my waist and then I struggled for a very long time with the spots (the size of my hand-I am almost 40 years old) on my calves and ankle. I tried soaking in vinegar and epsom salt with lavendar oil. I tried taking gluten out of my diet. This lotion also helped http://www.amazon.com/Eczema-Psoriasis-Cream-1-Ounces/dp/B001BBGJ9S/ref=sr_1_92?ie=UTF8&qid=1364270227&sr=8-92&keywords=psoriasis+lotion

        I would goop up a thick layer of this natralia lotion on my calves and ankle, wrap with a gauze wrap, and put tape to keep it in place. I applied it a few times a day.

        These are the things that have helped me. I have been free of the eczema and psoriasis for about a year now! I feel like i have my body back and have the confidence to go out in shorts and sandals! I pray that you can find things that help your son!

    2. Andi, Medications are meant for people like you, people who live a health lifestyle and have tried everything. Sometimes diet and exercise can work wonders, but when you’re already living well, and still having symptoms, take medication. You can feel better about the fact that you probably require less medication and probably respond better to them in your healthy state.

    3. is your food 100% non processed ORGANIC? just wondering all those chemicals in conventional foods are disturbing.

  31. I have a lot to share, but 1 item in particular. I am reading about people going off depression meds, and kids going off ADD medicine. My journey was the opposite. I went to the doctor, about to turn 60, about 60-70 pounds overweight and asked her to prescribe Adipex. My daughter took it with great results. My doctor agreed, but only with monthly checkups. My first checkup appointment and several pounds lighter, she asked me if the Adipex made me jittery and nervous. I said, that it actually calmed me and made me more focused and organized. BINGO! I had adult ADD. She put me on a different med and before long 60 pounds was gone! I am 60 years old, 60 pounds lighter and at I am finishing my Master’s degree with a 3.5 GPA! I have not been this weight in 30 years. I am not saying that meds are the answer for everybody, but I do follow a very healthy diet and I have so much energy now. I am focused and I believe the reason I do not overeat is because I am able to concentrate, relax and make appropriate healthy meal choices.

    1. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that all modern medicine is bad or that everyone should get off it. It’s a good idea, however, to acknowledge that medications can have deleterious side effects and, if you can deal with issues by changing diet, then it’s better to stay off them. However, that’s a big IF. For those people who have issues that diet just isn’t helping, medicine is necessary. An example- antibiotics should be used sparingly with extreme caution. They’re over-prescribed and have tons of bad side effects (both for the person taking them and society as a whole). They should never be used on the animals we eat. Many of the people who take them can find healing through other, better, safer means (diet, rest, time, ect). HOWEVER, when that stuff doesn’t work, antibiotics can save lives. (Or in my case, my hearing. I’d most likely be completely deaf if it were not for amoxicillin.) This post is just pointing out other methods to try, because artificial medication should be a last resort (not eliminated completely).

  32. I’m on day 5 of a Whole30, along with my husband, and it is HARD. Our plan is to do a sort of “cleanse” through the Whole30 and after that to slowly reincorporate some foods as our bodies tolerate, but sticking to all real food. I never imagined this would be so difficult for me, but I already am seeing how addicted we both are to various forms of food and how much we use it as a comfort rather than as fuel. Almost gave in today and didn’t… whew! Reading this post is a great encouragement. Here’s to hoping that we will both see similar results in many chronic health issues and that the results will make it worth it for the long haul!

  33. For those who where on asthma and allergy meds, how did you know when you could stop taking them? My 3 yr old is on asthma meds and allergy meds. We are just beginning our whole food transformation. I’d really like to get him off of his daily preventative meds. He also has food allergies: egg, nuts, dairy. Has anyone had any success in overcoming food allergies?

  34. We started feingold 9 months ago. I am off depression and anxiety meds after 15 years. My 4 yr old son stopped throwing his daily tantrums. My 10yo daughter no longer has “brain buzzes” and screaming running fits. My 8yo daughters add symptoms are gone. My 12yo son doesn’t get temper flare-ups. My 6 yo daughter’s asthma symptoms went away (I think that’s due to switching to raw milk). My husband, who has always been a healthfood “nut” has never once said “I told you so.”

    We have gone beyond feingold, but that amazing organization got us on the path to healing.

  35. I am not thin, Never was but spent years as competitive swimmer then just anything that grew muscles. I got tired of being addicted to the gym about 8 years ago;now I am 62 and not toned ie now overweight. I am very adHd about 6 years ago started taking stattera (60) to stop having “meltdowns of a drama queen,” It has been wonderful peace; I have been squirrelly all my life; 1st and 2nd grade I was in the corner all year (I just learned by osmosis). Menopause migraines ended a few years ago. For decades had VERY low blood pressure, for 2 years we live on what remains of a lime farm. I drink diluted limeade and lime water all day but also some diet cokes (!). I do not eat whole but when I go to my daughters she eats whole and I can rest and read a lot more there. Problem: no doctor seems to help me with except recently reducing strattera (40): My pulse is almost always racing beyond 100 at rest and blood pressure highest of normal range. Doctor did EKG and a lot of blood tests – answer unknown. CAN you point me in a BETTER DIRECTION. Oh in a few days a 51″ deep exercise spa is being delivered. The racing pulse was first noticed when I got shingles in Sept, I am also reducing to go off the pain antidepressant (nortriptyline) for that.

