A touching testimony

This testimony comes from a beautiful client both inside and out. She has turned her health around, and has dramatically impacted the health of her family as well. This is a story of determination and HOPE!

572 Days After My Diagnosis and What I’ve Learned on My Journey to Health… 

by: Michelle G. 

“Lately I’ve been hearing or reading about friends, clients and family members who have mysterious illnesses. I had zero intention of sharing my journey to health, but for those of you who have been searching for answers to no avail or who have given up I want to let you know there is hope.

Here’s my story……

Over the course of our lives we all get sick, I just seemed to get sick more than most people and always chalked it up to the flu, food poisoning or stress, but in 2013 when I went from being sick once a month to every few weeks to every week to almost daily I knew something was really wrong with me.

Journey to HealthLooking back there were many times my body let me know I was sick, like the time I blacked out in the food store or slept on my bathroom floor for 3 days, which was followed by being bedridden for weeks (Thank God for my amazing husband who took care of me during that time). When that episode happened in 2010 I actually went to my doctor and another doctor and another doctor, but nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. Eventually I got better and stopped searching for an answer, but in 2013 I could no longer deny that I was sick and it wasn’t the flu.

Based on my experience with doctors years prior I had zero desire to become a pin cushion again or pay to hear “nothing is wrong with you,” but this time around I had to find out what was wrong. Well, not to my surprise after visiting countless doctors and spending thousands of dollars over the course of a month I heard those dreaded words “nothing is wrong with you” and was handed a stack of prescriptions for my symptoms, which most days were equivalent to having food poisoning.

I literally thought I was going crazy because something was wrong with me, but medical professionals were saying I was fine because they couldn’t find anything wrong. I started googling my symptoms, that in itself will make you crazy. I stopped eating gluten for a few days, but didn’t feel any different. I was willing to try anything and this time around I wasn’t going to give up until I had an answer.

My next stop was a Nutritionist at TMIHEALTH, who turned out to be my savior, my hero! She traveled down the same path as I did, knew exactly what I was going through and within a month found out what was wrong with me. I had HEAVY METAL POISONING!

Initially I was filled with excitement because I FINALLY had an answer, but then I had a hard time wrapping my brain around heavy metal poisoning and understanding how it could make me so sick.

Come to find out I’ve been sick almost my entire life, my first dose of metal was most likely given to me by my mother during pregnancy, which she can probably thank my Grandma for her dose who can probably thank my Great Grandma for her dose and so on. Then throughout my life my body collected metals from the environment, food, water, make-up, personal care products and over time certain metals built up in my body and made me really sick. (Ever have dental fillings or a flu shot with mercury?).

So now what?

The first step was to heal my gut, which if I had to guess 75% of American’s have a leaky or unhealthy gut, so I started eating organic, free range, grass-fed foods as much as possible and removed grains, added sugar and processed food from my diet. I also started reading labels, holy cow refined sugar is in EVERYTHING. In addition I take A LOT of vitamins and supplements to the tune of 20-30 pills a day.

Health Journey with KidsEventually my gut was healthy enough to start heavy metal detox through a form of chelation, which is a VERY long process, but each passing day I feel better. In fact on my good days I feel better than I ever have in my life, which just goes to show I’ve been unhealthy for decades and never knew it.

While being sick absolutely sucks I really feel like it was a blessing in disguise because my family has become so healthy. Regular doctors visits are non-existent, my husband lost 20lbs. without trying and my boys no longer complain about stomach aches unless they stray. Plus, the food we eat is amazing, better than anything I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

I was hesitant to share my story, but I really want people who are hopeless and in the same or similar situation that I was in know there is hope. It may take weeks, months, years, decades and countless people in the health industry to get answers, but they are out there, so do not give up.

I often think back to when I gave up in 2010 and wish I hadn’t because I’d be so much healthier by now and so would my family, but I’m trying not to dwell on the past and be thankful for my future.

I wanted to end this by sharing a list of things I’ve learned so far on my journey to health:

  • We have to take charge of our own health, we shouldn’t settle for a stack of prescriptions.
  • Our bodies are incredible machines that can heal so many things if we give them the right fuel.
  • Heart burn, acid reflex, IBS, depression, etc. are NOT normal, it’s your bodies way of saying something is wrong, so don’t cover it up with prescriptions.
  • There is no quick fix or miracle pill for better health or weight loss.
  • “Diets” are not one size fits all. While I don’t eat grains or refined sugar I do eat dairy and meat, which works for me, but it may not work for everyone.
  • There is a time and place for counting calories. I personally don’t count calories, but I see people around me who are trying to get healthy or lose weight and skip lunch so they can have a piece of cake after dinner. My advice to these folks is stop counting calories and start counting chemicals and sugar.
  • Our bodies burn sugar or fat, so if we don’t eat sugar our bodies will start burning fat.
  • Removing grains from my diet has significantly reduced my inflammation, which in turn has helped with my joint problems. On a pain scale of 1-10 I use to be at a 6-7 on a daily basis and I’m now at a 3, sometimes even a 2.
  • I was LAZY and full of excuses. I use to blame my lack of exercise on my joint issues or not having enough time. I still don’t “exercise,” but I did start making time to ride my bike 3-6 times a week to improve my health and clear my mind. Within a month I ended up losing 2 pounds of fat without losing weight, which was a bonus.
  • A lot of vitamins and supplements are packed with junk like sugar, grains and chemicals.
  • Eating healthy is NOT more expensive! Our monthly food bill has gone down significantly. The initial expense to clear my pantry hit my wallet hard, but within 2 months I was saving hundreds of dollars.
  • Prepping and planning meals SUCKS, but it’s one of the keys to saving money, time and sanity.
  • Antibiotics not only kill your bad bacteria, but also your good, which explains why I’d constantly get sick a few weeks after taking antibiotics because my bad bacteria came back faster than the good.
  • Kids will eventually get on board with healthy eating. I told my nutritionist there was no way my 12 year old would give up Gatorade, uncrustables, mac n’ cheese or chicken nuggets, but he did. Not only does he read labels he refuses to eat any type of fast food and pretty much eats like me now. Today his lunch consisted of a grilled chicken ceasar salad (homemade ceasar dressing and chicken marinated/grilled in homemade italian dressing), hard boiled egg, banana and organic apple juice, all of these items were chosen by him. My oldest son usually eats a grain free sandwich wrap and takes some type of fruit, also his choice.
  • Educating yourself and your family will go along way. Knowing what you’re putting in and on your body and your family’s bodies is extremely important.There are days I feel like I should have won an award for being the worst mother. My kids never asked to go to McDonald’s or for Gatorade, I took them there or bought it for them. I’m the one who taught them their unhealthy eating habits, I was the reason they were sick and had stomach aches and it breaks my heart to know that I did that to them.
  • The days of running out the door or going on vacation without a food plan don’t exist. I’ve only been out to eat 4 times this year and it’s been a struggle because I’m nervous about what’s in the food plus my husband and I cook better than what they have to offer, but it’s been getting easier. However I turned into that person I hated serving as a waitress, the one who asks a million questions, but I want to know what I’m eating and I quickly learned I can’t assume just because I’m at a “fancy” restaurant that everything is healthy and made in house because it’s not.
  • Most days I want to throw in the towel because I hate cooking and feel like a short order cook, but keeping my family healthy gives me the motivation I need.

Last but not least…..

  • When you purchase a new mattress you need to let it “off gas.” I learned this the hard way, I didn’t realize all of the chemicals in my new mattress were being absorbed into my body as I slept and they made me sick. Of course after a short conversation with my Nutritionist she figured out why I was getting so sick again and sure enough within a few days of removing my mattress from the house I felt better.”

Launching The Nutrition Scene: An Online Nutrition Community

A New Vision, A Larger Mission…. Here we GO!

Since We began our healing journey as a family back in 2006, we have experienced so many ah-ha moments, so many trials and victories, and have witnessed first hand the impact of God’s Plan for us in numerous areas of our lives. We have stopped along this journey multiple times to sit in the “Waiting Zone” knowing that God is shifting us once again, and in HIS time not ours. These last few years we have experienced this like no other. God has brought so much to us, and also taken much from us, in order to communicate clearly and effectively on this next mission he has called us to. This mission is one to impact more lives on a larger scale, and to do so as a family! With this being said, we are eager to announce our initial launch of this mission, from our family to yours!

We are bringing to you a new community, an online community for all things Nutrition! We are launching The Nutrition Scene with the goal in mind of helping individuals, couples, and families begin their nutritional journey to good health. With the onslaught of conflicting information, research, and news in the market today, many find it very difficult and frustrating to first,,, know what to do and what to change, and secondly, how to go about doing it. We have encountered many people throughout the years from friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, professionals, and community members asking us “how did you do it?” or “How do you stay on track?”  and “How do you know what to do, what to buy, what to feed your family?”

From questions about specific health matters, to cooking and food prep, to eating out and traveling, and raising healthy kids, we have heard it all and helped so many along the way. We find ourselves constantly giving out advice and guidance to anyone that asks. So with that in mind, here we are…. Ready to embrace all of you and give you the guidance, wisdom, and encouragement that you need to start making changes. Whether it be jumping in, ALL in, at once or taking baby steps towards a better you and a healthier family, we are here to serve and provide. We wish you luck in your quest for health as you embrace these changes and embark on the next step in your journey to Life-Long Health and Wellness!

