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

Digestive Enzymes: Pros and Cons

I’d like to start this discussion of digestive enzymes by providing data on the prevalence of digestive challenges in the United States from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. There are 60 to 70 million people affected annually by digestive diseases. In 2009, 245,921 deaths occurred in the United States in which one of many digestive diseases was the primary cause of death. The diseases include diagnoses like chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, GI infections, pancreatitis, abdominal wall hernias, diverticular disease, IBS, liver disease and viral hepatitis.

I hope this moves you to care for your digestive system more avidly.

This information should help you make more informed decisions about how to care for yourself. I’ve battled with digestive challenges my entire life, and I am finally learning applicable lessons that can transform the way my body processes, absorbs and utilizes the food and drinks I consume. A large debate exists between traditional medicine and functional medicine in regards to the implementation of digestive enzymes.

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In this video, Dr. Amy Meyers discusses when the supplementation of hydrochloric acid, the primary stomach acid, is appropriate. She does a marvelous job explaining where in the digestive process digestive enzymes should step in, and how functional medicine can be used when your digestive enzymes aren’t equipped to do the job on their own.

Many traditional medicine practitioners will prescribe medications to calm or alleviate the symptoms associated with the digestive challenge. Or they will tell you to cut everything out of your diet. Remove all of the food your body is having a hard time processing, and you’ll have no problems. That’s the thought at least. However, just like when a child has to get sick a couple of times to build immunity against all the sickness at school, your digestive system has to LEARN how to digest the foods you consume. That does not mean eat fried chicken every day to force your system into agreeing with it. That means you can not remove EVERYTHING from your diet to make the process less dynamic. Your digestive system was designed to consume unprocessed, nutritious food that’s made with integrity.

In discussing the hidden dangers of digestive enzymes, Dr. John Douillard summarizes what happens when digestive enzymes are utilized more frequently than necessary.

DIGESTIVE ENZYME SUMMARY

  1. Congested intestinal villi: stools that are too dry or too loose.
  2. Toxins drain from the gut to the liver.
  3. The bile in the liver becomes congested.
  4. The bile becomes too thick to flow through the bile ducts.
  5. Thick bile coats the pancreatic enzyme ducts.
  6. Small intestines signal for more bile and enzymes.
  7. Bile and enzyme ducts end up over-crowded and in digestive gridlock.
  8. Digestive fire weakens and food intolerances can appear
  9. Long-term enzyme dependency ignores the potentially serious underlying cause.

Dr. Douillard shares great insight on how you can avoid digestive disasters by consuming apples, beets, celery, artichokes, leafy greens and turmeric. It is beneficial for your digestive system to be cleansed on a regular basis. When you are constantly in a cleansing state, however, you can cleanse yourself into having a digestive system that only works if they keep cleansing it. Douillard calls these people cleansing casualties. It is recommended to pick one or two days a week to provide the cleanse your body needs to strengthen the system once again.

Take the necessary steps to further educate yourself on healthy digestion and how doing so can help brain function, hormone stability and longevity.

Cheers,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

PTSD vs. TBI Using SPECT Scans

Because CT and MRI scans are unable to detect with sensitivity and specificity what a SPECT scan can when diagnosing mild TBI and PTSD, a group of researchers (Daniel G. Amen ,Cyrus A. Raji , Kristen Willeumier , Derek Taylor , Robert Tarzwell , Andrew Newberg , and Theodore A. Henderson) chose to use SPECT scans to see if they could find a true difference between the brain of those with TBI and PTSD. SPECT scans provide the clinical utility of the “delineation of the neural circuitry underlying PTSD ” and the improved detection of TBI. The SPECT scans in this study contain populations of those with PTSD, TBI, co-morbidities as well as those unaffected by either. The following is a collection of the statistics of those with PTSD and TBI in both military and civilian populations in the United States.

