Detoxing, Healthy Skin, and Smart Self Care
Detoxing, Healthy Skin, and Smart Self Care

"Chewing really well is such a gift. To be able to chew until something is like liquid in your mouth is really the biggest hack to any sort of bloating or gut issue." 

- Vanessa Fitzgerald

Elizabeth is joined by Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner Vanessa Fitzgerald. She is also a co-founder of Paya Health and operates a private practice in Los Angeles where she assists individuals in achieving optimal health through cellular healing. Vanessa specializes in addressing various health concerns, including hormone balancing, autoimmune issues, skin health, detox, digestive health, IBS, anxiety, depression, and more. In this particular episode, Vanessa talks about her personal journey towards wellness and how she integrates her knowledge into her private practice. She discusses the multiple layers of healing, some effective ways to detox from enema’s to hyperbarac chambers, and how emotions and stress can impact one's health. Additionally, she shares her favorite techniques to maintain good health, along with her latest product line of skin gummies.



    Elizabeth Stein 00:00
    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, Founder and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey. This week's guest is Vanessa Fitzgerald, better known on Instagram as @veeshoney. Vanessa is a Certified Health Coach, Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner and Co-Founder of Paya Health. She has a private practice based in Los Angeles, where she helps people achieve optimal health through cellular healing. Vanessa specializes in hormone balancing, autoimmune issues, skin health, detox, digestive health, IBS, anxiety, depression and more. In this episode, Vanessa shares all about her personal wellness journey and how she's taken her learnings into her private practice. We talked about the different layers of healing, some of her favorite ways to detox, the effects of our emotions and stress on our health, some of her favorite ways to feel her best, and her new line of skin gummies. Keep listening to learn all about Vanessa. Vanessa, welcome to the podcast. So excited to have you on today. I have been such a fan of following you on Instagram, you're so much fun to watch, you have so much energy and so many amazing health tips that you share. So excited to pick your brain on all things nutrition and some of your favorite tools and wellness hacks and all those good things.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 01:30
    Thank you so much for having me, I'm excited to be here. I've been such a fan of your product forever. You're like one of like the pioneers of of healthier alternatives.

    Elizabeth Stein 01:41
    Thanks. So let's start with your personal journey and how you got into the world of nutrition.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 01:49
    So I was raised by a single mother and I'm an only child and my mom was just super, you know, really busy trying to work and put a roof over my head and food on the table. So nutrition wasn't really a high priority in my household but also I think my generation it just wasn't a thing like health wasn't popular wasn't cool, like health was like hippie weirdo woowoo stuff. And I was also a very like thin child so my mom was like she can eat whatever she wants. So I was raised on fast food and microwavable stuff and you know pasta every night with like, you know, a drum stick for dinner and Twinkies and ding dongs and hohos and all this sort of stuff ,but I was sick a lot a lot of sinus infections, strep throat a lot, my tonsils out,

    Elizabeth Stein 02:45
    A lot of antibiotics?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 02:48
    Tons of antibiotics, like so many antibiotics, I'm actually immune to z z Pak now, because every time I would like cough or sneeze, also, it was like it was really important that I go to school so that we didn't need child care most of the time, while my mom was like slowly building her business. So I was like a lot of antibiotics in my system, like I had no microbiome. And so when puberty hit, and I started to break out, for me, it was more about vanity because I didn't understand the link between what I was eating and how I was feeling in those, I was a pretty anxious child as well. And so as soon as i i started to have like zits everywhere, that's when I was like, what is going on? And every time I'd go to the dermatologist, they put me on like some sort of new again, topical or internal antibiotic. But then she had these like bowls of like Tootsie Rolls and Mint Milanos in her waiting. Bizarre. And so I don't know what came over me there was a girl in my class who was a vegan and her mom was sending her to a nutritionist and for some reason, like I was obsessed with watching her like take these supplements at lunch and like, and she hated doing it and like she was eating like falafel and hummus and I'm like, eating like pizza Bagel Bites, that falafel and hummus is like my body was like craving something is like dying for something healthy. So we started swapping lunches, and I started eating all her foods that she wouldn't eat. And then she'd go and buy something unhealthy. And then I asked my mom, if I could see the nutritionist and I was like, please, please, you know, so and so's doing and she was like fine. So I went and this guy just totally changed my life. completely changed my life. Within two months. I had no acne, it wasn't on any medications. He had me on all sorts of supplements I was eating beyond healthy didn't have a ton of friends because of it but because I wasn't going out to like Taco Bell and you know, binge drinking and whatever you I mean listen, I grew up in LA so high school in LA, a little fast. Um, so yeah, so anyways, it just sort of like started my passion and then I became obsessed or became obsessed with like the raw You get movement and just trying all these different things. And it sort of went from there. When I started to find out that I had autoimmune issues, I became obsessed with like learning about how to heal the body. And I've tried so many modalities over the years. And it wasn't until I was a patient of something called Nutrition Response Testing, which is what I practice now that I was like, oh, I can heal and the body has the capability of healing. And so that's where I'm at now.

