Healing is not a linear path. There are bumps in the road to better health that you’ll inevitably hit and obstacles that might get you down. However, healing your body is so worth it. While it does take time and discipline to implement changes, find answers, and start new habits, your life will drastically improve when you commit to yourself.
I recently asked my followers on Instagram to send in their health success stories. I was overwhelmed by the number of responses I received and touched by the impact simple changes have made in your lives.
Whether you’re looking for ideas to kickstart your health journey or want to read some words of encouragement, these stories will undoubtedly inspire you.
The Power of Functional Medicine
“For years and years I struggled with my health. 17 years ago, I was put on thyroid medication. My symptoms got better for a short period of time but then I started to decline again. From there on I never felt better—I just developed more and more symptoms over time. My doctors were absolutely no help. I wasn’t even aware that my poor health was affecting my life as much as it was. I wasn’t doing things, going places, or making plans because I was never sure how I would feel or if I would be able to do it. I also couldn’t hold a job because I was always sick.
Then I listened to the Just Ingredients podcast with Dr. Redd about Hashimoto’s and he described my symptoms exactly. It was crazy! After listening, I made an appointment with a functional medicine doctor and was able to get tested for many things, including Hashimoto’s. My results came back and showed that I did indeed have Hashimoto’s along with leaky gut, too much cortisol production, fatigued adrenals, excess estrogen, high inflammation, and deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. I was a mess, but it also explained so much! This was the start of my healing journey.
I began with lots of supplements and dietary changes. After about 2 months, I started feeling good enough and I went for a walk (something I couldn’t do before). With dietary changes, supplements, and exercise, my brain fog was gone! I have so much more energy and my mental clarity is amazing. I don’t hurt and ache all over, I’ve lost 25 pounds, my leaky gut is half-way healed (according to lab work). I haven’t had a migraine in months, my depression is going away, and overall I feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’m not done healing yet and still have a ways to go, but I’m feeling so much better that I don’t want to stop now. I haven’t come this far to only come this far.” -M.B.
No More Migraines
“I suffered from migraines for over 10 years, from about 18 years old to 30 years old. I was never able to track why they occurred or when they would occur. I didn’t want to go on medication for them so I decided to do some research and make changes.
In 2019, my husband and I changed out all of our cleaning, health, and beauty products to clean, chemical-free ones. We cleaned out our pantry and fridge and purged all the super processed foods. We started reaching for whole foods instead.
I’m now three years migraine free. I no longer suffer from minor headaches either! I’ve also lost and kept off 15 pounds. My husband started running in addition to these changes and lost (and kept off) 65 pounds!
The changes we made at first were big, but now they’re everyday choices. Looking at labels, picking better restaurants, and moving our bodies daily has been key.” -K.B.
Simple Food Swaps for Better Energy
“I was diagnosed with endometriosis last October. My periods were heavy and painful and it began affecting my daily life. I had constant lower back pain, bloating, no energy, and no motivation. At the time, my diet consisted of Coke, coffee, fast food, chocolate chip cookies, and so on. I decided to stop drinking soda and replace it with sparkling water. After noticing a difference with just that change, I cut back on sugar and replaced many treats with a protein shake. I made small diet changes gradually and the benefits were unbelievable. I now eat out maybe twice a month, don’t drink soft drinks, changed out most of my ingredients to organic, and incorporate smoothies and fruits and vegetables in almost every meal. I feel great and have so much energy now! Not only do I not deal with any issues with my periods, I also have the energy to play with my children.” -C.A.
“During my senior year of college I had chronic stomach issues, anxiety, and started to get major depression. All of my doctors suggested that I had IBS and needed to take anxiety medications to fix my issues. I wasn’t buying it so I found a naturopath who discovered that I had major food sensitivities to yeast, mustard, and milk. My naturopath also found that I was deficient in vitamin D and B12, and that I had an asymptomatic UTI (for 1-2 years)! All of my gut issues, anxiety, and depression went away once I solved the UTI, started eating healthier, and stopped eating the foods that were flagged as sensitivities. After that, I was so scared of what western doctors told us, so I cut out a ton of toxins in my life and now I’m living my best life! For the most part, I eat all organic, more fruits and veggies, and live a nontoxic life. I feel the best I’ve ever felt.” -S.D.
