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Basic Concepts of Supplementation

foundations Jan 16, 2020

Basic Concepts of Supplementation

We believe folks need more skills and fewer pills when it comes to supporting a more resilient body, mind, and heart. We like to start with three basic skill-based concepts (many of which have already been covered in this category) before recommending supplements to the individuals we work with.

Concept 1: What you feed your body today will become your brain of tomorrow. In other words, start with diet. Consider these facts: 

  • Brain cells, like every other cell in the body, need constant fuel (energy) from clean proteins and complex carbohydrates to properly carry out their functions.
  • Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine depend upon receiving key nutrients (like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins) from diet.
  • The speed at which brain cells can communicate depends upon an insulating covering around the nerve cells (the “myelin sheath”). It is also made from nutrients in your diet.
  • Building a healthy...
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Enhance Your Resilient Diet

digest foundations nourish Jan 09, 2020

Enhance Your Mind-Body Health Through Nutrition

Once you've incorporated the six principles of the Resilient Diet into your daily habits, you may be ready for these more in-depth practices to further enhance your mind-body health through nutrition. There's no need to adopt these suggestions all at once--you can pick and choose the ones that work for you.

Practice 1: Eat more frequent meals and keep portions small.

  • Always eat breakfast—after fasting overnight, your brain needs fresh fuel.
  • Eat every 4-5 hours throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady.
  • Ideal: Eat three meals of 400-600 calories each, along with 2-3 snacks of 100-200 calories each.  Have a snack in the late morning and mid-afternoon.  You may also want to add a small snack just before bedtime if you eat dinner early or wake at night feeling hungry. 

Practice 2: Have a modest amount of protein with each meal and snack. 

  • Note that some folks may want to avoid protein at...
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The Best Brain Food: The Resilient Diet

digest foundations nourish Dec 30, 2019

Adjusting your eating habits is one of the simplest ways to naturally improve your mental health. Because you are already eating and drinking things every day to fuel your body and mind, you don't need to add anything new to your routine. Instead, focus on making changes and adjustments to your diet to ensure you are nourishing your system with foods that promote mental health.

We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles. These principles can guide your nutrition whether you cook for yourself, cook for a family, or don't cook much at all.

PRINCIPLE 1 | Eat whole, natural foods.

Buy unprocessed organic food as much as possible.

PRINCIPLE 2 | Eat a wider variety of foods.

Eat more seasonal and local foods. Discover new kinds of vegetables, grains, meats, nuts, and seeds.

PRINCIPLE 3 | Eat less...

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The Future of Mental Health

calm focus foundations joy Nov 07, 2019

by Henry Emmons, MD

We are Living with an Epidemic of Mental Health Problems

The numbers are staggering. 

The percentage of people in the US suffering from depression, anxiety, and poor focus/memory are historically high and increasing by more than 10% each decade. The rise is even faster among adolescents. If you are struggling with one of these common mental health problems, you are most definitely not alone!

Currently available treatments often don’t work well over the long term. 

Antidepressant medications still form the mainstay of treatment for depression and anxiety, while stimulants are the primary treatment for ADD. Consumers and professionals alike are realizing the limitations of conventional treatments and desperately looking for more natural, safe yet effective alternatives.

Natural approaches to mental health treatment are too often disorganized and unscientific.

There is no unified theory explaining the epidemic of disorders, either in the...

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HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training for Resilience in Body and Mind

foundations move Jun 11, 2019

If you’re in fight or flight stress mode, your body is preparing you for brief, intense bursts of activity, followed by periods of recovery. We are wired for this, and as children we did it all the time. Consider adding occasional brief, intense bursts of movement to your weekly routine. This practice has many benefits.

The Benefits of HIIT

For instance, it can:

  • Improve weight loss, especially for that hard-to-lose abdominal weight.
  • Raise your metabolic rate for 24-48 hours, burning calories long after you’ve exercised.
  • Improve hormone levels, including cortisol, testosterone and human growth hormone.
  • Protect against adult-onset diabetes.
  • Boost energy, focus, and performance.
  • Help slow the aging process.

How to move quickly with interval training:

  1. Choose any activity you like that can be done intensely in brief spurts (20-30 seconds is enough). Good options include walking or running, biking, rowing, using a treadmill or elliptical trainer, swimming, calisthenics, or...
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How to Eat Healthy: Benefits of a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

By Elly Hollenhorst

 

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” -Michael Pollan

 

Nutrition can be quite confusing, but it doesn’t need to be. Focus on eating a wide variety of whole plant foods and don’t worry about being perfect. The latter advice is key, especially when transitioning from a processed food- or animal product-laden diet to a more health-promoting, plant-based diet--keep yourself successful by celebrating your journey and your progress rather than your perfection. Just as Dr. Henry Emmons recommends to acknowledge your moments of happiness amplify your joy, I can strongly attest to that same principle applying towards acknowledging your feelings of success and pride in your progress.

I believe knowledge is empowerment, and that is no less true for nutrition. Let’s briefly dive into the what and why behind eating plants and provide you with the best scientific resources to make you feel confident on your journey to eating...

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Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: Six Easy Tips to Start a More Plant-Based Diet

digest foundations nourish Nov 27, 2018

By Elly Hollenhorst

The days are getting dark and cold. Warm hearty meals may be at the center of your cravings and, trust me, you are not alone. The following tips on how to eat more plant-based this fall will not only satisfy your comfort food craving but nourish your body by helping you succeed in eating more whole foods.

What Is a “Plant-Based” Diet?

The term plant-based has been buzzing around the internet of late and hopefully, we will continue hearing more about it as time passes. A whole food plant-based diet means that the food you consume is centered around an abundant variety of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds while aiming to eat food as close to its whole form as possible (e.g. brown rice vs. white rice), choose organic as much as you can, and avoid processed food.

Whole food plant-based diets have been studied and appear to be among the healthiest ways of eating. Let me put it this way, very few people argue...

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Outdoor Therapy and Grounding Techniques for Mental Health

calm focus foundations joy Sep 28, 2018

 

By Tim Culbert, MD

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

-John Muir

Where do I go when I feel burned out? I head to the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and desert landscapes for rejuvenation and a sense of calm. That simple step of heading outside almost magically shifts my internal landscape. I think of this immersion in a wild environment as “swimming with the senses.”

As a physician, I’ve sought out the scientific support for how these healing effects of nature take place. It's a free activity, there are no side effects, but is it just good for me or is something my patients should do too?

Well-known authors, poets, political leaders, and healers from all over the world have understood this connection between health in mind, body, and spirit, and the natural world. I love Seth Adam Smith’s...

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Reset Your Sleep Schedule

foundations kids sleep Aug 07, 2018

By Tim Culbert, MD

August offers that last excitement of summer for kids. You can likely relate as the popular summer activities have persisted over the decades: sleeping in, daytime sprinkler-running, ice cream before dinner, and stay-up-too-late-sleepovers. 

September usually comes crashing in with strict school schedules and increased workloads for parents. The result? Tired, cranky kids.

And tired, cranky adults. 

Adjusting to new sleep schedules is tough. Adolescents typically require 8-10 hours of sleep to function optimally. Adults need about the same at 7-9 hours.

One strategy that parents and kids can use to reset sleep schedules is the use of a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a neurohomone that helps regulate the sleep-wake rhythm. It can be taken orally to help re-establish that rhythm. It also appears to have antioxidant action and supports the immune system. 

In general, doses for melatonin range between 1 and 5 mg and are taken...

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Six Ways to Keep Your Mind & Body Cool

foundations Jul 24, 2018

By Henry Emmons, MD

Do you notice yourself feeling irritable in the heat of summer? Overly critical? Agitated or impatient? Or just sapped and lethargic?

You may not know that serotonin (that soothing, feel-good brain chemical that is so associated with mood) can get depleted in the summer just as it can in the winter. I think of serotonin as a “brain coolant" because it helps protect the brain under extreme conditions like high heat. This hard work can deplete serotonin. In effect, when air temperatures go up, serotonin levels go down. Some speculate that this may explain the increase in violence seen during the hottest days of summer.

Another way to think about what’s going on in your body during the hot months is through the lens of Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India. Ayurveda views the summer months as the pitta season. Pitta is one of the primary mind-body types and is associated with a somewhat fiery personality and a more driven...

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