Three Nutrients for Improved Brain / Neurological Health and Where to Find Them

Three Nutrients for Improved Brain / Neurological Health and Where to Find Them

Take responsibility for your brain and nervous system health!

It’s been eight years since I was diagnosed with RSD, due to a work place accident. If I had continued to follow doctor’s orders I would be walking with a cane today. In early 2012, I decided that I’d had enough after hobbling passed my surgeon’s Bentley in the hospital’s parking lot. My goal was to be able to walk, run, and live a great life filled with physical activity. Brain and nervous system health were the keys. Even though I was determined to succeed, getting the right information, was a little more difficult than I imagined.

Of all the many specialists that I’d seen regarding my neuropathy not a single one asked me about my diet, sleep and exercise. They were all focused on their training. The surgeons wanted to do another operation. The pain specialists wanted me to try another medication. You get the idea.

Trial, Error, and Research

Through research and speaking to nutritionists, and fitness experts, such as Mark Sisson, I decided that food was to be my medicine. It took me several years to figure out truth from dogma when it came to brain and nervous system health. I’d like to give you the three nutrients and some foods and supplements that I found most useful to reduce the inflammation of my nervous system, and improve my cognitive function.

 1. Creatine

Creatine is one of the most researched natural supplements.

Few experts would argue the benefits of having enough creatine in their diet. Some folks think, creatine is just for athletes that want to put on more muscle. Well it’s also important for brain cognition too.  It’s also important to the central nervous system. Creatine recycles ATP. The human central and peripheral nervous system, relies on ATP. Brain and nervous system health recycles its own body weight in ATP each day. ATP is also a precursor to your DNA.

Best source of creatine

Red meat is a reliable source of creatine. It’s also a great source for zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Grass fed and locally raised cattle or bison are usually the great sources of red meat. Sea food like Albacore tuna are also good. In fact, you can get up to 5 grams ( a good daily amount) of of creatine from a pound of fresh tuna fish. I doubt many of us can eat a pound of fresh tuna a day. So what can do you to up your intake of this valuable nutrient?

Creatine Supplements

My preference is always to get my nutrition from food. However, Vegans, vegetarians, and people who normally do not eat much red meat or seafood can get the benefits of creatine without eating meat! They can benefit by taking a supplement called polyethylene glycosylated creatine. I find that it works better for me, than creatine monohydrate. You be the judge. Either one would be beneficial to your brain health!

2. Magnesium

Your body needs magnesium for pretty much everything you do. It’s one of the most important minerals for your overall health. Magnesium helps regulate your immune system, heart rate, and metabolism.  If you are having troubles with injuries that will not seem to heal, magnesium can help.

Best sources of magnesium

Some of the best food sources are leafy greens like spinach, and kale. Seafood like salmon, and tuna are great. Black beans are dood, although some people don’t do well with legumes, so figs and bananas might be best for you in that case.

Magnesium Supplements

There are many types of magnesium products. They have several uses. You should know which one would work best for your needs. For instance, if you picked up a bottle of magnesium, at your local GNC, it might be magnesium oxide, which is commonly used as a laxative. Magnesium oxide is not as soluble as some of the other choices. That’s why it’s an excellent laxative. Your body will eliminate it quickly. Remember Milk of Magnesia?

I take Magnesium Orotate, which is known to have the greatest effect on the heart and nerves, at the cellular level. There are several choices that could work best for you. Some of these include magnesium sulfate otherwise known as Epsom Salts, Magnesium Chloride which comes in topical solutions as well as tablet form, and chelated forms such as Magnesium Malatate.

3. Zinc

Zinc deficiencies have been linked to immune system disorders, and poor cognitive function. It’s the most common mineral deficiency along with iron.

Food sources for more zinc!

Pumpkin seeds pack about 7 milligrams in a single cup. That’s about half of a daily dose. Grass fed beef, lamb, and some fish are also good sources. Throw some pomegranate seeds on your salad for a delicious dose of zinc! One of my favorites is cocoa powder. I’ll put about 2 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder in my afternoon veggie shake. That gives me about 5 milligrams from eating something that tastes chocolaty and satisfying!

 Taking a zinc supplement

The most bio available form of zinc is chelated zinc orotate. Avoid zinc gluconate. It has poor absorption. and you’d be wasting your money.

Take Magnesium and Zinc Separately

Magnesium and zinc are involved in virtually every bodily process. these two minerals are essential to brain and nervous system health. They are often packaged together as a sleep aid. This is very convenient. Although, I recommend that you take them separately, for reasons of absorption. Zinc and Magnesium will fight for absorption when taken together so you should maybe take zinc in the morning and then take the magnesium about an hour later. If you prefer to take zinc and magnesium together, try using ZMA. There are several versions of this on the market. Just remember magnesium and zinc are best absorbed on an empty stomach, but if it messes up your stomach, then eat a light meal with your supplements.

Eat loads of leafy greens!

There are so many benefits to eating more dark leafy greens that I don’t know where to start. Fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and iron are just some of the nutrients that will keep you sharp and fit for years to come.

That said, I’m not a big kale fan. It’s not like I hate it. It’s just – everywhere. Swiss chard, bok choy, and dandelion greens are some of my favorites. I’ll eat some collard greens in the morning with some soft-boiled pastured eggs for a load of minerals like magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Pastured eggs are a great source of omega three fatty acids, which help your brain synapses fire more efficiently. These fats are highly bio-available in pasture raised eggs.

Bonus tip!

More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes.

To improve your overall health and wellness and not just your brain and neurological health, eat less sugar. In fact, cut out all processed foods and sugar from your diet. carbohydrate is one of the most important macro-nutrients. You don’t need to rely on pastas, breads, and other processed carbs. You’ll get plenty when you start eating more vegetables everyday.

I hope that these tips are helpful to you. Please subscribe!

Can Cookware Cause Cancer?

Can Cookware Cause Cancer?

Can cookware cause cancer? – 4 Safe Non-Stick Alternatives to toxic Cookware – You have heard all about the importance of eating healthy foods. You understand how to measure your calories, and macro-nutrients like fats, protein, and carbs. But what about your non-stick cookware? Did you know that your shiny new copper coated non-stick skillet is potentially very toxic to you and your family? Even the healthiest diet can cause severe health problems if your pots and pans are toxic.

The cookware industry has been searching for a safe non-stick coating for healthy cooking for decades. The grand daddy of synthetic non stick surfaces for cooking is Teflon. Teflon cookware gets its non stick properties from a coating of PTFE. When heated above 572°F, this plastic polymer releases terrible toxins. These toxic fumes lead to flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever. It’s more commonly known as Teflon flu. Several chemical compounds found in Teflon cookware are threatening to the body, as well as to the environment.

Like many other non-stick surfaces, aluminum cookware is usually coated. Just like several of the other toxic surfaces that are underneath the safe ceramic coating. Ceramic is an effective barrier to the negative effects of aluminum. However ceramic is prone to chipping while cooking or washing your cookware. Rapid heating and cooling can crack an expensive skillet. This allows the toxic metal to leach into your food.

Aluminum foil, is even more dangerous. There’s an established “safe” amount of aluminum the human body can manage. It’s approximately 20 mg per pound of body weight a day. When you wrap your food in aluminum foil and cook it this way, the amount of this substance that leaks into the food significantly exceeds the permissible level. For me personally, no amount of a toxic metal in my blood stream is okay.

Aluminum is a neurotoxic metal. Elevated levels of aluminum in the body have been linked to several central nervous system diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia.

Uncoated copper pots and pans, are quite toxic. A nice dinner of salmon in lemon sauce, could lead to desert in the ER with a case of metal poisoning. And that’s because it can release copper when you cook acidic foods.

Companies like All Clad, Calphalon, and Cuisinart are always cooking up expensive new non-stick surfaces to sell to you. A new skillet can run you upwards of $200. This is especially painful when you later discover that your shiny cookware is really poisoning you. Ouch!

Safer Options

So what should you do? Non-stick cookware makes clean up easier, and you use a lot less oils and fats in your cooking with non-stick cookware. The solution is easy. Stick with the classics, such as, cast iron, carbon steel, glass, and 100% ceramic cookware.

Here Comes Ironman!

Your grandma knew how to make a cast-iron cookware as smooth as any overpriced option from Wolfgang Puck. Cast Iron has great heat retention. So your food stays warm just in case someone’s a little late for dinner. Cast iron heats well and evenly.It doesn’t leak anything toxic into your food. Plus it has the added benefit of increasing your body’s iron levels.

Many manufacturers are now making preseasoned cast iron pans. If you follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, your morning omelet will slide right out of the pan. Cast iron is also about as durable and rugged as cookware can get. You can make popcorn in your cast iron Dutch oven over a campfire, without a scratch on it. Try that with your $200 copper pot.

When in Rome

Carbon steel is very popular in Europe. It’s a lighter, and equally durable alternative to cast iron. Carbon steel is generally safer stainless steel, because stainless can contain nickel, another toxic metal. It’s better to be on the safe side in my opinion. The only draw back to carbon steel is it’s a little harder to purchase here in the United States.

Earth Friendly

Glass cookware is about as safe as you can get. It does not release anything toxic when heated, Glass doesn’t hang on to any old food flavors. It’s also eco-friendly!

You might be scratching your head as to why I suggest 100% ceramic cookware. Notice the 100% part of the sentence. The problem with ceramic coated cookware is not the ceramic part, it’s the aluminum, lead, and other toxic substances underneath. Ceramic coatings are usually soft. They chip and peel. All ceramic pots are much more durable, and don’t peel, or chip like coated versions.

Conclusion

So, can cookware cause cancer? The answer unfortunately is – yes. In my opinion, it’s always better to be on the safe side, when it comes to your health. Why go with a new and untried non-stick pan, when, all you have to do, is do what your grandma did. Iron, steel, glass, and ceramic have been around for a very long time, and they’re here to stay.

Food Allergies Ruin Healthy Sleep

Ayurveda for modern living

Dietary Solutions for Treating Seasonal Depression

Dietary Solutions for Treating Seasonal Depression

In this episode – Dietary Solutions for Treating Seasonal Depression. We’re speaking with Amber Gourley, the disobedient dietitian. The topic is, seasonal depression. We set the clocks forward in most of the country during the winter months, because daylight is such a precious thing to us all. Many people look forward to the change of seasons. The falling leaves, chilly sweater weather, snowfall, and cozy nights hugged up with a loved one are some of the things we enjoy. For other people the lack of light during the day leads to reduced melatonin level. This reduction leads to a type of seasonal depression that can leave you feeling flat, listless, and depressed. At times the low mood can be overwhelming. Even a sad song on the radio can make you want to go back to bed and put the covers over your head for the rest of the day. Sound familiar?

Amber believes in uncovering the root cause of health issues and healing them, not just putting a band-aid on them and hoping for the best. Today she’s going to be giving us some tips on how to deal with this phenomena through diet. Amber Gourley is known as the Disobedient Dietitian for good reason. She uses hard science and tests to ensure that her clients are eating properly and getting the best nutrition, not government charts and graphs.

What is SAD? 

The name of this phenomenon is called Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD. The acronym SAD also stands for the Standard American Diet. This is ironic, because as a dietitian Amber is not an advocate of how most Americans eat, and the manipulation by food lobbyists in Washington on our health.

You’re not alone – It’s a worldwide problem

SAD affects millions of people worldwide every year. Statistics show that seasonal depression is an issue for up to 8 percent of the population. In Scandinavian countries this depressive disorder is the perceived cause of significant increases in suicide rates, due to the low sun during winter months.The disorder isn’t as significant in countries close to the equator. They’re less affected because the get more sunlight.

People living closer to the equator are probably getting more fresh air and outdoor activity. It’s easier to socialize and engage in fun activities when the weather is warmer. The winter months can especially be a drag for those that struggle with social anxiety. It’s hard enough for these folks to be around others. The winter months gives them an excuse to isolate at home in a dark apartment.

What is it about the sun?

Scientists don’t have a complete understanding of a reduction in the amount of sunlight can initiate depression. The best explanation is that reduced sunshine triggers changes in amounts of the hormone melatonin produced by the body. When melatonin levels go down, so does the activity of certain brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin. The lowering of serotonin activity in the hypothalamus has long been believed to be connected to heightened anxiety and severe depression.

Between 80 to 90 percent of the body’s serotonin, is in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin used in the brain is produced within the gut. This is why it’s essential to eat loads of leafy greens, and bright orange vegetables. These delicious foods are super abundant during the winter months. Nature knows what it’s doing!

It is thought that serotonin can affect moods like depression, and anxiety. It also affects social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire and function. Amber and I feel that a good diet and getting out in the daylight hours for some exercise can be a great remedy for the sadness and anxiety of this type of depression.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Low Energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Changes in sleeping patterns – more or less sleep than normal
  • Changes in appetite –  also eat more or less than normal
  • Unexplained crying
  • Negative self-image
  • Weakened immune system vulnerability to illness
  • Loss of interest in activities which are usually of value or pleasurable
  • Possible instances of suicidal ideation

Keywords: Seasonal Depression, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, Sadness, Anxiety, depressed, sad songs, winter blues, melatonin, serotonin, hormones

 

 

Inflammation, Pain Management, and Functional Nutrition

Inflammation, Pain Management, and Functional Nutrition

This episode, Amber Gourley, the “disobedient dietitian”, is talking about Inflammation and Pain Management and how those two things relate to something called functional nutrition, and food sensitivity.

What it’s about:

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what you should eat on the internet. I’m doing an extended series about food facts and fiction. this is the first episode. I sought out registered dietitian Amber Gourley, to talk about inflammation and food. Here’s why food can effect you, give you chronic pain in your joints and other types of inflammation. We discuss the similarities between her ideas and the ancient science of Ayurveda Plus we talk about healthy bacteria and your body’s ability to heal itself over time.

From the Disobedient Dietitian:

“Everyone has an opinion about how to be ‘healthy’. There are the people who tell you not to eat carbs, while others tell you not to eat fat, and others tell you not to eat sugar. (what the hell are you supposed to eat, then?) Then there are the people who tell you to go vegetarian. And the people who tell you to go Paleo. And the people who tell you to go Paleo vegetarian. And THEN there are the people who tell you to cut your calorie intake, or exercise more, or take this medication and everything will be better. (There are even people who tell you that bacon is bad.)”

 

What you learn

  1. What is functional nutrition and how is Amber different from a traditional dietitian
  2. What is inflammation and how does it relate to Chronic illness and pain?
  3. Can you manage pain through nutrition alone?
  4. Fermented foods and why you should be eating them.
  5. Gut microbes and “good” bacteria
  6. What is food sensitivity testing & LEAP , who is it for and does it really help?

Links

The Disobedient Dietitian Website

Ayurveda an ancient lifestyle for modern living

Ayurveda an ancient lifestyle for modern living

Ayurveda has its roots in India

This is episode #10. Ayurveda an ancient practice for modern living. This 5000 year old health practice is the traditional Indian system of medicine, promoting balance in bodily health. It uses diet, herbal remedies, breathing techniques, and practical advice for living. This system is over 5000 years old. Modern Ayurveda has brought this ancient medical system to life. It balances traditional wisdom with evidence based practices.

A community committed to healthy living

I recently attended a workshop on Ayurveda medicine and lifestyle at the La Maida Institute. This institute is housed in a beautiful old mansion that’s been converted into a center for healing the mind and body.  La Maida Institute’s mission is to offer a new way of approaching healthcare; where the human experience, communal support, and spiritual development are central to the healing process. La Maida commits to delivering participatory and integrative programs that empower transformation and restore wholeness.  It’s also less than a mile from my place, as a result – Hurrah for me! 

The instructor Anjali Deva gave me useful information that I immediately put into practice – to my benefit. I wanted to share all of this with you, and Anjali was kind enough to answer my questions on this episode of the show.

About Anjali Deva

Anjali Deva is a NAMA-certified Ayurvedic practitioner and Yoga teacher in Los Angeles. She is fortunate to have been introduced to Ayurveda and Yoga at a young age by her father, Arun Deva. Her familial lineage is rich with the desire to preserve and maintain this healing art. To further her pratice, Anjali went on to train with Kerala Ayurveda Academy, Loyola Marymount’s Yoga and the Healing Sciences Program.  with teachers both in the United States and in India. Her journey began in the kitchen with a desire to understand how the food we eat influences our bodies and minds. This passion has now grown to include helping people find their inner wisdom, clarity and health through the wisdom of Ayurveda. Through self-care practices she hopes to help people find their inner harmony and resilience.

What You’ll Learn

  1. What is Ayurveda?
  2. Why a modern person should apply this ancient practice to their lives.
  3. How to deal with health and mindset challenges, when you have little control over the circumstances.
  4. Anjali suggests, “Making food choices based on your internal awareness, instead of external information.” What does this actually mean to a person with little knowledge of Ayurveda? Anjali gives several examples.

Links

  1. Contact Anjali here
  2. La Maida Institute
Paleo Based Meal Plan – Help Reach Your Healthy Goals

Paleo Based Meal Plan – Help Reach Your Healthy Goals

Episode 9 – Paleo Based Meal Plan – Help Reach Your Healthy Goals

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What This Episode Is About

This is Happy and Healthy Over 40, the show where we discuss, health, sex mindset, lifestyle, and relationships as we enter our 40’s and beyond. In this episode of the show, we answer the question, does a Paleo based meal plan help you meet your healthy goals? Some of you are new to Paleo or just too busy or can’t quite figure it all out. Busy health conscious people don’t have to rely on their same old boring dishes or tear their hair out finding new ones. You can try new foods and learn new tricks to add to your eating plan. It’s great to not struggle to figure out all of the metrics on calories, and macros when someone has already done it for you. Kirsty Briscoe is here to teach you how to use a Paleo based meal plan – help reach your healthy goals.

About Kirsty Briscoe

 Kirsty is the founder of Paleo Folks; grain free baking mix company, health coaching agency, and curated meal planning service all in one! Their Paleo pancake mix and chocolate chip cookie mix are both top Paleo products at Whole Foods Market and on Amazon! Kirsty struggled with health, wellness, and her weight for most of her life, and Paleo changed it all for her. As a former teacher, sharing the Paleo diet in an easy to understand way is a deep passion for her! She specializes in Paleo for busy people, moms and kids, and budget conscious healthy eaters.

What You’ll Learn

  1. What is Paleo and why is it a good choice for a modern life?
  2. How people screw up Paleo, Vegan, or any other lifestyle and eating plan?
  3. What’s a curated meal plan and why that might be the smartest idea for you?
  4. Whole 30 Change Your Life – Change Habits. What that’s all about and how can people get a hold of you Kirsty and her delicious pancakes!

Links

Paleo Folks Cheat Sheet

Paleo Pancakes!

Mark’s Daily Apple

Mark’s Sisson’s books

Can cookware cause cancer

Dietary Solutions for seasonal depression