Military:

  • DoD reported 307,283 diagnosed cases of TBI from 2000–2014.
  • Congressional Research Service reporting 103,792 diagnosed cases of PTSD from 2000–2012.
  • Over 400,000 military personnel and veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD or TBI since 2001 [17, 18], and many have been diagnosed with both. The overlap of these two populations has been estimated at 33% [34, 35] to 42% [39]. among veterans. Those who have experienced a blast-related TBI have more than double the risk of developing PTSD.

Civilian:

  • About 7.7 million in the US population suffer from PTSD.
  • TBI is also quite prevalent, with 2.5 million annual visits to emergency rooms for suspected TBI.
  • 49% of those with TBI are likely to be diagnosed with a psychiatric illness the following year.

Although the majority of TBI symptoms can resolve over time, a significant proportion of cases develop a persistent post-concussive syndrome (PCS). Long-term consequences of seemingly trivial head injuries may be significant. TBI scans found these areas of the brain to be of particular interest (orbitofrontal cortex, temporal poles, and anterior cingulum) while PTSD scans found these more interesting (amygdala [9], corpus callosum [10], insula [11], anterior cingulum [1214] and hippocampus [15, 16]). A recent meta-analysis showed that PTSD patients had significant activation in midline areas implicated in self-referential processing and autobiographical memory.

The treatments for PTSD and TBI/PCS are different. Therefore, by reliably separating them and accurately identifying cases in which both are present, the use of the SPECT scan emerges as a genuine diagnostic need. All PTSD-identifying regions were hyperactive on SPECT when compared across all groups, and the TBI-identifying regions were correspondingly hypoactive.

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Perfusion is defined by Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary as “the pumping of a fluid through an organ or tissue”; in this instance, through the brain. When you look at the scans above, you can truly see the differences in perfusion across the four groups receiving SPECT scans. A healthy control shows normal higher perfusion to the cerebellum. The PTSD subject shows increased perfusion in the brain—particularly in the frontal lobes. The TBI subject shows decreased perfusion throughout by comparison. The subject with both PTSD and TBI shows perfusion that is lower than the person with PTSD but higher than the subject with TBI. These results suggest that TBI is associated with hypoperfusion while PTSD is associated with regional hyperperfusion, which both provide  important insights in regards to the pathophysiological differences between the disorders.

Many research studies have found the positive benefits that pure therapeutic ketones have on the perfusion across the brain, along with the neural communication across its lobes. If you or anyone you know are interested in getting a SPECT scan of your brain, visit one of the Amen Clinics across the nation! My goal is to get this information into the hands of those affected by TBI and PTSD, and hopefully this will aid in doing so!

With warm regards,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s talk about how intermittent fasting will revolutionize your brain and metabolism.

The benefits are numerous, yet the most important is a simpler and longer life. I imagine you’ve seen people meal prepping, packing 6 meals a day to eat every two hours on the hour like clockwork. Doing so makes your body dependent on the incoming food. Your brain counts down the minutes, your insulin spikes and crashes and your hormones make you hangry if you are a few minutes late. Intermittent fasting is the opposite!

Intermittent fasting (IF) means that you will consume fewer meals and practice  more periods of fasting. There are multiple schedules you can follow. The easiest to follow, and the one I recommend beginners do to start, is to wake up, drink their ketones and wait to have their first meal until they are truly hungry. This will help the body relearn the signals for hunger rather than just following culture and time patterns. For many, that time comes around 12-1pm. They then use an 8 hour feeding window, so their last meal of the day should be consumed before 8-9pm.

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As I discussed last week, your body might reach a plateau when following any routine for an extended period of time. When your body is ready for a new routine, you can implement one of the other intermittent fasting schedule options outlined by Intermittent Fasting 101 from Keto Kookie. As your body gets more accustomed to this new way of eating, you might implement a full 24- or 48-hour fast. Doing so regularly will dramatically help with cell regeneration, ridding your body of toxins, allowing it to recover from the abundance of tasks it has daily. Intermittent Fasting can also help in chronic disease prevention as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discusses here.

*Note: While Intermittent Fasting is widely regarded as the optimal way to eat, you should always talk to a doctor before making dietary decisions.

Challenge yourself to start Intermittent Fasting beginning with dinner this Sunday night.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

To health and happiness,

Coral Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Increase Your Lifespan With Ketosis

What would you do if I told you I had the key to adding more happy years to your life?

Would you jump for joy knowing you’ll have more time to travel the world? Would you wake up every morning knowing you’ve got more time to spend with your children? Would you stop stressing the small stuff? Would guilt and remorse leave your heart?

It is my goal to help you grasp the fact that you are currently in the only body you will ever receive. You’ve got an incredibly smart body that deserves your respect. The energy you put into your body is exactly what you will get out of it. From a psychological point of view, that means living with gratitude, compassion, love and an open mind. From a physical point of view, that means doing uplifting activities like walking, yoga, hiking, kayaking and even sleep! With that said, let’s dive into how ketone bodies present life span extending properties by reducing oxidative stress and being an effective tool for combating free radical damage.

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Above, you see the  molecular structure of three ketone bodies. These three ketones are the subject of a critical review from IUBMB Life titled Ketone Bodies Mimic The Lifespan Extending Properties of Calorie Restriction. It’s fascinating really. This critical review discusses the genetic mechanisms of life expansion, the antioxidant system, the indications of your telomere length, and other anti-aging mechanisms, ALL of which can be optimized with the presence of ketone bodies.

The ketogenic diet is a wonderful way to nutritionally get into ketosis. Furthermore, in the above review, their results showed that consuming exogenous (sourced outside the body) ketone esters showed a two-fold decrease of glucose and a three-fold decrease of insulin in rats. What profound results!

“Aging in man is accompanied by the deterioration of a number of systems.”

We know that.

What you might not know is that “the unique ability of ketone bodies to supply energy to the brain during periods of impairment of glucose metabolism” is what make ketosis a highly effective treatment against neurological diseases that are currently untreatable with traditional medicine.

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The take away: get ketones in your body and ENJOY LIVING LONGER!!

Get exogenous ketones in your body TODAY with this Ketone Operating System.

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Stress Kills Ketosis

This article has been created with the goal of helping to weed out common misunderstandings about what ketogenic nutrition should look and feel like.

You should NOT be starving yourself everyday in an attempt to lose weight. You should NOT feel so guilty that your cortisol levels are through the roof. You should NOT remove carbohydrates without replacing it with other nutrients: FAT AND KETONES!

That’s the paramount point here. The management of insulin is the key reason ketosis became an area of empirical research. Insulin, a hormone, is released into the body and promotes fat storage. Those spikes in insulin that take place with sugar intake are the culprit. In this article by Dr. Adam Nally from Surprise, AZ, he addresses Common Ketosis Killers in layman’s terms so every single person can understand it quite simply.

How do you kill ketosis?

  1. carbohydrates
  2. alcohol
  3. excessive protein
  4. malnourishment
  5. artificial sweeteners
  6. flavored coffee creamers
  7. unnecessary medications (upon doctor’s approval)
  8. STRESS

Numbers 1 through 7 can generally be managed by self-control, personal mediation and increased respect for your body! Number 8 is the MOST CHALLENGING! Am I right?

CARTOON

Lowering stress seems to be the most difficult to adjust. In my years of practice, every person deciding to make a lifestyle change can add or remove whatever nutrients they need to achieve their health and wellness goals. However, when stress levels aren’t decreased, nothing CAN change! Cortisol, the hormone stimulated by the increase in stress, literally kills ketosis and neuron communication in the brain. Adequate sleep is imperative, and even 10 minutes a day of meditation, stretching, yoga or that splendid “me time” could help combat how stress is impacting your daily life.

I hope this serves as a reminder to respect your body and give yourself some love. If you are not sure what that looks like, read through other articles I’ve written here on my site. As stated above, exogenous ketones help mediate the effects of stress, and are available for purchase here. Here’s to the rebirth of ketosis!

