It began after I pushed it too far during another run last fall. I was in Switzerland attending a theta healing® training to become certified to certify others. I was doing so much work on a mental level during the training that I barely noticed the physical pain in my left knee. A fellow theta healing® practitioner in my group picked up on it during a body scan: “You have some pain in your knees and your feet.” She had also picked up on my plantar fasciitis, also from running too much. Whoa.


In 2013, after my maternal grandma passed away, a friend got me into running as a way to cope with my grief. She entered me in first a 5K, then a 10K, and eventually we both started training and running in our very first half marathon together. Shortly after that half marathon, I began having severe knee pain in both my knees. I could barely walk down or up stairs. I was super worried. I shared my sentiments with a client of mine and she recommended her acupuncturist in Seoul. I went, and after just a few weeks, started feeling better. I remember asking him, “When will I be able to run again?” He would always answer in the same zen-like matter, “When you are ready. When your knees are ready.”


When it comes to food, I love all foods, especially meat. If you’ve ever had any kind of Cantonese roast duck, roast pork, soy sauce chicken, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Speaking with my theta healing® practitioner about my knee, it seemed like the best course of action was to change my diet. So I did quite reluctantly but hopefully. After a month of going vegan and doing a semi-fast (veggie broth, tea, nuts), the pain was still there.


I decided to fast for 48 hours to give my gut a chance to recover and well, because I was always curious about it. As a food lover, I’d have to say, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. A close second was my sophomore year in college when I couldn’t eat anything because I had just had my wisdom teeth pulled out. The first 24 hours went by a lot smoother than I predicted. The second 24 hours were a little bit tougher: my energy went down, I had to cancel some client meetings, and the only thing I could do closer to the 48-hour mark was lie on the couch and nap. I even tried to go for my morning swim, and made it 5 minutes in before heading straight to the jacuzzi (!).


On a catch-up zoom call with a dear friend of mine who used to be my Chem teacher in high school, I happened to tell her about my knee pain to which she said, “You’re way too young to be having knee pain. Pain = inflammation, ya know. Have you heard about The Plant Paradox?” I hadn’t. She began to explain everything to me using her own science background to detail why our bodies can’t handle ALL vegetables, only certain lectin-free ones. She continued, “Lectins are not good for us. They cause inflammation, brain fog, and other unwanted side effects. You may have heard of gluten? Well, gluten is a kind of lectin.” Ohhhhhhh. You can read more about The Plant Paradox and Dr. David Gundry’s work here.


Here are some of my limiting beliefs around food that I had held on to for almost 4 decades of my life here on earth:

  • Sugary foods are the only foods that can help me deal with stress
  • I can ONLY deal with stress by eating junk food/sugary foods
  • I have to continue to eat junk food/sugary foods because I have created positive memories with friends while eating said foods
  • I cannot go without food for 48 hours
  • I cannot go without junk food/sugary foods

Do some of them sound familiar to you? Can you relate? Remember: we are hunters and gatherers. Our bodies are not trained to eat junk/sugar foods. Our bodies are trained to eat what we can hunt and gather: lots of plants (without lectin) and the occasional meat in the form of whatever animal we could hunt.


When my theta healing® practitioner told me that I could ask my body what it needed, I remember thinking: WTF?! Now as a practitioner of theta healing® myself I repeat the same advice to my own clients. I know that my mind wants that burger with fries and a milkshake, but my body doesn’t want it or need it for that matter at all. Our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. We’re just too detached from them to notice.


I knew I didn’t want to take any pills to make my knee pain go away, I wanted to heal myself the natural way from the inside out—kind of like how I healed myself of depression using theta healing®. I tried acupuncture, yoga, sound healing, hypnotherapy, even theta healing®; in the end, fasting and now continuing to be on the Plant Paradox diet have made my pain go away. I know fasting and dieting isn’t for everybody, but the possibility of a pain free life is really just 48 hours away…


  • Kyla Mitsunaga

    Global Happiness Coach | ThetaHealing® Coach | Author of WITH vs AT: Two Prepositions That Changed My Life

    KYLA MITSUNAGA is a Global Happiness Coach/ThetaHealing® Coach/Speaker/Award-Winning Professor/Founder of WITH Warriors LLC. She realized her true calling and passion for helping others when she won her first teaching award at Harvard. She went on to teach at Yonsei University in Seoul for 7 years creating unique and innovative content for classes such as Career Development, Global Issues, Cross-Cultural Communication. She even created a course on Happiness for Freshman and won multiple teaching awards. In 2012, she was invited to be a TED@Seoul speaker. She recently trademarked her TED Talk title WITH vs AT and turned it into a book as well as a retreat. In 2017, she embarked on a healing journey working WITH her depression. She decided to take the year out to finish her book, start a pop-up cafe in her apartment (serving no-salt dishes and no-sugar desserts), become a certified life coach, become a certified happiness coach, and most recently a certified ThetaHealing® practitioner. She has now realized that in order to become happy, we must first heal from WITHin. She has delivered innovative and dynamic corporate workshops as well as practiced one-on-one coaching all over the globe. When not speaking or workshopping globally, you can find Kyla swimming, baking (without processed sugar), writing, finding the best eats in Korea, and mulling over women’s rights. Kyla has traveled to 49 countries, delivered workshops in 16, and calls 5 countries “home.”