The Link Between Food & Mental Health

November 24, 2019

Learn how the foods you eat affect your brain health and especially how the foods you eat can increase or decrease anxiety, depression and your sense of well-being. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, what are you eating? What is the connection between your diet and your mental health? Listen in as we discuss some basic nutritional information that you can use to either avoid getting depression or use to relieve symptoms of depression.

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Transcript

DARLENE: Well welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I love these mornings when I get the opportunity to talk to people and share my thoughts. I mean who gets to do that on the radio? This is great.

 

MARCIE: I know. This is great fun.

 

DARLENE: So today we have a very important topic to discuss with you. I always say that though, you know.

 

MARCIE: Well, because they're all important; I mean to us anyway.

 

DARLENE: Right. And we hope to the listeners. So we want to help you… we want to help you realize that there is a link between our food, what we are eating and our mental health. That's kind of a new concept for a lot of people.

 

MARCIE: I think so.

 

DARLENE: So we really want to help you understand how the foods you eat affect your brain health and especially how foods you eat can increase or decrease anxiety, depression, or it can actually give you that sense of well-being. So if you're struggling with anxiety or depression, the question is: What are you eating?

 

MARCIE: You’re right. You know, what is the connection between your diet and your mental health?

 

DARLENE: So have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about the connection between the foods you eat and your depression or your anxiety; or even like today feeling great? That's the way I woke up anyway.

 

MARCIE: I know me too.

 

DARLENE: Good. So I'm Darlene Kvist. I'm a Certified Nutrition Specialist and I have been in practice well over 30 years. You know, previously I may have mentioned that on Dishing Up Nutrition, that brain health is one of my favorite nutrition topics because, because, because…

 

MARCIE: Yes, share this.

 

DARLENE: Our brain affects our behavior.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: And quite often our behavior affects our brain. That's kind of a deep thought when you really think about it.

 

MARCIE: It is.

 

DARLENE: You know, so what I've done in the last, well since 1964 probably or before, I have been going to many different lectures on nutrition and seminars on brain health. I've read research studies and I've worked one on one with many clients who have been struggling with their mental health.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: So over the course of more than 30 years of practice, I have had a few success stories.

 

MARCIE: Well I think more than a few.

 

DARLENE: A few, yes; quite a few. And these clients no longer experience their mental health symptoms and some of them just don't even have to take a medication any longer.

 

MARCIE: I know. And so many people want that.

 

DARLENE: Yes.

 

MARCIE: Get off their meds.

 

DARLENE: You know, I know that really my belief system, and we talk about this all the time on Dishing Up Nutrition is that food matters. And food matters when it comes to your mental health.

 

MARCIE: It does.

 

DARLENE: So that voice you've been hearing over on that other side is Marcie and she's joining us today. And Marcie, I know you're really, really keenly aware of how food feeds your brain or how important it is what we eat.

 

MARCIE: Oh for sure.

 

DARLENE: So you have always been kind of drawn to this topic too haven’t you?

 

MARCIE: Oh naturally, yeah, for sure I have.

 

DARLENE: So between us, we are planning to touch on some of the basic nutritional information that you can use to avoid getting depression or how you can eat to relieve some of the symptoms.

 

MARCIE: Exactly.

 

DARLENE: I have a question for you.

 

MARCIE: Oh no.

 

DARLENE: Do you wake up in the morning and say, “I'm planning my menu so I can feed my brain right.”

 

MARCIE: I'm not thinking a whole lot of people are waking up like that. But we are.

 

DARLENE: Yeah, we are; especially on days that we’re on the show.

 

MARCIE: For sure. I know I need it.

 

DARLENE: So I, we, we both really believe that everyone's goal should be to think, “What am I feeding my brain today?”

 

MARCIE: That's right. You know, and we're not only going to talk about, you know, how to feed our brain for better mental health, but how to feed our brain for just better memory.

 

DARLENE: Yes. And everyone is… so many of least my friends are concerned about that.

 

MARCIE: Right. Well, and I, you know, have women my age coming in and they're like, “I just keep forgetting things. You know, what's going on.” You know, and so we're also going to talk about how to feed your brain for better moods and just really a happier sense of well-being because it all depends on the nutrients you give your brain. It really does.

