Is Sunscreen A MUST??

I think it goes without saying that sun damage can be a cause of cancer. What isn’t said often enough is what’s in some sunscreens might also cause cancer. In other words, some of the chemical ingredients in sunscreen might be doing more damage than the sun. Ugh. (facepalm)

We can’t win. Or can we?

It’s important to know what’s in your sunscreen. There are so many chemicals in various sunscreen products. I always recommend considering more natural ingredients. It’s also important to have a bag full of tricks to keep your skin safe in the sun, and you might not even need to use sunscreen. (Gasp) WHAT? Am I for real? HAHA. I know, I know, that goes against EVERYTHING. You’re thinking Katie has definitely lost it… but hear me out. I’m not saying never, and I’m not saying always.

I try NOT to use sunscreen for my family. Yup, I said it. If I can avoid sunscreen, I do. How?

I work around the sun, I wear hats, I wear lightweight clothing, I wear sunglasses, and I change where I sit and if I face the sun depending on the time of day and the amount of time I’m going to be spending in the sun. I want to get a healthy amount of sun but I don’t want to get too much. Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D there is! And, it’s free!

I read a great article today about how Vitamin D boosts the immune system. That’s super important, and summertime is a great time to get those vitamin D levels up naturally. 

When I do use sunscreen, I buy mineral-based products. I have fun with the zinc. Remember those days of white noses at the beach when we were growing up? (Ah, the nostalgia.)  And, guess what? Using zinc topically is a great way to get a little extra zinc, another way to help boost our immune system. WIN! 

One of my secret weapons to check out the ingredients and see reviews for the products I use is EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens and Research.  It has all kinds of summertime sunshine safety information. 

Here are a few simple rules to follow when you spend time in the sun:

    • Apply and reapply sunscreen if you’re out in the sun all day.
    • USE A NON-TOXIC SUNSCREEN, Zinc based products are my fave.
    • Put on a hat with a big brim.
    • Children under 6 months are not supposed to use sunscreen, so, keep them in the shade.
    • Avoid the sun between 10a-2p (this is when the sun is the strongest)
    • Cover up with clothing.
    • Keep in mind that young children put everything in their mouth, so don’t put sunscreen on their hands.
    • Remember that even under an umbrella at the beach or pool, the sun reflects off the sand and the water, you still need to apply and reapply.
    • Put sunglasses on children as early as the will tolerate them, the sun causes cataracts. 
    • If your child takes medication, make sure this doesn’t make them more sensitive to the sun. (i.e. tetracycline).
    • Stay hydrated!

So, with those little tidbits of information, I hope you find creative ways to get outside to enjoy the sun and boost your immune system. I hope you all have a fun and safe summer!

As always,  Enjoy the Journey, friends

Sweet Summertime

How Health Coaching Has Changed My Life

Sometimes I have to pause and just take it in… I’m working in my office, the windows are open, the birds are chirping, breeze blowing, the whole family is home and I’ve had an AHA MOMENT! The stress is not there, at least not the way it used to be.

The most important thing in my world is being able to take care of my family. I went into healthcare thinking the flexibility of shift work would be helpful once I had a family…  That didn’t end up the way I expected.

Now, I really just want to simply be the mom I always hoped I could be. I want to enjoy my family, take in the view, take them on adventures, have time to help my kids discover who they are… that time is short. It may have taken me a while, but I finally figured out a way to make it work for us. Coaching.

So many successful health coaches I know have backgrounds as lawyers, doctors, social workers, finance execs, nurses, nurse practitioners, health care professionals, teachers, social workers, business executives, serious go-getters, people that really care about the world around them, they want to help others and take care of their family too. #winwin

I work alongside some amazing female entrepreneurs, they make me believe in myself more than I ever have in my entire 47 years. It’s truly life-changing.

My children learn so much from what I do, and how I react to the world. When my world is falling apart, their world is unstable, there’s undeniably a HUGE ripple effect. When I was finally able to pull myself together, my family’s life started to get better. We finally started to heal. I finally had time to take care of what we needed. That’s the example I want to show my children. Perseverance. Caring. Faith. Compassion.

I thought I could do it all… be 110% professional, 110% mom, 110% wife… um… there’s no ME in there. I need to show my kids who I am, what I believe in, my authentic me… the me that has always said I have to put my family first. So now I do, by taking care of me, I’m taking care of them. They see it, they see the mom that they have now, and their life reflects those same positive change that mine does. As a mama, that’s the effect I need. I need to know they are feeling the effects of me taking care of me, and it truly has compounded for my family.

