#044 Beyond the Label with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, Faith interviews her friend and naturopathic doctor, Dr.Christina Bjorndal. Dr. Chris is considered an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach.  Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer and has shared her wellness philosophy with audiences from platforms such as the Jenny McCarthy show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and docuseries. She is recognized as a top ND to follow by two independent organizations. Her book “Beyond the Label” is a comprehensive guide to naturopathic mental health.

Mental Health Books:



In this episode, you are going to hear Dr. Chris share expertise and experience around:

  • her own journey of transforming depression, anxiety, eating disorder, bipolar disorder and multiple suicide attempts through holistic, root cause solutions
  • how “the label” impacted her experience in managing her challenges
  • how being an overachiever was part of the underlying cause of her mental health illness
  • how she experienced several maniac psychotic episodes  and suicide attempts while being on psych meds.
  • how self-love, self-acceptance and her connection to God was key to her healing
  • some of possible contributing factors or roots that lead to mental health challenges
  • how infancy can set the stage for mental health illness or wellness
  • how trauma is biggest missing piece in truly healing mental illness
  • what typically precedes a mental breakdown 
  • why genes cannot be blamed
  • how soul contracts are involved in your individual life path
  • how toxicity impacts mental health
  • the importance of accepting the full human experience
  • how to support the 3 macro-systems of physical level of health when addressing mental health

Website – https://drchristinabjorndal.com/ 

Follow Dr. Chris on Facebook 

Follow Dr. Chris on IG

Follow Dr. Chris on YouTube 

Mentioned in the show:

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss

Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth

The Autism Enigma Documentary

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#029 Calm the Chaos, Build a New Foundation and Optimize Your Metabolism with Josh and Jeanne Rubin


In this episode of IMperfectly Healthy, I interview Jeanne and Josh Rubin of East West Healing and Performance. Josh and Jeanne are revolutionizing nutrition for thyroid health by teaching people how to use food as supplementation, reduce stress and build the most sound foundation for the body to heal.
They believe the greatest defense one has against the ever-changing environment is the health of the metabolism. When the metabolism is strong and the thyroid is functioning, all systems are working in synergy, just as they are meant to.
Josh and Jeanne are teaching people how to use food to resource their body in new ways, which in turn is building a bridge for complete mind, body and spirit growth and transformation.
They are here to offer you back ownership of your health and to provide you the information you need to make more informed choices around your health!
In this episode, you are going to hear Josh and Jeanne shed light on:
  • their refreshing philosophy on healing the body of all chronic ailments.
  • why we must look at cellular function to restore health.
  • the importance of looking at the body as a system.
  • what foods, and ways of eating, support optimizing metabolism.
  • their food strategy that meets you where you are at.
  • what mistakes, and misguidance, they see being practiced out there.
  • the most accurate way to assess thyroid health and metabolism
  • how to stop chasing your tail and instead, build resiliency in your body.
  • how people are approaching weight loss backwards.
  • why weight doesn’t determine health.
  • how important breath is to metabolism and restoring optimal function in the body.
  • how you must be willing to change your life to achieve the results you want.
  • why patience, experimentation and customization is crucial for long-term healing.
  • how health challenges have become a red tag people wear as a badge of honor.
  • why you cannot heal in a state of chaos.
  • bringing health back to basics, instead of over-complicating the solutions.
  • how nose breathing can transform your health.
Learn more about Josh and Jeanne at East West Healing
Follow them on Facebook.
Follow them on Instagram.

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#022 Embracing the WHOLE Journey with Christa Orecchio



“The purpose of our journey is to restore ourselves to wholeness.” – Debbie Ford 

What does wholeness mean to you?

When it comes to health and well-being, you can’t compartmentalize the parts of who you are.  You are a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual being.  A Whole Being.  Each part of You impacts the others.  Your emotions influence your digestion.  Your spirituality influences your nervous system.  Your thoughts influence your energy level.

As humans, we are on the path of understanding, honoring and integrating all these parts into one.  

