Transcript: Thanks, Allan. This is David Brower with Your 20-Minute Podcast. Our special guest today from Pensacola, Florida is Susan Neal. Now, Susan is an author, speaker, wellness coach who is on a mission to reclaim the help of the body of Christ. She’s an RN, MBA, MHS. She combated a health crisis at the age of 49, and with 10 medical diagnoses and two surgeries. Her doctors did all they could, but she was still not healed, so she used her nursing, her health science background to heal her body, and now she wants to help you. Man, what a journey you have been on. Welcome, Susan.
Susan Neal: Thank you so much. Yes, I have.
David Brower: You bet. You bet. I was trying to think how old was I when I went through my first little … It would have been 2007. I call it my 101 days from hell. I had back surgery in March. I got diagnosed with cancer in April. I had my prostate removed in June and nine days later, I had a stroke.
Susan Neal: Oh my God. Oh my God.
David Brower: Along with your stuff, if those kinds of things don’t test your faith, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know what does.
Susan Neal: Yeah.
David Brower: It’s wonderful for us to be alive and to be able to touch other people. Man, you have been so successful in your journey. Your main book, Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, and then you’ve got your three-in-one book that just came out last month, right?
Susan Neal: Yes. Health Living Series, three books in one. Yes, and it includes the Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, the corresponding Christian Study Guide, and then a Healthy Living Journal.
David Brower: Fabulous.
Susan Neal: All of it is to help you regain your health and ideal weight.
David Brower: And it’s all available on the usual places. I’m just looking at all of them on Amazon right here. What was your first book and how were you motivated or get the epiphany to do that?
Susan Neal: Well, the Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, how I was led to that is I had had my own health journey to reclaim my health, but then also I developed these steps to help my sister, because she was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. She would just have terrible irritable bowel when she would digest gluten. She didn’t know what it was for her whole life until she was almost 50. We found out what it was. She was finally tested. She was highly sensitive. So I gave her these seven steps to figure out how to get off gluten, and she successfully did it. She did great.
Susan Neal: Then the next summer she calls me and says, “Oh no, I’ve got something on my face. I don’t know what it is.” It was all these pimples. It ended up being rosacea. She did her own research, and rosacea is linked to sugar consumption. Well, she was off the gluten and the wheat, but she still loved her sugar.
David Brower: Oh yeah. We all have our vices, don’t we?
Susan Neal: Yes, we do. So, I was like, “Okay, well let’s do those same seven steps again.” And they worked. She got off sugar. In like two weeks, her joints quit aching. She was losing five pounds a week. After four months, she had lost 20 pounds. She was just doing fabulous. I was like, “You know what, I think people could really benefit from these seven steps, so I’m gonna go ahead and write a book on it.”
David Brower: Good for you.
Susan Neal: Last month, I sold over 600 copies.
David Brower: Wow. What a gift. You are touching some folks, and your sister, she should probably be the poster child for your book.
Susan Neal: Oh yes, she is. I dedicated it to her and everything. I was just so excited to help her.
David Brower: That is exciting. That is exciting. The gluten deal, you hear more and more about that over the last, I don’t know what, 10, 15 years. It’s become more and more talked about. People are doing more and more research because very few understand it, but when they start to, and obviously your book is a huge way to not only understand the gluten issue, but also to address it, so hats off to you. That’s a big deal.
Susan Neal: Absolutely. Yeah, my book for 2019 is gonna be Solving the Gluten-Free Puzzle.
David Brower: Good for you.
Susan Neal: It is all about gluten and why in the past decade has it just sky rocketed. What has happened? To investigate, to figure out, and all these random symptoms.
David Brower: Absolutely, yeah.
Susan Neal: Even infertility or headaches or the whole raised bumps on the upper part of the outside of your arms. I mean, all these different … ADD. All these different weird symptoms are related to gluten sensitivity. So yep, I’ve already started writing my next book on that.
David Brower: That’s so timely. So timely because people, I know of several people, a lot of people actually that have that issue. Different ages, different circumstances, different environments. It’s not bashful about just effecting you.
Susan Neal: No, it isn’t. I mean, I have 19 year olds or even teenagers who have had MRI, CAT scans, colonoscopy, all of this stuff to find out, well no it isn’t Crohn’s disease like we thought. It’s gluten sensitivity. In the United States, it takes on average four years to be diagnosed because the medical profession doesn’t have a standard protocol for exactly do this, this, this, and this because it’s such a new diagnosis.
David Brower: Well I think what’s gonna happen with your book is it’s gonna help people educate their doctors.
Susan Neal: Yes.
David Brower: You know what I’m saying? Because they will undoubtedly see themselves in your book and go, “Hey doc, page 67, paragraph four. Let’s talk about that.”
Susan Neal: Right. And the thing is that if you rule out gluten sensitivity, well what happens if it happened to be that? For example, there was a … and I’m getting stories of all these individuals and incorporating it into this book. So, the 63 year old friend of mine who’s in my book club, she had all these issues and it mimicked a heart attack. She had also the heart work-up and everything like that, and it ended up being gluten sensitivity.
