The Ins and Outs of Great Nutrition

Woman walking with headphones

Consumers’ Kristen Davidson talks about her personal journey with nutrition. What seemed like an overwhelming feat, changing the way she and her family eat, has truly changed all of their lives.





00:07 Lynne Jarman-Johnson: Money, I’m Home. Welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson, chief marketing officer with Consumers Credit Union, and I’ll tell you what, we are bringing your money home from finance to fitness. And today we’re really going to focus on fitness and joining us is Kristin Davison. She’s been on the podcast before, and you’re the vice president of organizational development here at Consumers. You’re also a mom.


00:32 Kristin Davison: I am. A mom of five.


00:33 LJJ: Mom of five.


00:34 KD: Blended family, returning student, involved everywhere.


00:39 LJJ: You do, and your roles to me have been an inspiration. I love watching you as a mom and as a wife and leader in the community. One of the things that I have been just fascinated with is you have recently been on your own fitness and wellness journey. And I would love to hear a little bit about that. How did it start and why?


01:05 KD: It’s been a forever journey, I think. As most people who finally have struggled with weight or overall health problems, it’s not a recent thing. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a lot of my life, and it really has always come down to poor nutritional decisions. I don’t know any other way to put it. There’s not a fancy way to say it. It’s poor choices. I allowed… I hate to say it this way but being a mom get in the way of my… Or get in front of not get in the way but get in front of my health. My work gets in front of my health, my own desires to grow and do other things, I put my health behind. Meaning, I had peanut butter and jellies in the car. I would run through McDonalds. I had Taco Bell. Basically, all the things you’re not supposed to eat on a regular basis.


02:00 LJJ: Now, before you continue…


02:02 KD: Oh, I can’t say those things.


02:03 LJJ: I would like to know how many people listening are going, “Yes. Yes. Yes.”


02:08 KD: I know, I know. You know, it just… Everything was so busy. It has been very hard to slow down and make time for me. Frankly though, I didn’t do it for me in the beginning. So it really started as our youngest daughter. So as you mentioned, I’m a mom, and our youngest one has had digestion problems for two to three years now. She’s 13.


02:33 LJJ: Like, it just came up all of a sudden, or what?


02:35 KD: Out of the blue. Yeah, out of the blue. She came back from a trip, and she had horrible pains. Make a three-year story quick, they told us she was backed up from being gone, to just deal with it. She’ll be fine in six to eight weeks. It takes a lot of time for the colon to come back. Absolutely a ton of truth in that, but not for my daughter. It continued. She missed almost an entire month worth of school in sixth grade.


03:02 LJJ: That’s so tough at that age.


03:04 KD: Sixth grade. She missed almost a month. Absolutely. So not only is it tough on the school part and just the attendance, but the friends trying to understand what was wrong with her. Why was she leaving? Why wasn’t she eating? It was just a great deal of things. So fast forward, our daughter had a colonoscopy, she had an upper GI, and this is all at 10 and 11. So some pretty major work, tests being done on her, lots of blood work, etc. Nobody can figure it out.


03:38 KD: We went through about every possible direction that we could go and medically, they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. The last doctor’s appointment was last spring, last one I had, and they actually told me it was anxiety and things that she was dealing with. So when she was having a bad day, it would come out with pain. I frankly said, “No, I know my child. That’s not the case.” Her absolute favorite spot in life is on top of a horse. She’s horseback rider and she would have to get off her horse in the middle of a ride. She’d be in a middle of a horse show, and had to stop. So I knew they were wrong. There was more to this.


04:16 LJJ: So what is interesting here is the moment that you hear the word “anxiety,” then also comes with it potential medications.


04:25 KD: Absolutely. And therapy.


04:28 LJJ: And therapy. And you’re looking at this saying, “There has to be something more.”


04:32 KD: Yeah. You know your people. You know your family, you know your co-workers, you know when something’s wrong, and they’re just not getting it. So, fast forward again. We had some dear friends who went through their own weight loss journey over last winter, actually. I think they started it in February and it was about May just of ’18, excuse me. And they said, “You know, we’re seeing this nutritionist and he specializes, out of thousands of nutritionists in the country, there’s only a few hundred that have these special credentials for gastro-intestinal issues that have to do with the nutrition line. No supplements, no pills, no more tests.” And we thought…


05:16 LJJ: Literally, what you’re putting inside your body to stay healthy.


05:19 KD: Yes. Yep, we thought, “Well I don’t know. What does it hurt, right? I mean, what does it hurt? It can’t hurt to go meet this guy.” He doesn’t live far. He’s actually here in Kalamazoo County in Battle Creek. So we met him, and we just were hooked. We liked him. He looked at us and he said, “Your daughter’s malnourished. She’s underweight. Give me three months.” And we looked at him and we said, “What are you going to do in three months?” And we kinda just joked him off and he said, “No seriously, please give me three months. Follow what I’m going to give you, and give me three months.”


05:51 LJJ: And this is all foods.


