#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 

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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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#036 The Brain Flip Weight Loss Method with David Zappasodi

I am thrilled to welcome my friend David Zappasodi to the show today.  I have known David for 3 years now. I was first introduced to David when I saw him speak at a yoga and spiritual center here in san diego.  He was promoting his new book at the time, Immovable Heart Unstoppable Mind. I was able to chat with him at that event and connected with where he was at on his journey in the wellness industry. He and I were both being called to expand and evolve the traditional weight loss approach.
David Zappasodi is the founder of Empowered Health Now. He is a thought leader, international bestselling author, and transformational weight loss expert who has helped countless individuals to break through the weight loss struggle and drastically change their lives for the better. 
David is a super down-to-earth guy, with a huge heart.  He is very passionate about his work, and committed to making a huge impact in people’s  lives
In this episode, you are going to hear David share:
  • his radical methods for helping people find freedom from the weight/food struggle fast and forever.
  • the dramatic results he gets for clients in a matter of days
  • the difference between the thinking and sensory brain
  • why willpower and discipline don’t work and never will
  • the importance of safety when it comes to weight loss
  • how changing a habit doesn’t need to take 21 or 30 days
  • what a brain flip is and how it changes your life very fast
  • what is really going on with self-sabotage
  • why cravings are like bullies
  • how to have a FREE breakthrough session with David to see if his work it the missing piece for you
Book your FREE Breakthrough Session with David HERE
Learn more about David Here
Follow David on Facebook
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Get my 5 Ways to Overcome Your Food Cravings FREE.
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See your food cravings in a new light

If you’re like I used to be, you have likely been struggling with food cravings forever. And, also like me, you’ve likely tried a number of diets and strategies that haven’t worked long term. I know how frustrating this can be, and how defeating it feels to try to “be good” all the time. Because it never works, right? You do well for a while, avoiding all those foods you love.  Then you end up giving in and devouring a whole bag of candy or chips.  Then it all goes out the window…

It doesn’t have to be that way.


I put this guide together so you can start to learn some foundational lifestyle habits that can help you find more confidence around your food choices. The information I’m sharing is not about deprivation or the latest strict diet; it’s about creating healthy sustainable habits that have been proven to both help keep cravings in check, and improve overall well-being at the same time.

Get my 5 Ways to Overcome Your Food Cravings –> HERE

And let me know what you think.  I would love to know how these tips resonate with you.  Email me at faith@faithshevlin.com to continue the conversation =)


Simple Shopping Tips

  • Whole, natural food in it’s original form is best.
  • Most of the natural, whole foods are found on the perimeters of the store. Buy the majority of your food there. The middle aisles are full of canned and box “foods.”
  • Fill your cart with colorful vegetables and fruits. Organic is best.
  • Visit the bulk food section for dry foods such as nuts, grains, and seeds. Stick to bins with only one item listed on the ingredient list.
  • If you consume dairy, choose organic and/or raw products.
  • Buy organic, pastured meats and eggs. Look for 100% grass fed meat.
  • Read the ingredient lists of the packaged foods you do buy. If you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce some of the ingredients – don’t buy it.
  • Aim for items with 5 or less ingredients, there are some exceptions. The key is you want to know what each ingredient is.
  • If an item is something you can make at home, it’s usually a better choice for your health to do so! (see recipes section)
  • Stay away from most shelf stable foods. Some exceptions include canned fish, olives, honey, nut flowers, nut butter, oils, whole grains, and salsa.
  • The 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your cart healthy, whole foods. 20% for whatever you want. Practice moderation instead of deprivation.

Buyer Beware: Health claims on packages can be misleading. Become the food detective when you are shopping. Focus on the food labels and ingredient lists rather than health claims.

Health claims such as heart healthy, low cholesterol, all natural, low fat/ fat free, sugar free, gluten free, and even organic, does NOT mean the item is healthy.  A few examples of such items are butter substitutes, yogurt, cheese, coffee creamers, cereals, and salad dressings.  Instead, go for the food in it’s natural form.


  • Anything with “sugar” listed as maltose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, glucose, corn syrup, sorbitol, mannitol, cane sugar, and maltodextrin.
  • Trans fats listed as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil (even if the label or package says trans fat free).
  • Ingredients you cannot pronounce or don’t recognize. A partial list includes BHA, BHT, natural flavors, artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, food dyes, carrageenan, sodium sulfite, potassium bromate, yeast extract, dimethylpolysiloxane, sulfur dioxide. None of these are real food!
  • Processed oils such as soybean, canola and vegetable oils. GMO’s.

Unconventional Weight Loss Secrets


Register for FREE here —> https://nw217.isrefer.com/go/signup/fshevlin/

New years is right around the corner.  That means many people are making resolutions about losing weight, dieting, and improving their lifestyles.

