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Episode 23 – Inspired Health Journey: Julia Chiappetta
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Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m joined by my co-host, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Hey, everyone.
Jonathan Hunsaker: We have a very special guest today, Julia Chiappetta, and we’re actually doing a little bit different podcast than we normally do. We’ve been doing a lot of travel lately, and so, we were unable to have Julia in-studio with us. So, TeriAnn and I are here in the studio, Julia is at her home, and we’re doing a virtual podcast today. Julia, thank you for joining us.
Julia Chiappetta: I’m so excited to be here. I’m up in Connecticut. It’s actually a warm day here today, guys.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Awesome. We have a warm day here in Texas as well, which is nice. Yeah, we want to do a little bit of an intro on Julia today. Julia is a breast cancer survivor and author of Breast Cancer: A Notebook, a reference guide that provides a foundation of facts to the newly-diagnosed, survivors, or those wishing to take a preventative view from age 18 and up. Julia actively pursues health and wellness through running, cross-training, Pilates, and fueling her body with an organic, vegetarian diet.
She finds joy and meaning as a patient advocate for those with breast cancer, interaction support for kids in need, and teaching exercise to the over-80 crowd, which I think is awesome. She is the owner and president of the Julia Chiappetta Consulting Group. Her expertise includes marketing, branding, meeting and event planning in business development.
She’s also a visionary, writer and problem-solver. She continues to seek optimum health, even after she overcame breast cancer. She continues to seek optimum health by fueling her body with an organic, mostly raw diet, as I mentioned before. She sits on the board for the Annie Appleseed Project, Greenwich Christian Preschool, Best Answer for Cancer, The Pink Fund, and the Board of Health, Town of Greenwich, Connecticut. She’s appeared on Fox News, NBC, CBS, and several radio broadcasts. We’re so excited to have here today to be able to learn more from her.
Julia Chiappetta: Well, that list made me tired.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Tell us your story. Tell us what happened when you got diagnosed with breast cancer.
Julia Chiappetta: Okay, so it was 1999. I was training for triathlons. I’ve always been an athlete. I’ve been training my whole life in sports. And I went on a business trip to Europe and stopped off to a friend’s wedding in Scotland, came back, and about a month later, I was doing my ritual of self- examining my breasts. And it was winter in Connecticut. And I felt what—it felt like a little mosquito bite on the outer edge of my right breast. And I thought, “Well, this is odd.” I’ve been self-examining for years. My gynecologist was way ahead of her time, and she taught me how to self-examine. When I turned 30, that was my birthday present.
So, I recognized that this one felt very different, very foreign. Called her the next day, went for a mammogram. Had just had one the month prior as part of my annual physical. The doctor said “You are fine. There’s nothing to worry about.” And I started crying and said “No, it’s definitely different. It’s foreign. I know it. I need to do a biopsy.” And he sort of foo-foo’d me and said “Well, we’re not going to do that.” And then after big crocodile tears, said “Okay,” finally, “we’ll do it.”
The next day, I went to the hospital. They did the biopsy. I waited 24 painful hours. And the doctor called me, and the first thing he said was “I need to apologize. I need—I learned a very important lesson today, and that is that I need to listen to my patients more. You have stage 2-B infiltrating ductile carcinoma, very aggressive cancer. You need to do something immediately. Come to my office tomorrow.” So, that was the beginning.
Then, for me in my apartment, sitting there that day, I remember it vividly, it was a Saturday, it was beautiful, sunny day. I got on my knees, I prayed, and I just asked God for peace and guidance. That’s where I go to, that’s my strength. And the phone rang two hours later, and it was my cousin, who lives in Dallas, who I told the story to. And he said, “I have somebody for you to see, a doctor down here.” Next day, I went to my gym, and the gentleman that I met about a year before, who was working for GE, he was a scientist and a doctor, told him what was going on. He said “Don’t worry. We’re going to navigate through this maze of alternative medicine together. I’m going to help you to understand what’s going on in your body. I’m going to help you. I’m going to come alongside of you.”
