Everyday Toxin-Free Living with April Heywood

Part of the intention around my podcast is to share impactful and inspiring stories of people who have changed their lives and overcome obstacles.

For me, I was introduced to the idea of toxins by accident 5 years ago.

But for April Heywood, my latest guest on the Toxin Terminator podcast, her introduction to toxins was intentional, starting as a young adult. Her instinct and intuition around toxins was very clear right from the beginning and I’m grateful I could spend some time with her to share her stories, insights and tips.

April is a “Label Looker”

Are you a “label looker”?  What I mean by that is, are you constantly looking at product labels and ingredients at the store?

You know who I’m talking about, right? Individuals who take up space in the grocery aisle while they’re squinting at the label on the back of a box of anti-histamines. 

Well, April would describe herself as a one of these people! 

As a teenager, she recalls reading the labels behind ibuprofen bottles and how she found the contents could possibly upset her stomach. She always had a strong awareness of what she was putting inside her body.   

April would take the time to do things like read the back of, say, a box of tampons. 

“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about Toxic Shock Syndrome?”

It was clear to her that it was important to know what you are ingesting and taking into your body. Being in control of her own health was obvious to her and she really didn’t feel the need to follow the crowd.  

But, she never considered the idea that there are things OUTSIDE of your body that can have negative side effects too, from skin creams to oil-based candles. It was a surprise to her when she realized this fact.

In our culture, when we think of health and wellness, we think of things like diet and exercise. But what the majority of people are not aware of is that the toxins in our environment have just as much of an impact on our bodies: laundry soap, Wi-Fi signals, scented plug-ins, dryer sheets etc. The list goes on and on! 

The shift to toxin-free living

April became passionate about essential oils. She threw away all her synthetic fragrance products like plug-ins, candles and sprays because the fumes they create are toxic to your lungs. She uses oils in her home to create a nice scent and to enhance her health. 

As she learned more and more about essential oils and their benefits, April was introduced to a new community of people who had knowledge and experience to share about other external toxins. 

“I started learning about the water I’m drinking and the air I’m breathing and it opened up a whole new world.”

She learned about the amount of unnecessary chemicals used in many products we use daily and it really spurred her on to build a life around reducing the toxins in her home and her body. 

If you could only change one thing? 

Start with deodorant, says April.

It has one of the worst lists of toxic ingredients and it is being used in one of the most sensitive areas on our body! 

Your armpits are designed to release toxins from the body, not absorb things like aluminum or parabens! The armpits are key to the detoxification process of the lymphatic system.

So, using good deodorant is important. Deodorant was also April’s first DIY (do it yourself) project.

Cleaning products

What dangers lurk in your cabinets?

Try reading the ingredients on your cleaning supplies in your cabinet. You won’t be able to find one because the ingredient list isn’t available!  (Watch this video where I go through some products in my cabinet.

It’s also a myth that we need one cleaner for the toilet, one cleaner for the windows and another cleaner for the bathtub. 

When you begin using natural cleaners, you will find that they are easy solutions made with simple ingredients that will clean your entire house! Imagine using one bottle to clean every room in your house.  

Not only will this simplify your life, but these types of cleaners are safe for pets and children too. Many natural cleaners, if accidentally ingested, are still safe and not considered poisonous.   

You absolutely can clean your home by only using ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. It is amazing when you experience the results.

The laundry room

It was a DIY laundry class that introduced April to the idea of clean laundry detergent. She couldn’t believe how easy and cheap it was to make your own detergent.  

But after experimenting several times, she just gave in to the fact that the detergents she was making just didn’t clean her laundry all that well. 

With some more research, more trial and error, she eventually found the best non-toxic detergent option. She discovered that without using enzymes, your laundry won’t get as clean. The enzymes help to break down the grease and grime in your clothes.  

Dryer sheets

People are loyal to their dryer sheets. So, this can be a huge challenge for people to abandon their sheets, because we equate clean with smell!

This is yet another myth!

You don’t need a dryer sheet with a scent to make your clothes smell good. And by the way, dryer sheets are very toxic!

What people don’t know is that when you use fragranced laundry products, your dryer emits a larger range of volatile organic compounds, including hazardous air pollutants, than non-fragranced products! (See study here.)

If hazardous air pollutants are leaving your dryer vent, then you can be sure that pollutants are sitting in the closet and rubbing against your skin. 

