Whole Body Nutrition for Healing Lyme with Georgia Grey

Georgia Grey Headshot

Whole Body Healing Nutrition for Lyme Is What Georgia Grey Implemented to Heal

Whole Body Healing Nutrition is a holistic nutrition practice teaching people what to eat and how to heal. Sometimes the path to healing is about slowing down, going back to the basics, and focusing on overall wellness. Georgia Grey is the perfect example of how sometimes even a healthy diet and wellness-based lifestyle can’t fully heal you until you slow down. After years of symptoms, she was diagnosed with Lyme and celiac disease, yet her healthy lifestyle could not erase the brain fog, joint pain, and swollen limbs. Her journey with Lyme inspired her to reconsider her daily habits and focus on her overall nutritional balance. She is an INHC certified holistic coach, and her company Whole Body Healing Nutrition is focused on 1-1 coaching to help other chronic pain warriors have the right tools to heal.

Tune in to hear about her Lyme journey and the critical changes she made to overcome her chronic symptoms, why a modified paleo diet is her preferred nutritional plan and the importance of a tight-knit support system.

Georgia’s Lyme Journey 

Mimi MacLean:
Thank you so much, Georgia, for coming on today. I’m excited to talk about your business and your Lyme journey. So maybe just start a little bit by just talking about your Lyme journey.

Georgia Grey:
Thank you for having me today. I’m excited to be here. So, Lyme journey. I was bit by a tick in Virginia when I was probably about seven or eight years old while visiting my grandparents. I didn’t have the bulls-eye rash, so we just didn’t really think anything of it, but I remember my mom taking it out from behind my ear. Fast forward to college; I started getting really sick with migraines and joint pain and fatigue, and really, really chronic acid reflux. And I found out that I had celiac disease, which is an autoimmune response to gluten. I think when autoimmunity comes into the picture, it’s often, “Okay, is it Lyme, or is it autoimmune? What’s what?” So I had that celiac diagnosis, kind of thought my health issues were done and over with.

I moved back to Denver, where I’m from, and suddenly had this onslaught of really, really mysterious, strange health issues again. No one really knew what was going on, and especially because none of them really seemed to be linked. What started first was my memory, where I missed meetings at work and just not remembering conversations I had had with friends and family or uncertain how to spell a word. Then that transitioned into a lot of sensitivity with noise and light. So at first, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I went misdiagnosed for almost a year and then got tested for Lyme. It came back positive with a whole onslaught of things.

Mimi MacLean:
Well, it’s amazing that you found a doctor to do that right off the bat.

Georgia Grey:
I did. Yeah. I think part of me didn’t want to believe it because I was like, “Oh, it’s holistic. Maybe it’s not that real or true.” But then, I got that IGeneX testing. When it’s in your blood, that’s hard to argue.

Mimi MacLean:
Right. Did you go to the holistic route? Did you take antibiotics? What was your process?

whole body nutrition

Georgia Grey:
I was only holistic and herbs for about a little over a year, and things weren’t really moving. And I think that was kind of a block that I had to get over in my head, where, given what I do, being in holistic nutrition, I felt a bit of shame being on antibiotics for whatever reason. So once I got over that, I did start some antibiotics. I think you can’t go too much in either direction. So it was helpful for me to find a balance.

Mimi MacLean:
Well, I think many people got better at just doing herbs and nutrition, but I think it just takes a lot longer. Right?

Georgia Grey:
True.

Mimi MacLean:
You got to repair your immune system on top of then fighting Lyme. Whereas I feel like if you kind of go at it with the antibiotics, at least then it beats that down a little bit, so that way your body can kind of catch up to it. I don’t know: that’s kind of how I look at it, but I don’t know if that’s accurate.

Georgia Grey:
Yeah. That makes sense. That was kind of my view of it too, where I was like, “Okay, I have this infection in my body, I’m going to kill this and fight it out. And then I’m going to work on really repairing my gut and my immune system.” Again, I think it is that balance of things still.

