Shawn Stevenson is the host of The Model Health Show which is now the #1 health and fitness podcast on Apple Podcasts. He is also an author and has a new book Eat Smarter and I am super excited to share with you in this blog because I know it will empower so many people to make the changes they have been wanting to make when it comes to what they eat.

How do I know?

Shawn Stevenson personal health store

Easy! Because of…

Shawn Stevensons personal health story

Disclosure: I didn’t personally get the opportunity to interview Mr. Stevenson but I did stock his website, podcasts, social media platforms, interviews and other content online. I was able to get some really good stuff!

His passion and pain comes out in every single page.

At the age of 20, Shawn Stevenson entered a life he would have never expected while in collage. He was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease that was said to be “incurable”. His disease was causing his spine to deteriorate and function as an 80 year old man.

Over the next couple of years, Shawn endured chronic back pain, he had difficulty walking, gained 40 pound and became depressed.

Shawn was repeatedly prescribed bedrest, prescription medication and a back brace but never told to change his lifestyle.

In fact, Shawn was told by his doctor that food had nothing to do with his disease and exercise wouldn’t help him.

Just like most of us when we get a diagnosis similar to Shawn, we heavily rely on medical professionals to tell us what to do with only no hope of getting better, only getting worse.

This went on for years until one day he decided he was going to stop placing the responsibility of his health off onto his doctors.

That is such a typical situation except most of the time people don’t have a personal wake-up call like Shawn did. They put their whole lives in the hands of one doctor. He/she says “there is nothing else we can do” or “this is just the way it is” and they listen. We certainly can’t let that diagnosis be the end. WE have to do exactly what Shawn did and take responsibility for our own health and find a way. Maybe there isn’t one for our situation but its better that we die trying to find one then to not try at all.

I know first hand what this situation can lead to and its actually why I do what I do every single day. My first husband was diagnosed with a very rare brain disorder in his late 30’s. The diagnosis itself put him in a state of depression. It was called “Adult Onset Idiopathic Hydrocephalus”. The cause was never found so there was never a cure.

His health started gradually declining over the next several years. I can’t help but think maybe he had a chance to turn things around in the beginning if we had tackled this thing head on. What if I made him do more then just accept his prognosis. I was so young back then. He was 10 years older then I was and we had two small kids under the age of 5. I didn’t know any better. I only knew to take care if him the best I could until I couldn’t any longer.

I helplessly watched for about 4 years as he gave up, became weak, lost weight, could hardly walk, slept most of the day and night, lost his hearing, lost his ability to communicate, and lost all hope.

He isn’t around anymore but this situation taught me something that changed the direction of my life.

I started making my health a priority. I knew my children lost one parent already and I didn’t want them to lose another.

Every since then, I have dedicated all of my time into studying and researching all things health and wellness.

From time to time I can’t help but think “If I only knew then what I know now”. Not to say I could have done anything to cure him but trying is better then doing nothing at all.

I personally never thought the hydrocephalus is what ended his life. Perhaps he wasn’t strong enough mentally. Mindset is everything! I remember always begging him to try harder but that wasn’t fair either.

That was a very tough time and a tough situation…

Now back to Shawns story!

After Shawn decided to take responsibility for his own health, he started putting together a plan and took action.

After several months of focusing on healthy lifestyle changes and transforming his mindset, he was able to lose 20 pounds and eliminate his chronic pain.

Months later, he had new scans done and they showed significant improvements. In fact, his spinal tissue had totally regenerated and 2 of his herniated disc retracted on their own.

From that point on, Shawn made it his mission to help people who were also struggling with health issues.

What did Shawn Stevenson Do To Heal Himself From Degenerative Disc Disease?

In this podcast episode My Story Of Healing: The Soul And Science Of Transforming Your Health Shawn shares the 3 components he used to heal himself of degenerative disc disease.


He changed how and what he was eating.

He started off drinking slim fast shakes for the first few days. He quickly learned he couldn’t do that for a long period of time.

He started doing research on what foods the body needs to heal itself and finding ways to incorporated those foods in his diet.

Instead of grabbing a burger from a fast-food restaurant, he would make a healthier version at home. That way he could control what was added and he could make sure it was made with the ingredients and nutrients that help heal his body.

He started drinking lots of water. Water is key to a optimal health. This is a great place to start if you are trying to find that one place to start. Optimized Life has a Free 30-day Drink More Water Challenge. It will help you maintain the appropriate amount of water needed each day so you can start feeling the benefits.


