Karalynne Call: Finding Healing Through Food
As a young mother, Karalynne Call found herself battling suicidal depression. As she sought medical help, she longed for healing. It was the belief that God is able to heal us that led her to begin a health journey she anticipates will last for the rest of her life. She has since helped many others improve their health by raising awareness of the ingredients found in the food we consume and the products we use on a daily basis.
If you believe in a God who's going to come again, and we know that the times are going to be hard before the Second Coming, then we need to do all that we can, like President Nelson has asked us to, to gather in...the house of Israel. And that takes work, and work takes energy, and we need that energy through the good foods that we can eat and by taking care of our bodies.
Today's episode was sponsored by TOFW. You can hear from some of your favorite “All In” guests at the Salt Lake City TOFW event on Nov. 22-23 and get $10 off your registration by using the promo code "allin2019" at checkout.
Website: Just Ingredients
New York Times Article: Our Food Is Killing Too Many of Us
All In Podcast: Jane Clayson Johnson’s Episode
2:44 - Seeking Solace From Depression
5:00 - Healing
6:39 - A Deep Dive Into Ingredients
9:16 - Education
10:41 - What's In Your Food?
12:45 - A Healthy Relationship With Food
17:24 - Don't Live in Extremes
20:11 - The Cost of Healthy Living
24:32 - The Word of Wisdom
27:28 - Food As Medicine
34:27 - Showing Gratitude for our Bodies
36:41 - What Does It Mean To Be "All In" the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Morgan Jones: As a young mom, Karalynne Call faced suicidal depression. But it was her belief that we worship a God who can heal us, that led her to begin a health journey she says is a lifelong pursuit. Karalynne Call has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and is currently working on completing her professional certificate in nutrition from Cornell University. She began making health-related lifestyle changes nearly 15 years ago and has since helped many others begin to improve their health by making small changes in their eating habits and daily product use. Her Instagram account @just.ingredients is followed by nearly 250,000 accounts. She is a mother of six kids.
This is "All In," an LDS Living podcast where we asked the question, "what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" I'm Morgan Jones, and I'm excited to have Karalynne Call here with me today. Karalynne, welcome.
Karalynne Call: Thank you so much for having me.
MJ: Well, I'm so excited about this episode. My boss actually kind of had to tell me to rein it in a little bit because I just love the idea of living a healthy lifestyle and I think that it's something that's so important. And your Instagram account, which is @just.ingredients, has opened my eyes so much to the importance of knowing what's in the products that we're consuming and using in our lives. And so, first of all, thank you for all that you're doing to raise awareness about that.
KC: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you, that's nice of you.
MJ: I tried to kind of study up on you and your background going into this and I learned by listening to another podcast interview that you did, that your journey with focusing on these things in terms of living a healthy life began as the result of a battle with depression. Just to start off, can you kind of tell listeners a little bit about that?
KC: Yeah. So after I had three children, I found myself with severe depression, and more than just depression, it was severe suicidal depression. And I thought, "This isn't me, like, I haven't had this my whole life, something had to have happened." But my third child at the time was a year and so it wasn't considered postpartum depression because once they're a year, it's not considered that. And so I went, searching for help and looking for help. And I went to doctor after doctor, and every doctor would just say, "Well, we can give you an antidepressant." And don't get me wrong, I have nothing against antidepressants, but my problem was I kept asking the doctor, "Well, will this heal me?" And they kept telling me "No." And I kept having this internal struggle like there is a way to heal from this. If I wasn't always like this, there's got to be a way that I can heal from this. And so I did go on the antidepressants because I needed something because it was so bad. But I went through a two-year journey of trying to find a doctor that would help. And finally, I found one, and she was able to say, "Yes, I can heal you. It's going to take a lot of work, are you willing to do it?" And I was like, "Of course, I'm at rock bottom. I'll do whatever." And she said, "We've got to do some testing and look at your hormones and look at your inflammation. And we're going to talk about gut health and cleaning up your diet and the toxins around you," and things like that. And so I then went on like an 18-month journey with this doctor trying to clean up my life and work on balancing my hormones and reducing my inflammation and things like that. And anyway, that led to being able to get off the antidepressants. And that was 15 years ago. And so for like the past 13 years, I've never had to be on the antidepressants anymore because I'm able to control those emotions by what I eat, the toxins around me, keeping my hormones balanced, my inflammation down, things like that.
