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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

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

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

I do it ALL for My WHY?

Happy Friday! 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.

Write his teacher a letter… A lesson I wish I learned sooner

writing_letter_12071260152646It was so well received, I knew I should have done it sooner…. Oh, well… We all live and learn.

Letting your child’s teacher know what to expect when you have a child with challenges like ADHD, Anxiety, learning disabilities, Depression, etc. can make such a difference in your child’s school year. Don’t hesitate to write a letter and tell your child’s teacher about your child’s strengths, challenges, and any other pertinent information that is important to help your child succeed.

All teachers want to help our children, that’s why they became teachers. What most parents don’t know is that teachers are given absolutely no resources about ADHD. Can you believe that? The environment where children spend the majority of their time is housed with educators that are never given the opportunity to learn about ADHD (~10% of kids), unless they find time outside of their work schedule to pursue further education on the topic. Not fair… not to the kids, not to the teachers, and not to the rest of the school population. It is up to us as parents to bring information about our child’s challenges to the school and the teachers. Don’t assume they know. If you want someone to have information about your child or their challenges, tell them directly, don’t assume the information gets shared.

I was taught very early on in my professional training that it is important NOT to label kids, so I certainly didn’t want to do it to my own child. In most of my professional situations this is an absolute, but as a parent of an ADHD child, I WAS WRONG! SO WRONG! If your child’s teacher doesn’t know his strengths and weaknesses, how can she help him grow. Yes, most good teachers figure it out, but why waste those months, there are only 9 to get the job done.

If you’ve read any of my posts about ADHD, you know that my son, Joshua has trouble sitting still and staying on task. I have found that talking to his teachers at the beginning of the school year helps Josh and his teachers be much better prepared. For years, it took the first 3-4 months for his teacher to “get to know him” all because I didn’t want to label him. You know, the whole “clean slate” philosophy. I think part of me was trying to test the teacher to see if she also thought that Joshua had ADHD. There was part of me that would doubt it on occasion, although professionally, I knew he was classic.

After writing or asking for a conference with your child’s teacher(s), there should be a plan. Joshua is given specific expectations, as all ADHD kids should. He is also given tools and accommodations to help him succeed, which all ADHD kids deserve. All of his teachers stay in frequent communication with Josh to help him stay on top of assignments that are due, projects that have deadlines coming up, homework that needs to be done, etc. Throughout elementary and most of middle school, Josh has succeeded with the help of some pretty great teachers. We chose private school during 3rd grade for Josh, and haven’t looked back since. I was a public school advocate for a long time, but that debacle is for another post.

If people do not understand how the neurological challenges alter kids behavior, it is crucial for the child’s educational and emotional well-being that they learn. I just read a post on ADDitude.org today with quotes from parents that “wish they knew…” There is always something more we wish we knew.

So, as you prepare for the school year, don’t forget to prep your child’s teacher. You don’t want months to go by this school year, and then have a conversation about what your teacher wished she had known in September. It’s as easy as writing a quick (and, sometimes, not so quick) email. ADDitude.org has a short article and sample letter with great ideas for accommodations, click here to check it out.

So, as you embark on another year of your child’s education, be sure to keep everyone on your journey informed. You’ll be glad you did. I promise! It will make your life easier and most of all make your child’s educational experience more rewarding and successful. Then, you can say, “I’m glad I wrote that letter!” instead of “I wish I had…”.  😉

As always, I hope you are Enjoying the Journey! 🙂 

letter-writing-anymore

What to tell the kids when Grandpa is sick… and isn’t going to get better

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Keeping kids informed helps them understand what is going on. Kids know when things aren’t quite right in the family. So, keeping important information from them can actually be more harmful than protective.

So, what do you tell your little one when Grandpa is sick? You tell them the truth, on their level, of course. Answering any questions that your child asks will help keep them from being worried and scared. But, don’t wait for them to ask. They hear the conversations from the other room, they see daddy and mommy worried and upset; and this will make them worried and upset if they don’t have answers.

