In this issue:
Your physical, emotional, and spiritual health have everything to do with your wellbeing. The before-and-after story of health should include more than a drop of the number on the scale. It's really about experiencing life in a whole new way. In this episode, Susan Neal chats with Michelle about healthy living.
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Inspired Life: Changing Food Changed Her Health
My guest this week is Susan Neal. Susan is a Registered Nurse, and a certified health and wellness coach who coaches people to overcome health challenges. She is the award-winning author of seven books as well as numerous DVDs, and yoga card decks. She is a Christian yoga instructor who teaches Scripture yoga (she also has a book on this topic).
I met Susan through Twitter. She reached out to me about my podcast, and then we discovered that we have many common connections through other writers, and we're both part of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). We also are both nurses. I asked Susan to join me for this issue, because I have been on my own health and wellness journey for a while now, and I have been gluten free for two years. I have also worked on reducing the amount of sugar I eat. As I looked through Susan's website and materials, I realized that some of the topics Susan teaches on are part of my own health plan, and I wanted to learn more about her story.
It Started with an Abscessed Tooth
Susan's health had significantly declined after having an abscessed tooth, but it took a while to diagnose. She ended up with ten medical diagnoses, including depression and adrenal fatigue, and had two surgeries before she used her nursing background and God's wisdom to reclaim her health. She was fifty years old when she realized the abscessed tooth was poisoning her body. The treatment for that infection included antibiotics and steroids, which left her body depleted, anemic, low of vitamin D and more.
One of the things Susan discovered that was causing some of her sugar cravings was an overgrowth of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract, called a candida infection. In her book 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, (part of the 3-in-1 Healthy Living Series) there is an assessment to find out if you might have an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Susan's plan included eight months of a strict anti-candida diet.
Susan's plan of eating really boils down to the question, "Did God create this, or did the food manufacturer?" This question helps to eliminate processed foods, chemicals and more. She also includes a biblically based perspective in the book where the reader learns to seek God's help for overcoming a food addiction. The reader is also asked to find an accountability and prayer partner, to memorize strategic bible verses, to pray, and to use a five-step freedom from addiction plan.
Do You Have Food Cravings?
Susan mentioned three reasons for why we might have food cravings and an inappropriate relationship with food:
- Overgrowth of candida. It craves the sugar, carbs, and alcoholic beverages.
- A food addiction. This is connected to how the sugar or wheat can trigger dopamine receptors. She explained how we can find other habits that make us feel good to replace food - for example, petting a dog or going for a walk - to release those endorphins.
- Emotional issues. To work on this, Susan teaches how a spiritual connection can heal emotions.
Ultimately, Susan's goal is to coach people to learn how to put a relationship with Jesus Christ over their addiction.
7-Day Food Challenge
There is a Healthy Living 7-Day Challenge available on Susan's website. Check it out!
Susan shared this verse with us on the podcast:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
Because she experienced the devastating effects of health troubles, she wants to help others overcome those effects too.
Life, Repurposed: Helping Others Experience Victory
There was so much content we could have talked about in the show! Susan has a wealth of information. About half of all Americans live with a chronic health condition and 40% suffer from obesity. I know I'm not alone in my journey toward better health! Susan's journey also has involved helping her own family too.
After Susan experienced victory over her cravings and had her health restored, it eventually led to helping her sister overcome sugar and carbohydrates. That led to the book 7 Steps to Get off Sugar and Carbohydrates and more books to follow.
Susan's sister was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, and later rosacea. In the process of changing her diet, her sister's rosacea healed and she lost 20 pounds. The plan included a low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory eating plan. Susan said, "I want readers to experience a healthy, abundant life that god planned for them...Our bodies are programmed to heal - like the natural healing of a cut or a sprained ankle - if we nourish them well."
One of the changes Susan's sister experienced was a desire to join a gym. That's not something I have ever had, so I find that result impressive! But even better, she no longer experiences the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which made her have to always be thinking about where the nearest bathroom was. That's true freedom!
How Soon Can Someone See Results After Implementing the 7 Steps?
Within one week, energy level and clarity of mind can increase and weight can drop. Susan's sister’s joints stopped aching after two weeks. One participant lost fourteen pounds in three weeks.
Others who have been helped by the changes have shared their results with Susan. Here is one:
“I just wanted to update you on my progress. Yesterday was the 3-week mark (of implementing 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates), and I am feeling so much better. I've had no digestive issues this week at all! Frankly, I was a little concerned that eating all those vegetables might make my tummy issues worse, but the exact opposite happened.
I'm even enjoying eating my veggies now. I think my body is finally accepting the sweetness of fresh fruit to satisfy my sugar cravings. I'm not craving sugar as much as at first. I've lost a total of 15 pounds, but I'm deliberately focusing more on the health aspect than the scale. That's just a nice bonus!”
If you're looking for connection and a challenge to get going, check out Susan's Facebook group for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.
Susan has all sorts of Healthy Living resources available on her website, as well as books available from the Amazon affiliate links below. I received a review copy of the 3-in-1 book called Healthy Living Series from Susan that includes the following titles, all bound into one book:
7 Steps to Get off Sugar and Carbohydrates
Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get off Sugar and Carbohydrates
One of the seven steps includes acquiring a support system. I have found this to be a huge success factor in my own health journey. I have a Christian friend who I check in with weekly. I tell her everything. I love that this is a huge part of Susan's program.
On the “clean out” chapters, she talks about the refrigerator and the pantry, but she also spends significant time discussion cleaning out emotions. I resonated with this info, since I think that's where the final battle in the health struggle occurs. After figuring out the "what" of eating, we really need to understand the "why" of our behavior.
Readers will learn how to:
- Eliminate brain fog, cure diseases, and lose weight
- Choose foods that benefit versus foods that damage
- Find healthy food alternatives and plan menus
- Recognize the emotional reasons we overeat and the science behind food addiction and candida
- Identify food triggers and use God's Word to fight impulsive eating
- Locate resources - educational videos and books, meal planning, support organizations and recipes.
The book includes many forms and charts to fill out and places to journal and record information.
Susan mentioned several free digital gifts that are available on her website. One of these includes the 10 appendixes from 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. These include recipes, eating plan, Scripture encouragement and more. Scroll down the page for the link.
Check out Susan's other books and resources on Amazon. [Affiliate links for easy shopping below]
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(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. ) *This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.