My name is Melissa and I’ve been into nutrition and health for awhile, always reading the latest diet book and wanting to look healthy. My mission now is more inside deep: I eat to be healthy on the inside and I know that will mean looking healthy on the outside. I was never the skinny girl, I always had curves and my mom raised a confident woman who embraced those curves. But I’ve always struggled to keep those curves under control as I was raised a meet and potatoes girl from Maine and I LOVE to eat. I graduated high school around 110 lbs at 5’2″ and was healthy by all standards of medicine; however, I had my first yeast infection at 16 and got strep throat almost every winter.¬† Which they would prescribe antibiotics for which would almost immediately mean another yeast infection. At this point in life, not having a clue that food could be the source of my problems.

Of course I went on to college and gained the freshman 15 and then at some point another 25. So at 145 lbs the curves were not so flattering on a 5’2″ frame. I lost some weight and hovered around 135 lbs. I think for me the diet that I thought was my savior, turn out to be my worst enemy, low carb high fat. But I was in love, eating all the meat, cheese and bacon that my little heart desired! The problem, I would fall off the diet and eat carbs which in combination with a high fat protein diet was a disaster. So the yo-yo continued for years because the low carb diet was the only thing that really seemed to control my weight. A couple of years ago, through lots of dancing and reading The South Beach Diet and The Five Factor diet books I thought I had it figured out and managed to get to 120-125 lbs. But I still loved my high fat protein and Man vs Food was one of my favorite shows. I was still struggling here and there with yeast infections and went off the pill for the first time since I was 16, I knew that the hormones could be part of the problem.

Then one day I read an article about one of the CSI actresses and the reporter asked her what her secret was and she said The Clean Program and handed her a copy of the book. So last June, I read the book and did the cleanse for 3 weeks. And that’s where my mind really understood the connection between food and health. I lost 15 lbs over the course of two months weighing in at 112 lbs, the skinniest I had been since high school and I felt amazing. The Clean Program doesn’t allow diary, wheat, foods know to cause allergies and ones that change your pH. The only thing I knew about pH was that anything that changed my pH balance down there would give me a yeast infection, but pH of your body to improve your health? I started to understand, but this was only the beginning. It is here that I really start to get clean. I g0t rid of all the products that would cause your body not to be clean. I changed my shampoo, my soap, my toothpaste, my lotion and my deodorant. And here’s where I bring up more embarrassing stuff, acne, body odor and bowel movements.

First, acne, I’ve never had really bad acne, just annoying zits here and there all my life, lots of blackheads and oily skin. I used Proactiv and that definitely helped but I still had breakouts here and there so in my attempt to get clean I no longer use products that contain parabens so I only use Witch Hazel right now. And honestly I am still struggling with it today. I always heard that certain foods could cause acne but didn’t really know if that was true or just a myth. Now I know that it’s not a myth and I’m working to clean the inside to get the beauty outside.

Second, body odor, I used a clinical strength antiperspirant & deodorant because I had to, so while going clean was what I wanted to do, finding a natural deodorant that worked was another matter. I knew that somehow that food was connected again and still haven’t figured it all out but found Alvera All Natural Roll-On Deodorant Aloe and Almonds which I love and works pretty good most of the time. I know the issue is internal and I’m bound to figure it out.

Third, bowel movements, did you know that a sign of good health is a bowel movement after each meal? What? Before, I could go a day or two or more without a bowel movement. And herein lies the problem, yeast infections are not just vaginal they can wreak havoc all threw out your body. This is something I suspected for a long time as I had read about it A LOT but haven’t been able to rid myself of it for good.

And then my world changed in the most amazing way, I found out I was pregnant in September. Extremely happy, however somewhat disappointed to think the body that I finally felt really comfortable in was about to change in the most amazing way. And this pushed my journey into healthy eating to a whole new level, because now I was eating for two. And unlike other woman who use this as a green light to literally eat for two, I took my job as a soon to be Mom of protecting my unborn child with only the best nourishment possible and to make sure I didn’t gain 60-100 lbs like other pregnant woman I had heard about. I worked to hard on that cleanse to give it all up. In the beginning, I was still eating “bad” food here and there but mostly good and then I because consumed with providing only the best for my little one knowing that I was supplying her only the best nutrition possible. I did add back cheese sometimes because I was worried about not getting enough calcium and now I know that I didn’t need to worry about that.

And in the spirit of being clean, I gave birth completely naturally in the comfort of my own home in my bathtub to the most amazing little girl at the end of April this year. I gained 35 lbs and lost about 20 lbs in about two weeks, but during the nursings and naps I read The China Study and this pushed me to become Vegan. I’ve been experimenting with raw foods and enjoying the Vegan lifestyle but was struggling to lose the last 10 lbs and not seeing that amazing transformation that some people get when they go Vegan or raw Vegan and I was annoyed. Here I was trying to be so healthy yet I was still getting acne, how could that be?

In my quest, I ran across several websites that pointed me to The Body Ecology website and I read a bit but didn’t buy the book at first because it mentioned eating animal protein on the website and I am very interested in staying a Vegan so I didn’t buy it. Something pushed me to buy it and The Beauty Detox Solution and now we are on the journey together to become healthy on the inside and out!


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