The Witch Doctor Gets Schooled (and a health update)

As many of you know from Facebook, I recently started my program to become certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. With the two years that I have been avidly researching and using my friends and family as guinea pigs, I have only scratched the surface of healing with nutrition.

In the three weeks since I started this (very intensive) course, my world has been rocked by what I have learned. Here’s just a crumb:

  • Registered dietitians and government-sanctioned nutritionists are sponsored by Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, and Aramark (who provide hospitals with the swill they call food) to name a few of the main supporters of the nation’s health program (source). Lovely.
  • Foot odor is usually caused by a magnesium deficiency or toxic liver.
  • Healing most chronic illnesses and conditions starts with supporting the upper GI region (stomach and pancreas), because it’s a trickle down effect. Liver and gall bladder are usually the second stage of healing.

What does this mean for you?  

I can now share specific information on how certain nutrients treat conditions and allow the body to heal. Many of us know that bone broth is great and the benefits of cod liver oil, but don’t really know how they work. We can explore that together.

You can also follow along as I share what tools and techniques I use to further my family’s healing, and the new diagnoses that I find along the way.

Speaking of my family, why don’t I share a health update while we’re getting personal?

ice skating_Detroit 647px
Ice skating adventures – no make up, red noses, 16 layers of clothing, and tons of fun
Katie’s Floating Like a Butterfly and Stinging Like a Bee

My little girl, who was the sickest of us all, has become the healthiest over the last year. Her allergy restrictions are down to 3 foods in our regular diet – tomatoes, strawberries, and citrus – and can even handle dairy and wheat with no bellyaches. That’s HUGE.

She has the occasional itchy mouth or mucous build up if I’m not rotating our foods well (that’s one of my weak areas at times), but overall her main symptoms are now emotionally based with patience/listening issues. Those usually clear within a day on their own without any remedy intervention on my part.

Motion sickness has been kicked to the curb. When Katie’s nutrients are balanced and she’s not dealing with any food reactions, her inner ear is able to stabilize and car rides have finally become enjoyable.

We have also healed her cavities for a second time. Halloween was her first taste of commercial junk candy, and there were way too many slips during the sweet and grain-filled holiday season. Her newly healed teeth were more painful than ever, and one was so bad during eating that she needed a straw to drink even room temperature liquids.

Some pastured eggs, lots of raw dairy (a little too much actually), fish eggs, Vitamin D, whole food Vitamin C, and the occasional dose of fermented cod liver oil (find it here*) were enough to reestablish her fat-soluble vitamin and mineral stores.

*affiliate link

As of the last two days, she can eat and brush her teeth with ZERO pain and the soft spots are hardening nicely. Phew! Mountains full of mom guilt has been my constant companion for the last couple of months.

If you’d like to learn more about her tooth healing protocol, click here to see the book I used for reference. It’s amazing.

Hubby Has Some Work to Do

My poor husband is still in rough shape.

He’s a bit resistant to many of my healing methods but will do some of them if I do all the work for him. A homeschooled child at home all day and two businesses to run take up much of my time, and I just haven’t made it as much of a priority as I would like to.

Right now, his diabetic condition is stable. His fasting blood sugar levels were hovering in the 100-120 range for several weeks as job stress went up, but we have been able to bring them back down this past week with the addition of some sugar-stabilizing nutrients like zinc, magnesium, chromium, etc.

Under eye circles have been an issue for years, but they’ve become a concern for me over the last year. Some days are much worse than others, and work stress has made them a lot worse. To me, that says liver and possibly kidney issues.

Until I learn the ‘functional evaluation’ that will help me figure out what specific areas need top priority and what nutrients will work best, I’m going to focus on physical detox methods like dry brushing, detox baths, oil pulling, chiropractic care, rebounding for lymph movement, etc. and nutrient support.

The main nutrients we focus on are the detox support vitamins like the B’s and C and all the fat-soluble vitamins for rebuilding.

We’ll also work hard to get the upper GI organs supported and functioning properly. Hubby will take digestive enzymes and possibly hydrochloric acid (HCl) to make sure his food is being properly broken down.

That’s the first step in healing his conditions for good.

And Now Some Good News from Your Local Voodoo Practitioner

This update has gotten very looooong, so I’ll keep it brief.