  36. As much as I’m a #1 fan of eating natural foods, I do think people need to focus on eliminating supplements as well. Just because someone stopped prescription medication, doesn’t mean they stopped supplementing their diets. Eat well and save your money on the pills – supplements AND everything else!

  37. I COMPLETELY REVERSED STAGE 2 PRECANCEROUS CELLS off my cervix by an almost 100% raw food diet, vitamins, herbs, fruits and veggies and some natural topical treatments recommended by my natropathic doctor. My gynocologist highly recommended a surgery time and time again to cut out the precancerous cells. This would damage my cervix and not cure the problem, just cut it out. After a year and half or so, under my natropathic doctors care, I have completely and successfully reversed my precancer! God gave us bodies with the ability to heal themselves naturally. In some cases I believe the cancer, condition, disease is too far progressed and unfortunately a treatment I under went is not enough. But I am living proof that this is true! Thank you God and thank you to my natropath.

  38. How do you people get your kids to eat the good stuff?? Unfortunately when mine were little (now 10, 12 & 14) I was overextended and stressed so did not start them out right. Every day is a battle ground in my house with food threatening our very relationships. I used to be on a mission but am starting to wonder if it’s worth it. I want to teach them healthy choices but they don’t seem to want to adopt them. My kids are at an age where I have less and less control outside the home and junk is thrown at them from every possible angle – how can I fight that? I’m on the Wellness Committee at school with my main mission being to stop the crazy practice of using junk food as a reward. I’m seen as extreme (when honestly I’m not) and they joke about hiding their brownies when I walk by because I’m on the Wellness Commttee! I embarrass my kids just by being on the committee. I’m getting tird of fighting the good fight. I don’t want a home filled with anxiety over food anymore but I want health for my family. None of them seem to care – is there a “Dear Abby” concerning food out there??

    1. Lauri, I understand your frustration. I took a children’s nutrition class a couple years ago and the best take away from that was this: It is your job as a parent to provide children what food to eat, when to eat and where to eat, it is their job to decide whether to eat and how much. If you want to read more about this check out Ellyn Satter’s books (http://www.ellynsatter.com). I will say that her techniques definitely worked for our family. You make dinner (or whatever meal), make sure there is at least one thing on the table everyone will eat (ie bread) and let the kids serve themselves from what you have there. This process might take a while but it does work. I do not pressure my son to eat anything or clean his plate. I simply provide food and it’s his choice to eat it (or not). The theory is that if kids see other people enjoying a variety of food, they will eventually want to try it on their own. My son now asks for lettuce and tomato on his sandwiches and loves broccoli. Here is another link:http://www.ellynsatter.com/ellyn-satters-division-of-responsibility-in-feeding-i-80.html I hope this helps!

  39. A year ago I was on an antidepressant and amphetamines for ADD. After I began eating real food and cut out wheat, sugar and processed foods, I was able to stop taking both with the blessing of my physican. He was surprised when I told him how I was eating but was not argumentative about it. He was openminded to what I was saying. After a year, I know exactly how certain foods will make me feel when I eat them and as a consequence I don’t “crave” those types of foods anymore and that includes alcohol.

  40. We have always eaten healthier than the average American I’m sure, but still wasn’t very good. My husband got back blood tests that said his fasting glucose level was 1 point below the cut off indicative of pre-diabetes. He stopped adding any sugar to his morning tea and reduced how many sweets he ate. This alone dropped him to the low acceptable range in one year. After our first child was born we cut out the most obvious processed foods (fish sticks, meals in a box, etc., as my main concern was salt and sugar content) and added some more fruits and veggies. This little change elimiated his heartburn and smelly gas. We are now eating more and more real, haven’t seen any health changes since, but I simply rest better knowing that because of their healthy diet my children are at less risk of, well . . . everything.

  41. Wanita Levacy-Sabin

    I want to know the true cost of eating healthy. I feel like my family and I have been lead on a healthier lifestyle journey over the past couple of years and people keep saying how expensive it sounds. But I feel like we are actually saving money, sure we spend more on food, but have our own garden in the summer. We also have less doctor visits, less prescriptions and more energy so we walk to the store, bike ride to my errands etc. I would love to see a true break down of the cost of eating healthy with all its positive side effects and the standard american diet with all its side effects.

  42. When I was in college, I worked in a doctor’s office full time. I witnessed drug reps coming in with tasty treats, outrageous lunches, and even joined them for completely paid for happy hours. I became friends with quite a few of them and entertained the thought of becoming a pharmaceutical rep myself. After all, they make great money and most of them seemed to really love their jobs.
    Today, armed with the knowledge that I know have, I am so thankful I went down a different path. I honestly do not know how I could have lived with myself, knowing I was bribing doctors and endorsing the “Pill for Every Ill” phenomenon. Food IS medicine. I love this post, and I love you ladies for constantly campaigning to make a difference.
    Lana
    http://www.mondaysnugget.com/

  43. My daughter has a condition called pseudotumor cerebri. Her body “thinks” she has a brain tumor but there is not one there. We’ve spent a lot of time n the hospital and she’s had multiple spinal taps to relieve the pressure from the excess fluid PTC causes to pool in her frontal love. I had her tested for celiac (her brother is a confirmed celiac) when she was younger but tests were all negative including genetic test. After one of her spinal taps, I woke up @ 4am with the diet revelation… Start feeding her real food with no gluten, raw dairy in place of pasteurized dairy, probiotics, organic veggies, and have minimized the rest of her grains as much as I can. 95% of sugars have been removed wirh minimal natural sugars coming from honey & fruit. Her condition is gone. It returned once when school began & we let diet slip for a few months. As soon as we removed the processed garbage, it went away again. Every time she is tempted to eat something containing gluten, we talk about the headaches & she’s able to make the right choice on her own.

    1. Angel, I had a pseudotumor when I was about 12. It turns out it was a reaction to a medicine in the tetracycline family. Just thought I’d put that out there if she’s been on any type of antibiotic. I’m glad the diet change is helping though!

      1. Thank you for responding! Ever since my son was diagnosed with celiac disease 3.5 yrs ago no one has been on antibiotics in our home. So as for the PTC , they ruled out all infectious disease, hormone & thyroid issues, she’s NOT overweight @ all, and basically said they don’t know why she has it. She had ‘migraine’ symptoms for months that were progressively getting worse. The headaches return when she loads up on improperly prepared grains and gluten, garbage from boxes, things thst contain artificial colors, etc. The neurologist wants her on Diamox if she starts having symptoms again. When I shared with him that real food/no gluten/no white sugar seems to be working & that its making a huge difference, he was actually pretty receptive. He said then by all means keep doing what you are doing. (The same neuro ran a gluten & casein sensitivity test on my son). I have a family member who’s a physician who thinks I’m COMPLETELY CRAZY so we don’t talk much about it anymore. He has a family member who works for the FDA so I have to be very careful what Subjects come up @ holidays etc. Once school gets out in May, my daughter will be back on Full GAPS and prayerfully my son will follow because he desperately needs to heal his gut. (He’s older & there’s more that factors into getting him to do it)! Thanks again for your blog- I’m so encouraged by the stories I am reading!

  44. My husband had minor attacks of gout, finalizing in gout in 4 joints. He had been taking prescription meds off and on for it but he didn’t like the side effects. He was off work for a month. He immediately cut out fast food and we have switched to real food, about 90% so far. He hasn’t had 1 episode since then and no meds since then either.

  45. I used to have debilitating migraines. One doc kept prescribing me heavy meds that me feel fuzzy and I would still get headaches that just knocked me out. I would lie in a dark room with tears streaming down my eyes holding my head from the pain. The meds also cause birth defects, so I couldn’t have kids if I continued taking them. I found another doc, also a neurologist, but with a very different attitude. He had me read a book called Heal Your Headache and made immediate changes to my diet. The biggest things were avoiding MSG, aspartame, sulfites, lunch meats, hamburger, pizza, nuts, and a few other things. The main gist of the diet it to eat whole foods that have little or no processing. Meat was ok as long as it was whole cut: a baked chicken breast versus a fried chicken nugget, a steak rather than a hot dog, etc. It absolutely worked! I have continued to avoid “trigger” foods and haven’t had a knockout migraine in years. I also have two lovely, healthy children.

  46. I had dishydrotic eczema on my right foot which I believed may have been caused by excessive drugs given during childbirth based on my research(had a C-section). I suffered with this for a year and it was starting to plague my left foot as well. I noticed that when I ate canned goods, the eczema flared up and caused cracks on my skin, leaving me with painful wounds on my toes and feet. I stopped eating canned goods and read that cleansing may help this condition, as technically it had no cure. So besides avoiding canned goods, I decided to do a one day juice cleanse and I was so surprised that the eczema cleared! And it never came back!!! And it’s been a year already. I’ve been drinking fruit and vegetable juices regularly now and changing my diet gradually to real foods!

  47. I had the “worst case” of endometriosis my doctor had ever seen; was scheduled to have a third of my colon removed; my husband and I started eating clean and juicing carrots(three months before the surgery); I had the surgery but there was no endometriosis there! A surgery that normally lasts close to 2 hours lasted only 30 minutes.

  48. I have shared this as a comment before but it’s so amazing I want to share with anyone that will listen. My son has reflex anoxic syncope had daily seizures- up to six or seven a day. We cut out artifical additives and he now sometimes goes weeks and months without a seizure.

    When he was diagnosed I asked my doctor if it could be regulated by diet and he said no! Back then i didn’t even really know about clean eating, but it was just grasping at straws because I’d heard of the ketogenic diet working for epilepsy. We started cutting out additives to help my other son with self control and the seizures let up on their own.

  49. We got custody of my step-son two and a half years ago. He used to get sick multiple times a year, miss tons of school and be on antibiotics regularly. He was also diagnosed with expertise exercise induced asthma. He loved basketball but could barely run down the cort without being out of breath.
    Since living with us and eating organic, non-processed real food he has not missed a day of school or been on antibiotics for 2 years. He also no longer has any type of asthma and has the best endurance of any kid on the court.

  50. Hi, Lisa,
    I really enjoy following you on facebook. I’ve been eating real food since 2010. 3 years!
    Since I pulled all preservatives/dyes/artificial flavors/chemicals from my family’s diet (as well as corn and gluten), my ADHD son does not require medication and is no longer aggressive/hyperactive/inattentive.
    My other son is no longer grumpy and sick a lot and his eczema is greatly reduced.

    Monnia

  51. @Amanda — have you seen a surgeon? It sounds like it could be something along the lines of a hiatal hernia which unfortunately is not something that can be fixed with diet or medication long term.

    1. I have, there is no hernia. I was actually disappointed about that since then I would have an obvious cause and solution.

      Surgery is still an option but it’s far from a perfect solution so for now my doctor (that I really like and trust) and I have decided to stick with the medicine. Not ruling out surgery in the future though.

      1. Amanda, Have you tried food sensitivity testing – not allergy testing – and the consideration of leaky gut and healing your gut and possible inflammatory issues? I am not trying to selling anything but MRT is a great blood test you can take to find your sensitivity to foods – even foods that are beyond healthy could be a culprit for you at this point. Going through the LEAP Immunocalm Diet can reduce inflammation and get you to a place where you may actually be free of pain. It works very well for GI issues, migraine, fibromyalgia and even weight loss. Good luck!

        Shannon Le Mintier, RD, LD, CLT
        Shannon@ahealthexchange.com

      2. My fiance took the MRT test and eliminated the foods he had sensitivities to for a year. He has tried reintroducing some of them and can almost instantly pinpoint a reaction, especially foods on his red list. He has had Crohn’s disease for 17 years and has been on a viscous cycle of flare ups, steroids and then hernia surgery. We found an amazing doctor who suggested the testing and offers Myer’s cocktails and ozone therapy. The treatments combined with a changed diet has meant no Crohn’s flare up for over a year! He is off of all of his meds except 1 last one that we are working towards getting him off of. We’ve recently adopted the whole food, no dyes, no chemicals and all organic diet. We are not taking any more chances!

      3. Christina, what type of Dr. can prescribe the MRT test? Does it have be an allergist or would this be through a Naturopathic doctor? Thanks.

      4. Amanda- I am not a weirdo, although i would’ve called myself that a few months ago for writing this or thinking this BUT have you looked into energy healing and your chakras? Google Carol Tuttle. She may have some answers.

  52. I’ve known since I was a teenager that I had a salicylate sensitivity. Never did I know it was also naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables, as well as being chemically related to artificial dyes, flavorings, and preservatives. Since stumbling onto the Feingold program and following it’s protocol, my life has changed. My daughter also inherited this sensitivity and after years on anti-anxiety meds and stimulants for ADHD and PDD, she now only takes one anti-anxiety because we discovered her behavior is triggered by all the junk in processed foods in the Feingold listings. I bake from scratch, can several hundred jars of fruit and vegetables, drink raw milk, get farm fresh chicken eggs, and we eat organic when possible. I have not suffered one sinus infection in several years (after two surgeries), was able to get off steroids, and have lost 40 pounds in two years. I cringe whenever I grocery shop and I see someone purchasing piles of junk and processed food at the checkout. It’s been life-changing for us as a family to eat healthy and become aware of the unnecessary additives in our food.

  53. What does mean eat clean? What exactly I have to avoid? I have pains, some doctors say it is fibromialgia, some say stress/nerves, but I quit cold turkey all pain meds, because i got addicted really bad and was scared of it. but pain is still there, I just suffer quietly, stopped working full time, if there is something I can change in my diet, I am willing to try.

    1. Hi Elvina… Eating “clean” basically means avoiding any food that is processed, eating organic, sustainable food when possible and avoiding foods like wheat and sugar.
      There is a decent definition here: http://www.fearlessfatloss.com/healthy-lifestyle/what-does-eating-clean-really-mean/
      I started eating clean in August 2011. I lost 111 pounds, got rid of my aches and pains, no longer have migraines or allergy problems, n longer take meds for GERD, my cholesterol went from 204 to 138. I started on the Dukan diet and I’ve maintained on a Paleo diet. I now run, hike, swim and walk everywhere… Life changing!

  54. Side note: is it possible to add a “like” feature to others’ comments? I’d love to give a quick “way to go!” without having to comment. I’ve seen it offered in other blogs. Thanks!

  55. This just depresses me. I eat better than anybody I know, never been overweight, don’t smoke, don’t drink, exercise religiously, I could go on. I’ve done everything and avoided everything my doctor has suggested and I still have GERD and require medicine. I have stopped the medicine many times and tried to take digestive enzymes, DGL, apple cider vinegar, etc, etc, etc… I’ve tried accupuncture, chiropractice, allergy testing, gluten free, dairy free.

    And nothing works to stop the heartburn after every single meal except Prilosec. :( I even get heartburn from water.

    1. Amanda – I feel the same. I have asthma and use a steroid inhaler twice a day. If I miss it, I wheeze. I have crazy allergies and overall itching if I don’t take allergy meds every other day. I have always eaten healthy. I think the only packed goods we own is cereal, and we don’t even eat much.

      I tried chinese herbals and acupuncture with mixed success but then it became unsustainable financially for me. I have insurance that will cover the world under western meds….but not ‘alternative’. Was thinking homeopathy might be the next path.

      1. Yes, the alternative medicine does get expensive…which would be less of a problem if it was working.

      2. Mandy

        I’ve read that using chemical cleaners also contributes to asthma. Now that you are eating clean have you tried using natural cleaners as well?

    2. Amanda, I went through a similar experience several years ago. I was on two prescription antacids and had the scope down my throat, but they found nothing. I also ate well and exercised regularly. I found a great Naturapathic Doctor (ND) and found out it was just food intolerances that was causing my GERD. Not food allergies, just intolerances. Peanuts were the worst, even if I eat them today in any form I get GERD. I eliminated the foods that cause intolerance and I haven’t had any problems since! Find a good ND! :)

    3. I’ve done two sessions of osteopathy in the last six weeks and my heartburn / reflux has never been better. This is after multiple drugs, dietary changes and rounds of acupuncture.

  56. Have you seen the British show “Food Hospital” that is also airing on America’s Cooking Network? They treat a huge variety of medical conditions via diet. It’s fascinating to watch. I wish America would start a Food Hospital, too!

  57. My husband drives for a living and had awful hemerhoids which are all but gone now – and I was able to get off the three different medications I was taking for acne.

    1. I’ve went almost entirely off my Synthroid by eating a clean healthy diet.I have Hashimotos. Noticed biggest change when I went off sugar, dropped Synthroid from 100 to 50 to 12.5 and now only occasionally if I feel achy. My enlarged thyroid was always sensitive to touch and tight necked shirts, that has gone away and I can wear regular shirts again. Adding lots of fiber to my diet, especially beans and legumes has gave me even more energy and no cravings and put blood glucose readings in the 70′s. My lifelong acne went away, no snoring, more energy, no cravings, no thyroid medicine, no heartburn/reflux. I have salicylate intolerance so I can’t go overboard on fruits and veggies or I get symptoms. Also, my lipid blood panel is great, no sugar really takes the triglycerides down.

  58. My husband and I started your healthy way of eating and watching what actually was in our food.It was after my husband was diagnosed with cancer and possible border line diabetic.It’s been one year,he has lost about 30 lbs and I 25lbs.He no longer takes a med for pre-diabetics and his cancer is gone.Now the diet change did not cure the cancer but it certainly did the other issues of weight and diabetes.We have kept it up alittle at a time and before I knew it my pantry was void of processed foods except for organic items,like his corn/wheat chips.Fresh vegies, raw and frozen only.Always always read the labels no matter what..no sugars and have really cut back on salt.I use a lot of fresh spicy peppers as we like the taste.If I bake I use organic applesauce,wheat flour,and honey.I’ve found that honey in my stir fry and salsa recipes is a great addition.I could go on and on about all the changes that we have done,but I must say Thank You so much for the great education on healthy eating.We have really enjoyed and still enjoy finding new ways to cook healthy.

  59. Suffered from pain and inlammation in joints and muscles, stiff muscles, poor sleep quality, extreme fatigue, low energy, anxiety, brutal PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, acne, severe rashes, abdominal pain, sinusitis, seasonal allergies, etc. Removed gluten after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Everything improved about 50%. Then did a lot of research and went further to remove sugars, dairy, all grains, nightshades and everything processed. Now all symptoms have improved 80 – 85%. Once I went on a whole food Paleo-type diet it took only about three months to get to 80% better. I happens quickly so hang in there for the first 4-6 weeks!! Then you will be sailing!! Keep the protein high at every meal so you don’t get hungry when you’re not prepared – this is soooo important. This will keep your blood sugar stable and get inflammation under control. I didn’t worry about fat – just let myself eat meat as needed until I was comfortable with the new way of eating.