 

DARLENE: And that's a, that's a big statement Marcie. We don't even realize how… most people don't even understand that or can't believe that.

 

MARCIE: Right; to put that connection together, like you said earlier. You know, well I’ll introduce myself here since I keep talking. I'm Marcie Vaske and I have a master's degree in clinical nutrition. And I've been seeing clients for over five years now; not quite the 30 years or more that my co-host has been seeing… you know, but you got to start somewhere. So what I do when I first sit down with a client who's, you know, experiencing that anxiety, depression or even an eating disorder, you know, they typically, like we were mentioning, they haven't made the connection to their brain health and how it's linked to their mental health conditions. And in fact in our nutrition classes, we are always teaching that our brain needs a variety of nutrients to function. And so many people are really just shocked to learn that if they just ate better, they’d feel better. I mean, not only their brain but everything, right?

 

DARLENE: But when we get people eating better, they do feel better, don't they?

 

MARCIE: Oh yeah.

 

DARLENE: And they think better.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: And they’re…

 

MARCIE: I mean, how many people come back and say, “I can focus better.”

 

DARLENE: And their moods are better.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: So we know that the food matters.

 

MARCIE: The food does matter. You know, and it comes down to just experiencing, you know, that less depression, less anxiety and just having better mental health, you know.

 

DARLENE: Right.

 

MARCIE: So it's unfortunate really, you know, that this connection is not being taught in schools. I so wish that, you know, as they were teaching… my kids are going to be taking health class pretty soon. You know, why not have a little section about how mental health can be changed by the foods you eat?

 

DARLENE: It's such an epidemic, especially among adolescents now.

 

MARCIE: For sure it is.

 

DARLENE: So we should.

 

MARCIE: It just makes the most sense to start talking about it young. I'm always telling my kids they're going to be, you know, they'll be able to think more clearly. There'll be smarter if they eat some protein; have some good fats.

 

DARLENE: You know, the reality is when we're sitting down with clients though, people, they just, sometimes they're really set in their way of thinking and on their behaviors because they don't want to hear that they have to get up and eat breakfast.

 

MARCIE: No, I mean it's a lot of times it's the, “I don't, I don't have enough time.”

 

DARLENE: “I don't have enough time.”

 

MARCIE: “I need to sleep in” or, and then I always say, well, what time you going to bed? And then there's that.

 

DARLENE: And also, if they're not eating well, they do have some, they don't lack, they lack that energy of getting up in the morning and they have some depression and so they have some problems getting out of bed in the morning.

 

MARCIE: Right. So exactly what we were saying about how, you know, food is affecting your behavior. Behavior affects your moods and your mental health.

 

DARLENE: Yup; but if they're going to eat breakfast…

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: What should they eat?

 

MARCIE: Well, we are not talking about bowls of cereal or muffins, right? I mean that stuff is just going to make you feel worse. When we talk about good nutrition at breakfast, it's going to look like real eggs, meat, spinach, some sort of yummy vegetable and just, you know, I always say, just cook it up in some butter.

 

DARLENE: Well, we still have that problem with people thinking and have more than we realize that they can eat real fat. They're just stunned. “I can't believe that I can eat real fat.” “And real fat like butter: it's going to help me function better?” They're even more shocked to learn that that fake butter…

 

MARCIE: Oh, I know.

 

DARLENE: …that they'd been putting on their toast every morning is actually making their brain function more poorly.

 

MARCIE: Oh yeah. I mean it's really, it's always interesting to me when people are like, “Really?” You know, I always say, you know that margin you're eating is one molecule away from being plastic. So let's think about that.

 

DARLENE: Right.

 

MARCIE: You know, so at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we're teaching people to avoid those processed oils, right? That corn oil, the soybean oil, the canola oil, cottonseed oil. Those are the ones we want you to stay away from.

 

DARLENE: And why Marcie?

 

MARCIE: Well, because we need our cells to communicate, and our cells are not going to communicate with each other if you are eating bad or those damaged fats; because what happens is that you will, what happens is your, the membrane around each of ourselves is made up of fat. And if we eat those bad fats, they become crusted. And so they can't communicate with each other because they're not supple and the receptors are not taking that information in.