Posted in Corrective Exercise, Ketogenic Life

Improved Recovery

* Do your goals have 4 powerful workouts stacked a week? *

* Are you trying to gain lean muscle mass and shed fat without the “OW!!” factor? *

* Is the muscle soreness you’re experiencing more like “disabling fatigue”? *

Exogenous ketones are here to RESCUE you!

The British Journal of Nutrition published in 2012 an article from a myriad of highly qualified researchers addressing the use of B-Hydroxy-B-methylbutyrate (an exogenous ketone) to reduce markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and improve recovery in resistance-trained men.1 At 2 weeks before and throughout the study, subjects were placed on a diet (25 % protein, 50 % carbohydrates and 25 % fat) which was designed by a registered dietitian who specialised in sport nutrition. All subjects received 3g/day of either the HMB-FA supplement or placebo. Subjects received 1g of their given substance 30 minutes prior to the training session and 1g prior to both lunch and dinner meals. On non-training days, 1g of substance was consumed with three separate meals throughout the day.

Creatine kinase was a very specific blood test performed during this study because “a high CK, or a rise in levels in subsequent samples, generally indicates that there has been some recent muscle damage but will not indicate its location or cause. Serial test results that peak and then begin to drop indicate that new muscle damage has diminished, while increasing and persistent elevations suggest continued damage.”2 Before the exercise session, serum CK levels were nearly the same in placebo- and HMB-FA-supplemented subjects (141 and 158, respectively). As a result of the exercise session, serum CK in the placebo group increased to 604 after 48 hours, while the HMB-FA-supplemented group increased to ONLY 322 (almost half)!

Perceived recovery status also improved for those in the HMB-FA supplemented group, demonstrating quicker recovering and a better opportunity for better performance in subsequent training sessions.

Creatine kinase level and perceived recovery status were two variables that showed substantial improvements for the HMB-FA supplemented group as compared to the placebo group.

This is astounding to read. If your goals include a rigorous training schedule, all of the evidence points to the utilization of exogenous ketone supplementation. To get your hands on exogenous ketones, complete the Contact Form at on the Homepage here!

Cheers to success,

Coral J.

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261516423_Interaction_of_Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate_Free_Acid_HMB-FA_and_Adenosine_Triphosphate_ATP_on_Muscle_Mass_Strength_and_Power_in_Resistance_Trained_Individuals
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ck/tab/test/
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 Corrective Exercise

Hips and Back Not Feeling So Hot?

If you are facing someone, and your hips are facing more than a couple degrees either right or left, then your pelvis may be rotated a little more than is safe for your spine and low back! I know it’s something that I have been struggling with, as my right hip hikes up towards my rib cage causing my hips to rotate facing the left while my toes and chest are straight ahead. This indicates an imbalance in the hip flexors and hip extensors. The following picture shows the location and names of such muscles.

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Now, a few simple isometric exercises and stretches can be utilized in order to relieve the pain in the hip, knee and low back area associated with a hip rotation to either side of the body. If you have a job standing on your feet all the time, you might not notice it, but there are times you may rest more weight on one foot than the other. If you spend most of your day sitting, you might cross one leg over the other or lean one arm onto the table and keep the other side tall. In either case, you have to become aware of such habits in order to keep this rotation from reoccurring chronically. Try some of these fantastic isometric exercises demonstrated by Hands On Therapy in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ntO6AAPslc

After warming up the muscles just a little bit, you can even try some of these yoga positions at home or even in the gym. Even spending 10 minutes a day can tremendously improve low back pain, pelvic rotation and even stress and energy levels.

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http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/upward-facing-dog/

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http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/extended-puppy-pose/

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http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/garland-pose/

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http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/3-ways-make-pigeon-pose-feel-better/#0

The pictures only show the pose, but you can visit the link under each picture to get step by step instructions on how to properly execute it and what muscles to “focalize on” (focus and utilize) during the movement! Spread the love and share this with a friend who may spend too much time sitting at school, a mom who hurts from carrying her young kiddo on her hip all the time, or even a co-worker who knows exactly how you feel. As always, if you have any questions or would like any more guidance, never hesitate to comment below or message me!

Happily,

Coral Jinright