And that was like a total blessing from God, because I barely knew him. We had just been training together. So, that started my journey. I started doing research. By the time I had my first appointment with the oncologist, I decided that I was going to implement a natural protocol. So, how did that look? Well, I cleaned out my entire house. I mean filled the dumpster at my condo complex. I threw out my microwave, all my makeup, all my food, all my cleaning solutions, some clothing, carpeting, anything that I could sense or feel that was toxic. And I started from scratch, because it was easier for me to do it that way than to try to pick and choose what was good, what wasn’t good. So, I embarked on this journey, that I still follow today, and that includes nutrients, supplements, raw, mostly raw vegan food, wheatgrass, juicing, organic, high—high nutrient content foods, superfoods, anti-inflammatory diet, alkaline diet. And I’ll tell you, it was hard. It was hard. I’m Italian. I was eating pasta and bread and cheese and fish and meat, the typical Mediterranean diet, which in most cases, seemed like it was healthy. But I learned that it wasn’t for me, for what my body needed. And so—
TeriAnn Trevenen: How did your family and friends take that? That’s a big shift in your life. I know I’ve experienced really interesting things in my life as I shifted my health and gone more natural with things in my life. I get interesting reactions from people. But that’s like a very drastic life change. Not only to say, “I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and I’m going to do natural protocols,” but then to basically rip all these things out of your life and replace them with new things. What was that like for you with family and friends? What was the feedback that you received?
Julia Chiappetta: Well, at first, I didn’t tell any of my family or friends, because they’re—
TeriAnn Trevenen: They won’t get that—
Julia Chiappetta: Because they’re Italian, and they all want a say.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yep, yep.
Julia Chiappetta: I actually heard doctors tell me that I was going to die, friends of mine told me I was crazy. So, I kept my—I kept quiet for the most part, until I really had the plan implemented, but they all thought I was nuts, that I wouldn’t follow the typical protocol. For me, in my own mind, what’s drastic is putting chemotherapy into your body. For me, what’s drastic is burning my body with radiation, or taking drugs, or puking over a toilet bowl, or losing all of my hair and every healthy cell in my body.
So, for me, that was more drastic than implementing something completely different. And mind you, that protocol included giving up my six-figure income, the career that I had built my entire life to succeed at, which involved traveling all over the world, producing events, and marketing and branding, and not having a life, and not having proper rest, and a lot of stress. I was engaged at the time, and I ended that relationship. That was also toxic. And so, I tried to eliminate all the toxins in my body. So, for me, it was scary at first, but I know this sounds crazy, but it became almost exciting, because I was—I was a part of it. I was allowing myself to become the CEO of my own body, and maybe this [crosstalk 0:26:39]
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love that.
Julia Chiappetta: —that were—that were smart. Because it wasn’t just one thing that got me sick, it was probably 20 things and 20 years, and it’s never one thing. And so, just like I see your beautiful supplement line behind you, it’s not just one supplement, it’s a combination of things that we need to provide for our bodies to make them healthy and keep them strong. And so, for me, I made those decisions based on diagnostics, what was lacking in. I did all kinds of panels to determine that. So, it was a very interesting time.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, Julia, let me ask, I mean this was 2000, right? The year 2000? 19 years ago. I started The Truth About Cancer in 2014. We brought a lot more attention to alternative medicine. In 2000, there wasn’t a lot of it at that time.
You go from eating a regular Mediterranean diet, living a “normal” lifestyle, right? Traveling around, focused on your career, engaged. How did you even make that shift? I mean when you were up against that decision of “Do I go do chemo, or do I take this,” may I call it “crazy route? The alternative route.” Because nobody was thinking that that was—that that was even an option at that time. How did you get to that point? Because what I really want to do is, I want to help people that are listening right now, right? That are up against that decision, and not necessarily cancer, but any kind of disease, or any kind of health choice. How did you get there?
Julia Chiappetta: Well, I got there first with prayer, and I had a total peace in my heart about what I was going to do, because I did the research. I spent three months researching and uncovering the layers of the onion, so to speak, of the cancer industry, and what was standard protocol, what—what were the outcomes? What were some of the risks? You don’t often hear the risks. I was able to actually look into all the secondary cancers that are a result of primary cancers that are treated with chemo and radiation, and how people become unwell. For me, I, as an athlete, I just looked at the finish line. I had a vision that I was going to be healthy.
