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Good morning everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the Vibrant Health Podcast!
Lydia and I are having an absolute blast recording these and every week we are so excited to share the new episode with you! If you missed week 1, you can listen to that here.
This week, in episode 2, we discuss our own personal health journeys and the things that have led us to the place we are today.
We are right there with you on healing — both of us are still working hard to heal our bodies and move towards better health.
So, you never, EVER have to feel alone! We are here to help! Let’s dive in!
Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 2
Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 2
Jessica Espinoza: Hi everyone! Welcome to episode two of the Vibrant Health Podcast. I’m Jessica Espinoza of DeliciousObsessions.com. I’m here with my co-host, Lydia Shatney of Divine Health from Inside Out. We’re excited to spend our Friday mornings with you.
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about our health journey and life journey that kind of got us to the point that we are at today and why we are so excited to share this health information with you and help you live a more vibrant life.
Lydia Shatney: I’m excited to be here. It’s great to be here with Jessica. She and I have been building a friendship and relationship the past couple of years that started surrounding both our health, but Jessica’s health as we started working together through nutritional therapy.
So, it’s been fun. We just are glad that we’re able to share more with everyone. I think sometimes people really enjoy hearing people’s testimonies and how they’ve gotten to where they have gotten. So, we’re just going to share a little bit about ourselves today to give you some history.
For me, personally, I am a nutritional therapist. I’m actually now also enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program with Reid Davis. I’m taking it a little further to learn some functional tests that I can use to help my clients even more. I’m pretty stoked about that.
In the meantime, I practice nutritional therapy using hair tissue and mineral analysis as a starting point and it’s been a wild ride to get to this point. Pretty much my whole adult life, I’ve been interested in health in general and it’s taken me a lot of years to really get to a more focused point of it becoming my whole life.
I went to NTA probably 2011-2012. That’s when this all really started snowballing forward, so to speak.
Before that I had chronic health issues my whole adult life. Even in my teen years, I had a lot of upper respiratory problems, asthma, a lot of bronchial infections, sinus problems. And then, into my adult years, I still had that. I still had a lot of trouble with allergies and asthma, seasonal allergies, spring and fall namely. I’d always be sick in the winter with some kind of cold, some kind of hacking cough or blowing my nose. In fact, I was kind of notorious for blowing my nose really loudly. It was pretty embarrassing. I was always blowing my nose. I always going through tissues like crazy. That was a big problem for me.
The majority of my health issues surrounded respiratory stuff. Then I had my first my first child and I developed eczema. It didn’t go away for a long time. It was pretty bad. It was really itchy and irritating on my hands. As I continued to have babies, my health just got worse and worse and worse. I started getting chronic sinus infections, other health issues.
I had severe Mittelschmerz. Maybe you’re familiar with it, maybe you’re not. Basically, it’s ovulation time, the ovary produces cysts and it becomes extremely painful. Some women feel it, some women don’t and I had it pretty severely to the point where I thought my appendix had burst the first time I experienced it. It was a lot of frustration around resolving that issue in my life as well as numerous other health issues. I got really sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Back in 2009, I was a newly separated, single mom with four kids. My youngest was two at that time. I was burnt out. I could barely function. It was a miracle I did. I just decided, “That’s it. I’m done feeling like crap. I’m going to take my health into my own hands and it is going to be my focus.”
So, that’s what I did. I started to dive into my own personal research. At the time, I had insomnia, severe reactive hypoglycemia, lots of distension in my gut, lots of digestion issues. Pretty much all of it correlated with chronic stress. I ended up having all these health problems because of that.
It took me a while to regain some energy and vitality and get back on track to feeling better. But it took me a long time to really feel stable because of my situation. My life situation’s been really stressful for a long time.
Hopefully, I can share more about my own health journey. I also have four kids. I’m working on their health and improving their health. I’ve had some challenges there, too. Thankfully, they’re pretty stable, but we’ve got some things to work on.
Hopefully, my story can inspire you and also let you know that there’s also hope for you to come out of these kinds of health issues, really recover and live in overall good health.
Jessica Espinoza: Thanks for sharing a little bit about that. I knew most of your background, but there were some things in there I learned about you today.
I am very thankful I grew up with a mother who was buying organic food and natural food and stuff long before it was ever considered ‘cool’. Before there was a lot of Whole Foods and Sprouts and all of those health food stores around. So I really grew up in a home where they focused on whole real foods.
We rarely ate any kind of conventional meat, any kind of conventional chicken or beef or anything like that. My dad and my brother hunted so we had deer and elk and we raised our own chickens.
Really, I grew up in a very clean environment. I had a really good start, very limited sugar and artificial stuff.
