Welcome to Clean Food Long Life! My name is Sung Yun Cho and I started this site to share information and recipes to my friends and family.
My friends always ask why I eat, drink and live the way that I do. Based on my experience through my own struggles with my health and recovery, I’ve decided to share what I know about healing, food, self-care and how to be the best that I can be. This is all very near and dear to me because it’s changed my life for good. I have become a healthier, stronger and happier person and as a result, I’m on a mission to help spread the awareness.
I love to cook and have been a foodie all my life. When I started on this path, I was concerned I wouldn’t enjoy food the same again. But I soon found out that being healthy does not mean you can’t enjoy delicious food. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Eating clean has only opened up my palate to appreciate whole foods the way nature intended it to be. I will share delicious and simple recipes here that will help you stay on this nutritious path. Because it’s important for me to know what I am ingesting, I will add nutritional information as much as possible. I am gluten, conventional dairy and sugar free. The Keto/Paleo lifestyle is where my heart is. With my recipes and information, I hope you find that eating healthy is more delicious and fulfilling than eating foods that ultimately leave you feeling empty and sick. All my recipes are very simple and prep time is minimal. (I love to cook but I don’t like to labor over the stove.)
By eating this way, you may just find that it will help you become the person you are meant to be.
My Story to Health
Living in NYC, I spent a number of years in a fast paced, hard working, hard partying lifestyle. After many years of abusing alcohol and food, I found myself in a dark place in my life with no real regard to my body, mind and soul. I knew I had no other choice but to make a change. The first few months, my body went through a natural detox abstaining from alcohol. However, I ate lots of sugar and carbs to compensate for the alcohol that my body and mind was used to. Alcohol turns into sugar in the body and when you eliminate it, your body still craves the sugar. I was feeling better but I continued to have emotional distress and bi-polar like mood swings. I eventually cut down on sugar and started eating better. I also started running. I was running in the dunes of Montauk and without my knowledge I got infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), a tick borne disease very much like Lyme’s disease but if untreated it is fatal. 10 days later, I had woken up to bumps with halos on my legs that spread to hundreds over the next few days. I went to an Urgent Care clinic in NYC and was diagnosed with RMSF. I was prescribed antibiotics that I had to take for about a month. After that treatment, my health deteriorated. I had chronic fatigue and most mornings I could barely get out of bed. I went to my internist for a follow up and he retested me for RMSF. The test he gave to me came back negative so my doctor told me I had a false positive and never had RMSF to begin with and that the Urgent Care facility test results were wrong. I was quite frustrated because I thought I had taken all those antibiotics for no reason and confused because I wondered what all those bumps were (which had started going away with the antibiotic treatment). Then every 3 weeks, I came down with various respiratory infections only to go back to my internist who would prescribe me more antibiotics. This went on for the next 9 months. Feeling hopeless and frustrated, I surfed the internet only to learn that I had the same health condition as other people infected and treated for RMSF but no one seemed to have the solution to recovering. Sick and desperate, a friend connected me to someone who had struggled with untreated Lyme’s disease for a number of years. My symptoms and hers were very similar and she told me it sounded like I was battling with the remnants of RMSF. I mentioned to her that my internist said I had a false positive so in response to that she told me I needed to get my blood work done from a place that specializes in tick borne infections. She referred me to The Morrison Center in NYC. The naturopath who I had seen there took my blood and sent it to Lyme Disease Laboratory at Stony Brook University Medical Center where they specialize in testing for tick borne infections. The results were positive that I had the antibodies. She also diagnosed me with having Candida as a result of many years of antibiotic treatments (which started when I was a child) and unhealthy lifestyle. Her solution for me was food. Her prescription for me was to go on a 90 day cleanse of gluten, conventional dairy and sugar. Eliminate all processed foods and eat only organic whole foods- vegetables and moderate amounts of protein. She also gave me a few supplements to help with the Candida cleanse along with additional supplements my body had needed at the time.