Kindly in Health,

Tracy Mastandrea,RD,LD/N and the Mastandrea Family


Here’s our plan of Action for this coming year:

Phase 1 of The Nutrition Scene

~Bringing you the latest and greatest, and the TRUTH for all things Nutrition to our online community nutrition scene. We will be sharing recipes, nutrition facts, Q&A sessions, product recommendations and reviews, traveling and tips for eating out, budget advice, raising healthy kids, and much more via our social media sites:

12923689-small  Twitter: @NutritionScene

fb-logo    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenutritionscene

youtube_logo_small   You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbQGS33m5pfMu3sZm1Ru3_A

images      Instagram: https://instagram.com/thenutritionscene/

~Phase 2 of The Nutrition Scene

Meet our family! We will be introducing you to our family, our home, and our lifestyle over the next few months. We want you to get to know us, from our home to yours!

~Phase 3 of The Nutrition Scene

Launch of our online Nutrition Store and our website coming soon!!!



New Non-Toxic alternatives for personal care products

We have been on a mission the past 10 years to not only remove toxins from our daily food intake, but to also remove these chemicals from our everyday products that we surround ourselves and our family with. When you really start to pay attention to the day to day products you are using or being exposed to, you will be blown away by the amount of chemicals in your path. When unstudied chemicals are used in cosmetics, bath and shower products, cleaning products, and personal hygiene items, the stakes are risky and high… and you are the one that ultimately pays the price. Many companies use ingredients that are linked to cancer, developmental problems, fertility issues, skin irritation, endocrine dysfunction, allergies, and inflammation. Many of these chemical ingredients actually penetrate the skin. Remember, your skin is your largest living organ. My rule of thumb is always this… IF YOU WOULDN’T SPRAY IT IN YOUR MOUTH OR CONSUME IT, THEN YOU SHOULDN’T PUT IT ON YOUR SKIN!  People also ingest these chemicals when used on lips and hands, and inhale sprays and powders as well.

Personal care products percentage pic


The personal care product industry is HIGHLY unregulated. Some of the toxic ingredients you will find are: Parabens, Synthetic colors, Fragrance, Phthalates, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Propylene Glycol. You MUST read the labels, do your research, and source out the cleanest products available. You can actually make many of your own personal care products with basic core ingredients that you probably already have around your house along with a few essential oils. There are also many clean companies I have discovered that are on the same mission as me! One of my favorites is Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products. I discovered these products when I was pregnant with my son, and have been using many of their baby products, the skin-care line (which smells and feels incredible), their lipstick and lipgloss, and their sunscreen and household cleaning products. I feel confident when using these products around my children and pets, knowing they are not getting exposed to harmful chemicals. I was pleased to find out one of my clients fell in love with these products too, and she even left her “Corporate America” job to pursue a “non-toxic” career with Ava Anderson. Here’s her website so you can read more about these healthy products and find the alternatives you are looking for to clean up your personal care routine. www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/elizbethblonde

AANT did you know info

Here’s to Clean, NON-TOXIC Beauty! :-)





Raw Food Restaurant- The Cider Press Cafe in Naples, FL

I always love testing out new recipes and the healthy restaurant options available to us. On a recent anniversary trip to Naples, Florida, my husband and I had the opportunity to test out a raw food restaurant: The Cider Press Cafe

It was divine and didn’t disappoint! We actually had trouble figuring out what to order because everything looked so delicious. We ordered the Flatbread to start. This is grain and gluten free and dehydrated in house. It’s then topped with tomato pesto, herbed cashew ricotta, lemon olive tapenade, caper berries, and sweet basil. It was amazing! We then ordered two entrees to share. The Garden Lasagna – made with tomato, zucchini, sun dried tomato marinara, herbed cashew ricotta; basil walnut pesto, and served with onion bread with basil butter. We also shared The Three Amigos raw tacos – made with three walnut picadillo tacos, guacamole, pico de gallo; and poblano macadamia cream. We devoured our food and enjoyed the energy high that comes with eating natural raw foods! Here’s a few pics of our lunch:

IMG_5255 IMG_5253 IMG_5254


New Favorite Pasta: Gluten Free, Organic Legume Pasta

I recently found a pasta made from beans, and there are no grains or gluten in this product…. And it taste amazing too!

TOLERANT, the Gluten Free, Organic, Non-GMO Legume Pasta

I have used it for hot and cold pasta dishes, I’ve even sent it in my daughter’s lunchbox for school.  I discovered it at a store in North Carolina while on vacation, and now I found it online at VitaCost for a great price. Here’s the link to order these products: Tolerant Bean Pasta 

Here is my personal favorite, the red lentil mini fettuccine: