Amazon icon Audible icon Autographed icon Book Bub icon Booksprout icon Buy Me a Coffee icon Email icon Facebook icon Goodreads icon Instagram icon Mastodon icon Patreon icon Periscope icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Search icon Snapchat icon TikTok icon Tumblr icon Twitter icon Vine icon Youtube icon LinkedIn icon

Tag: depression

Could Your Gut Bacteria Be Making You Anxious or Depressed?

New research from neurobiologists at Oxford University shows there could be a link between the health of your gut microbiome and your emotions. The study suggests that using probiotics to populate your gut with good bacteria together with eating enough prebiotics –carbs that nourish your bacterial population– can help lift your mental state.

Gut xray

Foods high in probiotics

Foods high in probiotics include yogurt, keffir, kim chee, sourkrout, and other fermented foods.

Foods high in prebiotics

Foods high in prebiotics include asparagus, onions, leeks, grains, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, radish, and rutabega.

It seems the bacteria inside us might affect us more than we ever could have imagined.

Yet another checkmark against the” Paleo”-style diet as being the ultimate diet for humans.

My motto: Be wary of fad diets that advocate elimination or extreme reduction of an entire food group.

Dr. Andrew Weil on Healthy Living

Dr. Andrew Weil and Elizabeth Yarnell, author of Glorious One-Pot Meals
I often like to gift a copy of my cookbook to authors I admire! Here I'm giving one to Dr. Andrew Weil as he signs a copy of his new book, True Food, for me.

Last week I got to attend a lecture and book signing by Dr. Andrew Weil, the famed integrative health practitioner. Integrative medicine is a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Weil’s mission is to merge natural healing methods with Western medicine.

Some interesting tidbits from the seminar:

– When Dr. Weil went through Harvard Medical School, he received all of 30 minutes of training on nutrition.

– The 35-page cardiovascular residency curriculum for a major medical center does not contain a single mention of nutrition or diet.

– Dr. Weil believes that direct advertising to consumers by pharmaceutical companies is having a widespread, detrimental effect on this country.

– When asked what two foods everyone should stop eating to be healthier, Dr. Weil responded: flour and fruit juices. Flour because it has been so highly processed that it no longer functions as a whole grain in the body, and juice because when you remove the fiber from fruit you basically mainline fructose.

– 1 in 9 Americans are on antidepressents. This amount of depression in a population has never been seen in history. While antidepressent medications may work in the short term, long-term use of antidepressents cause “tardive dysphoria,” when the body stops producing its own seratonin and greater and greater amounts of drugs are needed.

– One of the most interesting concepts Dr. Weil introduced to me was the cytokine theory of depression. In the 1990s doctors came up with the theory that depression was due to a lack of uptake of seratonin in the brain. The cytokine theory posits that maybe depression is due to cytokines, or inflammation, in the brain, and the reason we are seeing so much depression is one more result of the systemic inflammation in our bodies caused by our modern diet and food supply.

Got Some Magnesium with Your Calcium?

I loved reading Dr. Christiane Northrup’s post on the importance of getting enough magnesium in your body.

She points out that while most doctors recommend women get more calcium in their body to keep their bones strong, they neglect to mention that without magnesium the calcium won’t be absorbed.

A magnesium deficiency might look like constipation, infertility, migraines, muscle cramps, or a whole host of other signs and symptoms.

Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., author of The Magnesium Miracle (Ballantine Books, 2007), reports that these (and other) conditions are also associated with magnesium deficiency: blood clots, bowel disease, cystitis, depression, detoxification, diabetes, fatigue, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney disease, kidney stones, musculoskeletal conditions, osteoporosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, and even tooth decay. Dr. Dean also reports that she’s seen magnesium improve patients’ PMS, painful periods, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. She’s also seen it increase their sexual pleasure!

My favorite ways to supplement magnesium include snacking on nuts and adding Epsom Salts to the bathtub to absorb it through the skin.

You can choose to be happy… or not

Martha Washington, the first first lady, said that, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”

Oh, how wise she was.

In “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” Marcus Buckingham researched and found that the happiest women at some point in their lives simply made a choice to be happy.

He offer four points upon which women either choose the happiest path or not, and he’s devised a quiz for women to help determine the roles in life that make them happiest. (see below)

Think about it: his research showed that it mattered less what it was that made them happy, and more that they had decided to be happy regardless of whether they had that or not.

In other words, happiness is a state of mind rather than a state of matter.

There’s a lot of power in deciding to be happy. After a bout of depression in my early twenties, I decided I’d rather be a happy person no matter how low my life felt at that time. My first step was to stop feeling like a victim in my life. I took Tae Kwon Do and shooting lessons, got out of a dead-end relationship, quit my job and moved.

After I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis just before my thirtieth birthday, I had to search again for the choices that led toward happiness rather than despair. My cookbook is one thing that came out of that time.

I have to say, both times I was much happier afterward and since.

I don’t think that choosing to be happy has to look as drastic as it did for me. In fact, Buckingham sees it more as daily and lifestyle choices of not striving for perfection or that elusive “balance” that doesn’t exists. Happiness, he says, is more about self-acceptance and appreciating the small moments in life.

We choose to be happy… or not. It’s an empowering concept.