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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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 

 

 

My Family’s Grocery List

I’ve been asked by a few followers if I would write a grocery list of gluten free foods. That’s pretty much all I buy, so I thought it wouldn’t be that hard for me to share my list. This is also the list I share in my challenge groups. Be sure to check back frequently, I’ll be changing it up as I discover more secrets. We still have a few things in the cabinet that we haven’t tried yet, like GF pizza crust. We have frozen, vacuum sealed, and flour/mix to make from scratch… I’ll keep you posted. Update: skip the vacuum sealed option. 😉

I go Live on FB occasionally and opened my cabinets to show you most of the products my family uses. I share my Thrive Market shipments, my Butcher Box shipments and other health and nutrition info, so, be sure to follow me on Facebook.

Without further ado, here’s my list…

Continue reading

WTF is a Mom to do….

There were assignments that had to be done.

There was a long weekend at the beach.

There was a family day when the GF food options just weren’t the most tempting.

That’s where my life as a Mom begins…. over and over and over and fucking over again! (sigh)

Welcome to the world of WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. A. MOM. TO. DO? I know… the language, but… unless you live it… um…just don’t even… K? 😉

I have always believed that you have to accomplish your chores, tasks and responsibilities before you get your privileges. It just makes sense.

But, when you have a child that is controlled by the foods that are most of what society eats… and those foods are everywhere…. and those foods completely deteriorate his brilliant cognitive process….

YOU GET A LITTLE PISSED OFF THAT THERE IS NOT MORE AWARENESS! Welcome to my world.

Maybe you know about gluten (and casein) sensitivity, maybe you don’t, but let me tell you, not knowing will be the downfall of our society. I know I sound like a drama queen… But, I’m as serious as I can possibly be. ANYONE that works with kids NEEDS TO KNOW THIS INFO!!

Gluten sensitive people (40% of our population) will feel sick when they eat too much gluten. Period. Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • brain fog (lack of focus and cognitive functioning)
  • spaced out… think “walking dead”
  • unable to accomplish ADLs (activities of daily living)
  • headaches
  • stomach aches
  • constipation
  • rashes
  • aggression
  • anger
  • frustration
  • lethargy, fatigue
  • obesity, edema/swelling
  • joint pain
  • anxious, depressed
  • IS THAT ENOUGH?!?
  • Sound like ADHD?
  • It’s also ANXIETY!!!!!
  • WE NEED TO WAKE UP!!

We need to scream it from the rooftops! I NEED TO SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!! I’ve lived it in the disastrous, whirlwind of gluten life for over a decade with my son. I was absorbed in the world of pediatrics, and I didn’t know, the awareness IS NOT THERE. The knowledge has not been shared with those that need to know. When I think back, it’s been about 3.2 decades for me and how long I’ve been affected by my personal struggles and symptoms. And, I see it in the majority of the pediatric patients I see (I only see kids). I won’t even go there in this post.

This is the primary reason I care…

inflammation leads to

WE ALL NEED TO CARE! WE ALL NEED TO KNOW!!! BE EDUCATED!!! IT MATTERS!!!!!!!

If it was your 14 year old, and you’d been living it for over a decade, and you were finally getting answers, and you started seeing all the things our society was ignoring… and that lack of knowledge and ignorance is the reason your kid is getting “toxed”… You’d be fed up too! Try to detox… yup, it’s really like detox, wanna know more about the addiction and cravings, read this.  IT’S REAL!!!!! BELIEVE IT! I BEG OF YOU! PLEASE! Just start paying attention.

This part of the journey needs to be more understood… it’s the least enjoyable part in our family, honestly it sucks… especially when you know how to fix the problem. The disheartening and discouraging part is the blatant ignorance and denial of nutrition and it’s effects on our society, the problem is being ignored.

I’m ready to SCREAM!!!! I’m ready to share! I’m ready to spread the awareness of what is happening to our kids! I figured it out, and I know I can help others! Interested in funding my Awareness Campaign? Let me know… I’VE FUCKING HAD IT!!!!

 

*Disclaimer: I’m not against gluten, wheat per se, I am against TOO MUCH and OVER CONSUMPTION of wheat and processed foods. As long as you tolerate wheat and gluten products, make them 20-30% of your diet, if not, 0%, yes ZERO PERCENT of your diet! Period!

This journey is hard, but can be fun, but we ALL need to work together for the awareness of our fellow man, woman, child and for a better tomorrow for our communities.

Peace. kp.

 

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

Digestive Health Lesson #1: Leaky Gut

“ALL DISEASE BEGINS IN THE GUT.” – Hippocrates

hippocrates

I can pinpoint my gut issues all the way back to middle school in the suburban brick rancher I grew up in, and more specifically right down to the bowl of gravy, loaf of bread, my friend Lori, the stomach pain, and the bloating that came along with it. Those problems go way back. This is just one example of the bad food exposure that I subjected myself to growing up. Many of us did, we didn’t know it was that big a deal. What damage could it possibly cause, we were 14, just kids. Yes, well, so is my boy now, and his issues seem to have a similar root cause. Food. The wrong vs. the right… My issues manifested as irritable bowel, asthma, acne, eczema, and eventually fibromyalgia. My boy, Josh has multiple gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, and has dealt with them most of his life.

stomach painHow do we know it’s food? Continue reading

How I Saved My Fibro with My Shakeo

Hi! If you’ve found this post, you are probably wondering what Fibromyalgia is, and then you’re going to wonder what Shakeology is, or you already are? So, let’s start there.

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder. fibromyalgia-cycleIt involves multiple systems with the primary symptoms being pain, sleep problems, and irritable bowel syndrome. The root of these symptoms seem to lie in the nutritional issues and sleep issues. Other symptoms include irritable bladder, migraines, restless legs syndrome, impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud’s Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.

IMG_2538Shakeology is a nutritional supplement that has globally sourced superfood ingredients like Proteins and Fiber that help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system. Adaptogen Herbs help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion.

Now that you have that knowledge, let me tell you how I believe the nutritional difference with Shakeology helped my Fibro…

I’ve had Fibromyalgia most of my life. I will be Continue reading

How My Superfoods Help Me

Hi! If you’ve found this post, you are probably wondering what Fibromyalgia is, and why I say “superfoods” have helped me.

First, let me tell you about Fibro…

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic pain disorder. fibromyalgia-cycleIt involves multiple systems with the primary symptoms being pain, sleep problems, and irritable bowel syndrome. The root of these symptoms seem to lie in the nutritional issues and sleep issues. Other symptoms include irritable bladder, migraines, restless legs syndrome, impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud’s Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.

IMG_2538Shakeology is a nutritional supplement that has globally sourced superfood ingredients like Proteins and Fiber that help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system. Adaptogen Herbs help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion.

Now that you have that knowledge, let me tell you how I believe the nutritional difference with Shakeology helped my Fibro…

I’ve had Fibromyalgia most of my life. I will be Continue reading

It REALLY Is All About The POO

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Did you really think I would use a pic with poo?

Conversation for family night out to dinner went something like this; fortunately, we were done and paying the bill…

“Can we leave, I have to poop?”

“Can you wait til we get home, or do you really have to go?”

“No. Gotta go.”

“Then, go!”

Returns to table… me, “Did you go?”

“Yes, but now Continue reading