I have cleared so many health conditions that I would love to shout it from the roof if it wasn’t so far off the ground.

Here are the main symptoms that I have been able to clear:

  • lower back pain: gone
  • shortness of breath: gone
  • random nausea: gone
  • tendonitis in hands and wrist: gone
  • acne: gone
  • excess weight: gone
  • fear of the dark: gone
  • motion sickness: gone
  • hair no longer falls out in copious amounts
  • tolerance and patience have now replaced introversion and short fuse as part of my personality
  • agoraphobia (fear of public places; mine was a moderate fear of leaving the house): gone
  • anxiety: gone
  • body odor: gone
  • fear of the dark: gone
  • brain fog: gone
  • forgetfulness: almost gone
  • chronic fatigue/adrenal fatigue: about 70% better

Thanks for sticking around for that novel. What health issues are you looking for answers to?

Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.



31 thoughts on “The Witch Doctor Gets Schooled (and a health update)”

  • I am also a mom that is trying her best to heal her family of…dandruff (daughter and husband) dry skin (son), allergies (daughter and husband) and adrenal fatigue for me. thank you

  • I would love to talk via email with you. I am currently battling Leaky Gut and a ton of food allergies. Currently I am under the call of an herbalist and she has me on Iodine, liver repair and a hefty probiotic! I am also trying to cure my family of yeast issues. We ALL of it to one degree or another. My oldest son has a lot of anxiety including starting Kindergarten and being alone. He also has some car sickness but only if he is reading or drawing. If he is just riding he is OK. He also has an anger issue at times especially when his “type 1 a” personality is interfered with. I am Gluten free at the moment because of how much it makes me bloat and I am wondering if I should switch my entire family too. I just hate all of the processed gluten free alternatives. i have been trying to make a lot myself! My oldest tends to have a “belly” too! I would love for you to respond in any way you can! Thank you….Thank you! You are an inspiration to me and my family!

    • Feel free to read through the ‘what we’re all about’ sections. You can get a better idea of the diet that has helped us, and what path we have taken to improve our health. I wish I was ready to set up consultation services, so I could be of greater help but I can’t find the time to squeeze them in just yet.

      It sounds like many of your son’s symptoms may stem from food reactions also. You can look for a wellness coach or holistic practitioner that works with food-based nutrition to help diagnose and balance nutrient deficiencies in all of you. I would also suggest getting comprehensive allergy tests to know what foods to avoid while you heal.

      My Baby Steps program (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/baby-steps-to-better-health/) is a good place to start to learn about real food and move away from the processed foods that destroy our health. You can read my daughter’s story to see how the processed gluten-free caused many problems for us (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/a-nourished-baby/). You can also read Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to learn more about how gut health affects the rest of the body. It’s an amazing book. I don’t endorse her introduction diet or her approach to food allergies though.

      I hope this helps to get you started!

      • Jennifer, have you written a blog post outlining how you disagree with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride when it comes to allergies? If not, would you consider writing one? I’m a GAPS fan, but I also love seeing different perspectives and how we each personalize a protocol to best meet our own needs.

        • Eileen, I’m kicking myself for never thinking of that! I think it’s a very important subject to address, since her skin technique is inappropriate for testing food allergies. I will definitely put it on my list to write up. Thank you for speaking up!

      • I read what you posted about the glutend free dairy free SAD. Are you taking about the processed foods that made you sicker? I have been really careful about making everything I can with oat flour, coconut flour and nut flours. I too fed my children “real” food at the age of 6 mths. I made everything myself!
        Another question for you…..In your Bio, you say that you have went years with food allergies and a yeast overgrowth. That is exactly me! So does that mean my boys could have leaky gut, yeast and food allegies too? Is that what I am understanding you say about your daughter?

        • Yep, the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of mainly processed foods. When people remove gluten and dairy from their diets, they often continue to eat highly processed alternatives.

          I believe that flours of any time as a main part of the diet can cause or increase nutrient imbalances. They cause us to overeat for pleasure, and nut and oat flour contains a lot of anti-nutrients, often in the form of phytic acid. A diet high in oats and low in overall nutrients can greatly contribute to cavities. When there are digestive issues and gut issues, they often make it worse. We learned that the hard way.

