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Blood Sugar Balance

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(KUTV) Salt Lake City – March 27 was American Diabetes Alert Day, so today is a great time to review some of the simple steps that we can take to keep our own blood sugar levels within balance. Dr. Shawn Talbott, a Psycho-Nutritionist who studies natural approaches to help people feel their best, sat down with Brooke & Caitlin today on Fresh Living do discuss what Diabetes is and why proper blood sugar control is so important.

http://kutv.com/features/fresh-living/dr-shawn-talbott-on-blood-sugar-balance

American Diabetes Alert Day was March 27 – so today is a great time to review some of the simple steps that we can take to keep our own blood sugar levels within balance.

First of all – WHAT is Diabetes and WHY is proper blood sugar control SO important?

Diabetes, rather than being a single disease, is actually a collection of conditions that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose). The most common types of Diabetes are:

  • Type 2 diabetes – which affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).
  • Type 1 diabetes – in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
  • Prediabetes – in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes – is a form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women.

Blood sugar – also known as blood glucose – is the primary fuel source for our brain and to help prime our fat-burning metabolism. This means that maintaining an adequate blood sugar balance is important for both mental wellness and physical health. I’ve written a lot about natural ways to optimize blood sugar balance in many of my books, so I want to share my favorite tips – the “4 F’s” of blood sugar control: Fiber, Fat, Fitness, and Forty Winks.

Fiber – foods that are high in fiber, such as beans, oatmeal, apples, bananas, berries, whole grain bread and pasta can help to slow the digestion of carbohydrates in the gut and the absorption of sugar from the gut into the blood stream. High-fiber foods can often take some getting used to because of their taste, so I often recommend supplements such as Sunfiber (guar bean galactomannan) to increase your overall fiber intake – it’s tasteless, colorless, and can be added to a variety of foods without changing the taste. Sunfiber also has “prebiotic” benefits to support the “probiotic” beneficial bacteria in our gut.

Fat – adding some fat to your meals can also help to slow the digestion and absorption of sugar – it also helps to improve the flavor of high-fiber foods. Healthy fats can be found in avocados, olive oil, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Fitness – exercise, or any type of physical activity, can help us to improve our ability to manage our blood sugar by improving the function of insulin (the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels). Exercise is so helpful for blood sugar balance that many diabetics are able to reduce (or completely eliminate) their diabetes medications.

Forty Winks – getting enough sleep is vital for our ability to control blood sugar levels. Just missing as little as 2 hours of sleep at night (getting 6 hours rather than 8 hours of sleep) means that we could be putting ourselves into a pre-diabetic state. This is because sleep loss is a “stress” that increases levels of cortisol (stress hormone). Cortisol can “block” insulin function, which leads to fluctuations in blood sugar levels – and cortisol can also stimulate carbohydrate cravings in the brain – which also increase blood sugar levels when we eat those foods.

To sum up, when blood sugar drops too low we get hungry – and when blood sugar rises too high, we stop burning fat. By keeping our blood sugar levels balanced within it’s optimal range, we can ensure that our brain and our body have “enough” (but not too much) glucose to perform at peak efficiency. Balanced blood sugar levels not only help us to burn fat more efficiently, but also help us to stay energized physically, sharp mentally, and have an overall higher levels of emotional well-being.

About the Author:

Dr. Shawn Talbott is a Psycho-Nutritionist who studies natural approaches to help people feel their best.

He received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Medicine (B.S.) and Fitness Management (B.A.) from Marietta College, his Master’s degree (M.S.) in Exercise Science from UMASS, and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. His research is focused on natural approaches to integrating physiology/biochemistry/psychology to improve human performance and optimize psychological vigor (physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being).

Dr. Talbott’s recent projects include two academic textbooks, an award-winning documentary film, and several best-selling books translated into multiple languages. His work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House.

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Can We Fix This?

This past Saturday (March 24), the school where I was a rower (Marietta College) dedicated a new boat in honor of one of my boatmates, Tim Grubert, who committed suicide in November 2016.

Tim was an amazing oarsman and a super-cool person – but he suffered bouts of depression for as long as I knew him. The thing is, he could have picked up the phone and called any of his boatmates to say that he was struggling – and any of us would have been on the next plane to lend a listening ear – or a shoulder to cry on – or a friend to vent to.

