Thursday, May 21, 2015

This is your life.

You know how some people just seem to "get everything" they want?

It can be pretty frustrating, especially if YOU feel the complete opposite.

But guess what? You can have everything, too!

I'm not saying I have everything in my life figured out or I'm completely thrilled with exactly where I am, BUT I have made HUGE improvements to my life in the past couple years.  I've met wonderful people, I've gained a ton of experience discovering what I truly love and desire from my life.  At the age of 27, I feel like this is a rather large accomplishment.  And I continue to make steps that are only going to propel me in the direction I want to go.  No more wasted time or energy.

So how does that happen?  Belief. Faith. Confidence. Positivity.
Let me share a story.

After I graduated college, I was entering the field of education.  I applied to every single job that I saw open in my surrounding area, and I sent cover letters & my resume to schools that didn't have jobs open at the time.  I was throwing myself out there for any opportunity that could potentially come my way.  But the most important thing I did that year was write.  I wrote in a journal exactly what was going to happen when I had that teaching job.  How the first day was going to go...how I would organize my seating charts...how I would organize my classroom...bulletin board ideas...drafted letters to the parents.  I believed I was going to be in front of a room teaching in a few weeks time.  Nothing else was possible.  I worked way too hard and wanted to change kids lives too much to end up in anything other than my dream job.

I went on four interviews throughout the summer - each job got better and better.  First, it was to be a full-time tutor in a school, then it was a part-time sub, then it was a full-time sub.  It was beginning of August and I was still staying positive that my full-time permanent position was coming along, but was truly grateful I had the full-time sub position lined up. Then, I was called for an interview for a full-time position.  While at in-service for my first day of my full-time sub position, I was called and offered the permanent job in a great, top-ranked school district.  I remember listening to the voicemail during lunch at the in-service and just smiling.  I didn't feel relief, I was just ready.

I don't believe it was luck.  I believe it was my attitude and faith that got me that job.

Now ironically, I wanted to work in a less fortunate school - so although it would have probably been a "dream job" to some people, it was not actually where I imagined myself ending up. However, it taught me invaluable lessons and I made wonderful, lifelong friends.

A similar situation happened last summer.  I was finishing grad school and a year off from teaching (I was still tutoring, however), and was beginning the job search process again - this time a little less unsure of what I wanted or needed.  My husband was living in Florida and all I knew is that I needed to be with him, but I wanted something that allowed me flexibility to travel to PA to visit our families.  It was a tall order.  Somehow (thank you universe, guardian angel, whatever you want to call it!), I had a friend text me that the PA cyber school was looking for a remediation teacher.  A job from home that fit my exact skill set.  Ironic?

I recently listened to "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero.  There are so many great quotes from this book.  And if you know me, I LOVE a good quote.  But one thing she says on her website is, "So here's the cosmic joke: Changing your life is so easy ... once you figure out it isn't hard."

I know people scoff at "The Secret" - I also read this book while I was in college.  But I believe in positive energy.  I believe YOU CAN change your life for the better just by changing your attitude. I'm proof that it happens!

Why did I write this post?  Because I know TOO MANY people who are in situations that they do not want to be in....financial, career, relationship, etc.  Don't settle. Don't be negative.  Don't think that you don't deserve more because you do.  THIS. IS. YOUR. LIFE.  Once I started truly understanding what that sentence meant, I understood what I needed to do to change it.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

5 Favorites This Week


1. Natural Makeup from 100% Pure

A friend from my NTC program recommended this brand to me, and I'm in love! I <3 this line from their About Us page, "Just as birth control patches and nicotine patches deliver the medication topically, whatever we apply on our skin gets absorbed which is why all 100% Pure formulas are free of harmful toxins that are commonly in other cosmetics. 100% Pure’s mission is to create the healthiest cosmetics made with the highest quality ingredients." As everything else in our house that I'm converting, I am only allowing myself to purchase items as mine run out.  I have the fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer, lip & cheek tint, and conditioner!  Next up, shampoo, mascara & eyeliner.  Check out this awesome company! --> http://www.100percentpure.com/

2. Names

What's in a name?  Perhaps you saw this Time article floating around Facebook, but it's so fun!  Input your name, year your were born, and gender and you will get what your name would have been during different decades!  I would have been named Lydia today :) --> http://time.com/3856405/baby-name-popularity/