I think part of my health journey actually has been dealing with emotional issues that come along with that. In my head, I always kind of assumed I had this awesome background, I was started off right, so when all of a sudden I was hit with all these health problems in my mid-twenties, I had this feeling like, “Oh! This is so unfair. I shouldn’t be sick. There should be no reason that I have any health problems because I had such a good upbringing.”
Granted when I graduated high school, I started working and I went off to college and was being a kid and things like that, I definitely said goodbye to the real food for probably five or six years, probably longer than that actually. I just felt like life was so unfair.
In 2007, that’s when I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid. At that time, I was in the process of coming back around to the real food, alternative health kind of world, but I hadn’t quite had it resonate in my mind. I wish that I had known then what I know now because I would have treated my hyperthyroid diagnosis way different. What I did was just listen to what the doctor said. I went on Synthroid right away. I didn’t do anything that I know to do now.
So that’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about helping people now. It’s because I hope that the information that I share based on my own personal experience can save them some time and money. If I had started all of these in 2007, I feel like, right now, I would be at my optimal health. I would be in a much better place health-wise.
I got that diagnosis. I knew that I really needed to get back to what I knew about eating, about exercise and stuff like that. It was kind of a slow progression. I didn’t do a whole lot, health-wise. I cleaned up my diet some, but 2012 is when I decided, “Okay, I’m actually going to have the antibody tests done to see if it’s really just truly hypothyroid problems or if I have Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune thyroid disease.”
So, I got all of those testing done and I found out that yes, I did have Hashi’s. At the time they did my lab work for my antibody readings, my antibodies were off the charts. It was so much further above the reference range that they couldn’t really give me a number as far as how high my antibodies were. I knew then that I really needed to make some changes.
So, 2012 was kind of the catalyst year for me to really start focusing on my health and making that a priority. I’ve had my ups and downs over the last couple of years. I definitely still have tons more work to do, but I just know so much more.
This year, really, going into the new year, I felt like this is the first time that I really felt hopeful that I’m going to achieve my health goals. And a lot of that is based on the mineral tests that I’ve been taking through you and really doing these strategic, focused supplement protocols and dietary protocols. I really feel like this is the turning point year for me. I’m hoping that by us doing this podcast, and also me blogging and doing some coaching and stuff along the way with different readers that I can help save them some time and get them to their optimal health stage quicker than it has been for me.
Lydia Shatney: Well, you believe that this is your year, girl!
Jessica Espinoza: I do. Yeah. I’m doing good.
Lydia Shatney: It’s interesting some of the things you said. A lot of people, the way we view our health and the struggle to find it, navigating these things today is so insanely complicated. Unfortunately, we have to navigate so much stuff to get to the root.
But change also takes time. Like Jessica was saying a while ago, it was a mind game for her, emotional for her. I had some of that, too, myself. I think what happens is we really have to get fully on board with something and it has to become our knowledge not just in our head, but intuitively it becomes, “Oh, this is truth to me.” Do you know what I mean?
So just changing your diet and eating real food, which is ridiculous that we even have to say that, versus standard American fair, that’s a big shift for a lot of people. They think, “Well, I did that. I’m healthier, but still not healthy enough,” it comes in layers.
So, if you’re out there and you’re frustrated with your progress, don’t be. You can’t get to some pinnacle place in your health in just a few short years.
I’m 40. Jessica, how old are you?
Jessica Espinoza: I’m going to be 34 this year.
Lydia Shatney: We’re alive in the worst time of history for toxins and chemicals and pesticides. Our food is just a joke. Our soil is depleted. So, here we are and, unfortunately, we have to work really hard to have good health.
So, we’re here to be cheerleaders alongside all of you out there who are wrestling this bear of maintaining health. We hope to help you navigate it more easily with less frustration.
I love to be a health detective and help people. That’s my job, basically. I talk to people every single day and help them navigate their health journey. It’s a lot of effort to get there, but it’s totally worth it. We’re glad that you’re along for the ride with us. Let’s do this.
Jessica Espinoza: Yeah. I totally agree. You don’t get results overnight. I think we’ve touched about this a little bit last week or maybe in one of our calls, that we live kind of in a reward mentality today that if we do X, Y and Z well, then we’re going to be rewarded with whatever.
I think a lot of people have kind of that feeling that they need some instant gratification. It’s not that changing your diet or following a new protocol, you’re not going to see results quickly. Some people see results really fast. In some people, it may take a lot longer.
The thing that I’ve realized, it’s really become clear to me especially over the last month, is how much mental baggage I’m bringing to the table and how that is negatively affecting my health. I just have many preconceived ideas about what health is and what I should eat and how I should supplement and all these stuff and also just kind of emotional issues surrounding food or surrounding just health in general. For me, a big part of my healing this year I know is going to be working through a lot of the emotional stuff that I have been dealing with.
