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
- 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
Returning to Jiu Jitsu after 40 with Felicia Oh, is such an awesome conversation, that I had to turn it into a two-part podcast. I read a Facebook post written by Felicia that was so inspiring to me that I myself returned to my old practice of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the following week. Felicia is an accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Jean Jacques Machado. She’s competed at the highest levels of BJJ competition and has won many competitions. She’s also an artist with an MFA from UCLA.
In part two we dig deeper into art, life, family, and the philosophy behind Jiu Jitsu that has inspired us both to continue on this journey of self improvement. I discover more about why redefining your life, and growing from adversity can be a powerful thing. Part 2 is my favorite part of this interview.
I wanted to do this podcast with Felicia to discover how she made her comeback to BJJ, and why she did it in the first place. It was so much fun talking with my old training partner and friend, Felicia, that I turned it into a two-part conversation. Felicia has dealt with a chronic illness and pain for several years, and still trains Jiu Jitsu on a weekly basis. The second part will appear on the podcast next week. So subscribe and keep up on the latest interviews!
What You’ll Learn From this Podcast:
- Why coming back to competitive sports and Jiu Jitsu in Particular is a great idea for people over 40.
- What supplements Felicia took to feel confident and strong to get back into the dojo?
- Felicia was one of the most active competitors in tournaments from our club. How it feels to train but not compete.
- The match with Megumi Fuji was very competitive at the Abu Dhabi. Was there ever a point where Felicia doubted herself?
- How our bodies change as we get older, and how to adapt and overcome those changes.
- Competitive desires and how to redefine the “win”.
- The Three Principles and how all things begin in the mind.
- Bringing your life experience, patience, and wisdom to every aspect of your life – even in the dojo.
- How age and experience beats youth and athleticism!
Healing power of mindful breathing is an organic conversation with trauma recovery specialist Julie Fernandez. I met Julie at La Maida Institute. She and Anjali Deva are two of my yoga teachers. Julie talks about the body’s natural wisdom and it’s ability to heal itself. The healing power of mindful breathing is also a big part of Vipasana meditation and releasing painful experiences that are held in the tissues of our bodies.
A few things became clear, as my conversation with Julie unfolded. Initially, after we admitted to initial nervousness on both of our parts, we were able to relax into an open discussion. Thus, I saw how Julie’s work is similar to Soma Miller’s work, and even the Wim Hoth method. Nature holds the key to wellness. Embracing nature is the reset button. Finally, after hearing Julie’s story, I was struck by how brave Julie is and I admitted to my concern for her own care. She illustrated clearly how she takes care of her physical and mental health through her own practice. This woman walks her talk.
From Julie Fernandez
My name is Julie Fernandez and I serve as a yoga teacher and breath-work coach specializing in healing trauma. Yoga and breath-work are tools I use to relieve individuals with symptoms of trauma in the body. This helps to regulate the nervous system. My compassionate approach centers on recognizing the strength within. Shedding judgement, guilt and shame that arise from unresolved traumas is the goal. Some of the conditions I work with include Complex, Developmental and Shock Traumas, Anxiety, Depression, Dissociative Disorders, as well as Eating Disorders.
My experience comes from working in domestic violence shelters, rape and sexual assault crisis centers. I also help those with eating disorders. Working in mental health clinics, and inner-city schools, with at-risk teenage girls and disadvantaged youth is rewarding to me. Currently, I work closely with psychiatrist, Dr. Omid Naim and an incredible team of practitioners at Hope Integrative Psychiatry in North Hollywood, CA and LA Resiliency Center in Burbank, CA. I am also fortunate enough to be a part of the team at La Maida Institute where I work to support the systems and operational structure so that our center can be a source of healing and transformation.
Additionally, I serve as the Southern California Program Manager for Exhale to Inhale, a non-profit organization which empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to reclaim their lives through the healing and grounding practice of yoga.
What You’ll Hear
- What a trauma recovery specialist is, and why did Julie become one.
- How emotional scars of past trauma can remain in our body.