 

DARLENE: So the communication between the cells actually breaks down.

 

MARCIE: That's right.

 

DARLENE: They don't get from one cell to the other because the bad fats blocked the communication.

 

MARCIE: Exactly. So that's why we want you to eat some butter.

 

DARLENE: And avoid, and we say this over and over and over. What do we avoid for fats?

 

MARCIE: Cottonseed oil, corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil. Get rid of them and they're in everything. So start looking at your ingredients.

 

DARLENE: So you know, in our Weight & Wellness classes and we have so many classes, we often ask our class participants, what is your brain made out of? What is it? And I think all of our longtime listeners are saying, “I know that one.” But many people haven't even thought about what their brain is comprised of. Now we know that we need water for our brain for sure.

 

MARCIE: Well right.

 

DARLENE: And, but I don't think most people realize that they need good fat for the brain because our brain is about 60% fat and it's healthy fat or it should be healthy fat.

 

MARCIE: That's right. That's why we want you to get those healthy fats. All right, well we need to take our first break and then we'll come back to talking about all these yummy fats you get to include in your meals. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. We understand that for many people, the month of December offers up many temptations.

 

DARLENE: Of course.

 

MARCIE: Yes. So to help you stay on your real food plan, we'll be having our winter wellness sale, which begins Friday, November 29 and goes through Saturday, December 7. And what are you going to save on? During that time we're also going to be offering a hundred dollar discount on your, on our package of three, one-hour follow-up nutrition appointments. And normally this package is $330 but now it's $230 for three appointments, which is huge.

 

DARLENE: So they could make an appointment every week for the month of December.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: And so inexpensive.

 

MARCIE: And it can change your life. So call today at any of our Nutritional Weight & Wellness offices because I'm sure our schedules would get booked fast with this great sale. Phone number there is 651-699-3438.

 

BREAK

 

DARLENE: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. You know, in two weeks from today on December 7, you know, Marcie, you and I are going to be back as we interview author Judith Finlayson about her new book, You Are What Your Grandparents Ate.

 

MARCIE: Mmhm.

 

DARLENE: Let me say that title again: You Are What Your Grandparents Ate. Think about that.

 

MARCIE: Yeah.

 

DARLENE: So here's an idea. To get ready for the show, you might want to have a discussion with your relatives about what your grandparents and great grandparents ate, you know, as you're sitting around the table.

 

MARCIE: That's right.

 

DARLENE: That's going to be a great discussion. So I thought it may explain why there is such an increase in mental health and addiction issues.

 

MARCIE: Yeah.

 

DARLENE: Maybe their nutrition made a difference. It's a fascinating book.

 

MARCIE: Yeah, it is really good.

 

DARLENE: You're going to love…. So tune in for us.

 

MARCIE: Yes. They cannot get rid of us Dar.

 

DARLENE: We were talking about the problem people have with fats.

 

MARCIE: Yes, very much. You know, and so this is kind of something to think about, right? In the past we were told that fat makes us fat. Anybody ever heard of that? I know I took it super serious and in college and up until I was probably almost 30; I hate to say that, I really only ate fats that were fat free. So that meant no fat, right? And low-fat stuff; because I was determined not to put one fat in my mouth. I was going to follow the… I'm a rule follower and if someone tells me that's what I should be going.

 

DARLENE: We've had a lot of clients like that.

 

MARCIE: Yes, yes. Especially, you know, women who come in who are my age, they're like, I said, I know. We grew up in the same time, so I understand where you're coming from here. But the problem with eating only fat-free or low-fat foods is that your brain becomes depleted. It becomes depleted of one of the most critical nutrients that it needs for good mental health and memory. And during that time, my mental health was not good. Let's just be honest.

 

DARLENE: So you know, just to kind of emphasize this one more time: the critical nutrients for your brain to function is healthy fats.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: So healthy fats are, you know, things like butter, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, ghee, olives, nuts, nut butters, heavy cream, cream cheese. There's nothing wrong with any of those.

 

MARCIE: Yum.