One of the contributors on my site, Lauren Fowler, she’s a dietician and she just released a new book that she co-authored with another dietician or a health coach. It’s all about intuitive eating and body image issues, which are two things that I have really struggled with and I’m still kind of struggling with.
I was reading through the book on the intuitive eating side of it. I haven’t gotten into the body image stuff yet. The intuitive eating stuff, so much of that resonated with me. It made me realize how we come to the table with these ideas in our health about food. A lot of times, it’s detrimental to us.
I’m excited to finish reading it and start implementing that stuff into my life because I think it’s going to help clear some of those roadblocks out that I’ve been having.
(Note from Jessica: Here is the link for Lauren’s book that I mention above: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/HipsHungerHealing)
The mental ‘getting your head right‘ is almost more important – it is more important than anything else you could do. If your brain is not allowing you to heal or if your brain is stuck in this negative way of thinking or this old school way of thinking and you’re not allowing yourself to shift in this new style of thinking, you’re not going to make any progress. I’m to the point where I know what I need to do diet-wise. I know that I need to go to bed at a certain time. I know the safe detoxing stuff and relaxation stuff that I need to do. For me, it’s getting my head in the right place.
I’m excited to really talk about a lot of the mental health aspects of it because that’s something that I’m really struggling on and focusing on right now. So, it’s very timely for me. I’m sure you see that in all of the clients you work with, too. I’m sure everybody goes to the table with these kinds of issues.
Lydia Shatney: Yeah. Absolutely! It’s really all about renewing your mind every day and talking to yourself in a positive way about everything.
There’s never been a time in history that the media was involved, the government was involved with what we’re supposed to be eating. Traditional cultures, they just figured it out. Here we are, we’re screwed up because we watched commercials growing up, “Drink your milk. You got to get your calcium” and they fortify it with vitamin D. We have these voices in our head from that too.
A majority of people who come to me are already on a journey – and thank God they’ve done a lot of work, it makes my job a little easier – but they come with “Oh, I read this diet. I read that diet and I read this expert and I’ve read that expert. I googled this and I went to this doctor.” Holy cow! It is so complicated and confusing when you are trying to navigate and you’re listening to all these other million voices and you’re not even confident in your own voice yet. You know what I mean? It’s very frustrating.
I get into coaching a lot because I have to talk people through kind of this process both practically and a little bit of understanding there’s going to be some emotion and psychological stuff going on there. I just got to have to pep talk people and go through that with them.
You’re right in that a lot of people have that, an emotional, we’ll call it baggage. But part of it is the current world we live in unfortunately doesn’t help. That’s definitely something that we all could stand up to have a little bit more support in.
There are a lot of people out there that claim that this is the way. The same thing with religion, there’s a whole bunch of different religions out there and theirs is definitely the way. Do you know what I mean? I’m not trying to bash anybody. I’m just making a statement.
The people who are looking for ’a way’, you know what, they just want a template to follow because it’s so complicated to figure everything out. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I get it. It makes sense. But if you’re following a way, a specific way, there’s no leeway often. You know what I’m saying? People will find something and think, “Ooh, this is my answer.” But then it doesn’t work perfectly for them. And then they get even more frustrated and more emotional baggage comes along with that.
I really work hard to avoid any kind of boxed in, “this is the plan that works for everyone,” it just doesn’t work like that. It really doesn’t. We’re going to tackle that kind of stuff. So, if that sounds good to you, definitely listen to our podcast. We’re going to hash some of this stuff out.
Jessica Espinoza: I’ve been going through a mind shift over last few months with a lot of information I learned from you and then kind of on my own too about the rigidity of these different styles of eating. I told you multiple times when I did the autoimmune protocol I really didn’t notice any difference quite honestly.
I discovered that I have some sensitivity to eggs. I can tolerate raw eggs much better than I can tolerate cooked eggs. I also discovered that I had a little bit of sensitivity to certain night shades. I can’t sit down and eat tomato sauce and salsa every single day, but I can enjoy it once or twice a week and not have any reactions to it. It did help me in that aspect.
I know so many people who have done the autoimmune protocol who have seen such dramatic results and I didn’t. I got so frustrated with that. I really started shifting my way of thinking about diet and following these really strict protocols. I know that we’re going to do a whole episode just on diet dogma.
I was just talking to somebody else yesterday about this, too, that we have to be very fluid in the way that we think about food and nutrition because what works for somebody else may not work for you and chances are it probably won’t work for you. Our individual needs are so specific as far as minerals, as far as food in general that I really am starting to kind of push away from that thinking that we have to follow some kind of strict dietary protocol.