          You have gotten off to a great start with feeding them real food! Even with any issues they may have, they are starting out in a much better place than many people do. Kudos to you mama.

          If you do eat nuts, I suggest eating only a small handful from nuts that are soaked and sprouted. For oats to be a truly nutritious food, it should also be soaked, sprouted, and then soured/fermented. Coconut flour is too new of a food in the way that we use it to be more than a couple of times a month type of food for me. I only use it in my ‘Silky Banana Bread Bites’ and combine it with gelatin for its gut healing properties.

          With a yeast overgrowth, you could have definitely passed it to your son’s during the birthing process. Children get their initial gut flora when they move through the birth canal. You can do a lot to help reverse that with a proper amount of fermented foods (often a tablespoon at each meal) and a diet that focuses on pastured meats, vegetables, proper fats like coconut oil and lard, and in-season fruit. There are a few good healing protocols out there, and I would recommend reading up on gut healing and then start with some things that seem doable.

    • The easiest way to tell if you have a magnesium deficiency is to supplement with magnesium to see if the foot odor disappears. I suggest taking daily detox baths (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/detox-bath-method-and-recipes/) with 2 cups of magnesium chloride for 3 consecutive days to see if you notice a difference. If so, you may want to get tested to get a good maintenance dose and supplement with the appropriate foods or supplement. Dietary supplements aren’t usually as effective, so I suggest magnesium oil (can be homemade) or baths with magnesium chloride.

      Most Americans are chronically magnesium deficient and also have liver toxicity, so it would be worth looking into both. Two obvious signs of liver toxicity can be dark circles under the eyes and skin conditions like acne, rashes, dry skin, and eczema.

  • I want to know more about body order. Why do we sweat profusely from our armpits even if we are just sitting still. What is the best probiotic to have our children/ourselves on? What is a simple liver detox that even the most resistant husband can easily do?

    Thanks so much for your great blog! I love it! You are truly helping so many people! God bless!

    • Amy, I’m sorry I can’t give full answers without knowing a complete history and evaluation. I am not set up for consultation services yet.

      The short answers are:

      1. Excessive sweating is often a stress reaction, either something your body is physically reacting to like an allergen or mental and emotional stress. As body system are balanced and healing occurs, these reactions often disappear.

      2. The best probiotic is very individual. I prefer fermented foods and drinks since they are natural and contain very high values of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, but the benefits greatly depend on how they are fermented and how sensitive a person is to mold and yeast. For a commercial probiotic, look for one that doesn’t contain ingredients that you may be sensitive to and contains a wide variety of strains including soil-based bacteria. The gut should have a couple of weeks of healing before probiotics are introduced.

      3. Resistant ‘patients’ cannot be forced into improving their health. Liver detox is also not a short-term thing. The best thing to do is share information and make him aware of the different foods, drinks, and herbs that can help to see if he is willing to try any. Even if he’s not willing to change his diet, he may be open to trying some new things that supplement his health if they are available without pressure. That’s a tough call though.

  • This is veru interesting. Can we have more ofthis?
    My daughter is always into sweet things ( sort of a sweet tooth girl).. is there any way I can stop her from craving for sweet things like lollies, Isis, Posicle etc?

    • This blog is dedicated to healing with food and natural means, so you will find that most of my posts deal with this kind of information. Please feel free to read all of the information under ‘what we’re all about’ to learn more about what we do here.

      Your daughter may have nutrient deficiencies and possibly a gut disorder that causes her to crave those foods. I would highly recommend working with a holistic practitioner that heals with nutrition, because those foods are very detrimental to our bodies. A nutrient-dense diet and supplementing with additional nutrients that help balance her system will help those cravings disappear.

  • I am reading your blog for the first time and it has rocked my world. I actually stumbled across you while researching the Oil Cleanse Method and then followed you here. I am at the very beginning stages of starting school to become a registered dietician. When I read the statement above “Registered dietitians and government-sanctioned nutritionists are sponsored by Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, and Aramark (who provide hospitals with the swill they call food) to name a few of the main supporters of the nation’s health program (source). Lovely.” I thought “no way is she talking about http://www.eatright.org. I think a cold chill went down my spine when the page came up. This is going to require a lot of re thinking on my part but I am so glad I found this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Now I am wondering how I find out more information on the nutrition training you are doing.

