After a common infection almost took her life in 2013, Shawna Holman made a decision. She left behind her conventional medical journey (read: years of pharmaceutical ‘bandaids’ like steroids and antibiotics) and began implementing simple, non-toxic lifestyle changes that radically shifted the way she felt after nothing else could. She chronicles that journey and the simple tools that make it all work on her blog, A Little Less Toxic.
We recently connected with Shawna through our partners at Somavedic, an EMF radiation mitigator we’ve begun using at home (here’s our first review) and have launched a series with, learning how other pros from Dave Asprey to Gabby Reece use the wellness tech at home.
Here’s our interview with Shawna that unpacks her relatable wellness journey, her top tips, plus her take on using the Somavedic with her family at home…
Can you tell us a bit about your personal wellness journey? What led to your interest in a non-toxic lifestyle?
Like most people that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, I come from a very conventional background. I grew up on all the convenience foods like boxed mac ‘n cheese and bagel bites and used all the conventional personal care products. (I had quite the knack for layering those overly-scented lotions from the mall to make sure I smelled like the countriest of apples!) Everyone I knew ate and lived similarly.
I began having minor health issues in my early 20’s that included intermittent joint pain and recurring sinus headaches. When the headaches got worse over time, I ended up seeing a slew of specialists over a five year period. My experience was always the same: no clear answers or real concern for the root cause, just prescription after prescription for steroids and antibiotics. After 5 years, the pain became more intense and more frequent and pain meds stopped helping.
While on antibiotics and steroids for the umpteenth time, a minor cut on my hand became infected and ended up sending me to the ER with tachycardia. The infection had reached my blood and wasn’t responding to antibiotics. I ended up on the strongest IV antibiotics for one week and another month of antibiotics.
These conventional treatments and continual doses of antibiotics nearly cost me my life and that’s when I decided to make a change. After giving the conventional route my best shot, I decided to search for answers elsewhere. I read everything I could get my hands on and did an elimination diet to see if any foods were contributing to my inflammation issues. Within days, I was pain free for the first time in over a year.
That experience blew my mind wide open and I was thrilled to have some legitimate answers and steps to take to regain my health. Since then I’ve been committed to a new way of life and helping others do the same.
Shawna Holman | The Somavedic at home
What are your best tips for people who want to begin reducing their toxic burden, but don’t know where to start?
Don’t try and overhaul your whole life in one day. You want this to be lasting and sustainable! Make swaps along the way and don’t you dare think those little changes aren’t adding up! That ketchup with more whole food ingredients; the shampoo without fragrance; the simple homemade marinade — they matter and they make a big impact.
Start reading ingredient labels. On everything. Become a more informed consumer by intentionally choosing what you want to invite into your home and body.
Don’t compare your starting point to someone who is further down the path.
Celebrate small victories! Learning to love whole foods is awesome and empowering. Making a multipurpose cleaner for pennies is such a win. It’s all worth celebrating.
Do what you can with what you’re able, as it makes sense for you.
Very few authorities are speaking up about the toxicity concerns that can stem from our modern diet, conventional products, and potentially harmful radiation from the tech that surrounds us. That makes the topic of ‘toxicity’ one that many are skeptical about. What would you say to the skeptics?
I have no interest in telling anyone what to think or believe. I can only share what has been so helpful for me. I had a life-altering experience that was so profound, I couldn’t help but share that with the people I knew and loved. I watched many of them have their lives changed by reducing toxic exposures too.
It can’t hurt to have less potentially toxic things in your life, but it has the potential to make life so much better.
And what would you say to those who are ready to make changes, but feel overwhelmed?
Do what you can with what you’re able, as it makes sense for you.
I recommend making simple swaps as you go. As one product in your home runs low or starts to wear out, do a little research and give yourself a grace period to find a less toxic replacement. I’ve been making simple swaps for almost ten years now. Little things add up over time.
What would you say to those who are overcoming a serious personal toxicity issue?
Changing your lifestyle in these ways can be a big mountain to climb. Know your destination, but don’t be overwhelmed by a big end goal, just keep heading in the right direction. One reasonable step at a time is what will get you where you need to go.
My wellness passion:
Being a good steward of this incredible body God has given me so that I am more free to live well, love well, and serve well. To care for my family well and help them be well. To provide my children with the tools and knowledge to be able to make healthy and informed decisions for themselves. To serve the community by sharing information and tools that can help others be more well too.
The issue with wellness and technology is two-fold: first, we need psychological breaks from all the noise and second, we need a physiological break from the radiation. How do you and your family manage this?
Psychologically, it’s such a tough challenge today — different for every family and in different seasons. For us, right now, we turn on the TV for intentional uses like a family movie night. We do audiobooks for the kids on long car rides instead of screens and devices.
We’re mindful about EMF radiation too. We added a Somavedic to our home to help with the impact of radiation where we can’t limit or eliminate it. I know not everyone will have the same experience, but I noticed a huge impact in my health immediately.
We refrain from using wireless headphones and ear pods. I use my phone on speaker to provide some distance between the device and my noggin’ and we keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off until its needed.
Let’s talk about the Somavedic you’ve got at home and why you believe its so important?
We can limit exposure to EMF radiation at home in lots of ways. Turning off Wi-Fi when possible (at night), removing smart meters and hardwiring in the house. But we really can’t avoid it completely in today’s world.
Even the location of some homes, including mine, put many at greatly increased exposure rates due to electrical wires, cell towers, and more.
We have the Vedic and the day I plugged it in my chronic brain fog went away. I had been suffering with Lyme induced brain fog and fatigue for a solid year and it was very challenging. I had been receiving treatment for about seven months and had made some significant improvement in many areas but the “fog-tigue”, as I call it would not relent. The day I plugged in the Somavedic, it went away and almost 8 months later it has yet to return. The only time the fog-tigue returned was during a couple days spent in someone else’s home!
Curious about using a Somavedic at home? Learn more about Somavedic, their science, and all their handblown glass option here. Shop Somavedic for 10% off any unit of your choice with code SHAWNACB.
This story is brought to you in partnership with Somavedic. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.