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Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! But I did… Yay, me!! DO NOT, I repeat… DO NOT let anxiety and fear stop you from doing the things you know you’re meant to do!

DO ALL THE THINGS!!!

Recently, I was invited to join a new friend on some of her podcasts. I’m all about sharing health and wellness info, but hearing my voice on a podcast that can be heard all over the world… WHOA! Who am I?!? Exciting stuff!! I want to make sure you can find all my guest appearances in one place, so here ya go…

I first joined Alexa on The Alexa Z Show, Meditation Motivation in January. Alexa invited my colleague, Danielle McDevitt, MD, and I to discuss Integrative Medicine and What It Really Is. We talked about chronic inflammation, all the ways it can affect the body and lead to that infamous “fight or flight” response. We made sure to mention a few ways to change that “fight or flight” back to “rest and digest”. Important Stuff! We had a blast doing the first one, so decided to do a few more.

Our second episode is about ADHD and Anxiety in our Youth. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know this is a topic that is close to home for my family. Alexa and I dig into the topic of neuroinflammation, discuss neurotransmitter function, and how they each play a role in the disease process. We talk about some of the root causes of neuroinflammation, and how that inflammation can lead to other diseases. The most important part- we talk about how you can change things! Change your health, change your life. Change your life, change your health. Enter meditation and other integrative therapies. If you want to read more about neuroinflammation, I wrote Is it Really ADHD? to address that very topic.

One of the most important bits of info I can share with you is a quote from our recent podcast, “The genetics you’re born with do not dictate your health, the environment you put those genetics in will dictate your health… that’s a whole new field of science called epigenetics that’s developed over the last 20 years and it’s fascinating!” ~KPTolley

In our next episode, we plan to discuss Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is pretty controversial nowadays. It’s characterized by widespread pain, overwhelming fatigue, and memory issues, along with a list of other problems that disturb almost every system in the body, especially the immune system and nervous system. We’ll discuss symptoms, disease process, diagnostic challenges, treatment challenges and how alternative therapies like meditation play such a big role in the recovery process. Be sure to tune in next month.

If you have any questions about medication or topics that you’d like to hear Alexa and I discuss, please reach out and let us know! If you want to learn more about meditating or you’re looking for a meditation coach, Alexa is your gal!

Be Well!! Kp

Adaptogenic Herbs: Mother Nature’s Secret Medicine

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I’d even heard the term “Adaptogenic Herbs” and when I did I still wasn’t quite sure what they were or what they did.

Adapt means to modify, change or restructure. Adaptgenic herbs have the amazing ability to modify, change and restructure our body at a cellular level.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of an adaptogen is “a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning”.

So, let’s think about this a minute, there is a natural substance, actually multiple substances that will help the body combat stress. Our bodies are stressed by a plethera of environmental factors daily. So many health issues are stress related. Could this be an answer?

Over the past week, I’ve watched a video series on Herbal medicine. Did you know that Herbalism as a medical practice was outlawed in the United States over 100 years ago? This is downright sad, because it has started to erase the knowledge we need to have about natural forms of medical treatments, treatments that are successfully practiced in other parts of the world everyday.

So many ailments that are considered common health issues could be reveresed with the addition of adaptogens. Adaptogenic herbs can treat and prevent diseases like Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Brain Fog, Demenitia problems, neurological disorders like MS and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disorders like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, digestive disorders, adrenal fatigue, thyroid imbalance, and the list goes on and on. If you name any chronic disease, adaptognic herbs will probably make it better. They get to the source of the problem.

Often times, we take pills for symptoms, but we forget that those symptoms are signs, they show up for a reason. Adaptognic herbs get to the source of the problem. Adding adaptogenic herbs to my nutrition plan has decrease the need for all the medications that I used to take for asthma, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, fibormalgia, allergies, migraines and more. It’s been an incredible transformation. I rarely even go to the pharmacy anymore.

Boosting my immune system and fighting the chronic inflammation and stress that my body is constantly battling with adaptogenic herbs and other holistic nutrition remedies has changed my health 100%. It’s hard to believe I’m the same sick person that cried and suffered with pain from IBS and Fibro and Migraines.

Let me share a list of things adaptogens can do:

  • increase endurance
  • increase libido
  • decrease stress (actually decrease cortisol levels!!)
  • boost immune function
  • decrease inflammation
  • provide allergy relief
  • decrease anxiety and elevate mood
  • regulate sleep
  • strengthen digestive system
  • strengthen cardivascular system
  • calm the nervous system
  • balance hormones
  • balances adrenal function

These adaptogenic herbs are plants and fungi; and with some the roots hold the magic elixir. These are herbs like Ashaganda, Astragalus, Holy Basil, Reishi, Miataki, Shiitake, Rhodiola, Maca, Chaga, Shishandra and Cordyceps, just to name a few. You’ve probably heard their names buzzing around, but weren’t really sure what was so great about them. Now you know!

Now you need to know how your get your hands on them, right?? Um, y’all… why do you think I keep talking about my superfoods? THIS! THESE! These amazing Adaptogens! All of the above are in Shakeology! All of the health issues listed above that people struggle with, that I’ve struggled with, are better now that I have the antiinflammatory effects of these amazing superfoods helping my body.

“THIS IS WHERE I GET MY ENERGY,” says the girl with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

We all deal with stress, we can’t avoid it, that’s just how life is in the 21st century. If we want to live our healthiest, we need to actively do what we can to combat the enrionmental stress our bodies are exposed to each and every day. Counteracting that stress at the cellular level in our body is the secret to staying well.

And, let’s face it, we all know we can’t get those adaptogenic effects in the Standard American Diet no matter how well we eat, our food just doesn’t have the nutrition we need. We need immune boosting, antiinflammatory nutrition to be healthy. That’s why I add my adaptogens, along with some other superfoods.

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I can’t wait to help you learn more about getting healthy and feeling better!

If you need help navitaging your wellness journey, I’d be happy to help. I love helping people learn what they can do to take control of their health and the health of their family.  It’s empowering for them, and it fills my cup right up! If you want to work with me, just send me a message and we can chat up a plan for you! If you want to check out my website to place an order or start working with me, click here. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Feel free to contact me: FacebookInstagram – or Email me: katie@katiepinktolley.com

 

 

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If you want to read a little more about some of the scientific stuff, like the info I found in this article, just click on the text: “..recent pharmacological studies of a number of adaptogens have provided a rationale for these effects also at the molecular level. It was discovered that the stress—protective activity of adaptogens was associated with regulation of homeostasis via several mechanisms of action, which was linked with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the regulation of key mediators of stress response…”  (*info from US National Library of Medical National Institute of Health)

Why I Believe in My Superfoods

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This is how Superfoods make me feel! And, for a girl w a chronic pain and fatigue disorder, that’s pretty damn special!

Superfoods…  a health term that gets thrown around A LOT these days, huh? So, what are they? Why are some foods super and some not? GOOD QUESTION! It’s taken me a long time to figure it out too. If you want to know the truth, I’m still learning more every day!

My superfoods have changed the way I am able to live. I have multiple chronic illnesses that were being controlled by what I was putting in my body.

I don’t like veggies very much. I’m a very picky eater, my grandmother used to call me “finiky”… it’s a texture thing and an anxiety thing for me. If I think I don’t like it, I don’t like it… I know, grow up, Katie. I’ve tried. I’ve gotten better, but I’m just not one that likes a big variety of foods.

I know I can eat plenty of protein and fiber (kinda) and goods fats. Y’all do know the necessity of good fats, right? The whole fat-free thing is a bunch of milarchy. It’s crucial that our bodies get good fats and if they don’t multiple disease processes can appear. Good fats keep our brain working… our brain controls EVERYTHING!

Did you know you can get TOO MUCH PROTEIN, and it will make you gain weight just like sugar will? Actually, when you eat too much protein, it turns into sugar, and then fat. That’s why I’m not a protein shake kinda girl, I’m a SUPERFOOD shake kinda girl. Sure, I need protein, but I eat protein… eggs, steak, chicken, and bacon aren’t the hard part for me, it’s the veggies. Yes, I was that kid, and still am at 46.

So, how do I get my veggies, I have some that I love and we have them with dinner each night, some days I have Caesar salad w meat on it for lunch, but my Shakeology fills in the missing nutrition. #winning

Why Shakeology?

I took this holistic nutrition class and learned about adaptogenic herbs. Cool things, those adaptogens… they help my body adapt to stress. I didn’t know food did that!!! Did you?? Adaptogenic herbs help my body detox and fight the stress of everyday life and the toxic substances that I breathe in and ingest.

