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The other day, I was organizing my desk in the office when I came across a card my marketing/advertising friends gave me when I left the industry (which is what I did before going to nutrition school and became a holistic nutritionist). It was filled with photos of me (and really sweet messages) and I couldn't help but notice how much puffier and older I looked than I do now - and these were photos from my twenties (I'm now 41)! Not to mention, my cheeks were always red. I'm not saying that to be hard on myself. It's simply an observation.
I would have described myself as a total health nut and my co-workers would have agreed. Yet, looking back now, I was not the epitome of health, nor did I feel or look my best.
Here's what an average day looked like, and what I thought were super healthy habits.
I would eat low-fat everything, a ton of whole wheat products (umm ... hello processed wheat!) and bran cereal (more processed wheat with sugar added!) with berries and skim milk every morning (some pro-inflammatory dairy to top it all off!). Until I switched to soy milk and was addicted to all things soy and ended up struggling with hormonal imbalance for many years.
My lunch was usually a salad with low-fat dressing or a low fat turkey wrap which both sound so unappetizing to me now. These days my salads are full of good fat and incredibly satiating too. I just can't imagine eating what I ate back then. Side note: This was not a result of what learned from Ma McCarthy -- she was NOT into low-fat everything. That was a Joy McCarthy thing, thinking that's how I would manage my weight.
High carb snack
By the afternoon, I'd be craving sugar and caffeine since my lunch was simply not fulfilling enough. I would go to Starbucks and get a tea sweetened with artificial sweeteners or a vanilla non-fat, sugar-free latte (again, artificially sweetened). Because we had Effem Foods as a client at the advertising agency (they make Mars bar, snickers, starburst candies etc), I would often [read: every day at 3 or 4pm] snack on peanut M&Ms that were stashed under my desk. I had 100's of packets of them over the time period I worked with this client - this is dangerous for a sugar addict like me. You may have already read about this in my second book Joyous Detox where I shared how I broke my sugar addiction.
Exercised a lot
I was always bloated by mid afternoon (nothing my control-top tights could hide), tired, suffering from eczema and was actually heavier than I am now, even though I was pretty much obsessed with running. In fact, I would go for runs at 5:30am most days of the week and exercised A LOT more than I do now.
Why am I sharing this with you?
What I realized by reflecting on this is that we truly have no idea how amazing our bodies are designed to feel until we finally stop accepting our current state as the norm.
Even though I was tired, constantly fighting the 3pm slump and experiencing everything from poor digestion, thinning hair, irregular periods and moodiness, I just surrendered to it because I believed that I was doing everything I possibly could and this was the best it was going to get. I literally accepted the fat that I was a sugar addict and that's just who I was.
Boy, was I wrong.
My boyfriend at the time encouraged me to take a course because he knew I was very passionate about wellness but feeling a little lost given my current health concerns. The clouds parted after taking a 3 day through the Paul Chek Institute. That was it. I was SOLD. It was exactly what I needed. A few months later I enrolled into nutrition school and explored the world of holistic health.
My life was completely transformed with everything I learned and I never looked back.
I learned so much in that three-day course and later spending nearly three years studying nutrition and the 10 years following my graduation from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
And while I'm in my 40s now, I can truly say that I have never felt better than I do now.
I want you to experience this too. I want you to discover how incredibly AMAZING, energetic, glowing and phenomenal your body was designed to look and feel!
And with Joyous Detox Online, I promise you, that you can too!
I've put all of my learnings from my 10 years in practice as a Holistic Nutritionist into this course, in addition to the core principles from my super successful Joyous 10-Day Detox that helped thousands of people transform their state of health and experience true Joyous Health!
There's no better time to start taking care of yourself than now and with Joyous Detox Online, you will discover that making these dietary and lifestyle changes are easier, more enjoyable and more delicious than you could ever imagine!
Hi Joy! I'm 46 and I look back at pictures in my twenties, and I too think I look better now ( I don't over pluck my eyebrows anymore either, lol!) I don't drink milk, but when I did, I noticed my nose looked bigger? Probably because milk affects my sinuses so much. Food is the only thing we put in our bodies, so make it the best! Thanks, xoReply
HAH! Omg, remember the crazy eyebrow plucking days. My girlfriends and I were just talking about that. Why did we do that? LOL. And yes that makes sense from the congestion.
I gave your books away so now am ordering more. Your message resonates with me so much! Thanks for what you do!Reply
Thanks Laurie! I'm glad you shared my books with others. And happy that you're ordering more for yourself :)
Hi Joy, I am expecting a baby ( next week!!). Do you think postpartum is a good time to start the 10 days detox or should wait a few month?! Would it be ok during breast feeding? Thanks:)Reply
Hi Parisa, how exciting!! Congrats!
The detox is a whole-foods based detox so there are no herbs or foods you'd be eating that would not be safe while pregnant or breastfeeding. That being said, if you've have a very poor diet up until now and you decide to eat beets, kale, quinoa and lots of super nourishing foods you may feel the effects of a big change. However, I'm assuming that's not the case since you've been pregnant :) I created this detox when I was pregnant with my daughter Vienna so I've eaten everything in my book Joyous Detox which you get when you take the program. If you had said to me "Joy can I do a detox while pregnant or breastfeeding?" I would tell you no. But the Joyous Detox, as I've just mentioned is different. Hope that helps!