I say experiment, figure out what foods you can tolerate, what foods you can’t and then go with it. Do what you need to do for your body that makes you healthy and feels good and doesn’t give you negative reactions and things like that.
So really shifting that mindset, that’s something that I’m going through personally right now. It’s really kind of foreign when I talk to people like when I say “Hey! You know what? Paleo may not be the best way for you to eat,” people kind of look at me like, “Gasp, I can’t believe you just said that.”
Lydia Shatney: It’s interesting. You probably chose autoimmune Paleo because you have an autoimmune issue. You boxed yourself in – and just hear me out. I’m not judging you.
Jessica Espinoza: I know.
Lydia Shatney: You boxed yourself impossibly to that idea, “Oh, I have an autoimmune disease. That means I’ve got to do an autoimmune protocol.” It makes sense that there is an autoimmune protocol for people who need a guideline. But what people need to realize is that protocol could have some pros for them, but it could have some cons or it could be missing a lot.
Is autoimmunity something we can box in and create a plan that works to heal all autoimmunity issues? Well, no. Absolutely not! The source of these issues is completely different for everybody. Everyone’s mineral balance is different. Everyone’s level of toxic metal is a huge problem for thyroid and we don’t hear that much about that. It could frustrate you thinking that you’re on the road to recovery and this is the answer. You know what I mean?
I just warn people, “Hey, if you’re going to pick a dietary game plan, be prepared to not be rigid with it. You may need some flexibility within it.” There is no one dietary game plan that will work for everyone even within what it’s supposed to fix. Does that make sense?
Jessica Espinoza: Yup. Absolutely!
Lydia Shatney: So, here we are ready to think outside the box a little, which takes a bit more effort. But if you look at nature, it ebbs and flows. There’s no rhyme or reason sometimes (although there is, but you can’t always tell. You know what I mean?). We’re natural beings. We flow and ebb and it’s messy.
We’re looking for this linear, neat, orderly way to heal ourselves. I’m sorry, but it’s not always going to go quite like that. You have to look at the body as a whole. Everyone’s imbalances would be different.
That’s kind of where I’m at. I like the challenge, as frustrating as it can be sometimes, trying to help people figure everything out because they want to know everything all at once. We have to kind of dig through layers and work with the body. It does take time. It takes time and that’s okay. You know what? We should be in this for life.
In a way, I think it’s kind of good that people don’t just get this instant, quick fix because what if they didn’t make lasting change and they just went back to doing stuff that isn’t good for them in general? We’re all learning and we’re learning to take care of our bodies. And hopefully, we’ll pass that on the people around us and our kids and kind of have this big ripple effect so that really know how to take care of ourselves for life.
Jessica Espinoza: Yup. You told me several years ago that health is not a destination, it’s a journey. That is so true. Every single day I learn something new about my health whether it be mental or spiritual or just physical health.
It really is a journey and getting those instant results, you’re right. That can be said for anything, even outside of health. But when you get those instantaneous results, you often don’t learn the lessons that come with it.
I think that there’s so much important self-discovery that happens within your healing journey that it really is, probably, a good thing that it does take a long time.
I know it can be frustrating. We’re here to, like Lydia said, be your cheerleaders and let you know that the things that you’re going through and the things that you’re experiencing are not abnormal. You are not alone. [We’re here to] just help you understand the time and things that happen when you’re healing. That’s really kind of the focus of our show.
And so we wanted to spend a little bit of time today just giving you an overview where we come from and maybe a little bit of insight on the types of things that we are going to be talking about.
So, this episode is going to be a tad shorter than our other episodes, but we are going to be back next week with a whole new episode. We are going to be diving into the nitty gritty. We’ll have a topic for each episode that we want to discuss.
And then, if you guys have questions, we’ll probably do a reader’s question segment every now and then where we can try to address questions that are coming in. We get a lot of questions, both of us, through our sites and through our social media almost every day about stuff. We would be happy to address some of those questions as well on one of our shows.
So, if you’re interested in any of the stuff we talked about, we’ll put some links down below in the description. I’ve got a bunch of articles on my site about thyroid and health and the mineral balancing and all that kind of stuff. I’ll put some links to Lydia’s post as well down there.
And then if you like this video, give us a thumbs up. Make sure you subscribe to our channels because we’ve got tons more information coming and we’re really excited to help people just take their healing into the next level to just make this world healthier than it is.
So, I think we’re just probably going to wrap up for today. We’ll just be back next Friday with a new episode and we’re going to dive right into everything.
Lydia Shatney: It’s not just information. It’s inspiration we’re hoping to provide. Thanks so much for joining us today and we look forward to chatting more and hearing from you as well.
Jessica Espinoza: Awesome. Have a great day, everybody.
Lydia Shatney: Bye.