  60. i eat mostly clean and resolve to be 100% clean very, very soon. One year ago, I changed all of my cooking oils to pure, organic, cold pressed coconut oil and my cholesterol dropped from a dangerous 339 down to a respectable 209; which is something that decades of statins haven’t been able to do. (Yes, I got off statin drugs a year ago and am working to make my liver more healthy.)

  61. I was on heavy meds for fibromyalgia for 2 years. Within 16 weeks of a gluten, dairy, caffeine & refined sugar free diet, cut all meds & am pain free. I sleep well & feel so emotionally balanced now- to me this is truly amazing, my pain before was unbearable. Also notice how my ‘lively’ 9 year old daughter is calm and happy. It’s a lot of work but it is satisfying feeding my family whole foods.

  62. I was diagnosed with an ulcer and placed on lifetime Nexium for major acid reflux in 2008, I knew I was too young to be on medication for life so in 2010 I finally found a nutritionist and naturopath doctor who explained the importance of eating whole, real foods. I haven’t taken (or had to take) Nexium or any other acid reducer since. I’m not sure where our country went wrong and why people don’t eat food anymore. Sure we stuff our pie holes with food like substances but what happened to real, honest, from the earth food?

  63. After cutting out all caffeine and processed sugars the bleeding in my colon (lots of testing, no specific cause) completely stopped within one week.

      1. Short answer – cold turkey, replaced with water.

        Long answer – we have two boys under three so I had been drinking two or three cups of coffee a day for a couple of years. We normally ate healthy with the biggest issue being sugary dessert at night.

        My husband and I decided on a Friday to completely remove all coffee and sugar the next Monday but gave ourselves the weekend to get ready for the change. We went to Starbucks four or five times over the- weekend, had multiple desserts… It was a psychological thing where I knew on Monday it would all be gone and by the time Monday had arrived my mindset had completely changed to a point of not really wanting any of it.

        It took almost three days before the brain fog lifted without the coffee and sugar but I felt so much better nothing in me wanted any more of either.

        You can do it too even if it takes a few tries.

  64. My 10 year old had repeated ear infections as a baby and child – until age 7. He was on antibiotics almost constantly and also had lots of digestive problems and was on medicine for that as well. Once I really started paying attention to our diet and got rid of HFCS, artificial colors, and processed foods it all improved. He hasn’t had bowel issues in years and it has been 2 years since his last ear infection.

  65. Along with all of this great info, may I ask if anyone has ideas about how to replace caffeine/workout pills with something else healthier? I feel that in”need” them to get through a day, and I do not like that feeling. Seriously, I feel like a new person with them…they do something psychologically. Without them I just draaaaaaggggggg! I never take as much as the dosage calls for and never ever take more than the dosage.
    Everything else I do in my life is healthy…this one nagging thing is controlling me…there has to be an alternative. Please help! Thanks in advance.

    1. 1st make sure you are getting enough restful sleep. No diet in the world will replace lack of sleep (as I write this at 11pm :-). 2nd, consult a doctor. You could have something like Anemia, Hypothyroidism, or other condition that may take some special changes to your diet (or even a medication, after all diet helps much but can’t cure everything) 3rd – if you think it is just a psychological thing, then just stop taking them, do something else that helps you to wake up (eating somthing crunchy, like an apple helps). Consider drinking an herbal tea. No caffeine but may give you that “psycological” boost you need.

    2. Thank you for rending. I do have hypo…on lowest dose synthroid which is a new prescription as of 5months ago. My moods have improved with it…on next step to find proper dose. All that said, I feel it is psychological but have researched it at length, it being caffeine, and there is evidence to support that caffeine helps with clarity and something else in the brain that it helps…name escapes me. I have even read that kids with sensory issues and ADD benefit from small amounts of soda, I don’t support this, but also green tea…naturally caffeinated . So, my hope is to find something to give me that clarity and mood boosting brain function….give me your opinion, but I feel deep down that everyday use of anhydrous caffeine may not be the best for me long term…can’t be healthy can it? Thanks for reading.

    3. I gave up caffeine recently, and although I didn’t drink much daily, I felt like I was needing more and more and more. I felt awful for a week after cutting it, but now I have more energy and mental clarity than I did after a cup of coffee or tea! I’d say cut it cold turkey and be prepared for horrid withdrawal symptoms (do it when you can take naps during the day). You’ll feel like a different person afterward.

  66. I’m 24 years old. I was on adderall for ADHD for the last 3-4 years (though I was diagnosed with it when I was around 8 or 9) and also on anti-depressants for the last 1.5 years. Over that time I also developed cystic acne that was so severe I had to start seeing a dermatologist. Nothing he prescribed was helping (including various creams and antibiotics), so I almost got to the point where I had to start taking accutane. I started eating clean and cut out almost all processed foods and I’m now off ALL meds and my acne has *completely* cleared up. My face has never been so clear, it’s amazing! My depression is also gone. I still struggle a bit with ADHD but I’ve noticed how I can certain foods and natural vitamins/supplements can help (like green smoothies, chia seeds, B-12, etc). It’s totally changed my life (and not to mention my wallet!!)

