Excerpt for It Feels Good to Feel Good, Learn To Eliminate Toxins, Reverse Inflammation And Feel Great by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Early Book Reviews

“You have taken putting soap in the mouth for naughty words …” to a New Level! LOL Who knew we were surrounded by so many toxins.

I’ve pretty much finished your book now working on giving sections to my family and friend that I think will especially appreciate certain chapters! YOU my Dear have found your calling, YOU make this rather “dull” subject a Very Good, interesting read, with fun personal touches along the way.

I LOVE your book; I hope people will embrace it. Why worry so much about health care if we keep killing ourselves with poison. We can all start with eliminating the toxins out of our lives.

Val Peterson

It Feels Good To Feel Good

Learn to eliminate toxins,
reverse inflammation and feel great again

Cheryl Meyer

Illustrations by Nicholas Patton

It Feels Good to Feel Good,
Learn to Eliminate Toxins, Reduce Inflammation and Feel Great
Copyright© 2017 by Cheryl Meyer
Copyright© 2017 Illustrations by Nick Patton

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,
or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording,
or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission
of the publisher or author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in
critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright

For permission requests, email the publisher or author at
or send your request to

122 E Walnut Suite A
Monrovia, CA 91016

To contact the publisher, visit

To contact the author, visit
ISBN-13: 978-0692827284 (Custom Universal)
ISBN-10: 0692827285

Printed in the United States of America

For information, contact Cheryl Meyer at cheryl@cherylmhealthmuse.com

The content of this book is for general informational purposes only. It is not
meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical
condition or to replace the services of your physician or other healthcare
provider. The advice and strategies contained in the book may not be
suitable for all readers. Please consult your healthcare provider for any
questions that you may have about your own medical situation. Neither
the author, publisher, IIN nor any of their employees or representatives
guarantees the accuracy of information in this book or its usefulness to
a particular reader, nor are they responsible for any damage or negative
consequence that may result from any treatment, action taken, or inaction
by any person reading or following the information in this book.




Part 1 Defining the issue of inflammation and autoimmune

Chapter 1 What is a health coach and why did I become one?

Chapter 2 You can’t change what you don’t understand – Inflammation

Chapter 3 What is the Functional Medicine Approach?

Chapter 4 What is Autoimmune Disease?

Chapter 5 One last thought – Flares

Part 2 Toxins

Introduction Cleaning up the toxins in your life

Preface Order the dumpster; there are toxins to purge

Part 3 Food

Chapter 6 Organic vs GMOs vs Conventional Farming

Chapter 7 Toxins in our processed food and fast food

Chapter 8 Sugar makes us sick

Chapter 9 The perils of drinking soda

Chapter 10 Canned Goods

Chapter 11 Soy

Chapter 12 Dairy

Chapter 13 Sensitivities

Chapter 14 Factory farmed meat, chicken and fish and good alternatives

Chapter 15 Good and Bad Cooking Oils

Part 4 Toxins in Your Home and in Your Body

Chapter 16 Cosmetics

Chapter 17 Drinking Water

Chapter 18 Drugs

Chapter 19 Cleaning Supplies

Chapter 20 Toxic Metals

Chapter 21 Toxins in your Kitchen – pots and pans, utensils, and food storage

Part 5 Toxic Minds/Toxic Body

Introduction for Toxic Minds

Chapter 22 Toxic Stress

Chapter 23 Toxic Relationships

Chapter 24 “ANTs”

Chapter 25 Toxic lack of sleep and what to do about it

Chapter 26 Movement – Removing the toxic sludge

Part 6 Get Involved

Chapter 27 Spread the Word/ Organizations to follow and support

Chapter 28 Amazing people who are leading the way, educating us and taking on the system

Chapter 29 Professionals critical to my wellness journey

Chapter 30 How to become an agent of change, an army of one

Part 7 What we’ve learned, What comes next

What we’ve learned, what comes next, become a member of my tribe

How to become a Health Coach/Another way to be an Army of one/The ripple effect.



End Notes

About The Author

It Feels Good To Feel Good

Learn to eliminate toxins, reverse inflammation and feel great again


This book is dedicated to people with pain and inflammation. It is also dedicated to people who want to raise healthy families and are unaware of all of the toxins in our world. It is dedicated to all of the people struggling with any of the 100+ autoimmune diseases.

How to use this book

There are hundreds of suggestions in this book to help you purge toxins out of your life and your immediate environment. I have purged these toxins from my life; however, I did accomplish this over a 5-year period. It could take you 5 years to do all of this. You can’t do it all at once, and you will be frustrated if you even attempt it.

I suggest you take a yellow highlighter as you read this book, and highlight the things that would be easy for you to do first.

Doing all of this will be a process and you will take little steps every day until they are all accomplished. Celebrate each win. Do not beat yourself up if you slip, or think you are removing the toxins too slowly. Every step you take will bring you closer to wellness. Work at a comfortable pace for you. If you email me at cherylmhealthmuse@gmail.com, I will send you an eBook workbook to use to take notes. I will help you stay on track.

The Top strategies to use this information

There is a full index.

1. Read the book and get informed

It all starts with information and awareness. I was stunned when I began to discover how many toxins were in my life. Get on email lists for the people recommended in my Part 6, Chapter 28 Amazing people who are leading the way taking on the system. Information changes and is updated regularly. Stay informed.