I too am striving to change some of my habits (cutting out most animal products from my diet) and my products. I've started making my own skin products with natural ingredients. One question I have is that being 38 and having grey hairs pop up here and there, I colour my hair every 6-8 weeks or so. Do you colour your hair? What are your thoughts on hair dye, and are there any alternatives?Reply
That's awesome you're making your own skin care products! I do not colour my hair (yet). I only have about 10 grey hairs at this point. I'm sure in about 10 years though it's something I may want to consider. I get asked this question often and I don't have a good suggestion for you because I don't have experience with hair colour. Sorry about that!
Hi Joy, Thanks so much for sharing your journey to health and youthfulness. I am just a bit confused about soy products. I thought that non-GMO soy was beneficial in moderation. In fact, I have read it is actually helpful in preventing breast cancer. However, I have also read contrary information saying soy can cause hormonal imbalances.Can you give me some clarity on this? Thanks!Reply
There is definitely controversy on whether non-fermented soy is beneficial because there isn't a clear answer in science. My clinical experience and my personal experience has only been negative from consumption of unfermented soy. I stick to only fermented soy such as tempeh or miso because the enzyme inhibitors have been neutralized and it's much easier to digest. I don't recommend tofu, soy milk and other processed soy products. If you're going to consume any soy I recommend to stick to fermented and then in moderation - meaning, no more than 2-3 times per week. Hope that helps!
My mother is a breast cancer survivor and she was told by a registered dietitian and her family physician to avoid all soy products.
Yes, that was very helpful! I will swap the soy milk for coconut or almond milk the next time a get a craving for an Americano Misto. :) By the way, I am slowly weaning myself off of coffee and replacing my afternoon fix with a mug of your Turmeric Latte recipe. So thanks again!Reply
Great swap! That's so great to hear you're taking a break from coffee. Do let me know how you feel! I'm a big tea drinker and find a tea latte so warm and cosy!
To be honest, I don't feel too spectacular when I refrain from a second cup of coffee. Crankiness and brain fog sets in without it. I didn't realize how hard it would be to skip my afternoon pick- me- up. :) I like the idea of a tea latte though--thanks!Reply
I would recommend switching to an Americano, if you're drinking a drip coffee as a way to wean off coffee. There is much less caffeine. That will reduce the headaches and awful feeling :) There is how-to coffee detox in my cookbook Joyous Detox :)
I can personally attest that Joy's courses are amazing. She has spoken at my law firm many times. I have taken her Eat Well Feel Well course twice and I still try to follow many of her suggestions (lemon and water every morning for starters). She also introduced me to naturopathic medicine. Thank you Joy!Reply
Hi Dawn, thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it and it's been so great seeing you over the years. :)
As someone who worked with you back then, you were always a beautiful person inside and out, but I'm glad you found better health and are inspiring others! Those MReply
Thank you so much Deborah! I always felt the same about you XO
Hello Joy, I’m a huge fan and I can 100% relate to your story - thanks so much for sharing it. I am interested in your detox program however I have Crohn’s disease and I do not do well with lots of roughage/uncooked food. Do you have modifications for the program?Reply
Sorry I'm just getting back to this! I thought I already posted an answer but it looks like I didn't. My book Joyous Detox has tons of cooked and raw recipes so you can very easily work around them if you avoid foods with lots of roughage. If you have specific questions you can always reach out to us [email protected]
Joy, I love this post! I think I did exactly the same things - and also some really insane things like a raw food diet for a few months (I think it was even during the winter). LOL. Live and learn. AND - I also worked at an ad agency. I was at Cossette and managed the Lindt account. I had bags and bags of those chocolate balls in my office and ate them non-stop. Raw fruit and chocolate - no wonder my acne was so bad!! So funny to walk down memory lane sometimes. We have come so far. xoxo, StaceyReply
Hey Stacey! Omg, that would be a tough account to work on and have bags of Lindt chocolate balls -- dangerous! That's amazing you've come so far and now you're helping others to be healthy :)
Hi, I am in love with all this health. I have an issue with the lemon in the water thing though. I am finding that my gums and the roof of my mouth gets swollen after I have it on a continuous basis. What would you suggest for me so I can still get the maximum benefit for my liver and such?Reply
It sounds to me like you have a citrus allergy or sensitivity. I can't say for sure but if your mouth is becoming inflamed that is likely the cause. You might want to stick to apple cider vinegar in water instead of lemon. You can read more about it here: https://www.joyoushealth.com/22842-blog-8-interesting-facts-about-apple-cider-vinegar-you-probably-didn-t-know Hope that helps!
Isn't it funny how we think (it thought) that low and non-fat foods would be so great for us? I used to eat tuna straight from the can with a side of raw broccoli and maybe some lemon juice on everything. Yuck! But all for the sake of looking thin and fit. Now I know better. Like you said, healthy fats in moderation: avocado, nuts and seeds, good quality oils. I feel better and enjoy my meals so much more!Reply
Oh my gosh, that's so funny! I know, I used to be like that too. Glad to hear you enjoy meals so much more, that's what it's all about!
I was wondering about your thoughts on 100% whole grain durum wheat pasta? Would you recommend a brown rice or quinoa pasta over wheat? Thanks!Reply
Fermented or sourdough or sprouted whole wheat pasta would be better for digestion than plain whole wheat. Kaslo is a great brand. I also love quinoa pasta (quinoa-gogo) and chickapea pasta (this recipe is super yummy: https://www.joyoushealth.com/27136-blog-creamy-avocado-pasta-salad)