Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects 10-20% of Americans during the winter months. Research shows that SAD, also known as the “winter blues”, is due to the decrease in sunlight available during the autumn and winter months. Because there is a decrease in sunlight, there’s an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, contributing to depression-like symptoms.

Lead researcher Brenda McMahon and her colleagues, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, presented findings in 2014 at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Berlin, Germany. Such findings followed 11 people with SAD and 23 people without SAD during the summer and winter months to see how the levels of serotonin and SERT (serotonin transporter) proteins changed during the seasons.

The results showed that those with SAD had 5% higher levels of SERT proteins during the winter than in the summer. Those without SAD had unaffected SERT and serotonin levels. “SERT carries serotonin back into the nerve cells where it is not active, so the higher the SERT activity, the lower the activity of serotonin,” explains McMahon. This seems to offer confirmation that SERT is associated with SAD.

Robert Tisserand and Psychology Today discuss how serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters) are all contributors to the symptoms of SAD. They also offer ways that you can naturally increase these levels during the winter when sunlight is not highly available.

Here’s some great ways to increase those neurotransmitters for overall improved mood during the winter months:

  1. Vitamin D Supplementation
  2. Exercise
  3. Sunlight or Light Therapy
  4. Massage
  5. Recall Happier Times!
  6. Essential Oils
    1. Stimuating Oils (black pepper, grapefruit, jasmine, lemon, rosemary)
    2. Calming Oils (bergamot, clary sage, orange, rose, sandalwood)

Seasons Greetings,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Resources:

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Your Brain on Gratitude

‘Tis the season. Thanksgiving is here, and soon, Christmas will be, too. Today, in church service, we discovered how our body and mind respond to experiencing gratitude on a regular basis. This is what we will be discussing today.

An individual is positively affected neurologically, physically and emotionally when they experience gratitude regularly. The Huffington Post wrote an article called “The Neuroscience of Gratitude” which shares the following implications of gratitude:

  • production of dopamine and serotonin increases
  • it can be a natural antidepressant
  • the more these neural pathways are fired, the more automatic it becomes
  • encourages the search for constructive themes, rather than destructive ones

A study conducted in 2015 by four researchers created a four-condition experiment (stimulus, reflection, probe and rest) where participants read an excerpt telling of one of four phases of the Holocaust: 1. The rise of Nazism and Persecution, 2. Internment, 3. The Final Solution, 4. Final Months and Liberation. After reading the excerpt, they were instructed to reflect and feel, as much as possible, how it would feel to experience what they had just read, and create a deep, personal, realistic reaction. Then, they had to rate how much gratitude they felt on a scale from 1 to 4. A black screen would then be presented, as they were instructed to rest and release their mind of all thoughts for a 12-16 second period, acting as a baseline prior to the next phase. The four conditions of the experiment are shown in the figure below. The hypothesis? “That gratitude ratings would correlate with activity in brain regions associated with moral cognition, value judgment and theory of mind.”

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Experiment Protocol

The results? “Ratings of gratitude correlated with brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, in support of our hypotheses. The results provide a window into the brain circuitry for moral cognition and positive emotion that accompanies the experience of benefitting from the goodwill of others.”

How awesome! When we feel grateful, we begin to elicit the positive emotion that comes from experiencing the benefit of a gift from someone. Even amidst tragedy and shortfall, simply “thinking” gratitude into existence will rewire the neural pathways to make it a habit for emotional well-being.

Here are four ways that you can practice gratitude:

  1. Write it down. On a daily basis, write down at least 5 things you are grateful for.
  2. Get into a routine of gratitude. You can have an accountability partner; you can write it every morning before you start your day; you can keep a list posted to be reminded daily. Whatever works for you.
  3. Meditate. You can do so sitting quietly or during your favorite exercise activity, such as yoga, pilates or even running.
  4. Surround yourself with people who share gratitude, too. These people might be family, co-workers or your church friends. Make sure you are not exposed to complaints every day. Be grateful and help others do the same.

Best Wishes,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Ketones and Sleep

Thank you for your patience! I slacked off on my posts the past couple of weeks. But I’m back and ready to rock and roll!! Today’s topic is SLEEP. I’ve gotten so many clients who have raved about how much sleep has improved upon implementing their exogenous ketones on a daily basis. Rather than taking hours to fall asleep or waking up multiple times a night, they begin experiencing SLEEP!! And if you know anything about sleep, it is the most powerful form of mental and physical recovery and stress relief.

As avid exercisers, the exogenous ketones help repair inflammation in both body and brain tissues more rapidly and effectively!! How incredible is that?!

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If you don’t get sufficient sleep! (General terms)

Sleep is entirely a brain thing. Neuroscience can dig into the concept of sleep in more detail than you could ever imagine. Conditions such as epilepsy, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, TBI, concussions (among others) are 100% controlled by the brain. In providing more fuel to the brain to reduce inflammation and provide circulation of blood and nutrients through the use of exogenous ketones, your brain may be able to heal itself. Once again, you will be able to thoroughly enjoy the beauty sleep we all require. Giving the brain this super jet fuel (as many people have come to call it!) also makes sure the brain does not get depleted of vital nutrients, which may restrict certain parts of the brain unannounced.

