A photo of Sophia Gushee and Nita Ewald with the title and other details of podcast episode 34

NEW PODCAST: "Sick of being sick"

fertility infertility podcast Mar 14, 2021


[0:24] Guest introduction.

Often sick as a child, Nita Ewald explains that she got "sick of being sick."

Then, from around age 29-30, with a masters in chemistry, she started wondering, What's in my personal care products?

This curiosity led her to become more interested in the toxic chemicals in her everyday products--even before she became interested in healthy eating.

As Nita learned about the toxicity in her household products-- like her lotions and shampoo--Nita detoxed her choices.

This seemed to help her immune system because she became increasingly less sick. She says the only change was detoxing her products and environment.

Enjoying less sickness than ever, Nita was surprised when she and her husband had trouble getting pregnant. Eventually, she was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Not knowing what else to do, she attempted IVF. But that didn't work either.

Then, she started a yoga practice, which really helped reduce her stress, increase her intuition, and create harmony. Nine months later, right before her next scheduled IVF appointment, she listened to her strong intuition that urged her to delay her IVF treatment and try naturally. She spoke to her husband, they tried naturally, and she got pregnant!

Whether fertility is relevant to you or not right now, Nita's story is thought-provoking for everyone to hear because you'll hear how Nita's life changed after detoxing, eating healthy, and reducing her stress. As Nita says in this podcast, "fertility is just an extension of our health."

Originally from Indonesia, and earning her masters in chemistry in Japan, Nita specialized in natural product chemistry. Nita worked for a pharmaceutical company that focused on neurological issues, like ADHD. However, her fertility journey inspired Nita to dedicate herself as a fertility coach.

Nita and I have very similar perspectives, approaches, and goals. We've been on parallel paths, recognizing it for the first time in this conversation, which was recorded in 2017. Towards the end of the podcast, you'll hear how Nita warms food without a microwave, how important it is to her to avoid nonstick pots and pans, and how she feeds her family.

Nita mentions some product names. She was just sharing what worked well for her at that time. Nothing said in this podcast is an endorsement for any products, and nothing in this podcast should be interpreted as medical advice. I hope Nita's story inspires healthy changes that you should discuss with your trusted healthcare providers first.

You can follow Nita on Instagram @path.to.fertility and learn more about Nita's offerings on her website: https://www.nurturewithnita.com/


In addition, keep in mind that if you become inspired to detox your life and would like support, my website at www.nontoxicliving.tips offers various kinds of resources. In addition to this podcast, I have books and online programs to help you detox your home, diet, self-care, and technology from toxic chemicals heavy metals, and EMFs.

The best way to stay updated is to register for my newsletter. Join by texting "DETOX" to 66866.


I'd also like to thank my podcast producer, Chris Robertson, for elevating this podcast production. And, if you enjoy this podcast and would like to subscribe, rate, and review it, then I'd really appreciate it. If you send me a screenshot, I'll send you an appreciation gift.


Now, on with the show...

[4:25] Nita's childhood experience of being sick often.

[7:00] Nita became interested in nontoxic living first (at around age 29), before healthy eating. Probably because of her chemistry background.

[8:22] Nita's experience with her new home triggering symptoms and sensations. New paint, new. carpets were off-gassing. Sometimes, the worst fumes are the ones that you can't smell (but you can sometimes feel--watery eyes and other sensations).

"It's the fumes that you can't smell that are more toxic."

[11:15] Sophia's heightened sensitivity to toxic exposures while she was pregnant.

[12:00] With self-awareness, listening to our body's symptoms and sensations can alert us to toxic exposures or something else that is off-balance.

[14:50] Changing just toxic exposures helped Nita's immune system. She stopped getting sick.

[15:00] Nita was surprised by her fertility challenges given that she felt healthier than ever.

  • Was diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
  • Yoga really helped reduce her stress, improve her intuition, and align her body, mind, and spirit. Nine months later, she became pregnant naturally.

[19:00] Nita and her husband now has two children: one biological, and one adopted. Since Nita's husband was adopted, they were always interested in adopting.

[21:00] How Nita works with clients.

Usually, a 4-month program that details steps to improve biochemistry, epigenetics.

