Detox Soup, Kp Style

The day after Christmas seems like a good time to share my latest, favorite recipe… My Detox Soup! I threw all this together about a month ago and it turned out SO YUMMY!

After taking the last jar out of the freezer and having a taste, I’m ready to make it again. I’m not good at following or creating recipes, but when I create something worth sharing, that’s what I do, and THIS is worth sharing!

The word detox gets thrown around a lot and for good reason. We are exposed to so many different substances on the daily, and our body has to filter all that stuff. By stuff, I mean foods and chemicals, but also pathogens like viruses and bacteria, medications, and alcohol. It’s not just what we eat, it’s also what we’re breathing in, and what we put on our skin. Think about the fumes when you’re pumping gas, or the various scents walking through a department store, those are chemicals (aka toxins) that we ingest and our body has to break all that down and get rid of it all somehow.

Detox is a pretty complex deal physiologically. It involves multiple body systems working together in harmony. The liver, kidneys, immune system, nervous system, digestive system and microbiome, cardiovascular system, methylation and sulfation pathways, and tens of thousands of enzymes function to make it all work like a fine-tuned instrument… but only when we fine-tune it. Hence, the need to detox!

It’s important to note, that any disturbance, dysfunction, genetic SNP (mutation), in any of the above systems slows down detox in various ways; some can be quite significant and lead to life-altering disease processes. That’s info for a later post, so let’s keep going… on to the food.

One way I help my body detox is by changing my nutritional intake to help my body filter all the toxic stuff. That’s why I created this detox soup. I chronic inflammation, gut imbalances, and genetic SNPs that slow down my detox pathways, making it that much more important for me to focus on detox. So I started reading recipes looking for a detox soup. I noticed a theme in most of those recipes using basic holistic nutrition knowledge I already had, and I thought, I can do this!! So I did! And, It’s so tasty, even my picky 17-year-old son loves it. #momwin

What are the essentials for a good Detox Soup?

  • Good quality bone broth – 1 large package (24oz), I’m partial to the frozen varieties, but also like some of the boxed brands. If you have some skills you can make your own. I do both. Brands I use: Kettle & Fire, Bonafide Provisions and The Flavor Chef. I use bone broth for the gut-healing properties.
  • Veggie or chicken broth, 1-2 24 oz. boxes, I usually use both, make sure you buy organic broth that doesn’t have extra fillers like soy, yeast, wheat, etc.
  • Fresh Organic herbs: 2-3 4″ sprigs each of oregano and thyme, 1-2 4″ of rosemary, 4-5 sprigs fresh parsley. You can add whatever your preferences are. I use the above for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting qualities.
  • Juice of 1 whole Lemon (excellent for detox)
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic (immune boosting)
  • ~1 tbsp fresh shaved Ginger (good for GI health)
  • 1-2 tsp Black pepper (good for GI health, immune-boosting)
  • 1 tbsp Himalayan salt (good source of minerals, hydrating)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • 3 Bay Leaves (immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory)
  • Fresh (not frozen) chopped veggies: 2-3 onions, 1 bunch of spring onions, 1stalk of celery, 1 lb. carrots, 6-7 mini sweet peppers (add some of the seeds!), green beans, 5-6 large leaves kale (I like the purplish kale), 1 pack fresh sprouted peas, 1/2 head cabbage, etc. Cruciferous, fibrous, and leafy green veggies are best for added vitamins and minerals as well as detox. **I do not recommend adding veggies w a high carb content (potatoes, corn, etc).

Note: all measurements are estimated, use what works for your taste buds.

I do think it’s important to use organic ingredients. Most of what I buy is organic, but sometimes I just can’t find organic. Sometimes I won’t buy the item (the Dirty Dozen), other times I just get over it and move on. We have to live and can’t be afraid of our food. One of the reasons it’s important to detox is exposure to chemicals. We are exposed to tens of thousands of chemicals on a daily basis, some we have no control over, so it’s important to decrease the chemicals that we are exposed to when given a choice.

Putting it All Together

Get started by adding the broths to a large soup pot turned to medium-high heat.

Add in fresh herbs, lemon, garlic, H. Salt, blk. pepper, ginger, turmeric. While I’m waiting for this to boil, I start the veggies.

Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, peppers, green beans. You want to add veggies that are going to take the longest to cook first, like onions, carrots, celery, green beans.

Once all of the above is combined and boiling, add leafy green veggies. If you’re a newbie to cooking leafy greens like me, here’s what you need to know: DO NOT cook the stems of the kale, rip off the leafy parts in 3″-ish size pieces and rub them together between your palms to soften them before putting them into the soup.

Note: I add filtered water as needed. I purposely avoid using tap water when I made this soup.

Turn to low-medium heat and cover for 20-25 min then simmer for as long as you like. I leave mine on the stove for hours, it smells so good!

There is no right or wrong here, play with it and find what you like. I’d love to know how your soup turns out! Send me a message and let me know what you put in it and how you made it just right for YOU! I can’t wait to hear!

My first try turned out pretty damn good!
Time to try it again!

More info to know: Additional Detox strategies

I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the other ways that I detox and recommend detox for my patients. Myself, my family and/or my patients benefit from these other forms of detox:

  • sweating, move your body, exercise, be active.
  • increase salt intake (Himilayan salt can help regulate BP, consult a medical provider for more information if you have high blood pressure.)
  • increase water intake (100 oz minimum!)
  • increase leafy green/cruciferous veggie intake (Goal to 8-10 servings!)
  • quality sleep (7-8 hrs for adults, more for children/teens)
  • infrared sauna
  • Epsom salt baths
  • Epsom salt foot bath
  • Herbs and Minerals that promote detox. (Always consult a professional for more info.)

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 Functional Fitness

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NEVER SAY NEVER

Contrary to popular belief, I am not superwoman… I’m soooo far from it.

I AM Katie Pink extraordinaire though… that works for me. It’s taken me a long time to figure that out. My path has had many avenues and many dead ends, paths that were laid out for me, and paths I foraged own my own. I’ve grown from all of it. What I’ve learned is that I need to keep FUNCTIONING at my most extraordinary. I don’t like the alternative.

Life is HARD. Life is always full of stressors. Life is about how we learn to navigate the challenges. I deal with a bad hip and short leg, Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, asthma, irritable bowel, and a few other diagnoses. I’ve lived with pain all my life. Having strong muscles to support my body equates to less pain. When I workout, I feel strong. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. I am better able to “function”.

As a child athlete, I’d always been in decent shape. I didn’t realize all those years of soccer, gymnastics, skating, tennis, biking, hockey, etc. were actually like pain medicine. When I stopped doing all of those activities, the pain increased, I didn’t know why. I was young and didn’t think about how my body worked. I didn’t think about the everyday function of my body. I didn’t think that all those activities were keeping my muscles strong and “functioning”.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at 25, just weeks before starting nursing school. I was told to decrease my stress and exercise more. HAHAHA. That was an oxymoron knowing what the demands of nursing school were going to be. I didn’t workout, but I did work, as a waitress, the physical demands of the job helped to keep me strong in some ways but sure didn’t help that back pain. I was functioning, but barely.

I’ve learned a bit since that initial Fibro diagnosis. I’ve struggled with my pain, my sleep, my stomach, my hip, my anxiety, my ADHD, and that little voice in my head that doesn’t always believe in me (she’s not nice). I made sacrifices. I missed opportunities with loved ones. I missed opportunities to learn. I missed opportunities to enjoy my life… because I wasn’t functioning.

I’ve learned that the secret to dealing with chronic disease is maintaining “function”.

So, my goal is “functional fitness”… What does that mean? It means keeping my body functioning the best it can with all the stressors that life brings. Life is not going to stop and allow me to regroup and take breaks, it just keeps on happening. If I’m not happening with it, I’m losing. When I’m losing, I’m not functioning at my best. See the circle there?

So, what do I do? Strength training, core training, yoga, pilates, workouts that keep my body functioning. When I say functioning, I mean, full range of motion in my joints, no pain (or very little), a digestive system that absorbs nutrition and eliminates toxins, a sleep schedule that doesn’t leave me tossing and turning at night, a life that I can enjoy with the people that I love. That isn’t the way it’s always been, and it’s not fun to not function.

Non-functional means pain. Non-functional means sleepless nights. Non-functional means exhausting days. Non-functioning means missing important events and milestones. Non-functioning to me… means not living. It’s depressing and demoralizing, and I didn’t like it. That’s why I speak out about my health and how I’ve started to save myself.

In saving myself, I’ve saved my marriage and my family. In saving myself, I’ve also learned how to make my family healthier and happier. I’ve learned how to help them avoid chronic illness and disease, or at least how to make it more “functional” and that’s not easy.

Today, I wanted to share all this with you. The ones that believe in me. I want you to believe in you too. I’m an example of what you can be. I’m also willing to help you figure out the secrets I needed to figure out. I share a lot of those secrets in my health and wellness articles.  I also share a lot as a Health Coach because I enjoy helping people feel better. It helps me believe there is hope in the world. If I can help one person feel better, I can help two. And, one by one, we can make our world a happier and healthier and more functional place. That works for me, and I think it just might work for you too.