- Why emotional scars are sometimes harder to heal than the physical scars.
- How this therapy actually works.
- How Julie takes care of herself, and “shakes off” the anxiety, like animals do in nature.
- The many similarities to Julie’s work and the Wim Hoff method.
- Breathing and nature’s healing power
Metta Healing Arts
Exhale to Inhale
La Maida Institute
Embracing Your Strength
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
- What is functional nutrition and how is Amber different from a traditional dietitian
- What is inflammation and how does it relate to Chronic illness and pain?
- Can you manage pain through nutrition alone?
- Fermented foods and why you should be eating them.
- Gut microbes and “good” bacteria
- What is food sensitivity testing & LEAP , who is it for and does it really help?
The Disobedient Dietitian Website
Nature’s healing power. This is a discussion with Men’s Coach Soma Miller, about nature’s power to heal illnesses like depression, and anxiety. We talk about violence in cities. We discuss my theory that something a simple as working out or resting in nature could hold a key to peace in our inner cities. Soma talks about Permaculture and integrating with nature and why trying to dominate and control nature is slowly killing us.
WHAT HAS EMERGED FROM THIS OFTENTIMES DISMANTLING WORK, IS A GROUND OF HUMILITY. IT’S A DEPTH OF SELF-LOVE AND A MASSIVE WELL OF COMPASSION THAT I EXTEND TO ALL THE MEN I WORK WITH.
This Show Is About…
The healing power of nature is something that I’ve experienced first hand. I’m not alone in this sentiment. Many people, throughout history, have pointed out nature’s healing power as valued and vital, to their mindset and well being. Henry David Thoreau said, “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
On a slightly more political note Walt Whitman said, “Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by regular contact with outdoor growths – animals, trees, sun, warmth and free skies – or it will dwindle and pale.” In 2015 a Stanford University study said that 70% of humanity will live in cities by the year 2050. I believe that the increase in depression and anxiety in Western society is caused by a disconnection with the natural world.
I sought out men’s work coach, permaculture designer, and facilitator Soma Miller to discuss these topics on the podcast. Soma’s wisdom and integrity – especially regarding the topic of integration and living within the patterns of the natural world, have been valuable to me throughout the years. I hope that you enjoy this episode.
What you’ll hear on this podcast
- Why it’s particularly important for men to reconnect with nature.
- Doing retreats in nature as a group reveal a lot about us.
- A solo camping trip or even a hike alone are beneficial and help to ward off depression.
- Our theory that inner city urban violence is a direct result of a disconnection with ourselves and the natural world.
- Soma’s upcoming in-person and virtual workshops and men’s groups.
Lauren lost 60 lbs, and has kept it off for over a year.
What This Episode is About
Lauren Alten spent decades bouncing from being overweight to obese, trying every diet under the sun. One night, she lay in bed with a racing pulse, gasping for air. She prayed the prayer of the desperate and made a vow that if she was shown the way back to health she would not only follow it, but she would light the way for others to follow. This is her story.
She has now found lasting solutions, lost over 60 pounds, achieved her ideal sized body, and maintains it long term. It is her mission to empower women to go from lives of quiet desperation, low energy and expanding waistlines to living their lives Slim Whole and Free.
Lauren lost 60 lbs, and has kept it off for over a year. She’s got something to teach, and you might do well to listen to her.
What You’ll Learn
- Why counting calories or food points doesn’t work.
- The brain chemistry behind sugar and flour addiction.
- Why intuitive eating doesn’t work for a large portion of the population.
- Improving your gut health and restoring your hormone balance.
- Why too much exercise, when you are in weight loss mode, is counter-productive.
- The willpower myth (you really do have plenty of willpower, you just need to understand how to harness it!).
- Slow metabolism? Low thyroid function? Aging body? Bad genes? You CAN still lose weight! Lauren did it with all those factors in place.
- Finding peace and freedom in your ideal sized body.
Quick tips for lasting weight loss
Can cookware cause cancer
Inflammation, and functional nutrition