Mimi MacLean:
Now, where are you now in your Lyme journey? Are you a hundred percent back to normal, or do you still have aches and pains?

Georgia Grey:
I went into remission in October 2018; I never thought that day would come. So it’s something that, day-to-day, I don’t think about within myself at all. But I will say it’s something that I always know that I have to be careful of, so I have that balance. Day to day, I feel great, but I do certain things just for maintenance to make sure that I’m not putting my body in a position where it could rear its head again.

Whole Body Healing Practices and Her Approach to New Clients

Mimi MacLean:
What are those maintenance things?

Georgia Grey:
I’ve found that avoiding caffeine really helps, just keeping my stress and cortisol levels down and fatigue. Balance is everything, so I eat mostly a modified paleo 80% of the time. Then if it’s a weekend and I want a gluten-free pizza and a glass of wine, I’m going to do it and not stress about it. Getting a lot When I need it, I getp when I need I I’m not pushing me too much. Daily meditation practice has always been really essential for me and my healing journey.

Mimi MacLean:
Are you able to have alcohol?

Georgia Grey:
I can. There are definitely times where I would have one glass of wine and feel like I was at the club till 4:00 AM taking tequila shots from one glass of wine. So I find it something that, like I teach my clients, really listen to my body with, where I can’t overdo it because I’ll pay for it. But I definitely, had years and times where I was either not drinking or really having to be careful with my drinking because my body was just like, “Nope, this is not working for you.”

wine's effect on whole body nutrition

Mimi MacLean:
No, totally true. So tell me a little bit about your practice. Do you work primarily just with Lyme patients or just autoimmune disorders?

Georgia Grey:
I take a holistic approach to nutrition. And that can manifest in people diagnosed with Lyme disease, people who have autoimmune conditions, or people who are just kind of in this generalized inflammation category, where they may not have a diagnosis. Still, they have really chronic acid reflux or migraines, or they’re just tired all the time, or they’re bloated. Or maybe they just want to lose some weight, and they don’t feel well in that regard or gained some weight. So it’s a lot of different people that I can help and work with. But overall, it’s that population of people that just doesn’t feel well, and doesn’t really know why.

Mimi MacLean:
I would assume for most of your clients you recommend some form of whole food, paleo, gluten-free diet.

Georgia Grey:
Yeah. It definitely depends on the person. I find that I have kind of my nuts and bolts for, okay, this is what works for healing the gut, this is what works for Lyme disease. And then, based on the person, I modify it for what’s going on and what symptoms they might be experiencing.

" I take an approach of what I call the three Rs, so remove, repair, restore. " - Georgia

Mimi MacLean:
What would you say are the first steps to kind of healing the gut?

Georgia Grey:
Yeah, that’s a great question. I take an approach of what I call the three Rs, so remove, repair, restore. I would start by removing foods that are really harming your gut.

So starting really wide and kind of bird’s-eye view, processed food. I think if you’ve never touched your nutrition, that’s a perfect place to start. So if there’re ingredients that you don’t know, can’t pronounce, probably a good call to stay away from that. Whenever I’m working with someone, whether it’s gut healing, weight loss, whatever it is, my general rule of thumb is, just eat real food. Nutrition is simple, but it’s not. So I would say processed food, those refined sugars, and then your biggies of gluten are, I think, a really great place to start for people if they haven’t done that already.

Mimi MacLean:
 I went to school as well to become holistic nutrition, IIN. I originally started practicing, and then I was like, “I can’t do this,” because I found it really hard that it’s almost easier to change someone’s religion than it is the way that they eat. I mean, everyone knows what they’re supposed to do or not do, but for some reason, they don’t do it.

Georgia Grey:
There’s a psychological piece to it and that’s what I think is really challenging. I find it usually happens around my third or fourth session, where someone’s like, “Okay, I’m not changing. This is so hard. I want to quit.” And then with encouragement, there is a breakthrough where it’s not just the food. We start to dig into what’s underneath that. That’s where I find, with Lyme in particular, if you’re not focusing on this self-care piece and this slowing down the piece, nothing shifts. So that’s what I really love doing with people, too, is that breakthrough part of it.

