Ep.68: Good and Good For You with Kate Kordsmeier
Welcome Kate Kordsmeier, the founder of Root + Revel. Since 2010, she has been a full-time freelance food and travel writer and recipe developer. Today, you can find her work in over 100 magazines, newspapers and websites, including USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, Real Simple and Cooking Light.
In October 2015, after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Leaky Gut Syndrome, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism, and subsequently healing her symptoms naturally, she created Root + Revel. It’s literally her job to eat and report on the world’s most delicious foods—and a food lover, who believes strongly that life is not worth living without fried chicken, cheese and wine, she has also seen firsthand the power of nutrition and how much the food we eat affects the way we feel. The food she ate and the natural products she used (and the toxic products I tossed!) have helped her live a near symptom-free life. Learn about the difference between what’s good and good for you as you journey to improve your health.
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Robyn: Hey everyone, it’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back; I am so glad to be with you. It’s 2018, it’s the start of a great year. Let’s learn some great new stuff. I have with me today Kate Kordsmeier, and she is a food journalist turned real food expert.
It all started like with so many of us. It’s going to sound familiar with lots of people I’ve had on this show, and myself included. She got to be a wellness expert because of her own chronic health issues, and I really wanted to talk to her because she has had to deal with PCOS, which I believe is an epidemic, and most of the people who have PCOS are not yet diagnosed. So I want to listen really carefully to what she has to say about that.
There’s a couple of people in my family who have been diagnosed with this so I’m watching it really closely, and you’re going to be really fascinated by what she has to say about it. She was diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism – which often go together – and IBS. If you don’t know what that is, it’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Those are a cluster of symptoms, or diagnoses, that often go together. They took her into a journey of healing.
And so today she’s a full time blogger over at Root + Revel. It’s a natural living site, helping people strike the balance between good and good-for-you. So welcome to the show, Kate.
Kate: Thank you, excited to be here.
Robyn: I want you to tell us a little bit about your story. What you faced, how you even got diagnosed in the first place with all of these things.
Kate: Yeah, so it’s a long one for sure. I feel like there were many years of subtle symptoms that I ignored, and then they started screaming, and I still kind of tried to ignore them, and then it got to a point where I really couldn’t. Honestly, it all started with constipation, which is super embarrassing – but it’s true, and I feel like I was chronically constipated for like five years.
Robyn: How old were you, because I’m actually glad you’re talking about that hard concept because people don’t want to talk about that, and so people who are suffering with these gut issues – it doesn’t sound pretty to talk about but who cares, we’re here to talk about health and wellness. Bring it.
Kate: I know. It’s like that book, Everybody Poops, let’s get over it.
Robyn: Were you a teenager when it started?
Kate: No. I was probably maybe 23 or ‘4. I had just finished college fairly recently, and yeah, maybe within a year or two of graduating college. I was living on my own for the first time, and I wasn’t eating that wel,l and I think I just started having some constipation issues… but of course I never put diet and your bowel movements together. I never really associated them.
So I just kind of ignored it. Then I would see a couple mainstream doctors and they would just be like, yeah, take fiber supplements or something. But nobody ever asked me about my diet, or my lifestyle, or anything like that.
That kind of just kept going on for a number of years. And then I started getting these really debilitating nausea episodes that I would describe as like, any time I was really excited about something. So it was a form of anxiety, but it was positive anxiety, like an anticipation, an excitement.
It was a wedding, or it was a vacation, or a special celebration of some kind. I would become like overwhelmed with nausea and this kind of heat wave, and it was completely debilitating. I couldn’t do anything except lie in the dark. It was almost like having a migraine.
Robyn: Wow, how sad. So it probably created some anxiety about fun, exciting things that would happen in your life.
Kate: Oh my gosh, yes. It was a very vicious cycle; it happened enough times that then any time something happy was going on, I was worried that I was going to get sick. Then it made me want to stop doing fun things because then I’m like well, if I’m never excited about anything, then I’ll never have to worry about getting sick. So yeah, it was very depressing.