05:53 KD: All food. At this point, we really didn’t know though. Right? So at this point, we’re like…


05:57 LJJ: Oh, so you’re thinking, “Okay, what are we get… ”


05:58 KD: What are we getting into? Is he going to pump us full of this or that? Like, what are we getting into? And he immediately said, “We’re going to go gluten-free, dairy-free, and lower sugar.” And again, mom of five, incredibly busy, I think, “Yeah, like I have time for this? How is this real? I can’t do this.” And the internet is amazing and overwhelming. So, of course you Google support groups and Facebook groups. And I immediately went, “Oh, I can’t do this. It’s just too much for me. Again I work full-time and involved and so does my husband.” And we said, “Alright, if we’re going to do this we have to do it with her.” And we looked at it again and said, “Man, we can’t bring all the family out. That’s expensive.” To eat healthy is back to your financial than in fitness. It’s very hard and very expensive to eat healthy. But then the more we did it was normal it was natural. We cook with almond flower, not white flower. We use coconut oil, not butter. I mean really it’s so minimal. It changed us.


07:00 LJJ: For you was it immediate like you went and threw everything out and then shopped for new or did you slowly transition as you researched?


07:11 KD: That’s a great question. I slowly transitioned the other kids and for our daughter and my husband and I it was immediate. We decided, “It has to be immediate.”


07:19 LJJ: So you did with your daughter?


07:20 KD: We did. So, again we decided, “Well, if we’re going to do this, we’ve gotta do it with her for this to work.” It’s amazing meals. Amazing meals. Chicken taco soup. Who doesn’t like chicken taco soup? Different white fish. One of the best things, I laughed about it, is he asked you what do you like, what don’t you like. And he helps you. So I said, I love pizza. Guess what he gave me? A gluten-free margarita pizza. That was amazing. I mean he really…


07:44 LJJ: So you’re cooking all of this?


07:46 KD: Yes. Look at me.


07:48 LJJ: I only have a kitchen because it came with the house, Kristen, so…


07:51 KD: That’s right. Well, let’s keep in mind I have a husband who’s great cook, thank goodness. I would not do it without him.


07:57 LJJ: But truly it is the ingredients also that you’re putting in your normal foods that you eat…


08:02 KD: Absolutely. It’s healthy sugars. It’s all the right foods. It really was a nutritional piece. And the results showed within 30 days. Our daughter gained weight. So this is what’s crazy. Her body gained weight. She was at the point of toxicity. She was really hurting from the inside out and we had to heal her gut. That’s all he kept saying, “We need to heal her gut.” So she was very, very strict. And when I say diet, it wasn’t a diet. She got to eat a ton of food. It was eating all the right foods. So she went through this journey with us. She’s gained weight and we’ve lost weight. So between my husband and I combined and about three and a half months…


08:41 LJJ: Now that’s… Now wait a minute. That is… That’s incredible.


08:44 KD: Crazy, I know.


08:45 LJJ: So the same food you’re eating, your daughter gains weight for her health, it’s what she needed?


08:52 KD: Yes.


08:53 LJJ: And you and Travis lose weight for your health because your body is telling you what you need.


08:58 KD: We’re literally shedding the weight and her body, her insides are healed.


09:04 LJJ: That’s incredible.


09:05 KD: So nutritionally, she’s holding all the value of a banana, all the value of chicken, of meat. We didn’t go vegetarian. It was amazing to see the way our bodies worked together.


09:19 LJJ: Wow, I’ll tell you what Kristen, we will… The journey we’ll continue to ask you about because I think it’s really important but I really appreciate the fact that you brought in the worry about the finance of it too. The interesting thing though is the more you’re driving through fast foods, the more you’re trying to do something in a rush, it is the same type of behavior that in the long run just causes anxiety and stress anyway.


09:49 KD: Absolutely, it’s impulse. Right? It’s impulse.


09:51 LJJ: So for you, how much have you lost, if you don’t mind sharing?


09:55 KD: Sure.


09:55 LJJ: And are you even doing a goal or is it just that you just want to be healthy?


10:00 KD: I don’t have a goal. I really just want to be healthy and I know as long as we can maintain this we can help her. It’s hard to be a teenager and have a different meal plan at lunch. It’s very hard. We considered homeschooling her for a second. But how do you help her learn that it’s okay. She still to this day isn’t spending the night at friend’s houses.


10:22 LJJ: Cause she’s just not ready yet.


10:24 KD: Because she has to pack her own food. She’s not ready to do that. And that’s okay. That’s fine. We just have them over to our house, which like your family we love to have people over. So it worked out really well. But yeah I will continue. I am now over 35 pounds lost since the first week of June.


10:39 LJJ: Congratulations.


10:40 KD: Thank you. And now I’m going to tell you, I didn’t work out. I didn’t go walk. I didn’t run. I’m definitely proponent of that everybody. But for me I lost over 35 pounds solely by nutrition.


10:54 LJJ: And now you are…


10:56 KD: That’s right.


10:56 LJJ: I see you. And now…


10:57 KD: And now I’m in the gym because I feel good. I want to be in the gym. I feel great. I’m comfortable in a gym shirt, where before I didn’t feel comfortable. So now I finally see that I did put my own health off for so long and I’m able to work on me and it’s it’s fun and it’s great because on top of it my team knows, “Hey she’s going to the gym,” and they’re just so supportive. So it’s awesome to have that full support from home as well as at work.


11:22 LJJ: Well Kristin, thank you so much for your time, your personal story, congratulations.


11:26 KD: Thank you.


11:27 LJJ: I’ll tell you what, this is Finance to Fitness. Money I’m home. We’re bringing home to you.




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