Shawn started off walking as long as he could even if it hurt. That progressed to running just 6 weeks later.

He said, when it comes to moving and exercising, do what you can do and progress from there.

I totally agree with him. If there is one thing you can do for yourself on a regular basis every single day from now until you die it’s EXERCISING to the best of your ability.

Find ways to move naturally around your home and outside. Schedule times to go for a short walk throughout the day.

I have a neighbor who is retired but he goes on at least five walks a day. He makes me want to get up and get moving.


Shawn noticed that when he started eating better and exercising, he started sleeping better and that’s when his body started to heal. Thats because your body heals while you sleep.

This became such a big part of his healing process that he later wrote a book on the importance of sleep called Master Your Sleep And Watch Your Whole Life Transform.

When you have areas in your body that need healing, your brain will release hormones. This helps heals wounds faster. When you are sleeping, you body also makes more white blood cells which are used to help fight off any viruses or bacteria that can keep the body from healing itself. Another important benefit of sleep is optimal immune system. We need sleep in order to have an immune system that can protect the body from infections.

If we are not eating the right foods, we are not able to get good sleep. If we are not able to get good sleep, our body can not heal itself. If our body can not heal itself, we can not get better. If we can not get better, we can not exercise. If we can not exercise, we can not get stronger and the cycle continues to go downhill in a direction that does’t look good for us in the end. And it all started with food.

Not sure if you are sleeping well? Try tracking your sleep with a sleep tracker. There are so many on the market to chose from but they will help you see how many hours of quality sleep you are actually getting.

What is Shawns Health Routine Now?

Shawn Stevenson remains healthy and is living an Optimized Life. He continues to eat healthy, take vitamin supplements, exercise, reads books, and enjoys spending time with his family.

Here are a few things Shawn does on a daily basis that keeps him healthy mentally, physically and emotionally.

Here are a few of Shawn Stevensons favorite books:

Supplements Shawn Stevenson Takes:

Sample Of Shawn Stevenson Morning Routine

  • 5:30am Wake-Up
  • 5:35am Drink 30 oz water
  • 5:45 am Read 20 min
  • 6am Bathroom break
  • 6:10am Meditation
  • 6:30am Morning Exercise
  • 6:55am Shower
  • 7:15am Breakfast
  • 8am Work
  • 12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:30-4:40 Work
  • 5:00-6:00pm Training
  • 6:15pm Family Time
  • 7:15pm Dinner
  • 10:00pm Bedtime

Eat Smarter

Not only does Shawn Stevenson eat smarter, but he also wrote a #1 best selling book called Eat Smarter The Ultimate Guide To Upgrading Your Mind And Body.

Eat Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
Eat Smarter by Shawn Stevenson

In this book, Shawn explains how food isn’t just something we eat for pleasure or for the taste. Food is the most powerful tool we need in order to take control of our health. When we understand the science between food and the connection it has with our body, it should change the way we eat forever.

He will also show you how to improve your memory, focus and productivity just by eating one simple nutrient.

He also explains the many different types of fats and how they all play a role both positive and negative and what you can do to optimize the good fats and burn the bad ones.

Eat Smarter also comes with a free 30-day program that includes recipes and “smarter” strategies to help you reach your goals faster! After all, spring is right around the corner.


I hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Shawn Stevenson just as much as I did. His story really inspired me to turn to food first when I need to repair and heal my body. Shawn is exactly what Optimized Life is all about. He is on a mission to live his healthiest and best life possible! AND help others live theirs as well!

About Me!

My name is Sandra Tanner and I have been a health and wellness advocate (and enthusiast) for 10 years. I am a certified specialist in health and fitness over 40 as well as an expert in lifespan education. What does that even mean? It simply means longevity and anti-aging from the inside out is my jam!

I started blogging for optimized Life 3 years ago and my main goal is to teach people the things they should start doing NOW so they can slow down and even reverse the aging process so they can live their longest and healthiest life possible!

I have been able to help many people transform their lives, gain energy, lose weight, choosing the right supplements, and optimize their health by changing their mindset about health and fitness.

I would love the opportunity to do the same for you!

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  1. Very inspirational story! Thanks for sharing. Indeed nutrition, physical movement, sleep could, if done right, cure the incurable! When combined with self-care and intelligence in handling emotions:)

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