Enjoy the Journey, Friends… that’s what it’s all about!

exceed your limits

 

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 over again! (sigh)

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

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 3+ 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).

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 F’n 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.

 

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

Children Should NOT be Exposed to Some Things…TURN THE TV OFF!!

stop the madness

If we have a hard time wrapping our brain around it, how the hell do you think the kids feel… TURN THE TV OFF!!!!

I’ve worked in pediatrics and dealt with mental health patients for decades. WE NEED TO STOP THE MADNESS!!! Wake up! There is hatred! It sucks! But, we cannot change it, and we need to know how to protect ourselves from it emotionally.

The list in this article is a repost from 2 previous posts; one about natural disasters, and  a post about Continue reading

What’s Your Excuse?? Reality Maybe?

Here’s my list of excuses:

  • Congenital Hip Dysplasiaaf8119baa06da42794553e2c664e150c
  • Asthma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • My Kids, time I want to spend with them, and the time they just need me
  • Work
  • Taxiing my kids to/from wherever it is they have to be….
  • Care for my family, aka paying bills, cleaning, pet care, permission slips, troubleshooting printers (and f’n routers every couple months, like right now, ugh), school plays, guitar lessons, horseback riding, groceries that. are. always. gone.!!
  • Then, of course, something unexpected throws the whole game plan off….. Like today’s migraine… UGH!

Excuse vs. Reality? Reality really is what it comes down to when you think about it. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, we’re usually our own worst enemy. Let me ask you… Continue reading

Mommy & Daddy Need A Time Out

Let’s think about this a minute… Time Out? Hmmmm….

A moment to be by yourself.

A moment to be left alone.

A moment to get away from the hype.

A moment to step back and regroup.

A moment to detached from the goings on in the world.

A moment to block out the noise.

YES, PLEASE!! I’ll take that Time Out NOW!

This past weekend, my husband and I Continue reading

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!

Stress…Are we setting a good example?

Stress affects everyone.

Stress interferes with our basic human needs to survive.

Stress interferes with our health and ability to live productive lives.

Stress changes our world.

Young or old, alone or part of a family, stress affects all of us. It changes how we act. It changes how we think. It changes our decision making. It affects how the world perceives us.

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How do you handle stress?   Do you let others see your stress?   Do you let your kids see your stress?  Do you make sure your kids see you dealing with stress in a healthy way? That last one is the hard one.

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When you think you have everything all under control, and it just unravels and falls apart…. Have a plan!

The past few months were pretty stressful in our house. I don’t always handle stress well. I don’t think clearly. I don’t make the best decisions. And, it’s obvious to everyone in my world that something is wrong. I wear my stress just like a new outfit. When it’s bad, it overcomes me. I get stuck. It sucks. And, what also sucks is that my kids don’t get the mom they need. None of us are able to be 100% the person we want to be when we are stressed. Fact.

Many of us don’t deal with our stress well, and the effects are profound. We have a society that is tired, less productive, irritable, gaining weight, depressed, anxious, and generally unhealthy both mentally and physically, all because of stress. Stress changes our bodies in multiple ways, hormonally, gastrointestinally, and cognitively, just to name a few.

When the brain, the gut and the hormones are messed up, guess what? Life is messed up, and things just don’t go so smoothly. Unfortunately, our immune system gets the direct assault. If you want to read more about stress and the immune relationship, I recommend  Paleo Mom’s blog posts about how leaky gut and stress affect our health. The impact of stress on our health is so profound, I encourage you to learn more about it, and hope to write another post about it soon.

Take a look at our society, 1 in 3 are sick, the majority are overweight, many are out of work or incapable of keeping a job, most self medicate with alcohol and cigarettes, and many with illegal drugs. The majority of relationships fall apart, many children don’t live with both mom and dad (some with neither), and respect for one another seems to be at an all time low.

As a society, we are not functioning well. We are not dealing with problems and they are causing stress and it has a domino effect on our society as a whole. So, back to the reason I started this post…

We need to deal with our stress, but HOW? 