I had a peace in my heart that what I was doing was right, so that I could go for it and tackle it. And I think that’s really important. You have to have a peace, and you have to make that decision yourself. Often, people I speak to are allowing husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, doctors, friends to make those decisions for them, or to say “Well, I did this, and you should try it.” Well, it’s not based on that. It’s based on science, like “What’s going on in my body?” So, I had bloodwork done. I had testing done to find out what was going on. I had an informed foundation of facts. And then I implemented a completely new way of nurturing my body and healing it, and that was through superfoods, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, nutrients. Wheatgrass, at the time, was my platform, and I still do wheatgrass pretty much every day.
There—you’re right, there was nothing to be found on the internet. I had to really dig deep. So, I had the help of this friend of mine, Mark, who was a scientist and had a medical background, who got me into a lot of these websites that you can’t really get into unless you have special sign-in privileges. And I was reading abstracts and learning how to read medical jargon, and taking notes, and going to conferences, and watching doctors on videos that were very—there was very few and far between at that point.
And then I found the Annie Appleseed Project, whose board I sit on, and Ann Fonfa, who was also a similar situation, had started collecting data. And that was about the only website mainstream that I found where I could get information from. But for me, the continuing education was full-time. I had to go to the ‘Office of Health and Wellness’ every morning and look through websites and watch videos and go to conferences.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah, and I love one of the things that you said earlier about being the CEO of your own body. I think that’s really powerful to touch on, because would you say that it’s true that until that diagnosis was staring you in the face, you were just like going through life, going through the motions? And when you realized, like, “My life is technically in jeopardy. People are telling me like I’m going to die, and I have to do these crazy things.” And you realize “I have to change drastically.”
What would you say to people in being a CEO of your own body, in taking control of your health? From what you learned in that moment, of having that stare you in the face, and feeling like “I have to do something about this,” looking back, what would you say to yourself before you got to that point, if you could talk to yourself before that diagnosis about your health? How would you have changed your life before the diagnosis, if you could speak to an earlier version of yourself?
Julia Chiappetta: I would have told myself to not work so many hours, to not put so much pressure on myself to be successful, because it means zero when you hear a cancer diagnosis, to enjoy free time more, to learn how to eat healthy, to understand the immune system and what it really needs. I thought I knew some of this, but I knew zero, really. I was uninformed.
It’s a shocking thing when you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis, but for me, as I said, my foundation was prayer, and God gave me a peace that this was the right path for me. And I used to say to all of my friends, this is— “Death is 100 percent, right? If this is the way I’m going to die, then I’m going to control that. I’m going to go to Tuscany, rent a villa, be there until I pass away, somewhere that I love and believe in and would make me feel happy, and/or make decisions that would make me feel happy.” Everybody gets so wrapped up in “Well, I have cancer, but I’m so busy. I need to do this.” But for me, I put all of that aside and just took the time off to get to know what my body needed. So, becoming the CEO was a very important job, and it was also very time-consuming.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I think what’s interesting, too, a lot of times, and just leaned this with The Truth About Cancer, is when you get that diagnosis, doctors are rushing you into “You need to start chemo tomorrow.” Cancer doesn’t grow overnight like that. It does not appear in your body overnight like that. And so, one thing I love about hearing your story is you took the time to do the research, right?
This is your body, this has developed over a certain amount of time, and you took the time to get the bloodwork done, to make these changes and not feel like you just were pressured into doing something that you weren’t 100 percent with. Can you talk about that? Just about how long it takes for breast cancer to form before you even feel it, and anything else you’ve learned along the way? I really want this—I love your story, and I love that you are a survivor naturally, and I want to make sure that we give enough time to our audience to really under—to have a lot of takeaways here. We have a majority female audience, 40 years and older, and I just—I really want to take this time to educate them on some of the things you learned to help them live a healthier, happier life, and yeah, just take care of themselves better.
Julia Chiappetta: Well, first of all, I never say I’m a survivor or I’m in remission. I always say, “I’m healed.” Because it’s a mindset. I don’t want to give any power over to anything negative, or any—like the next ball may drop, you know? “I’m in remission, it’s been five years, but oh my gosh…” So, I truly and firmly believe that I am healed, and I believe that because I feel it, because when I started my protocol with all these nutrients and vitamins and this food change, it was really a lifestyle change that I went through.
