Just a quick reminder that the Brain Summit starts tomorrow, Monday, May 2nd.
Here are some snippets from my anxiety interview with host Erin Matlock. We started out talking about diet and grass-fed red meat and why it’s so beneficial if you have anxiety (and other mood problems):
…there’s a lot of research showing now that [a Western diet] diet is not good for so many conditions, and mental health is now coming into the research. And we know this, but to see it in the research is really beneficial. Dr. Felice Jacka did a great study in Australia that was one of the first studies that looked at anxiety and depression in women and found that the Western diet was associated with a higher risk for anxiety and depression. And this whole foods, traditional diet, that actually included grass-fed red meat, was more beneficial for anxiety and depression. And in her thesis, they actually looked at red meat thinking that they would find that red meat was actually detrimental. And, lo and behold, they found that grass-fed red meat was one of the most important predictors for good mental health. So a lot of people say, “I don’t eat red meat any more. I’m being healthy.” And in actual fact, not eating it is doing them harm.
So red meat is wonderful! And it needs to be grass fed because then you’re getting the good levels of the Omega-3s. The Omega-3 three profile of grass fed red meat is very similar to what you would find in salmon. Obviously, fish is great, so while fish like salmon or sardines are great as well, the reason I like the red meat is it’s something that most people enjoy eating. And as well as the Omega-3s, we’re getting the iron, and iron is a co-factor for making serotonin and making GABA, and it’s needed for energy and so many other functions in the body.
It’s also got zinc, and zinc is a common deficiency, way more common than we realize. And when you are anxious, you may have high copper level, and low zinc level. So getting those zinc levels up will push the copper down, and that can help with your anxiety, as well.
We also had a long discussion on serotonin and tryptophan/5-HTP:
…we often associate serotonin with depression. And a lot of people don’t realize that it’s very closely tied to anxiety, as well. So we’ve got two types of anxiety when it comes to the brain chemicals. One is the low-serotonin type, and this is the anxiety in the head, where you’ve got the ruminating thoughts, and the busy mind, and the negative self-talk, and just this monkey mind that you can’t switch off — this worry, and sort of reprocessing things. And then we have the low-GABA kind of anxiety, where it’s in your physical body and you’re feeling stiff and tense, and you can feel it in your body, and you may feel it in your gut….
I have people do a questionnaire, and depending on how you score on that questionnaire, that’s a clue as to whether serotonin may be a factor. So all of those symptoms I’ve just mentioned, you would rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. And then I use individual, targeted amino acids. So it’s a supplement, and the other things that obviously have an impact are food, and diet, and everything we just talked about. Getting exercise, getting outside in the light, all of those are factors.
But for quick, immediate results, and pretty profound results – people just say to me, “Could this really be happening so quickly?” that’s how quickly we get results, you know, within 30 seconds to two minutes they’re getting results – is to use these individual amino acids as supplements. And the reason they’re called “targeted” is because it’s targeted to your unique needs. Like when you do the questionnaire and it says, yes, you need some serotonin support, and then you would use either tryptophan or 5-HTP as a supplement. And again, targeted, because you need it, but also targeted to your unique biochemistry.
There’s a standard starting dose for tryptophan, which is 500 mg, while 5-HTP is 50 mg.
Be sure to tune into the interview with Debbie Hampton. She is the survivor of an acquired brain injury (from a pill overdose when trying to commit suicide) and the author of the upcoming book, Sex, Suicide, and Serotonin. Her story and resilience is inspiring! Here is Debbie’s wonderful answer to Erin’s question: “What advice would you give to someone who feels like it’s too late to do what they want to do? I’m already so deep in, there’s no way that I could possibly have the life that I wanted or do the work that I really wanted to do.”
It’s never too late. And those limitations, you’re putting on yourself. Those limitations are in your mind. If you think you can’t, and you think it’s too late, then it is. You’ve got to change your mind first and if your mind thinks you can, you’re halfway there.
My advice would be to start small … I’m not big on long-term plans. I’m big on a long-term bigger goal. But what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to take a little step in the right direction towards that goal, and when you get there, you look around and you say, “Okay, what is my next best step?” And when you get to that next step, there may be opportunities that you can see that you couldn’t even see back here.
So you’ve got to take it one step at a time and get there and assess your opportunities. And then figure out the next best step, and then get there and figure out the next one. And it may be a zigzag path, and you may even have to go back sometimes, regress, but as long as you just keep moving forward and keep positive momentum and positive thoughts and be your own cheerleader, and encourager, and supporter— be your own friend—that is the most important thing.
I could not agree more – there is an answer, you can do whatever you set out to do and just take baby steps!
You can register for the Brain Summit here: