Anxiety Epidemic

Kind of a crappy week…

Last Wednesday, the NY Times ran very comprehensive story about the epidemic of anxiety among American teenagers – definitely worth a read =

Unfortunately, the Times article made no mention at all of the very close link between the microbiome or gut-brain-axis and depression/anxiety – a glaring omission, especially given the cutting-edge science in the area and the dramatic improvements in anxiety and depression that are possible with proper microbiome balance and gut-brain-axis communication.

This past Sunday, a 14-year-old Freshman at my son’s high school passed away – having taken his own life.

This coming Saturday, I’ll be helping to dedicate a new rowing shell to my college crew team in memory of our boat-mate who took his own life earlier this year.

Like a lot of people (too many people), this weekend will be a balance of the emotional “highs” of sharing memories with some of my closest friends, with the “lows” of many of those memories involving people who are no longer with us.

Mental Wellness is perhaps THE health challenge of our time – and I’m so privileged to be part of a movement that is DOING something to help others.

If you know anyone who is struggling with any form of mental wellness challenge, please do me 2 favors:

  1. Check out what we’re up to at Amare Global
  2. Check out the tips about suicide that my son’s school sent out (below) – and share them with others

Teen suicide is one of the most challenging topics for people to discuss, but it can’t be ignored. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that incidences of teen suicide have been increasing in recent years. Teens have a lot of pressure on them, with everyone from parents to teachers and coaches placing higher and higher expectations on their academic and extracurricular pursuits.

Many of you have asked for resources to help your children through this very difficult time. Below are some general guidelines to help you through this process.

Communication is very important:

  • be open and honest; use the words ‘dead’ or ‘death’
  • be honest and open with children about the suicide. Use language    the child understands and that you are comfortable with
  • to avoid stigma use the word ‘suicided’ or took their life rather than committed suicide. This avoids reference to a crime
  • answer facts in short simple sentences without unnecessary detail
  • respect their views with non-judgemental responses.

Emotions and Actions

  • give comfort, hugs, and reassurance as needed by your child
  • stick to day to day routine and schedules as much as possible
  • reduce change to a minimum
  • allow your child to express all emotions in a safe way, e.g. find healthy ways to vent anger, it is okay to cry; emotional storms only last a short time.
  • make time for just being together, take time out to just be together.

Some Important Ideas to Share with a Child About Grief Are:

  • there are no right or wrong ways to experience grief
  • there is no secret method that will take your grief instantly away
  • there are no rules about grief; everyone grieves differently in their own way and in their own time
  • there is no timetable for grief
  • though it might seem hard to believe, it does gradually get easier to handle
  • take all the time and space you need to grieve in your own way for as long as it takes
  • invite peers over, encourage friends to spend time with them and offer support

You may also find the following document on Teen Suicide a valuable resource:



Running Program – Week 7

Hi Runners – here is the plan for week 6 – it’s our “distance” week!

The last 2 weeks, we have been focusing on Fartleks for our intervals and hills – but during this week we will focus on Long Slow Distance (LSD) to get every ready for the length of the event on October 28 (next week, which is the week before our event, we will be “tapering” with only a few short runs so you’re fully recovered and ready to run hard).

On October 28, we will have a challenging half-marathon (13.1-mile) course for you around Draper.

Your goal this week is to do 3 LONG runs – basically focusing on the distance that you’re covering and NOT on your speed or intensity.

Remember that our rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during LSD should be between 5 and 7 (on a 10-point scale) – so you’re likely to be running at a speed that feels “too easy” (especially at the beginning of your workout). This is the “slow” part of LSD – and the reason that we run at this low intensity is to train our body to burn fat more efficiently.

How long is “long”? Considering that the event in 13.1 miles, you should shoot for your 3 runs to cover at least 10-11-12 miles this week (I suggest to have at least a day off between each of these runs).

We are 2 weeks away from our “race” on October 28 (LSD this week and “taper” next week) – so please send Shawn and Julie any questions?