I started thinking, “I wonder if there is some correlation between the stomach issues I’ve had, with the constipation and now this nausea.” I didn’t know, I had no idea what could be going on, but I thought maybe there could be some connection.
So I started going to a couple different doctors. I was referred to a gastroenterologist. I ended up having a colonoscopy at 27 years old. They were all clueless. Nobody had any idea what was wrong with me, so basically they said “Oh, it’s just IBS,” which I’m convinced is like code for “We don’t know.”
So I got really frustrated. They had me on all this expensive, really extreme medication, that just gave me horrible diarrhea that made me like afraid to leave the house. There was all these side effects, and I just was like, “This is not any way to live,” and so I decided to go off all medication, just cold turkey; which included hormonal birth control pills, which I had been on since I was like 16.
And so when I went off, my body totally freaked out, and I gained like 12 [pounds] in six weeks. I got horrible acne. I couldn’t get a period. I felt like my body was screaming at me, like, “Something is wrong!”
And so, I found a functional medicine doctor. She was an M.D. that really combines holistic medicine with Western medicine, and she is the one who finally diagnosed me with PCOS, leaky gut, and hypothyroidism. And like you said, they very much go together. A lot of women that have one usually have the other. Makes sense. Our body is so connected, and everything kind of plays off each other.
Once I was diagnosed, she kind of put me on a natural treatment plan, which included changing my diet, some of my lifestyle choices, the way I exercised, the supplements I took, and just kind of a complete overhaul. Within a few weeks, I felt so much better; and within a year, almost all the symptoms were completely gone, and my periods were regular again, and I wasn’t constipated at all, and I had no stomach issues, and my skin cleared up, and I had more energy. It was amazing.
Robyn: Your story is so similar to mine, and we won’t go sideways on detail about my story, I’ve touched on it here and there on my podcast and in the many books that I’ve written. But same age. It’s amazing how many years we can suffer before we look at food and lifestyle issues. You started out the story saying how you’re going to these… I call them standard of care doctors, because they’re going to stay in the lane, they’re going to only do things that built to insurance codes. They’re not educated outside of-
Kate: They’re just going to treat the symptom, “Take this pill, be on your way.”
Robyn: I’ve heard this story hundreds of times, and your story is unique and interesting and I want to stay on your story, but I’ve heard this story hundreds of times, where we go down the standard of care path, and we trust M.D.’s because they are the most educated among us in terms of years of education, and so we really want to put a lot of faith in them. They were telling you, you had IBS, and you mentioned that you believe, and I’ve heard so many people say similar things, that IBS is code for “We don’t know.”
There’s actually a bunch of diagnoses that I think are code for “We don’t know,” including like chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia, and those tend to cluster with your symptom clusters as well. When you continue to not treat the root of the issue, you tend to accumulate more advanced auto immune conditions like chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia – so you, probably, turning it around, have saved yourself from some of those worse things.
Now, I would imagine that when you saw such a radical turnaround in a matter of weeks, and then within a year you really felt healed and in remission from these things, I bet it made a believer out of you. Is that why you now have such a big passion for educating others?
Kate: Oh yeah, exactly. I was blown away by just the rapid transformation that, really, some pretty simple changes made. I had been a journalist, I had always been, and I always did a lot of service journalism, which is basically just articles that help people do something. That was kind of my specialty, and I really was like, I have to share what I’ve learned. There’s got to be other people that are struggling with similar things.
So I decided to start Root + Revel. My story is really not unique, which is kind of sad, because there are just so many people who have been dismissed by doctors or had their symptoms masked by expensive, and/or really negative, pills with negative side effects. It’s amazing how simple the solution really can be sometimes.
Robyn: I want to talk to you about the things that you did, because that’s what’s really exciting. Tell us about some of the awarenesses that you came to, through the first protocols that that M.D. put you on. You called her a functional practitioner, and, not to mince words, but it sounds like she did the drug approach – but she also ventured out, educated herself outside of what she got in medical school, which is really underpinned by pharma, and pharma and tech. I call those integrative doctors.