Just recently, I lost my father-in-law. There were a few weeks of doctors appointments and then a few weeks of daddy having to go to the hospital every night after work. Dinner was later than usual, things that usually got done were put aside for later, our schedules were just “off” with this sudden change.

I tried to keep my kids as informed as 9 and 13 year old grandchildren should be. Some answers were simple, and some were more difficult. But, the conversations were important no matter where they led. It was important for my kids to know that they could ask questions. They would be told the truth, and they could trust that we are honest with them about the real world and real life.

So, when you are wondering if you should tell your child about important family issues, my answer is yes. Do you have to tell them every little detail? I highly recommend NOT doing that. Too much information or information that is above their developmental level is just confusing and leads to more questions.

I’m sure some of you are wondering if my children attended the funeral? Yes, they did. I think they are old enough to understand, and want them to learn proper respect and etiquette in one of life’s most difficult situations. I want them to know it is ok to cry, to smile, to reminisce, to laugh, to be joyful for a life that was loved and will be missed. I also thought it was important for my children to be there for my husband, and for us to be there as a family. Doing things together makes us all stronger. Knowing we can lean on each other is important for all of us. It turned out well, and I got lots of compliments on my children and their behavior. I’m proud of them. Lets me know their father and I are doing something right. 😉

With all of the challenges life offers, it’s important to be able to lean on others through this journey. None of us has to do it alone. Some choose to, others can’t, most fall somewhere in the middle.

I hope that you learn to weather the storms along your journey so that you can appreciate and enjoy the rainbows.

Always Enjoy the Journey! 😉 

Helping Children Deal with Disaster

With all of the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy, aka “Frankenstorm” I thought I should write a post about helping children deal with natural disasters.

So, how can you help your child go through a stressful event and minimize worry and concern?

  • The most important thing to do is stay calm. Children look to the adults around them for support and comfort. Often, parents will appear anxious, worried, and constantly talk about their fears and “what if…” scenarios. When a child is exposed to these behaviors, they will most likely be more anxious and worried as well.
  • Turn the TV OFF! Watching images of destroyed property, angry weather, and listening to hyped up newscasters will only increase a child’s concern. Watch a family movie or play a family game instead.
  • Talk to your child about their fears and concerns. Children will often be worried about things because they have exaggerated or irrational predictions about what may happen.
  • If there are serious injuries or losses, make sure your child knows what is going on. Children that don’t know the reality of a situation will often assume the worse.
  • Encourage your child to ask you any questions they want. Discuss what they are worried about, the unknown can be scary.
  • Find time for friends. Having life return to normal as soon as possible can be the best way to help your child understand that things will be ok!
  • Spend time together, this will make your child feel comfortable and secure.
  • Remember, children are resilient, they often persevere during times of stress and turmoil!
  • Encourage your child to journal or draw to deal with their feelings.
  • Continue to practice habits for good health. Get adequate sleep, exercise and make sure you eat well. Taking care of your body in times of stress is important. For tips on nutrition, check out my post, Let them eat cake… for breakfast?

Helping children through times of high anxiety can be challenging. Recognizing that your child is having difficulty dealing with a situation is not always easy. Symptoms of stress and anxiety can present in multiple ways, such as: bad dreams, insomnia, bed wetting, not eating well, not wanting to venture away from a parent/caregiver, stomach aches, headaches, not wanting to play with friends, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in school, or even irritability. If your child seems to be having lingering effects for a prolonged period of time, I would recommend seeing your primary care provider. Children can have Acute Stress Syndrome, which occurs immediately or within a month of the precipitating even. Children can  suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome if the fear and anxiety symptoms last for weeks or months.

If you and your family had to endure the weather challenges of Hurricane Sandy, I hope you came through it without any serious injuries or damages. It sure was  one heck of a storm, definitely one for the record books. Going through natural disasters is an unfortunate part of life. It is part of the journey we could all do without!

Hopefully this part of your journey will be put behind you quickly, and make you and your children stronger on the flip side.