MJ: That's fascinating. I love how you talked about knowing that there had to be a way to be healed. And I think about that, like the scriptures, having the faith to be healed and believing that we can be healed from these things that we're dealing with. What have you learned, Karalynne, about healing?
KC: So that's actually a really interesting question because I remember being in the darkest of days in my depression and—oh I almost might cry telling you about it—sitting in a rocking chair thinking, "I am in a dark tunnel. And everybody tells me that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and I can't see it." And I remember praying to God saying, "I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I can't see it. I'm stuck in this tunnel, and it's dark." And I remember for those two years trying to find a doctor to help me, I kept thinking, "Where is God? I know, I have a testimony in Him, but there is a brick wall between me and heaven right now. Where is He?" And finally, keeping my faith, knowing that He could heal, finally, it was the weirdest situation of how I found this doctor and I knew that God had put that lady in my life to find that doctor because I looked and looked. And had this random stranger not mentioned the story about this doctor she found, I would never have found her. And so I knew that God could heal, but I knew I had to do my part too. And I had had blessings and things like that, that got me through those two years, but to truly heal, God put that doctor in my life, and I had to do my part with the doctor and also trust in God.
MJ: So from there, you kind of started this whole journey into looking into what goes into products both that we consume, and that we use in our household and on our person. What led to diving into that?
KC: So that actually came from the doctor because she taught me how like our omega-6's can really contribute to our inflammation and increase that. And so I had to learn like what foods had omega-6's in them. And she taught me about like parabens and phthalates, and how those can really mess up with our hormones because they're endocrine disruptors. And so I had to learn what products had parabens and phthalates in them and things like that. But saying that, I'm a type of person that if someone gives me all this information and tells me I have to do it all at once, I'm going to throw my hands up in the air and be like, I can't do it. It's too overwhelming. And so honestly, that's why it took like 18 months to two years to clean up my life was becasue I had to do one ingredient at a time, and I had to learn about hydrogenated oils and where I would find that, and what that was doing to my body, and where it was in my pantry, and what I could go shopping for and replace those items with in my pantry. So I went one ingredient at a time and it took a long time. And honestly, I tell everybody a health journey can actually be a whole lifetime. Because I feel like we're never at a perfect stage of our health. And so get on a health journey and start little, with little baby steps. And then, to this day, I'm still trying to improve things of incorporating more vegetables into my diet and you know, things like that. You can always keep improving.
MJ: Yeah. So as you started to kind of replace these ingredients one by one, where did you start? Like, what ingredients did you start with?
KC: So I tried to start with things that were the easiest for me. So for instance, like artificial dyes, I thought, "Oh, that could be really easy. I don't need those in food items and stuff. I can get rid of those." So I started with artificial dyes. Once I got really good with that, then I moved on to the next one. I went to hydrogenated oils, just because at the same time my sister actually was dealing with breast cancer at age 35. And her oncologist was telling her she needed to get rid of hydrogenated oils in her life. So we both then started doing this together. And that was the next ingredient we looked at. And anyway, it just was ingredient after ingredient.
MJ: Amazing. That's so neat. So you, right now, are in the process of getting a certification, right? In nutrition?
KC: I am.
MJ: And so you start down this journey—and I love that you turned it into something even more, you know? I think sometimes when we gain knowledge, we kind of keep it to ourselves and I love that you've shared the things that you've learned and discovered and then that's driven you to kind of pursue more education. How did you kind of reach that decision?
KC: Well, so I started this Instagram first, just as a hobby, because I knew so many people around me were suffering with depression, and chronic pain, and chronic joint pain, and chronic fatigue, and all these things. And I knew that if they knew how to fix their diet or remove some toxins from their life, things like that, it would better them. And so I started this just as a little hobby to help people and try to help neighbors, friends, family, things like that. And then it grew bigger and bigger. And people wanted the research behind it, which was fine. I had researched it for years s I knew where to get the research from. But then as it's just grown and grown, I've thought, you know, I really would love to write a book, but I want the credentials behind it. And I want to make sure everything I state is solid and true and sound. And so I just figured, "You know what, I'm going to go to a good university." And so I'm working on a nutrition certificate program through Cornell just to validate everything that I've learned over the 15 years.