It was like going away on a business trip and having all the plants in your house dry and brittle when you came home because you forgot to water them, or have somebody water them, and then suddenly, you start watering, and then you start to see a miracle of a little bud, right? Sometimes you have to throw the plant out, but often, you see a miracle of a little bud. And that’s how my body felt. I felt my body was coming alive, it was awakening. I looked better, my hair looked better, my skin looked better, my nails were growing very strong, I had energy. I was an athlete, so I was able to go out and run and work out and do all the things that I had done my entire life.
So, as I began to feel better, I was journaling and I was keeping track of how I was feeling, and it was a miracle. I went to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a third opinion, just because I wanted to find out for myself if there was any lymph node involvement. Because I would tweak my protocol based on diagnostics. So, I went to MD Anderson Cancer Center about three months later, and met an amazing doctor down there named Merrick Ross, who’s one of the best in the world. He runs the Surgical Oncology Department there, breast cancer is his thing. He perfected the sentinel node biopsy. We became fast friends.
You walk in, and they’re having a board meeting about your body. They have all your tests from the last 10 years. You’re sitting there, and they’re saying “Okay, who was Julia then? Who is she now? And who does she want to be?” And “What have you been doing? What have you been taking? What’s your plan of care?”
And so, I explained to them everything that I had been doing, and they were like “Well, okay. Let’s do some bloodwork.” They did the bloodwork, and every single test was in normal range, and that had only been 90 days of implementing the diet and what I was doing, my protocol, which was a lot of things, guys. I mean it wasn’t just one thing, it was—I was doing everything, you know? I was taking you name it, and I was taking what I thought I—my body needed.
And so, that was really encouraging, when they looked at me and said “Well, I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is, it’s working. Keep it up. We’ll do some more tests.” They did the tests. My margins were clean. I got on a plane, I left the next day, and I never looked back.
So, of course, I talk to them and confer with them every year, and go there for checkups, but every one of my other doctors told me that I needed to have a double mastectomy, radiation, maybe some chemo and tamoxifen. I did none of that. So, I’m not saying that none of that works, for me it didn’t work. For me, I made the choice to do a natural protocol because I wanted to be good to my body, I wanted to find out what the root cause was of all of this, and believe me, it was years of cathartic analysis of what had brought me to that point.
So, it takes cancer 5-10 years to grow. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. Most—mammography is only about 85 percent accurate—mammography’s only about 50 percent accurate. 85 percent of all breast cancers are not hereditary. These are things I found out that I had not known. I thought if you had a mammogram, you were like good to go for another year, but really, I had a mammogram the day I found my own tumor, and they told me it was negative. So, we have to be really careful. Self- examination saved me from any long-term and worse diagnosis, long-term stress over this. And I do ultrasounds now, thermography, other things.
I have not had a mammogram since that day, because I don’t want the risk of radiation to my breast, and that’s just research that I did. There is some powerful research out there that says that if we’re having mammograms starting at age 40, and now you’re, let’s say you’re 60, you’ve had enough radiation to really trigger alarm to your breasts. So, there are some really amazing reports out there. I’ll share one with you from Dr. Ralph Moss in New York. He interviewed a professor in Pennsylvania who said that they were detecting so much radiation in the breast of women who had multiple and yearly annual mammograms that it was similar to that of within a mile radius of Hiroshima, people living in Japan. So, these are like things that started jumping off the paper for me, like all this research.
So, nobody in my entire family has had breast cancer, not one person. So, how did I get it? And so, I look at all the environmental aspects to it. The stress is off the charts. I live in a region in the United States where pesticides are highly used because it’s very affluent here, and everybody wants a green lawn. So, pesticides are killing us. Pollution, diesel fuel from the highways. I participated in a study with women from wealthy zip codes, so New York area, Connecticut, where I live, Marina County, Beverly Hills, Long Island, and the common thread to all of these women was we all lived near or under major highway systems. So, diesel fuel was a big factor, and also, the pesticides. So, there’s so many things. I mean I learned so many things along the way. It’s shocking, actually.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah, and Julia, that’s a question that’s actually been floating around in my mind as you’ve been talking. You obviously took a lot of research on your part. What would you say are like the top three things when it came to choosing natural protocols, moving away from conventional medicine, and maybe even since the point where you were—you’d been diagnosed, now you’ve gone on this whole journey, what are like the top three things in your mind about natural health, the way we’re living our lives right now, whatever it may be in your mind that’s changed your life and changed the way that you see health—when you were doing your research, you were understanding information, you were like—eye-opening moments that most people don’t know or think about that people who are listening can gain from you?
