Nutrients for dementia: could they help during benzodiazepine withdrawal?

September 19, 2014

Half Coconut and Flower on Bamboo Mat

Could certain nutrients help with memory and cognitive issues, and the “pseudo-dementia” symptoms so many people experience when withdrawing from benzodiazapines?

In a recent article I shared the new research on benzodiazepines being linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk and other serious concerns.

Alison, who was featured in the Boston Globe story, commented on the above blog post:

I am only 29 years old, and I developed what I refer to as pseudo-dementia once I developed a tolerance to benzodiazepines and it got worse once the drug was stopped. From what I have seen from others recovering from and in tolerance to benzodiazepines, cognitive functioning and memory can get hit hard and actually mimic dementia. I wonder if the symptoms these elders are experiencing are true Alzheimer’s, or a side effect/withdrawal effect.

This really got me thinking. She makes an excellent point. It may well be that the symptoms they are seeing in the study are a side effect/withdrawal effect, rather than true Alzheimer’s disease and may be reversible. It surprises me that the study authors have not commented on this since cognitive effects are well documented in the literature.

Here are a few examples I found:

Benzodiazepines revisited—will we ever learn?” Published in Addiction in 2011

“The review noted a series of adverse effects that continued to cause concern, such as cognitive and psychomotor impairment. In addition, dependence and abuse remain as serious problems. Despite warnings and guidelines, usage of these drugs remains at a high level.”

Benzodiazepine harm: how can it be reduced?” Published in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in January this year (2014)

“Adverse effects comprise sedation subjectively and cognitive and psychomotor impairment objectively. Complex skills such as driving can be compromised… Withdrawal and dependence have excited particular concern, and even polemic. Perhaps a third of long term (beyond 6 months) users experience symptoms and signs on attempting to withdraw – anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms and tension and perceptual hypersensitivity.”

I was not able to find much in the literature on pseudo-dementia. I did see it listed on the benzo.org.uk site but not elsewhere in relation to benzodiazapines.

I did find this paper “Pseudo-dementia: A neuropsychological review” which is presumably something different (as it refers to depression/dementia). This part may be applicable: “ ‘The pseudo component’ which denotes the actual lack of the neurodegenerative dementia” and the fact that it can be reversed.

This all inspired me to do some digging on dementia. If what they are seeing in participants of the British Medical Journal is not true dementia, it’s very encouraging to think that recovery is possible.

There are some very powerful foods and nutrients that help certain people with dementia and I wonder if they would also help with the benzodiazepine-induced pseudo-dementia:

Not all of the above would work for everyone because of biochemical individuality, and there are mixed results in the literature, but it’s worth assessing for possible deficiencies and addressing overall nutrient status.

I have recently learned that many people in benzo withdrawal do not tolerate supplements so I will do a part 2 follow up to this blog listing foods high in these nutrients in case you feel more comfortable with a food based approach.

Interestingly, many of these above nutrients are also factors in anxiety and/or depression and may be related to why someone sought help and was prescribed benzos initially.

It would be wonderful to think that benzo recovery can be improved in the areas of cognition, memory and “pseudo-dementia.”

P.S. There nutrients are great for overall brain function so anyone could benefit from one or more of them. I actually take 20mg of lithium orotate a day and it helps keep my post-menopausal brain sharp and focused.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

The Hashimoto’s Institute summit: Autoimmune thyroid dysfunction and anxiety

September 16, 2014

hashimotos institute summit

There is a valuable summit airing this week: September 15 – September 22, and the topic is all about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

The Hashimoto’s Institute (and summit) was created by my colleagues Dr. Izabella Wentz (the pharmacist), Dr. Alan Christianson (the doctor) and Andrea Nakayama (the nutritionist).

You may recall Dr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD, “The Thyroid Pharmacist”, from The Anxiety Summit in June. Her very popular interview was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Anxiety. She shared how she would co-host a summit purely on the topic of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and here it is.

Here are some facts on Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:

  • Autoimmune thyroid dysfunction is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the developed world
  • It can lead to weight gain, poor energy, hair loss, constipation, and even anxiety and depression.
  • It’s something I see with so many of my clients (and so many don’t even know they have it)
  • Statistics estimate that as many as 20% of people have circulating antibodies, which is indicative of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • The conventional medical model does not offer much besides using medications.

Here is the break down for the week:

Day 1: Diagnosis – test don’t guess, learn what you need to know to plan your recovery
Day 2: Dosage – medication options and strategies
Day 3: Diet/Digestion – healing from within
Day 4: Daily rhythms – balance your adrenals and other hormones
Day 5: Detox – remove the triggers
Day 6: Defense – immune repair
Day 7: Design your recovery – creating your personal recovery plan

By the end of next week, you’ll have a detailed plan of action to find and fix the cause of your thyroid problems.

There is no cost to attend this awesome event and it’s completely online. When you register you get some great free gifts

Alan Christianson, NMD – “Healing Hashimoto’s – A Savvy Patient’s Guide”
Izabella Wentz, PharmD – “Guide to Overcoming Hashimoto’s Fatigue”
Andrea Nakayama, CNE, CNC – “Mapping Your Signs & Symptoms: Addressing Your Hashimoto’s from a Full System’s Perspective”

Plus, A full day of Special Topics from Taming Post-Partum Flares to Addressing Underlying Immune Triggers
AND… real life tools to help you reclaim your health

You can register here https://jz197.isrefer.com/go/hashimotos/tlscott

Enjoy!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Sexy Younger You summit: Why are depression and anxiety more common as we age?

September 15, 2014

SYY banner

Sexy Younger You! Season 3
Create More Vibrant, Healthy and Sexy No Matter What Your Age

25 of the World’s Leading experts on de-aging will be sharing their secret ingredients, special sauce and myth-busting facts to guide you toward a more healthy, vibrant and sexy you – at any age. Join hosts Dr. Anna Cabeca, OB/GYN, Functional Medicine and Age Management Specialist, and Robin Nielsen, Certified Nutrition Consultant and Growing Younger Expert for this global telesummit event at no charge so you can stop feeling OLD and FATigued and start feeling fabulous. The good news is that with some simple science-based information and a little commitment to yourself, you can age vibrantly and feel wonderful at any age. Bring on the fabulous!

This summit has already started (so sorry about the late notification) but it’s not too late register. I just started listening and am learning a lot already – I always learn so much on this summit!

I loved the interview with Dr. Susanne Bennett, best-selling author of The 7-Day Allergy Makeover; host of the Wellness for Life radio show; a leading natural allergy expert, specializing in anti-aging and lifestyle medicine; a Huffington Post contributor and television personality. She shared how to achieve a Flat Sexy Belly by revealing her “Inner Gut Secrets!”

Here are a few gems from her interview:

  • Fermentable carbohydrates are the sugars that are easily fermented in your digestive system, and include oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, fructans, galactans and polyols. If you have SIBO/Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, these foods are going to be problematic, and may lead to bloating and even mood issues.
  • There is a new area of study called psychobiotics, spear-headed by Dr. Timothy Dinan, suggesting that certain “good” bacteria might have potential as a treatment for depression and other psychiatric maladies. Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifdobacterium longum have shown to reduce levels of stress hormones and maintain a calmer, peaceful state.

These could be some of the many reasons why are depression and anxiety more common as we age.

Here are a few of the upcoming speakers:

Dr. Sara Gottfried, New York Times Bestselling Author, of The Hormone Cure, and co-host of the #1 rated podcast on iTunes, The Health Bridge, will share with you her secrets on “Metabolism: How to keep It Humming As You Age”

Christy Whitman, NYTimes bestselling author of Taming Your Alpha Bitch: How To Be Fierce and Feminine (and Get Everything You Want!) and CEO/Founder of the Quantum Success Coaching Academy, will help you to “Creating Your Ideal Body”

Rebecca Katz, purveyor of “YUM”, Founder and Director of the Healing Kitchens Institute and author of many cookbooks including The Longevity Kitchen, shares “How Food Can Help Us Enhance Our Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Mental Clarity in Our Non-Stop Day to Day Life.”

TrudyScott_syydatesAnd if you haven’t yet heard me present, this is my talk:

Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert, nutritionist and author of The Antianxiety Food Solution, on “The Amazing Amino Acids for Eliminating Anxiety and Emotional Eating. ” Low levels of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters such as GABA or serotonin could be another reason why depression and anxiety are more common as we age.

It’s all complimentary. Enjoy!

Click here to learn more and register now http://www.mcssl.com/app/?Clk=5309986

 

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Benzodiazepines linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk and other serious concerns

September 12, 2014

pill bottle

A new study published last week shows that benzodiazepines are linked to an increased Alzheimer’s disease risk. A useful synopsis was published on the Harvard Health Publications blog.

A team of researchers from France and Canada linked benzodiazepine use to an increased risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, the greater a person’s cumulative dose of benzodiazepines, the higher his or her risk of Alzheimer’s.

The type of drug taken also mattered. People who were on a long-acting benzodiazepine like diazepam (Valium) and flurazepam (Dalmane) were at greater risk than those on a short-acting one like triazolam (Halcion), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and temazepam (Restoril).

You can read the full British Medical Journal study here.

The possible increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease is just part of the picture. There are a host of other very serious issues with this medication.

Jeremy C. Fox wrote a great article in the Boston Globe called “When withdrawal is the hardest part.”  It covers Alison Page’s struggle with recovering from difficulties associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal.

… Alison ” was experiencing withdrawal between doses of Ativan, a drug often prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. After taking a dose that night” Alison “felt fine — for the moment. But her struggle to recover continues more than two years later.

While rampant abuse of heroin and prescription opiates dominates public attention, dependency on benzodiazepines — a group of tranquilizers that includes drugs such as Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax — remains less widely acknowledged or understood.

Doctors say benzodiazepines are effective for short-term stress, as in the days following the death of a loved one or another emotionally difficult event. But problems can arise when use continues for more than a few weeks.”

I don’t feel any benzodiazepine prescriptions should be written. There are much better ways to deal with anxiety – like addressing possible low GABA and tryptophan; addressing low zinc levels; addressing the gut and possible dysbiosis; quitting sugar and caffeine; figuring out if gluten is an issue; eating to control blood sugar; and eating quality food that includes grass-fed red meat, wild fish, healthy fats and organic produce.

Alison “was prescribed Ativan by a psychiatrist in 2009, she said, as she adjusted to working as a receptionist after graduating from Northeastern University. As a shy person, she found the front-and-center role a tough fit, she said.”

Many of my shy and introverted clients have pyroluria, a social anxiety condition. Addressing this with zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil solves the problem. Instead many people are prescribed benzos rather casually and end up like Alison, having to deal with all these horrible withdrawal effects from the benzos: increased anxiety, dizziness, terrible fears, less able to deal with stress, prone to getting sick and not sleeping for months.

Alison joined the BenzoBuddies.org support group and it was through this group that she learned what was happening to her. This is a great group that supports folks who are tapering off benzos.

I was fortunate to have interviewed Dr. Catherine Pittman on the Anxiety Summit in June – Benzodiazapines: Risks vs Benefits – and she shared the results of a survey she did with members of BenzoBuddies.org.

Here are a few facts and gems from our interview:

  • The United States has the highest rate of benzodiazepine prescription in the world
  • If the person is prescribed a benzodiazepine, short-term relief is obtained, but tolerance develops, and increasing dosages may be required
  • Physiological dependence on the benzodiazepines can occur within, four to six weeks [I am hearing it can be much shorter than four to six weeks]
  • If you have people who are on benzodiazepines, you may have to give them lists, because they may not remember as much as person who’s not on benzodiazepines [this relates directly to the new research mentioned above and cognitive decline]
  • Not all physicians or psychiatrists have the knowledge to help a person successfully withdraw.
  • Professor Malcolm Lader, who is from the Royal Maudsley Hospital (in the UK) stated: “It’s more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin.”
  • And one of the things that we heard from the BenzoBuddies community, “Please educate the treatment professional community. Please help them know. My doctor didn’t understand this. My psychiatrist didn’t understand what was going on. Try to do what you can to educate them.”

My goal with this blog post is to help with what the BenzoBuddies community is asking – educating the treatment professional community and you as well. If you’re not currently taking a prescription for benzodiazapines please think twice before doing so and please share this information with friends and family who may be considering getting on them.

I also encourage you to read the comments in the Benzodiazapines: Risks vs Benefits blog. Many Benzobuddies.org members shared very heartfelt stories of their battles with benzo withdrawal.  We appreciate them (and Alison) for being so open and vulnerable about what has happened to them. They are doing this to raise awareness.

If you do have a benzodiazepine prescription please don’t stop cold turkey and without first talking to your doctor, as well as learning about the taper protocols.  www.Benzo.org.uk is a great resource for Professor Ashton’s taper protocols and other valuable benzo information.  And do check out BenzoBuddies.org for a great support system.

Based on all the above side-effects and withdrawal symptoms and whether or not the above new study shows a causal link between benzodiazapines and Alzheimer’s disease, I would not recommend these drugs for anyone ever! 

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Hot Tips for Boosting Your Mood: ‘nothing can eat me’ & find your minimums

September 11, 2014

deeplyhappy-banner

Depression is big news. Even celebrities are coming out to talk about their dark night of the soul. Authorities are framing it as a disease and something that cannot be helped, but simply managed and medicated. Think about it – depression is on track to be the most prevalent disease in the world.

What if depression is simply an experience of the gap between who you are now, and who you are meant to be?

Join me, and over 20 other experts in the fields of medicine, consciousness and transformation, in coming together to share what it takes truly heal depression.

My friend and colleague Dr. Teray Garchitorena Kunishi has created the “Deeply Happy Expert Series: Heal Depression, Conquer Fear, and Finally Fulfill Your Potential.”   It’s a 21 day event that features an incredible range of information, inspiration and immediately useful strategies for healing depression.

Here are a few of the topics:

  • The secret to figuring out what you are really meant to do
  • Can supplements replace antidepressants?
  • How to eliminate anxiety and emotional eating – with amino acids (this is my talk of course)
  • Your genetics, how they affect your mood, and what to do about it
  • How to turn your energy ON when you don’t feel ON
  • What it takes to heal relationship in crisis

This expert series is a roadmap for banishing fear, healing your body, and finally fulfilling all your incredible potential. It’s totally FREE, and when you sign up, you’ll receive instant access to these powerful conversations.

Here are some gems from Jen Louden’s interview on “Navigating Your Truer Life”

  • “When I’m freaking out – I take a deep breath and say ‘nothing can eat me’”
  • “We imagine we’re in physical danger and this hijacks our nervous system and then we beat ourselves up for not calming down”
  • Jen shared how she has dealt with her own depression by addressing hormonal imbalances and addressing it with food changes. She is very sensitive to certain foods, sugar and alcohol and had to “be ok with it without feeling broken because I couldn’t go out and have a glass of wine or eat bread.”
  • I love her discussion on making a list of “minimums” ie the minimum you need in order to be happy and sane. For her it is getting 7 hours of sleep a night and needing time alone. She shared how “I used to feel so guilty about this but now I can track this and can plan time alone if I need to.” Jen ended by saying: we have to each figure out our own minimums and “if we don’t have our minimums it’s like the wheels have fallen off the bus and you’re still trying to go 200 miles an hour.” Beautiful!

Here are some gems from Dr. Hyla Cass’ interview on “Can Supplements Replace Prozac?”

  • People will say to me “I have a real depression and supplements wouldn’t work”. But I say “when you deal with the root cause of the depression you can get a better result that throwing Prozac, Celexa or Zoloft at it”
  • Cass shared some of the many side-effects of anti-depressants: iatrogenic/doctor-caused addiction, insomnia, hypersomnia, headaches, nausea, stomach upsets, sexual dysfunction, more depression and more anxiety, weight gain and insulin resistance, tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements), homicide and suicide
  • She shared some of the many root causes of depression and anxiety: adrenal or thyroid issues, a nutrient deficiency like an iron deficiency anemia or low B12, gut infection/dysbiosis, heavy metal toxicity, brain chemical imbalances.
  • I just love this comment Dr. Cass shared: “let’s use natural products first, let’s use nature, we are part of nature and nature is what is going to heal us first.”
  • And then shared some great information about the adrenals and how to support them with adaptogens

I hope you join me and the other great speakers in the “Deeply Happy Series”

https://www.secureinfossl.com/affProgram/Deeply-Happy-Summit-Affiliate-Program/88280

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Tastes of Africa: some of the foods I’m eating here in South Africa

August 29, 2014
papaya

Delicious pawpaw from tropical Durban, South Africa

I’m visiting my family in South Africa and it’s been lovely catching up, laughing, hugging and eating some really good food! One night we had roast lamb, steamed Brussel’s sprouts and baby marrow (zucchini) and a delicious creamy cauliflower dish.

The other night we had a yummy Paleo-type pasta-free lasagna from the new Tim Noake’s book “The Real Meal Revolution.” I’ve also been eating lots of paw paw/papaya – my favorite fruit!

I even managed to fit in some work and loved having the opportunity to present at my sister’s Stroke Support Group. There is a big connection between stress/anxiety and heart disease/stroke.

We ended up having a healthy discussion about real food and how far off track we’ve gone:

  • We fondly remembered having real full-fat milk being delivered to our doorstep – milk with thick cream on top!
  • We also talked about buying good quality meat from a butcher we knew.
  • Many of them remembered eating liver as kids and their moms cooking with lard!
  • I remembered the vegetable/fruit truck driving around the neighborhood selling fresh produce

We need to get back to basics and eating like we ate as kids and how our grandparents ate.

I’ve been eating plenty of avocados, biltong/jerky, and butter, and drinking rooibos tea

Avocados after a trip to the beach – big ones!

Avocados after a trip to the beach – big ones!

 

 Beef biltong/jerky hanging to dry        Chopped beef biltong/jerky

Beef biltong/jerky hanging to dry                                         Chopped beef biltong/jerky

 

Rooibos herbal tea

Rooibos herbal tea

 

Cultured butter

Cultured butter

There is a food revolution happening here in South Africa right now and it’s wonderful! Before I leave I promise I’ll share a recipe or two.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Gratitude: more optimism, more happiness and less anxiety

August 22, 2014
Husky Service dog who helps veterans

Husky Service dog who helps veterans

Here is a great description of gratitude from Psychology Today:

“Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to a consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.”

Gratitude also helps reduce anxiety. A 2014 paper in Aging and Mental Health discusses a program which consists of training based on autobiographical memory, forgiveness and gratitude.

“The results revealed that participants who followed the program (experimental group) showed a significant decrease in state anxiety and depression as well as an increase in specific memories, life satisfaction and subjective happiness, compared with the placebo group.”

I’m in South Africa visiting my family and feel so much gratitude despite a few setbacks that almost prevented me from being here. I was in Palm Springs the weekend before my departure and missed my connecting flight back to Sacramento but I am grateful for:

  • having the Phoenix hotel night paid for and for not paying two bag fees
  • meeting a lovely woman from Oakland, CA who gave up her seat on the flight so someone could get home to the funeral of a loved one
  • “meeting” a beautiful huskie Service dog in the hotel elevator and finding out from his owner that his job was to be petted by veterans – to help lower blood pressure and to calm them down and make them happy. A 2012 paper discusses how a Service dog training program benefits the treatment of posttraumatic stress in service members and how it “enhances the sense of wellness.”
  • having travel food with me so I could stay nourished until I got home. I tucked in to apples, sardines, oysters, pemmican, a boiled egg and yummy coconut wraps

travel-food

  • making it back in time on Tuesday morning in order to catch my New York flight that very same evening!
  • getting to South Africa and spending quality time with my wonderful family, enjoying good food with them (one night we had roast lamb, steamed Brussel’s sprouts and baby marrow/zucchini and a delicious creamy cauliflower dish; and last night we had a yummy Paleo-type pasta-free lasagna from the new Tim Noake’s book “The Real Meal Revolution”), reminiscing, laughing, and getting and giving lots of hugs!

trudy-and-family

Let’s end with this great quote by Zig Ziglar:

The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more things you’ll have to express gratitude for.

What are you grateful for today? And how does it make you feel when you express your gratitude?

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Do you eat mindfully and truly savor your food?

August 18, 2014

infographicofmindfuleating-318x1024

Put simply, mindful eating is about eating with more awareness. This method of eating aims to stop mindless eating behaviors like unconsciously popping food into your mouth while watching TV or devouring a carton of ice cream to ease stress.

