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

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 Of Heart and Mind

Essential Oils for Stress

If I asked every single person I talk to daily about their stress levels on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being stress-free, 10 being on the verge of a breakdown), I’d say many people are in the position to respond with a 7 or higher. Why is that?! Now, I can’t say I don’t stress.

For those of you who know me personally, you know I’m pretty good at managing stress. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have stressful times during the week.

Stress can be defined as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”.

It could also be defined as “importance attached to a thing.” 

I think this distinction is pertinent to understand. The second definition could contribute to the first definition. However, many people experience stress by things that are NOT important. Therefore, the tension is being created by our psychological state in a form of anxiety, which can be defined as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune”. If something is not important, to experience anxiety could be the contributing factor to stress. And that’s the kind of stress we need to work on mediating. Experiencing stress because of a crucial deadline for a work project is MUCH more reasonable than experiencing stress because your dog chewed up a $5 pillow you bought at Walmart. Of course, that is just an example. There are many trivial events in our life that contribute to anxiety without probable cause. Those events should not get more than a minute of anxiety or stress. Many people suffer from stress and anxiety on a daily basis. The management of these are what could propel you into a state of peace.

The use of aromatherapy with essential oils for the management of stress has been found to provide psychological and physiological benefits. I have put myself into a new work position full time and wear my lava rock essential oil necklace DAILY to help me as I go through training and catching onto the new flow of the workplace. You might not think that necessary, but it’s therapeutic in nature and forces my brain and sympathetic nervous system to relax and reduce the response to stress.

Check this out! A research study from 2002 as cited in this article from the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology found that the simple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil reduced sympathetic nervous activity by 40%, with rose oil reducing adrenaline concentrations by 30%. Amazing! This article also discusses how aromatherapy works through the nose, lung and the skin. When these scents are inhaled, “volatile aroma compounds from plants are capable of exerting direct-to-brain actions, primarily through the limbic and olfactory systems.”

I’d encourage you to try a few of the essential oil suggestions in the above article to achieve a sense of peace from stress and anxiety. I personally LOVE the Breathe blend from doTERRA. This is a remarkable blend of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara. There are a multitude of single oils and blends to help you manage the stress you’re experience, whether it’s stemmed from importance or anxiety!

Happy smelling!

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Corrective Exercise, Of Heart and Mind

Physiological Benefits of Yoga

Have you ever practiced yoga? Do you have someone in your life who seems to live at a yoga studio? The anecdotal evidence for practicing yoga is unquestionable: feelings of peace, mindfulness, heightened awareness, lowered stress, increased strength, among so many others. Even just 15 minutes a day of yoga is able to soothe the body by connecting breaths with movement to provide psychological benefits to this practice.

Even more empowering than the physical and psychological aspects of yoga are the physiological implications of current research. This National Health Interview Survey in 2015 looked to compare the use of different complementary health approaches in the United States. They found that 9.5% of U.S. adults (21 million) used yoga as a mind & body practice; this is an increase from 6.1% in 2007 and 5.1% in 2002. The numbers are still rising.

With this rise in the application of yoga to help improve health, it is valid to say there is something else more significant that people are benefitting from in their practice. Take 25 minutes of your time to watch this incredible video to get insight on where research is taking yoga.

Since 2012, Medicare has covered cardiac rehabilitation programs that include yoga. This is astounding to see alternative medicine applied amongst the Western medicine practices to help with cardiac rehabilitation by stabilizing blood pressure and reducing stress. Similarly, in this interview, Susan Taylor, PhD. discusses how neuroplasticity is directly affected by the meditation that takes place during yoga. “Positive thoughts expand our brains. Negative thoughts shrink them.” An extensive number of research studies show the positive effects of yoga on the neural communication across the brain that provides a more stable brain and “self-directed neuroplasticity”.

Enjoy looking through these Instagram pages for inspiration into making yoga a more regular practice in your life:

Experience the physical, psychological AND physiological benefits that can only be found through the practice of yoga and meditation.

Resources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/01/yoga-health-fitness-trends/23881391/

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/yoga

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipp-gjAxbXw&feature=youtu.be&list=WL

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/neuroplasticity

 

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Break Through KETO Weight-Loss Plateaus

I’ve had a few people this month ask me how they can break through the weight loss plateau they are experiencing after months of being on a ketogenic diet and taking exogenous ketones. First, props to them for keeping up with the ketogenic lifestyle for months! Many people can’t find the desire or discipline to stick with it for more than a couple weeks; so way to go! Second, it is PERFECTLY normal to experience a plateau in your weight loss goal; the trick is to not let it defeat you. If you’ve been at this plateau for more than three weeks, today’s message will help you learn how to break through it!