But, that’s not what you do when you’re fighting depression – or anxiety – or stress – or any of the various “flavors” of mental wellness challenges. You shut down – and the situation gets worse rather than better.

I’ve written many books and articles about the “epidemic” we’re facing I’ve educated online about depression and addiction and a variety of different mental wellness challenges – and yet, the problem seems to keep getting worse – and quickly. It’s important for people to understand that these are tough issues that are not just “in your head” (but also in your gut) – and that there are LOTS of effective natural approaches to help all of us feel better.

There are dozens of “awareness” days and numerous “organizations” (and a lot of these are doing amazing work) – so we don’t need “more” of the same – we need something different.

For example, just this past couple of weeks, we had World Sleep Day on March 16 (sleep is a huge aspect of mental wellness) and United Nations International Day of Happiness on March 20 (who doesn’t want to be happier?) – and a friend’s brother committed suicide.

March 20 would have also been the 42nd birthday of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park (I have all their albums and my workout mix is full of their tunes). Chester’s widow, Talinda Bennington, watched Chester struggle with depression and substance abuse for years – so she started “320 Changes Direction” (3/20 is the date of Chester’s birthday) to help “streamline access to the help that IS available” (because she also realizes that there are lots of great programs out there doing amazing work – but people often don’t know where to turn to find help).

Information is starting to get out in the mainstream press, such as the Los Angeles Times article about rappers talking openly about mental wellness; the Players Tribune article about Kevin Love and the Men’s Health article about Michael Phelps and other professional athletes who struggle with mental wellness challenges; and the SELF magazine article on Demi Lovato and her struggles with mental wellness.

Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company, (of which I am a Founder and Chief Science Officer) is changing the way that people think about (and improve) mental wellness. Our flagship FundaMentals Pack was named “2018 Product of the Year” for its revolutionary approach to optimizing gut-brain-axis and improving mental wellness. Our nutraceutical products are just one part of our overall “platform” of mental wellness solutions that will eventually encompass mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, breathe work, yoga, stress/sleep management, exercise, nutrition plans, and a range of science-based microbiome and mental wellness evaluations.

One of my favorite writers, Seth Godin, recently blogged about how important it is to “Find the others” – because “tribes build sideways” and today’s “connection economy” grows because somebody cares enough about something to start the process of connecting the people who are waiting to be connected. At Amare, we care – and we hope that you care enough to take a look at what we’re up to. Whether for yourself – or someone you know – there are literally millions of people who are waiting to be connected to an answer to their mental wellness challenges.

As Godin ends his blog, “ten by ten by ten is a thousand. Do it twice and you’re at a million.”

Thanks for reading,

Shawn

About the Author:

Dr. Shawn Talbott is a Psycho-Nutritionist who studies natural approaches to help people feel their best.

He received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Medicine (B.S.) and Fitness Management (B.A.) from Marietta College, his Master’s degree (M.S.) in Exercise Science from UMASS, and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. His research is focused on natural approaches to integrating physiology/biochemistry/psychology to improve human performance and optimize psychological vigor (physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being).

Dr. Talbott’s recent projects include two academic textbooks, an award-winning documentary film, and several best-selling books translated into multiple languages. His work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House.

“Dangerous” Energy Drinks?

In a recent expert commentary in the Sports Medicine Bulletin of the American College of Sports Medicine, cardiologist Dr. John Higgins took issue with the safety of most energy drinks – please see the full article and see some highlights below.

Keep in mind, however, that not all “energy drinks” are the same – and when properly formulated, such as Amare’s Energy+ natural energy drink – they can actually be healthy and effective for improving physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being (a multi-faceted “energy” similar to psychological vigor – the opposite of burnout).

Many thanks to my colleague, Michael Quach for helping to compile this article and comparison chart below – or here as a PDF = Energy Drink Comparison

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In 2017, the energy drink market is expected to generate over $21 billion dollars alone! As the demand continues to increase, the demographic of consumers that are seeking a energy boost is becoming more popular in the younger population! (1) This poses true safety concerns and effects the largest and most vulnerable portion of humans today!

  • According to  Dr John P Higgins (M.D, FACSM, FACP, and Chief of Cardiology @ Harris Health Systems) (2)
    • There are many safety concerns with energy drink consumption, that include adverse effects to the cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. Dr John P Higgins highlights the main issue that these energy drinks are accessible to anyone and:
      • Should not be consumed by children or adolescents
      • Should not be used for hydration by children and adolescents, and information about the absence of benefit and potential adverse effects should be provided to those who interact with young persons
      • Should neither be available for sale in K-12 schools nor advertised to children who attend such schools
      • Should not be marketed to (nor consumed by) vulnerable populations, including:
        • Those younger than 18 years
        • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
        • Caffeine naive or sensitive individuals
        • Those taking stimulant or caffeine-based medications
        • Those with certain cardiovascular or medical conditions.
      • Should be avoided before, during, or after strenuous activities, until such time that proper safety and efficacy data are available.
      • Should not be marketed premixed with alcohol or consumed with alcohol.
      • May contain high levels of carbohydrates and calories, which can contribute to obesity.
      • Should not be consumed close to bedtime.
  • In a nutshell, this $21 billion dollar industry is being driven by a poorly regulated product, with questionable efficacy,  that is accessible by any population. This combination is incredibly risky and Consumers need to be aware of the potential risks of consuming these energy drinks, find a healthy alternative, or not drink them at all!
  1. https://brandongaille.com/20-significant-energy-drink-consumption-statistics/
  2. http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/acsm/active032018.htm

 

 

 

 

New Hope Network Recognizes Amare’s FundaMentals Pack

Best New Product!

I like the sound of that – and so does the leader in the natural products industry, New Hope Network – check out the feature article on Amare’s FundaMentals Pack being selected as the 2018 “Best New Product” – and how Amare is creating (and leading) the new “gut-brain-axis” category to help people improve their Mental Wellness.

To learn more about the FundaMentals Pack, click HERE.

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Amare Coming to a City Near YOU

Amare Global is in the middle of our Launch Tour – so many of us are traveling around the country to visit a city near you to spread the word about how Amare is leading the Mental Wellness Revolution – and how YOU can be a part of it to help yourself and others to feel better with improved mood, reduced stress, increased energy, and sharper mental focus.

Check out this video for an idea of what to expect – and look here to find out where we’ll be visiting next – we would love to see you!

Smoothies Featured in Women’s Health

Two of my favorite smoothie recipes were recently featured in Women’s Health magazine.

I provided the recipes – but they were created by my daughter (Courtney Talbott) and her friend (Jaclyn Optiz) who are both nutrition majors at CalPoly in San Luis Obispo, CA.

The Women’s Health article touts them as “weight loss” shakes – but the reason that “our” smoothies have that effect is because of their benefits for balancing the microbiome (the “good” bacteria in your gut) – which can not only help you lose weight, but can significantly improve your mood.

I personally like to also add MentaBiotics powder (probiotics/prebiotics/phytobiotics) – which is part of the FundaMentals Pack that was recently named 2018″ “Best New Product” 
See the full Women’s Health article (and 20 smoothie recipes) HERE and see our specific recipes below.
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GREEN GODDESS

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple but you don’t have to eat it as cereal. The high-fiber, super-filling, whole grain is the secret ingredient in this shake from Shawn M Talbott, Ph.D., C.N.S., L.D.N., nutritional biochemist and author. “The combination of fiber and flavonoids in this recipe helps to feed and protect the good bacteria in your gut,” he explains. These good bacteria can go on to produce more “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain which in turn help with mood and weight loss.

Recipe: Blend 1/2 pear, 1/2 banana, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup kale, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup milk of your choice, and 1/2 cup raw rolled oats.

Nutrition facts: 295 calories, 35g carbohydrates, 9g protein, 17g fat

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CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHICKPEA COOKIE SHAKE

Chickpeas in a “cookie” recipe? Legumes are great for your gut and your waistline, Talbott says. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of filling protein and fiber. Oh, and you can’t even taste them, he adds.

Recipe: Blend 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons chickpea protein powder, 3/4 cup milk of your choice.

Nutrition facts: 460 calories, 41g carbohydrates, 23g protein, 27g fat

NutrAward Winners for 2018

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NutrAward Winners for 2018

The NutrAward recognizes companies that invest in rigorous and measurable scientific studies to show the efficacy of their ingredients or technologies.

At Expo West/Engredea this year, OmniActive’s Lutemax 2020 won for Best Functional Ingredient, and Amare Global’s FundaMentals Pack won for Best Finished Product.

What Supplements Do You Take?

As a scientist who studies dietary supplements, the one question that I am asked ALL the time, it’s, “What supplements do YOU take?”

Now, as a developer of supplements (as well as a researcher), I may be a little biased and may favor some of my own formulas – but, hey – they’re all based on solid scientific principles and almost all of them will not only help improve mental wellness (stress, mood, tension, focus), but also physical health (inflammation, immune function, cellular efficiency, tissue repair).

The truth is that I take a LOT of supplements – and I also eat a relatively “clean” diet and exercise (a lot), but I also travel a ton (bad) and sleep too little (very bad, but I’m working on it) and work too much (see, nobody is perfect) – so the supplements help to nourish my body and mind while also helping me to adapt to stress and maintain stress resilience.

I fully realize that most people will have little/no interest in supplementing to the degree that I do – but I’ll outline my full regimen below FYI…

For others who are looking less for the “optimal” regimen – and more for the “best bang for your buck” approach, I would HIGHLY recommend taking a look at Amare’s FundaMentals Pack – which I formulated and which was just named “Best New Product” in the natural products industry for 2018.

FundaMentals is the first (and only) comprehensive approach to rebalancing the microbiome and optimizing the gut-brain-axis to enhance mental wellness (mood, tension, stress, etc) – little wonder that it was named “Best New Product” for 2018.

Early Morning (while the fresh-ground Sumato coffee is brewing):

  • Amare FundaMentals – which includes MentaBiotics, MentaFocus, and MentaSync to optimize my entire Gut-Brain-Axis (and which was just named “Best New Product” of 2018 by New Hope Natural Media). I mix my MentaBiotics powder in a “shot” of 3-4 ounces of water or juice and use that liquid to wash down the 2 MentaFocus and 2 MentaSync capsules.
  • Every couple of months, I will also do a Reboot to help keep my Microbiome balanced and my liver, kidneys, and GI tract functioning at peak performance.

Breakfast

  • VitaGBX multivitamin (Amare) – 2 capsules provide all the essential vitamins/minerals at optimal levels and in bioavailable forms, as well as a blend of phytonutrients that not only directly protect neurons (brain cells), but also activate a wide range of CDRs (cellular defense responses) throughout the entire body to improve antioxidant protection (Nrf2 activation), inflammatory balance (Nf-kB inhibition), longevity enhancement (SIRT1), metabolism optimization (MTOR) and improved cellular efficiency (autophagy).
  • Mood+ (Amare) – to balance out my mood and tension, while also improving my stress resilience.
  • CoQ10 (CostCo) & AstaZine astaxanthin (Amazon) – to improve cardiovascular efficiency, enhance mitochondrial metabolism, and enhance heart-brain-axis function. (Currently, Amare does not include either of these nutrients in its product line, but may in the future to support heart-brain-axis metabolism – hint, hint).
  • Relief+ (Amare) – to improve inflammatory balance and reduce muscle soreness/stiffness (especially if yesterday included a hard workout).
  • Digestive (Amare) – I take this one at every meal – it has really helped me to reduce symptoms of acid reflux that have plagued me for years.

Lunch

  • Digestive (Amare) – I take this one at every meal – it has really helped me to reduce symptoms of acid reflux that have plagued me for years.

Afternoon

  • Energy+ (Amare) – is hands-down the BEST “energy” drink that I have ever used (or formulated) – it helps to improve not only physical energy and mental acuity, but also improves “mental awareness” – which helps me to be more “present” and “engaged” with whatever I am working on. I’ll often enjoy a few Energy+ drinks, especially if I’m traveling, giving a lecture, or working late.

Dinner

  • VitaGBX multivitamin (Amare) – 2 capsules provide all the essential vitamins/minerals at optimal levels and in bioavailable forms, as well as a blend of phytonutrients that not only directly protect neurons (brain cells), but also activate a wide range of CDRs (cellular defense responses) throughout the entire body to improve antioxidant protection (Nrf2 activation), inflammatory balance (Nf-kB inhibition), longevity enhancement (SIRT1), metabolism optimization (MTOR) and improved cellular efficiency (autophagy).
  • Digestive (Amare) – I take this one at every meal – it has really helped me to reduce symptoms of acid reflux that have plagued me for years.