3. Collector's Edition Magazines

I have to admit, I should be studying for my midterm right now, but it is hard for me to focus for SO long.  So in-between chapters, I've been reading People's gorgeous collector's edition of Princess Charlotte and the royal family {obviously!}

4. Beachbody On Demand

Team Beachbody released "Beachbody On Demand" a while ago, but this was the first week I really started to use it.  Think of it as Netflix for Workouts!  Before using it, I was indifferent.  I thought it was a cool concept, but wondered "Is it really that big of a deal to just have access without the DVD?"  uh, YES!  It's awesome because I have access to programs I don't own in their DVD form, like all the P90X programs, TurboFire, Insanity: The Asylum, ChaLean Extreme, etc...and I can just go in and click on any of the workouts and bam, I'm working out!  Plus, you have access to any programs that you purchased that aren't part of the member library.  Gotta admit, they got it right here!  Check it out here or message me to chat more about it! 

5. Sunshine & Healthy Fats

I've been enjoying the sunshine & Vitamin D while studying the past few weeks...but also making sure I'm enjoying my healthy fats! {Huh?}  Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means you have to have fat present in your system to absorb it!  Good sources of fat are cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados & more.
About 80-90% of the Vitamin D that we humans will absorb comes from sunlight (seasonal depression northerners?)  However, it can also be found in oily fish (wild-caught Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel) and organic, cage-free eggs.
What does Vitamin D do for you?  It keeps your bones healthy, fights off colds and improves immune system, and also helps depression.  It can also help with preventing cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.  Well worth the effort ;)

xo, Kate

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Smooth like Butta

It makes sense that a girl who would only ate noodles with butter growing up is writing this post.  I sadly abandoned butter during my "low-fat" days, but I'm back!

Butter vs. Margarine


Taste? No contest.  Nutrition? No contest.

So why does Margarine hang around?  Because it's got some marketing geniuses on it's side and a whole lotta $$$.  And we all have a fear of calories and fat.  Like a big fear.  Like the fear most puppies have whenever they hear a thunderstorm approaching.  Don't tell me you need the Thundershirt just to read this post...



But here's some cool history for ya! Margarine was actually created because of a butter shortage! As a result, Butter quickly became a "rich-man's" food and since it was such a wonderful energy source for the working class, they had to find a substitute.  And soon the profits were too good to pass up and the agricultural oil production industry started to boom....and so the increase in heart disease began (coincidental, right?)

What makes margarine so bad?  I wasn't going to answer this question and instead just go with the "What makes butter so good?" positive approach, but I do think this question HAS to be addressed.  Because when you hear the "bad things," you may start to come to my side.

MARGARINE IS A MAN-MADE, CHEMICALLY ALERTED FAT.  It is not food.  It is 100% hydrogenated oil, full of Trans fatty acids (which the body has noooo idea how to handle.)

(Chemistry Nerd Moment: It takes 3-4 MONTHS for the body to decrease the HALF-LIFE for a trans-fatty acid.  AKA it takes 3-4 MONTHS to get rid of HALF the level of ingested trans-fats. Woof. Sorry, bod.)

Margarine is bad because...

* CANCER: Trans fats increase risk of breast cancer
* HEART DISEASE: Trans fats increase platelet stickiness = coronary heart disease
* PAIN & INFLAMMATION = Trans fats block body's production of anti-inflammatories
* IMMUNE SYSTEM = Trans fats increase cell membrane permeability = more susceptible to infection
* ESSENTIAL FATTY ACID DEFICIENCIES = Trans fats block the metabolism and use of essential fatty acids = muscle fatigue & skin problems

Why Butter?

Grass-fed, good QUALITY butter is FULL of nutrients!  Nutrients like Vitamin A (great eyesight, growth and healing of tissues, healthy skin, anti-oxidation, immune function, lower cancer risk, genetic process regulation) , Vitamin K2 (regulates calcium which decreases risk of heart disease!), Conjugated Linolic Acid (CLA) (fight cancer and support metabolism), and Cholesterol (<< Also good for you! Helps build healthy cell structures and hormones, makes bile and Vitamin D, aids serotonin production, increases brain function - oh, and its an antioxidant! Yep, it's pretty important!)  Butter is satiating because of its fatty quality, meaning you will feel full and happy longer :)

A great butter option in most grocery stores is Kerrygold.  Or check out eatwild.com to search for local farmers to get your hands on some.  If you are lactose intolerant, you could always make your own clarified butter or ghee from the Kerrygold or order a great quality ghee product.

