Christina El Moussa's divorce took a toll on her physical health

Christina El Moussa had been dealing with the dissolution of her marriage to her husband of seven years, Tarek, privately for months before the news went public last December, and the scrutiny and attention ended up impacting the Flip or Flop star’s emotional and physical health.

“When everything came out in the media it was an extremely stressful time for me,” El Moussa, 33, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “Between paparazzi and so many false stories in the media, it started taking a toll. I was so stressed it was causing me extreme nausea and fatigue.”

The nausea was so bad that it was interfering with the realtor’s normally healthy eating habits.

“Stress was causing me a loss of appetite,” she says. “When I’m stressed, food is the last thing on my mind.”

  • For more on El Moussa’s revenge body, dating and her life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
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El Moussa began turning things around when she started practicing Yin Yoga — a mediation-based practice — in February.

“It changed my outlook on the way I saw my life,” she says. “I knew immediately after my first session the changes I needed to make to get back to my happy, healthy self.”

Credit: Photograph by Damir K.

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Those changes included getting back to eating a healthy diet.

Credit: Photograph by Damir K.

“I knew I needed to get back to being healthy for myself and my babies,” says the mom to daughter Taylor, 6, and son Brayden, 19 months, who sticks to a “very clean, organic diet” now. “Nutrition is very important to me, for both my own health and wellness, but also for my children.”