Parental Burnout

Excellent article in the New Scientist magazine (January 23, 2021) about “Parental Burnout” – which you can read online HERE – or see the highlighted PDF below.

As an author of many books about stress and burnout, here are some of the points that stood out to me…

Burnout (severe emotional exhaustion) was more likely in highly educated women who were trying to “do it all” – and especially among women who had kids at home and who had to continue working defusing COVID lockdowns.

These women had stress hormone (cortisol) levels that were double those of other “normally stressed” parents – and those levels were even higher than patients with severe chronic (physical) pain.

One study outlined in there article indicated that “mindfulness” therapies aren’t particularly effective for many parents – and might actually be harmful because it adds just another thing to do to an already long to-do list (and makes you feel even worse with guilt when you fail to get around to your mindfulness session).

The solution for burnout? I have a number of effective natural options in a recent article on the topic…

How to boost your ‘creativity’?

One of my favorite quotes…

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”

— Dr. Linus Pauling

But the problem with having ‘lots of ideas’ is that some of them (maybe a lot of them) will be downright silly – or dumb – or half-baked – BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT TOU NEED TO DO – if you want to come up with the game-changer that you’ve been looking for.

Why don’t more people do this? Because it’s scary to be called (or feel) stupid.

Everyone who has ever been called a ‘genius’ has also been called an ‘idiot’ – its part of the process.

Work Stress Leads to Illness – Boston Globe

As the author of several books about stress and mental well-being and performance, I wanted to share this great article in the Boston Globe today, “Workplace Stress is Making Us Sick. Can We Hold Bosses Responsible” – full article is HERE and some of the highlights are pasted below (in italics)…

Very few people fully understand the detrimental effects of chronic stress on mental well-being and physical health – but some are waking up to the fact that we can naturally modulate our own stress response, improve our mental fitness, and enhance our resilience (so we can handle more stress nd actually thrive in the face of it).

Article Highlights…

Dysfunctional jobs can take an enormous toll on what you think of yourself, how you perform at work, and even how you behave when you’re (theoretically) disconnected.

But Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford School of Business, argues that work is exacting an even greater price than we realize. More than 100,000 Americans die each year from adverse workplace conditions, he says. And many more become sick.

“I think we are on an unsustainable path. I think we were on an unsustainable path pre-pandemic. The pandemic’s made everything worse, and something’s got to give,” he says.

Of course, many of us internalize our stress, hide it, compartmentalize it, and assume we can recharge on the weekends. We think of the stress as our fault: Maybe things would be better if we took up running? Or learned more about mindfulness? Or acupuncture? That sort of blame is absolutely backwards. The onus should be on employers…

“Thirty-six percent of workers are working excessive long hours,” said the UN’s Manal Azzi, “meaning more than 48 hours per week… People are increasingly asked to produce more and more, they have no time to rest.” (If you, like me, are thinking “48 hours? That doesn’t seem like a big deal,” we are precisely the reason that the American workforce is in such a sorry, overworked state.)

Decades of studies show that stressed-out people are more likely to “overeat, overdrink, smoke, take drugs… So, if you’re in pain, you’re going to take a drug. If you have stress, which is a form of psychological pain… you’re going to do something to numb the pain.”

Second, research has shown that stress has powerful effects on your central nervous system and can affect the regulation of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which, as the American Psychological Association has noted, “can increase the risk for hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.” Studies have also linked high stress to colon, stomach, and lung cancer.

Jennifer Moss, author of “The Burnout Epidemic,” believes that the expectation that people field nonstop e-mails and show up for hours and hours of Zoom meetings is nuts. She recommends thanking people for not inviting you to a meeting. And she notes that burned-out workers are far more likely to go to the ER or call in sick.

…few people truly understand how much workplace stress impacts health, and he believes that America is considerably less attuned to the impact than many European countries.

Recruiting for Gut-Brain Research Study!

Are you interested in getting a FREE microbiome analysis?

We have a new research study starting next month on the effect of a new nutrient blend on mood, mental focus, and microbiome balance.

The nutrient blend includes an amino acid, a fiber, and a fruit extract.

Participants will consume a stick pack daily containing different combinations of the powder (or a placebo).

The study lasts for 30 days, during which participants will provide a microbiome sample (💩 in the privacy of your home) and complete a few mental function surveys and an online test of mental focus and problem-solving.

All of the measurements are “remote” – so you do not need to visit in person for anything (we will send you everything you need and you will send your sample back to the lab in a pre-paid envelop).

It’s a pretty simple study – you’ll get your own personal microbiome analysis results before/after supplementation – and your Gut-Brain-Axis will thank you (so will we)!

If you’re interested in joining the study, please email Julie at for more information.

Coaching Identified as “Next Big Trend” in Wellness Industry

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) recently published their annual trends report (The Future of Wellness 2022) – and one of their top trends for 2022 is, “Health & Wellness Coaching Gets Certified

I’ve attached a highlighted version of the coaching trend report, as well as a couple of other white papers on Wellness Coaching from the GWI (see PDF attachments below).

I HIGHLY recommend taking a read thru the first trend report – it really sets the stage for Wellness Coaching being a massive trend that is expected to grow exponentially into the future – and with the “Great Resignation” underway, so many people are looking for a career path and an income stream that they can feel good about (feeding their soul as much as their bank account).

I love the fact that GWI has identified Wellness Coaching as the “missing link” between healthcare and wellness – and I also view Coaching as a way for people to get an “edge” for their mental fitness and physical performance (and then help others to do the same).

The Wall Street Journal has also recently highlighted the importance of coaching and Wellness Retreats to improve the performance of the “Corporate Athlete” – which examples like SalesForce and others investing in remote corporate retreats where employees can learn, connect, recharge, beat burnout and level-up.