Take care of yourself and you can take care of the ones you love… fall apart, and they fall apart. Unfortunate truth. Trust me, it’s real AF! I know, I lived it.

Wanna fresh start? I’m right here waiting to help, just click here and we can chat more about making this opportnity a reality for you and your family. I’ll teach you everything I know.

Wanna know more about what I do as a coach, read on…

family

Photo credz: Coty Jones Photography

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

 

Work Hard. Be anything you want to be… #whatajoke #iamconfused #nowwhat

If we work, we will succeed, and be rewarded. WHAT A FUCKING JOKE!

We grew up in a time that hard work meant you could do and achieve anything. So, we worked hard. That was the American way. You went to college, you worked in trade, you went in the service. You gave back. That’s what America is. img_3118

So, we did that. We gave back to our communities. We started to have families, and then we gave back to the community even more when we had children. As parents you want to build your community up for your children. Children do that to you, and for you. It’s about something bigger than you.

So, I worked hard, I had faith, I tried to give back, I tried to be happy (and I have been), I tried to live the life we were told we could live… and be successful. #whatajoke

It’s not true. For so many of us, it was a lie. We worked hard, we started families, we bought and built houses to provide for that family. That was our primary goal, take care of and build and spend time with the family.

Somewhere along the line, things broke… we couldn’t continue to live the way we were living. Things were more expensive. Things like shirts and pants, cheese, milk, gas, haircuts, cribs, diapers, childcare, dance lessons, sports, insurance (health, car, home, pick one), things insurance didn’t pay for, don’t even get me started on taxes (as smoke comes out of my ears)… and don’t we at least get a weekend away sometimes that doesn’t cost a thousand freakin’ dollars?

Overnight, our paychecks didn’t pay our bills. How did that happen??? I played by the rules.

We’re a 2 income family, doesn’t that mean we’re the ones working harder and should be able to get ahead. Isn’t that the whole idea of working??? Isn’t that what that Women’s Lib movement and “burn the bras” was all about? Sometimes, I wish I lived back then, maybe I’d understand it better. I’m thinking not though. Most of those bra burners put their bras back on, drove their station wagons, raised their kids and are now snow birding in the Sunshine State while the rest of us lose our everloving minds trying to keep it all together. WTF? How did that happen?

WHY did working since I was 14, even through most of my college and grad school years (minus the nursing school part, God Bless my Grandma Lorraine) NOT PAY OFF? I worked my ass off so that when my kids needed me I had a job that was only part time or at home or I had saved enough to be available for them.

WHAT A FUCKING JOKE IT ALL WAS!

Apparently, the jokes on me and many of my generation. WE TOTALLY BOUGHT IT!!! And, now I’m paying for it, and I know many of my friends are too. Nobody can get ahead in this economy if they have school debt, health care cost debt, health issues (so many do) and try to live a healthy lifestyle to remedy or avoid those health issues.

When I say a “Healthy lifestyle,” I mean, affording healthy food, time to exercise, time to work, time for family, time to troubleshoot the ups and downs of life, time to decompress, time and money for a vacation, the opportunity to get ahead. Is that so bad? Isn’t that life? What am I asking for that I haven’t earned? I’m confused. If this is what’s expected, we might as well succumb to a life of pain, illness, stress and shorter lifespans. I for one refuse to submit.

I know there is a whole adult generation younger than me now, and they don’t have the same experiences. I have friends with grown kids crying because things in society (specifically this ignorant election of 2016) don’t go their way. Many don’t see why everything can’t be free? Have we dumbed down our society to the point that they don’t realize that somebody has to pay for it? Who’s that supposed to be?

A family that makes $80k a year can’t afford $20k in health care, 30% in income taxes, another significant percentage on property taxes, utilities, groceries, home/car insurance, pets, vacations, sports, home maintenance, clothing, savings, school, etc… That doesn’t end in a balanced budget. This is why the middle class is slipping.

So, now what do we do??? #bethechange

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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

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

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

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

Because I can

11870736_10205366104767915_6178803902882541499_nTonight, like every night,

I walk my path.

Tired. My bed is so much closer, but I have to…

Because I can.

Someday, I won’t be able to.

Tonight, I can.

He was curled up, hard to find his face, but I did.

Then, to her room.

I’d already been in here once.

We’d already had our routine.

Him too.

Both had oils, smiles, chat, hug. 😉

But, I still had to walk to their room,

and kiss them good night,

just one more time.

Because I can.

It’s what I do.

Every.

Single.

Night.

I’m a Mom.

 

Always enjoy the journey.

Because we can. 😉

sunset on riverside