 

DARLENE: So if you're buying prepackaged foods, check the labels for what kind of fat is it in that product because it's surprising how often you'll find soybean oil.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: So we want… for our brain we want these healthy beneficial fats and avoid those other ones.

 

MARCIE: Exactly. You know, and I know that I've talked about on other Dishing Up Nutrition shows about how I struggled with an eating disorder and some obsessive compulsive disorder and for sure anxiety; and you know, eating fat was a major help for me to get better. But it, it wasn't easy; wasn't easy back then to incorporate that back into my diet.

 

DARLENE: So how did you get…? I mean how did you actually do that, Marcie? Because we have so many people that struggle with that so…

 

MARCIE: Yeah.

 

DARLENE: Did you just…?

 

MARCIE: I just went very slowly and I started adding in maybe a half a teaspoon, a teaspoon to each of my meals. And then I realized that I could trust my body to use the fat and not use it against me, I guess is what I had kind of been grown up to learn.

 

DARLENE: So I got a question for you.

 

MARCIE: Oh no.

 

DARLENE: This is what everybody asks. I bet they ask you, “When you started adding the fat in, did you gain weight?”

 

MARCIE: No; no, not at all. You know, I really just started to feel better. I had a lot more energy. I had a lot less anxiety and I could think more clearly, really. So it just all, and I wasn't starving every four seconds and wanting to eat my arms off. So I mean add some fat.

 

DARLENE: Right.

 

MARCIE: It really made a difference.

 

DARLENE: So here's a suggestion: ask yourself, ask yourself deep down in your brain, are you still eating a low-fat diet or do you think you need to eat low-fat? Here's something: I suggest that you for the next three weeks, and that's all we have to do: three weeks.

 

MARCIE: Yup.

 

DARLENE: Start eating fats. You know, because it's going to support better brain function. Then after about three weeks, see if you don't have less depression and are starting to feel better.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: Maybe you think better. Maybe your memory's better. You know, I know based on many, many clients that I've worked with, I believe you will. You know, most people need about 10 to 14 grams of fat per meal for good brain health.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: Which is about a tablespoon of fat. Now that may be shocking to you at first. So start with a teaspoon.

 

MARCIE: Yeah, I mean, just start slow and make sure it feels good.

 

DARLENE: Right.

 

MARCIE: You know, and so, I think let's, let's tell everybody again what the good fats are, right?

 

DARLENE: Okay.

 

MARCIE: Healthy brain fats are the butter. So add that in. Coconut oil: yum. Avocados, because who doesn't like that green, yummy avocado? Olive oil, ghee, olives, super easy snacks like nuts, nut butters, you know, heavy cream and that cream cheese. You know, one really yummy snack that's so easy for everybody really is like some almond butter or peanut butter if you like it better, and some apples; apple slices. It's a great snack for your brain.

 

DARLENE: You know, one of the things that when we are working with people with, you know, that are starting to learn how to feed their new baby, we always recommend the first food be avocados.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: And it's good fats for the brain of the baby’s; baby's brain.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: So deviled eggs made with avocado mayonnaise or unrefined safflower mayonnaise are great for the brain, and especially if you use eggs from pastured chickens. These are the chickens that run around and eat grass.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: These yolks, these egg yolks contain a special kind of fat that makes up 60% of the fat that's in your brain. And that fat is a special kind of omega-three fatty acid called DHA. I'm a big proponent of DHA as everybody knows.

 

MARCIE: Right

 

DARLENE: Now, chickens that are raised on corn and oats: they don't produce eggs containing DHA.

 

MARCIE: That's right.

 

DARLENE: So it's really interesting to note how important DHA fat is because did you know that breast milk, the fat that's in breast milk is omega-three DHA?

 

MARCIE: Very interesting.

 

DARLENE: And many of the prenatal vitamins now are containing the fatty acid DHA. So if you're taking a prenatal check the label. If it isn't, then add a DHA supplement so that you can make sure that that fetus’ brain is being fed the right nutrients.

