I’m super excited for this episode because I’m talking to Karalynne Call. She’s the owner of Just Ingredients. I was on her podcast a few months back and I got a huge welcome reception from her listeners and followers. They are awesome ladies, just like you guys are. 

I love that we’re connecting these worlds because the more women can band together and unite the more we can make shit happen. We need to support each other and find out how to live healthy and not focus so much on disease. Let’s focus on being healthy and happy and fulfilling our purpose in this world. 

Why are we here? We’re definitely not here to just go to work, get a paycheck, come home, sleep and do it all over again. I just don’t believe that. I believe that God created us for purposes to fulfill and it’s our job to like figure out what that is and my guest Karalynne did that. She turned her pain into purpose and she’s going to share her story with us. I love it so much because she figured out how to reclaim her health. She is helping other women do the same and she’s offering clean health care products such as deodorant, shampoo, face serum, and nutritional items. 

There are some major golden nuggets in this episode today. So I hope you’ll listen all the way through and you can always pause and come back. Think of something that you can take from this post to incorporate into your daily life to keep moving that needle ladies.

On this podcast, we are going to talk about…

  • How we can reclaim our health 

  • Nourishing your body 

  • What foods to include in your diet 

  • What foods and products you should get rid of 

  • Beauty products matter too 

  • The effect of fake scents 

  • Getting educated on the products we use 

  • Karalynne’s resources

About Karalynne Call 

Let me just sing her praises real quick. Karalynne Call is the owner of Just Ingredients. She’s a certified nutritionist and mom of six. She hosts a podcast also called Just Ingredients. She began her health journey 15 years ago as she battled severe depression. She’s helped many others begin their own health journey. She shares the how-tos and the whys behind choosing better whole clean foods in your diet and daily product use. Over half a million people follow her on Instagram and now I hope you guys will as well. You can find helpful advice on how to make small changes in your life and make a long-term benefit for your health. In addition to her impact on socials, she’s launched her own successful growing product line of clean products in 2019. All the links are in the show notes, so please connect with her.

Welcome, Karalynne to the Gutsy Gynecologist Podcast! 

Karalynne: Thank you so much for having me. 

Dr. Tabatha: I’m so excited about this conversation because what you’re doing is super impressive. I  love when women support other women and help move the needle for each other. I want you to share your story with us. 

Karalynne: Exactly. I love helping other women as well and I love what you’re doing. 

How Can We Reclaim Our Health in The Second Half of Life?

Karalynne:  About 16 years ago, I found myself with really bad depression. In fact, actually suicidal depression. I got to such a low and dark place. I thought about how I can’t deal with this depression anymore, that I actually attempted suicide. Thankfully, by the grace of God, it did not happen. At that point, I was like, “Wow, what have I just done?” It was a wake-up call and I realized that I needed real help.

At that point, I figured I’ve been given a second chance at life and I needed to get my act together and get this figured out. I started going to doctor after doctor asking for help and all they would do is put me on an antidepressant. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for an antidepressant. It saved my life at the time. However, I kept saying to them, “Will this heal me?” And they kept saying, “No, we don’t know what will heal you.”

Now, today, 16 years later, if you have a doctor who says that, that is your key to run. Doctor after doctor kept saying the same things, “We can change the dosage or we can try a different antidepressant.” And every time I kept asking, “Will this heal me?” And they kept saying no. 

After two years of going to doctor after doctor, I finally found a doctor that said they can help heal me. It was going to take a lot of work on my part and there wasn’t a magic pill I could take. It wouldn’t happen overnight and it might be a two-year-long journey, but they could help me. 

I had to do a lot of tests. Blood work, saliva, urine tests, and much more. We found out that it was some simple basic things that were wrong. My vitamin D was really low, I wasn’t absorbing B vitamins, I had food intolerances, my magnesium was really low, and my inflammation markers were really high. There was this whole list of things, but things that could be fixed. 

Back then I didn’t know anything about nutrition. I was eating cereal for breakfast, a bologna sandwich for lunch, and who knows what for dinner. I maybe ate one carrot a day if I was lucky. I just ate what I bought at the grocery store. 

So I went on this long journey with this doctor and she helped me with all the things that were wrong. She also taught me some basics about my body and putting things in and on my body that would nourish it, rather than not be beneficial for it. After about a year of working with her and doing lots of testing, we took another year to wean off my medication. I’ve never been on antidepressants ever since because I feel like I healed it and learned how to keep it in check. 

About three or four years ago, I felt like everybody around me was dealing with autoimmune, migraines, depression, anxiety, fatigue, all these different things and I had my inner voice telling me over and over, “You need to start speaking up. It’s your turn to speak, you’ve been through this and you can help these women. These women are in the same place as you were, help them.” 

So I started an Instagram account and thought if I get 2,000 followers that will listen to me, I will love it. I started giving these daily tips such as, “Hey, did you know, ketchup has high fructose corn syrup in it, and that might not be the best for your body. So buy the one right next to it.” My count started really growing and it dawned on me that people are really hungry out there for information. They want little tidbits that are doable and they can actually do in their life. And that’s where Just Ingredients came from.

Dr. Tabatha: Oh, my gosh, I love your story. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable. I think there are a lot of women out there who have struggled, especially with mood disorders, and it’s so important for women to realize that often depression is a symptom, it’s not an actual disease that we need to fix with medications. It’s a message that there are things wrong in your body and your body’s not able to function. Your story is the perfect example of that because you didn’t have some crazy mold or Lyme disease.. Your body was struggling to function and you were putting the wrong things into it. 

I want to talk about how some women just need to get back to the basics, we want to find all these mystery diagnoses and make it so complicated when we’re not even sleeping eight hours, drinking more than a glass of water, or thoroughly handling our stress. So I just love that you are keeping it simple and doable for women to move the needle. 

So for you, it looked like figuring out what was going on in your body systems. But then let’s talk about, what were some of the things that your practitioner taught you about nourishing your body?

Watch the video version of this blog post here.

Nourishing Your Body

Karalynne: The first thing I told the doctor was that I have this personality that if you overwhelm me I’m just going to throw my hands up in the air and say forget it, I can’t do it. I didn’t want to be on some new trendy diet.  I just wanted a new healthy way of life to live. She was like, “That’s fine. We’ll just  learn one thing at a time.” 

I tell people all the time, it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. At the time we were so poor. We had four little kids and my husband had tried to start a business and it went terrible. So, we did it on a shoestring budget. So for instance, the very first thing she said was, “You need to get moving your body and you need to start drinking water. Is that easy enough to start with?” And I told her, “Yes, I can do that.” Water doesn’t cost much and I couldn’t afford a gym but, I can afford to walk every day. I was getting the benefit of the vitamin D while I’m walking and so I just started walking/jogging every day, 

Then she wanted to add probiotics in and I told her I can’t afford probiotics. So, she told me to eat a spoonful of kimchi every morning. It’s like medicine, it doesn’t taste yummy. We started that and then she wanted to look at whole grains and asked me, “Do you have any whole grains in your diet?” I asked, “What is even a whole grain?” Like? She suggested quinoa and I had no idea what she was even talking about. That’s how little I knew about food and nutrition. 

So, she would suggest one little thing at a time and then I would move on to the next thing. It wasn’t this overwhelming thing, like, you’ve got to change everything now. We took baby steps such as getting moving, drinking lots of water, supplements, and just starting talking about what food you are putting in your body. 

The other really interesting thing she wanted me to pay attention to was how many fruits and vegetables I was eating every day. That was eye-opening for sure. Those fruits and vegetables are full of so many phytonutrients, fiber, which is amazing for our gut because we need to feed the good bacteria, full of so many antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and amazing things for our body. Of course, my body was screaming for help with that depression because it wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed to even function on a basic level. It was in survival mode for so many years and finally broke and started screaming for help. 

That’s why I encourage women to find their root cause because if your body is screaming at you with tiredness, migraines, terrible PMS, depression, or anxiety, it’s usually your body’s way of telling you something is off and help me find the root cause so we can fix it. 

Dr. Tabatha: I’m so glad that you didn’t give up because unfortunately, many conventional doctors give the answer that you heard multiple times. They don’t know what caused it or how to fix it. There are doctors who do actually study wellness. I mean, you can’t be in a diseased state and a healthy state, just like conventional doctors, they practice disease-focused medicine, they don’t practice wellness, health-focused medicine. So, you have to find the right provider for you.

I would love to hear more about your diet because I think as women we’ve been trained just to focus on the calories and stay under 1800 calories. I remember being in residency and counting out how many calories were in my doughnut and Dairy Queen Blizzard to make sure that I was staying under calories for the day. It had nothing to do with nutrition and I was struggling so bad. 

Tell me why women should never eat cereal? Tell my listeners about when you’re busy eating processed foods you’re not getting in the vegetables and fruits that you’re supposed to. 

What Foods Should I Include In My Diet?

Karalynne: When I had depression, I now look back and think, “Oh, this makes sense.” It was back in the days when low-fat was the craze and it was low-fat everything. I was proud of myself if I got less than 10 grams of fat a day.