  67. Sandy Szczepanski

    My mom has had arthritis since she was a child and was on medication for many years. She had been having trouble walking up and down stairs and it took her a while to get moving in the mornings. I introduced her to taking a tablespoon of honey with cinnamon (equal parts mixed together) twice a day and within a week she was walking and moving with no problems. She has been doing this since December 2012 and has not taken a pill since!

    1. Is that 1/2 tablespoon each of honey and cinnamon, or 1 tablespoon each. Do you make it like a tea, or, gasp, straight up?

  68. I have been on real food for quite a while and although I have know it’s the best way and I feel so much better overall, I still have thyroid issues…has anyone had their thyroid healed from eating real food? My doctor fed me the line that it will never get better with real food.

    1. I’ve went almost entirely off my Synthroid by eating a clean healthy diet. Noticed biggest change when I went off sugar, dropped Synthroid from 100 to 50 to 12.5 and now only occasionally if I feel achy. My enlarged thyroid was always sensitive to touch and tight necked shirts, that has gone away and I can wear regular shirts again. Adding lots of fiber to my diet, especially beans and legumes has gave me even more energy and no cravings and put blood glucose readings in the 70’s. My lifelong acne went away, no snoring, more energy, no cravings, no thyroid medicine, no heartburn/reflux. I have salicylate intolerance so I can’t go overboard on fruits and veggies or I get symptoms.

  69. Nicole Donaldson

    Yes, our family has had their share of great success stories as well.
    But we also always keep in mind that if it is between life and possible death, delaying medication or surgery can be devastating. My husband has graduated from medical school and residency and on one of his rotations he saw a man with genetic hypertension that was not being cured with his wife’s insistence on beans and whole foods. Because it was genetic he needed meds quickly but his wife wouldn’t have it and he ended up dying. This is true with a lot of Type 1 diabetes and other things that are urgent in nature.
    Though as a nutritional science major, I totally understand how eating a real food diet is only going to help! And hopefully over time cure some of societies biggest health issues! It is a delicate balance.

  70. I suffered from migraines for 7 years and had been seeing a neurologist and was on 3 meds – things improved to 2 awful migraines and 15 headache days a month with those meds. Did an elimination diet (all real food, no preservatives, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar) and worked with a chiropractor with vitamins and such and was migraine/headache free in 2 months off meds. I get an occasional migraine/headache now, but it’s usually because I eat something I’m not supposed to. I am gluten, dairy, grapefruit, banana, prune, MSG, sugar, preservative sensitive. :)

  71. My husband and I started to slowly phase out processed foods. With two older teenagers and a toddler, not an easy feat. My husband was prescribed a medication for colitis – horrible stuff. Since adjusting our diet and portions, he only takes the medication every few days and has lost 18 pounds in just shy of a month. I have lost 5 pounds and havent had to take migraine meds since we started. We still have a lot of work to do but this minor success is a great motivator. Thank you Lisa for starting this blog. =)

  72. I have felt like diet was the cause of so many of the allergies, mood swings, ridiculous PMS, and complexion issues in my family. My sons teacher recently recommended that he be tested for ADHD and when I asked the psychologist if diet would make any difference he said “absolutely none” as if I was insane to even ask. So…how do we start? Just go cold turkey? Just throw everything away and start from scratch? I need a plan! I have great intentions in the morning but by 3:00 every bone in my body is craving carbs and sugar!! How long does that last? And is there anyway around the detox side effects? Help!

    1. Sandy Szczepanski

      I’m not an expert but I am an elementary school teacher and I can tell you from experience that simply cutting out candy, any liquid that is not water, and limiting salt will help a lot.
      Start slow, you don’t want to drive your family crazy by getting rid of everything all at once. For example, one week eliminate all liquids that are not water, the next week instead of a granola bar from the store, make some homemade ones together with your family so everyone can make their own flavours, replace a sweet with a fruit.
      One thing I highly recommend is to include your kids in the changes, give them a voice. Don’t force feed them. It will be trial and error for a while but hopefully in the end you will have a happier, healthier family.
      Same deal for yourself, use baby steps. If you try to go from pasta every night to never having it of course your body will go nuts, eliminate slowly, find substitutions that work for you. Maybe try using a low carb flour and make your own pasta, or bread if you don’t want to give them up completely.
      I have heard that one month is the average for your body to adjust to a new diet. If you feel like breaking down get up and go for a walk or make yourself do something you dislike (dishes, exercise, cleaning) for 10 minutes before you are allowed to eat something ‘bad’ if you really don’t wanna do the dishes then you can’t eat the junk!
      I hope this helps you! Best of luck!!