In this interview on Cut the Killer Carbs, Dr. Justin Anderson discusses a few of the challenges his clients are experiencing during their metabolic coaching programs. He says about 10% of metabolic coaching clients experience these plateaus.  The Whoosh Effect is the collection of instances when your body can go a certain period of time with no movement in the weight, then all of a sudden drop a couple pounds and go right back to no movement. Here a few tricks to break your plateau:

  1. Count your carbs, religiously, for three days. After awhile, you become lax on your carb consumption. Put yourself back in check.
  2. Take a look at current medications, as some are associated with weight gain.
  3. Check your axial temperature in the morning to see if you have inadequate thyroid function.
  4. Take omega 3 fatty acids!
  5. Consider a light exercise regimen.
  6. Try two weeks of dairy to see if your body is sensitive to it.
  7. If you’re on current thyroid meds, switch from generic to name brand for more bioavailability.
  8. Watch out for farm-raised fish; get wild caught only.
  9. Remove diet sodas and artificial sweeteners.
  10. Don’t let your “cheats” go too far.
  11. Utilize intermittent fasting.

Here is another great resource for even more tips on how to break through your plateau, including eating too much or too little!

My personal recommendation for my clients is to change your daily routine. If you’ve been following the same regimen for more than six months, give your body something new to work with. Do high intensity movement for 5 minutes before you start your day. Use intermittent fasting at a different 8 hour time slot in the day. Up your exogenous ketone consumption a little! If you’ve been using 1/2 packet twice a day for months, try using 1/2 packet three times a day for a bit. If you haven’t implement the use of exogenous ketones in your weight loss journey, start now and see if that brings your cellular regeneration to a new level!

I hope this will help you get where you’re looking to go. As always, if these tips aren’t helping you break through, consult a medical professional to address your body’s needs.

Best of Luck,

Coral Jinright-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.

longlife

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

Gut Health and Ketosis

It’s no question if gut health should be at the top of your list of health goals. Yet, surprisingly, many people will focus much more on cosmetic and aesthetic “health” and completely bypass what’s going on inside their bodies. The microbiome in the gut is highly influenced by the types of food we put into it. Primarily, sugar and “empty” carbs are the ones in question here. You can imagine that, if sugar is bad for the brain, it’s not so good for the intestines either! We will now explore this with a view interviews!

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In this interview, Eric Westman MD talks about how the ketogenic diet affects the health of our digestion and the trillions of microbes inside our guts. Contrary ideas are also brought to the table in an attempt to truly understand what takes place when sugar and empty carbs are removed from our diet.

 

In this interview, David Perlmutter MD, a board certified neurologist, discusses how the removal of grains and the inclusion of a ketogenic diet could aid in protecting our brains for life. The power of gut microbes is incredible, but fat got the blame for its decline in recent decades, contrary to practices by humans over thousands of years.

Both of these interviews are full of knowledge, as well as links to other books and research articles to expand what you know about the connection between the brain and the gut microbiome and just how helpful ketosis is in maintaining the health of both.

Health and happiness,

Coral Jinright

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

The Importance of Green

Well… money is important. But what I’m talking about here is nutritious GREENS!

When individuals start following the ketogenic lifestyle, they will include an abundance of fat with a moderate amount of protein. This is a solid foundation. For optimal gut health and utilization of these fats and proteins, it is imperative to include greens in your diet. Non-starchy leafy greens and vegetables are necessary to ensure your gut biome is in homeostasis and maintain blood sugar. The Ketogenic Diet Resource site maintained by Ellen Davis MS is an absolutely incredible aid in your transition to the ketogenic lifestyle. This site debunks myths, presents the applications of the ketogenic diet and shares recipes, food plans and medicinal applications of the lifestyle. There are also books by Ellen Davis listed that can be purchased to broaden your horizon in the field: Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet, Conquer Type 2 Diabetes, and many more.

This article written by Ellen Davis in the Well Being Journal in the July/August 2012 issue discusses why the ketogenic lifestyle is key to excellent health. “Small amounts of ROS are created as part of normal cellular respiration, and our cells have been equipped with various antioxidant molecules to disarm them.” We all know it doesn’t stop here. Oxidative stress from daily life contributes to the formation of free radicals in the human body, which are the cause of what we call inflammation. The inclusion of greens into your diet will also help balance your body’s electrolytes: sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Electrolytes are found in the body’s fluids including urine and blood and provide an electric charge that controls all involuntary bodily functions as well as muscle contraction and relaxation. In conjunction with greens, exogenous ketones will help electrolytes balance with little intervention on your end. Learn more about electrolyte balance and its significance in your body.

I hope this has been helpful to you, and that you’ve got a handful of asparagus and spinach ready for dinner tonight!

Cheers!

Coral Jinright

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Reducing Anxiety!

With exogenous ketone supplementation! 

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An article published on December 6, 2016 in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience discusses the impact that ketone ester and BHB salts on blood glucose and BHB levels as well as performance on an elevated plus maze (EPM). What these researchers, including Dr. Csilla Ari and Dominic D’Agostino, concluded is astounding!

After 83 days chronic and 7 days sub-chronic exogenous ketone supplementation to a standard diet, the following results ensued!

  • less entries were made into closed arms on the maze
  • more entries were made into open arms on the maze
  • more distance was traveled in open arms on the maze

With these results, researchers concluded that exogenous ketone supplementation may represent a promising anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) strategy by helping induce nutritional ketosis. Take a moment to look through this incredible research article!

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If you haven’t tried exogenous ketones for whatever reason, I believe anxiety reduction is a good reason to start!