Then, I learned that Shakeology has digestive enzymes and prebiotics and probiotics. Why does that matter? Have you heard of digestion? I know, stupid question… Digestion is the process of absorbing nutrients to fuel our body. Here’s the thing, we need digestive enzymes to help absorb the good stuff and not the bad, we need prebiotics to help feed the probiotics. Those probiotics help digest the food we eat so we can absorb the nutrients. These enzymes and natural organisms used to be in our food.

Ever heard of phytonutrients and antioxidants? These are the super greens and funny sounding plants that provide immune benefits. Did you know with a healthy immune system you can fight off almost any disease there is, including cancer? I know I sound like a nut, trust me, it was new to me when I first heard it too. I am a total believer though, I’ve seen too many people get healthier by committing to holistic nutrition.

Did you know that antioxidants actually are like a detox for your body? Seriously! Isn’t that cool!? They help eliminate free radicals. What are free radicals? There are toxic substances that float around in our bodies from different environmental assaults (foods, stress, organisms, chemicals, etc.). Antioxidants eliminate those free radicals… SWEET, give me some! I’m all for free, but not when it comes to toxins in my body, that’s what weakens my immune system. Not cool!

So, what else do I need to tell you?? Oh, yea, there IS protein in Shakeology. What I found in the past was most protein shakes are whey or soy, both are inflammatory for most people. (More about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to disease here.) Whey, soy, and too much protein are going to cause weight gain, which is not what most people are looking for.

My choice for protein is plant-based proteins: quinoa, oat, rice, flax, chia, and pea. Why? flax and chia have omega 3 fatty acids which are good fats that my body needs. I don’t want whey because dairy is inflammatory. I significantly limit soy because soy is bad for our endocrine health, want to know more -> read this.

You see, Shakeology is my way of getting 70 different anti-inflammatory foods, most of which I don’t know how to source or prepare. That’s A LOT of holistic nutrition in a tasty treat, folks!

Superfoods are super important for the long-term health of your body. If you’d like to know more about the choices I make, reach out, let’s chat. If you want to join my groups, I’m happy to be your health coach, we ALL need a health coach (mine makes my world a much easier place to navigate). If you want to contact me via my coach website or order Shakeolgy, start here, or you can find me on Facebook @ Katie Pink Tolley

I hope you find a way to make your wellness journey enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all get by with a little help from our friends. 😉

If you’d like to hear what’s so special about Shakeology from the developer herself (yes, HER, one of my heroes, Isabelle), click here.

Oh, I should probably add the health issues that I had that are almost non-existent now that I practice an anti-inflammatory lifestyle 90% of the time along with adding in Shakeology: Asthma, Allergies, Thyroid imbalance, Eczema, Restless Leg Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrom, Constipation, Anxiety, ADHD, Sleep problems, constant stomach pain, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Disorder. Yea, that’s tiring to even think about, so glad I found holistic nutrition and these superfoods. They’ve changed my life, actually, now I can live my life! #golden

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Graphic compliments of Beachbody

As always, Enjoy the Journey & Be Well. ~kp

Dear 17,

Dear 17,

You will have amazing kids, they need somebody like you. Not you at 17, but you later. The “you” you become. Let me tell you what I mean…

You are clueless. You will go through life that way… not your fault, we all do. We never know if our decisions are right until they are done.

At 17, you don’t even know what life is yet. This, all this life that you’re living at 17, it’s all just part of the lesson, part of learning what life is. All the heartaches, triumphs, anxiety, fears, growing pains, it’s all just a way for you to learn. Learn how to not be quite so clueless.

One of the hardest lessons is learning HOW to make mistakes. Sure it seems easy, but trust me, there’s more to it. You see, those mistakes are the key to NOT being clueless. Without making those mistakes, you WILL be clueless forever. MAKE MISTAKES, lots of them, they are your lessons.

Follow that love of knowledge that you have, that love of helping and giving to others, that love of adventure, and especially whatever that instinct is you have to “try anything once” – that’s a youth thing and one you might not want to outgrow as quickly as I know you will.

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Don’t be afraid. 

What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. Won’t seem like it at the time, but truer truths will never be spoken.

Anything worth having is worth working for. At 17, I know you already say “anything worth having is worth fighting for”… wait until you really have to mean it. Watch what you fight for vs. what you work for. Hard work will get you further, and build your character. Fighting will do just the opposite. Always choose positivity over negativity. ALWAYS.

