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Got Stress?

Of course you have stress – everyone does – and while “some” amount of acute/temporary stress can actually be a good thing – it’s the long-term chronic stress that leads to problems such as burnout, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia (among many other stress-related conditions).

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I recently did a video “deep dive” into how chronic stress is related to many areas of gut-brain-axis balance and mental wellness – hope you enjoy it.

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Amare in Austin!

Amare will be visiting Austin, TX on Thurs April 26 – Register HERE

7-10pm at Renaissance Hotel – come out to see how Amare is changing the way the world thinks about (and improves) mental wellness.

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The “Right” Fiber for Gut-Brain-Axis Balance on Good Morning San Diego

I’m in San Diego to give a few presentations at the Experimental Biology scientific conference, including one on how the Fundamentals Pack improves both “good” bacteria and mood state (depression, anxiety, stress, etc).

This morning, I visited Good Morning San Diego to talk about how the right kinds of fiber  can help to modulate the signals coming form the gut (the “2nd brain”) to the first brain (in our head) to help balance food cravings, energy levels, and mood levels.

See the segment HERE

You may have every intention to eat better. But when your stomach starts to growl, all bets are off. You give into your cravings for chips and soda, again! Why is this happening?

What your gut tells your brain – and vice versa – is part of what scientists call the gut/brain axis.

What’s an out of balance gut look like? You may have digestive issues such as bloating, cramping or occasional diarrhea or occasional constipation, causing the wrong signals to be sent to your brain.

There are several things we can do to balance our gut/brain axis so that we feel better physically and emotionally.

1. Bring on the fiber! There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble is like nature’s broom. We don’t digest it, and it carries toxins with it as it exits our bodies. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps to normalize digestion. It can also act as a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in our gut. Visuals high fiber foods Nuts seeds and whole grains

2. Add fermented foods to your diet. Kimchee, yogurt, kefir and kombucha all help to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Visuals Kimchee, yogurt kefir

3. Feed your gut and brain plant-based amino acids. Amino acids are used by the body for many physiological functions. One amino acid found in matcha – called theanine – has been shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness, reduce nervous tension, and help prevent the negative side-effects of caffeine. It’s a great brain nutrient.

National Stress Awareness Day

According to a recent survey reported by CNBC, “roughly 63 percent of U.S. workers said they regularly engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as drinking, to combat work-related stress.”

The Wall Street Journal has previously run pieces about how chronic stress can increase cholesterol levels (and have equivalent detrimental effects on heart health as a poor diet) and how workplace burnout is reaching epidemic proportions – especially among the highest-performing individuals.

These articles in mainstream business publications do a good job of highlighting the particular problems with mental wellness and physical health that are associated with “chronic stress” versus short-term stress (which can often be “good” in certain ways).

Any type of stress, but especially the low-grade, chronic stress that we experience at work and in our stressful “too-busy” lives, leads to both behavioral changes (less exercise, eating more “comfort foods,” drinking, smoking, etc) and biochemical changes (higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol), which can suppress immune system function, increase blood pressure and cholesterol, elevate appetite, reduce sex drive, lead to memory and emotional problems, and increase fat gain – especially in the abdominal region (belly fat). Chronic stress can also lead to wide-ranging alterations in our gut microbiome – leading to mental wellness challenges including depression. anxiety, and burnout.

As the author of several books on these topics, a lead researcher on several research studies, and co-founder of Amare, the “mental wellness company” –  I continue to be fascinated by the strong association between nutrition/supplements and how we feel. The growing scientific database demonstrating the close mood state and metabolism effects of chronic stress highlights how strategic nutrition and lifestyle choices can activate many of the body’s own internal “anti-stress” protective pathways, thus protecting your physical health and mental well-being at the cellular level.

For almost two decades, I have run a program (where I live in Utah), that teaches people about the link between chronic stress and health (especially fatigue, weight gain, and depression). Our program generally reduces perceived stress levels and stress hormones by ~20%; increases levels of “good” bacteria by ~30%; and elevates mood, energy, and overall well-being by ~50%. Some of the “standard” recommendations to combat stress apply – such as being physically active, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, etc. But, we also educate people about what we’ve found to be our “top five” ways to resist the detrimental health effects of chronic stress:

1. Have an “Outlet” (a hobby or some diversion outside of work)…

2. Do whatever you can to make the sources of your stress more “Predictable” or learn to develop more “Control” over those stressors (e.g. by identifying patterns related to when your stressors might appear)…

3. Hang out with Friends (avoid social isolation) – tough times are always easier when you’re around other people…

4. Put the stressor in Perspective with other parts of your life – by learning to tell the difference between “big” issues and “little” issue. Ask yourself whether or not this source of stress will be important to you five years form now….

5. Look on the Bright Side (really). As simplistic as it sounds, the fact that you can look to “what is improving” in a given situation can help to psychologically buffer the stress in others areas…

We also look at (and measure) a wide range of “natural therapies” for controlling stress and improving emotional well-being. Our work has been presented at more than a dozen recent scientific conferences. Not long ago, I presented a study at the American College of Nutrition Scientific Conference that showed how chronic stress can reduce a parameter that we call “Vigor” (a combination of physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being), and how a range of dietary ingredients (American ephedra, New Zealand pine bark, Green tea, Theanine, and others) can improve psychological parameters that are commonly disrupted by stress (e.g. mental focus, mood, tension, irritability, well-being). Next week, I will present some new clinical data at the Experimental Biology Scientific Conference demonstrating the stress-mediating benefits of microbiome modulation with probiotic/prebiotic/phytobiotic supplementation.

I think that it’s important for people to understand that chronic stress (including sleep deprivation) is “just as bad” for our overall health and well-being as eating poorly or being sedentary – but it’s also important to know that there are numerous “anti-stress” approaches that can help us to survive – and even thrive – in a world awash in stress. It’s not an overstatement to say that chronic stress is killing us – but we don’t have to let it happen to us. Fight back.

Amare Full House in Salt Lake City!

Standing room only in SLC stop on Amare’s National Launch Tour!

Amare Launch Tour in Multiple Cities

It’s another big week for Amare – with Launch Tour events in multiple cities across the country:

Phoenix AZ – Wednesday April 11

Salt Lake City UT – Thursday April 12

Charlotte NC – Saturday April 14

Sacramento CA – Saturday April 14

See more info about each event below and REGISTER so you can hear more about how Amare is changing the way the world thinks about (and improves) Mental Wellness.

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Amare in Palm Beach Florida – April 5

Amare Global Launch Tour, Palm Beach Gardens

Date: Thursday, April 5th
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton, 4431 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Speaker: Dr. Shawn Talbott – Chief Science Officer/Founding Executive

There has been a radical shift in scientific thinking that your mental health might not just be in your head . . . but it’s in your gut!

Come learn why – REGISTER HERE (Free)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Introduction to Amare (invite guests) – Amare, The Mental Wellness Company, is a new and exciting company in its launch phase. Amare’s vision is to lead the global mental wellness revolution, empowering people to live happier and healthier lives.
8:30pm – 10:00pm Products & Business Training – Amare’s unique business model allows you to “do well” by helping other people “be well.” Our mission is to create natural mental wellness products for a community of passionate people who desire an extraordinary life.

There is NO greater wealth than peace of mind!

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