Cookies for Breakfast!

Boosted Breakfast Cookies (with oatmeal)

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

What could help us feel better than a warm cookie?

Yesterday, I shared my recipe for Healthy Breakfast Cookies with Brooke at KUTV’s Fresh Living – see the segment here

They contain citrus flavonoids (to boost brain neurotransmitters in your first brain) – as well as bananas and oatmeal (to nourish your gut microbiome – aka your 2nd brain), and dark chocolate (for heart health – aka your “3rd brain”).

So – these cookies can help to boost your entire Gut-Heart-Brain-Axis for ultimate Mental Fitness.

Yes, you can make cookies for breakfast (or whenever the urge strikes), and in one bowl. This simple cookie is at its best warm and soft.

20 min – makes 4 cookies (increase amounts for extra cookies)

1 extra ripe banana

1⁄4 orange, zest + juice

2 scoops Amare GBX Protein powder (any flavor)

1⁄2 cups oatmeal

2 T. sesame seeds, toasted

2 T. dates, chopped Pinch of salt

1⁄2 tsp. olive oil for baking sheet or parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place peeled bananas in a bowl and use a fork to mash into a paste. 

Add in orange, Amare GBX Protein powder, oatmeal, sesame seeds, dates, and salt. 

Mash into the bananas.

Rub oil on a baking sheet and then spoon or roll out balls of breakfast cookie dough onto the baking sheet, with 2 inches between each cookie ball.

Bake for 15 minutes. 

When the cookies finish remove them from the baking sheet with a spatula and allow them to cool. Store in a closed container to avoid drying out

NOTE = this recipe is SUPER easy to modify by adding/substituting ingredients based on your preferences. For instance, for this one that I did for KUTV’s Fresh Living, I did a half/half blend of chocolate/vanilla Amare GBX Protein, a combo of nuts/seeds (cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), and a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips – YUM!

Calling All Health Professionals – Become a Certified Mental Wellness Coach (CMWC)!

The CMWC is a streamlined, focused, intense course spanning 16 hours of instruction in the role of diet and lifestyle factors in balancing the Microbiome-Gut-Heart-Brain-Axis for improved Mental Wellness.

We held our first CMWC course in Wisconsin at the end of April and had great feedback about the content.

Our next course will be held June 2-3-4-5 in Plymouth MA – and the location will be our new mental fitness retreat at 3 Waves Wellness.

Total costs are:

  • Tuition = $1,200 per student
  • Lodging = $1,000 for 4 nights at 3Waves Wellness – and if you want to arrive earlier or stay longer, we can arrange that too! (other area lodging is also available).
  • Food = included breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments
  • Fun = included whale watch, history walk, kayak/SUP, beach day (weather dependent)
  • CMWC course materials (from Functional Foods Institute) = $299 (details below)
    • 16 CEUs
    • Textbook = Functional Foods and Mental Health ($150 for e-book)
    • Membership in Functional Foods Institute ($99/year)
    • Certificate Fee ($50)

Our location is a casual coastal “bed & breakfast” with 7 rooms – so we can host you right here and everyone can hang out together while we learn about and improve our own mental wellness.

Our on-site room options include 3 queens with private baths, 2 kings with private baths, 3rd floor suite with 2 private king rooms sharing one bath…

…but since we have limited rooms and reserve on a first-come basis, you might also want to check out some of the area hotels? There are a number of options at every price point – just search “hotels in Plymouth MA”

You can see a bit about Our location (3Waves Wellness – formerly known as “Above the Bay at Thornton Adams”) HERE

This will be a special event focused on Health Professionals (physicians, chiropractors, nurses, health coaches, etc) – so it will be a smaller intimate “workshop style” event – and seats will fill quickly…

To reserve your seat or ask any questions, please call/email me directly at 801-915-1170 or (we are still setting up our credit card processing, so you can “reserve” your seat in the class now and pay later).

Tentative Schedule:

  • June 1 (Tuesday) – arrive and settle in
  • June 2 (Wednesday) – 9am-1pm Learning / 1-2pm Lunch / Afternoon Fun
  • June 3 (Thursday) – 9am-1pm Learning / 1-2pm Lunch / Afternoon Fun
  • June 4 (Friday) – 9am-1pm Learning / 1-2pm Lunch / Afternoon Fun
  • June 5 (Saturday) – 9am-1pm Learning / 1-2pm Lunch / Afternoon Fun
  • June 6 (Sunday) – checkout as a newly Certified Mental Wellness Coach!

Background – Why Becoming a CMWC is Important

At no time in human history have we ever been so “advanced” technologically and yet so miserable psychologically.

It’s no exaggeration to describe stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout as epidemics – literally the “Black Plague” of our modern times.

How you feel is not just in your head, it’s also in your gut, and your heart, and your immune system, and in many other places inside and outside the actual brain in your head.

National surveys show that happiness and life satisfaction levels are at all-time lows, while depression, suicide, drug addiction, and use of prescription antidepressants and pain-killing opioids are at all-time highs.

There is no physical health without mental wellness. They are two sides of the same coin, and they are vital for each other and for our ability to reach our peak potential in this one life that we have to live.

The CMWC will explore research-supported natural approaches can improve how we feel mentally and perform physically in every aspect of our daily lives, including:

  • What is Mental Wellness Coaching
    • Education, Guidance, Training, Support to help unlock potential
  • What Mental Wellness Coaching is NOT
    • Counseling, treatment, prescribing, medicine…
  • Objectives
    • Workshop Format
    • 500+ slides (many for reference)
  • Part 1 – Science
    • New Paradigm of the Gut-Heart-Brain-Axis
    • Science-based products (how Amare fits)
    • Mental Wellness Economy
    • Science Deep Dive
  • Part 2 – Practice – What to DO?
    • Mindset
    • Ingredient Sourcing
    • Functional Nutrition
    • Immune System
    • Stress
    • Gut-Brain-Axis
    • Endotoxemia / Metabolism
    • Heart-Brain-Axis
    • Physical Performance
    • Sleep
    • Anti-Aging

Financial Wellness is Mental Wellness

Recent surveys such as the World Happiness Report have shed new light on the devastating impact of the pandemic on mental health and mental well-being (defined in the report as, “the full breadth of a person’s emotional, social, and cognitive function and capability”).

Younger age groups have experienced the steepest declines in mental wellness during the pandemic – with nearly 50% reporting symptoms severe enough that they find it “challenging to function effectively in life.”Many of these challenges stem from school closures, early job losses, and the deep uncertainty about the future – each of which is expected by most experts to affect their level of mental well-being for years to come.

Amid this dismal outlook for young adults is a potential bright ray of hope – due to the growing awareness of the twin considerations of wellness and purpose when it comes to work. In the post-pandemic era, employees and self-employed will expect their jobs and careers to bring not merely a paycheck, but also a significant sense of purpose to their lives.

This has little to do with the Silicon Valley nonsense of foosball tables and free lunches (in exchange for 80-90-hour works weeks) – but rather with how we structure our work time, when and where we work, an emphasis on time versus dollars, and an ability to “do good” for others while we are “doing well” for ourselves.

As we enter the middle of 2021 and we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel with parts of the country opening up, we are already seeing a culture that is craving authenticity around the “M-word” – MONEY. Right up there with religion, sex, and politics, MONEY has been one of those “taboo” topics that you never discussed in polite conversation.

As the number-one source of mental distress globally, it is about time that we have an open and honest discussion about money and mental wellness. The Global Wellness Institute has identified “Financial Wellness” as one oof their top mega-trends for 2021 because, “society is finally waking up to the link between money and mental health.”

We know from numerous global scientific surveys that financial stress affects physical health (blood pressure, respiratory symptoms, pain levels, and rates of tension and anxiety) – and mental health (because people with depression and anxiety are 3x more likely to be in debt). According to Bank of America, financial concerns negatively affect the mental wellness (59%) and physical health (56%) of respondents in a national survey.

Let’s be honest – all the yoga classes, personal training sessions, and green juices in the world won’t make mentally well or physically fit if you’re buried in financial anxiety. As such, we at Amare Global prefer to frame “money stress” not purely as a finance problem but more broadly as both a mental wellness and physical health problem – but one that also has an actionable SOLUTION.

In my upcoming book, Mental Fitness, I write about “Financial Fitness” – which is partly about how much money you have, but also how you make it (with purpose) and how you use it (wisely, so you have the resources to help yourself and help others).

Our relationship with money is more than just dollars and cents – it is heavily emotional and psychological – so “Financial Fitness” considers how money impacts more holistically in our entire life.

Pre-Order Mental Fitness

My new book – Mental Fitness – is available for pre-order!

Sept 14 release date – and covering how to maximize mood, motivation, and mental wellness by optimizing the brain-body-biome (3 brains, microbiome, mindset, movement, mental wellness diet, probiotics, prebiotics, postbiotics, phytobiotics, and much more)…
— Read on

Languishing and the Food/Mood Connection

Just the other day (May 6), the New York Times published yet another article highlighting the profound links between our diet and our mental wellness – the proverbial “food/mood-connection” – showing quite clearly that what we eat dramatically influences how we feel.