Anxiety WILL stop you. It will slow you down sometimes, and it will paralyze you others. It is actually going to change the course of your life. DEAL WITH IT. Once you figure it out, then, you can really deal with it, and really help others. Trust me on this one. 😉

The whole anxiety thing is going to take until your mid-30s for you to even recognize that it is the catalyst for so many of the interferences in your life. Suck it up, buttercup, and keep moving forward. It’s ok. It’s gonna piss you off. Figure out how to deal with it. Anything having is worth fighting for, right? 😉 Then, and only then, will you realize your path…

Greatness isn’t something you are born with (no matter what your bloodline).

Greatness is something you have to discover within yourself. You must be open to it. Seeking. Less afraid to make mistakes. (This is why you have to deal with that anxiety.) You’ll make enough mistakes to start to get over them, trust me. Mistakes are just lessons we haven’t mastered.

NEVER STOP SEEKING YOUR GREATNESS… this is the whole “wisdom with age” thing everyone speaks of. You’ll be in your 40s before you know this truth. Nine years of college and graduate studies will not do it for you, those years will aid you, but the struggle is yours alone.

I have so much more to tell you, but most of it you’re going to have to figure out on your own. DON’T let it scare you. The scared ones are the ones that rarely, if ever, find their greatness.

More later.

Love, Me. fullsizeoutput_38eb

What IS Gluten Anyway?? – Digestive Health Lesson #4

gluten-freeGluten is the latest buzz word in nutrition.

But, so many people have no idea what it is.

When friends of mine with PhD’s start asking for more info, it’s time for an article about gluten and why it’s a problem.

So, What is Gluten??

Gluten is a the protein found in the seed of wheat, barley, and rye.

the-gluten-protein-is-mainly-found-in-the-endosperm-of-grain-kernel-seedHere is definition from Celiac.org:

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
Read more here.

Why is it a problem? 

Gluten per se isn’t the problem for everyone (more on that below). It’s the amount of gluten in the standard american diet, and the tampering of the native seed.

When you look at the diets of most Americans, approximately 80% of meals have a gluten component. There is too much bread, breading, pasta, crackers, croutons, tortillas, etc. in our meals.

Gluten can be inflammatory for many people, too much gluten can be inflammatory for anyone. Inflammation can lead to other chronic diseases, I talk more about that in my article explaining how Inflammation is the root of most disease.

Chronic inflammation occurs because of a process called Intestinal Hyperpermeability, aka, Leaky Gut. I explain this process and how it leads to chronic inflammation in my first digestive health article.

The lifelong health issues I have come from being sensitive to gluten and dairy, but I do not have Celiac Disease and my sensitivity does not show up on allergy testing. That means absolutely nothing though. I learned more about Gluten sensitivity from a GI Specialist last spring during a Pediatric Conference at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Here are the numbers he shared…

  • 10% of our population has Celiac Disease
    • These people CANNOT eat gluten without major symptoms.
    • Many people in our population are undiagnosed, continuing to eat gluten will cause multiple health problems. Think ADHD, Thyroid issues, Irritable Bowel, Autism, Epilepsy, and the list goes on.
  • 40% of our population has Gluten Sensitivity
    • Symptoms are more subtle than Celiac Disease; stomach pain, headache, sinus issues, eczema, constipation, brain fog, lethargy, food cravings, mood swings, depression, anxiety, focus issues, etc.
    • It will get worse.
    • It will cause chronic inflammation and intestinal hyperpermeability.
    • It will most likely cause Celiac Disease if gluten is continually consumed, and will definitely lead to a host of other disease processes. (Please refer to the digestive health articles above for more details.)
    • **If you read some research, please note, some people in modern medicine will tell you there is no way to confirm gluten sensitivity. THIS IS NOT TRUE!! There is a way for doctors to check for gluten sensitivity!! It’s as easy as running a simple blood test for gluten immunoglobulins. I know this, because that’s how we found out my son cannot have gluten. When his Holistic Doctor did labs, the antibodies for gluten and wheat were 5-6 times normal. His Celiac tests and allergy tests are negative. I also know this because one of the top specialist in GI Pediatrics told me all the same stuff himself with research and a groovy powerpoint presentation!

One of the biggest reasons we need more awareness and sensitivity is the vast amount of food that contains gluten, and the vast amount of people, especially children that should not be eating it. If we look at the percentages above, 50% of our population should avoid gluten, yet, 80-90% of our public food choices contain gluten.

THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR OUR CHILDREN AND FOR OUR FUTURE!!!brain-fog

If you think it’s hard to function as an adult with stomach pain and headaches and brain fog, try being a kid, sitting in school after eating mostly gluten for breakfast AND lunch and having anxiety and mood swings… Is it the kid? NO, it’s his food! AND IT’S CHANGING HIS FUTURE! And, he’s a problem in class sitting next to your kid, and that’s why you should care!

I could go on about how reducing our gluten intake has changed my family’s health, but I’ll invite you to read through my blog a little more to find that out, there’s plenty of evidence.

If you want to read how gluten breaks down in our system and causes damage, read how “Getting ‘Glutened’ is Drugging My Kid!!”

I share because I care. I want a better world for me and you and our children.

Please, practice wellness so you live a happier and healthier life. Your loved ones will be awfully glad you did! Enjoy the Journey! 🙂

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Photo compliments of glutenfreesociety.org 

 

 

 

Getting ‘Glutened’ is Drugging My Kid! I’ve had it!! (Digestive Health Series, Part 3)

 

So, What does getting ‘glutened’ look like?

A. Laziness, fatigue

B. Anxious, depressed, irritable, angry

C. Disoriented, unaware, spaced out, Cognitive dysfunction

D. Stomach ache, migraine, joint pain

E. All of the above and then some!!!

Anyone that has talked with me knows this is a hot topic for me. What angers me the most is the total disregard of our society for the people that have true dietary issues that are ignored by the general population, including much of the medical population. As a nurse practitioner, I don’t like to say we’re missing things in medicine, but… WE ARE MISSING THINGS!!!!

As a mom, I knew there was more to it, and I knew I needed to keep searching for answers. Never. Give. Up. That’s going to be the name of my book. I’m not really a very good writer, avoided it like the plague in school. I have no idea where to start with a book, but it’s a goal of mine, and I need to share our story with other families. Moms need to know that it is worth every bit of energy you use figuring out how to help your child. 

He is so bright, it puts him on a different level. Friends started noticing it before I did, he put concepts together that 2 year olds just didn’t put together. He was smarter than some of the adults in his world and it caused problems. Problems that gradually got worse as the years went on. There were jokes about Einstein being thrown out of school, he even has a hat with Al on it. But, seriously, it took a decade of lots of struggles and difficulties to realize he wasn’t going to get better with prescriptions or school accommodation or anything else traditionally done for bright, ADHD kids. We’d been trying for years, and things were just getting worse… WHY???  Continue reading

Digestive Health Lesson #2 – It all Starts with Inflammation

Dr. Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine (Cleveland), wrote that inflammation is now recognized as the underlying basis of a significant number of diseases.

Inflammation

Inflammation 101

Inflammation defined by the free online medical dictionary: 1. A localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue.  2.The inflammatory response can be provoked by physical, chemical, and biologic agents, including mechanical trauma, exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight, x-rays and radioactive materials, corrosive chemicals, extremes of heat and cold, or by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic microorganisms. Although these infectious agents can produce inflammation, infection and inflammation are not synonymous.

Dr. Edwards points out that anti-inflammatory foods have been used to combat Cancer and many other diseases, i.e.: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, many Autoimmune diseases, asthma. Here is the abstract from her article:  Continue reading

I do it ALL for My WHY?

HI! A friend and fellow Inspirer asked for some insight about WHY we do what we do? What gives us PASSION, what gives us ENERGY to keep moving forward? What is your WHY?? Think about it, write it down, it might be a little more motivating than you realize…

Tell your story

My WHY is My family. I do everything I do for my kids health and well being. I’m working harder now to spend time on the beach later with my Hubby when we are old and our kids are wildly successful and can take care of us (play along, I have faith).  Continue reading

YOU’RE WRONG!! That’s not it at all….

 

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The kindergartener that knows the right answer, but won’t raise his hand.

The 7th grader that goes to the nurse for a “bandaid” a little too often.

The student with a headache before math class EVERY day.

The kid that just keeps making jokes and disturbing class.

The 2nd grader that STOPPED and put her pencil down on the second problem.

The 8th grader avoiding class because there’s just TOO many people.

The 6th grader with more than occasional stomach ache.

The class clown that’s avoiding what he doesn’t know.