Just a month into the regimen, my chronic fatigue went away and I have not gotten a respiratory infection since. I had more energy than ever and I had also lost the extra weight I had gained. But more importantly, I was serene and happier than I had ever been. This was the experience that changed my life for good. I had discovered that during this process of healing through food, the depression and anxiety I had struggled with all my life had gone away. Also, my PMS had disappeared. Most of my adult life, I struggled with PMS which included depression, anger, bi-polar mood swings and lots of cravings for carbs and sugar. Cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar helped balance my hormone levels.
This journey back to health however, hasn’t been a smooth road and there have been lots of set backs and learning curves. I experienced with intermittently eating gluten, conventional dairy and refined sugar and what I found was when I did, all of the symptoms I mentioned would come back. Once I got off track with food, the cravings would kick in and I wouldn’t be able to stop. My depression, mental fog, fatigue and PMS would be back into full swing. I always had the option to go on anti-depressants but I knew that was just a band-aid and not the solution to a healthy mind and body. I knew food was the answer because it had worked for me before. I stay on track as best as I can now because if I don’t, I suffer the consequences and it’s not worth it.
This past summer, I went to an Integrative doctor, Dr. Pedre, who did a thorough blood test and I found out I was Hypothyroid (low thyroid). This was the piece to the puzzle for many of my symptoms prior to me eating well. It explains why eating gluten, conventional dairy and refined sugar have such a negative impact with me. My thyroid gets affected when I eat those things and my symptoms come back with a vengeance. After reading books and educating myself on Thyroid conditions, I found some old blood work and it turns out that I have been hypothyroid for many years and never knew. Fortunately, I found food to be the solution prior to this knowledge so I have been helping my thyroid without even knowing. This is all the more reason to keep eating organic whole foods and not ingest processed genetically modified foods with refined sugar. But it’s not just through food that I find health. It’s incorporating healthy ways in all aspects of my daily routine. Exercise, how I sleep and what I put on my skin (make-up, skin care, nail polish) all contribute to staying healthy.
I used to think getting RMSF was a stroke of bad luck but I now look at it as a positive experience that has lead me to where I am today. I’m grateful for my health and that I have the choice to heal my body in a natural way. Having a healthy mind and body has only helped me to be a better person today. My work ethic and performance have improved vastly. Being an actress requires physical and mental endurance and I don’t preform well when I’m eating things that bring me down. I’m also a much more positive person today and being of service has become a part of my life. This brings me gratitude and joy. Life brings many ups and downs and when I nourish my body and soul, I can move more quickly towards feeling blessed and know my life is abundant rather than looking for what I think I don’t have. Food is medicine for the soul.
Sung Yun Cho is an actress with a passion for wellness and helping others heal.
Before graduating college, Sung made her professional debut on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson’s Redwood Curtain starring Jeff Daniels. The production was critically acclaimed and received rave reviews from critics such as Frank Rich from The New York Times. It went on to receive a Tony award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for Debra Monk and a Tony nomination for ‘Best Set’ for John Lee Beatty. Sung was nominated by the Outer Critics Circle Award for ‘Best Newcomer on Broadway’. She has also acted in various productions in reputable regional theatres across the country as well as in TV, Commercials, Voice-overs and Film.
Sung has also worked in the garment business for well over a decade. Working for her family owned business, Flexfit, Inc, which manufactures high quality baseball caps, she was head of both marketing and sales where she developed the Flexfit brand to help make it the household term it is today.
While working for her family business, Sung started her own business which licensed headwear for Jay Z’s clothing company Rocawear where she designed, manufactured and sold Roacwear hats to hundreds of retailers to help make it the most successful urban clothing company around the world.
One of her most successful endeavors was partnering up with designer and celebrity stylist Kristen Johnson to form Johnson, which became a pop culture contemporary clothing line worn by Hollywood celebrities. Within its first 3 months of business, Johnson was sold in the upscale department stores Barney’s and Neiman Marcus along with over 600 contemporary boutiques in the US, Japan, U.K., France and Italy.
Over the past few years, Sung has struggled with health issues and as a result, had to make some changes. She was able to recover through food and a new way of living. This experience has led her to a path of wellness. Through her love for cooking and food and her newfound awareness in nutrition, she has started on a journey to help others heal. She’s currently attending Nutritional Therapy Association to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.