  • “This year I am going to do it”
  • “This year I am going to keep the weight off I lose”
  • “This year is going to be different”

For most people, after just a few weeks, they are right back to their usual routines.  Excuses come up.  Frustration comes up.  Temptation comes up.  The diet and exercise routine go right out the window.

Have you been there?

What if there was another way….what if there were real solutions.

Guess what, there are!  And they are here just in time for the New Year.  To get all the secrets to lasting weight loss and optimal health, sign up for the Unconventional Weight Loss Summit.

Register for FREE here —> https://nw217.isrefer.com/go/signup/fshevlin/



Eating Awareness

To make positive changes around food, it is important we first discover who we are as eaters. By becoming the observer of ourselves, we can gain valuable insights about our eating habits and choices.

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. This is meant for your own self-discovery.

Let’s first look at Food Mentality.  Explore the following questions.

  • Is food a guilty pleasure for you?
  • What does food represent to you? (love, comfort, reward, the enemy, fuel, pleasure….)?
  • Is there a lot of “should-ing” and “should not-ing” about food?
  • Were there rules in your family growing up about food?
  • What role did food play in your family growing up?
  • What rules do you have around food now?
  • Do you avoid a list of forbidden foods?
  • How often do you think and/or stress about food and your weight?

Awareness and acknowledgement are the first steps in healing our relationship with food.

Our relationship with food can offer amazing opportunities for transformation and grLight Bulb in Appleowth.  Instead of fighting it and making yourself wrong, can you see the lessons and gifts being offered to you?  What could they be? How may your relationship with food be a mirror of your relationship with life?


Gluten free? what is the deal?

I am sure you have noticed everywhere you go you see more and more gluten free products on the shelves and hear of more people going gluten free. So let me break down this whole gluten free buzz for you…..

Gluten is the major protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is thought that 70-80% of people have some degree of an intolerance to gluten, manifesting in various ways. The reaction varies significantly from person to person. Health complaints such as brain fog, skin disorders, stubborn weight, belly fat, fatigue, anemia, ADD, headaches, sinus congestion, digestive upset, achy joints and even mood disorders can all be a result of a gluten intolerance.

All of these health issues are signs/symptoms of an immune response triggered by gluten ingestion. When there is an intolerance, gluten causes inflammation in the gut leading to an immune reaction against gluten. So the body starts to fight against the gluten because it is recognized as something foreign. The problem is that the protein in gluten (gliadin) looks similar to the proteins in our body’s organs. What can then happen is the antibodies developed to fight gluten start causing immune reactions against other tissues in the body that have similar molecular structures. So the body starts fighting its own tissues thinking it’s gluten proteins because they look so similar structurally. This cascade can lead to the development of autoimmune disorders as the immune system starts to affect other organs such as the pancreas, thyroid, heart, joints, brain etc.

With severe intolerances and celiac disease, gluten gradually erodes the cells in the small intestine causing disruptions in the lining leading to a leaky gi tract over time if undiagnosed. Yes I mean leaky as in allowing foreign material and bacteria into circulation…yes it’s scary! This damage prohibits the body from absorbing nutrients from food because digestion is so compromised leading to major deficiencies and malnutrition. This combo of toxicity and deficiency will always manifest in disease.

Gluten contains opioid-like protein causing gluten to be addictive. No wonder people can’t give up their bread and cookies! They are addicted. And everyone knows the sluggish feeling after a large pasta or carb meal right? Well the opiod-like protein in gluten causes that sedative (aka brain fog, food coma) affect.

The ‘Our grandparents ate this’ argument doesn’t hold good any more since we’re now consuming new strains of wheat. Unlike ancient wheat varieties, “modern” wheat has higher gluten content. The wheat we are eating now has been genetically altered so much that the crop we eat today can’t be compared to the wheat eaten even 50 years ago. It has been extensively mutated and our bodies are not genetically adapted to these changes that have taken place in agriculture.

As you can see I love to hate on gluten but you can see why right? According to Dr. Mark Hyman, most people have some degree of gluten sensitivity yet only 1% are diagnosed. Gluten sensitivity can be the root cause of over 50 different diseases/ health conditions. Remember, it doesn’t have to be GI (gastrointestinal) related, you don’t even need to have GI symptoms. From mood/pysch disorders to neurological, cardiac and endocrine, gluten can be the missing cause behind so many disease and conditions.

If you are questioning if gluten could be an issue for you, get tested. Cyrex lab is the best and most comprehensive lab. Talk to your doctor, although many are not up-to-date on this. I strongly encourage doing a gluten free trial either way.