For the dryer, April prefers using wool dryer balls. 

You can put essential oils on the dryer balls to give your clothes a scent like lavender or cedar. Or you can even dilute the oil in water in a spray bottle and spray the dryer balls directly. This will really give your clothes a lovely scent!

Hair and body products

Even hair products can create havoc in your body. It’s hard to believe but most hair and body products are filled with toxic ingredients you need to avoid. The regulation around cosmetic and personal-care products is sub-standard. 

So, again, it’s really up to you, the consumer, to be aware and take control of the products you are using.

Because April has gorgeous curly hair, she got interested in the Curly Girl Method, which is a way of styling curly hair by cutting out silicones, parabens, and sulfates.  She took the program one step further by making sure the products she was using was meeting her toxin-free standard.

Since April is a DIY girl, she decided to make her own hair gel using flax seed oil. It’s super moisturizing, strengthens hair, is incredibly cheap and easy to make.  

Check out April’s Instagram page and look at the Curly Girl highlights where she demonstrates her recipe.

The product that has hidden toxins

Make-up was the biggest surprise to April as it relates to toxicity. It was truly an eye-opener! 

The USA only bans 11 ingredients that are considered toxic in makeup. The European Union bans over 1300 chemicals. Can you even fathom this difference?  

The make-up purchasing decisions you make in American stores are not safe for you. Period.

Luckily, there lots of natural, mineral based make-up options that feel cleaner, less sticky, less heavy and healthier for your skin.

Toxic-free lifestyle has noticeable benefits

April had some digestive issues. Bananas were the only thing that didn’t upset her stomach. And after many visits to her doctor, they weren’t able to figure out what the issue was.

On her own, she started making shakes with probiotics and peppermint oils. After only a few weeks, her smoothie brought her digestive system back into balance.

Another big benefit that April noticed was that she rarely gets sick anymore.   

 “It’s a testimony to the fact that I just don’t get sick enough to go to the doctor and I also know what I need to do to take care of myself. I know what kinds of things I need to do to support myself and I know what kinds of plants, vitamins and foods that I can feed myself to boost my immune system and to strengthen my body!”

April has truly embraced this way of living and has come to know what her body needs to keep it happy and healthy.

Take it slow and it’s never too late!

It can feel stressful when you begin this path down the toxic-free lifestyle road. There are so many concerns, so many options and so much research on this topic.  

April stresses that it’s important to stay the course and not be intimidated!

“Every positive decision you make is a step in the right direction. And it’s never too late.”

It’s also really important to remember that it’s ok to take it slow. Enjoy the journey and the process of discovering new ideas on how to reduce the amount of toxins in your life, without dwelling on your past behaviors and habits.

Remember that our bodies are amazing self-healers and no matter when you start, your body will thank you for it. You are creating a powerful impact on your own life and those around you. You won’t regret the decision to live toxin-free!

Follow April’s journey on Instagram @April_Heywood where she continues to share her tips, suggestions and experiences about incorporating toxic-free living into her life. You can also find her on Youtube

Watch a short trailer video for this episode below:

Abundant Blessings, 

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator

Unravel the Mystery of CBD with Dr. Mark Lindholm

CBD oil is a hot topic and a huge buzz word at the moment.  Perhaps like you, I was both curious and confused!  I had so many questions related to how CBD can support my own personal health and well-being. There is a lot of conflicting information out there that can make it really challenging to sift through!

That's why I was so grateful I was able to spend some time discussing CBD with Dr. Mark Lindholm, a Chiropractic Doctor, author and CBD science expert.

The material we covered will hopefully answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need to explore using CBD as a way to achieve optimal health.

How Mark’s CBD journey began

A few years ago, Mark had a serious wrist injury that would not go away.  As a Chiropractor for over 25 years, this injury could spell disaster for his career.  This was truly an unwelcome problem that caused Mark a lot of stress and worry.

“This was a painful injury but it also was an emotionally stressful one because I was really worried I might not be able to work anymore.”

The idea of losing his career was not an option.

He tried many therapies like cold laser treatment, essential oils, chiropractic, anti-inflammatories and massage.  And nothing helped, in fact the problem got worse.

He was desperate for a solution.

So, he decided it was time to try a CBD product.  He experienced a drastic improvement and over the course of a month, he was able to rehab the injury with amazing results.