 

MARCIE: For sure. I recommend that all the time to young women. And you know those deviled eggs made of the avocado mayo are wonderful brain food and they really taste great. I mean people love them. And each pasteurized egg contains about a hundred milligrams of that DHA. So you could serve it up with some celery and carrot sticks and maybe some more olives and apple slices. And you have a great, you know, you have a great selection of some good brain food right there. DHA is found in egg yolks from pastured chickens, right? So that's what we want you to remember and most people really need about 400 to 600 milligrams of DHA for that good brain function. And one egg from a pastured chicken, like we mentioned, has about a hundred milligrams. So you need to eat, you know, four eggs. That's nothing, right?

 

DARLENE: That's right. But you know, honestly, if you eat a couple of eggs for breakfast from pastured chickens, you've got a couple of hundred milligrams and then maybe you'd take one supplement of a DHA supplement.

 

MARCIE: Yeah, super simple.

 

DARLENE: So we have a break time coming up.

 

MARCIE: We do. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And starting November 29 through December 7 Nutritional Weight & Wellness will offer our Winter Wellness sale. All Nutikey supplements will be discounted 15% off from the November 29 to December 7. So to save big, many of our clients will stock up on our bone-building supplement called Key Osteo Plus. Take advantage of this great offer by stopping by one of our seven locations. Or you can even order online at weightandwellness.com.

 

BREAK

 

DARLENE: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Here's a question for you. Are you still eating factory-made refined oils instead of natural beneficial fats? Because beneficial fats supports your brain health. So we suggest try to avoid using factory fats; these refined oils. We say it over and over: soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil. But I bet people don't realize that when they eat at fast food restaurants or a lot of the other restaurants…

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: …they are still using these bad oils.

 

MARCIE: They are.

 

DARLENE: So we know that the best way to avoid factory-made refined oils is to cook at home and use natural fats because you have the control over what you're putting in your brain.

 

MARCIE: That's right.

 

DARLENE: And we know that if you start using better fats, we believe you'll have better mental health. So as we mentioned before, you know what the healthy fats are. I bet our listeners could even say it by now.

 

MARCIE: I hope so.

 

DARLENE: Butter, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, ghee, olives, you know, all the things that taste really good.

 

MARCIE: Yeah, they don’t even have to think about, right? You just eat them and enjoy them. You know, and while I'm counseling clients, I'm always trying to help them really understand that food is brain medicine. That food will change your life. You know, when you eat right, you feel better and think better. So if you are out there struggling with a lot of that anxiety or depression and you want to have a better brain then you really need to believe and agree to give your brain good nutrition consistently, which is the key word, right?

 

DARLENE: Yes it is.

 

MARCIE: Alright, so the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that 19% of adults actually experience mental illness.

 

DARLENE: So about 20% of our adults.

 

MARCIE: Right; which is about one in five who live with this. So we're, we all know someone probably touched by a mental illness. There's also one in six children ages two to eight years old who have a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder.

 

DARLENE: Wow, that's a lot.

 

MARCIE: It is a lot. And 7% of children three to 17 years of age have an anxiety disorder and 3% have been diagnosed with depression.

 

DARLENE: And I bet, Marcie, now in 2019 it's much higher.

 

MARCIE: Oh yeah. For sure; I mean, you know, if you think about a three year old having depression it's sad. You know, so we want to make mental health disorders… They're very serious. It's a problem in the U.S. And if you struggle with one, it's important to feed your brain real food, not those processed foods that are easy. I know the pickup, but it's never, it's never worth it in the end.

 

DARLENE: So you know, we've already said that our brain is made up of at least 60% fat. So low-fat eating is totally out.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we teach clients, basically most clients do eat about seven tablespoons of good, healthy fat every day. And so as nutritionists, and I bet you get this question all the time, Marcie. What kind of milk should I feed my child? What could my child be drinking? You know, and because of the old fat-free message, parents think it should be fat-free or skim milk. And I think even some of the information out there is that.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: For brain and body health, children should be drinking whole milk.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: And we think organic whole milk is the best but think about this. Children need the fat from whole milk to support their brain when they're growing. And if you really look at skim milk, it's just too high in sugar for kids to be drinking because we can drive people into pre-diabetes

 

MARCIE: …just by drinking milk.

 

DARLENE: Or you know, they feed chocolate skim milk at school.