Healing Over Time
“Thanks to the Just Ingredients podcast and a better diet, I was able to heal my gut this year, lose 15 pounds, and cut back on my depression medication for the first time in almost a decade (with hopes to wean off completely in the spring). The Just Ingredients podcast was the first glimmer of hope I’d had in years of possibly getting off my antidepressants. I truly believe it was a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency that should have been resolved instead of going on meds, but the doctors I saw at the time couldn’t give me any advice on that, even with blood testing because they saw my levels were all “normal” to them and I was technically healthy and in good shape. I’m still on my journey and I’m still working to adjust my diet, but I have more hope than I have in a long time that it’s possible to heal and maintain my mental health through diet and fitness.” -S.M.
Acid Reflux Solution
“I struggled from my early 20’s with acid reflux and gut issues. I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer around age 23 and then for the next 25 years or so I was on one after another of the acid reflux medicines—but none of them really helped. At one point, I had so much pain at night that I thought I was having a heart attack and slept sitting up in a recliner. Over the years, I had to cut more and more dairy products out as they just weren’t sitting right (I suspect that I always had an issue with dairy). About 10 years ago, I also cut out all gluten and weaned off of the medication that I was on. I have felt so much better and haven’t been on a medication for stomach issues since. I’ve also taken various probiotics and other supplements to aid digestion and to help continue to heal my gut, but I truly feel so much better.” -P.R.
“We started using RiseWell Kids Toothpaste for my son who has epilepsy. He has been on strong medications ever since he was four months old and he is now almost 5. We noticed his teeth starting to have gray spots and his doctors chalked it up to a side effect of his medication. Being as RiseWell is a remineralizing toothpaste that has clean ingredients, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. The difference has been astounding! RiseWell has truly helped my son’s teeth look better and I assume stronger too! I’m so thankful that I found this recommendation.” -K.R.
Reversing an Autoimmune Disorder
“In August, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder (morphea) after two baseball-sized, dark, bruise-looking spots showed up on my back. My doctor started me on monthly steroid medications and injections as a treatment plan. I was not satisfied with a topical solution for an internal disease diagnosis, so I began researching how to heal my body from the inside out. That’s when I found Just Ingredients!
I started an elimination diet to pinpoint foods that were causing inflammation to my body and was shocked to discover that 90% of the foods in my pantry and fridge did not contain whole food ingredients—they were laden with canola oils and natural flavors. I had to relearn how to feed myself and my family.
I tossed all of my makeup and personal care products and replaced them with clean products. Now I’m confident knowing that there are no hidden glutens and endocrine disrupters in my makeup. I also replaced body wash, shampoos, hand soaps, deodorants, nail polish, etc.
Then I turned to my home. Thankfully, we have been lovers of the cast iron skillet for a long time. I tossed plastic cups and storage containers and bought a couple sets of glass containers to pack lunches in for the work week.
Lastly, I took a serious look at the stress in my life. I began to identify the things that energize me vs cause distress. It was mind blowing to me how much stress was wreaking havoc on my body. I’m more gracious to myself and I’m intentional to take time for prayer and meditation each morning. Counseling is something that has helped me heal from ongoing stressors as well. I also make sure to get outside and move my body as much as possible!
My latest appointment with my doctor was wonderful! We are doing a 2 month trial of no medications because she thinks my autoimmune disorder is healed! My dark spots have vanished, my bloating and brain fog are gone, and I have so much more energy! I believe this is all from making small but consistent changes over time. I was able to heal myself as I detoxed both my body and my environment.” -L.A.
“For about two and a half years, I struggled with infertility and had a miscarriage during that time. I was eventually diagnosed with PCOS and decided to research PCOS diets. I changed my diet, switched out the products I was using, started working out consistently and was able to get pregnant! I now have a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old.” -S.M.
