You Are What You Eat: "Live" Foods Give Life, Reverse Disease

"You are what you eat:" it's an age-old adage that has never been proven more visibly than when we observe the effects of our grab-and-go, convenience-foods culture on our nation's growing obesity, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease epidemics. A more conscious approach to healthful eating can result in a major difference in how people look and feel, and even reverse disease, according to Danielle Heard, MS, HHC, a holistic health counselor certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and founder of Artemis in the City, a holistic nutrition services company.

The first time I met Danielle, I was blown away by her amazing mane of lustrous hair, luminous skin, and bright but warm eyes. This woman radiated health and harmony. Apparently, it wasn't always so. In 1996, Danielle became very sick:

"I was so very ill and was diagnosed with migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and depression. I saw about 20 doctors who could not determine the cause of my illness, and basically said it was psychological." 

After living for many years with a variety of chronic health problems and illnesses, none of which were helped by traditional medicine, Danielle took matters into her own hands and turned to healing herself from the inside out through adopting a "whole foods" lifestyle.

"I completely changed my diet, and within two months I felt noticeably better. Within two years, I was completely healed." After experiencing firsthand the 180 degree difference in her health following a lifestyle and diet change, Danielle trained to become certified as a holistic health counselor so that she could help others affect change in their own lives.

"I want to teach people that it is possible to take control of your own health. In our society, traditional medicine often treats individual symptoms after they have occurred rather than addressing the root cause of disease, or even better, preventing disease."

Danielle says that the body is capable of healing itself and reversing long time unhealthy patterns soon after healthful changes are made: "I help people transition to a whole foods lifestyle and eliminate processed foods. Living foods are the most beneficial to the body. Not all calories are created equal."

Danielle says most people will reach for whatever is most convenient, which are often pre-packaged or fast foods, filled with toxic trans fats and preservatives. "My goal is to help people become more conscious of their food choices." Something as simple as drinking more water, decreasing sugar, and adding more greens and whole grains to the daily diet can make a huge difference to energy levels and overall health.

I had the opportunity to pick Danielle's brain a bit about the best ways to improve our daily diet:

What is the most important thing we should eat every day?

"#1 = Water. Without a doubt. 64 ounces: at least 8 glasses! Most people don't even know that when they feel thirsty their body is already dehydrated. Most people exist in a chronically dehydrated state. Drink water. Often!
#2 = Greens! Eat leafy greens every day."

Should we take vitamins and supplements?

"Food is your medicine. A normal healthy person has no need for supplemental vitamins if she or he is eating a balanced and varied whole foods diet."

In your opinion, what is the worst thing we can do for our health?

"Fast food. Food should not be 'fast.' The transfats and hydrogenated oils in fast foods are toxic. Aspartame (found in equal, nutrasweet, over 6000 products including all "sugar-free" items) is a poison."

Is eating this way really hard and/or expensive?

"Eating this way is not hard once you know what kinds of food to shop for, and which foods to avoid. Slow food IS health."

What if I have no time or don't like to prepare and cook food?

If you care about your health, and see the effects a whole foods lifestyle has on your health, then shopping and preparing your food in this way becomes a top priority."

What do you do for your health every day?

"I drink at least 8 ounces of green juice every day: I make a 'green goddess' drink in my juicer that includes:

spinach or other dark leafy greens
green apple
ginger root
lemon juice

It's delicious and keeps me well and healthy!"

Artemis in the City offers clients individualized consultations and tailored nutrition programs to address individual concerns and health problems, specifically helping clients battle obesity, decrease high blood pressure, eliminate food allergies, and reverse heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, chronic pain and IBS and fibromyalgia.

For recipes, client testimonials, additional resources, and more information, check out Artemis in the City's website: and to learn more about Artemis in the City's services, Danielle offers clients a free health history session: call 212-535-3160.