    • Lori,

      This was such an encouraging comment that I had to share it via social media. 🙂 If you are interested in holistic nutritional therapy, I recommend Nutritional Therapy Association (http://nutritionaltherapy.com/about-nta/). Many conventional and holistic health practitioners are also certified as Nutritional Therapy Consultants or Practitioners, so you could be sanctioned by the government but also have a more holistic view. I know there are complications and some R.D.s have gotten into trouble for recommendations that go against governmental recommendations, but you could look further into that and come up with a balanced view. NTA has graduated some great ones.

      I wish you much luck whichever path you take. I think you’re going to be a great nutritional counselor if you are already interested in a more holistic approach. Best wishes.

  • Wonderful progress, I’m impressed and happy for you! I’ve hit a struggling point in my health journey, after a few months on the GAPS intro diet, I realized I was having issues with oxalates. It really put me in a tailspin- I was ok with meat and vegetables, but now I have to be careful about vegetables and also oxalate dump if I consume too much fat at a sitting and also realized I get congested from the bone broth due to the glutamates- ugh! After months of struggling, I’ve come up with strategies/eating patterns that keep me functional, but am doing nothing to heal my leaky gut and move forward. Having trouble getting psyched to restart GAPS intro because if my issues with veggies, bone broth, eggs, fats…. Any suggestions?

  • I just found your blog and am totally addicted. I just tried the OCM for the first time last night (wow!). I am looking for ways to be healthier. I suffer from migraines and found changing my diet has reduced them to only one a month. My biggest issue is that I have rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve tried many things that are supposed to be “good for inflammation” but have often found that they have the opposite effect, making me more sore and stiff. Do you have any suggested reading on rheumatoid arthritis??

    • Hello, Jessica,

      I was just reading about how our female hormones being out of balance can cause inflammation (and a host of other issues). Have you ever had a hormone panel done?

      • All of our body systems rely on proper hormone balance, so inflammation can definitely result when they are not functioning properly. I have had a female hormone panel (sex hormones) done in the past, but conventional MDs don’t know how to interpret them properly. It’s better to heal the body systems by balancing nutrients and allow the hormones to come back into balance naturally when possible. I am balancing my hormones through first working on digestion and blood sugar handling to work on the hormones of digestion and the adrenal glands. I also take glandulars to support the endocrine system while I heal.

  • Wow, I never thought my social anxiety issues could be related to my gut issues!!! This gives me so much hope that some day I can be “normal” again (or at least as normal as I can get, I’ll always be an odd duck 😉 hehe). I was always kinda shy but I never stayed that way long with other kids, but ever since I started having health issues (young, like preteen) I’ve become more and more awkward and introverted. Maybe if I can finally get myself healthy again, I can be normal again 🙂

  • So Thankful i stumbled upon your blog and instantly “liked” you on Facebook! I have been down this healthful healing path for around 3 years…it started with teeth and reading “Cure tooth decay”. In the past 1 1/2 I have been studying diet hard core because of certain health issues. there are so many out there its easy to get lost. I go back and forth on Paleo, Auto immune Protocol, GAPS, SCD and so forth. But reading your blog just solidifies that I really need to be sticking to these kind of foods for healing! Also, reading about your shortness of breath, lower back pain, brain fog, chronic fatigue, hair falling out in large amounts (due to nursing as well) has been good for me to read since those things I am dealing with. Anyway, thank you…for your hard work and insight! (my husband calls all my healthy concoctions…i.e.fermented foods and cold healing remedies…witches brews 😉 )

  • Just wanted to drop a note and to thank you for your website. Since discovering my years of health issues were due to a casein intolerance as well as multiple chemical sensitivities — websites like yours have been in an invaluable resource. Especially in world where mediocre health insurance doesn’t cover “alternative” medicines. I was lucky enough to have a mom who, through enough anecdotal evidence, knew to remove dairy from my diet as a child and to use non-irritating products. Once I left for college, and she lost the reigns on my diet and lifestyle a bit, I dove head first into dairy and chemical laden products! Since then I have been climbing my way back out of chronic health issues. I’ve had plenty of people ask how I made the complete 180 from where I was to where I am now, and your site is always one of the ones I pass along! So thank you for sharing this information, what you are doing is very important!!

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