(Four success stories of East Texans healing with food.)
Each year weight loss and health top the New Year’s resolutions lists of most Americans but they are often abandoned shortly thereafter. Why? Because rigid diets and workout routines are too difficult for most people to continue long-term and many people never have the physical or emotional health to even get started. But for a growing number of East Texans, who have embraced a new holistic lifestyle that is based on whole food as medicine, weight loss and health resolutions are obtainable, lasting and life-changing.
“This is not a fad, or a flash in the pan, it is a lifestyle,” says John Gillespie, a native of Longview, Texas who is now living in Denver, Colorado. “My health gradually improved and weight gradually came off. I feel good and I know I will continue feeling better.” In April 2009, John began a 6 month wellness program with Danielle Heard, MS, HHC, Holistic Health Counselor and Founder of Artemis in the City, LLC. Throughout John’s program, Danielle helped John dissolve old patterns and thoughts about food and equipped him with new tools and healing food theories.
With Danielle’s support, John has been able to achieve the health goals that he set for himself and completely change his life. John no longer has high blood pressure. His face and skin is not bright red. His anxiety is much less. He has more energy and feels better. He no longer has to deal with the pain and swelling of gout. He is healing much faster. John also feels he has more control over his decisions and choices. He is able to wear his favorite clothes. He is more experimental with his cooking, and most importantly, his mind is much clearer. And he has lost 70 pounds!
"I am happier and healthier than I've ever been,” said John. “I feel like the time has been set back about 13 years. A lot of things came into play with my weight loss. One major factor was learning what my body needs. I was at 240 and I am now down to 170 pounds. I've lost 30 inches off my frame. I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel like I have gotten my life back. Thank you for teaching me Danielle!"
For Brenda Buck, a Longview city employee and resident, weight loss was certainly a heath goal that she wanted to achieve, but it was a terrible ongoing skin rash and allergies that prompted her to give food and healing a try. Brenda began working with Danielle on April 9, 2009 after meeting at the Women in Longview Day. Brenda said, “At the time of our meeting I had a resistant skin rash over a large part of my body and felt my health was deteriorating for quite some time. It was gradual, but over the prior 2-3 years I noticed cuts and bruises would not heal, my joints were aching, I was constantly tired, my blood pressure was soaring, and headaches everyday were becoming the norm. I was with a physician for over 6 months trying to lower my blood pressure and investigate the resistant skin rash. So, by the time I met Danielle I knew things had to change in my life. I just didn’t know how much change was in store!”
Within 4 months Brenda was able to take control of her health just by choosing foods that were more beneficial and healing for her body. “I’m happy to say I feel wonderful after only 4 months,” said Brenda. “It’s amazing! I’m no longer a skeptic, but a full believer. My skin has already healed. My joints no longer hurt. Bruises and cuts heal so fast. My blood pressure has dramatically decreased and stabilized, without medication. I’m not fatigued…and for me this was big. Some wonderful “side affects” are no more food cravings and I feel completely satisfied after eating. I know my nutritional journey is not finished, but I’m so excited about the difference already. Honestly, I didn’t know how bad I felt until now feeling so good! This journey with Danielle is not for the faint of heart, but it’s for those who want to live and not just survive his or her life. Definitely…it’s for those who want to TRULY LIVE! I feel wonderful for the first time in many years.” In addition to feeling healthy and energized, Brenda has also lost over 22 pounds and is steadily losing!
Margaret Cunzalo is another East Texan and resident of Longview who has embraced food as medicine to help her conquer her long-time weight and food addiction issues. In May 2009, Margaret stood just 5’2” tall and weighed over 320 pounds. She was experiencing a number of health issues which included arthritic pain, inflammation, cellulitis, high blood pressure and considered herself to have a food disorder. The weight was a lot for her small frame to carry, and Margaret was not feeling well. She was also having trouble walking due to the pain and inflammation in her back, knees and hip. She was unable to exercise.
Margaret had tried many times to lose weight. She had even stopped eating fast food 6 years ago. Margaret’s last resort to try to control her weight included skipping meals and eating lots of raw celery and carrots. But her efforts were unsuccessful and she battled many food cravings which she eventually would give in to, especially cravings for sweets. Margaret said, “I thought I had damaged my physical ability to lose weight because of the unhealthy habits I had developed. I no longer believed there was a light at the end of my tunnel, until I started following Danielle's suggestions. It felt like light was starting to appear, and I started seeing progress in my effort. The more progress I experience the more effort I want to exert, the more changes I want to make, because I now know that eating a health filled plan works."
Within one month of a 6 month wellness program, Margaret had lost 20 pounds, her knee was no longer hurting, her blood pressure was normal, her teeth were whiter, she was not battling food cravings and she was very excited because she could now wear her cute shoes with the wedge heel! By August 2009, just three months after starting her wellness program, Margaret had lost 41 pounds and was awarded a certificate of achievement from the executive director of her company for her efforts to lose weight and take control of her health. Margaret also realized that food no longer controlled her life and said, "I had a revelation yesterday, as I was doing things around my house that I have not had the motivation to do or energy to do in over a year. My body is healing, but that's not it. I have been thinking about this food disorder and have decided that I do not have a food disorder any longer, because I have changed my attitude about food. I now eat to live a healthy life. In the past it was live to eat, and it did not matter what. I am excited about my physical energy, and have been swimming everyday but yesterday, because I wanted to do some things around the house. I am blessed, and grateful."
By becoming more conscious of her food choices and giving her body the love and care that it needs, Margaret has been able to successfully lose weight and keep it off. She has now lost over 60 pounds, and has made it through two major holidays without gaining weight. “It is amazing to me how the cravings have stopped, because I am eating what my body wants so it has nothing to crave,” said Margaret. “Not craving is helping me move through the program easier.”
Today, Margaret no longer experiences back, hip and knee pain. Her cellulitis is gone. The dark skin spots on her leg caused by cellulitis are healing and almost gone. Her life-long dandruff is completely gone. Her blood pressure remains stabilized. Her skin tags around her neck are getting lighter and falling off. Margaret has lost 2 shoe sizes, 3 bra sizes and numerous sizes in clothes. She is also very excited about her developing waistline and being able to wear cute clothes.
Margaret now has the ability to look at food from a healing perspective which has given her control over her health for the first time in her life. Margaret said, "When I see my friends, and the ones dying of cancer, I feel like I have crossed over to another place. I think my success has been a combination of many things that I have been willing to do, and accept about myself. The one particular thing that has made the difference is a change in my attitude. I also had to change my focus away from the cost, and the money investment, because one way or the other I was going to have to either spend the money in medical care because of the unhealthy lifestyle, or spend the money to insure my health in preventative measures. I am worth the investment. I am going to continue to work with Danielle because I have achieved a level of comfort and success working with Danielle that I have not achieved in the past and I feel very hopeful for the first time in my life.”
And like Margaret, Michelle Cook, a long time resident of Longview, also needed another alternative to help her obtain the health that she wanted for herself. In March 2009, Michelle experienced an alarming incident that helped her decide to take control of her health – a heart attack. Michelle’s health had steadily deteriorated since 2005. At the age of 50, she was unable to work or go and do things on her own. Michelle relied heavily on the care of family members to help her. According to Michelle, “I became a true invalid locked in my own home. Many days I was barely able to get out of my bed.” After living with illness, pain and severe chronic fatigue for many years, Michelle decided it was time to change her situation. Within 6 months of implementing food and healing methods, Michelle regained her health, became able to do what she wants on her own and is now living life again!
When Michelle met Danielle in June 2009, she was just recovering from a heart attack, and had many other health issues which included Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia as well as Low Thyroid, Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure. Michelle’s primary health goal that she wanted to achieve from the 6 month wellness program was to just be able to have enough energy and strength to go to the store on her own to buy her grandson toys. “I want to enjoy it and be able to take my time,” said Michelle. “I have not had the energy to do this since 2005.”
Within a very short amount of time, Michelle’s body began to respond to the love, care and whole food that it was receiving and Michelle started to feel better. Just one month after starting her wellness program, Michelle was able to cut her blood pressure medication in half. She was also sleeping better and without her CPAP machine for sleep apnea. She had more energy and was physically able to walk with her husband and dog around the block. And most remarkably, Michelle went from having EBV symptoms every day which involved running fever, breaking out into a sweat and then becoming so fatigued that she would need to sleep, to just having EBV symptoms one day a week!