Support the organizations in Part 6 Chapter 27 Organizations to Follow and Support. Get on their Facebook and email lists. The work these dedicated people are doing, on all of our behalf, is worth following, learning from, and supporting.

2. Get a yellow highlighter pen

As you start to read, highlight the things that would be easy for you to do right away. Once you finish the book, make a list. This is where to start. You can go through the book again later to implement more things.

3. Start with food.

x    Before you eat anything, ask yourself “what nutrients are you feeding your body by eating that food.” If there is no food value, don’t eat it. Period. Eat to nourish your body. Stop eating processed food. Stop eating fast food. They contribute absolutely nothing for your body to utilize.

x    COOK. It’s the only way you can control what you are eating. If you haven’t been cooking, start simple and easy. It doesn’t have to take more time than eating fast food. It just takes a little planning and having the right ingredients on hand. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE IN EATING THAT YOU CAN MAKE IN YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY. Crowd out bad food choices by having great food choices on hand.

x    Enjoy sitting around the table at dinner and sharing your day with each other. The joy and love of community is an important step to health.

x    Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 charts included from EWG, the Environmental Working Group. Always buy organic if the item is on the Dirty Dozen list. Eventually you will want to buy all organic, but for now start there.

x    Familiarize yourself with ingredients that are genetically modified. (GMO) Avoid them. You don’t need these toxins in your body.

x    Add more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Eat from all of the colors of the rainbow; each has a gift of nutrients that determine the color.

x    If possible, buy local. The closer you are to your vegetable being grown and coming to market, the more prime the nutrients are.

x    Get tested for your food sensitivities, and eliminate anything on your list. This is a biggie to eliminating inflammation and pain.

x    Adopt a “Do This, Not That” strategy. When you read a recipe, see what ingredients you can swap to make a healthier version of it. Be creative. Have fun. This is a get-well journey. I find it both fun and rewarding to creatively change an unhealthy recipe, to one that is now both yummy and healthy.

Start thinking about food hacks. If you have always used white wheat flour, try almond flour instead. If you have always used low-fat or non-fat (skim) milk, try whole milk. Try organic dairy. Try raw dairy. Or learn to use alternative milks, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk. If the recipe calls for “bad” cooking oil, substitute the oil for ghee, or coconut or avocado oil. If it has sugar, cut the quantity by 2/3 and add a little stevia. Use coconut sugar, or maple syrup or raw honey, but only enough to add a little sweetness. (Sugar is sugar is sugar.) Avoid fructose, corn syrup and white sugar. At least honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup have some trace minerals that are good for you. Keep swapping until everything you eat and feed your family is a healthier version. Do this over time. Experiment.

x    Cut out a major portion of simple carbohydrates from your diet. If it’s white, it’s processed and not good for you. (White flour, white sugar, white rice.) Drastically reduce the sugar in your diet. It’s as addictive as cocaine, and it is harming all of your body functions. It is triggering inflammation.

x    Stop using fake sugar chemicals. The pink, blue and yellow packets should be thrown away. Swap them for Stevia (without additional chemicals) or honey or maple syrup in a limited quantity. Remember, sugar is sugar is sugar, so drastically reduce the amount but stop eating the chemicals.

x    Think “Pegan”2 if you choose to eat meat. ¾ of your plate should be vegetables. Meat becomes a condiment on your diet. It’s much easier to afford pastured organic meat if you eat smaller portions of it. You still get all the benefits.

x    Read food labels.

      o    If there are things you cannot pronounce, they are chemicals. Don’t buy it.

      o    Look at the order of the ingredients. If a sugar is in the top 5, pass.

      o    Look at how many grams of sugar are in each portion. 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

      o    Pay attention to portion size. There are often 2 or more portions in a container.

      o    Buy GMO free. Look for GMO Verified on the label. You don’t need the pesticides and herbicides in your body.

      o    Look for canned goods that are BPA free.

4. If you aren’t getting the answers you need for your health from your doctor, find another practitioner. I recommend a Functional3 or Integrative MD. There are lots of things you need a conventional MD for – like heart disease, or kidney problems. Own your health, no matter what type of doctor you are working with, keep pushing for answers. You will find them. You aren’t crazy and there are solutions.

5. Engage your entire family in your wellness journey. Do not isolate one sick member. Everyone in the family can benefit from your new wellness strategy. Educate and inform them as you learn. Put a plan together. You will all be more successful if everyone is enrolled in their health. You will raise healthier children.

6. Do not even attempt to throw out all of your family’s favorite foods. Find healthier substitutions first. As you run out of a food, swap it for a healthier version. (I.e. Chemical cereal with tons of sugar, for oatmeal, or organic brown rice crispies, or Cream of Buckwheat.) Watch out for chemicals and high sugar and swap them for low chemicals or no chemicals and low sugar.

7. Plan ahead. Plan what you need before you grocery shop. Having healthy ingredients on hand leads you to making healthy meals. Plan healthy choices to take with you when you are out and about. Always have healthy protein bars (low sugar, high fiber, no ingredients you can’t pronounce) in your purse or in your car if you are hungry. Don’t be in a position of making bad food choices because you didn’t plan ahead. This is actually very easy to do and you will thank yourself.

8. Investigate restaurants before you go out to eat. Call ahead, and engage them in what they can prepare for you so that you can eat healthy there. You will be surprised at how accommodating they will be.

