What to Expect in the CMWC (Certified Mental Wellness Coach)

UPDATE (Sept 1): Registration is OPEN NOW at this LINK

Our next CMWC course will open for registration on Sept 1 (this Friday) – and we will keep registraton open for a week. (signup below for alerts)…

What does the CMWC course include?

11 primary educational sessions spanning ~16 hours of video education on all the lifestyle factors that impact our Mental Wellness (positive and negative), such as… Microbiome, Gut-Brain-Axis, Heart-Brain-Axis, Nutrition, Sleep, Movement, Supplements, Mindset, Metabolism, Hormone Balance, Aging, and much more…

Digital copy of “Mental Fitness – Maximizing Mood, Motivation, & Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome

Digital copies of multiple “special reports” from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) on the Mental Wellness Economy, Health Coaching, and Lifestyle/Wellness Trends

Downloadable PowerPoint slides for each lecture (so you can create your own digital library)

Active Discussion area – think of this as your exclusive “sounding board” to ask your questions and get answers to help you build your coaching business and educate your clients and customers about the best products and programs to help them reach their Mental Wellness goals.

Our course has been approved for CEUs (continuing education credits) from numerous professional boards, including chiropractic, naturopathic, nursing, fitness/nutrition, and many others, including full-approval by the National Academy for Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

In addition to the CMWC being closed-captioned and mobile-friendly, we have also added a Printable Certificate of Completion (to hang on your office wall) to complement the unique Digital Badge awarded to all Certified Mental Wellness Coaches (linkable to your email signature, professional profile on LinkedIN and other social media.

Weekly Webinars (Lunch & Learn at 1pm ET / Noon CT / 11am MT / 10am PT) – where we will discuss Science, Product recommendations, and Trouble shooting different situations related to lifestyle modification of mental wellness and physical health issues.

A variety of expert interviews from experts such as Trish Barrus, PhD (10 Principles of Recovery – a positive psychology approach to addiction and life) and Emeran Mayer, MD, PhD (Gut-Brain-Immune Connection).

Our “in-person” CMWC costs $1,500 (2.5 days of training), but we will keep the tuition for the self-paced ONLINE version at a super-affordable $500 so we can continue to train as many Certified Mental Wellness Coaches as possible. 

More CMWCs means more people in the world will be feeling better with elevated mood, lower stress, sharper focus, higher energy, bolstered resilience, and superior sleep quality.

Getting Off Melatonin

I’ve written a lot about why melatonin supplements are a terrible idea for most people – especially kids and teens – because of this and that and the other – including my recent white paper and seminar making the case against melatonin and how you can do other things to improve sleep naturally.

The “case against melatonin” seminar was recorded as one of our “Weekly Webinars” that I hold at Marietta College (where I studied sports medicine and fitness management) – and where we educate students to become Certified Mental Wellness Coaches (CMWCs).

The YouTube version is HERE

Our next class opens on September 1 (this Friday)…and the last one for 2024 will open on Nov 1.

Natural Sleep Guide

This is an edited excerpt from Mental Fitness – Maximizing Mood, Motivation, & Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome – available in hardcoverpaperbackKindle, and audio versions. 

Poor Sleep as a Unique Form of Stress 

Easily the most effective stress-management technique you can practice is really very simple: get enough sleep!  Even one or two nights of good, sound, restful sleep can do more for maintaining your biochemical balance (stress hormones, blood sugar, inflammation) and improving your mental fitness than just about any other intervention. 

It is almost impossible to overstate the crucial role that adequate sleep plays in controlling your stress response, helping you lose weight, boosting your energy levels, improving your mood, and, of course, bolstering your resilience and elevating your mental fitness. 

Because sleep is such an important component for building mental fitness, I consider it to be AS IMPORTANT as a balanced diet and regular exercise – it really is the 3rd-leg of the Mental Wellness stool. 

I’ve written entire books about the “stress” of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle on the function and structure of our entire gut-heart-brain axis – and we need to think of lack of sleep (and poor sleep quality) as a unique “stress” on our body and mind. 

On a certain level, most of us will be aware that eating a doughnut is not as healthy for us as eating an apple—and that the doughnut is creating a certain level of “stress” on our system.  

The same applies for sitting on the couch versus going for a walk and for being tense and irritated versus being calm and relaxed in any given situation.  

However, most of us don’t have an appreciation for the extremely high level of stress that inadequate sleep delivers to body and mind. Many of us think that we can “get by” with inadequate sleep, at least for a while, but that thinking is completely wrong.  

Lack of sleep is perhaps the most underappreciated—and most toxic—sources of stress in our modern lives. Sleep is one of the most important and most modifiable of all the lifestyle factors associated with mental fitness.

We need to “consume” enough sleep every night to rejuvenate our brains, to allow our bodies to recover and repair, to consolidate memories, and to test out emotional scenarios (more on all of these to follow).  If we “starve” ourselves of proper sleep—either in quantity or quality—we suffer in myriad ways, from minor things such as fatigue and short temper to major things such as increased risk for cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

There are many reasons why we don’t get enough sleep—and why we fail to appreciate the health implications. One is that our modern overstimulated world often seems perfectly designed to prevent good sleep. Another is that most of us are simply unaware of our sleep patterns (we’re unconscious, after all). Just as you pay little attention to the fact that your heart beats in a regular pattern, so too are you normally unaware of your body’s natural rhythm during restful sleep. But night after night, your body follows a well-worn path into dreamland: Breathing slows, muscles relax, heart rate and blood pressure drop, and body temperature falls. The brain releases the “sleep hormone,” melatonin, and begins a slow descent into sleep. The rapid beta waves of your restless wakeful state in the daytime gradually change into the slower alpha waves that are characteristic of calm wakefulness, or “relaxed alertness,” where you generally want to spend most of your time. Eventually, your brain drops into the still-slower theta waves that predominate during the various stages of sleep.  

During a full night of sleep, we normally pass through several stages: Stage 0 is when we are awake. Stages 1 and 2 are “light sleep” (lasting ten to fifteen minutes). Stage 3 is “deep sleep” (lasting another five to fifteen minutes). Finally, we enter the deepest portion of sleep in stage 4 (lasting about thirty minutes). Even though stage 4 lasts only about a half hour, it is the most “famous” portion of the sleep cycle, because it is when you dream and exhibit rapid eye movement, popularly referred to as REM. Your total sleep cycle, from early stages 1 and 2 to final REM sleep, takes an average of ninety minutes to complete. And, most importantly for people who have trouble sleeping, this cycle repeats itself over and over throughout the night, which means that interruptions can make it harder to get back to sleep, depending on which part of the cycle you’re in when awakened.  

Bright Days and Dark Nights 

Perhaps the most dominant driver of our twenty-four-hour day/night circadian rhythm is exposure to light in the day and darkness at night. But our modern world easily and frequently interrupts our natural wake/sleep patterns with bright lights, television screens, and smartphones.

On the flip side, we can actually use different levels of light exposure during the day and night to “set us up” for a good night of sleep. For example, we can try getting out in the bright sunlight to encourage daytime serotonin production and try sleeping in a very dark bedroom to encourage nighttime melatonin production.  Having some daytime exposure to bright light can not only improve sleep that night, but it also improves mood during that day and can even enhance immune function and speed wound healing (both benefits due to a lot more than just the superior vitamin D levels associated with sunlight exposure).  

Today, most of us spend too much time in twilight—not bright enough in the day and too bright in the evening. Light “strength” (referred to as illuminance) is measured in lux units and refers to the amount of light striking a surface. Studies of agricultural and other “off-grid” societies, such as the Amish, have shown that lux exposure can range from around 4,000 in the summer daytime (compared to about 600 for the average office worker) while winter daytime values drop to around 1,500 for the Amish (and way down to about 200 for the modern office worker). During the evening, the average illuminance in Amish homes is only about 10 lux, while the average modern electrified home is at least five to ten times higher, around 50–100 lux.  