  • Eat more plant-based, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Look at toxic load too from personal care products, cleaning products, kitchen supplies, and stress too.
  • Things usually work out after they have relaxed and surrendered while doing their best to improve their health conditions.

"Whatever decision that you make: Feel good about it!"

Make a decision that comes from the heart and not the head.

"The mission of my work is to protect all these children."

"To me, the finish line is not just having the baby. The finish line is having a baby that is healthy during his or her lifetime."

[25:00] Fetal origins of our biological foundation. Foundation of our biological system starts in utero.

[26:00] Nita's background:

  • Originally from Indonesia, earned in Masters in Chemistry in Japan.
  • Worked for a pharmaceutical company that focused on neurological issues, like ADHD.
  • Nita was always interested in chemistry, from high school, and medicinal plants based on her childhood experiences with natural remedies. Masters in Japan is in natural products chemistry. She researched different types of plants to figure out their medicinal properties.
  • First job was isolating Taxol, a component from a type of tree bark, that was used for an anti-cancer drug.

[30:00] Cocktail effects from toxic exposures from our consumer products.

  • Unique vulnerabilities: Genetics, stages of life, sex, ethnicities.
  • Trends of autism follows the trends of the growth in chemical. production, even though the onset of autism is multi-factorial.

[32:00] Body burden of newborns.

  • 287 chemicals found in cord blood of American newborns. 
  • Combined with a weak digestive system and vaccines.
  • Blood-brain barrier takes a while to form fully. It protects the brain from toxic compounds.

[33:00] Natural childbirth exposes children to important bacteria through the birth canal. Babies born through c-section aren't exposed to these beneficial bacteria. Their gut bacteria would benefit from extra attention.

  • If parents are aware of these issues, then the parents can make more informed choices to support gut health.
  • Avoid processed sweets for as long as possible. Sour, bitter, and fermented foods first. Once processed sugar is introduced, then kids will have a harder time with other tastes. Focus on nutrient-content so fruit is good.
  • Delay antibiotics as much as physicians are comfortable. Take probiotics through fermented foods.

[38:00] Ideally, detox 3 months before trying to conceive.

  • Breastfeeding is detoxification for the mom.
  • Ideally, women detox three months before pregnancy. Going to the sauna is great before pregnancy. The more mom can lessen toxic load to the baby, the better.
  • Sperm concentration and total sperm count have decreased about 50% in certain regions.

[42:00] Reduce toxic exposures to improve your genetic expressions.

  • The body is a container with a big opening at the top, and the small opening in the bottom (liver). The liver can process only so much.
  • Limit toxins coming into the big container (our body) because what can be processed/eliminated is limited.
  • Environmental Working Group is an excellent resource for safer sunscreens, other personal care products, cleaning products, food, lotions, and more. Nita uses its Healthy Living app when shopping.

[44:00] Cast iron, microwave.

[45:00] Nita's programs:

  • 21-day jumpstart program (group and DIY experiences)
  • www.nurturewithnita.com
  • Elimination diet of inflammatory foods.
  • How to detox products.
  • 21-day meditation to help you become more intuned with yourself.

[47:30] Sophia's EMF Detox program, a digital detox.

[50:00] Nita feels the "fruits of her labor" by feeling great at age 54. 

[51:00] Favorite things to eat:

  • Morning: Green smoothie (bananas, blueberries, mangoes, blanched greens (easier on digest system--spinach, purple kale, swiss chard--then freeze veggies). Add protein powder (Purium).
  • When in a rush, Nita's breakfast might be leftover vegetables (roasted brussel sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes) and eggs.
  • Lunch: Salad with leftover animal protein.
  • Dinner: Roasted vegetables, salad, with some animal protein. Arugula salad.
  • Kids have to eat vegetables before dessert.
  • Kale chips.

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About Ruan Living

Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


This article is for informational purposes only. This information is provided “as is” without warranty.

It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. We do not offer medical advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other opinion on your conditions or treatment options. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ruan Living.

In no event will Sophia Ruan Gushee or Ruan Living be liable for any damages or loss of any kind resulting from the use of this website. Anyone relying upon or making use of the information on this website does so at his or her own risk.

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