David Brower: Wow. You never say never. You never assume. You don’t. It seems like any kind … I mean, we all know our bodies better than anybody else, right?
Susan Neal: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David Brower: So if we feel anything that isn’t so-called normal, we need to get that checked out. But with that said, if they’ve had the gluten issue for their whole life, that’s their normal, right?
Susan Neal: Yeah. You know, like my sister, she was 50 before she … She had no idea what it was from. That’s also why I wrote the book called Healthy Living Journal. Track your healthy eating and living habits for improved health and wellbeing because once you track it and see each time, okay what is the same sort of thing that I am ingesting that’s causing these terrible problems, and when you start tracking it, then you can figure it out.
David Brower: Well, and it makes it real because you’re writing it down. You’re not just trying to file it away in your brain that you’re gonna forget about in seven minutes. You actually have something in black and white that you’ve taken the time to invest in, and that tracking is gonna help you discover things about yourself that you really didn’t know.
Susan Neal: Right, yep.
David Brower: Fascinating. Fascinating. What about your Healthy Living series? What’s that all about?
Susan Neal: Well, this is three-books-in-one, so it includes the Seven Steps, the Christian Study Guide, and then the Healthy Living Journal. I just put all three books under one cover because they’re like sequels on top of each other.
David Brower: That makes sense.
Susan Neal: So for this, you get all three books for the price of two under one cover.
David Brower: That’s cool. That’s very cool. I mean, I’m looking at it on Amazon. It’s only 24.99 folks, to get the three books in one. Just wonderful, wonderful resources for you. If you go to Susan’s website, it’s SusanUNeal.com. Right there it says her mission is to help you reclaim your health and lose weight naturally, and naturally is the key, right? Not the crash diet. Nit the eat all fruit all the time whatever. You figure out ways to help them reclaim their health. And a big part of that is losing weight naturally I assume.
Susan Neal: That’s right. My last name is N-E-A-L.
David Brower: There you go.
Susan Neal: Yes. And it’s a mindset change. I’ve taught Bible studies with this. The mindset change is that when you have the food in front of you, look at it. Is this food that God gave you? Is it a beautiful salad or is it chips?
David Brower: Well, yeah. We’ve been in a Bible study group for 14 years, and we went last night and we had chocolate covered cupcakes and peanut brittle, so I know of what you speak.
Susan Neal: It’s okay to have good desserts. For example, I melt 70% chocolate and put a whole bunch of nuts and seeds in it, and then make little drop cookies.
David Brower: Oh my god.
Susan Neal: And 70% chocolate is good for you. Nuts are good for you. You could put some raisins or currants in there. So, you can make good stuff-
David Brower: You really can.
Susan Neal: That is simple and avoid the wheat and the sugar.
David Brower: Good call. You’ve got a blog, a Healthy Living blog. You can access this on her website, by the way, you can follow her on Instagram. There’s a Facebook page. Do you get a lot of interaction on your Facebook page and Instagram?
Susan Neal: Yes, I do. Yes.
David Brower: That’s fabulous.
Susan Neal: Yes, I do. Mm-hmm (affirmative). On Facebook, and in fact if you buy the Healthy Living Series book or the Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, I have a closed Facebook page, and I answer all your questions. I am available right there for you to encourage you. I just had someone who wrote in last night that he had been 15 days no sugar, no wheat, no dairy, and he felt better than he had in years.
David Brower: Isn’t that something?
Susan Neal: He’s just loving life.
David Brower: Wow. On her website, seriously you need to go to her website for lots of reasons. It’s SusanUNeal, N-E-A-L, but if you scroll down not quite halfway, you’ll see a headline that says, “Reclaim your health with this free gift.” And you click on send me my free gift, and you give them Seven Simple Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbs, 50 recipes, healthy eating guidelines, and a whole lot more. That’s just by going to your website and doing a three second click.
Susan Neal: Yes, it is. Those are the 10 appendices that I included in my book, Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. That will really start you with, okay let’s make this change and let’s change my mindset to the foods that are beneficial for me that I should eat, and not the ones that are harmful.
David Brower: Absolutely. I just noticed your favorite sweet tooth satisfying snack. Tell me about that while I salivate a little bit.
Susan Neal: I made it this morning.
David Brower: Did you really?
Susan Neal: Yep, I didn’t have much in my refrigerator and I was like, “Well I’ve got some apples.” So, I roast like half … it’s a nut butter. I like half pecan and half almond, because I live in the south and we have lots of pecans. So, I roast them for like 12 minutes at 320 degrees. Take them out, throw them in my food processor. Add just a touch of salt. Five minutes later, I have homemade almond pecan butter. I slice my apple. I slather it with that delicious freshly roasted delicious … My nuts were raw to begin with. It is nutritious and delicious. I use green apples because green apples are lower in sugar. It’s high with protein. That was my breakfast this morning. After, what was it, 20 minutes to make it. Then 12 of it was in the oven where I was working.
David Brower: And too, when you look at that on your website, your smile sells it. It’s like she’s standing in front of the green apple with her kitchen tools and this smile that’s gonna break her jaw it’s so wide. That is awesome. That is so awesome. Good for you. Good for you. You can also watch, she did a television interview on CTN’s The Bridges show with Monica Schmelter. You can also watch that interview on there, which is fascinating. You have scripture, is it scripture yoga? Tell me about that.
Susan Neal: Yes, and that actually was my first book. I am a Christian yoga instructor. Since 2004, I have taught scripture yoga at my church. After about a decade, I felt called to create, to write a book. This book, Scripture Yoga, 21 Bible lessons for Christian yoga classes. It just provides a Biblical theme for each of your classes. Then you can meditate on the Bible verse while you are in the yoga posture. I have the yoga book. I have yoga DVDs. I have yoga card decks. You can find all of them on my website, SusanUNeal.com or Amazon.
David Brower: Then healthy living, you’ve got the blog. Of course, we’ve talked about the books, Instagram, and Facebook. What kinds of things do you talk about in your blog, as I click on it to open it up?
Susan Neal: I like to provide people with recipes and grocery lists.
David Brower: Oh, there you go.
Susan Neal: Because so many times it’s like, well what do I eat? I can’t eat wheat, I can’t eat sugar, what do I eat? Okay, well let me tell you. I’ll give you the menu for your week. We’ve got the menu for the week, the recipes, the grocery list. You just print that out and there you go.
David Brower: Fascinating. And some of the topics on the blog, food addiction leads to weight gain and poor health. Do you have, am I pronouncing this right, candida infection?
Susan Neal: Yes.
David Brower: Do you have candida infection of your gut? What is that? I’ve never heard of that.
Susan Neal: In my book, I like to get to the root cause of the issue that people have with food. Why are we eating so much sugar and carbohydrates? One of them could be because you have a food addiction because it’s a biochemical addiction in the brain. It goes up to the same brain receptors, that you eat these types of food, it’s the same brain receptors as opiate drugs. So, on MRI imaging, your brain lights up when you’re eating sugar or when you’re looking at whatever type of narcotic that you’re addicted to, the same area of the brain. So, one is food addiction.
Susan Neal: Two is a candida infection. Candida is what happened to me. If you take antibiotics, you kill the good probiotics in your gut and your gut becomes imbalanced. From that, candida is a yeast. God gave us our gastrointestinal systems with the perfect amount of candida and probiotics, but the antibiotics kill the probiotics. So, the bad guy candida overgrows, like yeast in a bread, you know how it expands and grows. Well that’s what happens in our gut and it takes over unless you take good probiotics with 10 different strains of probiotics in them after you’ve had your antibiotics. Well you know what? We were never trained to do that, were we?
David Brower: Absolutely. I’ve never heard that, and I’m married to a public health nurse, and I’ve never heard of that in my lifetime. And that makes perfect sense, yeah.
Susan Neal: I had never heard of candida. I had never heard of the candida either until I got the candida infection, and I’m a nurse.
David Brower: My gosh. It’s interesting to me, I was just talking to a buddy of mine about an hour ago. He called to tell me that his sister is in the hospital with a brain tumor, and not expected to last very long. He says, “I don’t know what God has planned for this.” I said, “Well, it seems to me that God uses everything for good. So, who knows? She might just give a nurse a glance that’ll change that nurse’s life forever and you’ll never know it. But just know that he makes everything for good.” I firmly believe that, and obviously you do as well.
Susan Neal: Yes, I did. When I was very sick, it was very hard to get out. It was three steps forward and two steps back, but I figured out what was going on, and towards the end with this candida infection, that was my like 10th diagnoses, and I had to fight to kill the candida in my gut. So, I give you all the steps for how to do that because that’s really very real, and we haven’t been taught about it.
Susan Neal: Then the third root cause for why we may eat so much sugar or carbs is because of an emotional issue. Are we comforting ourselves? Are we stuffing our anger or resentment or unforgiveness with food? So in my Christian Study Guide to Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, I work through all of those different emotions and healing, and walking through that so you can resolve the root issue of the problem, whether it’s food addiction, candida, or an emotional stronghold with food.
David Brower: Fascinating, fascinating. One last thing, we’re about out of time, but I want to let people know that your Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates won a prestigious Christian book award called the Selah. It’s an award from the largest Christian writer’s conference in the United States. So, congratulations on not only that, but everything else you’re putting out there to help people be more healthy, live more healthy. What a gift, man. Congratulations.
Susan Neal: Well, thank you. It’s from the grace of God.
David Brower: Absolutely right. It’s been a real pleasure, Susan. Thank you for your time today.
Susan Neal: Thank you.
Allan Blackwell: Listen to Your 20 Minute podcast with David Brower on the go. Downloads are available on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, I Heart Radio, Spotify, any podcast app, and on our website at DavidBrowerVo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thank you for listening.