As Caroline Myss says,

“What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body.” 

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind”

“If healing required changing your job, would you do it? If healing required moving to another part of the country, would you do it? If healing required that you change most of your attitudes toward others and yourself, would you do so?”

In this episode of IMperfectly Healthy, I interview Christa Orecchio – a clinical and holistic nutritionist dedicated to helping individuals use food as medicine to heal from the root cause.  She helps people ignite the natural healing process of their minds, bodies, and spirits so that they can feel whole again.  She is the author of The Whole Journey Food as Medicine Cookbook, co-author of The Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and co-author of the best-seller How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30. Christa also hosts three health and wellness TV shows.

Christa has played a huge role on my path, both personally and professionally, over the last 9 years. She continues to be one of the top resources and referrals I pass on to my own friends, family and clients.   Christa is the ultimate expert on the super nitty-gritty scientific details of physical health and healing disease. She has spoken about them publicly, a whoooole lot. It was quite an honor to have her on the show sharing her heart and soul about her own path, and her passion for the mental/emotional/spiritual aspects of one’s whole journey in life.

In this episode, you are going to hear Christa share:

  • her story of a life-changing year where she discovered the power of food to heal physical and emotional health.  After transforming her own candida, thyroid and adrenal imbalances, she integrated all she learned and has been helping others do the same for over 8 years.
  • the importance of realizing there is no “there” to get to.
  • the impact your emotions, mind and energy have on your physical health.
  • her whole person approach to healing from the root cause of illness.
  • how primary foods – healthy relationships, a spiritual practice, a creative outlet, joyful movement, matter as much as what you eat.
  • how your physical ailments can have an emotional root cause.
  • why Spirituality has everything to do with your health and enjoyment of life.
  • how you are your own most powerful healer.
  • why trust is vital to healing.
  • simple ways to clear and recharge your energy body.
  • and SO much more!

Learn more about Christa at www.thewholejourney.com

Mentioned in the show:

IIN – Institute of Integrative Nutrition Where Christa and I both went to school.

Heather Lindenmenn – Our mutual friend/mentor we referenced a few times.

Caroline Myss – Expert on chakras, intuition, sacred contracts, the soul’s path, mind-body connection

Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro

Louise Hay – You Can Heal Your Body

Brene Brown – Author and teacher

Join the IMperfectly Healthy Community FB Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/IMperfectlyhealthycommunity/

Get my 5 Ways to Overcome Your Food Cravings FREE.

Leave a Review of the Show!! Thank you!


IMperfectly Healthy: 005 Being a Health Detective with Kimball Willson




In this episode of IMperfectly Healthy, Faith interviews her good friend and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner Kimball Willson.  Kimball shares her own journey in finding the root causes of her own health challenges, that led to her passion for helping others achieve vibrant health.

What you will learn from Kimball in this episode is:

– the difference between functional and conventional lab testing

– the importance of looking at the body as a whole

– what question to keep asking until you get to the root cause

– how most often the answer lies in the gut

– why exercise is making you gain weight

– the real causes of excess weight

– why self-care is a key piece to your health journey

Connect with Kimball at www.kwhealthcoaching.com


Your cycle is your guide to living, eating, and loving.

Your body’s wisdom is profound.  She is speaking to you in the most basic primal ways.  In a world where we are bombarded with external stimulation, it is easy to forget the magic our own body has for us.  When we allow ourselves to step back and tune-in, she is there with the wisdom and guidance we long for. Use this guide as a way to honor your body’s natural rhythm.  Follow her lead on how to eat, move, work, play, rest, and love.cycle Continue reading “Your cycle is your guide to living, eating, and loving.”


Understanding Adrenal Fatigue, aka “Tired but Wired”

Did you know that two tiny glands, no bigger than a grape are responsible for your energy levels, your endurance, and your vitality? You cannot live without your adrenal hormones and how well you live depends a great deal on how well your adrenal glands function.

Adrenals and Weight: Stress has detrimental effects on the body regardless of the source; emotions, inflammation, infection, worry, anxiety, food allergies, poor diet. The body responds the same.