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In fact, Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal are even starting to come around to this idea of saturated fat.  It's all about health, my friends!  Eat and feel better!

Thanks for reading!



Resources:
Eat the Yolks, Liz Wolfe, NTP
Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective by Dicken Weatherby, N.D.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Stress Syndrome

Here is the promised post about Adrenal Fatigue aka HPA Axis Dysregulation {fancy, huh?} ... the universe must have been banging it's head against the wall with me the past few months ... "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN, LISTEN TO THE SIGNS!" But in true Kate fashion, I stiff-armed and avoided the red flags and continued down the rabbit hole....And now here I am.

But you know the funny part, this is exactly what I needed.  I am discovering that helping people with adrenal fatigue may be what I would like to "specialize" in once I have my own practice.  But that's still a few months away, so I digress...

There is SO MUCH information I could write about for this post.  SO I'll start with the basics and then link to some awesome resources at the end.  Remember that podcast I referred to in the previous post?  Yes, that was released yesterday and my mind was blown multiple times.  My test results from my gynecologist (who told me I was "normal" until I looked at the numbers myself) finally make sense.  {I can't wait to help others feel the same way!!}

What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue = HPA Axis Dysregulation; "HPA" stands for Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal.  Together, these three act as a center for control of your stress response, ultimately resulting in the release of a hormone called Cortisol.  This is SUPPOSED to happen.  Your body needs a way to respond to the stress in your life.

But if you think about our modern lifestyle, we are constantly in a state of stress. We no longer have to "just" run from the lion, we have various, but consistent, stressors coming from all directions: family, work, health, exercise, money, lack of sleep, etc.  We all respond to stress in different manners.  Stress does not just have to be the feeling of "I'm so stressed." For example, Overtraining with exercise is a stress that people misinterpret to be a "healthy" stress.  But yes, you can overtrain...and it looks different for everyone!  This is just one example.

When you build and pile on all these stressors over time, your poor HPA axis eventually stops responding to that activation signal.  This is its way of protecting itself.  Just like there are different levels of insulin resistance (hypoglycemia - insulin resistance - pre-diabetes - diabetes), there are different levels of adrenal fatigue, as well.

What are the signs and symptoms of AF?

The signs and symptoms of AF can vary from individual to individual.  Like I mentioned before, we are all unique when it comes to our response to stress.  Consider the following questions:

  • Are you tired for no reason?
  • Do you lack energy?
  • Do you need coffee or caffeinated drinks to keep your going?
  • Do you have trouble waking up in the morning?
  • Are you still tired after you sleep?
  • Are you feeling run down or sick?
  • Do you crave salty and sweet snacks?
  • Do you have a decreased ability to handle daily stress?
  • Are you experiencing depression or less enjoyment in your life?
  • Are you light-headed if you stand up quickly?
  • Is your memory less accurate?
  • Are your thoughts less focused?

I link to Dr. Wilson's awesome text below, but you can also take his online quiz here.

What can I do?!

Learn more.  That is where I would start.  You can also take a test to find if you have adrenal fatigue.  It is always best to truly make sure you know you are experiencing this particular syndrome before you start treating it (which is why I am not going to list too many specifics here).  As Chris Kresser says, "Test, don't guess."  There is a saliva test that is described and can be purchased here.

Also check out this article for some great suggestions for simple lifestyle changes :)

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It's just the beginning. Adrenal fatigue is likely something your conventional doctor does NOT recognize.  It is a syndrome, not a disease. There are various reasons why they may dismiss the idea, but I'm not here to say anything bad about any community because we all serve our purpose...but I do encourage those of you reading that think you may have AF to talk to someone who will listen!

Feel free to get in touch if you have questions or need help moving in the right direction!


Additional Resources:
* Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.
* Balanced Bites Podcast #188
* Laura Schoenfeld's Program - Paleo Rehab