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Clean Eating Kitchen

How many of you have heard of the Clean Eating Kitchen which teaches you how to make easy, healthy food? Yes, it is possible! My guest, Carrie Forrest focuses on Holistic living after going through a health crisis. And I’m excited that she’s sharing diet tips that can improve your health significantly.

Unhealthy Childhood

Carrie Forrest has gone through so many health battles — PCOS, autoimmune disease, eating disorders, panic attacks, anxiety, IBS, migraines, depression, and thyroid cancer.  But that’s getting ahead of the story.

Carrie Forrest shares that she was unhealthy the first 30 years of her life. She lived in California, grew up in the Midwest and ate a standard American diet. Her childhood was drinking sugary drinks and foods out of cans and boxes since processed foods started to take off in the early 80s. It was indeed a far cry from her Clean Eating Kitchen lifestyle.

“I also had a very not stable childhood home, and I was moving a lot. There was also financial instability,” said Carrie Forrest. “I think I had some thyroid disease starting in my late 20s. The signs had icy hands and feet. I also had thick hair most of my life, and my hair got thin.”

Growing Up Years

Breastfeeding was also not popular when Carrie Forrest was born. Soon, it caught up to her during puberty years when the first signs that something was wrong appeared.  It turned out that Carrie Forrest developed signs of PCOS in the late 80s.

Carrie Forrest didn’t have a lot of weight issues. But she would often go to the dentist for cavities filling put in due to unhealthy food choices. Furthermore, she never had a regular menstrual cycle.

During her college years, Carrie Forrest was put on birth control. But she still did not make the connection between starting oral contraception and food choices. To make things worse, about six months later, she had her first panic attack. Things went downhill from there.

Cancer Diagnosis

Around 2005, Carrie Forrest recalls that there was one time when her OB-Gyne felt her neck after Carrie Forrest complained about feeling fatigued. That was the first time a doctor had examined her thyroid. Her doctor did feel something in her neck and recommended that Carrie Forrest see an endocrinologist.

After doing an ultrasound test, the doctor told Carrie Forrest that she would need thyroid hormones one day because her thyroid is scarred. At that point, Carrie Forrest started learning about nutrition and went on her way. Plus, there was also a lot of anger issues stemming from her childhood that Carrie Forrest needed to work through.

“The doctors were trying their best. It’s not like they were hiding something from me. There are many ways the doctors of today could do a lot more to be educated because the information is out there,” said Carrie Forrest. 

She added, “I have a degree in Public Health Nutrition. And that’s like a mainstream degree where we look at studies that back up a theory. The scientific studies probably haven’t caught up. And so mainstream medicine continues to look at the older evidence.”

Life-changing Moment

Carrie Forrest says that watching the movie Super-size Me made her realize that things had to change. But apparently, the concept for Clean Eating Kitchen originated from skimming through her grandmother’s cookbooks.

The cookbooks of Carrie Forrest’s grandmother was full of recipes that used processed foods. Carrie Forrest then realized that she was the third generation of society that has been fed processed foods.

“I was in my late 30s when I needed thyroid surgery. It was in 2012 when I went for a check-up via ultrasound. I thought I was doing everything right. But it turns out I could have had the beginnings of cancer way back in the 80s because of eating processed foods,” Carrie Forrest said.

Surviving Cancer

Carrie Forrest is now cancer-free. The standard medical procedure for treating her type of cancer was to remove the whole thyroid. She regularly does blood work to keep her health in check, but she also had to change her diet.

Taking thyroid replacement hormones is needed for those recovering from thyroid disease. Carrie Forrest’s challenge was to figure out the right dosage.

“I had the Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease which isn’t autoimmune disease. But I didn’t take it seriously. When I had my thyroid removed, it wasn’t until a few more years when I started seeing a functional medicine physician,” said Carrie Forrest. 

She adds, “I had Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease for a good 10 to 15 years before I developed cancer in my thyroid. My body had been producing antibodies that whole time.”

Changing Diets

Since Carrie Forrest needed a healthier diet, she discovered that becoming dairy-free and gluten-free is less inflammatory for her. But because she craved animal protein, she switched from a vegan diet to a paleo diet.

This reminds me of the interview I did with Dr. Mark Hyman wherein he adopted a “pegan” diet, combining some elements from the paleo and vegan diets. But still, the amount of meat remains lower than the standard diet, and the meat is grass-fed.

It has been 7 or 8 years that Carrie Forrest is dairy and gluten free. And she has seen a considerable difference. One of the significant improvement is that her body’s antibody levels went down.

Carrie Forrest however, says traveling is challenging. Because not all places have a wide range of healthy food choices. She also recommends keeping a journal to note down food choices. 

Another a huge component is also dealing with emotional stress and anger. In this regard, doing yoga can work wonders. Carrie Forrest also mentions that she underwent a program at the University of San Francisco called Emotional Brain Training. It involved the idea of neuroscience and journaling your thoughts, and that helped her heal.

“Learn to express. Addressing anger or emotions heals. There are emotional roots in every health condition. So, tapping into those feelings are significant. Also, work with a professional,” recommends Carrie Forrest.

Clean Eating Kitchen Website

Carrie Forrest’s Clean Eating Kitchen website is such a delight! It’s full of tips and recipes that are healthy for you. To further encourage people to embrace healthy eating, Clean Eating Kitchen involves only three to five ingredients.  Healthy eating becomes fun, easy and nutritious. 

“The recipes are all gluten and dairy free. I like to make it simple. Smoothies are perfect for breakfast, and that’s where I like to add more healthy ingredients,” said Carrie Forrest. “I also noted that a lot of people are budget-conscious so my recipes have seasonal ingredients but a lot of it is vegan.”

From her website, you’ll also find a link to her Clean Eating Kitchen podcast.  There’s a link to her podcast episode to teach you how you can make easy and delicious vegetable dishes that kids will surely love. So make sure to check that out!

Bio

Carrie Forrest is the creator of the blog, Clean Eating Kitchen, where she shares gluten- and dairy-free recipes and resources. Carrie is also the host of the Clean Eating for Women podcast, designed to inspire women to take control over their health, with a focus on holistic health.

Carrie Forrest has Master’s degrees in both business administration (University of Southern California) and public health nutrition (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). More importantly, Carrie is a woman who has used real food and a balanced lifestyle to manage a variety of health conditions, including PCOS, autoimmune disease, eating disorders, panic attacks, IBS, chronic migraines, and depression. Carrie is also a survivor of thyroid cancer since 2012.

Carrie can be found online at her website, www.cleaneatingkitchen.com, or on Instagram or Facebook @cleaneatingcarrie.

Get Connected With Carrie Forrest!

Official Website

Clean Eating Diet Challenge

Instagram

Facebook

Clean Eating Every Day Cookbook

Clean Eating Kitchen Podcast

Recommended Reading by Carrie Forrest

Wired For Joy by Laurell Mellin


 

Recommended Links:

Episode 237 – Diet Myths – Dr. Mark Hyman

How To Make Vegetables Taste Delicious – Carrie Forrest


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Clean Eating Kitchen – Carrie Forrest & Ashley James – #262


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