The 3rd grader that’s pretty damn smart, but says, “I can’t do that!” when faced with a more mentally challenging task.

The 1st grader that runs in school even after being told to STOP, not because he’s defiant or has ADHD, but because there is thunder and lightening outside!

The 9th grader who can’t pay attention in class because she can’t fall asleep at night worrying about her grades.

The 1st grader that resists help and completely melts down.

The 8th grader that thinks life is going to end when she gets a C.

The kid that asks to go to the bathroom, but talks to every adult and child along the way to avoid the unknown and awkward feeling of going back to class and NOT fitting in.

Kids don’t have panic attacks…

Kids avoid.  Kids hide.

KIDS DO NOT ASK FOR HELP!!!

Kids repress.

They run away.

They back into a corner with their hands over their ears.

They complain about “nothing.”

They fight back.

They need adults that know the difference.

THEY. NEED. US. TO. UNDERSTAND.

We need to recognize childhood anxiety!

Before it’s too late…..

#think globally

#YOUcanmakeadifferenceforjust1kid

* I know each and every one of these children, they are real, they struggle. Do you know how many children struggle? More than you think. >25% and 1/2 are likely not diagnosed, so you see there is a gross underestimate statistically.

How the hell did that happen? 50 pounds later…

Growing up as an athlete, weight was not a problem… until my teen years. I stayed fit multiple ways; there was soccer, gymnastics, swimming, roller skating and ice skating, field hockey, tennis, weight training and the list goes on. As an adult, I controlled my weight by eating healthy, walking, weight training, waitressing, bartending, nursing, biking, swimming, pilates, yoga. I even taught pilates for a year when Drew Elizabeth was a baby. Best shape I’ve ever been in, and I was 35 and had 2 kids! I love pilates and thought I’d do it forever, but then I started my graduate program, and my exercise habits took a slow slide into the dumpster.

I was over 40 when my weight was creeping up, quickly, and I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong… I gained 30 pounds in 8 months! It all started just after my brother’s wedding in April 2012. My goal has been to get back into that dress.

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April 2012, 40 years old and feeling good (before the gain).

So, when I hopped on the scale at the Y in January, I thought it was broken. I know that sounds like a joke, but, I really did. I went to my friend’s house. I told her I needed to use her scale, because I didn’t own one and the one at the Y had to be broken. I came back down the stairs stunned.

The scale wasn’t broken.

I gained 30 pounds in 8 months! WTF! How the hell did that happen??? 

I had a plan. I joined the 3 month weight loss program at the Y.  I went to cardio classes at 5:30am, which is almost impossible for me (Fibro is a chronic fatigue disorder), but I did it. I was doing weight training, I was walking. I was working out 6-7 times a week, even won highest attendance in that contest. I lost 4 pounds in 3 months… What?? That’s it!! 4 pounds! I have never had trouble losing weight. It’s never been easy, but I know how to get it done. Well, I thought I did. I was struggling.

Off to the doctors… primary doc, endocrine doc, neither of them thought there was a medical problem. Katie was just gaining weight, it happens when women turn 40. WHAT!?! NO! That was not acceptable. But, what was I to do. I kept struggling.

In March 2014, I was heavier than I had been when I was full term pregnant with either of my children. This couldn’t be happening. How was this happening. I was crying almost every day when I got dressed. I didn’t want to get dressed. I was so depressed and disappointed with myself.

I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party and a college roommate’s wedding that month. I was so very happy for them, and I hated how I felt inside and how I looked on the outside.

I hid. These are the only pictures I can find of me at that time.

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Top right, February 2014, before I knew, I was swollen and inflamed. Left and bottom right are about 4 weeks into my purge. You can see my face is a bit less swollen. But, my stomach was so upset in both of these pictures. I can still remember, and it was almost 7 years ago.

I had an epiphany one day reading a Fibro blog, I clicked on a link to yeast allergy because I was somewhat familiar. I was worried I might have some of those symptoms. OMG… Did I have some of the symptoms??? I. Had. Every. One. 

Let’s see if I can remember them all…

  • dry skin
  • constipation
  • bloating
  • stomach upset
  • asthma (it got so bad I went back on meds I hadn’t been taking for years!)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • eczema
  • thinning hair
  • yeast infections (yup, those kind of yeast infections!)
  • sleep problems
  • dandruff, with fungal patches on my scalp
  • UTI (never had a UTI except when I was prego)
  • major sugar cravings
  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • the list seems to go on and on…

It. Sucked.