    Elizabeth Stein 05:27
    I love that. So when you first saw the nutritionist, I guess, like what year was this? And was he, now in retrospect, like, following a guideline that you think today you would share? Or in retrospect, was it still not the most like healthy?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 05:44
    Okay, so this was probably 20, 21 years ago, and he had this small office in Brentwood in a building, and he did urine and saliva analysis, and he'd run it through this machine, and then he would see what you were deficient in. And he was a big fan of body ecology, the woman who came up with body ecology, and huge fan of food combining. He's the one that taught me all about food combining. He taught me about how to eat properly, like throughout the day, he taught me about three meals, limited snacks. He taught me about my circadian rhythms. My first protein shake ever was designed by him. But it was like a really clean protein. It was like a at the time was like an egg white protein. And then at the time, there was no almond milk. It was rice milk. Yeah. And strawberries. And like some almond butter. And like then it was for lunch, I usually had some sort of like steamed fish and steamed vegetables with like olive oil drizzled on top. I mean, it was really crazy advanced. And he taught me all about while I didn't quite know I had celiacs yet. So I still had a lot of like inflammation, autoimmune issues. I was I changed, I wouldn't touch anything that was white or processed it was all whole wheat, like as whole grain as I could find it. And yeah, he just like really and even when I decided at one point, I was like, I want to try to be vegan. And he was like, I really don't suggest being vegan, like, especially at your age. And when I tried it ,he was teaching me about beans and lectins. Like this guy was like very...

    Elizabeth Stein 07:29
    So ahead of, where is he today?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 07:31
    I know, I think I emailed him when I was like 26 or seven telling him that he like, I just had to tell him that he absolutely changed my life. And yeah, this guy is like, was like the OG and he's not, it's too bad, I wish he did, like, I wish I could give him more notoriety. I don't even know if he's still in practice, but....

    Elizabeth Stein 07:50
    Love that. So okay, so you go through all of this, and then you discover Nutrition Response Testing. So what is Nutrition Response Testing, first of all.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 08:00
    So Nutrition Response Testing is, I like to say like a form of muscle testing or applied kinesiology mixed with nutrition it was it was founded by this guy Freddy Ulan, who was originally a chiropractor and Royal Lee who's created standard process. So the whole concept is that your autonomic nervous system runs everything in your body, it signals you to you know, wake up, go to sleep, walk, blink, chew, digest all that fun stuff comprised of parasympathetic, rest, relaxation, digestion, and sympathetic fight or flight. And if certain signals are getting crossed, or not sending in the body, essentially, because that's all it is. It's like, it's like everything from your your neurological system to a network of fibers sending signals, like your mucosal layers, like the body is so complex, it runs on these nervous system points. So just like acupuncture runs on your meridian points, essentially, like we're testing the nervous system, and then we're running on like your organ point. So testing the strength of each organ. So it is a form of muscle testing. But first, we have to make sure that the nervous system is responding. Because if it's not responding, you can give somebody something that could make them worse are not doing anything at all. So then we run on organ points. And basically what we're doing is we're testing to see what are the priority organs in the body. So someone will come to me and I like to tell them that their body is like an onion. So depending on how many layers, years they've lived, that's how many layers are on them. And it starts when you're in utero. And so, each week, I'm peeling back a layer to get to the root cause, meaning I'm looking for the priority systems that are out of alignment first. So the things that want to be worked on first, for example, someone could come to me with a blood test that says I'm super high in mercury or mold, or I have HPV whatever it is, but there's a layer, which I like to call a barrier to healing that's blocking their body's ability to detox. So like their livers too weak or their kidney, and then if we were to just go ahead and detox them or pull from them, or feed them the way a blood test would tell us to, I could possibly make them sick or not be effective. So I go by with the muscle testing, which organs do we need to work on first, and that would be our first layer to get in order to get the body to homeostasis eventually, and I always test to see we have these frequency vials because everything's a, an energy or frequency, you know, like EMFs are frequency, electricity is a frequency you walk into a room, you feel like, this is probably bad, like everything is a frequency. So I'm working with frequency vials of viruses, parasites, bacteria, I mean, metals, vaccine injuries, you name it. And we're looking to see if something stressing out the organ or if the organ or the system, and the body needs just pure support, there's nothing actually bothering it or needs to detox. And a lot of people are huge fans of detoxing. And sometimes I believe that like, we need to have a certain amount of toxins in our system in order to be able to navigate the world. And if we pull too much from the body, we actually end up getting chronically ill as well. So I'm just looking to see what the body wants to do when it wants to do it, essentially. And then I use both food supplements and homeopathic remedies in order to detox the body. So detox cells and also feed the body feed cells because we lose 1000s of cells a day, and it takes mean roughly 90 days for a new cell to regenerate. And new cells regenerate by pulling from the nutrients in our food. But our foods are perfectly organic and balanced with every macro and micronutrient we need. And even if it was our soil at this point sucks. It's nothing like it was 50 years ago, or two years ago. So and we're exposed to a lot more toxins and chemicals and the advancement of technology. So we're building a lot of defective cells, which are what caused chronic issues, and rather than healthy cells, and so my job is to go in and try and regenerate cells that are degenerating.