Diving into the science underlying the food/mood-connection shows us the close links between our gut and microbiome (often called the “2nd brain”); our heart (often called the “3rd brain”); and how our “first brain” (the one in our head) feels, behaves, and performs on every level imaginable.

These are precisely the topics that I cover in my upcoming book, “Mental Fitness – Maximizing Mood, Motivation, and Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome” – which is on pre-order now wherever you buy books.

An earlier NYT article (April 19) by the amazing Adam Grant – that I tweeted about and shared quite a lot, outlined the “emotional limbo” that many people are feeling – referred to as “languishing” in psychology research (and which is linked to what happens across our “3-brains” and our “brain-body-biome”).

The opposite of languishing is “flourishing” – just as the opposite of burnout is vigor and the opposite of depression is vitality and the opposite of stressed out is resilience.

Languishing is not quite burnout and not quite depression, but is more like feeling “blah” or “meh” and not really getting as much enjoyment or excitement out of life or certain hobbies as you once did. You feel sort of stagnant and empty. You might have brain fog or cloudy thinking or a lack of motivation.

On the “Mental Wellness Continuum” that I’ve been talking about for more than a decade – we have depression, anxiety, and burnout at the low end – and vigor, thriving and flourishing at the high end – and the dreaded “blah” or “fine” or “stressed out” (also known as languishing) in the middle. The middle “ho-hum” region is where most of us find ourselves due to chronic stress, and especially after what we’ve all been through (and are still going through) with the pandemic. 

The Global Wellness Institute has recently picked up on and refined the Mental Wellness Continuum model with a dual-axis approach that I really like to help us distinguish between mental illness and mental wellness (you could be mentally healthy but not fully mentally well).

The big problem for people who are languishing isn’t just that you feel like crap and your drive has dwindled, but that you might start becoming “indifferent to your indifference” and you just stop caring about much of anything – or even be able to see your own suffering.

If you find yourself endlessly and mindlessly doom-scrolling Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, then you might be languishing – and you might need to hit the “reset button” to snap yourself out of it. This might be to take a small step to do something to improve your mood or motivation (like Edge for me) – or get yourself into the zone (like exercise for me) – or something to get you into a flow state (like writing for me) – or focus on something fun that requires focus and is non-work related (like playing the guitar for me) – whatever works for you to get you out of the languishing rut. Small steps lead to small wins that can be strung together day after day like breadcrumbs to lead you away from languishing and toward flourishing.

My upcoming Mental Fitness Book provides the link between how we use lifestyle interventions (like food, supplements, movement, mindset, sleep, stress management, and many others) to reduce languishing, stress, and burnout – and foster flourishing, vigor and resilience.

Experts Say Best Depression Treatment Remains Having Coal-Covered Street Urchins Sing About Dancing Troubles Away

Very funny piece in The Onion today – especially humorous for someone like me who studies Mental Wellness?

But – before you have your chuckle – please realize that there are actually very effective natural options to improve many aspects of Mental Wellness – and there is a massive Mental Wellness Economy emerging that is combining aspects of Healthcare and Pharma/Biotech and Technology – but with a Natural orientation.

Read it on The Onion website HERE or see the text pasted below…

NEW YORK—Adding to a growing body of evidence in support of the approach, Columbia University psychiatrists published research Friday that confirmed listening to coal-covered street urchins sing a song about dancing your troubles away was still the best treatment for clinical depression.

“In 90% of cases, the most successful intervention for major depressive disorder was having a young ragamuffin tap the subject on the shoulder and say, ‘Hold on, guv’nah—’ow is it you got a frown on this most splendiferous of days?’” said lead researcher Alfred Evans, describing how the moods of severely depressed individuals improved when a gang of dirt-caked, hardscrabble chimney sweeps and newsboys appeared one by one from nearby alleyways and started into a high-spirited, irresistible song-and-dance number.

“Even the worst-off patients, those who exhibit no response to antidepressants or talk therapy, experienced decreased symptoms after exposure to the sprightly steps and carefree ditties of a chorus made up of 5- to 10-year-old orphans with names like Skimble Flintwich, Humsy Wumsy, and Lil’ Tom Wopsle.

People who have suffered for decades from a sense of inherent worthlessness not only smiled as these impish ruffians in knee pants and suspenders performed a choreographed routine with their horsehair brooms, but actually joined in for the final rousing chorus of a tune called ‘Chin Up The Livelong Day!’

By the time these knockabout youngsters smeared boot-polish mustaches beneath their noses and mimicked a group of indignant businessmen, most cases of depression had been completely cured.”

Evans hypothesized that the effectiveness of the treatment might stem from patients concluding that if these penniless guttersnipes were able to smile their way through the hard times, then, well, perhaps anyone could.