Are You Getting Enough Protein?

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Protein. It’s vital for our health. But did you know that too much protein can actually increase the rate of chronic disease and weight gain? The other day I was at a popular “healthy” chain where they offered a gluten-free, hemp-seed brownie, advertised to have tons of protein. First of all, not only was this thing laden with sugar, but after eating a balanced meal, more protein is redundant. It can actually be detrimental to your health, as studies have shown that eating more protein than your body needs causes weight gain, inflammation, dehydration, stress on your kidneys, and loss of important bone minerals.

How much protein do I need?

Well, it all boils down to the individual. How frequently do you work out? Are you male or female? How much do you weigh? Are you under stress or are you pregnant? These are some of the factors that contribute to determining how much protein you need. A simple 0.45 grams of protein per pound like the USDA recommends may not be enough.

According to women’s hormone expert, Dr. Sara Gottfried, you should eat an average of 0.75-1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. If you are an athlete, or under extreme stress, or lactating, or pregnant, you should eat on the higher end. If you lead a more sedentary life, or work out less than 3 times a week, aim for the lower end.

I agree with the amounts listed by Dr. Gottfried, but with one exception: if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, 0.4-0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass should be sufficient for your needs (per Dave Asprey).

Where should I get my protein from?

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Whether you choose to get your protein from animals or plants is completely up to you. Being vegetarian is a lifestyle choice that should come from a genuine desire to change your diet, not because someone told you to do so. Alternatively, if you are eating meat, it is important to get it from a healthy and sustainable source.

Is it possible to get enough protein without eating meat?!

One of the most popular misconceptions that people have about a plant based diet is that it is impossible to get enough protein without meat. Well guess what? I’m here to inform you that this is a myth!

It is entirely possible to get your daily requirement of protein without eating meat. In fact, the leanest, cleanest sources of protein are beans and other legumes. They are also free of cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics. A variety of plant-based protein powders can also be found on the market today. This is an excellent way for vegetarians and vegans to make sure they are covered. I put a heaping scoop everyday in my morning smoothie.

What about protein from meat?

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Meat consumption has dramatically increased in the US over the past century, and sadly, the quality of meat has declined. A large amount of the meat consumed is of poor quality, originating in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals are kept in unclean and inhumane conditions. These animals are fed a diet of mostly GMO grains instead of grass, resulting in meat that is full of Omega 6’s. Furthermore, these animals are injected with hormones and antibiotics that also end up on your plate.

Grass-fed and pastured meat (as well as dairy and eggs) is superior to that from animals raised in CAFOs in many ways:

  • Higher in total Omega 3’s
  • Higher in CLA, a potential cancer fighter
  • Higher in vitamin E
  • Higher in the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  • Higher in the minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Higher in beta-carotene

When you are next faced with the decision between factory farmed meat and organic, pastured meat, remember that a healthy animal means a healthy you.

Happy clean eating!

Health Coach Jenna

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The Dilemma with Today’s Bread + Your Buying Guide

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Wheat is the largest staple in the world and is consumed by millions of people across the globe. In today’s world we are faced with the dilemma that the bread we eat is drastically different from the bread our ancestors ate. Bread is supposed to be a simple food with only three ingredients, but most of the store-bought bread found on the shelves today has up to 37.

Bread was first discovered in Egypt around 6,000 years ago, and it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that it was introduced to Europe. However, most of the wheat we eat today is different from these original variations, as the modern American strains of wheat now have much higher gluten contents necessary to make fluffy, white bread, pizza, and bagels. Sadly, this hyped up version of gluten has infected nearly all wheat strains in America. (i).

The Missing Step

Modern bread is missing a key step in how original bread was made: the fermentation process.

Bread dough was originally left out to ferment naturally by catching bacteria from the air, resulting in the dough to gradually rising over the course of two to six hours. Today this is no longer the case. The fermentation process has been skipped completely from the process, as scientists have isolated the yeast to make bread rise quickly.

Skipping this crucial fermentation process leaves us with bread that is hard to digest. Without the enzymes from the fermentation process, it is very difficult for the body to digest the gluten found in bread.

It’s really no surprise that in today’s world of store-bought, processed bread, many people are experiencing allergic reactions.

