Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Confessions of a Workaholic

After going on a hiatus from the blog, I'm not sure this is the best topic for my return...but honestly, it coincides with the reason for my hiatus...anyway...

Do you have a jam-packed, just-give-me-a-minute, no-time-for-a-shower schedule? Yes, me too.  And this week, I'm just tired of it.  After 5 weeks of brutal, non-stop real job work, school/studying work, and traveling, I'm reaching my breaking point.

I'm JUST tired of feeling GUILTY if I want to take 30-60 minutes to sit with my hubby and watch TV at night.  And if you ask him, I DON'T even watch the TV....I'm reading something for school on the couch versus my desk or responding to an email on my phone vs my computer.  I'm tired of having piles of laundry and dirty dishes in the sink that I have to "fit" in-between grading essays and writing essays.

...I've figured it out, I'm a workaholic!  I'm addicted to working!  I'm addicted to constantly being busy.

But I know I am not the only one.  It seems like so many of us are working so hard and so much.  Free time? HA!

And then I feel even worse when I think, "I DON'T EVEN HAVE KIDS!"

Why am I...or better yet...why are WE doing this to ourselves?

Sorry, but I don't have an answer for you.  I just know I have ALWAYS been like this.  I used to pack 3-4 bags in college because I would leave my room at 7 am and not return until 10 pm.  I guess some things never change.

The reason it is bothering me so much (as of late) is because I know the effects it is has had on my health.

Adrenal Fatigue.

Ever heard of it?  Probably not because there is no medication for it so conventional medicine doesn't really address it.

I was super excited to see the Balanced Bites podcast throw out a "Question Pic" on Instagram for a future episode about the subject.  Even though I just read an entire book about it for school, I feel like I need to know more.

Okay, end rant.

I'll go back to being Happily Ever Kate...stay turned for a future post about Adrenal Fatigue!  I believe this is a super important topic for so many of us.

And I promise, plenty more posts to come...I've been inspired!

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Sans Alcohol Vegas Weekend

Las Vegas.  Sin City.  City of Lights.  Entertainment Capital of the World.

This was my FIRST trip to I wasn't really sure what to expect!  

When I heard "Vegas," I originally thought of blinking lights, rounds of drinks, show girls, casinos, gambling, hangovers, elaborate hotels, sunshine...

So now that I've been there, what do I remember?  Whole Foods, Nutritional Assessment Questionnaires, Symptom Burden Graphs, sunlight, kombucha, highlighters, "how's that working for you?," "life so hard for you," multiple "mind blown" moments, and new friendships.

And now that I think about it...
I technically can't say that it was sans alcohol weekend because I DID accidentally (on purpose) buy the GT Kombucha that was 21 and over ;)

It was scary signing up for the program to become a Nutritional Therapy Consultant.  I didn't know what it was going to entail. And it was another financial investment...the program, the books, the weekend away... I thought I would just be gaining some more education about food that I could use in my already fairly healthy lifestyle and advice to offer my fitness class and challenge group participants.

I did not realize that I was leaping into my true passion.  It is a strange feeling to describe, but my soul felt satisfied and fulfilled after this weekend. (My mind, however, is having a hard time formulating sentences after all the information we tried absorbing the past 3 days...I apologize!)

I am so anxious to get started with my own practice.  Although it is WAY more work than my grad school program (or maybe it is the combination of the 3 jobs + the program that is making the time management more difficult...), I am genuinely excited to soak up all the information week to week as much as possible.  I am always hungry (pun) for more!

Anyway, just wanted to write so you did not think I disappeared!  I'm just trying to find the time to share with all of you the healing power and benefits of nutrition and lifestyle :)  I promise, there is WAY more in the future!

Until next time!

Friday, April 10, 2015

My 5 Favorites This Week

My 5 Favorites for this Week : )

Honestly, I may never wear another type of PJ Pants again. I truly debate leaving the house because I know I will have to take them off.  Sad, maybe, but true.

2. Fresh Blooms

A beautiful bouquet of flowers can brighten any day, any mood, and any room.  The smell, the colors :) It just reminds me of sunshine and smiles. After this winter, I'm sure those of you living in the North will definitely be appreciating your flowers this year!

When I'm not wearing my PJ pants around the house, I may be caught in my shower towel wrap.  You may be confused and thinking, "Wasn't that a college dorm thing?"  Nope, not in my world!  It is an everyday thing.

According to my husband, I have turned hippie.  Well, if using natural, delish-smelling and skin-soothing soaps makes me a hippie (ok, he has more arguments than just this one), then I'm glad I have!  I'm obsessed with the Mocha Vanilla Latte & Activated Charcoal and Olive Leaf Powder.  Plus, the owner is a wonderful Pittsburgh gal that I used to dance it out with twice a week <3  Check out her ETSY shop!  Plus, I received them in NO time - Amazon has some competition!