Now looking back and seeing that my inflammation was so high I was probably getting zero Omega-3. Omega-3 is what brings down our inflammation and helps with hormones. So no wonder my hormones were off and inflammation was so high. It’s important for women to know it’s not about calories. It’s about nourishing your body with the correct ingredients.

I’m always talking about, “Does that nourish your body?” So when talking about healthy fats, we know they nourish the body and are rich in Omega-3. Omega- 3 is great for hormones, your brain, and so many other issues in your body. 

This is not some new diet or new trendy thing, it’s a way of life. If you want your body to work the best it can for you, then you’ve got to feed it the best you can. So, that is putting in the right nutrients at every meal. Does that mean you can’t ever enjoy a treat? No. But the problem is, we’re eating too much sugar on a daily basis and we’re not getting enough fiber every day. So all of that adds up so that the treats are too much. But if we’re eating a healthy diet and getting less sugar, more fiber, and more fruits and vegetables in, a treat here and there isn’t going to throw us off of this healthy lifestyle. 

It’s not about counting the calories rather it’s looking at each meal. Ask yourself, “How is this nourishing my body?” It goes the same with processed foods. Look at the processed foods and read the ingredients. Are there whole food ingredients that you know will nourish your body? If not and you don’t know what those ingredients are, there’s probably a better choice snack or food item out there.

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, exactly. 

What is the first thing women should be getting rid of and putting in their diet?

Karalynne: I think people complicate it and they’re trying to count macros or calories. Honestly, I just say, add in more vegetables and more fruit. Fruit gets tricky so, start with veggies. Americans don’t get enough fiber. Fiber is so important for so many functions in our body. So just start there. 

Sometimes people think we’ve got to only get rid of foods, but how about add in.  If we’re adding in vegetables and fruits that actually will just by natural means get rid of some of that junk that we’ve been eating. When it gets really overwhelming for women, I always suggest starting by just adding more vegetables into your diet. 

Dr. Tabatha: You’re right. If you start with veggies, your body will actually be nourished, feel full, and be satisfied. You won’t tend to eat all the stuff that you’re not supposed to be eating. That’s the trick I do with my kids. I tell them to eat their veggies and get them out of the way and then we can have whatever garbage they want. They oftentimes don’t eat the garbage because they’re satisfied. 

I remember listening to the Mark Hyman podcast and someone was talking about the fact that you can eat an entire bag of Doritos, but you can only eat half a cup of broccoli because your body actually tells you it’s satisfied they got those nutrients. Whereas you’re eating this nutrient-lacking Frankenfood, your body never gets the signal that it’s full, because it’s still waiting for the nutrition.

Karalynne: There are a lot of artificial ingredients that trick the brain with that as well. So artificial sweeteners sort of do the same thing with tricking the brain that you aren’t full enough. 

I tell parents, your kids will eat the fruits and vegetables if they’re out and have easy access. For instance, when the kids get home from school, put a plate of veggies out on the counter and see what happens. They’ll start picking up things if they’re hungry. Grab a few things from the fridge instead of all these bars. Put in the fridge things like apples, oranges, fun fruits, and string cheese. Things that are nutritious that they’ll just grab. As parents, if we don’t buy it and bring it into our home, then it’s no longer an issue. The parents are the gatekeepers, so provide options that you want them to eat. 

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, and my kids, they want the quickest, easiest thing possible and that’s usually processed food. So I love what you’re saying, have it cut up and ready to go. They will probably pick it up because they want to go play. 

I also want to talk about how we get exposed to things through our beauty products and what goes on our skin. Because not only does it matter what we absorb in our gut, but what we absorb in our mind and on our skin as well. You have an amazing line of products. 

Beauty Products Matter Too 

Karalynne: Years ago when I was working with this doctor she mentioned that maybe my body lotion was playing a part. And I was like, “My body lotion? How does that affect depression?” She told me,  “Well just think, you’re rubbing it all over your body from head to toe, maybe multiple times a day, and a lot of those ingredients go right into your bloodstream. Do you even know what’s in that?” That was the first time I was like, “Oh, wow, okay, if we digest these toxins then obviously, that makes sense that we can absorb them as well.” So I started learning all about endocrine disruptors and how they are in a lot of our beauty supplies. There are also parabens and parabens are a preservative. We do need a preservative in our beauty products so that they don’t go moldy or grow bacteria, but we know how to preserve with other things that are natural, like vitamin E and derivatives from coconut.