    2. Start by cutting out high fructose corn syrup and white food…just doing that will make a huge difference. Only shop the perimeters of the grocery, not the middle. Don’t eat out make it at home it’s easy to find recipes online. Just those few changes will totally alter how you feel physically hugely

    3. To get started, we used Feingold.org, and their helpful food guide. While we don’t need it, now, it helped us transition to a real food diet. It meant cleaning out the cupboards of everything that had artificial ingredients/preservatives. The food guide helps you buy “safe” processed food…but a real food diet is better…Feingold is just a good stepping stone if your diet is really bad, and you aren’t ready for a complete lifestyle overhaul. Now, we use the menus on this website…but back then we ate out a lot, and used a lot of processed ingredients. I think Feingold is good about teaching you what to look for on the labels, too…a good starting point. We got our child off meds with mostly just real food (and fish oil & supplements.) As for the psychologist saying diet has NO effect…yeah…several years ago our pediatrician and psychiatrist both told us red dye was not causing my son’s rages…but I could prove it if they’d give me 4 hours in their office and some red licorice!! (Now, studies confirmed the behavioral effects…and the pediatrician renounced her stand when her own child had the same difficulties. Never went back to the psychiatrist…but sorry…sometimes Mom knows best!!!) It was harder to see the effects of MSG, because its hidden in so much….but that was another major trigger for my child. I hope you find the same success with a clean diet…(it didn’t help one of my other children as much, so there’s probably more going on there.)

    4. The first thing I would do in your shoes, knowing what I know now, is to cut out food dyes. It is relatively easy to do, and then, because you are already reading labels, other changes will follow. If my son has food dye, he cannot focus for days!

  73. I also found out 2 years ago that I had pcos, I have done everything under the moon to lose weight. Until about 2-3 months ago I found this site on Fb 100 days of real food. I did start changing what and how my family ate but I didn’t know there was more to it, until I found this site! How ever wih all of my struggles and ups and downs in December I started taking metformin to help me, and as much as I hate taking it, I did see a difference along with eating clean and natural/organic. I just found out that I am 6 wks pregnant and I am currently still taking the metformin, I asked my doctor and they told me to continue to take it till I see my doc next week. I get nervous and panic, because I had one healthy pregnancy before I ever found out I had pcos. But now I am still over weight and I am just at a loss with pcos and metformin… I am just glad to eat clean and healthy! I follow all of this sites recipes and menus…. My whole family loves it all!!! Tha I you for keeping us informed!

  74. I came across this website shortly after going through 3 surgeries, 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 & 1/2 weeks of daily radiation to treat cancer. Needless to say I felt awful! I started the 100 day challenge and cut out all processed foods. Within the first month I could tell a difference. The neuropathy in my hands and feet was relived enough so that I could wear tennis shoes without pain and is almost completely gone. Panic attacks, anxiety, and depression is gone. I have energy. I reached 2 years of being cancer free in December. My doctors are

  75. I don’t have as amazing story as the others, but after eating mostly clean for over an year now, my cholesterol is almost normal (I wasn’t on meds) and my eyesight improved by .25. I hope it keeps improving.

  76. YES! My 13 year old’s ADD is gone off of meds, no signs of it! His grades exploded and he is finally happy! My 7year old son’s asthma & eczema is GONE and he had both really bad since birth!! The albuterol nebulizer & inhaler was always out in our house. Now it is packed up! Not one single doctor even mentioned a diet change! My morning abdominal cramping in the bathroom is over! My son just wanted a snack and I offered some fresh baked homemade cookies. He said, “Can you just make me a green smoothie and I will grab some fruit/nut balls from the fridge.” OMG!!!!

    1. Very encouraging to hear! My daughter has asthma and has been on pulmicort for the past school year. She tends to get pneumonia a few times per winter. I have made many improvements and the amount of processed foods that she eats. I am going to talk to her pediatrician at our next visit about discontinuing the pulmicort. I truly believe that her diet has a lot to do with her good health this year, not just the medication, and I would really like for her to be off the meds permanently.

  77. I went real food just over a year ago and, without exercise (which is more than a little difficult because of severely arthritic knees), am down 80 pounds, am able to walk further than I have been able to in years and, for the first time in more than 30 years, am completely off BP medication (went off the BP meds within the first month)! I continue to pray that slowly increasing my walking while maintaining a healthy, real food diet, will aid in keeping those knee joints working without the need for surgery.

  78. Similar to the woman who posted about PCOS–I have been battling that along with endometriosis and way out of whack hormones for over a decade. I’ve tried all sorts of supplements, diet changes, medications that made me lose my hair and not even the surgery I had 14 months ago made even a difference in my cycles and charting. There would have been no way I could get pregnant if I had been trying.

    I already ate (mostly) clean, but decided to give up gluten for Lent. While it’s been tough going gluten free, my charting and cycles have cleared up within 3 weeks and look almost perfect! It’s been less than a month, folks!! I no longer have to take the horrible medications and I can feel my body working the way its supposed to!

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