5. "Fit Happens" Journal

Once again, I find an AWESOME purchase and then it becomes a game of hide-and-seek to find another.  I came across a "fit happens" guided journal at Target that is basically a gratitude journal with motivational quotes, spaces to record workouts, mood, fit tips, etc. I love it because I BELIEVE in writing everything down. The only thing I don't like is that I didn't think of it first! Check out the pages:

Well, that's my 5 for this week :) Let me know if you give any of them a try!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

SUGAR Burner Tips...Well, An Attempt Anyway!

WOW! I did not expect the response I got to my last post, but my inbox was flooded with questions of "Help! I'm a Sugar Burner! Now what!?"

Well, the reason I didn't write many "solutions" in my last post is because each of you is very unique!  And I respect that!! You live a different life, you eat different foods, you have different levels of stress, you move in different ways, your genetics are different... SO it is very difficult to offer a "one size fits all" - although I wish I confidently could!! This is why it is best to work with someone one-on-one, even if it is for 1-2 meetings.  Food journals and your health history is a gigantic part of this healing process.

I know WHY you want me offer is the world we live in!  Pick up a magazine, watch a TV show, read an article (or several) online - they all give you the "answers."  Unfortunately, that is just not how it works : (

But I do not want you to feel discouraged, so I will try to provide some suggestions based on the questions I involved in my quiz, since these are "snippets" I'm getting about your life.  These may seem very generic.  I admit, they may not be "new" to you! So listen to them! ;)
(Your specific recommendations can be further investigated with the help from a nutritional therapist.)

Okay, I think I've beat a dead horse...SUGAR BURNERS, here are some suggestions.  And remember, this may be something you only need to do for a period of time to get the fat burning metabolism kicking into gear~

1. Stop the processed food.
Hopefully this is a no brainer, but it is one of those suggestions that is much easier said than done, especially if you are addicted to this processed food. Package, box, wrapping, etc...avoid it! Ideally, your food won't need food labels, but if you have them, read them!! Avoid anything that is hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, contains trans fatty acids, artificial flavors or sweeteners, or fried.  Don't make allowances for yourself...don't wonder if it is "allowed."  If you are wondering or trying to justify, it is probably not real food and you should probably avoid it.

2. Eat a balanced macronutrient, whole food diet.
Balance is key.  Eat Carbs, Fats, and Proteins.  ALL OF THEM. QUALITY of each macronutrient is key.  Think grass-fed beef, organic, free-range poultry, cage-free eggs, low-toxicity seafood, nuts and seeds, raw, properly processed oils from nuts and seeds (flax, sesame), saturated fats from healthy sources, grass-fed butter, low glycemic vegetables (raw or lightly cooked), some starchy carbs (potatoes, brown rice, etc).  As a sugar burner, keep fruit intake low and focus on fruit that does not taste as sweet (green bananas, green apples, etc).  You can certainly add fruit back in once you have your cravings under control!

Aim for 2-6 oz of quality protein at each meal (and you could honestly probably even go a bit higher if you need it!) - meat, poultry, fish, eggs, go crazy!  Same with vegetables - if you are hungry, reach for dark, leafy greens and a variety of colors for your meals.  You should only limit the starchy veggies during this period, like potatoes, yams, cooked carrots, beets, etc.  Avoid grains, unrefined & processed during this period - just until you have your cravings under control.  Eat those natural fats (butter, coconut, sesame, olive, hemp, walnut, flax) as well as raw or slow-roasted nuts (raw cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds).  As far as dairy, only include fermented dairy such as plain yogurt (be careful!) or kefir.

3. Cut out the sweeteners and sugars.

This is huge for sugar burners.  NO SWEETENERS.  As mentioned above, even avoid those sweeter fruits to avoid cravings! A sweet taste will trigger an insulin response - this includes artificial sweeteners and the herb, Stevia.  You are trying to repattern yourself - if you keep allowing yourself to have sweets, you will never recalibrate.  Let them go...and in about 1-2 weeks, you will (hopefully) be free of cravings and able to enjoy the natural sweetness of foods again.

4. Go to bed.
Sleep and rest.  Your body needs time to rest, recycle, and detoxify from the day.  This is a "fasting" state and period for the body to allow the systems to reorient for the next day.  Even if you are just laying in bed resting - worth it!  Make this a top priority.  If you have SO MUCH jam-packed in your day that you cannot find the time to sleep or cannot turn off your mind, then you need to reexamine what you are doing with your life and your time. << I am 100% speaking from experience here.  This is causing much more stress on your body than you may even realize.

5. Enjoy your meals.
Are you grateful for each meal you have? I'm not saying you are praying at each meal (unless you are into that of course!), but I'm saying that you are present.  You need to stop being distracted, and you need to SIT DOWN when you eat! A good practice?  Take 5-10 deep breaths before you eat.  Enjoy the smell.  This allows your stomach to produce enough stomach acid to actually digest your food. (This is the problem when you are eating small meals throughout the day - your stomach never has a chance to "rest" and a result, it ends up producing less stomach acid leading to even more complications - such as the actual absorption of the nutrients!)