So, what to do? Fortunately, I’ve got this friend… Thank God I have all kinds of knowledgeable friends. Remember, Kathy, the allergy RN from my allergy posts? She got a text real quick… not only did she agree with me, she thought the same thing when she’d seen me the previous week.

So, how do I fix it?!?!? Avoid the following:

  • Sugar
  • Processed, packaged foods
  • Vinegar, anything vinegar based
  • Leftovers past 24-36 hours old, they start to grow organisms, a healthy GI tract can tolerate this, mine could not.
  • Yogurt has a ton of sugar, beware.
  • All berries/grapes and other fruits naturally have fungal organism, that white mold that shows up after 5-6 days. Our GI system should be able to break that down, unless it’s inflamed and leaky, like mine was!
  • Breads with yeast (flatbread and crackers would be ok on occasion)
  • Wheat is a cross-contaminant, so I should avoid that.
  • Wine (!problem!) I had to do all this AND avoid wine… because it’s fermented. Oh, champagne is even more fermented. (A girl’s gotta have sip on occasion, so I do enjoy a mimosa (or 2) here and there!)
  • Alcohol is fermented. (…but Vodka is distilled!)
  • Change to coconut and olive oil, avoid vegetable oils because they are inflammatory, be sure to buy quality items.
  • Balance your Omega 3 oils with your Omega 6 oils. (Fish oil, tuna, coconut, olive are Omega 3 sources.) I get my coconut oil here.

So, basically that leaves veggies and meats, with no marinade. I did come up with some good dinners like this one. This was actually last nights, and it was yummy.

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Chicken with fresh lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, italian spices over baby spinach with peas and sweet potatoes. Now that I’ve changed, I think this is scrumptious. Actually, it was!!

I’ve learned more about cooking with dry spices, and now wouldn’t do anything else.

I’ve learned that I prefer to put my meat on a bed of greens, and don’t really need salad dressing if I have it that way. Good luck finding salad dressing without vinegar or soy. Soy is a huge inflammatory. I avoid it at all cost, along with the other inflammatory foods.

What I’ve learned in my research over the past few years is that inflammation is the root of most health issues, including obesity. Now that I know that, I look back at the struggles I had in my life with my weight, my fibro, my asthma, my skin, my irritable bowel, my anxiety, and it all makes so much sense. It was all because of food intolerances and gut imbalance that I knew nothing about. I know I’m not alone… look at the obesity epidemic in this society.

I encourage anyone that has weight challenges to learn about inflammation and leaky gut syndrome. Knowing this knowledge will change your world.

Besides diet changes, what should you do:

  • Probiotics to help balance the gut.
  •  B-complex, Vit C 1000-2000 mg, Vit D 2000-5000 IU each day, omega 3. Most multis don’t have enough in them unless they are a high dose. In my recent readings, I’m learning more about the CRUCIAL role of Vit D, which is really a hormone, and essential.
  • Purge from the above foods listed for a minimum of 6-8 weeks, then slowly try to reintroduce some things. Still only eat them on occasion. Adding fermented foods back into your diet is helpful for a healthy gut if you don’t have candida.
  • Exercise, at least 3/x week, but daily activity is important.
  • Find ways to manage your stress, this is crucial! Cortisol changes everything. High cortisol makes is really hard to be healthy in multiple ways.
  • 8ish hours sleep should be a minimum. WE HEAL WHEN WE SLEEP!!
  • Change your cookware to avoid non-stick chemicals like teflon. I use solid ceramic Xtrema by Ceramcor.
  • I have found that eating Paleo/Anti-inflammatory is the way to go for me. I have decreased my grain intake significantly.

There wasn’t anything easy about it. I honestly didn’t think I’d see the day I got back into the dress I wore to my brother’s wedding. But I have, comfortably.

This was part of my journey that was and continues to be a real struggle. I wanted to share, because I think there are an awful lot of people out there going through what I went through. You don’t have to.

Of all the chapters I’ve lived, I must say, this was a really tough one. I have learned an awful lot from this part of my journey, and now I can share some pretty important health information with others.

I knew I needed to write this post when I first learned what was going on. I prayed my journey would have a happy ending. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’m writing and telling you all about the successes. I hope it helps you!

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January 2016, 44 years old, 50 pounds lighter than my max weight. BAM! HELL YEAH!