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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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

What Fibromyalgia is Really Like

I know I look perfectly fine, the picture of health to some… that’s because pain is invisible.

I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t have some sort of pain to deal with, sometime during my childhood I guess. I remember complaining that my back hurt when my mom would ask me to vacuum when I was a kid, probably 10 or 11 years old.

I do remember all the things my mom and the doctors used to do to try to help… lifts on my shoes (like I’d ever wear them for fear of being teased), sports, weight training, chiropractors, and even painkillers when I was in my teens (that didn’t go very well).

It’s been decades of pain, therapies, missed work, missed fun, missed sleep, missed… life… it gets old.

I’ve always been one to try to keep myself active and healthy. I’ve been working pretty hard to try to get my body in really good shape the past few years. I’ve been toning my muscle with various types of exercise, eating a less inflammatory diet, even changed careers so that I can take better care of myself. It helps… most of the time.

Until I flare… this time, it was such a simple moment. The trigger usually is, it’s usually something most people won’t think twice about.

I was going to pick my daughter up from the school bus. I was just a couple blocks from my house. Someone ran a stop sign. Fortunately, I have good reflexes. I slammed on my brakes… no impact. I felt it though. THAT was the trigger. I felt the immediate tightening in my left trapezoid, it started behind my left ear, went to my shoulder and then straight down my back. That was 4 days ago.

Currently, I can’t get away from the pain and it’s driving me so crazy I don’t know if I want to scream or cry or take a knife to my back and cut it out.

I’ve been up since 4:44, and that was after waking no less than 4 times during the night. I even went to bed early hoping for a good nights sleep. It was not a good night.

It’s miserable.

It’s debilitating.

It’s depressing.

It’s defeating.

I haven’t worked out in 4 days. I need to work out to feel better. I’m going to try some yoga in a few minutes, but right now, my mind just won’t stop, so I write.

I need to get my head together. Today is an exciting day. It’s a day I’ve waited months for.

I hate when this happens.

I don’t schedule a lot of things in my life. I don’t commit to much because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fulfill that commitment. It’s hard. I want to fulfill my commitments, not doing so just adds to the pain and defeat. It has affected relationships and even my career. I don’t like it. I do try to make the best of it, but sometimes it gets the best of me.

Today, it will NOT.

Today, I will enjoy a family day with my kids and my mom and my nephew and sister-in-law. I will carry my peppermint essential oil to help with the pain. I will fight the tears and enjoy the show; hopefully, it will take me away for a few hours to the plains of Africa. We’re going to see The Lion King today. I know I will enjoy it. I know I will enjoy the time with my family. I will overlook the pain the best I can. I’m used to it.

I’ve done just about everything in my life in pain, it’s not new, it’s old, it’s so ef’n old!

I WILL NOT LET IT STOP ME.

So I do what I do and just keep going.

ALWAYS KEEP GOING.

What do we have if we don’t enjoy the journey? Sometimes it’s just a little more challenging than others.

I will survive whatever this wild and crazy life throws at me. What choice do I have?

I have so much to share and to be grateful for, but I could do without this fibro-crap!

Fibromyalgia 1

 

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

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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