MJ: Yeah, I love that you're doing that. So I kind of want to dive into this and I want to start at kind of a foundational level, and then we'll kind of go deeper if that's okay. But first of all, what are some of the most important things for people to know about what's in their food?
KC: I think the most important thing is to maybe just realize that our food has changed since the 80s, and 90s, and in the 2000s. So if you were a kid in the 70s or 80s, it was pretty easy for your mom just to go to the store and pick a gallon of milk off the shelf and all milk was milk. Well, today because of like growth hormones for the cows, and GMO crops that we feed them, and the GMO crops sprayed with glyphosate, we have all these new worries that we need to be concerned about. And so I think if people are just aware their food actually is different than the 80s and 90s, then that would help them realize maybe they should educate themselves a little bit as to what different things mean. Because like the word organic didn't even come out until the year 2000. But the word organic was given to us to help us know that there are no artificial sweeteners in it, which a lot of artificial sweeteners came out in the 80s. There's no GMO crops in it, which the GMO crops were sold commercially, starting in the mid-1990s. It's to tell us that there are no artificial colors, artificial preservatives—we've come up with new artificial preservatives recently. So anyway, it's a word to tell us it's how our food used to be. And so a lot of people think like, organic means it's for the elite, and it's trendy. No, it's just a word that's been given to us to help us know, it's the food we used to eat like in the 60s or 70s, or 80s, things like that. And so, if people will just know that our food truly is a little different than what it used to be, then I think it will help them know to read labels or understand what different products are.
MJ: This is so interesting to me. When I was in high school, my parents started kind of changing the way that we ate. And up until that point, it was like, you know, Frosted Flakes or whatever. We had always had the different sugary cereals and stuff. And then some stuff changed and we had different food and for me, I've always been really grateful for that, that it came while I was still at home. Because from then on, I ate differently. But I think it's interesting to think about that it's actually the food that changed as well. And not just that my parents were making changes. That's so interesting. So one thing that I really love about your approach online, I read a frequently asked questions spot on your website, and you were asked, "What do you do when your kids get junk food from friends, parties or events?" And you replied, "There's no reason to demonize food. I don't like living in extremes. If I never allowed them to have it, I could be teaching them things that could build a negative relationship with food. I feed them the best possible way I know how in my home. I try to buy the better choice when given the option, but when they enjoy a treat with friends or at school, they enjoy it and we move on. Kids will recognize how junk food makes their body feel." How would you sum up, Kayalynne, the healthy mentality as it relates to food? Because I was just telling a friend yesterday that the biggest thing that helps me in eating is I asked myself, "How am I going to feel after I eat this?" And I love that you emphasize that your kids will notice the way that they feel being different. So how do you kind of cultivate that healthy mentality in your home? You're the mother of six kids.
KC: So like you said, I don't like to live in extremes, and I don't like to teach the kids extremes. If I'm always saying, "Oh, that's bad, that's bad, that's bad," then they're going to get a negative attitude towards food and a negative attitude of as to what they can eat and what they can't eat. And so instead, we try to do a really positive attitude in our home as, "Look at all this great food God has given us. He has given us whole food ingredients that heal us and help us and nourish us and make us strong." And so I do tell them like, "It's okay to eat a treat here and there or if you're given a treat at school, because it's somebody's birthday, it's fine." What I do try to teach them is, God gave us a great detox or in our body, it's called your liver. And if your liver isn't overburdened with so many toxins, it will do its job. So I feel like if I'm feeding them healthy in the home and cooking good dinners and providing good snacks, and we don't have a lot of toxins in our air and water and things like that in our home, then their livers are not overburdened. And so they can go enjoy a treat and it's not going to affect them that much. Now, if they ate pizza and birthday cake all day long, are they going to feel sick? Absolutely, just like anybody. And so they know that they've been taught that we eat whole food ingredients and good foods and we can enjoy a treat here and there. But to eat that all the time would make you feel really not good. And as they get older, as the teenagers get older, they actually can notice what makes them feel good and what doesn't. And so in fact, my 15-year-old is really good about it. If he has a few sugary snacks or something, he'll be like, "Oh, my stomach hurts," or "I've got a headache. I don't really feel good." And it's good for kids to realize on their own what makes them feel yucky and what makes them feel good.
MJ: Right. Because I think that that can backfire, having such a health-conscious environment in the home, it can backfire to the point like you said, where they have an unhealthy relationship with food. And I've seen that in people around me where it's like, their families were so healthy that then it becomes an unhealthy environment.
KC: Because then they feel like they can't ever get it at home or somewhere so they sneak out to try to get it. Oh, there's so many things. I mean, if you started trying to teach macros and calorie counting to them, and all these other things, it just becomes this extreme diet. And I don't want it to be a diet. It's a way of life. And I actually try to teach them gratitude for it as well. God gave us these things, let's be grateful for these things that nourish our bodies. And let's not be ashamed of what we're eating, but grateful for it. See how it makes your body feel great, and you're full of energy and you're strong and can work hard because of these good nourishing foods that God has given us.
MJ: It's so interesting. Years ago, I remember my dad telling me that he had had a conversation with someone and he said, "You know, when I eat lunch, I feel so tired afterward, that I just feel like I need to go and take a nap." And whoever it was that he was talking to said, "Well, that's a sign that you're not eating the right things because food should be fuel." And so when you eat your lunch and it makes you feel like you need to go take a nap, then that means that it's not serving you. It's not being the fuel that you need. So you need to make some shifts in the things that you eat. And that's always stuck with me as well. Another thing that I love on your Instagram account that you do is the way that you always have kind of a disclaimer, and you say, "Just because this ingredient is in your food or in your deodorant or whatever, it doesn't mean that you'll get cancer." How did you kind of come to have that disclaimer on everything?
KC: Well, that's my disclaimer to sort of tell people "don't live in extremes." I'm just giving you products that are a better choice and a best choice. But it doesn't mean that the thumbs down one has caused your depression, or is now going to cause you cancer, or is going to kill you tomorrow. It's just purely to say, "Hey, look you guys, maybe there aren't the best choice ingredients in there. And there's other products now on the market today because our society, companies are finally providing us better options. So I'm just letting you know, look, if you want a better deodorant, here it is. If you want a better cereal, here it is." I'm not saying you've got to quit everything and go to kale and quinoa only, because everybody has cancer. That would be living in an extreme and I just am not a live-in-extreme person.
MJ: So let's give people, if it's okay with you, an example. So you mentioned the thumbs up, thumbs down thing. If you go to Karalynne's Instagram @just.ingredients, you'll see how she does these posts. And she'll have like one product, and it'll have a thumbs down, and then there'll be another product of the same thing, that will have a thumbs up. Can you give a pretty common example of what that would look like?
KC: So real easy one would be ketchup. So ketchup now has high fructose corn syrup in it, which we don't need, and so I have two ketchup bottles sitting right next to each, other one has a thumbs down because it has high fructose corn syrup in it, and the other one doesn't have the high fructose corn syrup and tastes exactly like the other ketchup, probably from the same manufacturer, the same company, and that one has a thumbs up. Or it can be found in like peanut butter or jelly. Really easy, like two jams sitting right next to each other, one with high fructose corn syrup, one without. So a thumbs down and a thumbs up. Hopefully that makes sense.
MJ: I'm sure that makes complete sense. So anybody that knows me personally knows that I am like a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. This is probably on an unhealthy level, now that we're talking about health. But I love Kelly Clarkson and she lost a bunch of weight in the last couple years and she's talked a lot about her health journey and that she has an autoimmune disease. And as a result of that, she had to make changes for her health. But she says that it's all about what's in your food and that she kind of just had to make changes in the ingredients. But she also says that she recognizes that growing up in a lower income home, there's no way that she could have eaten these foods that she's eating now because they're more expensive. So what would be your advice to people as far as like if they feel a desire to eat healthier, but they feel like it's not affordable.
KC: Okay, so that's actually a really good question because I get asked this all the time. And with six kids, we have always had to be on a budget. We are not some "spend whatever on food and things." That is not us. We've always been on a budget since two kids, three kids, four kids, five kids, etc. So I always say it is doable. You have to be strategic. you have to organize and plan a little bit, but I promise you, it's doable. There are things that are more expensive but, for instance, there are lots of things you can do that are less expensive. So for instance, your kids are hungry, they come home from school, instead of maybe feeding them an apple leather strip or apple fruit snacks or an apple granola bar, a whole Apple is actually way cheaper and can do the same thing. I tell people there are lots of things that don't even cost money. So for instance sweating is a really good detoxer for us. Going out on a walk, jogging, that doesn't cost you anything but can sweat out a lot of those toxins. Another thing, we need vitamin D, that is so good for our bodies, for our immune systems, for our mood, just so many things. And going out in the sun for a few minutes every day, that doesn't cost anybody anything. A lot of times if people will redo how they're cooking their meals at night, that can cost less. A lot of people are buying frozen, prepackaged, pre-made meals, but if you actually take the time to plan and home make the meals, that will be cheaper. Things like packaged food, even like those individually packaged snacks for kids are so expensive, so just going even to like big boxes of packaged food rather than individual packages, cuts down your costs. So there are a lot of things that you can do to cut costs. And thankfully, companies these days, they're seeing the demand for better products and more organic food and things like that. And I'm finally, these last few years, seeing the prices come down. Five to 10 years ago, it was really expensive to live this way. But more and more companies are providing better food, better beauty options, at a more reasonable price.
MJ: Yeah, I've noticed that as well. I remember it used to, it felt like, anything that wasn't like a sugary cereal, a healthier cereal option was like double the cost. And now it's not as much that way. So I definitely can see that. I love that you mentioned something as small as going out in the sun, because I think that you see that just making these little shifts and starting small like you said, with your going one ingredient at a time, just making one step at a time is the way to a healthier lifestyle.
KC: It really is, it's baby steps. But I mean, we're taught that everywhere, "Line upon line, precept upon precept," same thing with nutrition. He doesn't say go change your whole life right now to get healthy. It's "let's do one little step at a time." So it's doable and manageable and becomes a whole journey, a whole way of life, rather than just a diet.
MJ: Yeah. It's like, "by small and simple things."
MJ: How do you feel, Karalynne, that the things that you've learned over this journey that you've been on, line up with what we've been taught in the Word of Wisdom, or does it?
KC: Yes, so it definitely does. I could talk hours on this topic. So the word of wisdom, first of all, it says, "I've given you this word of wisdom as a warning—a forewarning for the last days." And I think we're in those last days. And He tells us these things like the fruits, the vegetables, the plants, the herbs, the seeds, the nuts, the grains, you name it, those things are to strengthen our body and enliven our soul. He tells us if we eat this way, he's blessed us that we'll "run and not be weary and walk and not faint." You know that we will have "great treasures of knowledge given to us." President Packer talked about that being personal revelation. And so this Word of Wisdom has been given to us to help us in these last days. President Nelson, you know, said to survive these last days, what do we need? We need to be able to listen to the spirit and receive our own personal revelation. And I think if we're in a body that is tired and exhausted and sick and in pain and not doing well, it houses our spirit and we need our body to feel good so that we can receive that personal revelation and that's why we've been given the Word of Wisdom—pieces of advice—from the Lord to help us be able to receive that personal revelation.
MJ: I love that so much. One thing that it made me think of is I really am passionate about the idea that we all have a mission to fulfill during our mortal existence. And if our bodies, like you said, are not able to do that, to fulfill that mission, it's like if not me, then who? And so feeling that responsibility makes me want to keep my body healthy.
KC: That's so true, because honestly when I was depressed, and in those really dark days, I barely could survive. It was just about me. And I couldn't take care of my kids as well as I needed to. I couldn't be out there serving others and doing my callings like I should. And so the Lord knows that he needs in these last days, strong women and vibrant women, and full of energy and even President Nelson has told us, "We need women who can organize and teach and plan and be courageous to speak the gospel," and things like that. And that takes a lot of energy and I could not have done that depressed and in bed and just in those dark days. There's no way I could have done what God needs us to do. And so I think as women and people, we just need to focus on making ourselves feel healthy so that we are energetic and full of life so that we can do what God has asked us to do.