Amare in Utah Oct 14

Amare Global – The Mental Wellness Company, will be visiting Utah on October 14.

Date: Saturday, October 14th

Time: 10 AM – 5 PM

Location: Salt Lake City Community College @ The Miller Campus
9750 South 300 West, Sandy, Utah 84070


CSO, Dr. Shawn Talbott

President of Sales, Rich Higbee

Founding Wellness Partner, Pat Hintze

Come join us for fun, education and inspiration!

Amare, the Mental Wellness Company, is a new Direct Sales company in its pre-launch phase. Our vision is to empower people to live happier and healthier lives through our natural mental wellness products and mindfulness platform.
Mental wellness is misunderstood. For too long, we have been taught that mental wellness is all in your head. New science shows that a key contributor to anxious emotions, inability to focus or feeling depressed is determined by what is going on in our second brain – our gut.

Introduction to Amare

10 AM – 12 PM

Invite guests to come learn about:

• The gut-brain axis and its relaton to mental wellness
• New, revolutonary products scientfically formulated to help with occasional depression, anxiety, inability to focus, poor attention and other issues that impact your overall mental health
• The Amare mission and platorm that will positvely impact the lives of millions of people around the globe

Break for lunch (12 PM – 1:30 PM)

Learn how to share Amare Products

1:30 PM – 5 PM

• Get additional product training from Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Shawn Talbott
• Discover how to share Amare with others
• Learn from Founding Wellness Partner Pat Hintze how to use the Amare Strive for Life Success System
• Find out how you can cover the cost of your own products and generate additional income
• Learn about all of the tools that are available to help you be successful in Amare including our revolutionary social media system for sharing Amare

Getting Real About Mental Wellness

In honor of World Mental Health Day tomorrow (October 10), please read and share this article about Michael Phelps’ challenges with depression and anxiety.

It’s important for people to realize that we ALL encounter mental wellness challenges – whether for ourselves or for those around us – and we need to understand that we’re not alone and there are a WIDE variety of natural options that can help.

Running Program – Week 6

Hi Runners – into WEEK 6 we go! (2 weeks left)

This past week, I introduced you to the concept of Fartleks (speed play). I hope you enjoyed these unstructured intervals because we’re going to use the same concept this week – but for HILLS!

Your goal this week is to do 3 runs made up of “Hill Fartleks” – basically a “tempo” run with a handful of hard hill intervals sprinkled in as the terrain and your motivation allows.

Do a good 10-min warmup and then start with 2-3 “medium hard” hills (7-ish on the RPE scale) – then progress to 2-3 “hard” hills in the middle of your workout (8-ish RPE) – and then finish the workout with 2-3 “very hard” efforts (near sprints at 9-ish RPE, but keeping fast feet and good form). Cool down with another 10min of easy jogging.

  • remember “RPE” stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion and equates to your feeling of how difficult the intensity is on a scale of 1 (almost resting) to 10 (all-out).

This will end up giving you about 6-9 hill intervals of varying lengths 9anywhere from 30-90 seconds depending on the terrain and the route you’re running), but the workout “feels” different than a structured session of hill repeats.

As with last week, if you have the time and motivation to workout on additional days, then do something OTHER than running.

We are 3 weeks away from our “race” on October 28 – so please send Shawn and Julie any questions?

World Mental Health Day

Next Tuesday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day.

What will you be doing to improve the mental wellness of yourself and those around you?

Earlier this morning, I did an interview with a journalist who needed some “tips” for her article on “Mental Health Advice” – here is what I suggested:

Hi Amanda,

As a nutrition scientist (PhD nutritional biochemistry Rutgers) who studies the impact of dietary compounds on mood/behavior/performance (nutritional psychology), I can give you a few comments on mental wellness?
First thing – if you’re aware of World Mental Health Day (Oct 10) – then you’re aware that mental wellness challenges face hundreds of millions of people around the world – people (especially teens and young adults) need to understand that they are NOT ALONE – virtually everyone struggles with some aspect of mental wellness (depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, insomnia, tension, sadness, brain fog, and so many others).
Second – when we’re depressed or not feeling our best, we tend to withdraw from interacting with other people – we shut off and disconnect – we don’t want to go out or be around other people – but this is exactly what we need to do (get out and be around other people and talk about feeling “off” of feeling “down” – because other people often feel this way too. FYI – there is a strong biochemical reason that we feel like shutting off when we’re depressed – because changes in the balance between inflammatory compounds (cytokines) and neurotransmitters (serotonin/dopamine) and stress hormones (cortisol) sent signals that the brain interprets as “injury/damage” – so we become depressed/fatigued.
Third – our mental wellness is wonderfully responsive to improvement with nutrition – we can DO something about how we feel by using diet to modulate our “second brain” in the gut (100 trillion bacteria that make up our microbiome). The new science of mental wellness really focuses on rebalancing the microbiome (which creates 90% of our serotonin and 50% of our dopamine) and optimization of communication within the gut-brain-axis (including the immune system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system – which are each involved in different aspects of signaling between the 2nd brain in the gut and the 1st brain in the head).
From a nutrition perspective, there are many approaches that we can take to improve mental wellness. For example, aspects of the Mediterranean Diet can significantly reduce depression. Specific probiotic supplements (good bacteria) and prebiotic fibers (“food” for the good bacteria) have been shown to reduce anxiety and improve stress resilience. Herbal supplements such as rafuma/Venetron and sceletium/Zembrin have been shown to reduce depression by 30% within 4 weeks (as effective and safer than prescription drugs).
To sum up:
1. you’re not alone – millions of people struggle with mental wellness challenges
2. share your feelings – they’re not just “in your head”

3. the 2nd brain in your gut may be responsible for how you’re feeling – and modifying your diet can dramatically improve how you feel

Hope some of that helps – and happy to answer any questions?

All best,

Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
(801) 915-1170 (mobile)
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Amare Pre-Launch Summit Video

September was a momentous month for Amare.

We officially launched September 1, 2017 and hosted our two-day Pre-Launch Summit event at the end of the month.

We are so happy that we were able to celebrate our launch with friends, family, wellness partners, and many others. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves!

If you want to see a recap of Amare’s Pre-Launch Summit event or if you couldn’t attend this event, check out this video

Running Training Week 5

Hi Runners – here we go into WEEK 5 of the running program…

Last week, we took a break from the intervals/hills/LSD to allow a week of “just running” (tempo pace) – and we heard from many of you about how much faster your pace had become from the beginning of your training. That is exactly why we’ve been doing the intervals and that’s why we’ll be focusing the week on a form of intervals that we call “Fartleks” (the word fartlek is Swedish for “speed play”).

Fartlek workouts are an unstructured form of intervals, where instead of running fast for a set period of time (such as 1-min, 2-min, etc) or distance (such as 400m, 1-mile, etc), we will “play” with our speed – running faster when we feel like it (pick it up to that next tree, or sprint to the top of this hill) – and running slower to recover (after the pickup and after the crest of that hill).

You might think of a Fartlek workout as a “tempo” run with a handful of intervals sprinkled in as the terrain and your motivation allows?

In my Fartlek workouts, I like to do a good 10-min warmup and then start with 2-3 “medium speed” intervals (7-ish on the RPE scale) – then progress to 2-3 “fast” Fartleks in the middle of my workout (8-ish RPE) – and then finish the workout with 2-3 “very fast” efforts (near sprints at 9-ish RPE, but keeping fast feet and good form). Cool down with another 10min of easy jogging.

  • remember “RPE” stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion and equates to your feeling of how difficult the intensity is on a scale of 1 (almost resting) to 10 (all-out).

This will end up giving you about 6-9 intervals of varying lengths, but the workout “feels” different than a structured interval session.

Do a Fartlek workout for EACH of your 3 primary runs this week – and if you have the time and motivation to workout on additional days, then do something OTHER than running.

We are 4 weeks away from our “race” on October 28 – so please send Shawn and Julie any questions?