All of this makes me super-excited for what we’ve been working on for the last couple of years in establishing our Amare Wellness Center (in Plymouth MA) and designing an entire curriculum to train students as Certified Mental Wellness Coaches (CMWCs).

We have trained and certified more than a hundred CMWCs (16 CEUs) to build a business around Mental Wellness Coaching – with many more sessions upcoming in 2022.

We just completed one in Honolulu, Hawaii (last week) and we have one scheduled for Salt Lake City, Utah on May 5-6-7.

After that, we have several date blocks that we are keeping open and available for CMWC sessions at our casual coastal retreat in Plymouth, MA (and they will book up very quickly based on past experience):

June 17-22

July 25-29

August 22-31

Sept 23-27

November 1-12

We can hold the Certification over as little as 2.5 days (very intense with 6 hours on day one, 6 hours on day two, and 4 hours on day three) or as many as 4 days (4 hours of instruction each morning – followed by fun stuff in the afternoon). Many groups will plan to arrive the day before the Certification starts (to settle in) and depart the day after (to relax and celebrate your success) – making for a total retreat of 5-6 days – so it is really up to the scheduling preferences of your group.

If you’re interested in bringing your group, we have 7 B&B-style rooms onsite. Each room has ONE queen or king bed – so we can accommodate up to 14 individuals (e.g. couples sharing beds) – or even “squeeze” an additional student into each of the 4 King rooms with roll-away beds (for friends looking to save on room costs).

To reserve your session, please call/text Julie Talbott at 801-712-0408 to work out the logistics (preferred dates, how many people, how many days, etc)…

You can see a bit about our location and see our rooms HERE

About the Certified Mental Wellness Coach (CMWC) curriculum:

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. Students can expect to leave the CMWC with the knowledge and skills to start their own profitable and rewarding business as a Mental Wellness Coach.

Total costs are:

  • Tuition = $1,200 per student
  • Lodging = $1,000 for 4 nights at the Amare Wellness Center and 3Waves Wellness Bed & Breakfast – and if you want to arrive earlier or stay longer, we can arrange that too!
  • Food = included healthy microbiome-friendly breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments
  • Fun = the actual schedule/agenda will be somewhat subject to the weather, so we might adjust the days that each activity happens – but the week will include…
    • Mental Wellness Coach Certification (16 CEUs)
    • Healthy Mental Wellness Diet
    • Whale Watching or Seal Watching
    • Beach/Dune/Gratitude Trail Walks
    • Sound Healing Therapy Session
    • Yoga Session
    • Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding
    • Fire Pit Conversations
    • Daily Wellness Modalities (massage chairs, dry float bed, red light therapy, virtual reality meditation, aromatherapy, etc)
    • Free Time (to explore historic Plymouth, Cape Cod, and Boston)

Probiotics Improve Parkinson’s Symptoms?

Very interesting study – showing the potential for a specific probiotic strain (Lactobacillus plantarum PS128) to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Yet another study in the growing evidence base for the importance of the Microbiome-Gut-Brain-Axis in a growing list of human conditions…

We recently started using a related probiotic (Lactobacillus plantarum DR7) for its ability to reduce gut inflammation and increase dopamine levels – and focusing those effects on the Gut-Brain-Axis for Weight Loss…

Here is the abstract from the study in Frontiers in Nutrition – full article here =

The Add-On Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

Chin-Song Lu1*, Hsiu-Chen Chang1, Yi-Hsin Weng2,3,4, Chiung-Chu Chen2,3,4, Yi-ShanKuoandYing-ChiehTsai5*

Professor Lu Neurological Clinic, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Neuroscience Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan

Background: Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) is a specific probiotic, known as a psychobiotic, which has been demonstrated to alleviate motor deficits and inhibit neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson’s disease (PD)-model mice. We hypothesize that it may also be beneficial to patients with PD based on the possible mechanism via the microbiome-gut-brain axis.

Methods: This is an open-label, single-arm, baseline-controlled trial. The eligible participants were scheduled to take 60 billion colony-forming units of PS128 once per night for 12 weeks. Clinical assessments were conducted using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), modified Hoehn and Yahr scale, and change in patient “ON-OFF” diary recording as primary outcome measures. The non-motor symptoms questionnaire, Beck depression inventory-II, patient assessment of constipation symptom, 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), and Patient Global Impression of Change (PGI-C) were assessed as secondary outcome measures.

Results: Twenty-five eligible patients (32% women) completed the study. The mean age was 61.84 ± 5.74 years (range, 52–72), mean disease duration was 10.12 ± 2.3 years (range, 5–14), and levodopa equivalent daily dosage was 1063.4 ± 209.5 mg/daily (range, 675–1,560). All patients remained on the same dosage of anti-parkinsonian and other drugs throughout the study. After 12 weeks of PS128 supplementation, the UPDRS motor scores improved significantly in both the OFF and ON states (= 0.004 and = 0.007, respectively). In addition, PS128 intervention significantly improved the duration of the ON period and OFF period as well as PDQ-39 values. However, no obvious effect of PS128 on non-motor symptoms of patients with PD was observed. Notably, the PGI-C scores improved in 17 patients (68%). PS128 intervention was also found to significantly reduce plasma myeloperoxidase and urine creatinine levels.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that PS128 supplementation for 12 weeks with constant anti-parkinsonian medication improved the UPDRS motor score and quality of life of PD patients. We suggest that PS128 could serve as a therapeutic adjuvant for the treatment of PD. In the future, placebo-controlled studies are needed to further support the efficacy of PS128 supplementation.