Another endocrine disruptor is Phthalates. They are what keeps all of our beauty products smelling for years. You know, Bath and Bodyworks lotion five years later, still smells like the blossom cherry or whatever it is. But those Phthalates are an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors, as you know, are chemicals that are mimicking our hormones so that our real hormones can’t actually do their full job. 

I think of all these women dealing with terrible PMS, infertility, horrible cramping, and bleeding and wonder if their body is full of endocrine disruptors? Is that something you need to evaluate in your life? There’s more than just the parabens and phthalates, there’s aluminum. There are dioxins that are found in tampons and pads. There’s also PFAS and glyphosate. There’s a big list now of these endocrine disruptors. 

So for a lot of people, again, that gets overwhelming and so I say one thing at a time. Let’s start with your body lotion since it’s all over your body. That’s different than maybe your mascara, it’s probably not as big of a concern as a body lotion. So when you run out of your body lotion, find a body lotion at Target, Walmart, or your grocery store. You don’t have to go to Whole Foods. Find one that is without parabens, phthalates, and endocrine disruptors that are contributing to your hormonal mess. Then from there, once you’ve got body lotion down, maybe try out new shampoos, conditioners, face washes, or face lotions. Make it a fun journey where you’re trying new products and changing one thing out at a time. 

I think people are surprised with how much is in our products. Then they’re surprised how much better they actually feel once they go off of these beauty products that are full of so many toxic ingredients.

The Effect of Fake Scents

Dr. Tabatha: I think that’s an important thing for women to realize. We want everything to have a smell to it and to smell good. I personally try to never have things with smell unless it’s a natural smell. Fragrance is toxic. Do you see the word fragrance on a product? That means it’s a bunch of chemicals that they don’t even have to disclose to you legally. They just call it fragrance and companies like  Bath and Bodyworks are just adding all those parabens and phthalates. That is toxic to our bodies. 

It can get overwhelming. So just start with one thing. Start with your personal care products. Then you can move to your cleaning products or your kitchen pots and pans.

Karalynne: One other thing that I forgot to tell you about beauty products that I get told quite often is, “Yeah, but those ingredients are in each of those products in a safe amount, whatever has been regulated by the FDA.” Or they say, “well, it’s just a little bit, it’s just a little bit in that product.” So then I say to them, “How much is a little bit?”  Because in the morning, think of your teenage daughters and how they get ready.  There are so many teenagers dealing with depression, anxiety, and hormonal issues. They get in the shower, they use shampoo and conditioner that’s got these endocrine disruptors in them. Then they use a body wash and shaving cream. They then get out of the shower and use body lotion, face lotion, deodorant, and makeup. That all have endocrine disruptors in them. Then they may use perfume and the list goes on and on. So how much is a little bit when they’ve used 12 or 13 products in one morning just to get ready? I think it’s time that people wake up, be aware, and educate themselves as to what’s going on out there and how they can best help their own bodies.

Dr. Tabatha: Thank you for saying that. I want to really emphasize this fact because toxic burden is a cumulative problem. It’s not a one-time exposure problem. Those chemicals that we are absorbing, they’re staying in our body. They’re not quickly and easily getting removed from our bodies. Our bodies don’t even know how to process them. They didn’t exist until 70 years ago. I mean, our great, great grandparents never saw phthalates. They didn’t exist. We made them in the lab. Our body doesn’t know what to do with them and they accumulate over time. It’s how the government gets away with it because it’s safe that one time. That one tiny dose, that one time, that’s what they do for pesticides in our food and food dye colorings. Yes, it’s safe that one time. That one dose didn’t kill that rat. It’s a cumulative effect every single day, year after year, what you’re doing to your body. 

That’s the golden nugget of the day right there. 

Karalynne: The problem is, it’s not just beauty products. It’s the food, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and plugins. The government’s just allowing all this stuff in our products. So we have to be aware now. Like you said, how much is just a little bit in the all-purpose cleaner, in the plugins, and the laundry soap? 

It’s interesting, the EPA did a huge study where they tested 1000s of people’s homes. They found out that the air inside people’s homes was more toxic than in big, populated cities because of cleaning supplies, plugins, and air fresheners. I tell people, “It’s not just that we digest the toxins and absorb them, but we also breathe them in, in our own home. That’s actually something really easy that we can take control of, is the air in our own homes.

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I think especially during the winter, we see so much more depression and everybody just wants to attribute it to lack of sun and vitamin D, but we are enclosed so much more. We have the heaters blaring and that same nasty air recirculating. You’re probably using even more air fresheners and Febreez, right? So it’s like you’re extra toxic unless you live in a beautiful sunny place, which I do not. There are some mornings I open the door to let the dog out and I just smell the fresh air. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I am in this stuffy, nasty, warm, farmhouse, and it’s toxic.”

