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!!!



Grain-Free Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

We all have those days when we need a quick fix and quick recipe to make… I finally found a healthy convenient solution. On a recent trip to North Carolina I was exploring one of my favorite stores there called Earth Fare when I came upon this brand of baking mixes. It caught my attention quickly as I saw words like Gluten Free, Soy Free, Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, and Paleo-friendly. When I read the ingredients and the instructions, I knew I just had to try it out. I have clients tell me they would love to cook and bake more but they just run out of time. So this is a great alternative, you can have the mix done in about two minutes, and then in the oven it goes! My first item I tried from Simple Mills was the pumpkin muffin mix. I personally think that the spice blend in this mix could not be more perfect. My 16 month old son and 9 year old daughter LOVE them too! I have since tried all of their mixes and they are all wonderful! Health tip: when making these products, I prefer to use coconut oil for the oil mix-in ingredient. We know the multiple benefits of coconut oil and this is a perfect opportunity to include it in a recipe.

The Simple Mills distribution channels are still limited, however you can order directly from the company on their website and shipping was very inexpensive: Simple Mills Website

Here’s a picture of the pumpkin muffin mix I first tried…. YUM! Just in time for Fall, ENJOY!!

IMG_5116 IMG_5115


GMO health concerns and the USDA

The USDA is in charge of the national organic program, however, there are a few facts you should know.

Do not trust the USDA!

Although their stamp of organic goes a long way, there’s no guarantee. Over time we have seen the FDA endorse food additives, chemicals, GMO, and many more disease causing foods so you must be your own investigator.

Read through this paragraph that came DIRECTLY from the USDA site and you will see they support GMO:

“Welcome to the USDA’s Agricultural Biotechnology Website: The USDA supports the safe and appropriate use of science and technology, including biotechnology, to help meet agricultural challenges and consumer needs of the 21st century. USDA plays a key role in assuring that products produced using biotechnology are safe to be grown and used in the United States. Once these products enter commerce, USDA supports bringing these and other products to the worldwide marketplace.”  (http://www.usda.gov)

Why are GMO’s such a problem? When a crop is genetically modified, it allows the crop to produce its own pesticide which protects it from dying when sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, particularly “Round Up” made by the Monsanto Company. This same company is the producers of the GMO seeds. Coincidence?? I think not! So now the crop has been genetically modified and then sprayed with round up. Does that sound appetizing? Do you want to feed this to your children? You might be saying NO and shaking your head to this but you are feeding this to your children. If you are buying any of our standard American products that contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, soybean oil, soy oil, or soy period,,, then you are consuming genetically modified substances.

Learn more about the harm of Round Up containing Glyphosate: Round Up Harm

Have you seen the French scientists’ long-term study of GMO effects on rats? The rats get tumors the size of baseballs and die an early death.

Since one of the heads of the FDA, Michael Taylor, used to be a lobbyist and vice president of Monsanto, don’t look for regulations any time soon, especially since Obama appointed him and the re-election is set in stone. Also, watch for articles, lawsuits, and companies that sell out from organic to corporate run pseudo-organic. They are caving by the numbers. It’s all about the money, until people get cancer and can’t buy their way out of it.

What can you do?! Demanding GMO labeling on all products is a huge start, you can also make sure to buy only from reputable companies and getting 100% organic ingredients. The two top GMO crops are corn and soy! I personally stay away from all corn and soy products! If a label has corn or soy in it, I don’t use it! That’s the best way to be safe. Be aware that most restaurants use corn oil or soy oil for their frying and oil needs. So choose wisely when eating out. Start reading your food labels and also check out your local farmers markets. If you get to know your local farmers you can learn from them what they are doing in their fields to keep their crop safe! This will help keep you and your family safe!