“Out of desperation I tried a CBD product, and within 2 days the pain was about 80% better.  It was a dramatic change.”

He was now convinced of the benefits of CBD and decided to dig into the information that was available. After a year of investigation and research, he became deeply knowledgeable in the benefits of CBD. Mark realized it was something he wanted to offer his patients. This led him to write the book, “A Doctor’s Perspective on CBD: Science, Success Stories and Changed Lives.”

A CBD terminology lesson

Hemp. Marijuana. CBD. THC. I know, these terms can be confusing. Just bear with me as we are about to get super scientific!

Hemp is the parent plant that has been around for thousands of years.  It is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, with records going back as far back as 6000 years.  It was used medicinally as an extract even back then in various cultures around the globe.

Marijuana is a hybridized version of hemp. But what does this mean exactly?

To try and understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, imagine you are driving by a large corn field.  It would be very hard to tell the difference between sweet corn, popcorn and field corn. They are all corn but very different.

Hemp is the parent plant and marijuana has been hybridized (or cross-bred) to hold different characteristics. Just like the different types of corn.

In the hemp plant, there are 2 main compounds: CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol and THC which stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol.  

THC is the psychoactive part of the hemp plant. The marijuana plant has been bred to produce much higher levels of THC for the purpose of recreational use.

It’s important to know that, to be considered legal in the USA, CBD can only have 0.3% THC or less. If it has more than 0.3% THC then it’s considered marijuana. You can get pure forms of CBD that contain 0.0% THC.

You will also hear the term full spectrum oil.  This means that the oil will contain all of the components of hemp because of their additional benefits. Full spectrum holds at least 60 different types of cannabinoids. And there are all sorts of beneficial parts of hemp besides CBD, including terpenes, flavonoids, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6.  All of these combined makes a full spectrum hemp oil.

Endo-what? Endocannabinoid!

We can’t talk about CBD without talking about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Prepare yourself for another science lesson!

If you are uncertain about taking CBD or other cannabinol products, the reality is that you are already producing cannabinoids in your own body!

This system is relatively new to the medical community and was only discovered in the 1990’s.  

Basically, it is a critical biological system that is responsible for keeping your body in homeostasis or balance. It helps to regulate pain, appetite, sensation, inflammation, mood and stress response. It is the master controller of balance in your body.

Cannabinoids are the active compounds in the cannabis plant.  But we also have cannabinoids in our own body, called endocannabinoids.

Within the ECS system, these endocannabinoid receptors are found in the brain and nervous system (CB1 receptor) and in the immune system (CB2 receptor.) And every system in our body has these receptors.

When you take a CBD product, the CBD molecule binds to these receptors and activates them, which assists in this balancing effect.  And that is why many people experience additional positive side effects because of the effect it has on so many of the systems in our body.   

For example, a patient may take CBD oil for chronic pain but find that their anxiety has improved.

In Dr. Lindholm’s practice he witnessed this balancing effect in his patients who were taking CBD products.

“It improved their health and they were able to take less medication.” 

Some studies have shown that 50% of people that take a CBD product are able to diminish or discontinue medication.

There is still so much to be understood about the ECS system and we are just on the horizon of this new yet important field of study.

Is CBD Safe?

According to Dr. Lindholm, a full spectrum hemp oil is safe to use.

“It is so safe.  It is safer than Vitamin D.  Because our body naturally produces these compounds.”

You won’t become addicted to hemp oil and CBD.  But this is not the case for THC and marijuana products.

The World Health Organization has looked into the potentially harmful effects of CBD and they declared it does not appear to have abuse potential or to cause harm. In fact, there are cases where it actually helps people to detox off their addictions to other medications, such as opioids.

As recently as last year, the FDA approved a CBD medication called Epidiolex to treat children with a rare form of epilepsy.

4 things to consider when buying a CBD product

As a general rule of thumb, always make sure that the producer you buy from has GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification and 3rd party testing.  They should also be certified by the US Hemp Authority.

Some other things to consider:

  • The CBD product should be a categorized as a full spectrum hemp oil.
  • Make sure the CBD or hemp is organic.  Finding a USDA Certified organic product, preferably from domestic hemp (not imported hemp) is highly recommended.
  • THC levels
  • Absorption levels

As mentioned before, to be legal, a CBD product can have THC levels of 0.3% or less.  The only way you can know this for sure is if the product has gone through 3rd party testing.  Otherwise, quality control is limited and actual levels of THC may be uncertain.

Many companies will market the different levels of strength of the CBD, for example, regular strength or 1000 mg of CBD.  The important thing is not the strength or dose, but actually what your body absorbs.

Just as oil and water don’t mix well, your body doesn’t absorb oil well either.  Most hemp oils are only absorbed at about 3 to 6%!   This means that most of the CBD you consume (between 94 and 97%) will never be used by your body!  And depending on how much you spend, it may not be cost effective.

If you buy a bottle with higher rates of absorption, let’s say 80%, now you are getting value for your dollar.  It also means you can consume less amounts, less frequently with higher effectiveness.  

The benefits of CBD oil

CBD is essentially a plant based product that has many benefits to the body. In Dr. Lindholm’s book, he covers many of these benefits.  

Because CBD is a supplement and not a drug, Dr. Lindholm is not making any medical claims that it treats different conditions. His book is an in-depth look into all the medical literature and research that demonstrates how CBD has been of benefit to certain conditions.

Some of the benefits that he mentions in his book include:

  • Reduction of swelling and inflammation for things like IBS, Crohn's disease, joint pain, arthritis, skin irritations
  • Pain reduction
  • Balancing mood and other mental health issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD
  • Blood sugar levels.

There are also many studies being done on how CBD can be used to treat cancer - from breast cancer to pancreatic and prostate cancer.  (Mark dedicates an entire chapter to this topic alone in his book!)

Want to explore CBD a little further?

If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend Mark’s book and you can purchase it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

If you are interested in trying a CBD product then Mark recommends  a company called Zilis.
It has everything Mark looks for in hemp products.  It’s sourced from USDA Certified Organic hemp, it is 3rd party tested, has 0.0% THC levels, and has very high absorption rates.  

A final thought from Dr. Mark:

“I believe in the next 10 years that 99% of Americans will be using a high-quality CBD product or full spectrum oil product.  I think it will revolutionize healthcare.”

Well, that’s a statement to end with!  There is so much potential in this area and it is truly exciting to see how CBD will change the future of healthcare and treatment options.

You can watch a short trailer for this episode below: 

Abundant Blessings, 

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator

Positive Lifestyle Changes with Breast Cancer Survivor, Naomi Damask

When I was growing up, I remember that it was rare to hear the word “cancer.” But today, my grandchildren are going to grow up as if cancer is a common ailment. 

Can you believe that 1 in 2 of us are likely to get diagnosed with a form of cancer, and 1 in 8 will develop breast cancer. What’s even more incredible is that less than 10% of cancer diagnoses are related to genetics,  meaning over 90% are due to our environment and lifestyle choices. 

Imagine knowing that and getting a cancer diagnosis? What would you do on hearing that news? Would you change how you lived your life? 

Well, this is what happened to Naomi Damask from OhMyWord.net. Her breast cancer diagnosis changed her life and set her on the path to becoming a wellness warrior! 

I wanted to share her empowering story and the 4 key lifestyle changes Naomi recommends you make in your own lives.  I also asked Naomi about the top trends that are currently revolutionizing the wellness industry.

Naomi’s cancer journey 

Naomi got the devastating diagnosis over 8 years ago. The diagnosis was a complete shock. Why? Because cancer didn’t run in her family. She was under 40; she was an athlete and she was eating clean. Naomi, unfortunately, was one of the 90% of people who get cancer due to their lifestyle and environment.

This was a game-changer for Naomi. 

While she took the advice of her oncologist, she also looked for ways to change her lifestyle. Naomi interviewed everyone she could who had survived cancer to find out what they had done after their diagnosis. Her extensive research not only helped her survive breast cancer, but turned her into a wellness guru. 

I don’t think many people realize that there are so many tools out there that may not be mainstream, but we need to know about.” 

Now, she educates people about these tools that can transform our health and wellness and most importantly act as a prevention against cancer.

“I tell people that it's been a lot of silver linings because I can give so much hope to people that have been recently diagnosed.”

So what are Naomi’s top four lifestyle changes that we can all make?

1.Toxic tech. Limit your exposure to technology.

Many of us now go to bed and read on our tablets and phones, filling our bedrooms with blue light that can disrupt our sleep cycles. 

There's no denying we live in a world where all our devices are connected to the internet and Naomi can see the impact on her own daughter who is extremely sensitive to technology. 

If she’s had her iPad or cellphone with her non-stop she is a totally different kid versus if she’s just been out in nature...So I tell people all the time, stop wearing smart watches. I'm not a fan of those because they emit EMFs into our body and what it’s doing is breaking down our cells.” 

When we think about creating a toxin free environment we need to be thinking about not just the toxins we are taking into our body, but also the toxic tech environment and the affect it has on our brains. Naomi and I truly believe that even though it might be difficult we need to take a break from the technology that surrounds us. 

2.The power of positive thinking. Take care of your emotional and mental health.

Naomi was really moved by a book by Dr. Kelly Turner called Radical Remission in which she finds that emotions, positive thinking, mindfulness and spirituality can all affect healing - even when conventional medicine has failed. 

Naomi has found this to be true on her own wellness journey. 

We are emotions, we are energy...unfortunately, so many survivors who were doing everything from a holistic standpoint, juicing everyday, clean diet, either harbored a lot of fear or a lot of anger.” 

This emotional toxicity was affecting their ability to heal. Naomi coaches her clients on how to get rid of emotional baggage, negative feelings and toxic relationships to fuel their well-being and allow them the ability to heal.

3.Plant power. Eat real whole foods. 

Our food sources are key. We need to eat more 'real' food. Naomi says, "real food does not come in boxes...we want more food that’s been alive.” It's a really simple message to remember. Eat living food and keep ourselves alive.

But watch out! When choosing fruit and vegetables, you still need to be careful to watch out for toxic chemicals. Naomi advises buying organic fruit and veg, especially if they appear on the “dirty dozen” list. These are the fruits and vegetables that rank the highest in toxic pesticide residues.

For more information take a look at my blog on whole foods here for some tips on how to replace those processed foods with real, healing fruit and vegetables. 

4.Reduce toxic “care products.” 

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. 

We are constantly putting so called “care products” on our bodies that contain toxic chemicals that can cause us harm. You'd be amazed at how many women I talk to who have no idea how many toxins are hidden in their everyday products. What we wash our bodies with, what we spray ourselves with, what we moisturize with, these are full of parabens, phthalates and other harmful toxins. 

Naomi talks about how most women use deodorant, which contains aluminium based, estrogen mimicking ingredients, every day.  And here’s the killer fact - the most common form of breast cancer is estrogen positive - and so many of our care products, not just deodorants, are building up toxic levels of estrogen in our body.

(Find out more about key changes you can make with your personal care products that will have significant benefits in this YouTube video).

What’s new in the world of wellness?

Our wellness warrior also gave me the low down on the latest in wellness science that can help us improve our lives and be more in tune with our bodies. 

Bio-hacking and Epigenetics

These sound a bit like science fiction but it’s really about changing our biological futures, or what Naomi refers to as gene expressions. What does Naomi mean by that? Well if your parents had health issues, such as a a heart attack, you don’t have to suffer the same fate. 

When my own husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol, his initial reaction was, 'Well it runs in my family, that’s why I have it.' Science now tells us that this doesn’t have to be the case.

We can ‘bio-hack’ our biology by exercising, eating well, meditating - all the top tips we’ve talked about at the start of this blog. The science is now backing up what we have all been saying - its your environment and your lifestyle that matters.

Learning to love your lymphatic system

We are learning so much about the importance of our lymphatic systems. It’s what Naomi describes as our body’s system for “taking out the garbage.” 

It moves everything out of the body and it links to our immune system. But, you need to manually pump it and give it a helping hand.

What does Naomi suggest?

  • Dry brushing our skin
  • Rebounding using a mini trampoline
  • Hot and cold showers

“It’s all about activation, rather than supplementation.”

Instead of supplements, the buzzword in wellness is “activators.” Using our body’s own enzymes to activate and hack our own health. 

But, rather than enzymes that we get from a bottle, this is about using the enzymes we have within our own bodies. Enzymes like SOD (Superoxide dismutase) and Glutathione. They’re basically antioxidants which researchers believe can help reduce inflammation, aging, arthritis and even strokes. 

Naomi recommends reading Dr Mark Hyman’s work for more information on these incredible activators. 

Need help on your own wellness journey? 

So many lives have been touched by Naomi’s story and her expertise. If you have been through or are going through a similar experience to Naomi then don’t as she says, “get overwhelmed and throw your hands up in the air.” Reach out, there is support and help available.

Get in contact with Naomi for a one-on-one consultation here  or follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @ndamask. 

Watch a short trailer video for this episode here: 

Abundant Blessings, 

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator

Balancing Hormones and Overcoming Infertility with Melissa Rupp

The contraceptive pill contains a combination of estrogen and a progesterone designed to help regulate periods and make them lighter and less painful. But, is the pill a potential toxin to our body?

Dr. Melissa Rupp, a Chiropractor in Northwest Iowa, has experienced hormone imbalance issues and painful periods since she was just 12 years old. As she got older and started experiencing symptoms pointing to endometriosis, she looked to her doctor for guidance, support and above all, a cure.

Her doctor’s solution? The pill.

Instead of helping Melissa deal with her symptoms properly, she was given the pill as a type of ‘one-stop’ solution to her problems. However, Melissa believes that the pill is partially responsible for her infertility and eventually stopped taking it.

After years of infertility, pain, and grief, Melissa made some drastic lifestyle changes that helped her to renew her health and remove hidden toxins from her body, a smart choice that eventually lead to her becoming pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby daughter.

Melissa’s story is truly inspirational and powerful. Keep reading to find out more about Melissa’s battle with endometriosis, infertility and why she believes the pill is one of the worst toxins that women willingly put into their bodies!

The contraceptive pill: Is it a toxin to our bodies?

Like many young girls her age, Melissa started having periods when she was 12 years old. As Melissa notes, that time of a woman’s life is already a giant mess on it's own. However, she always felt like her experience was a ‘bigger mess than everybody else’s.”

She was on her period for two months straight and living on pain relief tablets when her mom took her to the doctor. The doctor’s solution was to put her on the pill, assuming that the pill would help regulate her cycle and take care of the problem.

Melissa continued to take the pill from age 13 to 30, when she finally went off it. 

The pill can be a great form of birth control for many women and help reduce symptoms of painful periods. However, it can have a serious toll on your hormones. After all, the ‘fake period’ you get while taking the pill is nothing but breakthrough bleeding. It’s not a real period.

Melissa believes that taking the pill can impact fertility. All you have to do is read the leaflet that comes with the pill to see a long list of potential symptoms from headaches to possible blood clots. Not to mention that the pill is known to reduce the production of cervical fluid, which is an essential component of conception.

When I asked Melissa if she thinks the pill is a toxin to our bodies, her answer was, “Yes, absolutely,” and I have to admit that I 100% agree with her on this one.

Seeking help from a fertility doctor

After going off the pill and suffering terrible periods that made her sick and unfit to even stand up at times, she went to see a fertility doctor.

The fertility doctor gave her two options. She could either get pregnant or go back on the pill. Those were her only options…or so she was led to believe.

For the time being though, she was asked to do some charting and track things like her body temperature each morning to see if and when she was ovulating. However, the results showed that Melissa wasn’t ovulating at all.

So, she was put on a medication called Clomid. Clomid is a non-steroidal fertility medicine and is similar to what the pill does to your body except it’s designed to trigger ovulation. This medicine is commonly used for women with polycystic ovary syndrome and can lead to weight gain. In fact, Melissa gained 10 pounds in just three months and had to come off it again.

Melissa’s experience with endometriosis 

Endometriosis is a painful disorder where the tissue lining the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside your uterus.

Some common symptoms include painful periods, pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements, bloating, constipation, excessive bleeding, weight gain and in Melissa’s case, infertility.

Melissa revealed that she always knew she had endometriosis. She had many of the symptoms associated with the disorder but whenever she sought help for it, her concerns were overlooked.

In the back of my head, I always knew I had endometriosis…but every time I mentioned endometriosis to my doctors, they blew me off and said, ‘No, you don’t have that and even if you do, the pill will cure it.”

To help reduce the inflammation associated with endometriosis, Melissa started doing extensive research and learned as much as she could about the disorder. 

She also looked into the thyroid because she believed that she also suffered from some sort of thyroid problem. She didn’t know what it was yet but had symptoms such as brittle hair, eczema, and acne, all of which are related to your thyroid.

So, she decided to detox her body and make important changes to her lifestyle. She ate healthier, starting using essential oils, cut dairy and wheat from her diet and it wasn’t long before she started seeing improvements. 

Using the Creighton Model to enhance the likelihood of pregnancy

After making a few positive changes to her lifestyle, Melissa was pregnant even though her doctor told her she didn’t ovulate. Unfortunately, she experienced spotting and had a miscarriage, which was a huge knock-down for both Melissa and her husband.

Time passed and when she felt ready, she found Dr. Hansen from the Orange City Fertility Care Center. There, they teach a method of charting called the Creighton Model. Instead of charting your temperature every day, you chart your cervical mucus.

Melissa was ‘in love’ with this program because they focused on treating the underlying issues to enhance fertility and your likelihood of becoming pregnant. 

A part of the process involved eliminating certain everyday products swarming with toxins that could mess with your natural hormones. So, Melissa stopped using things like artificial hair dyes, face products, soaps, and processed foods. 

Here are some words of advice from Melissa to anyone who wants to clear their bodies from these harmful toxins:

We need to clean up our bodies, because these are things that are happening to us when we're kids and we don't know any different, right? And all of a sudden, we become adults and we feel like junk.

So, it takes time for our body to realize what it's supposed to do and what it’s meant to do and for us to get rid of all that excess clutter.”

After two months, Dr. Hansen was able to then look at Melissa’s chart and immediately determine that she had endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid dysfunction and extremely low progesterone.

How Melissa Overcame infertility

Dr. Hansen referred Melissa to the Pope Paul Institute in Omaha, which is a reproductive health clinic where the Creighton Model was developed. Their natural family planning is based on Catholic teachings and uses Natural Procreative Technology (NaPro Technology).

Natural Procreative Technology focuses on reading the underlying issues to help enhance your fertility. After six months, Melissa underwent a Laparoscopic Surgery to treat her endometriosis. She also had to cut out wheat, sugar, gluten, soy, and dairy from her diet and took progesterone pills for 10 days per month.

She was also put on a thyroid regimen where they did compounded progesterone and compounded T3. These are bio-identical hormones, which means they are natural and not artificial.

Soon after all of this, Melissa dropped 12 pounds, her hair stopped falling out, her eczema cleared up and she had her first normal cycle in 20 years in November that year. By December, Melissa was pregnant.

Melissa’s long and difficult journey finally came to a happy ending. But, before we finished our conversation, I asked her to share three tips that she would give to someone in a similar position to where she was at this time.

1. Get off the pill. If you’re on it, research it and get off it. Find a doctor that can help you.

2. Get rid of harmful personal care products and make sure that you read those labels to see what you’re putting on and in your body!

3. Listen to your body. Your body is trying to tell you what’s going on and if you’re not listening, things will continue to get worse for you.

If you want to find out more about Melissa and her journey through balancing hormones, removing harmful toxins from her body and having her daughter, you can check out Melissa’s inspirational blog that details the entire story.

Melissa is also a member of the amazing organization, Guiding Star, that helps thousands of women on the journey to reclaim natural authority of their own bodies and family planning. 

To watch a video trailer of the podcast episode, hit play below:

The Chemical ~ Emotional vicious cycle!

The Chemical ~ Emotional vicious cycle!

Happy Monday !!

Join in this week's episode as my good friend Fraser Bayley shares his story on mental illness diagnosis, medications to removing toxins finding restored health and now medication free.  This after being diagnosed with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders!!

Check out the highlights:

Fraser Bayley

Ep. 8
Aimee sits down with Fraser Bayley. Fraser Bayley is the Founder and one half of the Evolving Alpha team. He is a former butcher turned vegan bodybuilder. He struggled early on with addictions and mental illnesses, and loves sharing how changing diet can have a radical effect on chronic illnesses.

On this episode:
  • Aimee and Fraser break down the misconception that improving your physical appearance will radically change everything you feel internally.
  • Learn the importance of having a positive mindset.
  • Fraser shares about being diagnosed with several mental illnesses as a young child.
  • Hear how chemicals in food and in the home can affect your mental state.
  • Fraser charts his progress from eating nothing but processed junk food to becoming a vegan bodybuilder.
  • Aimee and Fraser talk about how saturated our outside environment is with harmful chemicals.
  • Fraser shares what pisses him off, what breaks his heart, and the biggest problem he wants to solve.
You can listen in by clicking the image below!!  If you like what you hear, please make sure you leave a rating and let me know your thoughts with a written review!!  Hit that subscribe button so you don't miss an episode!!

Abundant Blessings,

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator
Read Older Updates