Mimi MacLean:
How do you do that? What kind of tools do you use?

Georgia Grey:
It really depends on the person. I think what’s huge with Lyme, in particular, is flipping the mindset to “Okay, this Lyme isn’t happening to me, and I’m not this victim, but there is something that I can learn from this, and what is this teaching me?” And then if someone’s in that autoimmune camp, the shift of, because you got a diagnosis and it’s “Okay, your body’s attacking itself. There’s no cure and good luck.” So I think what can be helpful there too of, “Okay, your body’s not attacking itself. Your body is healing you.”

I think that’s also helpful for Lyme, is just these small shifts towards a little more optimism and positivity can y helpful with detaching from the disease. That’s something that I really help people with, too, where it’s like, I often tell people, “Okay, it’s not your Lyme disease. This is just something in your body, but it’s not yours. We don’t need to give it this much energy.” So acknowledging when you have pain, but not letting that rule you. 

"That's where I find, with Lyme in particular, if you're not focusing on this self-care piece and this slowing down the piece, nothing shifts. So that's what I really love doing with people, too, is that breakthrough part of it." - Georgia 

Mimi MacLean:
I love that. That’s a good way to look at it. Because there is a hugely emotional piece to this, to Lyme. Right? And not making it like the anger, you can’t have that anger. You can’t have that because you won’t get better if you’re kind of angry about it, right? Because you’re supposed to be teaching-

Georgia Grey:
Hundred percent.

Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Tools To Heal

" I think some sort of stress-reducing practice because it's just really stressful. You feel like shit. You're spending tons of money. You're mourning who you used to be. So something to reduce your stress levels, whether that's meditation, whether that's taking a nap, going on a walk, if you can. Just something to bring that stress level down, I think is so essential."

Mimi MacLean:
Okay, so if you use nutrition and you use supplements, what other tools do you use? I think that can only get you so far, right?

Georgia Grey:
Yeah. A couple of things there. People are always like, “How did you get into remission? What happened?” And I think there’s no one magic bullet.

Mimi MacLean:
No, there’s not.

Georgia Grey:
I think it’s all of these different things, where it’s the nutrition, the self-care. And people always ask me, “How did you get better?” I’m like, “Well, I worked with my Lyme doctor. I worked with my nutrition obviously.” And then I think the other two biggies are, “I stopped thinking about it all the time,” so kind of that victim mindset piece. 

I think detox is so huge and important. There are you can do things than other things that you can do making appointments somewhere too. Some of my favorite detox things, as I’m sure you and your listeners know this, too, but I love an infrared sauna to really help flush out heavy metals, environmental toxicity. So I found that getting on a really regimented detox protocol was huge. As well as, and this can be a biggie and a beast in itself, but really making that transition to clean products, I found is really essential too.

Mimi MacLean:
No, it’s true. How often would you say to do a sauna, like every day or a couple of times a week?

Georgia Grey:
Yeah. I think it’s kind of where you are. So if you’re really sick and really struggling, I would do three to five times a week. And then for someone that’s maybe gotten over the hump, or in remission and in that maintenance, I think it could be a nice once a month, every now and then kind of thing. But when I was really sick, I was in there at least three times a week.

Mimi MacLean:
Right. So I have many people reach out to me and they’re kind of desperate and alone and they’re lost and it’s overwhelming. I found it extremely overwhelming.

Georgia Grey:
Yeah.

Mimi MacLean:
When you don’t feel well, like the last thing, just make that appointment, and then they give you the 50 different supplements you’re supposed to be taking.

Georgia Grey:
Oh my gosh.

Mimi MacLean:
And then the cost and all that. So I guess my question for you is, for anybody who’s listening, who is in that point right now, what can they do at home? Obviously, it’s the food. If you were to say, “Okay, these are the five things that can get you so far. They can get you to the point where maybe you can get out of bed or clear your head to be able to make the decisions of which doctor to go to?”