By August 2009, Michelle had really turned a corner and had become very conscious of her own body and how food was directly affecting it. She was also very excited because a large dark scar that she had since 2002 was noticeably smaller and less puckered. Then in November 2009, less than 5 months into her wellness program, Michelle was able to enjoy a vacation in Sedona, AZ. Upon her arrival, she felt energized and was able to go site seeing, shopping and on 2 ½ mile nature hikes with her husband.
Today Michelle’s health and quality of life have significantly improved. She no longer has migraines, brain fog, chest pain, constipation, sleep apnea, severe body pain or insomnia. She rarely experiences EBV symptoms anymore and if she does, her symptoms are significantly reduced and they do not last as long. She has significantly more energy and is still productive past 10:00 PM. She no longer needs naps in the afternoon and has a choice if she wants to go out in the evening. Michelle is now able to go on walks with her husband and dog. She is able to go shopping for toys for her grandson, antiquing, to her shop and to visit friends in surrounding towns - all on her own! She has clearer, brighter and prettier skin. Her old scar is healing and is almost completely gone. Michelle is more comfortable in the kitchen preparing food. Her depression is much better and is more situational now. Michelle has also been able to cut the number of medications she takes in half, and she has lost 10 pounds! “My life has completely changed in the last 6 months,” said Michelle. “I now have the energy to go and do things on my own. I am also more comfortable with things as the frustration level is not there anymore. Danielle has helped me so much. She has shown me how to help myself. I want to live again and now I can. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
For these East Texans, there is no going back to the old way of life. They have learned to connect how they feel with the food that they eat and have witnessed for themselves the miraculous ability that food has in helping the body heal itself. According to Danielle, “Once I help someone become conscious of the direct connection between the quality of ‘Food’ in their life and the state of their health and well-being, a life is changed forever.” By embracing food as medicine, people are able to achieve their health goals and set new resolutions the next year!
For more information, please contact Danielle Heard 212-535-3160. Complete success stories, before and after photos and testimonials can be reviewed on the Artemis in the City website at www.artemisinthecity.com.
"John Got His Life Back and Lost 70 Pounds!" - http://artemisinthecity.com/John_Got_His_Life_Back_and_Lost_70_Pounds
"Margaret is Free from Food Addictions and Lost 60 Pounds!" - http://artemisinthecity.com/Margaret_is_Free_from_Food_Addictions_and_Lost_60_Pounds
"Michelle Regained Her Health and is Living Life Again!" - http://artemisinthecity.com/Michelle_Regained_Her_Health_and_is_Living_Life_Again
Brenda Buck Testimonial - http://artemisinthecity.com/client_testimonials
Danielle Heard, MS, HHC is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Natural Whole Foods Chef and Founder of Artemis in the City, LLC a Holistic Nutrition Services company. Successfully healing herself of connective tissue disease and fibromyalgia forever changed her relationship with food. She firmly believes in the healing properties of natural whole foods and is dedicated to helping people make better health choices in order to improve their health and prevent disease. Danielle is a graduate of Teachers College Columbia University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Holistic Health Counselor. She is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Danielle is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts Chef Training Program and specializes in natural organic health-supportive meal planning and cooking. Additionally, Danielle holds a Master of Science in Strategic Communications degree from Columbia University in the City of New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree from the University of Texas. A native of Longview, Texas, Danielle has a great love for nature, animals, gardening and delicious healthy food!
Experience includes working with clients who have a wide range of health conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, food allergies, food cravings, skin rashes, dandruff, migraines, Epstein Barr virus, heart disease, constipation, allergies, cyclic vomiting syndrome, ulcerative colitis, IBS, indigestion, hypoglycemia, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, gynecological issues, depression, acne, candida, MS, low thyroid, cellulitis, sleep apnea, insomnia and more.
Mission Artemis in the City's mission is to provide holistic health and natural whole foods nutrition support services that educate and empower people to - take control of their own health and well-being; make better health choices; prevent or reverse disease and create a balanced life filled with good health, happiness and love.