The Wonder Bread Way wonderbread

Refined all-purpose white flour is another dilemma with today’s wheat supply. Whole-kernel grains conceal a variety of vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, and fiber. But when they are pulverized into flour, even wholegrain flour, all that is left is a nutrient void powder that can cause weight gain, disease, and inflammation in the body. With the introduction of all-purpose white flour, a host of health problems have surfaced in the western world.

Okay folks, so if after reading this you still choose to eat wheat bread, then I encourage you to follow my bread buying guide below to find the healthiest option.

Wholegrain Bread Buying Guide:

  1. Your best bet for bread is to find a local, artisan bakery in town. Better yet if you can find a place that still uses the fermentation process.
  2.  If you are buying bread in the supermarket, make sure to avoid products with “ENRICHED” on the label. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Do not buy products that say “MULTIGRAIN” as this is not a desirable quality. It might sound nice, but all it means is that the bread is not 100% whole wheat and is mixed with other refined grains.
  3. Don’t let the color fool you. Just because bread is brown doesn’t make it whole grain as manufactures sometime add molasses or other coloring to darken the bread.
  4. Make sure each serving has at least two to three grams of fiber.
  5. Spelt, rye and Ezekiel sprouted grain bread are healthy alternatives, so look for them.

 

Sources:

(i) Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You – Dr. Mark Hyman. (2011). Retrieved March 1, 2016, from http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/03/17/gluten-what-you-dont-know-might-kill-you/

Why Eating Fat Makes You Thin & How To Distinguish the Good From the Bad

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I have a love affair with fat. I must be making up for lost time in the 90’s. But sadly, many lovely people are missing out because of a silly fad that began in the 1980’s.

A little nutrition history:

In the 1980’s, fat was deemed the new enemy ,and the food industry was quick to jump to action. As a result, food corporations created a variety of fat-free and low-fat products that started spreading on the shelves of the supermarkets like wild fire. The mantra was “take out the fat and add lots of sugar”.

And you know what? We gobbled it up.

But this insanity stops here – no longer will be buy into this fallacy. Today we are more knowledgeable, and as numerous studies have discovered, fats are crucial for our health and for maintaining our optimum weight.

The caveat, however, is that not all fats are created equally.

Know Your Enemies:

Here is the golden rule: There are good fats and there are bad fats. The good fats are your friends and promote weight loss, brain health and normal levels of cholesterol. They also protect against inflammation, which causes disease and obesity. The bad fats on the other hand promote abnormal levels of cholesterol, weight gain, and inflammation.

Which one would you choose?

The Good Guys:

  • Unprocessed organic oils like coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil,
  • Organic butter from grass-fed cows, clarified butter, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Raw nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
  • Egg yolks from pastured hens.
  • Lean meat from animals that are free range and/or grass fed.
  • Coconut oil, which has special medium-chain fatty acids that promote a healthy metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid.

 The Bad Guys:

  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soy oil
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
  • Margarine and shortening

 So what makes the bad fats bad and the good fats good?

 It all comes down to the Omega 3’s And 6’s.

The good fats are full of healthy Omega 3’s and 6’s and the bad guys are overloaded with Omega 6’s. For optimum health the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is 1:1. However, thanks to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D), the average American has a 15:1 ratio. This is a direct result from highly processed vegetable oils and trans fat.

But won’t eating fat make me fat?

No! Not if you are eating the good, friendly fats. Eating healthy fats keeps you satiated longer, and gets your metabolism revving, enabling you to burn more fat and maintain a healthy weight.

But what about my cholesterol?

According to a study by one of the world’s leading cholesterol experts, Dr. Ronald Krauss, a low-fat diet changed healthy cholesterol profiles into heart attack-prone profiles with high triglycerides, low HDL, and small LDL particles.

As we have learned, it’s the type of fat you eat, not the quantity. The bad fats promote abnormal cholesterol levels, and the good fats improve the type and quantity of your cholesterol.

Plus, women NEED fats to produce cholesterol because cholesterol makes all of our hormones. If you are eating a low-fat diet, your hormones will suffer.