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If you don’t get sufficient sleep! (Science jargon)

For today’s post, I would like to share with you some fantastic podcasts and videos that you are able to listen to during a busy day. You can plug it in and listen while you go on a trail walk, or play it on your computer speakers while you clean up the house. Whatever you may be doing, take some time to listen to the abundance of knowledge the following experts bring to the conversation.

This first one is from Tim Ferriss’ podcast as he talks with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino (whom you’ve heard about plenty on my site) and Dr. Peter Attia on the topic of exogenous ketones and jet fuel! http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/11/03/dominic-dagostino/

On this second site, Dr. D’Agostino’s blog site, he shares a TED Talk he presented discussing the use of the ketogenic diet for patients with epilepsy and cancer. http://ketonutrition.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-charlie-foundation-for-ketogenic.html?view=sidebar

Wishing you a good night’s rest,

Coral J.

cj1005.pruvitnow.com

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Depression, PTSD and Other Mental Illnesses

Every week, we come into contact with new people that enter our lives. These people can be introduced into your life as clients, friends, customers, co-workers, love interests, and even family you’ve never met before. One thing that we all possess is a real self, which is the person that we are currently living as. However, we all also possess an ideal self, that person we wish or aim to become. This is something I studied in great detail my junior year at Hendrix College in Dr. Dana Leighton’s Social Cognition course when I wrote this research paper discussing The Salience of Guilt, Self-Blame and Hopelessness.

fully functioning person, according to Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist, is one who is possesss these five characteristics:

  1. Open to experience: both positive and negative emotions accepted. Negative feelings are not denied, but worked through.
  2. Existential living: being able to live and fully appreciate the present, allowing themselves to experience life, not always looking back to the past or forward to the future.
  3. Trust feelings: decisions made ourselves due to feeling, instincts and gut-reactions are paid attention to and trusted.
  4. Creativity: not playing safe all the time, taking risks and thinking creatively, including the ability to adjust and change and seek new experiences.
  5. Fulfilled life: happy and satisfied with one’s life, yet looking for new challenges and experiences.

Such a person also exists when the individual is able to accept that our selves are not in congruent (the real self is not full equivalent to the the ideal self), and is patient and understanding with themselves in working towards becoming as such. But what happens when the individuals does not accept the gap between the real self and the ideal self is most frequently mental illness, such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. This is something that I dedicated a significant amount of my time to research. In fact, I intend to continue to pursue research and turn my paper (referred to at the top of the page) into a fully comprehensible book on what this all means. It’s something that I am very passionate about.

Please take the 30 minutes it may require to really read through this information and digest it. Something as fundamental as this is a big reason why there is disconnect in our society. So many people don’t believe they are capable of ever becoming their ideal self, and therefore revoke their ability to be fully functioning people contributing to society. Similarly, most people witness the impediments faced by such a person and are unable to put their egos aside. They can’t understand that the person they see can’t just set aside their concerns and instantaneously become the person they wish to be. The concept of patience is simple, but hardly practiced.

Just a tidbit to take with you as you embark on new journeys. Have a marvelous weekend!

Ever so graciously,

Coral Jinright

Resources:

 

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Become Hungry For Life Again

One week ago today, April 20, I had 69 visitors and over 90 page visits. Let’s try and make that a daily occurrence! Share with your friends and family to make sure they get their daily dose, too.

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Today’s a day of action-planning, of introversion. What the heck do I want from my life?

Here’s a few things I’ve come up with for the remainder of 2016:

  • have open dialogue and a deeper relationship with God
  • create change in people’s lives (both physically and mentally)
    • help clients reach a new personal best every time I meet with them
    • educate clients on the importance of nutrition for mind and body
    • influence non-clients to want to learn more about exercise and nutrition
  • attend at least 4 seminars/conferences to gain knowledge in my field(s) of work
  • compete in a figure contest and place 1st
  • observe/intern at a prosthetics lab to work my way to grad school
  • upgrade my 2007 Kawasaki 650R for another sportsbike (make/model to be decided)
  • drive my 1969 Jeepster Commando through all kinds of scenery
  • become more financially stable with income and expenses
  • make a social life for myself (interactions outside of those with my pups)
  • record at least one song of voice and guitar as a Christmas gift
  • have more contact with family and friends outside of Austin

Take an hour one day to sit down and write down some short-term (6-12 month) goals. Every week, take 30 minutes to go over your list, see where you’re putting the effort and make sure you’re doing something weekly to work towards all of those goals. Some goals might take more persistence than others… Budget your time. Make sure you have your priorities in line. Yes, this is the only life you’ve got.

Don’t find yourself looking back every December asking yourself “What did I do this year?” and having your response be a blank stare on your face with bags under your eyes because all you’ve done is work, work, work and not pursue YOU!

Here are a few great links to help you work on those characteristics that are essential to deciding, working towards, and obtaining your life goals:

  1. Fear: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/how-to-use-fear/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=How%2520to%2520Use%2520Fear&utm_campaign=Editorial
  2. Mastery: http://www.businessinsider.com/tony-robbins-what-to-do-in-20s-be-successful-in-30s-2016-4
  3. Audacity: https://definingaudacity.com/2013/08/22/leverage2/
  4. Hungry for Life: http://www.hungryforlife.org/blog/why-again-did-we-start

Instead of dragging your feet, make every step purposefully. Instead of waiting, go out and put your dreams in the palm of your hand. Instead of falling victim to setbacks, use them as a diving board to jump deeper into what you want in your life.

Subscribe to get updates on new posts, and share to inspire others around you to create change. Thank you for your support!

Warmly,

Coral Jinright

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Disney’s Dream

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Today I spent the morning working and am currently spending the afternoon with my pups and watching Netflix, with the balcony door open because it’s gorgeous outside. No activities have me outside the house today, so I found this to be a perfect time to share some motivation.

While watching Netflix, I came to a movie called Walt Before Mickey. Growing up on Disney movies and hearing my parents talk about his story to creating his amazing industry, I couldn’t help but watch it. Walt Before Mickey is an independent 2015 biographical drama film about the early years of Walt Disney and the book Walt Before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919–1928 by Timothy S. Susanin. At a young age, Walt’s father, who didn’t really support his drawing, got ill and his family relocated to Kansas City. After his first job as a drawer for a filming company, Walt began to start his own animation business with some great friends who were cartoonists at his previous job. Walt’s company Laugh-O-Grams bankruptcy and became homeless, making good friends with a mouse who found his way into Walt’s old office. Walt then moved to Los Angeles, CA to try again at creating his own business and asked his brother Roy Disney to help with the business side, which Walt admitted he was not very good at. Before almost hitting rock bottom again, on his way home on a train, with his then fiancé Lillian, Walt saw mouse ears in the clouds and drew up who became Mickey Mouse. It was a theatrical success; and thus, Walt Disney’s name was seen on the big screen, and his empire was born.

walt disney quotes

Merriam-Webster defines a dream to be “something notable for its beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality” as well as “a strongly desired goal or purpose something that fully satisfies a wish”.  A dream is something you imagine, and can never be something molded by others. The manner at which you go about making your dream a reality may have mid-course corrections. But your dream is what you imagine abstractly and work to make concrete.

No matter the downfalls he came to, he never failed to ask for help and that people would continue to have hope in his dream. His best friend Ub from his first job, his fiancé Lilian, and his brother Roy were the only ones to stay and see his dream come to fruition. The lesson learned: dreams do not just materialize right in front of you. Working with a loyal support team, a network of teammates, is the only way to achieve your dreams. It has taken me years upon years for me to understand that a battle is not won with one person or even two. DON’T be afraid to ask for help. DON’T listen to negativity, but DO listen to guidance and honest assistance. DON’T tell yourself how hard it is, only what you see down the road. DON’T short change your potential, and laugh much, imagine more, and DO THE IMPOSSIBLE!

Happily,

Coral Jinright

References

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Opportunities Arise

If you’ve known me long enough (or well enough), you’ve come to learn that I don’t do well without a task. Whether that task is to make people before 110% better at the end of a training session, finish up the rest of my 15 page undergraduate research paper, or simply do an oil change on my motorcycle, I am always looking for something that has an end result. Sometimes, though, that inhibits you from appreciating all of the connections you’ve made along the way. I’ve made connections with people, with God, with animals, with machines, with Mother Nature. And sadly, day by day, some of those connections are taken for granted. To me, that is highly unacceptable. So on Earth Day, I sit here in a restaurant sipping my water (after eating some eggs, sausage and gluten-free pancakes) after a CRAZY leg day. I’m seeing single mothers have lunch with her two daughters too young to sit in the booth; I’m seeing two elderly women discuss patterns and colors for a project they are working on together; I’m seeing husband and wife share a lunch together after such a busy week.

We have all fallen victim to waltzing through life, staring at the flowers in the grass. But maybe, we haven’t been admiring the magnificence of the blue sky, the air conditioning in your car, or the clothes on your body. When you stop and take the time to really look at EVERYTHING, the whole world is different. I live a fast-paced life, multiple jobs, and a million to-do’s written on a piece of paper in my backpack. Writing this post is thanks to the abundance of reading I have been doing about our miraculous human body, the love of my boyfriend, dogs and family, the guidance of my mentors and the dedication of my peers to serve as a great model to those around them. Chase after your dreams. Write them everywhere! A whiteboard or a bathroom mirror instead of just a piece of paper you can crumple up and throw away. See these things EVERY DAY and know the Universe is pulling these things together to see you flourish. Embrace it.

Faithfully,

Coral Jinright