Georgia Grey:
Yeah, for sure. Gosh, I know. I just so empathize with that. It’s so overwhelming and you’re so right. Those appointments with just like pages and then you’re out thousands. And I used to always tell people too, of how I would leave my appointments and like go get an Acai bowl and just cry in my car after the appointments, because it’s so much. And so hopefully that’s-

Mimi MacLean:
And then you jump around because then you spend all this money and then you give that doctor six months and you don’t feel any better. And you’re like, “Okay, that was $15,000 and six months of my life, and I still feel like shit.” Then you’re like, “Here we go again, let’s go down another rabbit hole.”

Georgia Grey:
Yeah.

Mimi MacLean:
And then everybody has a different rabbit hole and a different thing to do. But I do, now that I’ve kind of gotten through the journey and you know, I definitely feel better. I’m not a hundred percent, but I feel like a common theme is you wait for the doctor to tell you what to do.

Georgia Grey:
Yeah. I agree. Yeah, so I would say kind of like top five things. And I think sometimes it’s overwhelming to listen to some of these lectures, too, so I would also recommend, even as throughout this whole podcast if you can just take one thing I say and start implementing it, that’s starting towards positive change.

whole body healing quote
I think starting to clean up your diet is huge. Some version of a modified paleo is, I think, the best. I would take the daily bone broth, which is also my favorite for really healing your gut. I think there are so many things in the wellness world that it’s like, “Does this work? Does this actually work?” And I find that bone broth, with all my clients, come back and they’re like, “Wow, I actually feel different.” So I would say an excellent quality homemade bone broth. Finding a Lyme-literate doctor. I would say really finding a trusted practitioner. 

Finding people that really believe you and can support you and don’t give you kind of the side-eye. Sometimes that’s not your partner or sometimes that’s not your parents, which I think also is a piece of it. And then I think some sort of stress-reducing practice because it’s just really stressful. You feel like shit. You’re spending tons of money. You’re mourning who you used to be. So something to reduce your stress levels, whether that’s meditation, whether that’s taking a nap, going on a walk, if you can. Just something to bring that stress level down, I think is so essential.

Mimi MacLean:
Yeah. Some joy every day, even if it’s watching your favorite TV show to make you laugh and forget about something for half an hour. The other thing I would throw in there, I think, with the nutrition part that we didn’t talk about, but I know you would agree is water.

Georgia Grey:
Yes.

Mimi MacLean:
I don’t think anybody values how much clean water… I find when I’m not feeling well, I think back on the day and I was like, “Ooh, I didn’t have enough water today.”

Georgia Grey:
Yes. I think that’s a great point. That’s so funny. I was reading some nutrition stuff yesterday and they were recommending water and I was like, “Oh, it’s so simple. It’s right in front of all of us.”

Mimi MacLean:
I know. The other thing I learned, and I don’t know if you recommend this to your clients, but putting minerals in your water. Because someone was saying that Lyme depletes your body of all these minerals.

A lot of the side effects that you’re getting are actually your body not having enough minerals. That’s why your bones start to ache and whatever. I feel like once I started, I have like five different things I need to put in my water. So I’m like, “Oh, that’s five different glasses of water.”  I have my chlorophyll, I have my minerals, I have my vitamin C. Then at the end of the day, you’re like, “Okay, well I already had my five big glasses of water.” So at least it kind of gets you focused.

Georgia Grey:
That’s a good visual part, too.

Whole Body Healing is Emotional and Mental Healing As Well

Mimi MacLean:
Is there anything else that you think we haven’t covered that you discuss with your clients? 

Georgia Grey:
Back to that self-care piece. I’ve been in this spot too, but I think we can either be victims, or we can be optimistic, and we can fight and we can take care of ourselves. There is such a power in taking care of yourself and trying to find some sort of gratitude in the day.