 

MARCIE: I know, just shoot me right now. You know, my kids have never drank anything more than whole milk, or less than whole milk, I should say.

 

DARLENE: That’s great Marcie.

 

MARCIE: And they're 12 so…

 

DARLENE: Oh good.

 

MARCIE: You know, when parents ask me, “Well what are your kids drink?” I'm like, they're 12 and they're drinking whole milk. They just look at me like, “Oh my gosh.” But they're great. They're super healthy.

 

DARLENE: Next question they all ask: Are they struggling with their weight?

 

MARCIE: Oh right. And I'm always like they're in their perfect percentiles. I mean, they're healthy little lovers. I'm their mother. So, well I want to read another paragraph that we have found in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry dated June, 2008. They say “few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression.”

 

DARLENE: Yes.

 

MARCIE: Mmhm. “…while they easily understand the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical health.”

 

DARLENE: Well, I wonder about that.

 

MARCIE: Exactly. “Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical based or emotionally rooted.”

 

DARLENE: Yes.

 

MARCIE: But really, Dar, it's on the contrary. “Nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as a severity and duration of depression; so many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same that really occur during depression.” Okay, so, so what does that look like? Well, it's going to include things like poor appetite, skipping meals, you know, and all they want to do are eat sweets. You’re feeling blue. You need to eat some sugar. “Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging discipline that's really shedding a lot of light on the fact that nutritional factors are so intertwined with human cognition, behavior and emotions.”

 

DARLENE: So it's just saying nutrition is important. Food matters.

 

MARCIE: Food matters.

 

DARLENE: Here's an interesting thing to note that very few mental health facilities have a nutritionist on staff working hand in hand with a mental health professional. You know, they encourage exercise.

 

MARCIE: That's right; which is great.

 

DARLENE: Yeah. We're not saying it's bad, but rarely recommend food therapy. And I think that's what we need is food therapy.

 

MARCIE: We do.

 

DARLENE: Here's a little more from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. “The most common mental health disorders that are occurring in many countries are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive behavior. The dietary intake pattern of the general population in Asia and American countries reflects that they are often deficient in many nutrients, especially vitamins, minerals and omega-three fatty acids.” Isn’t that interesting?

 

MARCIE: Yes. Oh my gosh, right? And just as a study suggests, other studies have found that daily supplementation of vital nutrients are often effective in reducing symptoms of patients with mental disorders. So this article has also cited research, which has indicated that most prescription drugs have side effects, which I think we all know. And patients often skip taking their meds in the first place or forget.

 

DARLENE: Because they feel so awful.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: But guess what? There are no side effects from eating real food.

 

MARCIE: It's a miracle.

 

DARLENE: You know, as nutritionists, we have realized that changing your food choices from fast food and processed foods full of bad fats and sugar takes a lot of guidance and support. It is not easy.

 

MARCIE: It isn't.

 

DARLENE: And really, I have a quick story to share about a client. This young woman was in her late twenties; had a variety of mental health issues. She was clinically depressed. She had OCD. She was addicted to alcohol, dropped out of school, unable to work. She was suicidal, but she was seeing a psychiatrist.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: We worked together once a week for over two years. Maybe it was more like three years, but we worked on changing her diet because it took quite a while to get her to follow a real food plan. She would follow a clean diet for two or three days and this is true. Then she would fall off the wagon, started bingeing and she'd become even more depressed.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: Because she felt like failure.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: So then after a lot of trial and error and continued support and encouragement, real food actually won out. You know, ultimately she turned the corner because she saw that binge foods only led to more depression and out of control behavior. I am happy to report today that she is employed full time. She's in the process of finishing her college degree and is in a very healthy long-term relationship.

 

MARCIE: Ah, that's wonderful.

 

DARLENE: Was the recovery process easy for her? No, but it’s well worth it because all of her efforts have really paid off. You know, she's alive. She's content with her life and she's actually giving back to others. You know, I, I really believe she will always need nutritional and emotional support because honestly stress is off the charts in our country and the American, our regular standard American diet is definitely not brain-friendly.

 

MARCIE: No, as we keep talking about.

 

DARLENE: You know, shutting down compulsive binge eating behavior can be a real challenge for many people. So I asked myself, why was this client successful? And I believe one of the reasons that this client was successful is because she is highly intelligent and she finally used her intelligence and her knowledge of food to control her behavior.

 

MARCIE: Yes.

 

DARLENE: I think that's so key.

 

MARCIE: I love that: her knowledge of food to control a behavior.

 

DARLENE: Now when she craves sugar or processed carbs, she grabs a handful of almonds or like an organic meat stick or a deviled egg. In order to control her binge behavior she uses her knowledge of how to eat to balance her blood sugar and to control her stress level. The root of binge eating I believe is biochemical. Support the biochemistry and the binge behavior reduces to a manageable level.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: I don't know if people know this.    

 

MARCIE: Well I don't think they do.

 

DARLENE: They are so caught up in their own binge behavior and…

 

MARCIE: …and can't stop it and think that is just going to keep going and going. And if we can teach them

 

DARLENE: Right.

 

MARCIE: …to control the behavior, then they choose better foods.

 

DARLENE: And they can actually use their intelligence. I love that.

 

MARCIE: I know.

 

DARLENE: And I love this comment that she made. I mean this is her story.

 

MARCIE: It is; and what a great story. I think it was great for everybody to hear that. And we have to go to our third break already. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. What is another thing you can do to support your brain function? Drink adequate amounts of filtered water. You know, often our clients who are teachers tell us they don't drink water all day because they don't have bathroom breaks, right? The fact is even slight dehydration raises your cortisol levels or stress hormones that can damage your brain over time. So are you drinking enough water to avoid depression, anxiety and memory loss? We want you to measure out 64 ounces of water and drink every last drop each and every day. Just 64 ounces is the bare minimum though. That's the thing. So see if you can drink more.

 

BREAK

 

DARLENE: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. You know, the entire Nutritional Weight & Wellness staff and I thank you for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And we all wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. It is, it is truly a gift to be able to do this on Saturday morning.

 

MARCIE: Yeah it is fun.

 

DARLENE: It is always fun working with you Marcie. I can always depend on you.

 

MARCIE: There we go.

 

DARLENE: So I just want to share that starting the week of January 13th we are offering our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series. It's 12 weeks of classes. And then with that you get two one-hour appointments with one of the nutritionists. That could be with Marcie or a dietitian at all of our seven locations. This is really an exceptional series and it is designed to be much more than just a weight loss program.

 

MARCIE: Oh, it is.

 

DARLENE: It's a wellness program. To help you make the commitment to your physical health and to your mental health, we are actually offering a $75 discount on Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series: the one that starts on January 13. This special offer is only available during our winter wellness sale, which starts Friday, November 29 and goes through Saturday, December 7. So we don't want you to miss out on this great 12-week series or the $75 savings.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: So sign up between that… before December 7. So you can call our office at 651-699-3438 or you can go to weightandwellness.com and sign up there.

 

MARCIE: Yes. And I like how you put it. It's a wellness program because it really is. I mean it teaches people more, more than just weight loss. We're teaching you how to change your life, really.

 

DARLENE: Exactly.

 

MARCIE: So, and just like Dar helped her client that she was talking about before we left, how to change her life and how she used her knowledge to change her behavior. I think it's just amazing; and the testament to what real food can really do. So we have some more research that we want to share with you and it's from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry again, which they stated a study that was from the National Institutes of Health. And they remind us how heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain. So this particular study found that processed food affected people's eating behaviors. So therefore their weight and their overall health were compromised.

 

DARLENE: Yes. You know, I love the comment that the researchers of this processed food study; that this was what they said:

 

DARLENE: “Processed foods can be difficult to restrict.”

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: Well, yes. We have to be mindful to take the time to prepare healthy, nutritious, real food versus the far less beneficial processed foods.