You’ve done all this research, you know all this information. What are those top three things for you that were just like—they did jump off the page and you were just like “I cannot believe I didn’t know this.”
Julia Chiappetta: Well, I didn’t know that mammography is only 50 percent accurate. That was shocking to me, shocking. Maybe it’s even lower at this point. I thought I was living a very healthy lifestyle, and I was really not. And I had done no research. I had no clue. I mean I would occasionally take a supplement, or if my—I had a sprained ankle, or something from running or working out, I would take a supplement or a nutrient that was anti-inflammatory. I had no clue what I was doing, and I really thought I had it under control, you know?
I was running my own little business, I was traveling around the world, I was working out in the gym, I was doing races, and I had no clue. I mean I had no clue until I started peeling back all the layers. And then as you know, and I know, there are supplements and then there are supplements. There are products that are clean and good, and there are products that are not. So, that was a whole other lesson for me was trying to understand what’s behind certain words on labels, what’s—what is really in a supplement, how are things tested. I started looking at things like NSF, who—they—independent laboratories that test supplements and nutrients.
TeriAnn Trevenen: They test our supplements. We’re very familiar with them. Yeah.
Julia Chiappetta: They’re great, you know? Because you know what’s on the label is in the bottle. So, I found out that there’s all kinds of fungus and mold, and just bacterias and things that they use for filling and weight. So, I wanted to make sure that I was taking what I—what my body needed, and to really get what was on the label. That in itself was a huge undertaking in the year 2000. Can you imagine? 2000. There was hardly anything out there. There were a few—
TeriAnn Trevenen: I can’t imagine. Even now, it’s hard for people to get hard information, I feel like, and it’s more prevalent now. But even still, when we have these conversations with people, they’re like “What?” They have no idea. And here we are, all this time later, but back then, I can’t even imagine how you got all of that information. It was just not something that was discussed.
Julia Chiappetta: No, it wasn’t. and I met some really great people along the way, who really helped me. And I was taking some good, clean products. But I was also doing it—a lot of it with food. So, I was juicing every day, I was doing three ounces of wheatgrass a day, I was juicing all day long. Let me just back that all up. First, I had to detox. Now that was interesting.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I’ll bet.
Julia Chiappetta: So literally, years of all the crazy crap that you’re putting into your body, when you detox, I had never done that before. As an athlete, who detoxed? Nobody. I was detoxing. I did a seven- day juice and water cleanse. And I can tell you, it was shocking the things that come out of your body.
Jonathan Hunsaker: The stuff that’s been in there for years.
TeriAnn Trevenen: For so long.
Jonathan Hunsaker: That finally come out.
Julia Chiappetta: Yeah. And you know, Jonathan, you talk about gut health. I mean gut health is so important. And leaky gut syndrome, I had never even heard the word “leaky gut” until I started doing research. Now most people still hear that word, “leaky gut,” and go “What? What is that?” But yeah, so detoxing, and then trying to figure out what I was eating, what I was putting in my body. It was really difficult. Now, it’s so easy, because there are great companies like yours and others, who provide the most amazing nutrients in their supplements. And so, it makes it really easy for me. And yeah, it was hard. It was hard finding good, quality products.
TeriAnn Trevenen: What would you say—so going back to you saying, “Everyone’s the CEO of their own body,” I think we all know that, and we talk about this a lot. Our bodies are all unique and individual. So, how did you, on your journey, figure out exactly what it was that your body needed? How did you go on that journey for yourself to understand your own unique body and do for your body what you needed to do to be as healthy as you are now?
Julia Chiappetta: I found really good doctors who could run panels of bloodwork for me to figure out where I was deficient, hormone-wise, mineral-wise. But I was so low in vitamin D, oh my gosh. I mean I think I barely had any vitamin D in my body, which has been widely shown to be a risk factor for breast cancer.
I’m Italian, so I have Mediterranean skin. I get very—even out in the sun, it doesn’t penetrate in skin with more melatonin very well. So, I, even though I was out running every day, I wasn’t really getting a whole lot of [unintelligible 0:48:26].
