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  • Writer's pictureEmily Breeden

The Big Reveal

Alright, friends.  Time to talk about something I’ve been trying to figure out for a while, and have actually gotten more serious about in the last year or so.

That something is this:  Improving my health.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to lecture anyone about eating fast food, or to persuade you that you must start doing yoga ASAP (but seriously, it is pretty neat!).  All I want to do is share my experience and some feedback on what I’ve found that resonates with me.  I will try to summarize this the best I can, because truly, this could be broken into multiple different blog posts.  Here goes…

From what I can recall, it was around sophomore year of college that I started getting the mysterious stomach aches.  It seemed to be related to food because they’d usually happen after eating, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I temporarily gave up dairy to see if it would help, and didn’t notice a difference (Thank GOD!!!  I’m a Wisconsin girl, and giving up cheese would be downright impossible.  In fact, I just went and got some while typing this… Mmm… So good once it hits your lips.)

Going to the Marquette Health (“Death”) Services was pointless.  They wanted to test me for mono and strep throat, like they always did, no matter what your symptoms were… So, I dealt with it.

After deciding to become an IT-nerd major and thinking “Oh my gawd, I can do SO MANY COOL THINGS WITH DATABASES!” I thought a lot about developing a “Food Database” to track everything I ate and how I felt afterwards, to see if I could find any suspicious trends.  I had big plans for that (in my head.)  However, that never happened.  Damnit, I could have made millions!

The stomach aches kept happening sporadically (though, still frequently) for years.  I tried to ignore them but they seemed to be getting worse…

Finally, last spring, my roommate noticed me curled up in a ball on my couch in pain, and I told her about the mysterious stomach aches.  She asked what I had eaten that day, and my response was:  Whole wheat toast for breakfast, Noodles & Co. pasta for lunch, and leftover pizza for dinner.  Being more knowledgable about food and realizing that I was basically OD-ing on gluten, she recommended I try going gluten free, which was something she had tried before and enjoyed.  Once I figured out what the hell “gluten” was, I decided to try it.


^FYI, you can click that.  And this.

Going gluten free certainly seemed to help, but it was unsettling to not know if gluten, specifically, was really the cause or not.  How much would it suck if I was accidentally depriving myself of delicious breads and pastas for no reason?!?… So after a few months of spending a lot of money on GF foods, and feeling better but not really knowing for sure if gluten, itself, was THE cause, I decided to (slowly, carefully) reintroduce it back into my system so I could get tested for Celiac disease and food allergies.  Then at least I’d know what was going on with my body, or so I hoped.

Well, the test results came in and I do NOT have Celiac disease, I do NOT have food allergies, but I did learn that I am allergic to cats, dogs, and a bunch of trees/grass?  WTF?  I guess that explains why I couldn’t breathe properly for 6-8 months after adopting Romeo from the Humane Society… I had to get an inhaler because I was wheezing every night… I think I knew, but was in denial, because just look how f*cking cute he is…


Okay, back to my tummy-ache story.  So after finding all of that out, I was grateful to not have food allergies or Celiac, but was also frustrated to STILL not know what was causing the issues.  THEN, one day, I saw an article “The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten!)” that caught my attention like none other.  After reading about the herbicides our wheat fields are doused with… I can definitely see why so many people have gastrointestinal issues.  How had I never known about this before?  Does everyone know about this but me?

“Consumers eating products made from wheat flour are undoubtedly consuming minute amounts of Roundup.  An interesting aside, malt barley which is made into beer is not acceptable in the marketplace if it was sprayed with pre-harvest Roundup. Lentils and peas are not accepted in the market place if it was sprayed with pre-harvest roundup… but wheat is “okay” for some reason? […] Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms.”I mean, look at this professional graph I made (just kidding) charting herbicides on wheat vs. celiac diagnoses: 


That has to be it, right?

Well, maybe that’s it, or maybe that’s just part of it.  