I would encourage anybody who’s looking at, “Okay, I’m new on this journey, I’m sick, and the whole standard of care thing hasn’t worked that great for me.”, I would encourage you to start by asking whatever practitioner you talk to, because when they start taking your lab test, drawing your blood, building a chart on you, people don’t want to leave their doctor. And sometimes integrative isn’t what people want.
I personally don’t want integrative doctors. I’m way too far down the path. I don’t want the people who, really, their strong suit is prescribing drug medications, and then they dabble a little bit in natural supplements and other treatments. I want somebody who’s totally focused on find the root cause and treat it naturally. Sounds like you started with integrative, but she helped you turn it around.
Kate: When I came in, she said, “There’s two ways we can go. If you can trust me and be patient, we can go the natural route. I am 100% convinced that we can get rid of all of your symptoms, and, for lack of a better term, cure or reverse these conditions. If you can’t do that, if you don’t want to do that, there are some things that I could prescribe that might help alleviate some of your symptoms, but it will not make these things go away forever, and you have to decide what you really want to do.”
And at that point, I had already tried all the drugs and I did have all these negative side effects. So I was like, “No way, I’ll do whatever it takes. Let’s go the natural route.”
Robyn: You were already fed up, and you were totally ready to go the functional medicine route. I love how she put that to you, by the way. That’s really powerful. She explained to you, if you go the all-natural route, that’s where you actually heal.
Kate: Right, right, exactly. And that’s what convinced me and, like you said and I’ve said, I was fed up; I had done the standard of care way and it wasn’t working.
And that’s the thing. I think there is a time and a place for prescription medication, and I am not so dogmatic as to say nobody ever should take pills. It’s so often the first course of action, and it shouldn’t be. There are so many other things that we could try before. If you get to the end of trying all the natural remedies, and it’s still not helping, then “do what you need to do” is kind of my philosophy.
Robyn: Yeah, I one hundred percent agree. And if we’re educated a little bit – and listening to this is educating you, you’re going to hear some cool stuff here – then you can start with the natural stuff. Most people go the other route, and they take all the drugs, and they’re like, “Wait a minute, I’m not getting well here, I’m not getting well.”
Just side note, my 17 year old son is having all four of his wisdom teeth out. I’ve totally stocked up research, asked my peers. I’ve got the stuff for pain that is natural, homeopathic, CBD, arnica. I’ve got the anti-inflammatories that are natural. I’ve got the anti-virals, including a homeopathic penicillin which doesn’t wreck your gut. Working with my biological dentist, who is not doing the surgery, and he needs it because they are all four impacted. They’re like going the wrong direction against his teeth.
So, we’re starting there, just because I am blessed to have the knowledge, but I’ll tell you, I did fill the prescription ibuprofen, and I did fill the Lortab. I have no intention of giving them to him unless he gets dry socket; we’re prepared for that.
One of my employees has a rotten root canal that needs to come out, and she hasn’t been able to get in, hasn’t been able to get in. She goes to my biological dentist who is fantastic, but she hasn’t been able to get in. I had her pick up the prescription because she does personal assistant work, and she had it, and she was refusing to take anything.
She was refusing to take anything at all, and that is what prescription Ibuprofen is for. It’s not for popping a pill every time you have a little headache. If you have a little headache and it’s chronic, something is wrong, and taking the ibuprofen isn’t going to solve it. But gosh darn it, antibiotics are a miracle, and narcotics are a miracle, if we use them on a rare occasion, once or twice in a lifetime when you’re having your crisis.
So, that said, we are now saying both Kate and Robyn feel that pharmaceuticals have their place. Dig into what you started to do, that turned things around in a matter of weeks. What were the most powerful things?
Kate: I would say the first and most powerful thing, especially with regards to my digestion, was – it’s like so simple that people will roll their eyes but it’s true – eat more vegetables. I really just focused on getting two to three servings of fruits or vegetables in every single meal. Within a week, I had completely regular digestion, like I had never had in my life, and it’s kind of stayed that way ever since.
Robyn: Wow, just with two to three servings of vegetables per meal. That’s awesome. Raising my four kids, that was their requirement. Most of your plate is the salad. Eat that first, please, and then have whatever else you’re having, try to make whatever else we’re having also be healthy. What was your diet before? What kind of diet were you raised on?
Kate: My mom is an amazing cook, so I was raised on home cooking, which I think, regardless of what you’re eating, is already a step up from like fast food, and processed junk, and eating out all the time. It’s weird because I feel lik,e when I went in, I think that I was more kind of stuck in that like 90’s mentality of low calorie and low fat was healthy.
And so, my doctor would say, “Well, what do you eat for breakfast?” And I’d say, “I’ll have like a piece of toast with nut butter.” She’s like “Okay, that’s not bad, but you’re not really getting any nutrients from that. Why don’t you try having a veggie scramble, or like an omelet full of veggies, or something like that.”
Just making that simple [change] made such a huge difference. So I think that before, I was eating way more carbs for sure, but I think more so I was just eating really low nutrients; the nutrient density of the meals that I was eating were very low, even if it might have been low calorie also.
Robyn: So yeah, calories have pretty much nothing to do with anything. Let’s find out what you mean by carbs, because I always talk to my audience about how carbs is sort of a meaningless word, because a banana is a carb and so is a donut. So when you say carbs, are you talking about like refined carbs, white flour and sugar?
Kate: Yes, exactly. I am not a big sweet tooth so I wasn’t eating a ton of sugar, but now what I try to do is limit flour of any kind. So even if it’s almond flour, gluten free or whatever (I don’t not eat it ever) but it’s not like a mainstay in my diet, and I feel like in the past that kind of was. It was a lot of refined flours, whether it was breads or pizza or pasta, and that kind of thing.
I just think I wasn’t conscious of getting like a rainbow assortment of foods into my diet. Sometimes I feel like my plate would look very brown or white. Even if I was having like whole grains, and that’s what I would say, “Well, it’s whole wheat bread.”
I think for me, personally, it was really just a matter of like, my body requires more nutrients than that. I was really low in vitamin B and vitamin D. I needed to add more antioxidants and nutrients just to everything I was eating. That was really the biggest change.
Robyn: I love it. Okay, you ate more vegetables. Let’s go back to something you said early on. You said that your standard of care doctors were telling you to take fiber supplements. Do you have anything to say about fiber supplements versus vegetables?
Kate: Oh, yes. Don’t do it. I just think that they’re completely ineffective, and just adding bulk in that way is not the whole point; that it’s really that you need the nutrients with it. Plus it’s gross. Just drinking that fiber water was nasty.
And now instead, my fiber supplement is chia seeds, or flax seeds or something, and I’ll put it in my smoothie. Then I get my three servings of fruits and vegetables, and I get my fiber from those things, and I’ll put an extra boost with some seeds. It’s so much better than taking some nasty powder.
Robyn: Perfect. I love it, and I completely agree, and actually that Metamucil and all the other brands, there’s actually quite a bit of evidence they damage your GI tract over time. It’s like taking a drug versus using a herb or an essential oil. It’s completely unnatural, and possibly harmful to us.
Kate: I hadn’t heard that, but it was just one of those things where I thought well, it didn’t work for me and I didn’t enjoy taking it, and seemed like, why take a supplement for something that’s so easy to get it from the real thing?
Robyn: I think it’s not sustainable. Telling people to drink some nasty thing they stir into water… people just aren’t going to do that long term. It’s such a ridiculous work around to avoid vegetables. Our food has fiber in it, and it has all the other things that come with it that work synergistically for miracles, like what happened for you.
Years of suffering. It doesn’t just stop with physical; it went into this nausea that probably, you know, the anxiety was probably as bad as the nausea, so you tried to live a plain, vanilla, flatline life, rather than suffer like that. So I’m really happy for you. I’m really excited that you had such great outcomes.
I want to talk about, what else besides food you did, but can we back up a second and talk about PCOS. Why do you think you had it, and will you talk about the symptoms, because there are people listening who have PCOS and haven’t been diagnosed?
Kate: Yes. I think it is very undiagnosed and misdiagnosed, or underdiagnosed, I should say, and misdiagnosis. There are a lot of different manifestations of PCOS, and a lot of people think, “If you don’t have cyst on your ovaries, then you don’t have PCOS,” and that is not true. Millions of women that have no cyst on their ovaries, myself included, do have PCOS, and there’s a lot of other markers you can look for to be diagnosed with that.
In my case, there were a few things that were red flags to my doctors. One of the things was actually my thyroid, and my TSH level was really high. It was almost four, and at some points during when I was getting tested it was above four. And really you want your TSH to be between like one and two.
Robyn: So Kate is talking about one of the markers of thyroid dysfunction, right?
Kate: Correct, yes. But that is a marker of thyroid dysfunction, and it is also an indication that you could have PCOS. That was one of the first things that my doctors looked at. They also looked at some of my sex hormone levels, like estrogen and testosterone and progesterone. Looking at those, some women have estrogen dominance, which is when you have high estrogen levels and low progesterone, and I kind of oscillated between that and having high testosterone.
My high testosterone, which was causing a lot of weight gain around my midsection, acne, those kinds of things, that was fixed so simply by drinking spearmint tea. My doctor said, “Drink spearmint tea twice a day and we’ll check your levels again.” And it was like a complete turnaround within one month.
Robyn: Fascinating, fascinating. What symptoms do PCOS sufferers show up with most often?
Kate: I would say one of the most common ones is irregular cycles. So either, you know, they don’t come regularly, or when they do you might have really bad PMS, which could be anything from heavy cramping to big mood swings. You could have hormonal acne, which was definitely a big one for me. I felt like, “Oh my God, I’m thirty years old and I still having hormonal acne. I thought this would be way gone by now.” That’s a big symptom.
Let’s see. You could also have insulin resistance, which was another indication that I had PCOS. You can get your fasting insulin levels checked, and if they are high that means that you are insulin resistant, and I was. And that was really scary for me, because insulin resistance, in my mind, is kind of like a couple steps away from type two diabetes.
Robyn: And immediately, even before the diagnosis, weight gain is very likely with PCOS sufferer.
Kate: Yeah. I think that was what was hard for me, because I am tall, not super tall but I’m almost 5’7, and I’m thin, and so a lot of doctors said, “Oh, you don’t have PCOS, you’re not overweight.” I think that’s such a false, it’s such a misconception that you have to be overweight. I do think that weight gain absolutely goes hand in hand, especially with insulin resistance, and if you have a lot of weight gain that tends to gather around your midsection, that is one of the biggest indicators.
In my case, I did. I gained 12 pounds, and changed nothing, and I’ve always been fairly active and fairly healthy. It was shocking to me to gain 12 pounds going off the pill, but that’s what the pill was masking, and how I was able to be diagnosed with insulin resistance. Again, is something that I was pretty quickly able to get back into check through diet, and just some simple changes like making sure I eat within 90 minutes of waking up, and eating at regular intervals, and watching refined versus complex carbs and that kind of thing.
Robyn: Infertility is really common with PCOS. You probably didn’t have a chance to test that at that stage of life. Thinning hair is super common, depression is super common.
Kate: Yes. Anxiety, depression, and digestion issues are really common. When I was first diagnosed, I will admit that I was very overwhelmed, because it was like, oh my gosh, there’s four things, you know, PCOS, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, leaky gut. Like oh my god, everything’s wrong. It was kind of like, once you fixed one, you fixed them all, because they’re so connected.
Robyn: Well, and they all come from, they’re all symptoms of the same root causes. Okay, so describe the diet that you followed, then and now.
Kate: Yeah, so, now I say, within reason, and like I said, if you actually have an allergy or an intolerance – which to figure out, I recommend doing an elimination diet, and you can do good sensitivity testing and that kind of thing.
If you don’t have anything like that, I truly believe that there is room for all food in a balanced diet. I really try hard, which it is something I struggle with, because there are foods that are very villainized and I’m always reading about stuff and then I think, “Oh gosh, maybe I really should never eat gluten, or never eat dairy.”
For me, I’ve just found that the best thing to do, to still maintain my sanity and not feel like I’m always missing out or restricted or deprived, is to focus on eating two to three servings of fruits or vegetables at every meal. I really focus on real food, and that’s why I think what’s bad for us is always changing, they’re always coming out with something new that’s for us, but what’s never changed is vegetables are good for you.
I don’t buy processed foods; I definitely read labels like a hawk. I read ingredient labels way more than I ever look at [nutrition panels], I don’t look at the nutrition panel anymore on foods unless maybe to check the sugar content. I will read ingredient labels, and make sure that I can pronounce everything, that if I were to try to find that ingredient individually at the grocery store I would be able to. So if it’s calling for maltodextrin, or something: I don’t know what that is, I wouldn’t know where to find it, I’m not buying it.
Robyn: Most maltodextrin come from genetically modified corn. Let’s go back to, you don’t look at the nutrition panel. Glad to hear that, because you’re pretty young. Sounds like you’re in your early 30’s. I really believe that most people think that there’s some kind of interesting story told on the nutrition panel, and there isn’t because it’s telling you ratios and grams of proteins, fats and carbs, which is pretty much irrelevant, and it has the calories.
But you’re right, the story is told in the ingredients, and are they all organic, clean, non-genetically modified whole foods? White rice, enriched wheat flour, things like this; these are not whole foods, these are highly processed foods.
My guess is what you meant when you said there’s a place for all foods in the diet is probably not [those]?
Robyn: Got you. I think there’s like no place in the diet for monosodium glutamate, and some of the mineral toxic chemical additives, and whatever. So I think Kate’s saying like actual foods, like natural foods.
Kate: Right, right, exactly. I would say that, if I had to label it, it would be the antiinflammatory diet that I follow. So I eat lots of healthy fats, lots of fiber rich vegetables, and whole grains. I eat a lot of fermented foods that are rich in probiotics, lots of beans and legumes and tons of spices and herbs. I mean, I am all about flavor.
My background is as a restaurant writer for a decade, and so my job then was to report what is most delicious, with no regard to health. So I have developed this palate where delicious comes first, and that is still the case. I am absolutely a proponent of healthy can still be delicious, and spices and herbs are one of the easiest ways to do that.
Robyn: Oh, I so agree with you. If we don’t think that healthy food is delicious, maybe it’s because of years of eating a chemicals-added, highly-processed diet. If we just get off the processed food for a few days, it’s amazing how good whole foods taste. It’s like our natural palate.
Kate: That’s what I always say about it, I have a green smoothie challenge like you and I always say, “Drink a green smoothie every day for just a week, and don’t have any processed sugar, and then you will realize like strawberries are super sweet.” When you taste one after you’ve been eating all of this chemically processed crap, it doesn’t taste that way. It can reset your palate, and fall in love with real foods again, and it’s pretty easy.
Robyn: Totally agree. Tell me about what supplements you took. What supplements did that first doctor prescribe to you, and what do you take now?
Kate: My supplement routine has definitely changed, and I feel like there is a ton of trial and error involved in finding supplements that work for you. For PCOS, a few of the supplement that I took, and I no longer have to take it because now my body is in a good place, but a few of the things that really helped me were DIM, D-I-M, which is basically compounded cruciferous vegetables.
So broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, that kind of stuff. It really helps lower estrogen dominance. When I was really struggling with PMS symptoms, like when you have low progesterone and high estrogen, you’re going to have cramps, irregular periods, acne, fatigue, those kinds of things. Taking DIM was really helpful for me.
So I did that. Ovasitol, that’s what I took. O-V-A-S-I-T-O-L. Ovasitol was a powder that I put in a glass of water, morning and night, for a couple of months, and it helped really regulate my cycle. And it’s really helpful if you are trying to get pregnant, because, obviously, a regular cycle and consistent ovulation is key for fertility, so I highly recommend Ovasitol for that.
I also took an evening primrose oil at night, which was really helpful, also, with the low progesterone. When I started taking that, my progesterone immediately went up. At the time I was getting blood work done like almost every month to track everything, and see what’s working, what’s not, and make sure that I was staying on top of everything.
Robyn: You mentioned DIM; I just want to pop in for readers that several years ago, I was asking David Wolfe what his favorite supplement was these days, like what’s the most exciting supplement out there, and Indole-3-carbinol was his answer. And I actually tend to agree.
Indole-3-carbinol, I-N-D-O-L-E. You can get on Amazon, you can get it at your health food store, and it’s basically an extract of broccoli and the crucifers. I think that the crucifer family and the brassica family are so healing to the thyroid. So eat lots of broccoli, cauliflower. Onions and garlic are in another class of family, it’s super helpful.
If you’re not going to eat a lot of those – I tend to not eat very much broccoli, it’s just not something I enjoy. I do love cauliflower, that’s the white food that’s good for you – take Indole-3-carbinol. I’m going to check out this DIM.
Well, I’m so excited that you are not only healing your own issues that literally millions of American women are facing, some men too, but honestly it’s an epidemic in women. All of the leaky gut, hypothyroid, PCOS, IBS that you were experiencing and at younger ages.
I was a as a college press professor for many years, and I swear one student at least every semester would come up to me at the beginning of the semester, and kind of seemed sort of embarrassed and say, listen, “I have IBS,” or “I have Crohn’s,” and “I’m going to be in and out. Like, I’m going to leave class a lot. I just want you to know that it’s not you. You’re not doing anything wrong, I’m not unhappy. I just have to go to the bathroom a lot.” And I’m like “Sure, no problem.”
I wanted to just take them aside and say “Hey, how do you feel about a whole like lifestyle change. Like would you be interested in learning more about changing your diet.” So what I ended up doing for many years is: every single semester, I think for about 21 semesters straight, I had my students over to my house. And I made them all a green smoothie, and I totally hijacked their discussion of management communications, which they signed on for, to teach them how to put a quart of green smoothie with super foods and lots of greens in their diet.
And it’s funny because a lot of them are still my Facebook page, and they’ll message me or I’ll run into them around town, and I would say they comment as often on the impact on their lives. And now they’re having children; so much of what I taught them, just basics of nutrition, how to get lots of good food in their diet quickly as they did from me teaching them how to be a better business writer and speaker.
Kate: Yeah, that’s amazing. It’s amazing just how many people would come up to you and say that, that they have these stomach issues. It was one of those like “aha” moments I had when I used to be really embarrassed to tell people, “Oh yeah, I’m really constipated,” or whatever is going on, but once I started being open about it I realized like man, everyone is sick. Everybody is having stomach issues. There was not a single person that I told that was not like, “Yeah, you know, I have Crohn’s,” or “I struggle with something similar.” It was amazing.
Robyn: Everybody’s sick, that’s been my experience. And now, at 50, I play on a competitive tennis team, and our number two topic – at team parties and lunches and matches and driving up to a match out of town or a tournament or whatever – the number two subject, after our tennis game and how the match went and what our opponents did, is all of everybody’s health problems. These are thin, athletic women, who’ve been playing sports their whole lives. Everybody’s sick, unless they are paying a lot of attention to what their diet is, they’re getting educated about the things you’re talking about.
So, this has been a wonderful interview Kate. Tell us about how to find you, and what you’re doing over there on Root + Revel.
Kate: Yes, great. So rootandrevel.com is the blog, or you can follow me on social @rootandrevel. I share a lot of recipes, I share a lot of natural living tips and holistic health tips. I’m thinking in the new year we’re going to have like a whole PCOS month, because there are so many questions I get from readers all the time about PCOS and some people that don’t even realize they have it, but they know that they have something, that their hormones are out of whack, and so I’m really going to dig into that. What supplements are best, what lifestyle changes, what diet is best, what foods to eat more of, and what foods to avoid and all of that. So I’ll be doing that hopefully in the new year.
Robyn: Okay, everyone. So it’s rootandrevel, it’s R-O-O-T-A-N-D-R-E-V-E-L. Rootandrevel.com. You’ve been with Kate Kordsmeier. Kate, thank you so much for being with us today.
Kate: Thanks for having me.