    Elizabeth Stein 12:10
    All right, I have so many questions for you now. Okay, first, if someone doesn't have a chronic issue, and they just want, like, optimal health, or how many people do you see seeking that versus really, you know, more serious issues and symptoms.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 12:26
    I don't really see people that are just seeking optimal health, because even if they do come to me in the first session, because I always say to them, like, I prefer that it be something chronic, they'll come in and like, I feel great, I don't know. But then all of a sudden, they'll find out that they have chronic yeast infections, right? Or I'll find out that they have like, eczema on their, like, inner thigh, but they were like, that's just a part of my body...

    Elizabeth Stein 12:48
    That's just like normal.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 12:49
    Yeah, so like, there's always something with those people that want to quote, optimize, you know, their skin textures or whatever it is. Their gut, they don't poop every day. And they thought that was normal.

    Elizabeth Stein 13:02
    Yeah, so many of us are just living with these things that we overtime think are normal. And the vast majority probably realized that they're not.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 13:10
    Oh, totally, it's like, oh, I have a twitch just is what it is. I'm like well not necessarily, let's try to fix it. So usually, it does come down to that. I think that people that just want to optimize that truly feel amazing. Like they should just start going and doing like, I don't know why these peptides, you know, just taking whatever supplements that they think would be right for them, if they truly feel amazing. For me, I am looking for people that are struggling in some way or another they're, whether it's mental, emotional, physical, you know, that type of thing.

    Elizabeth Stein 13:45
    Okay, so let's first talk on physical and then we'll get to the emotional piece, because I'm sure as we talk about energy that that has a huge effect on blocking, etc. But what do you really see as the commonalities if any of people seeking your help and how you treat and heal them?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 14:05
    So everybody usually has something going on with their gut, like they might, I mean, I just see it across the board. They might be pooping every day, but they're bloated or they have stomach pains or there's a lot of stuff going on with the gut, that leads to hormonal imbalances that leads to mental illness that leads to all these other things. So that is a commonality I see. But again, people come to me for things that are just like, totally across the board. The only things I don't deal with are cancer and Lyme, but I'll deal with most autoimmune issues out there hormone problems, whether it's menopause or missing periods or too long periods, or endometriosis, anything like that. Again, gut, skin, and also anxiety and depression, things like that fertility is another one that a lot of people come to me for. There's I'd say the only thing common across the board is like, at some point, there's something going on with the gut.

    Elizabeth Stein 15:12
    It's incredible how much ties back to that. And still how much is so unknown.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 15:19
    Yeah, there's a doctor I just spoke to who's doing some pretty revolutionary work wit, he has like a bunch of different volunteers that are allowing him to use their microbiome and like, like, he like, cut little like, scraped their intestine a little bit. And he's like working to build like these these full, like environments, like they're like little worlds of micro biomes to test different things on It's wild.

    Elizabeth Stein 15:49
    Wow, that's cool.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 15:51
    Yeah, to see how different microbiomes you can target them to actually like, work on the brain or the skin, or the gut or the vagina, or whatever it is that type of thing.

    Elizabeth Stein 16:02
    So what are your top recommendations when working with clients? As far as helping the gut? Like what are A what are your favorite probiotics? What are some of the other to do's that you suggest?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 16:13
    So not everybody actually needs a probiotic. Some people have taken so many probiotics and different ones over time that it's like their microbiome, it's like too much bacteria. It's like confusing information. Sometimes they just need microbial support. So it's totally different than the actual than adding the actual bacteria into their system. I like to tell people like it's hard for me to mass like do these mass recommendations. But when it comes to like it, let's say you're on an antibiotic, or you're traveling or you've been sick, there is one probiotic, it's called Therelac that I really like. It needs to be refrigerated, it can be out of the refrigerator for 72 hours. They sell it on Amazon or on the website or on like Vitamin Shoppe. But this probiotic just seems to be like amazing across the board for anyone who has had an issue and I really liked the way that it works with antibiotics. For people that have been on antibiotics or have whatever, it just really helps restore the gut. That's one thing, I'm really focused on getting people to snack less. And if they are having a snack, it's like a very mindful set snack that is, you know, set between two meal times like if there have like a long stretch between two mealtimes. But really, I'm a huge fan now of three really quality meals a day, the more that I see issues in people's guts.