6. Exercise regularly.
Exercise is a vital component of overall health, and blood sugar regulation.  Maybe people mistake exercise to mean high-intensity, beat-up-you-body workouts.  Exercise = movement.  Take a long walk, deep clean the house, pull weeds in your garden.  Make the effort to move everyday.

So here is the tricky part....WHEN do you eat?  This is a critical sign of being a fat burner.  If you can go 4-6 hours comfortably without experiencing cravings, it is a sign you have become this type of metabolizer. However, if you feel you need something in your system ever 2-3 hours, you are likely running on glucose and/or undereating at your meals.  Unfortunately, I cannot offer specific suggestions to this question because it depends "how bad" your blood sugar situation is...and the other digestive issues that come along with it : / Like I said, its not a "one size fits all!"

(Longest post ever?)

I hope this was able to help even a bit!

If you think you would benefit from speaking with a nutritional therapist, get in touch (email, Facebook message, etc) and I'll keep you on my contact list for the near future! : )

Monday, April 06, 2015

Are you a SUGAR Burner or a FAT Burner?

Are you a SUGAR Burner or a FAT Burner?

This is a seriously important question!

Biologically, our body's metabolism is designed to be energized from both fat and glucose, mostly fat.  Fat burning, aka using fat for energy, IS the preferred state for our human body.  It is why we have fat in our body in concentrated forms of stored energy - so we can tap into those resources when we need them!  HOWEVER (you know this was coming, right?!) our modern culture primarily lives off of glucose aka sugar.  And guess what, Sugar burning metabolisms turn OFF our Fat burning metabolism.  SAY WHAT?! 

Take my quiz to find out if you are a FAT or SUGAR BURNER at the end of this post!

If you are a FAT BURNER, you can still burn glucose whenever you need it.  BUT THE REVERSE IS NOT TRUE.  AKA a Sugar Burner CANNOT burn fat when needed!!  This is a huge difference and SO important in understanding how to balance your diet if you are currently a sugar metabolizer.  It is not a one-step recovery process.  It takes time and understanding.

If you suddenly add more fat to your diet as a sugar burner, you will most likely gain weight until you adjust your metabolism to become more of a fat metabolizer.  This frustrates a lot of people, and keeps the sugar burning cycle going because people love to place blame, and poor fat always seems to be on the end of that stick. Fat is NOT the problem, it is the way your body handles the fat. Patience and time are critical.  Understanding YOUR body is critical.  Healing is critical.

It is not as easy as picking up a book or reading an article to decide what you should be feeding your body.  Your lifestyle, your body, YOU are unique.  Working with a nutritional therapist or holistic nutritionalist can provide you answers to questions you may have been asking for years.  Unfortunately, this is something that in not necessarily taught in modern medical programs and therefore may not be a conversation you have had with your traditional doctor.

Although I'm not through NTC program yet, I am going to start working with some "test" clients in the near future with a practice opening (tentatively) in Fall 2015.  Please get in touch with me - I'd love to help you personally or assist you in finding resources in your area so you can get on your path to optimal health!

SUGAR Burner or FAT Burner?

Although this is not comprehensive quiz, this is a good place to start! Are you a SUGAR Burner or FAT Burner? Let's see how you measure up!

  1. If I skip a meal, ...

  2. I AM HANGRY. Stay out of my way!
    Not a big deal, I'm able to keep going on with my day.
    I usually develop some symptoms - a headache or some irritability.

  3. How many times do you have to eat in the day?

  4. 2-3
    5-6 or more

  5. How is your energy level?

  6. Pretty consistent - able to make it through the day with plenty of energy
    Like a roller coaster ride - up and down all day
    Varies from day to day

  7. After you eat a meal, how do you feel?

  8. No real change
    A surge of energy and a sense of relief

  9. How do you feel between meals?

  10. A lot of cravings, usually for carbs or sugar
    Afternoon craving for sugar, caffiene, or salt
    I get hungry inbetween, but no real specific cravings

  11. How do you sleep?

  12. I have trouble falling asleep
    I can sleep through the night very well.
    I fall asleep, but usually wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble staying asleep.

  13. What is your energy in the morning?

  14. I wake up rested and ready for the day.
    I'm usually tired and not feeling rested or restored.
    I have a hard time waking up.

  15. During exercise, what typically happens to your energy?

  16. I usually hit a wall and crash.
    I'm able to easily make it through a workout without any help.
    I can make it through a workout, but usually need a stimulant (pre-workout) of some sort.

Thanks for taking my quiz!! You will receive a score out of 16 on the following page. The higher your score, the better!!  You can email me your score & any questions by clicking "Email Me!" on the next page.

If you score 1-7, you are a SUGAR BURNER.
If you score 8-12, you are on your way to being a FAT Burner.
If you score 13-16, you are a FAT BURNER. Congrats!

Don't forget to get in touch (website, email, Facebook) if you have any questions about the quiz or being a Sugar-Burner or Fat-Burner!