9. If you find yourself in a situation where the good food choices are limited, eat one of your protein bars, and a green salad and some vegetables on the menu, and enjoy the company of the people that you are with. Find joy in the company you are with, not in the heavy chemically laden foods they are eating.

Most important, DON’T PREACH. You will find plenty of resistance from your family, your friends, and your co-workers. They will clean up their world when they are ready. Lead by example. And, don’t let them convince you to go back to bad food choices. Stay the course.


1. When you run out of a cosmetic, replace it with a healthier choice

2. When you run out of a cleaning product you use, replace it with a healthier choice

3. Get a filter on your kitchen sink and drink water that has fewer chemicals. Find a non-plastic container so that you can take your own filtered water with you when you are out of the house. (I use stainless steel)

4. Limit the over the counter drugs that you use. Try one of my drug swaps. They work.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep each night

6. Work on your primary elements. You need to take care of you, before you can take care of everyone else. You are worth it.

7. Confront toxic relationships, and make them healthier or set boundaries

8. Adopt a stress reducing strategy; start to do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. It takes a couple of minutes, and works miracles.

9. Move. You can take a walk, or try one of my suggestions. But you need to move, so do something.

10. Become an “army of one.” Get involved. Vote with your dollars. We can change the system if we put our money where our health is.

This is a fraction of what you can change but even this is a hefty “to do” list. There is no timetable to accomplish all of this. Each step you take is one step closer to a pain-free, joyous life. Celebrate with each win. Congratulate yourself for the progress you are making. Be grateful that you have a chance to impact your health little by little. Make it fun, for you and for your family.

And KEEP GOING. You will learn how great it is, to feel good again, and it will all be worth it.


It Feels Good To Feel Good

Learn how to eliminate toxins, reverse inflammation and feel great again5

Who am I, and why did I decide to write this book?

My name is Cheryl Meyer, and I recently became a Health Coach. (Cheryl M Health Muse) I am certified through the HCTP program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®.

I am writing this book to help others who have pain from inflammation. I want to share what I have learned in the process of eliminating my own pain.

I got sick, really sick five years ago, and I was saddled with pain.

I got sick because I was not paying attention to how I was eating and I was ignoring my body. And, to boot, I had oodles of toxic lifestyle habits.

x    I was not listening to my body.

x    I had an ostrich approach of not paying attention to the available information that could have helped me.

x    I took no time to take care of myself, or even notice what my body was saying or feeling.

x    I was busy taking care of everyone else, my staff, my mom, my friends. It’s a lovely thing to be a caretaker, but I had to learn that I also had to take care of myself.

x    I was eating on the fly, or going out to dinner often eating rich, heavy food.

x    I was eating late at night.

x    I was rarely cooking.

x    I gained a lot of weight.

x    I was working 24/7.

x    I was feeding on stress.

x    I was in a love relationship that had turned toxic.

And … I didn’t understand why organic was important or what damage GMO’s (genetically modified foods, defined in Part 3, Chapter 6) and toxins were doing to my body.

Unaware that all the pre-signs and circumstances for sickness were in place, the pain began.

I did not recognize the early signs of inflammation and didn’t understand what was happening to my body. However, I was aware of the increasing pain in my body. I often woke in the middle of the night in pain. When I woke up in the morning, I could barely get out of bed. It was painful to move, and sections of my body hurt. My brain was confetti. My moods were all over the place.

My MD took a conventional approach that wasn’t helping me. In all honesty, I think she didn’t know how to help me. And I was resistant to taking additional pills.

I knew I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t want to diet, and I didn’t want to change the way that I ate. It seemed that changing what I ate would lead to a life of deprivation.

So, it was Pain with a capital P that set me on a five-year journey to get well and to make drastic lifestyle changes.

You change, when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.”


My significant other broke up with me. More pain.

Since my conventional doctor was no help, I started looking for a medical practitioner that could help me. Little did I know that unless I was in a diseased state, conventional medicine didn’t want to tackle my symptoms like low cortisol or a slightly off thyroid. My medical tests showed results out of range but not diseased. Therefore, my conventional MD didn’t perceive these results to be an issue because I wasn’t in a “diseased state.” In my case, I later learned that conventional medicine was not even running the correct tests to find the problem and that also may be true for you. My doctor certainly didn’t know where to go digging for the source of my pain. And she expressed that it was “all in my head” and to take 2 Aleve.

The only solution offered for my pain was drugs.

I went to the “leading expert” on autoimmune disease in Southern California, another conventional MD, but this time a specialist. Since I didn’t have all of the symptoms of any of the commonly known autoimmune diseases, he also didn’t perceive that I had an issue. All my symptoms combined were an odd sized peg that didn’t fit into a round hole. Therefore, in his mind, it couldn’t be autoimmune. He offered me steroids. When I refused, he too told me to take two Aleve a day. Again, he had been trained to assess the symptoms and prescribe the pill.

My conventional doctor missed that I had Type II Diabetes. I had to push her to test me. I had dealt with Hypoglycemia as a young adult and knew something could be wrong with my blood sugar. Little did I know that since I had had Hypoglycemia earlier in my life, it was normal to get Type II Diabetes later in life.

I found a Doctor of Chiropractic who was an integrative nutritionist. He started me on my path to eating healthy and exploring my medical tests beyond “normal.” After six months, when none of the weight came off, and when the aches and pains only showed modest improvement, he announced I was a very sick girl and that he didn’t know how to help me.

So, I decided to take ownership of my own health. Taking ownership was the “ah-ha” moment when my health began to turn around.

I found Functional Medicine online, and I started to listen to every Functional Medicine symposium on health issues that was available, from autoimmune to thyroid to adrenals, to gluten sensitivity. I am enormously grateful for the incredible knowledge I gained from the functional community for free. I started buying books by these experts and reading like a fiend. Most of the speakers had been very sick themselves and were renowned in their own respective fields. They were accomplishing amazing results with their patient base. They had found a way back to wellness themselves. Their approach was very different from my experience with conventional medicine, both for myself and also for my parents, where I had been very involved, but who were now deceased. See my upcoming chapter on Functional Medicine (Part 1, Chapter 3) to understand the difference in approach.

I studied toxins that might be impacting my life. I had been born with several allergies, so it made sense to me to start there. (I now understand that they were probably sensitivities. They didn’t make that distinction 60 years ago. I suffered from foods that gave me rashes and made me sick. I often reacted to medications. My joke was that I popped out allergic to Pittsburgh. Whenever I got within 50 miles of Pittsburgh, I broke out in a rash from head to toe. I remember them oiling the streets to keep the coal and steel dust down. We left when I was 4.)

I had taken an allergy test with my conventional MD, but found I was only allergic to the tape that held the test on my back.

When I found a Functional MD that practiced “root cause” medicine, she helped me discover all kinds’ imbalances that needed correcting in my body. I took a sensitivity test, and I found out I had severe reactions to a variety of foods from chicken to herbs and common vegetables, to dairy, to soy, and to gluten. At the time, I reacted to gluten so severely that I even reacted to meat from animals that ate grains. I removed all these foods from my life. A sensitivity test looks for different markers than an allergy test. (More about this later.)

I cut sugar out of my life and went through drug withdrawal. It felt as if I was coming off a high from cocaine, or maybe even heroin, and in fact, it was similar. Who knew? I was so sick in the beginning of the detox; it was worse than a bad flu. I was super sick and in bed for days.

I was diagnosed with Undefined Autoimmune Disease. I will offer an explanation of inflammation and autoimmune disease, next in this book, including what it is and how to heal it. This information could save your life. It is the fastest growing disease in the United States.

This information will explain to you if you hurt why you hurt, why you have gained weight, and how your body should work as an orchestrated symphony. If your adrenals are not working correctly, they impact the liver, the gut, the brain and the rest of the body; similarly, with the liver, or the pancreas, or the thyroid, etc.6 Your gut is the second brain and impacts your entire immune system, as well as depression and Alzheimer’s. Any part of your body that is off key will affect the entire performance of your body.

Finally, I will cover toxins and how they impact your body, your family, and the environment. You will begin to understand inflammation, and I will give you some of the necessary tools you will need to put out the fire.

Regaining my health has been a process, like peeling an onion. Under each layer, there are new issues to address and correct. My Functional MD and I are still finding new conditions that need to be targeted and healed. But I am no longer frustrated. We are finding answers, and looking in entirely different places to find the keys to wellness.

Six realizations that made the biggest difference to my pain:

1. The conventional MD that I was seeing wasn’t helping me; I needed to own my own health to alleviate and end the pain (without steroids or over the counter drugs)

2. Pharmaceuticals weren’t going to cure me. There is no magic pill. Although they can make the body “feel better” the majority of drugs do not get to the “root cause” of the ailment. Even worse, they often carry their own set of complications and side effects.

4. I needed to discover and then avoid all of my sensitivities.

5. I had to begin to eat as clean as possible (eating fewer toxins, eating live food.)

6. Toxins needed to be removed from my life as quickly as possible from all of the products I was using at that time. I started an investigation to discover what they were.

7. I found a Functional MD and a Functional Chiropractor who practiced “root cause” medicine. Because of them, and their knowledge and guidance, my pain is almost gone.

This book is mostly about these six revelations. It took me five years of research, and trial and error to clean up my food, my cosmetics, my personal care products, my cleaning products, my mind (I cleared out the ANTs*), my stress and my toxic relationships.

These revelations made me decide that I am a primary player in healing my body and my life.

It was about learning how to pay attention to my body and to start taking care of myself.

What I recommend in this book is a lot to take on. It is a process.

This book encourages you to partner with your doctor on your quest for wellness and to become educated enough to find solutions to your own health issues. Both you and your doctor are critical players in helping you find wellness. Your health care professionals (and I have a team of functional health care professionals) will guide you through the way the body works and how to make it well. This book is a proactive guide for you to follow, outlining the things that you can do to find wellness on your own.

If you follow the advice outlined in this book, you will be well on your way to healing your pain, but I repeat, it is a process. These are all things that you can do for yourself to improve your health. I want you to do the best you can, each step of the way. Incidentally, along the way, I have lost 45 pounds; 45 pounds of toxic weight. Not from dieting, but by eating real food. I still have more weight to lose, but by eliminating all of the toxins, my body is functioning closer to how it was meant to, and my excess weight is starting to slowly fade away.

I also found a wonderful new guy who totally supports my journey, and married him two years ago.

This book is for you if:

x    You are healthy and want to stay that way

x    You are sick, and you hurt, have brain fog and low energy and need help cleaning up your lifestyle and eliminating your pain

x    You are gaining weight

x    You are puffy from inflammation

x    You are taking care of a sick family member or sick child that has lots of sensitivities, or allergies, and you need guidance

x    You are sick and willing to do anything you can to improve the quality of your health. (You can accomplish it without deprivation).