I love all these points you’re making because the only way for us to change and take control of our health is to know, right? So your big thing is, let’s just know what’s going on, what we’re putting in our bodies, and just focus on real ingredients, right?

Get Educated On The Products We Use 

Karalynne: Actually, it’s time for people to be educated and it’s not that they have to go get a Ph.D. or a Master’s in something. It’s just about thinking logically about nourishing our bodies. That comes in all forms of food products, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies. Let’s just be smart with what we’re using. 

I think the pendulum is swinging though because we were so far in one direction with frozen foods and anything processed. But, I think people are now waking up and that pendulum is swinging to the other side. The consumer is demanding better products and companies are starting to make better things. 

I mean, five years ago, it was really hard to find a lotion without parabens and phthalates. Now, you see multiple companies and multiple brands that have these products. The same is happening with food too. I mean, every popsicle out there used to have artificial dyes in it. Now you go to the store, and there are multiple brands without artificial dyes. I think people are thinking, “Okay, I don’t want to be sick, I don’t want to have depression, I don’t want cancer, I don’t want all these things that are happening in the world. What do I need to do to better myself?”

Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, exactly. Some of the big companies are actually feeling that pressure from the smaller companies and giving us better options. I mean, McDonald’s just took that product out of their burger that has some actual fake chemical to preserve it. It’s majorly cancer-causing. The only reason they did that is they felt the pressure. So, we just have to keep demanding as consumers like, “No, we want clean products, we want cleaner food, we don’t want all this shit in her food.”

Karalynne: I tell people, we vote with our dollars. A good example is in 2018 Johnson and Johnson’s profits went down by 20%. So they reformulated all their baby products without phthalates and parabens.  People saw the other baby choices without it and Johnson and Johnson realized they had to do something about it. The consumer needs to speak and they can speak out by voting with their dollars. 

What kind of resources do you have for women who are ready to make changes?

Karalynne: I have a bunch of free downloads on my website. There’s a beauty guide for those that want to learn what products are good in the beauty world.  There is also a list of the 10 easiest grocery shopping changes to make. There’s just a bunch of different downloads they can check out. 

I also have my Instagram account. I try to give daily tips to help people out. We also have a Facebook group. People chime in all the time of things that worked for them, things that helped, doctors they’ve seen, and things they’ve liked. The Facebook group is a great community. I have a podcast as well, where I try to teach people and get the word out there as much as I can. Just like you are doing. 

Dr. Tabatha: Thank you so much. I’m really excited for my listeners to get your free downloads, start following you, and get informed because that’s what it takes. We have to take it into our own hands and rely on doctors to make us healthy, right? 

Karalynne: What I always say though, is there are good doctors out there. Go to your doctor and if they don’t work for you just say thank you so much for your time, move on, and realize that not every doctor is an expert in every area. Maybe that doctor just wasn’t an expert in what you’re looking for or needing. So, move on to the next one and it’s totally okay to do that. I think people think, “Oh, this is my family doctor, I’ve got to stay with him or her.” And it’s okay to move on, thank them for their time, and find one that’s a better fit for you.

Dr. Tabatha: Exactly. Don’t let insurance dictate what doctor you go to. I hear sometimes, “Oh, my insurance doesn’t let me see that doctor.” No, you see who you need to see. Whether you have to pay cash or you have to go outside of your coverage,whatever it takes.

 I love everything you’re doing. So thank you so much for being on this has been amazing.

That’s a Wrap

I love Karalynne’s energy. It’s very calming and nurturing. Definitely follow her. The links are in the show notes. 

Think about what you’re going to take away from this episode to start incorporating into your life. I think one of the major golden nuggets was that toxic burden is an accumulation. She’s talks about how one time, one little thing is technically safe. That’s how they get away with having all those toxins in your beauty products and cleaning products. But, it’s the accumulation of you using them every single day, month after month, year after year. Your body isn’t able to process and remove it efficiently and that really can wreak havoc on your health. So, I challenge you to get rid of everything that has a smell to it that isn’t a natural smell. For instance, a Christmas tree’s pine needles, that’s a real natural scent. Having a glade plugin that smells like a Christmas tree, not so much. Baking an apple pie has a smell to it, burning a candle that is apple pie scent, that is a toxic ingredient that you should not be smelling. 

So I would challenge you to get rid of the smells for a few months and see if your not so tired or irritable anymore. Maybe you won’t be dragging so much and have more energy. You’d be surprised at what getting rid of those fragrances can do for your health. Your body doesn’t have to struggle so much to deal with those anymore.