So, you learn things like that. But I did diagnostics, and I also did hair analysis. I went to a clinic at the time that was doing some pretty unique things – IV vitamin C, vitamin Bs, alpha lipoic acid, some really cutting-edge stuff for that time, to really get my immune system churning and burning the way that it should. Because I was diagnosed with lupus at the same time, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So, the protocol’s pretty much the same. But lupus is really tricky, because there are all these overlapping autoimmune issues assigned to it, and everybody’s very different.
So, it’s very important to do diagnostics, not just to walk in to a store, go online and say “Okay, I’m going to pick this one or that one.” You really have to know why you’re taking what you’re taking, and if it’s helping you. Now there’s certainly products like your collagen product, I think everybody should be taking collage after age 30 because we start losing collagen at like age 25.
So, there are certain staples that I think are really important. I think everybody should be doing alkaline water, everybody should be getting seven or eight hours’ rest every night, everybody should be taking an anti-inflammatory, some sort of anti-inflammatory to fight off everything that comes at us. But then there are other things that I may need that you don’t need, and vice versa.
Jonathan Hunsaker: And I think that’s—that’s something I talked about for years. And I don’t know how well it’s accepted, because everybody just wants the— “Give me the one pill. Give me the one protocol. Tell me what I need to do.” And it’s different for everybody. I mean I’ve talked to people that have beaten cancer and healed from cancer with the ketogenic diet, others that have done it through juicing, others that have done it through going completely vegan. And it all depends on your body. And so, I love the advice that you give to go get some bloodwork done, go work with a doctor, go work with a naturopath, go work with anybody that can help you understand what’s going on inside your body. And I’m not saying that this is what I suggest, but there’s even places now you can send your bloodwork, you can take—
Julia Chiappetta: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: —a blood sample and send it off, and they’ll send you an email and tell you what’s going on. So, no longer are the days that you have to be affluent to be able to do that, right? Anybody can afford to get bloodwork done now. Everybody should get bloodwork. Whether you feel 100 percent health or not, get bloodwork to see what’s going on. And so, I just love that approach that you took of “Let me find out what’s working for me.” So, what are some other things that you’d like to share with people? I mean what are some other lessons learned? What are some things that you do right now in your day-to-day life that just—that you find work for you?
Julia Chiappetta: Well, to your point, being the CEO of your own body, you need to—you need to have research and information, right? So, it’s not just once, it’s pretty much every quarter, I look at what’s going on with my body, “How do I feel?” And when you do that, you become in tune with what’s going on, and you know when something’s awry and when you have to tweak or make an adjustment of some kind. So, that’s really important. And it’s full-time, it’s every day for the rest of your life.
So, I hear people say “Well, I’m going to have—I’m going to cheat today and have a desert,” or “I’m going to cheat today and I’m going to have some white bread,” or “I’m going to cheat today and I’m going to have a hot fudge sundae.” So, if you start cheating yourself, you’re cheating yourself back to the reason why you got sick. So, what’s hereditary, and this is a really important point, because what’s hereditary is how we manage and live our lives. So, how did my great-grandmother teach my grandmother, who taught me, how to manage life, how to manage stress, how to eat, how to think?
What’s your—how do you react to things? All those innate things, all those hereditary things are difficult sometimes to eliminate because a lot of them are not healthy for us, a lot of the things that we think. So, putting into your body what’s good food-wise, supplement-wise, doing something athletic every day.
So, I figure out in the morning when I’m going to have time to pray, where’s my time to go out and do a walk or a run, what am I going to do as far as looking at some new research, or maybe getting on a blog, or watching—going on a webinar.
Most importantly, what I’m putting in my body and on my body. So, makeup, body cream, shampoos, all that stuff, all equally as important as food. For me, the thing that balances it all out and ties the bow is giving back, doing God’s work, helping a friend. I write a health and wellness column, which is very topical, and I share some personal messages on there. You don’t really want to talk about what you do under the radar, because you don’t want to lose the blessing of that, but I think it’s really important to give back, to help others, kind of like what your guys are doing with these informative videos. You’re helping people, you’re reaching many. I think that’s so keen, it’s so important. And I thank you for, first of all, for including me. I’m humbled to be here. But I think it’s important to share. So, once we have the knowledge, once we come to understandings about things, when you see something with your own eyes, like your own body healing, it’s pretty powerful, pretty powerful.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah. Well, and I think—you said a couple things that have really touched me. You can’t un-know what you know, and that you have to share. You have to. And I think your story is such a beautiful example of how life brings us on these journeys, and we go through certain things so that we can then teach other people. And here, you’ve had this happen for so long now, you’ve been on this journey of health, but way back when, like you were talking about how certain people kind of just fell into your life, and at the time that you needed them for the information you needed. And it’s information that wasn’t prevalent at the time.