As your Health Muse, I will also make suggestions of things I have found that make my eating and my life quite enjoyable, in spite of the out of the norm way I am eating compared to the majority of America. No more SAD (Standard American Diet) for me, no more processed foods or fast foods or too much sugar or genetically modified grains and vegetables. These things were killing me. And I do NOT feel deprived, in any way, eating completely different from other people. In fact, by eating healthy, I feel good again. Being delightfully different from others, in this instance, has incredible benefits.

Each of us is unique, so the solutions that have worked for me may be different than what will work for you. At least I can get you started, share resources with you, and name the products that have been beneficial for me so that you have a jumping off point. If my recommendations are not right for you, I will lead you to where you can research on your own to find optimal products.

Buying organic and locally sourced foods are no costlier than buying that daily Frappuccino and fast food, especially when you are preventing costly medical bills in the long term by doing so.

My advice could save you money in other ways. I have bought dozens of products that were low in toxins, but that did not do the trick for me. After a lot of trial and error, I have been able to compile a resource list of excellent products that I have found that work, and I share many of them with you in this book. There are additional resources on my website, www.cherylmhealthmuse.com. As I discover new products, I will add them to the list on my site.

I am slowly purging all toxins out of my life, and now have excellent suggestions so that you can do the same.

I have tried a variety of eating principles and have settled on Paleo7 8. But we are all different. Vegan9, Vegetarian or Raw10 may work for you. I have experimented with all of these approaches. The key is to start somewhere, purge the toxins, eat real food, and then listen to your body. The key is that the majority of your diet should be beautiful vegetables and fruits that give your body nutrients to live.

Some of the things I have learned along the way are downright frightening. Many of the ingredients Big Food companies are using are synthetic fake ingredients that your body can’t use and have no food value; these fake ingredients are even causing your body harm and creating your pain. Your body is starving on these “foods.”

What Big Chemical is doing to our Food supply in conjunction with Big Food, is poisoning us. Big Chemical is inserting many toxic chemicals into our lives, our fabrics, our cleaning supplies, and our personal care products.

We will also look at what Big Pharm is doing to cover up your ailments with drugs that are creating an entirely new list of issues and dysfunctions in your body along the way. This conversation about Big Pharma includes over the counter drugs.

It’s all pretty frightening stuff. But you have the power to avoid these toxins for you and your family.

I have even learned how conventional doctors only get half a day of nutrition in medical school. Hence the general advice, you need to lose weight with absolutely no guidance as to how to do that, except to be vigilant. You know the good ole Willpower advice that doesn’t work and makes you feel bad. Their only other advice is to exercise, which is good advice and an important part of the puzzle, but the advice they are offering is not enough to lead you back to wellness. Conventional doctors have good intentions; they just never learned a nutritional approach in medical school so they don’t know how to help you.

Other things that I have learned are just down right amazing.

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself if we give it proper nutrients.

What an amazing machine this body is that we call home.

Why aren’t we shouting this from the rooftops? (Because there is no money in it!)

I want to set you off in the right direction, as you begin your own journey. I want to teach you to own your own health, and then you can take it from there. But for you to “buy in” to what I am telling you, I am asking you to change your “known truths,” which are often not true. These thoughts are what you have been told and accepted your entire life about doctors, about what you eat; about your food and about how you live. These outdated thoughts are still accepted by the majority of Americans.

I am asking you to believe that the world is not flat.

You can do that, right? You’ve already accepted that the world is round.

I am asking you to believe that our medical care system is broken and that there is a better way.

We are living in the dawning of a new age of health, food, and self-care that will take a bit of faith in the beginning but will serve you well the rest of your life. It is a complete paradigm shift from what we have been told is true.

If this all seems daunting, I can help you; I am a certified Health Coach, and I have been through all of this. I can inspire and guide you to find a new path where you take responsibility for your own health. Please contact me through my website. Https://cherylmhealthmuse.com. I do coaching via Skype, Facetime or any other platform that you have available to you. I also do face to face coaching in my office in Monrovia, California. I plan to start group coaching in my Monrovia office to help people return to eating real food and also help them purge the toxins. I will expand this to webinars later in 2017, so if you are interested, sign up for my mailing list on my website.

If you want to know more about me, my website is very transparent about where I have been, what I have gone through, and how I think it could help you.

The bottom line is I want to educate you to begin to heal yourself and make some drastic changes. We are a very sick nation, and there are solutions.

One of the first things said to me was:

If you don’t take care of your body, where are you planning to live?”

Dr. Tony Ganem

I heard it, it resonated, and I changed.

But as I say this to others, there is resistance and confusion about the concept.

People will listen once they begin to recognize they are losing their health and they start to search for a better way.

You will change, when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.”


This book is a guidebook of all of the self-directed things you can do now, for yourself, to impact how you feel. It’s about how you can be proactive and own your health. It’s about creating an environment where your children can thrive.

No one said it was going to be easy; they just said it was going to be worth it.”


It starts with education and then takes commitment to feel good for the rest of your life.

I am hoping to inspire healthy people to change now so that they don’t get sick. Inflammation and Autoimmune disease begin years before the actual symptoms start to appear. The approach I want to teach you is the healthiest lifestyle you can have for long-term health, for you and for your family, no matter how you all feel now.