Healing Migraines Through Diet
“I one day noticed I had a bad migraine that ended up lasting days, then weeks, then months. This migraine was an all day ordeal. From the second I woke up, it was there. The only relief I ever got was from napping my day away. My energy was low, my mood was always irritable, and I was always on the verge of tears from the pain. During the next year, I did bloodwork, MRI’s, CT scans, MRA’s, and went to ENT’s, chiropractors, and neurologists—only to get no answers and instead by handed prescribed drugs that did not even take my headaches away.
A friend of mine referred me to a doctor that saved my life. I was told to cut out gluten, dairy, processed foods, sugar, fried foods, etc. Two weeks into my new diet, I transformed into a new person. My pain was suddenly gone, I felt so energized and renewed! This experience taught me that every thing we eat really does affect our bodies, for good or bad!” -G.R.
“My periods have always been bad but they got to a point where the pain was just unmanageable. Nothing I tired would help. I made the decision to get on birth control and all I can say to that is, bad idea. It messed me up so bad. I was gaining weight, my periods were even worse than before, and the inflammation all over my body was insane.
After getting off birth control, I found the Just Ingredients Instagram page and it was a game changer. I started using Hertime and changed my overall lifestyle. I switched to clean makeup that didn’t have endocrine disrupters, bought good shampoo and conditioner that didn’t have hidden added estrogen (when you have excess estrogen you definitely don’t want more, especially synthetic!), and started really looking at the labels on my food. I was amazed at how well my body responded to it. I have no more zits, shorter and less painful periods, no more belly aches after meals, more energy, and more motivation!” -A.M.
Product and Food Awareness for a Better Life
“Although I have an autoimmune disease, I never spent much time thinking about the ingredients I was putting in or on my body, and whether toxins or chemicals could be affecting my disease. I started following Just Ingredients when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I realized I wanted a cleaner lifestyle and a healthier family for her. I started by making sure all the items used for her were as clean as possible, from shampoo to diapers. After all her items were clean, I removed toxic cleaners and chemicals from the house to make the environment clean as well. I then replaced items in my hair and skincare routine and every other item that was touching my body, such as detergents and perfumes.
Once my items, my daughters, and the family household items were switched over, I went for the part I felt would be most difficult—food. I had a lot of bad eating habits from the way I grew up so I started simple. I replaced the most common items we used first. When Just Ingredients came out with a guide for food swaps, I took it to the store with me and shopped as clean as I could on a budget. I thought it would be more difficult, but the more I researched and followed her suggestions, and the more aware I was of what was going into my body, the easier it became to eat clean. We as a family we have never been healthier! I look to holistic treatment to manage my pain for my disease as well as follow guidance from Just Ingredients. There are exceptions we make here and there but overall I continue to follow simple clean living and I will never go back! I hope this story inspires others to do the same.” -K.S.
“I’ve suffered from severe anxiety for quite some time. After about a year of taking medication, I decided I didn’t want that to be a permanent fixture in my life. That’s what kickstarted my health journey. The main things I’ve incorporated to help are exercise, limiting caffeine, yoga, meditation, essential oils, therapy, chiropractic, journaling, and I try to make good choices with food. Since finding the Just Ingredients page, I’ve switched to her protein powder and pre-workout (obsessed). The pre-workout doesn’t make me feel jittery, it tastes great, it works, and I feel good about what’s in it.” -J.W.
No More Cramps
“I’ve always had horrible cramps and used to get sent home from school every month because I would be in so much pain that I would throw up. My doctor’s solution was to put me on hormonal birth control, but I didn’t like the side effects or the increased risk of breast cancer. Over the years, I tried to take myself off of it several times without success. And then I found the Just Ingredients page! I changed to all paraben and sulfate-free products and started using organic feminine products. I came off of my birth control and my cramps were gone—completely gone after close to 15 years of debilitating cramps. I was able to be off birth control and conceive my first baby. Now I’m 4 months postpartum and still have no cramps.” -T.G.