Studies show that reducing these behaviors can have a significant impact on improving your health, weight, and reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

A 2010 study “Pilot Study: Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL): Weight, Eating Behavior, and Psychological Outcomes Associated with a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for People with Obesity” had participants do 6 weeks of training in mindfulness meditation and mindful eating. The obese individuals who participated in the study “showed statistically significant increases in measures of mindfulness and cognitive restraint around eating, and statistically significant decreases in weight, eating disinhibition, binge eating, depression, perceived stress, physical symptoms, negative affect, and C-reactive protein.”

Here are some tips for mindful eating and what to do if mindful eating isn’t quite enough.

Give thanks for your food, savor the meal, and be mindful.

  • Give thanks, say a prayer, or do a blessing.
  • Slow down and savor the flavors, the textures, the aromas, and the experience of eating.
  • Be mindful and think about the food you’re eating. I once did a mindfulness exercise where we were guided through the experience of eating a single raisin over the course of five minutes. It is something that will stay with me always. First we looked at the raisin, then we touched it and smelled it. Then we put it in our mouths and very, very slowly chewed it, attending to its texture, juices, and sweetness. This is such a contrast to the way we usually gulp our food down.

Sit down to eat and make it a family gathering

  • Sit down to eat, and eat at the table with family and friends, not in front of the TV.
  • Keep the conversation positive and light.
  • I love this idea offered by fellow nutritionist and good friend Robin Nielsen: She suggests that just lighting a candle can be calming and put you in a digestive mode.

Don’t eat when you’re highly stressed or anxious

  • Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression reduces your production of hydrochloric acid and lowers levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), an antibody that plays a critical role in immunity in the gastrointestinal tract. This will impair your digestion. And because poor digestion leads to nutrient depletions that make it more difficult to handle stress, it creates a vicious cycle.

Address possible neurotransmitter deficiencies

If you’ve tried all of the above and are still finding it challenging to stay on track then the next step is to address possible neurotransmitter deficiencies.

  • If you have afternoon or evening cravings for carbohydrates and gluten-containing grains, you may have low serotonin. Tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan may help.
  • If you crave comfort foods like bread, cookies, or ice cream, they may be providing an endorphin rush. Taking D-phenylalanine (DPA) may help.
  • If you overeat bread, cereal, pasta, or dairy to calm down, or drink wine to de-stress you may have low levels of GABA. Taking supplemental GABA may help you relax and experience fewer anxiety-related cravings.
  • If you’re prone to low blood sugar and have intense cravings for something sweet or starchy, glutamine really helps, as it plays a role in moderating blood sugar levels.
  • If you crave something sweet for a quick energy fix, you may have low levels of catecholamines. Taking supplemental tyrosine may help.

The amino acid questionnaire from The Antianxiety Food Solution can help you figure out which area to focus on.

Do you want to learn more about mindful eating? Join us on the Mindful Eating Summit

Join me and 20 other speakers on the Eating Mindfully Summit August 21-28 with my friend and colleague, Dr. Susan Albers, author of “Eating Mindfully” and Cleveland Clinic psychologist. This summit will teach you how to boost your nutrition, end mindless overeating and stop feeling guilty when you eat!

Here are just a few of the presenters, all of whom offer their own rich, in-depth perspective on health, wellness and mindfulness:

  • Dr. Brian Wansink Director of Cornell Food & Brand Lab and best-selling author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
  • Evelyn Tribole Award-winning registered dietitian and author of Intuitive Eating
  • Dr. Jim Painter Producer of Portion Size Me, a documentary about fast food and health and featured on CBS’s Early Show
  • Dr. Katz, author of Disease Proof and contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine
  • Dr. Daniel Siegel, Professor of at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center
  • Dr. Alan Christianson, specialist in natural endocrinology with a focus on thyroid disorders
  • Jonathan Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth

I am also presenting on this summit. The topic of my talk is “The amazing amino acids for eliminating anxiety and emotional eating.”

So do join us on the Eating Mindfully Summit August 21-28 with host Susan Albers. You can sign up here:
http://mindfuleatingsummit.com?orid=6083&opid=4

 

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”