So pick up where you left off with fats in the 80’s or 90’s. You’ve been separated for way too long now.

Reunited and it feels so good,

Health Coach Jenna

 

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Foods to Eat For A Trim Waist + The Ones to Avoid

TRUTH: You can do all the crunches in the world and have a poor diet, and your abs will stay in hiding forever.jackblacktacos

It doesn’t matter how many fancy tummy exercises you are doing, if you are still eating too much C.R.A.P (Carbonated drinks, Refined food, Artificial ingredients, Processed hyper-caloric Frankenfoods) then you are not going to have a trim waist.

If you are serious about getting in shape, you need to cut out:

  • Added sugar (be sure to even keep sugars from fruit to a minimum)
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Added salt
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit juice
  • Processed foods
  • Excess dairy
  • Gluten

Not only will these foods promote bloating, they will also spike your insulin levels, resulting in fat storage.

To bring those abs out of hiding, start eating:

  • Lean protein such as eggs, fish, hemp hearts.
  •  GREENS!!!!
  •  Sweet potato
  •  Blueberries
  •  Apples
  •  Walnuts
  •  Almonds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Lemon water
  • Beet juice

Also, make sure you don’t let yourself get too hungry! Timing of meals is crucial so make sure you are getting 3-6 small meals a day to prevent overeating. (We all have different body types so snacking is not best for all. Consult your health coach to tailor a individualized meal plan for you.)

And the good news is, you can still have the tacos. Just make sure they are made with veggies or lean meat, use corn tortillas, ditch the sour cream, and take it easy on the cheese, alright? 😉

And remember, a little bit of what you fancy does you good. Not a boatload of what you fancy, but a little. So I encourage you to look at these lists as guidelines, not as restrictions.

Viva Tacos!

Health Coach Jenna

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9 Things You Can Do NOW to Get Rid of Cellulite

Cellulite. All women have it. And if they say they don’t they are lying. Even the magazines are lying with all the Photoshop used these days. But the truth is, although the amount of cellulite you have can rely heavily on your genetics, you also have the power to turn off some of these genes with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

So stop blaming your mama and start following these nine steps today!

1. Stop eating vegetable oil! ASAP.

According to the LA Laker’s nutritionist, Dr. Katherine Shanahan, vegetable oil spreads out your fat and makes it have a more liquid like texture, thus being prone to cellulite. It also damages your collagen (the stuff that makes your skin tight, so pretty freaking important!). Normal fat should be compacted and have a healthy amount of collagen, which keeps skin smooth and dimple free.

So if you are cooking with canola ,soy, or any other type of vegetable oil, then I urge you to switch to a healthy alternative like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.

Scary fact- I bet you thought cellulite was just for adults. Well, guess again. Some babies who drink baby formula are starting to get it, as many formulas on the market today are made with canola oil.

2. Dry brushing.

Dry brushing restores radiance and elasticity to your skin by stimulating circulation, eliminating toxins, rejuvenating the nervous system, and removing dead skin. When dry brushing, always brush towards the heart. The best time to dry brush is in the morning before you shower.

3. Drink half your weight in water in ounces.

Staying hydrated helps to eliminate toxins. Yes, those same pesky toxins that are creating fatty deposits, causing cellulite. So find a method that works for you to keep track of how much water you are drinking. Perhaps set a reminder on you smart phone every few hours to drink a glass. I like to drink half a liter first thing in the morning.

4. Exercise!

This is crucial, folks! Focus on squats and leg lifts that will tone. Yoga and Pilates are great, as are high intensity interval training exercises.

5. Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.

Lemon water cleanses toxins from the blood, which keeps skin clear. They are also high in vitamin C, which helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemons also help flush out unwanted materials because they increase the rate of urination in the body. This not only flushes out toxins, but keeps your urinary tract healthy.

6. Eat REAL, WHOLE foods.

You will not have lumps of toxins gathering on your fatty deposits in your body if you are not eating junk food. A good rule to go by is if the food you are eating has more than five ingredients, it’s not real food. Stay away from hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, “natural” flavors, and ingredients you can’t pronounce.