Lifestyle choices. Simply put, we need to go Back to Basics:

  1. Safety and love. This is a basic human need, and many people are not loved and do not feel safe. Many things about the basic needs of our society are broken. Lack of respect & broken family systems are a central part of this problem. Everybody needs somebody.
  2. Proper Nutrition. This might be #2, but only because #1 is so primal. This is such a crucial element to one’s health both mentally and physically. Balanced nutrition can cure and prevent many of today’s “modern diseases.” Eating 3 balanced meals a day is a must. Not just our body, but especially our brain needs fuel, and food is that fuel. Too many unnatural foods (I use the word food loosely here) in our diet lead to health issues. If you’ve ever read my blog, you know how I feel about processed vs. natural foods. We will save that discussion for another post.
  3. Adequate Sleep. If we don’t get enough quality sleep, our body doesn’t have time to replenish. Simple supply and demand here. You can’t keep drinking out of a glass that you don’t refill. For more details about the importance of sleep and how much sleep we each need, check here.
  4. Exercise/Physical Activity. Our body is mechanical, it’s quite amazing actually. Our body needs to be toned and fit to perform how it was meant to, and how we expect it to. Muscles are there to support bones, if muscles are not toned and in shape, they can’t do their job. Think about all the back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and hip pain in this country. Much of it is because we don’t keep our muscles toned. And, exercise has a direct impact on good digestion. Good digestion is the key to good health! Learn yoga or pilates, just 10-15 min before bed will make a lifetime of difference in you physical and digestive health. I promise. 😉

All of the above have a huge effect on how our body functions.

Proper care = proper function, aka, we can deal with life (and it’s stressors) better when we are healthy. Fact.

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Life does this to us from time to time.

So, last month when my stress meter was in the danger zone, and my boss (Who is The Best!) asked what I was doing to take care of me, I knew what I had to do… I told her that I wasn’t doing so well the first few weeks. I even left the house for a couple hours one night because I just couldn’t take it anymore. (I’m not totally nuts though, I just went to my aunt’s house to deflate.)

So, what was I doing to help with my stress? I had been trying to eat pretty healthy (keep in mind that wine is made from grapes 😉 ). I was trying to get adequate sleep (the nights I wasn’t up late researching everything I could find to help my son). And, I was getting ready to start an exercise program (that I should get off of this computer and good do). The exercise program was something I was excited about; the “physical activity” part of my equation had fallen off my radar and I was feeling icky not being in better shape.

Another thing I support wholeheartedly, but was not doing was talking to someone professionally, as in a therapist. I am lucky to have a 2 for 1 in my massage therapist. My massage therapist is one of the best people in my world. We found each other about 12 years ago, and we’ve developed this true friendship/inner psyche kinda love. We share so many of the same philosophies about life. She knows where my muscles are the most stressed and we chat during my massages, it’s better than psychotherapy… Well, better until she gets to the painful parts, but I call that “feel good pain” because it helps decrease the daily muscle aches/pains and gets the stress toxins out of my muscles (and out of my body). She helps me survive. I can’t express the impact massage therapy has on my world. I highly recommend it. I think most alternative therapies deserve more credit than we give them. Alternative medicine works, these therapies haven’t been around for thousands of years for no reason.

We need to fulfill our basic human needs to survive and be productive.

We need to be healthy and happy to live productive lives and be prepared to deal with life’s stressors.

We need to be good role models for the next generation. We need to deal with our stress. We need to address problems, not ignore them. We need to find solutions, not complaints. We need to treat others as we want to be treated.

We need to demonstrate positive alternatives to acting out in negative ways. Our youth need to see adults dealing with life’s stressors in positive ways. This will make a huge difference in our world. This is a job that all adults are responsible for, like it or not.

Learning to deal with stress is a continuous journey for all of us. I’ve been struggling and learning for decades now. I’m still doing research, but I’m also doing a few Sun Salutations (that’s yoga for those of you that still haven’t caught on to how wonderful yoga is) along this journey to help decrease my stressed. I have tried to work through the most recent “worst” stress in my life. It’s much easier to deal with now that we are on the other side of it (well, mostly). I am proud to be able to show my kids how to deal with stress. At times, I set a good example of what not to do, but I most recently set a good example of what to do by making the lifestyle changes that help me deal with my stress. Just 2 weeks into my exercise program, I’m feeling so much better. And, my kids have the mom they need and deserve. Maybe I’ll share a little more about my exercise program in another post soon.

I hope you have outlets for your stress. If not, I hope this post encourages you to create a few. If you want a little help, just let me know. There is nothing easy about life. We all need to stick together. It takes a village, no matter what your age. The support system I had through my most recent stressful issues made all the difference.

Don’t let life dictate what you do; take control of your life and take it where you want it to go.  Learning how to deal with the stressors makes the journey much more successful and enjoyable.

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A nice vista along the way is good for the soul.

So, eat well, sleep well, exercise, surround yourself with like-minded, positive thinking people and…. Enjoy the Journey! You’ll be glad you did.