And I am especially encouraging people with inflammation and pain, and/or autoimmune disease to make these changes now to create a better future and reverse the inflammation.

What I am suggesting is a new way of viewing food, what you eat, and your social interactions over food. It’s a significant shift in paradigm. Eventually, as a country, we all need to do this. We are a nation in a state of disease and it is getting worse. I am asking that you be a pathfinder with me, and an example for others. I assure you that your health and your body will thank you.

As I contemplated changes for myself, some resonated with me immediately. I knew they were right and that they made sense.

x    It resonated that I needed to eat more live food.

x    I knew I needed to eat food that was local so that the nutrients were still prime.

x    I knew I needed to eliminate pesticides and herbicides from my diet and my body. (Ingesting these substances that kill bugs and funguses couldn’t possibly be good for us.)

By understanding these concepts on a core level, I was able to make those changes and to incorporate them into my life fairly quickly.

Other changes I needed to make were harder to accept.

x    I didn’t want to be different from everyone else; I am very social, and to me, food was also community; food was love.

x    I needed to see the success of this approach before I accepted it was the correct path.

x    I needed to understand why it was important to eat organic. I learned, that at the very least, it is important to eat organic fruits and vegetables that are subjected to the most toxins. (The Dirty Dozen11 list) I have also learned why it is crucial to avoid GMOs (genetically modified foods.)

x    I needed to know that this approach wasn’t about deprivation.

Once I did, these all became easier to do and maintain as a permanent lifestyle change. And I eat plenty of delicious food that is also nutritious. There is no deprivation in my life.

I learned that community has nothing to do with food. It has to do with enjoying the people you are with at the time, whether you are eating the same foods they are or not. I have learned that there are many kinds of food, and not all of them go into my mouth.

I am also asking you to root out all of the toxins in your life. This book is a comprehensive guide to accomplish that.

These changes are things that I stumbled upon in my journey to find wellness. I had no idea that I was living in such a toxic environment: the food I was eating was toxic, the cosmetics I was using were toxic, the cleaning products I was using were toxic, and the over the counter drugs I was taking were toxic. That even the water I was drinking was toxic.

One of the main reasons I wrote this book is because all of this information was not available in one place. It was scattered all over the place, and although all of this information can be found on the internet, I had to do quite a bit of digging to find what I needed. This was a five-year discovery period. In the beginning, I didn’t even know what information I was looking for and what I needed to learn. I want to give you the advantage of learning what I have discovered all in one place. I don’t know about you, but it is much easier for me to implement and sustain lifestyle changes when I understand the “why.”

And now that most of the toxins are out of my life, I feel amazingly better.

All I can tell you is, it feels good to feel good!

The changes I have made have been worth it and are long-term lifestyle changes.

The best project you’ll ever work on is you!”


Your life depends on it.

There is no going back now!

*”ANTs” is a term coined by Dr. Amen and stands for anxious, negative thoughts

Part 1 Defining the issue of inflammation and autoimmune

Chapter 1
What is a health coach and why did I become one?12

(I am Cheryl M Health Muse)

Dousing the flame of inflammation:


x    This book proposes a complete change in lifestyle to heal your inflammation and protect the health of your family.

x    I have made these changes in my health, and I am almost free of pain.

x    This approach can be overwhelming and a bit daunting at times. A Health Coach can keep you on track, inspire you to make the change, encourage you along the way, help you over the obstacles, and lead you to sustainable wellness.

x    Health coaching is a relatively new field, but one that is quickly finding its place in the health care field as a way to help people reverse the damage from disease and find wellness again. Coaches can spend time with you to inspire the long-term lifestyle changes that your doctor doesn’t have time to discuss.

x    A health coach practices “compassionate” care. They will take the time to listen and “hear” you, encourage you to dig deep into yourself for your own answers, and guide you to make lifestyle changes that will change your health.

x    I am committed to helping others find wellness again. We don’t have to live on pills or live with pain. We can come out the other side of inflammation to a healthy, happy and full life.

x    I know that “it feels good to feel good again,” and I want to inspire you to feel good again too!

So, then … what is a Health Coach, or in my case A Health Muse, *smile*?

From Wikipedia
Health coaching, also referred to as wellness coaching, is a process that facilitates healthy, sustainable behavior change by challenging a client to develop their inner wisdom, identify their values, and transform their goals into action. Health coaching draws on principles of positive psychology and appreciative inquiry, as well the practices of motivational interviewing and goal setting.”

Health coaching is a relatively new field, but one that is quickly finding its place in the health care field as a way to help people learn more about wellness and also to assist in reversing disease and to find wellness again. Coaches can spend time with you to create lifestyle changes that your doctor doesn’t have the time to discuss in depth. This is also, probably, not your doctor’s area of expertise. (Doctors typically receive only ½ a day on Nutrition in Medical School)

A health coach is a member of your health team that fills the gap between what your doctor has discovered and what you need to do to implement the changes needed to improve your health. A health coach can also be a guide to continued wellness incorporating new elements – all the things you need to do to replenish your soul, your life balance, ANTs13, breathing, stress, organic eating, removal of toxins, sleep and, cooking etc.