And now, here we are all this time later, and you’re sharing with people, and you’re helping people. That is a beautiful story and a beautiful journey. And the other thing that I think is so powerful in what you’ve shared, I really can’t get over that phrase, “The CEO of your own body,” and as you’ve just talked about what you did, it’s like building a business. We spend all this time building our careers, and building these lives that we want, and you were doing that, too, and then all of a sudden, your life changed drastically, and you realized that building your body is like building a business.
I love how you talk about being the CEO of your own body, checking in quarterly. Like we have quarterly meetings with our business, and we check in with everybody at work, and we plan for the next quarter. And it’s like continued education and all these things. Your body is unique to you, just like a business is unique. And you’re your own customer. Like you have to serve yourself, right?
You can’t serve other people unless you’re serving yourself and building that body. And so, I just have this visual image in my head of a body being a business, because of your story. Being the CEO of your own body, checking in all the time, knowing what works and what doesn’t work, what to put in, what not to put in, when there’s too much, when there’s too little. And it really is just such a beautiful representation of we put all that into so many things in our lives, and I think a lot of people, like we all were before we came on these journeys of health, are walking through life like “My body, I just do what I need to do as fast as I can and go through the rest of my life, and build everything else in my life,” but we forget, the most important thing to be able to do what we do every day and be happy is to build our body.
And building it like a business is a—I think something that people can really hold onto and understand. Like it’s a lot of work to have a very healthy body, and you’ve put all this work into it, and it hasn’t just come in one day. You didn’t get to where you were in one day, and you’re not where you are because of one day. This has been years of time and commitment and research and loving your body the way it needs to be loved. And then you continually do that and change things every quarter, every day, as you learn things. It’s not—health is a journey, it’s not a one-day thing. And I think that is a powerful, powerful story that you’ve shared with people today about treating your body like it’s a business and taking care of it like you would take care of your own business and grow it.
Julia Chiappetta: That was beautiful, what you just said. You’re a problem-solver, I can tell that.
Jonathan Hunsaker: She’s the CEO, so I think you can that it resonates with her as well.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Well, but it’s beautiful because of what you shared, your story, and that’s just how it spun up in my head. It’s a beautiful story. It’s inspiring to hear what you’ve been through and how you’ve helped other people. I think this story gives light to so many other people who may be afraid to go on that journey of natural health. But we’re natural beings, that’s what we’re supposed to do. And so, I appreciate you sharing that story. I want to ask you a question, too. How important to you have your relationships and your emotional health been in your health journey? You’ve talked a little bit about that, but I don’t think people truly understand just how important that is. So, can you talk about that for a little bit?
Julia Chiappetta: That is critical. It’s one of those pieces that everybody seems to forget. When I speak to other men and women who have cancer, they often tell me that there are horrible things going on in their home life, horrible. There’s one gal that I speak to monthly who is in Chicago, and she has—she’s very sick, and she does not have a support from her family or her husband.
So, it’s very important. For me, it took two years for me, during the initial journey of changing everything in my life, to actually get to flush my brain, to get all that crap out of my brain that was holding me back, the emotional side, the things, the hurt, the pain, the brokenness, the things that I was carrying around with me. Those are really important factors, and all part of the reason why I always say, “You really need to find a peace, a balance, a circle of balance,” and that’s a very big part of it. And I’m glad you brought that up, because look, all of us are faced with things every single day that affect us. We don’t want our cortisol levels going up every five minutes, you know, with something shocking or something—somebody angry or whatever it is.
It’s very important. And so, it’s hard work all around. So, you have to find ways to alleviate that, put nutrients in your body, get proper rest, drink the best water, clean water, find ways to give back, find ways to share.
It’s all part of a circle of balance that I believe we need for optimal success. I mean you guys are providing an aspect of that. You’re providing nutrients and supplements that help us. Because we know when we—I know when I come to you, I don’t have to worry about what’s in the bottle. I know that what I’m taking is clean.