Before Bed

  • Sleep+ (Amare) – to help improve sleep quality – no matter how many (FEW!) hours of sleep that I get, I always wake up refreshed in body and mind because Sleep+ helps me to spend more minutes of every night in both Deep sleep (restoring my body) and REM sleep (rejuvenating my brain).
  • OmMega (Amare) – an ultra-pure and super-potent fish oil that provides 70% omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and promote brain and cardiovascular function.
  • Relief+ (Amare) – which I’ll often take again on nights where I have had a killer workout earlier in the day – to help promote post-exercise recovery.
  • Probiotics (Amare) – a multi-strain beneficial bacteria supplement that helps with numerous “general wellness” benefits including gut health, inflammation, immune support, and mineral absorption.

 

As many of you know, especially readers of any of my books, the dietary supplements are just one piece of my overall lifestyle regimen. The SENSE program that I developed almost 20 years ago incorporates a variety of complementary interventions to help restore balance across the body and mind to improve “psychological vigor” (the opposite of “burnout”).

Here is what each component includes:
Stress/Sleep Management – to improve relaxation, mindfulness, gratitude, and sleep quality.

 

Exercise – perhaps the most effective method of lowering stress and improving the body’s ability to handle cortisol (the body movement is precisely what our evolutionary stress response wants us to do).

 

Nutrition – eating a Mediterranean style diet with lean proteins, high fiber fruits/veggies, healthy fats, fermented foods (yogurt), lots of phytonutrients (grapes, apples, dark chocolate, red wine) – the fermented foods, fiber, and flavonoids can help to balance gut bacterial populations levels and especially help to mitigate many of the detrimental effects of stress on metabolism, microbiome, and mood.

 

Supplementation – (you get the idea from seeing my daily regimen above) – this is where targeted supplements can help to reduce stress (herbs like Kanna or Ashwagandha), or maintain gut health (both the balance of good bacteria and the integrity of the gut lining with specific probiotic strains and prebiotic fibers), or elevate mental focus and mood (which can cut carb cravings and restore energy levels with New Zealand pine bark or Pomegranate extract).

 

Evaluation – taking stock every week or so to see what is stressing you out and what you can do about it (e.g. make a plan in advance). Equally important is understanding the sources of stress that you cannot do anything about – and accepting them so you can make the best out of the situation.

 

Each of these aspects of SENSE are effective on their own, but are even more effective when added together in a coordinated regimen. When used as a complete system, my research group has shown in numerous studies over the years, that an approach like SENSE can help reduce feelings of stress and cortisol levels by ~50% and improve psychological vigor by ~25% (vigor is a combination of physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being; basically the way that everyone should want to feel on every day of their lives).

 

As the science progresses, we’re able to measure additional aspects of how a coordinated lifestyle approach like SENSE can integrate mindfulness techniques and gratitude to change brain wave patterns; how proper sleep and stress management can improve nervous system “firing” (to enhance brain function) – and eventually neuron “wiring” (to improve brain structure); and how restoring balance in our “2nd brain” (the gut, including the microbiome) can have implications for virtually every aspect of mind/body wellness.

Imagine someday, being able to answer a few questions and provide a few simple samples, and have a comprehensive lifestyle regimen “customized” for your unique needs. Imagine being able to improve your body, optimize your brain, and rebalance your biome – all toward the goal of ultimate mental wellness and physical health. That’s what our future looks like – and I think that looks pretty exciting – how about you?

Thanks for reading.

Shawn

About the Author:

Dr. Shawn Talbott received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Medicine (B.S.) and Fitness Management (B.A.) from Marietta College, his Master’s degree (M.S.) in Exercise Science from UMASS, and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. His research is focused on natural products to support human performance and psychological vigor (physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being). Dr. Talbott’s recent projects include two academic textbooks, an award-winning documentary film, and several best-selling books translated into multiple languages. His work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House.

FundaMentals is “Best New Product”

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We are excited to announce that Amare’s FundaMentals Pack is the
WINNER
of the 2018 NutrAward for BEST NEW PRODUCT
 We are extremely grateful for this honor and to celebrate it with all of you!
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The FundaMentals Pack was chosen for its merit in the following areas:

  • Viable Product
  • Emerging Category
  • Creative Product Concept
  • Distinct Health Application
  • Unique Packaging
  • Matchless Marketing
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Check out the winning moment!

Amare in Hawaii

Amare will be in Honolulu (Saturday March 8) and Maui (Monday March 12) – come out and hear how we’re changing the way the world thinks about (and improves) Mental Wellness.

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