MJ: Absolutely. You have posted quite a bit recently, Karalynne, about this idea—and I want to shift from feeling good to also serving as medicine. Which is kind of what you experienced with your depression is that food became like medicine, and served as medicine. Specifically, you cited a New York Times article that said, "Americans are sick — much sicker than many realize. More than 100 million adults — almost half the entire adult population — have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Cardiovascular disease afflicts about 122 million people and causes roughly 840,000 deaths each year, or about 2,300 deaths each day. Three in four adults are overweight or obese. More Americans are sick, in other words, than are healthy." And that last line where it says, "More Americans are sick, in other words than are healthy." I'm like, "Whoa, that hits me hard." But can you explain why you're passionate, obviously, this is personal to you, but why you're passionate about the idea of food as medicine and possibly give us some tips on why you see it that way?
KC: Okay, so medicine is healing, and food can be healing, and so that's why I say that food can be medicine. Of course, there's always those times where medicine is needed. I don't want to be taken as I don't ever believe in medicine, because that's not true at all. But I believe they go hand in hand, that if you need the medicine then we can also work on the diet and toxins and things in your life. For instance, fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which repair the cells and the reactions that occur in the body, if you study it scientifically, are amazing—what goes on, what happens with the cells and the tissues and the nerves, and so many things within the body. So fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants, say omega-3's that can help with the inflammation. Foods with omega-3's, some fish and you know, things like that. There's fruits and vegetables again, and nuts and seeds and things with fiber that can help with things. There's just a list of things. Foods with magnesium. Magnesium helps with people that are having a hard time sleeping, it can also help with depression. There's foods full of B vitamins, which so many people are lacking in their B vitamins. I mean, the list goes on and on of how foods are full of minerals, vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, all these things that can truly repair cells and help the body function the best way possible.
MJ: That's amazing. So could you possibly give us an example of how we can treat food more that way?
KC: So this actually is an interesting story. When I started on my health journey, so, years ago, my husband went and got a physical done and his triglycerides for cholesterol were outrageous. They were so high and the doctor was like, we have got to put you on medicine right now. And my husband, knowing what I was starting to go through said, "Could you just give me six months and see if I can change my diet and things and see if I can do this on my own?" and the doctor was like, "Okay, I'll give you six months, but these numbers are so high that you've got to come back in six months and get it rechecked." And so he went off of like all fast food and processed foods and ate so healthy like fruits and vegetables and had oatmeal every morning. He thinks it's the oatmeal, which oatmeal can help with lowering cholesterol for sure. And anyway, six months later, his numbers dropped by over 200 points, which is huge. Like it wasn't just a couple points, it was a couple hundred points that they lowered by. So that, in our health journey, just was like another point of showing us that food just plays such a big role.
MJ: What role would you say, Karalynne, that faith plays into—we've talked about this idea of healing, we've talked about the word of wisdom—but how does faith play into this whole conversation surrounding how we fuel our bodies?
KC: Well, I believe that if you're going to have faith in a God who provides you personal inspiration and personal revelation, then we should have faith that we need to keep our body in the best shape possible to receive that personal revelation because our body does house our spirit. I also believe that if you have faith in a God who loves you and wants the best for you, that he's going to provide on this earth the things that are the best for you, with foods, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits. I also believe that if you believe in a God who's going to come again, and we know that the times are going to be hard before the Second Coming, then we need to do all that we can, like President Nelson has asked us to, to gather in Israel, in the house of Israel. And that takes work, and work takes energy, and we need that energy through the good foods that we can eat and by taking care of our bodies. If you have faith in God, that He has a plan for you here on this earth, then we need to live our best life so that we can do whatever he's asked us to come do on this earth. Not be sick, or in pain, or can't get out of bed, and things like that. Those are trials that we can overcome.
MJ: I'm curious for you, Karalynne, as you've done this Instagram account, I'm sure you've gotten feedback from people, and things that you've heard back on how these things are helping and changing people's lives, what has been the most rewarding for you in that regard?