Quarterly, I go through every single one of my bottles of things that I take, and I look at them and I vet them, and I say “Okay, is this company still viable? Is it still doing what it says? Has anything changed on the ingredient list?” And as you know, just like in life, there are layers to our emotion. With supplements, there are layers of things that people—companies can hide behind. Like there are 20 things that are toxic that can hide behind the word “fragrance” in a bottle. Makeup, bath products, shampoos, etcetera. So, I don’t know. I’m off on a tangent here, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned that, because it’s so important to, quarterly, look at things, whether it’s diagnostic, bloodwork, or looking at what you’re taking, what you’re eating. “Have I gotten off the path? Have I stayed on the path?”
It’s easy, you meet new people, and you start going out to dinner, and you start having this or that, that’s not on your plan. So, I think it’s important to keep ourselves in check. Like you say, have a meeting every month with your body and say “What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right?”
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love it. Julia, to wrap this up today, I want to ask you if you could send one message to the entire world and make—deliver your message, what would you say to people?
Julia Chiappetta: I would say “Do not be afraid. Do not let anybody scare you. You have the ability to make your own decisions, and your body is your temple. You won’t—you don’t have another chance at being good to your body. So, love it, embrace it, feed it, nurture it.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions. Even if every single person in your life is telling you it’s wrong, seek the wisdom and the guidance that you need to feel the peace about what you’re doing, and just go for it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Awesome.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Julia, you’ve been amazing. Your story’s amazing. Can you tell people how they can find out more about you and your book, and just how they can connect with you?
Julia Chiappetta: Well, my book is a reference guide that I wrote in 2005, and I’m actually—it sold out. And my doctor at MD Anderson Cancer Center actually wrote the foreword to it, so it’s really just a reference guide, here’s the clinical, here’s the environmental. But I’m working on a new book, but I’m writing a health and wellness column every other week for a newspaper, which they can find on my website, which is my name, JuliaChiappetta.com. And I’m an advocate for several organizations, Annie Appleseed project, Best Answer for Cancer. So, they can reach me through those organizations as well. And we’re all in this together. I’m just one person, one woman, trying to do my part, and I couldn’t do that without the support of our community. And you guys are in that community. And I just feel honored and blessed to know you guys, to meet you, and to have this opportunity today. So, thank you so much.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Julia, likewise. We feel the same.
Jonathan Hunsaker: The honor is ours. And so, you can always go to EmpoweringYouOrganically.com as well, for all of the show notes. We’ll have links to Julia’s website and ways that you can find her there. This is amazing. We’re going to launch a new series, called Inspired Health Journeys, and I want to talk to more people like you, Julia, because it’s inspiring to hear your story, it’s inspiring to hear what you— what you’ve been through, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve learned. And I feel like we don’t have enough of that inspiration in the world right now. We have a lot of 24-hour news channels that just doom and gloom us, and try to divide us, and all of that. And we’re all on a journey to health. The journey is never over, right?
Julia Chiappetta: No.
Jonathan Hunsaker: And so, the more stories that we can get like yours, and the more we can share, and we can have this tribal knowledge shared, because we are all different. But a lot of the stuff that worked for you, Julia, is going to work for other people. Things that worked for me worked for some people. Things that worked for TeriAnn work for other people. So, I want to build this whole tribal knowledge database, right, where we can all share how we’ve overcome different things in our lives. And you are the first one in this series.
Julia Chiappetta: Lovely!
Jonathan Hunsaker: And we haven’t announced this or anything, but it’s—you’re part of the inspiration for why I wanted to do this series. So, Julia, just thank you so much for being on. Thank you for—
Julia Chiappetta: Aw!
Jonathan Hunsaker: Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad our good friend, John Malanca, introduced us to each other. I just did another interview with John last week, and he’s awesome. So, anyway, thank you everybody for listening. If you love hearing this, please share it with your friends and family. Make sure you subscribe on iTunes, so you don’t miss any of our future episodes. Go to EmpoweringYouOrganically.com. TeriAnn, thank you so much.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Thank you. Thank you, Julia.
Julia Chiappetta: Thank you. I love you guys. It was so much fun.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Thank you. Have a great day, everyone.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Thanks, everyone.
Julia Chiappetta: You too.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Awesome.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Right.
Jonathan Hunsaker: That was great.
Julia Chiappetta: Thanks.
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Episode 23 – Inspired Health Journey: Julia Chiappetta