 

MARCIE: Right. You know, I'm a mom of 12 year-old twins, who of course they would love to eat cereal every morning. They want chips. They want to eat everything their friends are eating. But I want to support their brain. So a lot of times; all the time that stuff is not found in the house and that makes them sad. But we get over it. You know, because I want them to have good brain nutrients and it takes time. It's not easy. It takes me a lot of work. I get up at 4:00 AM sometimes to put something in the crockpot so we have something to eat when we get home. You know, and as a parent, I want that for them. And we're not sitting down watching TV that we see ads on TV promoting broccoli and sweet potatoes, right? They're showing kids, hey, let's have some French fries and some soda and some get some quick energy. So, but we know what we've talked about this whole episode today is that those kinds of foods are going to be nutrient robbers. It's not going to help our brain. And yeah, it takes some time. And it definitely takes planning to cook real food. But you know, when you love somebody, that's what you do, right?

 

DARLENE: Yup, but you know, one of the things that, I know you say a lot of times your kids don't necessarily always like to eat this way, but you are the parent.

 

MARCIE: That's right.

 

DARLENE: I love when you say that. You know, as everyday citizens, we must be on the lookout for poor quality foods for everyone and anyone who has a physical or mental health issue. And that seems like that's most of the people these days.

 

MARCIE: Yeah.

 

DARLENE: It is very unfortunate for us, as people, that the quality of the food grown in the U.S. is a problem.

 

MARCIE: Yeah.

 

DARLENE: You know, as we know from the past shows on Dishing Up Nutrition, most additives and trans fats are banned in European countries. I don't know if people know that. When food products are sent to Europe from the U.S., the U.S. food companies removes the artificial food additives so they can actually sell the food in Europe.

 

MARCIE: How? It's so frustrating.

 

DARLENE: Yes. I want to share an interesting post from Marion; Dr. Marion Nessle, who's the author of Food Politics. She posted a comparison of the ingredients in Quaker Oats sold in the United States to the Quaker Oats made by the same company sold in the UK. The UK version has five ingredients and the U.S. version has over 22 ingredients, mostly artificial ingredients, including red number 40.

 

MARCIE: Yeah; ridiculous.

 

DARLENE: Yes.

 

MARCIE:  You know, it's many studies link… and many of these studies are linking this hyperactivity in children with all the artificial food colorings. So some of these kids are eating this oatmeal before they go to school in the morning.

 

DARLENE: And then they're hyperactive.

 

MARCIE: Right.

 

DARLENE: Can’t sit in their seat.

 

MARCIE: That's right. And so why wouldn't we want to avoid any of these processed-containing foods with artificial dyes and colors that make, you know, stress on our brain? So common foods that we might see in our cabinet or for sure at the store that contain that red number 40 are cereals like you know, Fruity Pebbles or Trix or Fruit Loops. Who didn't love a Fruit Loop? Well, they're horrible for you, right? Any red colored drinks, even barbecue sauces, red licorice, M&Ms, you know, red velvet cupcakes or my son's favorite: Skittles, Jolly Ranchers or the Sour Patch chewy candy things. I mean, they are, they're loaded with that red number 40. And they're even in some fruit snacks. So we just really need to be looking at the ingredients in the labels when you're looking to buy them, you know, make sure you know what you're buying.

 

DARLENE: So basically our brain needs high quality foods to function well. What you eat or what your children eat directly affects the structure and function of the brain. By eating high quality real foods you supply the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your brain needs for good mental health. More and more brain experts are now linking poor quality processed foods to the increase in anxiety, ADHD, depression, suicide. And it's interesting. Multiple studies have correlated a high sugar diet to impaired brain function.

 

MARCIE: Just another one.

 

DARLENE: So when you roll out of bed in the morning, you know, we recommend that you think and plan what you can eat to support your brain and your mental health. So start your day with some protein, a serving of vegetables, a tablespoon of good, healthy, natural fats. And honestly your brain's going to love it.

 

MARCIE: It will. You'll be able to think better, be happier and feel great.

 

DARLENE: So Marcie, maybe we could talk about some ideas that you would get up and feed your kids for good brain functioning. Cause you don't feed them cereal.

 

MARCIE: Right. So what would we do? Well we do smoothies; simple. It's fast. They love them, you know, a little bit of banana in there, little bit of full fat, whole yogurt, some of our protein powder, little bit of peanut butter, whip it up and they have a great morning, you know, balanced breakfast.

 

DARLENE: Right. So we thank you for listening today

 

MARCIE: We do. Our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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