My name is Johanna Kuvaja, and I’m a mother to 3 amazing children. They are the reason why I grew an intrest towards healthy living to such an extent that I started to blog about health.
Less than a decade ago I didn’t know anything about nutrition. I trusted that the doctors and the health care specialists would know everything, and that they would always take care of us.
When my first child was born, I didn’t feel the need to learn about food recommendations for children. I assumed that we would be in capable hands, so I didn’t think it would be necessary.
I realized that I needed to start educating myself, when I read an article about store-bought baby food. Like many uninformed parents out there, I had fed only jar food for my baby. After all, that was what was recommended by the health care nurses. Nobody ever mentioned anything about the possibility that you could make your own food for your baby or told us about the fact, that it would actually be a better option for your child. I vividly remember the nurse telling me which jar food would be the best option to start with, and what to buy next. I did what I was told to do. I never second guessed anything.
Now I had this article in my hands, stating the facts that there were no nutrition value in the store-bought baby jar food, and they called it ”dead food”.
I was left flabbergasted and terrified! I had been feeding my child ”dead food” all this time. I felt deceived by the health care centre. Big time.
I felt so sad that here I had this little, helpless human being to take care of, who had trusted me to make the right choices for her, and the sad truth was that my knowledge was non-existent. I had relied on other people to have our best interest at heart. I was even more shocked when people told me that the reason behind the nurses’ recommendations were the donations made by the baby food manufacture company. The same reason why many doctors gladly prescribe antibiotics and other drugs even for a common cold – they get bonuses.
It all started to come back to me.. I remember the time when I was studying to become a teacher, and I suffered from chronic UTI’s (urinary tract infections) for many years. One time the doctors prescribed me 9 different antibiotics during one year, and after that they prescribed me preventative antibiotic medication to take every single day. Unfortunately I became immune to that as well, and it ended up not working. I found myself in the hospital fighting for my life. I urinated blood and my fever was so high that I suffered from hallucinations when I entered the doctor’s office. The doctors feared that I might die from blood poisoning, and the next night at the hospital was the most painful night of my life. The doctors told me that if I hadn’t received the strong antibiotics through IVY, I would have died the following night.
After this experience our school’s nurse suggested that I should try natural remedies, but warned me that she’s not supposed to suggest it: cranberry tablets. I was willing to try anything and I took one tablet per day. And to my big surprise, they worked! And I haven’t had any UTI’s ever since! No more antibiotics! And I always have cranberry tablets at our home now.
After reading the article about baby food and its dangers, and experiencing the disadvantages and side effects of taking prescribed medication and antibiotics, I decided that it’s time to take control of my family’s health. And that I’ll be selective of who I’ll trust when it comes to doctors and nurses.
The problem was, that there was so much information out there. Which information was correct? That’s when I had to trust my own brain and intuition. It made most sense to me, that processed food couldn’t be good. I knew that I had to avoid all the additives, preservatives and ingredients that I didn’t even know how to pronounce in order to provide my children with a healthy nutrition.
I had tried so many different diets in my life: low-fat, low carb, vegetarian, pescatarian, mediterranean, blood type, vegan, paleo.. I was still left confused ,but I started to eat organic food and read labels. That was a good start.
Then, as destiny would have it, we hired a Canadian au pair to teach english to our children. She knew a lot about nutrition; her mom ran a health blog and her dad was a doctor. They had an organic farm, at which they raised their own animals and grew plants.They made their own food from scratch and drank only spring water. I saw her making ghee, kombutcha, her own deodorant, washing her hair with baking soda etc. And I was transfixed and amazed to find out about this new approach to healthier living and to learn about the many alternative products that could be used instead of buying everything ready-made. We ended up talking about nutrition many hours every day, and everything finally made sense to me. I knew I was on the right path. I asked her mom to send me book recommendations about nutrition, and she sent me a list of at least a dozen of books to read. And I ordered them all -at once. I couldn’t get enough of all the information and I felt so empowered by all the new knowledge that I gained.
My knowledge about natural remedies, homemade products, and our general enlightenment of living a healthier lifestyle came in handy big time about a year ago. That’s when we discovered that our house (which we bought 10 years ago) had a mold problem. I’d been exposed to toxic mold for 15 years in a row, first after working at mold school (now torn down), and then living in our house for a decade (now the house is also torn down).