Continue reading “Understanding Adrenal Fatigue, aka “Tired but Wired””


5 (more) Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Barriers to Weight Loss, Part 2…

Here are 5 more reasons you can’t lose weight even though you are trying your best and doing everything “right”.

The Wrong Diet: The #1 bad guy here is excessive carbohydrate (aka sugar) intake. It can lead to fat gain pretty quickly.  Carbohydrates (starches, grains, and sugar) are converted to glucose in the blood.  Eating too many refined and processed carbohydrates triggers an increase in insulin. This opens the doors of fat cells for efficient storage.  Eating too many processed carbs, skipping breakfast, and unbalanced meals can cause unstable blood sugar levels which also makes losing weight difficult.

Another key point here is that there is no one diet perfect for everyone. What you hear out there as the best diet, may not work for your body. No matter which expert recommends a certain diet, it doesn’t mean it is what will work for you. We all have unique needs regarding diet and lifestyle. There is no “one size fits all”. You know your body best.

Toxicity: Toxins can make us fat because these chemicals disrupt the body’s ability to utilize and metabolize food.  The high toxic load we are exposed to in our society causes imbalances on the cellular and whole body level.

The burden put on the liver alone is detrimental, as the liver is a major detox and metabolic organ.  As the body gets overwhelmed, it starts storing the overflow of toxic byproducts in the fat cells.

Difficulty losing weight can be the body protecting itself. The body is avoiding the harmful effects that would result if fat was lost and those toxins were released into circulation again.

Inadequate Rest: Timing, duration, and quality of sleep can affect metabolic and hormonal functions related to health. Sleep effects our metabolism, our energy level, and our appetite. When our sleep cycle is off, our hunger hormones — ghrelin and leptin — become altered, thus increasing our appetite.

Maybe you have noticed that when you are feeling tired you eat more and grab for snacks more often. Your body is looking for an energy source. Insufficient sleep impairs glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, meaning the way the body stores and processes carbohydrates is altered. This increases food cravings and explains how research has discovered a link between poor sleep and risk of diabetes.

Hormone Imbalance: Stubborn weight loss may mean that hormones are out of balance.

When thyroid, adrenal and/or sex hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone) are out of whack, weight loss can be utterly impossible despite the proper diet and an active lifestyle.

Adrenal fatigue, which occurs with chronic stress, will also hinder your weight loss progress.

Another well-known controller of weight is the thyroid.  Thyroid hormones drive metabolism, temperature, and energy production.  Other hormones that have already been discussed, such as insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin are also key players in weight loss.

Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are major weight loss barriers for both women and men.

The take home here is that all the hormones work together, in either harmony or disharmony.  When one is off, the rest will follow, creating an overall imbalance inhibiting any sort of budge on the scale.

The only true way to know if a hormone imbalance is the missing barrier to weight loss for you is to ask your health practitioner for a full metabolic and hormonal work-up.

Last but NOT least… Emotional Weight: Not only are we what we eat, but we are also what we think.

As Dr. Bryan Walsh says, “Our physiology follows our psychology.”  Our physical body is a reflection of what we think. So allowing negative thoughts to flood our consciousness about our body only affirms that which we are trying to change.  Thoughts such as “I am so fat” or “I will never lose this weight” only deepen the struggle.

The more we think and talk negatively to ourselves about our body, the more we manifest extra weight, and make losing weight more difficult.

“The self will fulfill our beliefs about ourselves even when they are destructive and disempowering,” says motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Emotional eating stems from underlying core issues that are denied and avoided by turning to food as an alternative to dealing with them. Food is the drug of choice for so many people.

Many people use food to soothe uncomfortable emotions, to replace love, for reward, and distraction. This unconscious practice leads to overeating and cravings. Excess weight can be the physical manifestation of the emotional burden kept inside the body.