Mimi MacLean:
Right.

Georgia Grey:
I think the big thing, too, is having hope. Because sometimes you even go to your doctor and you’re like, “Am I going to get better?” And they’re like, “I don’t know.”

Mimi MacLean:
I don’t know. You don’t know. “Do you ever really go away?” I think it doesn’t really go away. I think it just goes into remissions. You’re in so much pain and if you don’t have a support system and you don’t financially have that ability to get better, it’s a really lonely world.

So I think that going back to what you’re saying is just like, stop and slow down and start empowering yourself and realizing that you do have the answers within you.  And listening to yourself. There’s a reason why you’re going on this journey so don’t give up, because you’ll come out a better person. You just got to figure out why.

Georgia Grey:
Yes. I echo everything that you say because I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but there definitely is something to be learned within that.

Mimi MacLean:
I think the hardest part of this is that no one really believes you.

Georgia Grey:
Right.

Mimi MacLean:
If you get cancer, people believe you, there’s a course of action, it’s covered by insurance. Right?

Georgia Grey:
Right.

Mimi MacLean:
Even if you get long-haulers, from what’s going on right now, it’s like, people believe you. But they don’t believe us. You’re like, “Wait, why?”

Georgia Grey:
Right.

Mimi MacLean:
And that’s why I love having you on today. I feel like even though I went to IIN and I had a nutrition background, it still took me years to actually be like, “Okay, I need to get real about this. I need to stop cheating as much as I cheat”. And it’s not just a quick fix. Right?

Georgia Grey:
Yeah.

Mimi MacLean:
I don’t know if you do say this with your clients. Coffee, everything. Gluten, dairy, I gave it up, all. I think I was just eating vegetables and I still didn’t feel well. And then that’s when you get outraged.

Georgia Grey:
Yeah.

Mimi MacLean:
Because you’re like, “I can’t even eat.” And then you find out you’re allergic to half the vegetables and you’re like, “Okay. I was allergic to kale and like that’s what was causing me to get sick.” So then it’s just frustrating.

Georgia Grey:
Oh, I know. It’s so tiring. And that’s some of the last steps that I do with people where it’s like, “Okay, we’ve done that rigorous intense place, but we can’t live there forever because it just makes you so depressed.” So it’s like, “Okay, find this balance where yeah, you can’t go order Domino’s every night, probably, because that’s going to make you feel crazy.” But if you have, like I was saying, a gluten-free pizza now and then, just for that sanity piece.

I think that once we get our guts and immune systems healthier, then there has to be that balance, because we can’t live in this place of restriction forever. 

Mimi MacLean:
Yeah. Almonds, my husband got almonds.

Georgia Grey:
Oh yeah, I’ve got avocados.

Mimi MacLean:
You got avocados. It’s funny, I follow my blood type, and then I also had it backed up with like a blood test to see. I mean, literally, it was my diet and I was like, “But those are all the super foods. That’s what I’m supposed to be eating. And I’m not allowed to eat those now? What?”

Georgia Grey:
Right, right. Oh my gosh. I know.

Mimi MacLean:
So for anybody who wants to find you, what is your website again?

Georgia Grey:
You can find me and DM me on Instagram and it’s just whole-body healing and then my website is wbhnutrition.com. I work with clients privately, and then I’m also putting together a group coaching program for the fall for Lyme disease.

I’ve just really seen this profound need for people with Lyme to be in community together. I just feel so energized, just like, “Oh my gosh. I know. You get it.” So anyway, if anyone’s interested in that group coaching, where we’ll do the nutrition as I do with my private clients, but you get to be with other people with Lyme, just reach out, because that’ll be starting in the fall, too.

Mimi MacLean:
Okay. Awesome. This is great.

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If you want to learn how I detox and want to check out my detox for Lyme checklist, go to lyme360.com/detoxchecklist. You can also join our community at Lyme 360 Warriors on Facebook, and let’s heal together. Thank you. 

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