Your health coach can help inspire and guide you to do the things you control for your own health. As an example, if I were your health coach, I would guide you to clean up your gut, which is the gateway to health; then work with you to clean up your world, and start to purge the toxins from your life. I would guide you to eat “real” food, organic if possible, and cook simple, nutritious meals to give your body beautiful fuel to heal. I would educate you on labels, food choices, lifestyle, stress, ANTs*14, improving your sleep, and any number of other topics where you need help to improve your wellness. I would encourage you along the way to make sustainable changes. And we would discuss all of the avenues for you to explore to find joy in your life again.

If you are reading this book because you have inflammation and pain, a health coach can guide you back to feeling great again. A health coach can help you make changes so that autoimmune issues are not expanding and multiplying.

A health coach practices “compassionate” care. They give you attention; they listen to you; they acknowledge that you know your own body better than anyone; they will encourage you to dig deep into yourself for your own solutions and guide you to make lifestyle changes that will lead you back to wellness.

Working with a health coach would help prevent you from getting additional diseases from inflammation because it would help you heal the core issues. It would stop the progression of the diseases you do have, and turn you around towards health.

I have two autoimmune diseases, Type II diabetes, and undefined autoimmune disease. Once you have one autoimmune disease, apparently, it is not unusual to get another. If left untended, autoimmune diseases become increasingly violent disruptors to your health.

The information in this book is the result of 5 years of research, and I hunted and pecked all over the internet to find it. I was motivated; I refused to spend the rest of my life in pain.

Gaining this knowledge was an integral part of my healing, but it wasn’t easy to find all of this information. I saw a need to gather all of this into one place. I wanted to share what I have learned in one book.

I listened to every symposium offered by the Functional community, on Diabetes, Thyroid disease, healing leaky gut, the adrenals, on detoxing for a healthy liver, on the importance of sleep, on gluten, on detoxing heavy metals and on fat and weight loss. I also was treated and learned from two Chiropractic doctors with degrees in nutrition and certification in functional medicine, from a certified Health Coach, and from a Functional MD. As of this writing, December 2016, I feel 80% better. If you do the things outlined in this book, you should start to get well.

Once I started to feel much better, I decided to go back to school so that I could help others with similar issues. I am committed to helping others. I decided to become a Health Muse (Coach). I took the HCTP course at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition® to get certification and a more formalized approach to health. I believe that they are best in the country for Health Coaching skills.

My new education along with my research did not create my wellness. It led me to where I needed to go and gave me a beginning understanding of what I needed to do. I knew I needed a team to help me along my path.

In my opinion, you will need a functional practitioner to run the tests you need and give you in-depth medical advice. My body has a lot of idiosyncrasies that my doctor has discovered with cutting edge testing, and literally, she has saved my life. Once you know what is occurring in your body, as your coach, I could help you sort it out, and be a team member with you and your doctor.

My new knowledge allowed me to partner with my healthcare professionals and we were all important parts of what I needed to do to heal.

The health professionals noted in Part 6, Chapter 29, were all essential to my healing. Following them is part of my journey.

The body is complicated. I am a bit like an onion. For each layer where we find malfunctions in my body when the next layer is peeled off, there is something new to address. I am working with my Functional Doctor at this moment to chelate heavy toxic metals, as well as pesticides and herbicides, (I am loaded with them) and next up we will attack mold in my body. I learn more about my body every day.

If you are going to a conventional practitioner, this book will teach and help you own your own health. More than ever, you will need to be involved in your health. This book will allow you to encourage your doctor to implement things that will help your progress. You will be entering uncharted territory in some cases with your doctor, and you will need to be knowledgeable so that you can help your doctor delve deeper into the causes of your disease. A health coach could serve as an intermediary.

So, if you read this book, why would you still need me as your health coach?

Let’s say; you need to make a trip to Slaplovia (a fictional location). You need to do business on your trip that will be integral to your success. You buy a guidebook to read on the plane on your way there. But still, you go alone. You didn’t know the language or the pitfalls of traveling in this country, and even with a guidebook, it is a bit daunting to explore alone. You don’t want to take wrong turns and end up somewhere that you don’t belong. You have many questions along the way, and no one to ask. You don’t even always know what you are looking at as you are working towards achieving your goal.

I want to be your tour guide to make your journey as enjoyable as possible, and to help you avoid “tourist traps” or in this case “pitfalls” along the way. Unlike a tour guide, you have hired me. I am not getting kick-back from the merchants, I recommend.

My role as your health coach will be especially helpful since I have lived through this process. I have been through everything in this book, so I understand at ground level how to help you. I have already jumped over most of the major hurdles that you will face. I have learned much of the language, and I know the route.

To get started, you will fill out an in-depth health history, and we will spend 1+ hour going over the keys to your health. This hour is free and kind of like a first date. You need to see if you can work with me, and I need to be sure that I think I can coach you. This hour is entirely devoted to listening to you. I will ask a lot of questions and act like an investigative reporter, to get the what, when, where, how, why and who of your health. Our first hour is not for advice; I will take lots of notes, and encourage you to share (and spill the beans). It is the time where I will listen to you and set a non-judgmental stage for us to begin our work.

If you decide to book the guided health care tour with me, prepare to roll up your sleeves and with my guidance, do the hard work. You will get as much out of our work together, as you put into it. You and you alone, are accountable for your life, and your own health. You will do the things that resonate with you that I suggest. You will develop your own strategies with my help. Everything is customized by you. You will set new intentions each time you meet with me, and I will hold you accountable to achieve them. My job is to lead you on your journey, point out the points of interest, give you background information, and answer questions. I will keep you focused so that you get as much as possible out of your adventure.