7. Massage with coconut oil.

Massage areas with cellulite with coconut oil after you shower, as the fat in the oil binds with toxins and draws it out of your bloodstream. Be wary of the special “cellulite removing” lotions for sale at the pharmacy! These are loaded with chemicals. If you have used them and seen results, it’s not the lotion that did this; it was your action of massaging the area. So do yourself a favor and use natural coconut oil to avoid applying toxic chemicals on your body. Also, if it is in your budget, consider getting a couple of professional massages a month.

8.Take Hot/Cold Showers.

Detox the body by alternating between hot and cold water at the end of your shower. At the end of your shower put on the cold water for 30 seconds to a minute, then switch to hot for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat two more times. Not only will this help with cellulite, but it will facilitate weight loss as well.

8. Take Epsom salt baths.

Epsom salts draw out all those unwanted toxins!

I have been doing all of these things for some time now and I have personally found success. It’s amazing how eating healthy foods and exercising can make such a crucial difference. At 30, my skin looks better than when I was in my early 20’s because of my healthy lifestyle. Seriously!

So give these tips a whirl and please let me know how it turns out in the comments section below. And if you’re looking for a REBOOT to flush out those toxins, lose 5-15 pounds and diminish cellulite, I encourage you to sign up for my 20-Day Hormone Reset Detox Program!

Love,

Health Coach Jenna

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The Most Important Ritual For Your Health That You Can Start Today

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What is the first thing you do in the morning? Take a moment and think about it. We all have our rituals and routines. Perhaps you hit the snooze button a few times. Maybe you get up straight away and wash your face. Perhaps you snuggle up with your beloved dog or cat.

Now, think about the first thing you eat or drink in the morning. Is it water? Coffee? Tea?

It may not seem important, but every choice you make regarding your daily routine can either build up your resistance to disease, or burn the house down.

So what is the number one ritual that you can start today that will improve your health more than anything else?:

Drinking a big ole’ cup of warm water and lemon.

Yup, it’s that easy.

All you have to do is drink a cup of warm water with lemon (make sure the water is WARM and not hot, as hot water kills the lemon’s enzymes) BEFORE you ingest anything else besides water.

Benefits of drinking warm water with lemon:

1. Eliminates Toxins: Your organs work hard every night while you sleep to eliminate toxins from your body. By flushing them out with warm water and lemon every morning, you facilitate this process. Think of it as an oil change in a car. Flushing clean oil through the engine is essential to keep it working efficiently. Warm water with lemon does the same thing for us.

Lemons also help flush out unwanted materials because they increase the rate of urination in the body. This not only flushes out toxins, but keeps your urinary tract healthy.

2. Boosts Immune System: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.

3. Aids Weight Loss: Lemons help curb hunger cravings because they are high in pectin fiber.

4. Balances pH: Lemons may be sour, but surprisingly they are an alkaline food. Drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning helps to balance you pH, and an alkaline body is crucial to good health. When the body is too acidic, digestive disorders such as acid reflux and ulcers can occur. It can also result in low energy and fatigue.

5. Helps Digestion: Warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and lemons are packed with minerals and vitamins that help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.

6. Healthy Skin: Lemon water cleanses toxins from the blood, which keeps skin clear. They are also high in vitamin C, which helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Because they flush out toxins, they may also help in reducing cellulite. I’ve personally found success with this.

7. Balances Hormones: Warm water with lemon helps hydrate the body. When the body is hydrated, so are the adrenal glands that along with your thyroid create energy and secrete important hormones in your body. When these glands are dehydrated they can’t do their job, resulting in constipation, stress, fatigue, acne, etc.

The recipe is simple and the benefits worth the small effort. All you need is half a lemon squeezed in a cup of warm water in the morning, and you will begin to see big results.

Which one of these benefits are you most looking forward to experiencing once starting this ritual? Or, if you already drink warm water with lemon, what have been the biggest results you’ve noticed? Please share in the comments section below.

Enjoy Sipping Yo’ Lemon,

Health Coach Jenna

5 Tips For Healthy Digestion While Traveling

fruitbeachWhile traveling around the world is fun, it tends to wreak havoc on the digestion system. Many people tend to go to the bathroom either too much while on vacation or too little. It’s understandable because while traveling we are introduced to new foods, and at most times are at the mercy of restaurants. Traveling also tends to break the routines we have back home that keep our engines running smoothly.

But there is hope for keeping a happy tummy and regular visits to the loo!

I’ve been in India the past few months and here are some tips that have helped me while on the road:

1. Take Probiotics

I can’t stress this enough! Bringing probiotics with you while on vacation is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy while on the road. Without these your gut doesn’t have the good bacteria that it needs to digest your food properly. It’s even more crucial while on vacation because you are constantly being exposed to new bacteria from the water and food.

If you are bringing probiotic pills, make sure to check you buy ones that do not need to be kept refrigerated. In addition to probiotic pills, I like to bring individual Green Vibrance packets with me while on the road, and I drink this every morning.

2Drink Plenty of Water

We tend to not pay enough attention to how much water we are drinking while traveling. The sightseeing and excitement of a new place tends to side track us! This is why it is even more important that you are aware of how much water you are drinking.

I always drink more than the recommended amount of water while traveling in hot climates seeing as I’m sweating so much (click HERE to calculate how much water you should be drinking daily). To keep track of this I fill up my water bottles for the day and make sure I go through them all. For example, I drink 2.5 liters a day so I fill these up, and make sure they are gone by the end of the day.

The bottom line is, not staying hydrated is a good way to get constipated, which will make you feel lethargic and uncomfortable. So keep a note on your iPhone, set an alarm reminder on your phone-do whatever you have to do make sure you are hydrating your body.

3. Eat Fermented Foods.

Fermented foods contain natural enzymes and probiotics that help the body digest its food. They also contain vitamins and minerals that help the body maintain optimal health. Examples of living foods are yogurt, curd, sauerkraut, kimchi, tofu, and kombucha.

Do your research before traveling to your destination to see what fermented foods are local to the country you will be visiting. For example, on my trip to India I found out there are many fermented staples in the Indian diet such as curd and dosas (crepe made from fermented rice and black lentils), and I was able to spot these on a menu no problem.

Incorporate at least 1-2 servings per day to your diet and you will find yourself feeling groovy.

4. Eat Your Veggies.

I know it’s not always possible to eat what you want while on vacation (I’m currently reminded of this by the lack of dark green leafy veggies in India, believe me!) but do your best.

Find the veggies on the menu and order them. Visit the local market and buy your own if you have to. The more veggies you eat, the more fiber you are adding to your body.

However, if you are leaning more on the constipated side, take it easy on the raw veggies, and opt for lightly cooked ones.

5. Stick to the closest version of the foods you eat at home.

Try to stick to the closest version of what works for you while home. I know this isn’t always easy, but be creative. If your stomach is giving you trouble don’t feel like you have to get all Travel Channel and try every exotic food that is offered to you.

Protect yourself and stick to the foods that you know work for you. There is no shame in being a picky eater while traveling if it’s for the sake of your health!

Photo from Pixabay

Bonus Tips:

-Try to find an accommodation with a kitchen so you can make some of your own meals.

– Take Magnesium Citrate to avoid constipation (it also helps you sleep better).

– Don’t overeat even if all the new food is tempting.

– Do your best to eat meals at the same time everyday.

– Keep the body moving and incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

– Drink warm water with lemon or lime, depending on what is available. Do this first thing in the morning for a dose of enzymes to kick-start your digestive system in the right direction. Lemon water also gives you tons of Vitamin C for the day which will keep your immune system strong.

Happy Travelin’!

xx

Health Coach Jenna

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3 Tips to Write Kick-Ass New Year’s Intentions

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Happy New Year Ladies and Gents! Have you set your intentions yet?

Setting intentions helps you manifest the changes you want to see in your life. I am a BIG fan of setting intentions and goals for myself. I find this helps keep me motivated and delivers huge results, as our thoughts turn into actions and our actions into reality.

Thoughts are POWERFUL things, folks!

Did you know that the Universe wants to see us get what we want?! Hell yes, it does! But the Universe can’t give you what you want if you don’t know what it is that you want in the first place.So project your intentions loud and clear for the cosmos to hear by writing your intentions today!