So where do you find gluten? bread, pasta, pizza, cake, cookies, crackers, wraps, bagels, cereal, or anything made with wheat, barley, rye, spelt, bulgar, kamut, bran, couscous, oats (if contaminated in manufacturing), durum, semolina, triticale, malt, hydrolyzed plant/vegetable protein and more hidden sources in processed foods! check out www.celiac.com for a more detailed list

Gluten free options: products made from the following – brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, potato, corn, oats (specified as gluten free). There are more than enough gluten free alternatives and products out there. Companies are clearly labeling their products as gluten free now so alot of the guess work has been taken out! Phew!

Take-home message: If you are suffering from any health condition and have yet to find a solution, give it a shot! Go gluten free for 3-4 weeks and see how you feel. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the thought of taking this on yourself, contact me! I am happy to guide you through the process of achieving optimal health and vibrance!


Cooling the Fire Within

What do all health conditions have in common?

Inflammation is the common denominator that fuels all health conditions.  Chronic inflammation is at the root of a host of modern diseases including diabetes, heart disease, depression, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, digestive conditions, and more.  In the presence of chronic inflammation, damage is done to areas of the body as pro-inflammatory substances are continuously secreted into circulation.   This overactive immune process targets healthy cells and tissues, instead of protecting them.  Over time, this activated immune system creates a disruption of the body’s natural harmonious state, leading to dis-ease and illness.

Within our modern culture and lifestyle lies an abundance of potential sources of inflammation.

Causes of chronic inflammation include: sugar and refined carbs, damaged oils, excessive omega-6 oils (soy, corn, safflower, vegetable), trans fat (hydrogenated oils), processed foods, fast/fried foods, hidden food allergies (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, eggs), hidden infections, chronic emotional stress, over-exercising, lack of quality sleep, environmental toxins, overuse of medications and long term suppression of emotions.

So how would one know they have a silent fire burning within?

Signs of chronic inflammation: joint and muscle pain, headaches, trouble losing weight, digestive issues, allergies, acid reflux, skin disorders, autoimmune conditions, chronic dental issues, high blood pressure, brain fog

What can you do to calm inflammation?

Eat anti-inflammatory foods: choose organic, fresh and local as often as possible

  • brightly colored vegetables and fruits including leafy greens, berries, lemons/limes, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomato, cherries, figs, bell peppers, cucumbers, sprouts
  • healthy fats and oils like salmon, sardines, mackerel, almonds, hemp seeds/oil, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, avocado, red palm oil, coconut
  • sea veggies like seaweed, chlorella, algae, spirulina
  • superfoods and spices such as turmeric, ginger, green tea, medicinal mushrooms, garlic, parsley, aloe vera, cinnamon, cacao, cayenne, dill, oregano, basil, apple cider vinegar

note: organic, grass fed meats are higher in anti-inflammatory fats and nutrients compared to conventional, as well as devoid of the inflammatory toxic load present in conventionally raised meats.

Practice healthy lifestyle habits:

  • meditation, prayer, yoga, massage (studies show these reduce stress and inflammatory chemicals like C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and interleukin-6)
  • connect with a community of like-minded people
  • sleep: 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in complete darkness
  • spend time in nature regularly
  • seek help from a health care professional if you suspect food intolerances or a potential gut infection
  • limit environmental toxin exposure by choosing organic, natural home and personal care products, avoiding plastics, and drinking pure water

Cooling inflammation requires a holistic approach, as inflammation can stem from physical, mental and/or emotional dis-ease.  It is so important to find balance in each of these areas.  Really take a look at your life and how you are choosing to live.

Commit to making 2-3 small changes to start.  Make them small and specific. Once those few changes feel like regular habits, choose 2-3 more.  Keep going.  Small and steady improvements in your diet and lifestyle will give you tremendous results in achieving optimal health and well-being.



Is there a perfect diet?


Nutrition and weight loss is a billion dollar industry. There are hundreds of different diets and approaches to health, which has caused massive confusion for most people. Our culture is constantly bombarded with new diet plans, books, and programs that promise weight loss and lasting vibrant health. Low carb; low fat; vegan; raw; Paleo; Ayurveda, and Ketogenic are a just a few of the “perfect” diets there.

Many people have benefitted by following these various eating plans. However, what works well for one person may have the opposite effect on another.

We are unique beings each with a unique experience of life. No two people on this earth are the same. Ancestry, gender, lifestyle, and genetics are just a few of the factors that contribute to our individuality.

With so much diversity among our species, could there be one perfect diet for ALL of us? How could there be ONE specific diet that perfectly fuels every single body on this planet?

The truth it this: there is not one perfect diet for everyone.

When you learn to listen to your body and develop an understanding of what foods it needs and at what time it needs it, you will discover what is best for you.

Allow yourself time to explore your body, it will respond and guide you in how to nourish it.

Your body wants to thrive. Pay attention to your body and take care of it, so it can take care of you!