Each meeting will be a delicious hour all about you and your progress. It will be an hour that you will feel great about and feel proud of your accomplishments. It will be an hour where you get to show off what you have achieved. It will set your path for success one step at a time. We will meet every two weeks for one hour, either in my office or via skype or facetime or phone, to reset the course.

Expect to have “excuse-proof” accountability:

Each time we meet, you will review the intentions you agreed upon for the last two weeks, and update me on your successes and your challenges. We will brainstorm on where you have been and where you are going. I will make a few suggestions, to steer the bus, and you will commit to a few new intentions for the next two weeks. You will communicate what you want to learn on your tour, and I will be right beside you to help you implement these goals into the program. You will make progress one step at a time, and hopefully enjoy every moment of it. And we will do it with humor and joy.

We will celebrate your successes together.

I will listen to and “hear” what you are telling me so that together we will find solutions that you can maintain that will solve your health problems. I will direct you back to your health care professionals (your doctor, nutritionist, functional practitioner, whoever is on your team) when we need their expertise.

As your health coach, I will teach you to “own” your health, and become your own health advocate, no matter who these other health professionals are. I will join YOUR team to help you implement healthy habits. We will incorporate the advice from your doctor into our work together.

You have pain; that is why you bought this book, and you want to feel great again. Are you ready to implement the changes you need to do in order get well again?

You would not hire me to be your Health Muse because of my BA from Berkeley, or even for my health coaching credentials; you would not hire me for all of my management and coaching work experience. Now mind you, it doesn’t hurt that I am “The self-proclaimed subject expert” and that I wrote this book. My life experiences will certainly help me ask you the right questions to guide you to where you want to go. You should hire me because I have lived through everything that I want to encourage you to do, and I can help you find your path to health. I will be a great tour guide, and your tour will be customized to you.

Even with all of the information in this book, you probably have not figured out how to do it all on your own, to cross the finish line. You are bound to have lots of questions. This book is the self-guided tour, but most of this information is foreign to you, and you will need guidance to make your wellness adventure all that it can be. You will hire me to get real results and to avoid taking wrong turns. I am suggesting changes that you can do and that your doctor will encourage, that will get results.

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.”

Simple Reminders15

So, are you ready for change? Are you ready for transformation? You have to believe that you have the power to change your life if you could just see that path. I am here to be your Muse and help you find it.

I have been where you are, and am closer to who I want to be than ever before. Allow me to help you create that for yourself.

There is a lot here to sort through. I am committed to helping you regain wellness, and I can hold your hand and keep you accountable so that you reach your health goals.

Circumstances in your life that hold you back are simply patterns that no longer work. Change the pattern, change your life.”

Mastin Kipp Daily Love16


It Feels Good to Feel Good,”

and you CAN feel good again.

Chapter 2
You can’t change what you don’t understand – Inflammation17

Dousing the flame of inflammation:


x    Identifying what your pain is and what to do about it.

x    Identifying the shift in paradigm and how to find wellness specialists that can help you.

x    Identifying and getting past your “already always18™”

x    Becoming your own “Who said of the greatest magnitude19.”

x    If necessary, finding a Functional MD who will treat your inflammation by healing your gut. Educating you on new approaches if you are working with a conventional MD.

Let’s talk about inflammation and then autoimmune disease.

Soon after I hung up my “The Health Muse Is In” sign, *smile*, I started meeting a variety of people suffering from inflammation, but they didn’t recognize that’s what it was.

I understand this. I didn’t recognize my health issues as inflammation or as Autoimmune. I had an inkling, but my conventional MD gave it no credence.

A couple of the people I have met, seem to be on the brink of going from inflammation to Autoimmune, and one had an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, full bore.

People are resigned that as they age, they are going to feel a lot of pain. They seem to think that pain is their lot in life.

When and if they do decide to do something about it, the decision is to go to the doctor (of the conventional type) and get pills.

Their MD, in the current model of health care, is “The Who Said of the Greatest Magnitude.” In our culture, doctors are all knowing. The current model isn’t questioned. The way things have always been done is the way most Americans want to proceed. They don’t even consider that there could be a better way. It’s not in their vision of their “known truths.”

One friend is actually on seven different pharmaceuticals, and still feels lousy and still has the pain. In addition, now, she is also having a reaction to one of the pills; she has a rash from head to toe.

These people are all part of the majority of Americans who do not seek a different way. This is what they know. They want to continue to take the pills and they pray that one of them will be the “magic” pill. The pills do offer some relief but come with horrible side effects. These people live in hope, and they have never considered anything else.

I have also met three different Moms with children suffering from acute sensitivities. They are cooking separately for these kids. The rest of the family is still eating the SAD (the Standard American Diet), and the sick child is rebelling and eating “normal” food whenever they can away from home. They want to be like everyone else even though it makes them sick, really sick. These children have conditions that are worsening, and the mothers are frustrated and don’t know how to proceed.

None of these people wanted to hear that if they changed their diet, and took a sensitivity test, so they knew what foods to avoid, a big portion of their battle would be won. They didn’t want to change. They saw it as deprivation. They would rather see a conventional doctor and take a conventional approach of taking pills, even though they recognized that they are still feeling lousy. It is the way things are done.

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