According to Dr. Walsh, “When you have a lot weighing on your mind, your body becomes weighed down as well.” There are a number of subconscious beliefs that keep weight on.  For example, weight can serve as an unconscious method of protection and can be used to feel safe.  Being overweight may become an identity one is afraid to let go of.  There may be fears that others will see you differently if you lose weight, so it is safe to remain overweight.  The possibility of losing friends or being seen differently is too scary to risk.

Food is a coping mechanism for many people, so there may be worries around how to manage stress and anxiety without food.  Letting go and clearing out emotional wounds can be the key to feeling lighter and letting the weight go. EFT tapping, yoga, and body work, such as massage, acupuncture and energy therapies, are very effective practices to release stuck emotions.

Are you ready to solve the mystery of your weight struggle? Contact me at faith@faithshevlin.com for further guidance and information on how to uncover what specific barrier you may be up against.


4 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Our nation clearly has a weight problem and the majority of people are unsuccessfully struggling to lose weight.  There are many people out there putting in tremendous effort by eating well and exercising, yet still not getting the results they want.  The common advice to simply “eat less and move more” or the popular philosophy of “a calorie is a calorie”, is incomplete at best.

Holding onto unwanted weight is a message from the body saying there is something that needs attention; something is off and the body is trying to be heard.

Here are 4 potential contributors to the nation’s seemingly never-ending battle with weight (in no particular order).

Nutrient Deficiencies: Food provides essential nutrients needed to effectively run and support metabolism.  The food we eat speaks to our cells… for better or for worse.  Eating a nutrient rich balanced diet provides the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that keep our metabolism firing and our hormones in harmony.  Then of course, there is the opposite…

It is hard to lose weight when the body isn’t given the nutrients (like B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fats. and chromium) needed to run the metabolic pathways smoothly.

Overall, we are a nation that is overfed, yet undernourished. This sets the stage for nutritional deficiencies and puts the body in a chronic state of confusion. The result is sluggish digestion, a slow metabolism, inadequate elimination, and carrying extra weight.

Gut Health: Any gut dysfunction can sabotage weight loss in a few major ways.  When there are digestion and absorption issues present, the body is unable to properly breakdown and assimilate the food you eat. This can create nutrient deficiencies leading to depressed metabolism, fatigue, cravings, and altered hormones.

The immune system, 80% of which is in the gut, is negatively impacted when there are gut imbalances present.  This causes inflammation and stress which halts weight loss and contributes to weight gain.

The presence of too much bad (vs. good) bacteria, infection, and/or yeast overgrowth also impacts the body’s ability to metabolize nutrients and disrupts functioning of the endocrine system, such as the thyroid gland.

Food Intolerances: Inflammation is a key player in our struggle with weight.  The presence of unknown food intolerances results in an inflammatory response every time that food is ingested.  This ongoing inflammation causes internal damage and ends up slowing down our metabolism leading to weight gain.

To identify food intolerances, ask your health practitioner for an IgG lab test or go on an elimination diet for at least three weeks.  (note: gluten and dairy are the two most common food intolerances related to weight.)

Stress: Stress has detrimental effects on the body regardless of the source — emotions, inflammation, infection, food allergies, or poor diet.  The body responds the same.

Stress causes the body to go into survival mode, resulting in digestive system shutdown.  Therefore, the body isn’t able to properly assimilate and utilize nutrients. This confuses the body into feeling malnourished.

Stress depletes vital vitamins and minerals, contributing to heightened hunger, leading to cravings and overeating.  The body responds to stress by releasing cortisol, the fight or flight hormone, from the adrenal glands.  Cortisol inhibits weight loss and puts the body into fat storage mode, causing fat gain in the belly specifically.

Cortisol triggers an increase in appetite and cravings as the body thinks it needs energy. Cortisol also depletes serotonin, making the situation worse.   Alternations in cortisol have a direct effect on all of the endocrine hormones.  So stress is a major contributor to imbalances that make losing weight an impossible feat.  Stress must be a top priority for managing weight and overall health.  Ask your health care practitioner for an adrenal index test to see if/how stress is impacting you.

If you are struggling with your weight despite doing all the right things, consider the barriers discussed here.  And stay tuned for a few more next week. One, or possibly a combination of a few, could be the hidden cause of your frustration.



The Dish on Dairy

Our culture has been raised with the idea that dairy is a vital part of a healthy diet.  We have been led to believe that our bodies cannot thrive without it.  It is time to debunk this myth because in reality, dairy does a lot more harm than good. Here is why…

  • Conventional cows live in crowded, filthy conditions never seeing green pastures where they would thrive. They are fed unnatural diets of genetically modified grains and soy, that their bodies cannot properly assimilate.  Commercial feed ingredients can also contain medication remnants, chicken manure and animal products. Remember, you are what you eat eats.
  • Conventional cows are pumped full of hormones and steroids to increase milk production, and antibiotics to destroy bacteria and viruses.
  • Milk must be treated (aka pasteurized) to remove all potential pathogens. This process removes it’s naturally occurring nutritional value (good bacteria, enzymes, vitamins like A, D and K).  Nutrients are added back although they are in a synthetic form, which doesn’t “do the body good”. Milk is fortified with vitamin D2, an inactive form the body cannot utilize and some experts feel is toxic.
  • Dairy is one of the nation’s top five food allergens/intolerances.  It is thought that 70% of people are intolerant to dairy. This creates tremendous stress on the digestive tract, contributing to mucus formation, congestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of a dairy intolerance include acne, constipation, diarrhea, sinusitis, gas and bloating, watery eyes, itchy skin and a stuffy nose.
  • Dairy intolerance is also linked to conditions such as allergies, anemia, headaches, diabetes, ear infections, skin disorders, weight gain, arthritis and autoimmune disease.
  • There is no scientific evidence to support dairy for bone health. In fact, studies have shown higher consumption of dairy actually increase one’s risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Adequate calcium can be reached from a diet full of colorful plants, and foods such as beans, sardines, sesame seeds, leafy greens, and home-made bone broth.  Eating a nutrient dense diet will support healthy bones by providing a list of vital nutrients required for strong bones, as calcium is just one of them.
  • Dairy consumption raises one’s level of insulin-like growth factor, which is known to be linked to an increased risk of certain cancers.
  • Dairy is acid forming and inflammatory. Consuming dairy causes an increase in acidity. The body responds to this by pulling minerals from the bones and tissues which brings the body’s pH back into optimal balance. This creates mineral deficency leading to a number of health issues. The milk sugar lactose; as well as the proteins (casein and whey) in milk, cannot be properly digested by some humans, and therefore initiate an inflammatory cascade in the body.
  • The addictive factor:  the milk protein, casein, produces casomorphins which affect the body the same as morphine, a known opiod drug.  When the body is intolerant to a food, the immune system will create antibody complexes designed to seek out the enemy.  Unfortunately, this will actually create a craving for the offender.  So dairy is both calming and addictive. Are you one that feels you could never give up your cheese??  That could be a big hint!

As you can see, the case against dairy is pretty strong.  When it comes to conventional dairy products, there really aren’t any healthful attributes at all.

So is all dairy bad?

Maybe not…depends on your individual tolerance. Many with intolerances to conventional dairy do quite well, and can actually benefit from, raw organic grass-fed dairy. Check out http://thewholejourney.com/bacteria-and-raw-milk-a-very-healing-food for  more on the benefits of raw dairy.

Fermented foods like kefir and yogurt, and aged cheese, are also better tolerated than other dairy foods. Goat and sheep milk, which contain smaller and more digestible protein, is another option.  Some do well with full fat dairy like cream and butter, but do not handle drinking milk.

Bottom line: Listen to your body and/or get food intolerances tested. (note: physical symptoms of an intolerance can take up to 72 hours to manifest)

Great Milk Alternatives for those wanting to avoid all dairy include unsweetened almond, coconut and hemp milk; coconut yogurt, creamer and ice cream (brands: So delicious and Coconut Bliss); almond milk ice cream

For more info: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html