    Elizabeth Stein 17:38
    And why.. is that from a blood sugar standpoint?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 17:43
    Yeah, blood sugar and like irritation in the gut, they're just like, it's almost like too much food throughout the day. And usually the body, most people, because they're battling so much in their body, they're taking so much longer than they think to actually digest what they just ate. So their body is still working hard on that breakfast or that lunch, and then they'll, they're shoving more food in. And I find more often than not, it's because people are bored or looking for a dopamine hit. So it's not necessarily that their blood sugar is dropping, and they truly need a snack in that moment, if they had a quality lunch, if they had like, you know, here and there. And they may be eating standing and they weren't really chewing sure, they're gonna feel weird afterwards. But that's another one chewing really well, I mean, I am totally guilty of this just like swallowing a bowl. But like chewing really well is such a gift to be able to chew until something is like liquid in your mouth is like really the biggest hack to any sort of bloating or gut issue, I think and I try and tell all my clients that. Also not to drink water while they're drinking. I'm sorry, eating trying to wait like 15 minutes before and after to have like a beverage, their food isn't just like floating around in some sloshy fish tank and your enzymes actually have a chance to activate.

    Elizabeth Stein 19:07
    I think it's such a good tip on the chewing not only for that, but just being more mindful with your meals that I feel like it's really hard to do and remember to do but is a really good one. So as far as how you see stress, and emotion blockage, what does that look like in your practice?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 19:28
    So anything and everything that we are experiencing on our body, I believe has some sort of stored memory or emotional connection underlying somewhere so especially the chronic stuff that we have a hard time dealing with. And the problem is, is that we bypass that all the time because we're looking at the symptom and the symptom is not necessarily the underlying cause. And even though it could be like yes, like you had mold exposure. But let's say we start to detox the body of mold. And we're having all these other reactions, or the body's having a hard time letting go of something, I always like to try and ask my clients to, like, start to meditate or sit with it like they, I need them to access that block that's happening inside of them. It's like this inability to let go or releas most of the time as far as when it comes to detoxing. Or if there's a chronic, I don't know, thyroid problem. I always also like to look at people and because thyroid also is connected to mood, and metabolism and energy, you know, where are they not speaking up in their life. So the more and more I get into health, the more fascinated and interested I become with the mind, and memories and trauma, because I'm seeing, you know, all of this information on health is amazing. But also at the same time, we're creating a hypochondriac culture and a lot of orthorexia because of it, and I'm like, why aren't we looking more as like the mind is such we are looking at mental health, but we're looking at mental health is like, oh, this person's depressed. But like, let's unpack all the trauma, all the other stuff and face it and deal with it and figure it out. So I'm a huge fan of like somatic therapy and EMDR. I can't tell you how many clients I asked to please go to EMDR and somatic therapy, because those are two of the most effective methods that I've seen in actually getting people in hypnotherapy to heal from their chronic ailments. But yeah, it's like a, that is like, what I am so interested in studying right now is the mind and trauma and how the body stores trauma.

    Elizabeth Stein 21:52
    It's so amazing to think about, like how it manifests in your body really, you know, it makes me think of that water study.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 22:01
    Literally, I just bought the book like three weeks ago, and I'm halfway through it, because I'm obsessed.