KC: That actually has been really fun. I get almost weekly, well, I do get weekly comments of people saying, "We've been trying to get pregnant for years, and we got rid of the phthalates and the parabens and cleaned up our food, and we're now pregnant. We're so excited!" And actually, the pregnancy one is the one I get the most and with saying that I am fully aware that there are so many causes of infertility, that it's not just the food or your beauty products, but I'm also aware that there's lots of different causes, and sometimes just cleaning up a few things will help people get pregnant. But I get that a lot. I also get people saying that their depression is so much better and that they're able to get off medication and that they're feeling better and more energetic. And that one actually makes me the happiest just because I know what those dark days are like and so anytime someone says, "I'm off my medication," or "I'm feeling so much better now," or "I'm able to get back to work," or "I'm such a better mom now for my kids," I just think, oh, thank you so much. And actually, I thank Heavenly Father every day when I get those messages for my dark days of depression, because had I not have those days, I would never have empathy for these people. I would never have this knowledge to teach others about. And so, years later, I'm now thanking Him every day for those really hard, dark days of my life.
MJ: I think that's so powerful. Jane Clayson Johnson, we had her on the show, and she said, " I never thought that I would be grateful for my struggle with depression," but that she is grateful. And I think that that's a powerful thing to be able to look back and see how an experience that we had, that at the time seemed like, "Heavenly Father, what are you doing to me?" Can be turned into something so positive. And I think that that's what you've been able to do with this. I love that you just said that you express gratitude Heavenly Father. I also love earlier in our conversation where you said that you've tried to teach your kids to be grateful. And that this is like showing gratitude, the way that we take care of ourselves. Why are you grateful for the body that God has given you? And why do you believe it's important to take care of that body?
KC: So when you have severe suicidal depression, and you almost lose that chance of having a body, you become really grateful for the chance to live here on this earth. And for me, it gave me a renewed look on life and made me really look at what God wants me to do here on this earth, that there is a mission for me here. And I don't know if this quite answers that question, but for years, I actually felt a lot of shame and guilt. And just like, "Oh, I messed up in life and I did so wrong. I want to hide this depression." And for years I never said anything about it. And then when I saw others struggling around me, I knew God gave me this experience in my life to help others, and it was time to help others. And so I now am so grateful for the experience so that I can help others, but I also know that God put us here on this earth with a mission. And if we're to fulfill that mission, we need to be grateful for a healthy body. And if you're grateful for a healthy body, then you're more willing to take care of your body so that you can have that healthy body to fulfill your mission. And so I try to teach my kids on a daily basis, health is a blessing. Let's be grateful for it. Let's be grateful for these things that God has given us to help us have a healthy body.
MJ: Thank you so much. Well, this has been so informative and so helpful, and I am super grateful to you for giving your time and sharing these things with us. As we wrap up, I just have one last question for you, and that is, what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
KC: So I'm going to tell you that I used to have a different perspective of what "all in" meant. Years ago, I thought "all in" meant a checklist: reading my scriptures, going to church, saying my prayers, blah, blah, blah. The list goes on and on. Right?
MJ: Which can be overwhelming.
KC: It can be. And as I have strengthened my testimony throughout the years and gotten a closer relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I truly believe that "all in" in the Gospel means loving as Christ would love. Loving Him and loving your neighbor. And loving your neighbor includes yourself and your family and the strangers around us. And I believe that if we truly love Jesus Christ, then those other things we'll want to do naturally, read our scriptures, go to church, things like that because we love Him. But I believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth to love and His whole purpose was to show us how to love. He loved, the sick, the sinner, the lonely, the outcast. And if we are to be all in, in this gospel, then we're to love the sick, the outcast, the sinner, any person around us. And so that is how my all in in the Gospel has changed over the years.
MJ: Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to have you. Thank you.
KC: It's been great. Thank you so much.
MJ: A huge thank you to Karalynne Call for joining us on today's episode. You can find more information, as well as a full transcript of today's episode in our show notes at www.LDSliving.com/allin. Again, that's www.LDSliving.com/allin. You can also find Karalynne on Instagram by searching for @just.ingredients. Thank you so much for joining us and we'll be with you again next week.