How to Write Your Very Own Kick- Ass New Year’s Intentions: 

1. Make positive statements, not negative.  

Instead of saying “I will NOT stress out so much” try reforming this into a POSITIVE statement such as “I will take life one breath at a time, and will remain calm through all the events this year brings.”

Start off the New Year on the right note by focusing on your new healthy habits this year, not on past habits that are old news and don’t serve you.

2. Be as specific as possible.

If your New Year’s intention is to lose weight, don’t just write “ I will lose weight this year”.

Rather, ask yourself “How much weight will I lose? How will I lose weight?” leaving the final product looking more like “I will lose ten pounds by cutting my sugar intake in half, working out at least four times a week, and drinking more water”.

Remember that the universe will give you what you want, but it is your responsibility to first inform it of what it is exactly that you do want!

 3. Include how achieving these intentions will make you feel.

After writing your intention, try writing a sentence that describes how you will feel once  you have achieved it. For example, if your intention is to save enough money to pay off your student loans, then add a sentence saying “Once I have paid off my  loans I will feel as light as a feather, and my mind will be at ease knowing I am free from this huge debt that has been dragging me down!” Start to feel it NOW and it will come.

Now that you have some kick- ass intentions, write them down and keep them in a safe place so you can refer back to them during the year.

I wish you a prosperous New Year filled with light, love, and happiness!

Love,

Jenna

What are your New Year’s Intentions this year? Do you have any tips for writing intentions that work well for you? A penny for your thoughts!

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5 Steps to Help You Ditch Your Antidepressants

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Today, one in 10 Americans takes an antidepressant, and I am happy to say that I am no longer one of them.

I started taking prescription drugs at the age of 10 when my doctors diagnosed me with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). By the time I reached 18, I had been on 15 different antidepressants. At this point, I finally had had enough of feeling dull and lifeless, and decided to quit. What I realize today is that I never had ADHD or depression, but rather a gluten sensitivity, and a diet lacking in healthy fats, beneficial bacteria, vitamins, and nutrients to support optimum brain function.

Thankfully, through the power of yoga, and a healthy diet, I have been off of the meds for 10 years now, and have never felt better.

The good news is, you have the power to get off them, too.

*How to ditch your antidepressants

1. Take Probiotics

Scientists are finding out that there is a major relationship between our gut health and our minds. It turns out that if our gut is depressed, so is our mind. Doctor’s prescribe serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) to treat symptoms of depression. But did you know that you gut is responsible for making 80-90% of the serotonin available to your body? (i) When your gut bacteria is not healthy, inflammation occurs. And this inhibits the amount of serotonin available to your brain, resulting in depression. Dr. Perlmutter notes in his book “Brain Maker”:

“As a neurologist, for example, I find it intriguing to note that today’s antidepressants purportedly work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and yet the precursor for serotonin-tryptophan-is tightly regulated by the gut bacteria. In fact-a particular bacterium, Bifidobacterium infantis, does a great job of making tryptohan available”. (i)

By taking an aggressive dose of probiotics everyday, you will see huge results. Take a high grade probiotic in the morning and in the evening. Also, eat at least 2-3 servings of fermented foods everyday.

2. Take fish oil.   

Studies have found that taking Omega -3 fatty acids raises serotonin levels,  and researchers have found that when fed to pigs, fish oil has been shown to have the same effect on the brain as Prozac. Other studies have also shown that fish oil can smooth out mood swings from bipolar disorder.

If you are already taking fish oil, give yourself a pat on the back! But if you are using it to increase your serotonin levels, then up your dose to 20 grams, and make sure to buy pills with concentrated levels of EPA and DHA.

(Niacin has also been used to naturally treat depression and anxiety. To find more about click HERE.)

3. Meditate.

Studies have shown that meditation lowers stress, and in a recent study by the University of Oregon , they found that meditating can result in brain changes that may protect against mental illness. Meditating also helps you connect with your inner voice, which after years of being silenced by prescription drugs probably has lots to say!

Meditation is a wonderful spiritual outlet, but if you’ve tried it and it’s not your thing, there are many other outlets that can serve you in the same way.