    Elizabeth Stein 22:07
    So share, if you will, what that what that is,

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 22:11
    yeah, so going back to frequencies, water responds to frequency, whether it's in music, or it's in touch, or it's in speaking towards the water, or even just an energy, like your energy towards the water, of chemical or whatever it is. And when you put it under a microscope, there's these patterns that are created by this water. And then there's what we call coherent patterns and incoherent patterns. And Joe Dispenza is a huge fan of this and he did like a whole talk about it on his retreat, which is what initially got me started on this whole water thing. Because I was also sent this device by some a Vedic and it's like, I was, like, supposed to be an EMF blocker. And like, I have all the EMF people. And like I now a very, very woke to the fact that we're not blocking shit, unless we are covered with tinfoil, because you need like a reflector to bounce it back. But what it does is it's a harmonizer. So it actually changes the structure of water if you plug it in your water. Now I'm obsessed with this part of the soma Vedic because if I'm like, What is this device? I know like, Oh, I gotta get it. So okay, we play classical music, for example. And you'll see under the microscope that this water will create this, by the way in our bodies are mostly water. So if this is happening there, it's happening in our system, these beautiful like, no, like gorgeous patterns. And then all of a sudden you pick play like death metal or something or, you know, or you say, you could speak in this Japanese guided this whole study, you speak the word hate into the water, and it changes the structure where it's like this mess, it looks like someone just vomited onto the pattern. And you speak the word love. And again, it's like coherent, it's it's coherent pattern. And if that can change, you know, the molecular structure of water, essentially, what can that do to our cells when I think about it, so if our body is mostly water, and our blood is liquid, and we are sitting there all day with negative thought, thoughts, we're ingesting negative information, whether it's from a TV show, or music, or whatever it is, that can't aid in our homeostasis. can't possibly do that.

    Elizabeth Stein 24:47
    Yeah. It's so incredible to put those dots together and think about what's happening inside of us. I love that study. So what are some of your personal tips that you do for yourself? to feel your best and be pushing love into your universe and not having chaos and crazy looking water inside.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 25:09
    Totally, because I can get very chaotic. I used to when I was younger, like spin out all the time like that going down the rabbit hole was like my specialty. Journaling has really changed my life. So I keep a journal, I bet and I journal every morning and every night and I write down, because my mind is constantly going going going, my imagination is very talented, like I can create the craziest scenarios, I can actually go down a crazy path as well with my imagination, I need to I've learned about myself that organizing my thoughts and getting it out is very important. So I'll just write, I'll just write a stream of consciousness every morning. And every night. Even if I only have like five minutes, because I'm running late, I make sure that I do it because it gets me clear for the rest of the day. I also do breathwork at least three times a week, sometimes with a with a guide, sometimes on my own.

    Elizabeth Stein 26:08
    What kind of breathwork are you doing?

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 26:10
    Like holotropic breathwork, so you know, like the like, over and over and over again, we're like claw up. That for me, moves energy usually, like I'll cry, it's not even for any reason. It's just like, especially dealing with people that are unwell all day, every day. As as good as I'm trying to get at blocking from absorbing it, I still absorb it. So it releases it's like a huge emotional release. For me, it also is releasing things that are stored in me again from that or not even mine that could be like my mother's from when I was in utero or whatever it is. Just to like clear me out. I like to think of it as like that breathwork is, in a way, a movement of energy and a purge of energy. So that has really changed my life. I don't meditate every single day. But I do probably meditate every other day. And what I try to tell my clients is that not all not everybody's meditation looks the same. I didn't meditate for so many years because when I first learned about meditation, it was Vedic meditation is like 20 minutes with a mantra, whatever I learned that doesn't work for me. My meditation is closing my eyes and being aware of my body, what I'm feeling in my body. The breeze against my skin, what do I hear, it's like, practicing being in the present moment. That is what keeps my mind still and gets me centered. And when I wake up, I, I feel brand new. So that's like my form of keep telling people like stop trying to think that there's one formula to meditate, you're not going to be sitting on a cushion like Buddha and levitating. Like, if you need a guided meditation, you do it if you're a meditation is walking, walk, you know, I love that. That type of thing. So those are really my tools that keep me in a place of love. Because it's really hard not to I think the opposite of love is fear. And I think a lot of us are just living in fear whether even just like fear of ourselves fear of success, fear of failure, fear of the outside world fear of getting heartbroken, fear of loss, so much fear.

    Elizabeth Stein 28:27
    Well, I think having your own personalized way, especially with meditation, I think is so important. Because you're right, it's like you think it has to be this one long thing and it doesn't. And you got to find what fits for you

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 28:41
    We're hard on ourselves for it's like, it's okay if yours doesn't look like your best friend who is a meditation teacher. It's fine.

    Elizabeth Stein 28:51
    Do it. Totally. And for me, I am right there with you. And I'm totally working on trying to be more present, which is a hard thing to do for me and something I'm being very conscious of right now.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 29:07
    Yeah, I think it's hard, especially as a woman when you run your own company and you're an entrepreneur and you have so much going on in your brain all the time. To be present is a real challenge. That's why I think these practices are great to try incorporate them whenever we can, wherever we can.

    Elizabeth Stein 29:26
    Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so let's get into some of your favorite tools because I know like you're super into coffee enemas. And I want to hear about that and any other of your favorite tools, I guess for detoxing or anything else.

    Vanessa Fitzgerald 29:40
    So I used to be

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