After reading that article, I got extremely interested in the food industry as a whole.  I watched the documentary Food, Inc. and learned a lot about where processed meat comes from… HOLY COW (no pun intended), it’s horrible to see what really goes on in factory farms, and disgusting to see what goes into most of the foods we consume, and the air we breathe… I also watched this video about the foods marketed to kids, and learned that artificial coloring is a huge topic of debate, and has been linked to kids diagnosed with ADHD and focus/behavioral challenges… (Speaking of ADHD, I went through a roller-coaster last year of getting diagnosed, going on meds, then stopping them cold turkey after I realized they were COMPLETELY effing with my life… that can be another blog post.)

This entire experience has led me to want a healthier life, and to figure out how to be the best “me” possible.

Therefore, some of the things I’ve started doing are the following:

1)  Eating more cleanly and organically.  I’d rather be eating meat from a happy grass-fed cow, than from a cow that spent it’s entire life depressed, standing in its own doo-doo, dying, completely pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones, living in a stall so tiny that it can’t even turn around, eating corn that will painfully fatten it up 4 years quicker than is natural… okay I’m done, but you get the picture.

2)  Yoga, almost every day. ❤  I wake up SO excited for it;  every time I practice I push myself just a little farther, and attempt (and usually fail at) the more “advanced” poses.  When I actually CAN accomplish a new pose I didn’t think was possible, it is the most rewarding feeling ever!!!  Yoga has taught me a lot about patience, which is something I’ve always had trouble with.  Hard work, consistency, and PATIENCE truly do pay off, in yoga and in life.  Anything you set your mind to, you can accomplish!!! (Within reason… For example, I could probably never be an MBA basketball player, even if I set my mind to it.)

3)  Drinking more water.  I thought I drank enough of it, but that article definitely makes me realize I could use more.  Hooray for Hydration!

4)  Finally, there is a company that has been a game changer for me when it comes to getting healthy.  Before I knew of this company, I would feel completely WIPED OUT during and after every CorePower Yoga class I did.  I’d get home, sit down on my couch, and not have the energy to move the rest of the night because my whole body was just exhausted.  And even though my body was physically tired, I still didn’t always sleep well, and relied on coffee to keep me alert throughout the day.  Physically, I felt completely out of balance.  Then, a friend introduced me to a company called Isagenix.  I signed up for the “30 Day Cleanse” pack, which includes a variety of different products to eat/drink/take (all of which are delicious, by the way.)  After starting it less than a month ago, I began to feel like a new person.  Almost immediately, I had so much energy and felt so good that I was actually doing multiple CorePower classes in one day, without feeling completely wiped out.  Now, I sleep better, my clothes fits better, my moods are better… I have so much energy and focus now, and it is incredible.  I started as a skeptic, and now I am truly a believer.  Excuse my French, but this shit works.

Now here’s something that I NEVER, in a million years, thought I would post online… but as they say, “When in Rome”

Here are my “Before” and “After” pics for my first 30 day cleanse, combined with doing yoga classes a few times a week (although, I was doing a TON of yoga before the cleanse, so the only thing I really changed this month was my eating habits!) –

Isagenix Cleanse

Oh, and please note the following:  1)  I actually took the “after” pics 3 days short of completing the full 30 days because I am leaving town.  “27 day cleanse” is more accurate.  2)  Unfortunately, I did not have the will power to follow the cleanse 100% by the book, I had a beer and nachos a couple times…(I blame the Packers.)  Still happy with the results, though!! (mine, not the Packers’…sigh).  3)  I did not do this to lose weight, but to feel better, have more energy, and do something GOOD for my health.  Definitely achieved all of those things and more, and am excited to continue this journey until I am a Yoga-instructing-DJ in Spain or Colorado (only 1/2 kidding) 😉 4)  Most importantly, Isagenix products + eating organically does NOT make my stomach hurt at all!!! I have tried protein bars and meal replacement shakes before, and ALWAYS got horrible stomach aches… This combination of foods/supplements makes me feel BETTER, instead of worse, and it has truly been life-changing.

So whether you live a healthy life or not, hopefully you are happy. 🙂 And if you aren’t, then maybe it is time to make a change!!!

^you can click that one too… tehe

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