4. Eat a healthy diet, and don’t skip meals.

You’ve heard the saying over and over “a healthy body, a healthy mind”, because it is the truth! What you put into your body affects your blood sugar levels, which in turn affects your moods. So make sure you are eating a diet filled with natural, unprocessed foods, loads of greens, healthy fats, and drinking plenty of water. And please, don’t go long periods of time without eating, as this quite often brings on mood changes.

5. Exercise!

It’s simple. Exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.

Yoga is what works for me, but maybe swimming or HIIT ( high intensity interval training) might be what works for you. Whatever your outlet, make sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday. On the days where you don’t feel like an intense workout, simply go on a 30-minute walk, or do some gentle yoga. And for extra bonus points, try to get as much exercise outdoors in the sunshine as possible.

The choices are infinite, so play around and have fun with it.

And please remember to find a naturopathic physician to guide you along the way, in addition to consulting the psychiatrist or physician who prescribed your pills. With many of these beautiful people eager to help, why do this on your own? It’s much easier with support, I promise.

Making this transition will not be easy, but it is worth it. And please don’t close yourself off and try to do this on your own, because the more friends and family you include for support, the smoother the transition. Lastly, remember that you are a righteous and radiant being, fully capable of making this journey.

*Please do not quit your pills cold turkey. It is important that you integrate your new habits into your life while slowly weaning yourself off your pills. Your health coach can help you with this transition.

Furthermore, some people might need to stay on antidepressants. Not everyone is a candidate for being pill-free. Please consult your naturopathic physician and/or health coach to find out if quitting your antidepressants is right for you.

Further recommended reading:

Brain Maker

Mind Of Your Own

Grain Brain

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Sources

Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life. Print.

 

5 Things You Can Do Now To Repair Your Brain

Did you know that Alzheimer’s starts 30 years before any symptoms appear, and that it affects 50% of people over 85? Or that depression is one of the greatest killers of our time?

Our brain is sometimes overlooked because we can’t see it, unlike our skin, hair, and body size, but it is vital to enjoying a healthy life. Our brains are involved in everything that we do: thinking, feeling, interacting, intelligence, character, planning, and decisions.

The bottom line is, when our brain works right, we work right, so it’s crucial that we take care of it to the best of our ability.

Here are 5 things you can do that will start repairing your brain right away:

1. Take probiotics

Scientists are finding out that there is a major relationship between our gut health and our minds. It turns out that if our gut is in a depressed, so is our mind. Doctor’s prescribe serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) to treat symptoms of depression and memory loss. But did you know that you gut is responsible for making 80-90% of the serotonin available to your body? (i) When your gut bacteria is not healthy, inflammation occurs. And this inhibits the amount of serotonin available to your brain, resulting in depression. Dr. Perlmutter notes in his book “Brain Maker”:

“As a neurologist, for example, I find it intriguing to note that today’s antidepressants purportedly work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and yet the precursor for serotonin-tryptophan-is tightly regulated by the gut bacteria. In fact-a particular bacterium, Bifidobacterium infantis, does a great job of making tryptohan available”. (i)

By taking a dose of probiotics everyday, you will see huge results. Take a high grade probiotic in the morning and in the evening. Also, eat at least 2-3 servings of fermented foods everyday.

2. Exercise  

Exercise will not only release serotonin and make you happier, but it will also help maintain your weight. There have been 24 recent studies proving that as weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down, and cognitive scores have also been shown to improve with weight loss.

3Get 8 hours of sleep

It’s crucial you get enough sleep, as this is when the brain repairs itself. If you deprive yourself of sleep, your brain will degenerate quickly.

 4. New Learning

Your muscles aren’t the only things that need a workout! If you don’t use your brain you will lose it. New types of learning can include reading books, taking an online course, doing crossword puzzles – get creative!

5. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is amazing for a plethora of reasons, one being that it helps the brain function. Green tea has caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which when paired together help the brain work. L-theanine also has anti-anxiety effects and increases dopamine.

And don’t forget to practice gratitude!

Write five things you are grateful for everyday and you will see an increase in happiness, which will have an overall positive effect on the health of your brain.

For further reading about keeping your brain healthy, I recommend Dr. Daniel Amen’s book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”.

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Sources

Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life. Print.