I suffered from multiple chemical sensitivity, bad vision problems, muscle numbness, severe tremors etc for about a year. It was the scariest time of my life. We lived a healthy lifestyle, but still fell ill frequently. My children had ear infections, that wouldn’t even cure with antibiotics, and they had rash all over their body. I put my blog on a break. Needless to say that I felt like a fraud sharing health tips to others. I was so relieved to finally learn the unexpected reason behind our symptoms.
I saw many doctors due to my symptoms, yet no-one could help me. The doctors had no knowledge about mold toxicity and most of the time they prescribed antibiotics, which was the worst thing to do. Doctors believed that I suffered from spring allergy, they prescribed me eyeglasses (not that I ever bought them, obviously!), and finally they sent me to have a brain scan. They found out that I had brain cysts. That’s when I started to suspect mold poisoning. I got the written results from the MRI, and it read “special finding”. That prompted me to do more research and I found out that toxic mold also causes cysts -and even cancer. Since all the other symptoms also matched with mold toxicity, we hired the sniffer dogs to check out our house the following day, and my suspicions were confirmed.
Ever since then, I started to do even more research about nutrition, and learned about mycotoxins in food etc. I started to follow a strict diet free from all types of sugar, grains, dairy and food that contained mycotoxins (somewhat similar to candida diet). I was determined to detox the mold out of my body. In less than a month, I was cured from most of my symptoms, including multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic sinusitis, vision blurriness, etc. Getting better from neurological symptoms might take years, so I’m patiently trying to follow my new lifestyle.
Nourishing my children with organic, healthy food is a gift that I want to give to my children. It’s sometimes time-consuming to make all the food from scratch, but I know it will be worth it. And our children already appreciate it. That’s the best reward.
Through this blog, I’m hoping to inspire other people to live healthier and encourage you to do your own research when it comes to nutrition. I’m not a doctor or a health specialist of any kind, and I recognize that I only know a little, but I’m adamant about educating myself on nutrition every day and I love sharing what I’ve learned.
Knowledge is power and when it comes to health, nothing could be more important. Our greatest wealth is health. In today’s world where unhealthy processed & sugary food is heavily advertised to us, – and especially to our children, it’s our obligation to educate ourselves now even more than ever. The quality of food has changed during the years – unfortunately for worse.
As a school teacher, I also recognize how the quality of food that children consume affects their learning and behaviour at school. Hidden sugars are present everywhere, and they work like a drug. I used to be sugar addict myself, so I know how hard it is to wean yourself off of it.
Now it’s a known fact that sugar feeds cancer cells, and it’s the cause behind many chronic illnesses. Why put our children’s health at risk? In my opinion, schools should be totally sugar-free zones! Not only for health reasons, but also for educational reasons. Schools should lead an example and educate children about what type of food keeps us healthy and strong, and makes us feel good inside out. Getting back to basics is something that I would love the schools to strive towards. Most children don’t even know where the clean water comes from, not to mention have any idea that you can make your own ice-cream from scratch… or even lip balm. 😉 Steering away from chemicals as much as possible, is something that I find utterly important as well. That means using safe soaps, detergents, utensils, etc.
That’s why I share many natural recipes on my site as well (like deodorant, veggie wash, and natural cures for many illnesses/problems).
In the future, I would also love to see the air quality at schools being a top priority to people. In my opinion all the children should be entitled to study at the school environment that is non-toxic to them!! Unfortunately mold is a huge problem at least here in Finland, and as someone who has just experienced a severe mold toxicity after working at school and living in our mold house, it saddens me to think that innocent children have to suffer from toxic environment. Unfortunately people are still unaware of mold and its dangers, and even though there is a mold problem in many buildings, nothing gets done about it because either the financial resources are missing or the problem is not recognized. Toxic mold causes tumors and cancers at the worst cases. It should be a no brainer that the schools should have a good air quality. That benefits the children’s learning as well, but more importantly, it’s just plain wrong to put their health at risk!! One school here in Finland was just built out of logs a while ago. I was so happy to read about that. That is one step towards the right direction. Hopefully other schools will be following their lead.
I really encourage you to do your own research! Be aware that your/your loved ones health is on the line. I also encourage you to make your voice heard. Without anyone stepping up, things won’t change. I’m hoping to make my voice heard through writing this blog.
On this blog I’ll share my own beliefs based on the researches that I’ve read. If you’ll find them helpful, I couldn’t be happier. However, you should always do what works best for you!
Thank you always for reading!