It isn’t just that bright light is bad or that darkness is good for sleep. The amplitude between the two extremes is crucial to establish and maintain healthy circadian rhythms. We need to experience a marked contrast in lux exposure (which can range from 10,000 lux of daylight to 1 lux of deep twilight to 0.001 lux of dark night). These fluctuations in light/dark exposure are sensed by our eyes, transmitted to our head brain, and influence our body clock, sleep patterns, mood, alertness, and every aspect of our mental fitness and physical health.  

Our eyes contain light-responsive cells called retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that are particularly sensitive to light in the blue part of the spectrum, which includes bright daylight but also light from screens, such as televisions, computers, and smartphones. Our RGCs send blue light signals to the part of the brain that controls alertness (our body’s master clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN) so that even just an hour of exposure to low-intensity blue light increases alertness as much as drinking two cups of coffee. This is why looking at your smartphone before bed often interferes with restful sleep—because the blue light signals your brain that it is day rather than night.

Studies have shown that people living in areas with high levels of light pollution (such as cities) tend to go to bed later than those living in darker areas (such as rural areas) and also have fewer total hours of sleep, have higher reports of daytime fatigue, and have lower scores for sleep quality and overall quality of life.  

Understanding how light and dark exposure influences our daytime moods and nighttime sleep can help us to establish a regimen to harness these signals to improve our mental fitness. For example, studies have shown that if you can expose yourself to daytime light, such as by sitting next to a window at work or taking a walk outside at lunch, you’re likely to sleep better at night (falling asleep faster, waking up less often, and sleeping deeper) and also feel better the following day (with higher indices for mood, alertness, energy, and reaction times). These findings are starting to be used in hospitals (to enhance healing and recovery) and nursing homes (to improve mood and cognitive function).  

Sleep Loss Damages Our Three Brains 

If you’re not yet convinced of the mental fitness benefits of adequate sleep, consider that few people fully appreciate that lack of sleep is one of the most important determinants of whether you might get Alzheimer’s disease in the future!

Even a single night of poor sleep can lead to brain changes similar to the damage seen in Alzheimer’s patients, with a buildup of the beta-amyloid protein plaques that are normally flushed out by the brain’s glymphatic “housekeeping” system after a good night of sleep. 

Our gut microbiome also seems to exhibit certain circadian patterns that may be related to light/dark cycles and to food timing—such as when we eat breakfast, how long we fast overnight, whether or not we have a midnight snack—which suggests that we can target the gut brain to encourage our head brain to get a good night of sleep.  A recent study from researchers in Florida showed that overall microbiome diversity was correlated with overall sleep quality in a bidirectional fashion, suggesting that a resilient and diverse microbiome helps us sleep and that high-quality sleep helps us maintain a healthy microbiome and proper signaling across the entire gut-brain axis (including our immune system and inflammatory network).

For example, better sleep was associated with improved levels of microbiome bacteria species in the Bacteroidetes phyla, which produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin (neurotransmitters that promote mood, relaxation, and sleep). Higher levels of Bacteroidetes have also been associated with improved metabolism and weight loss, suggesting that one of the ways that good sleep promotes weight loss (which has been shown in dozens of recent studies) is via the microbiome. 

Because sleep problems are at epidemic levels, millions of people look to a pharmaceutical solution: using sleep drugs to knock them out at night. But not only is this not particularly effective in the short-term, it is potentially extremely dangerous in the long-term. Sleep drugs—Ambien in particular and benzodiazepines like Valium in general—have been linked to longer duration of sleep (they knock you out for more hours compared to a placebo) but not to improved sleep quality. In fact, these drugs will actually enhance your brain’s ability to consolidate negative emotional memories during sleep, so you’re likely to wake up with a higher level of agitation, tension, and stress—or precisely the opposite outcome you were hoping for.

And because sleep drugs fail to produce natural sleep patterns, their prolonged use is also associated with higher risk for a long list of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and certain cancers. The Food and Drug Administration requires sleep drugs to carry the agency’s most stringent and prominent safety warning (the “black box” warning) to call attention to possible side effects, including serious injuries or death. Even the lowest doses of all of the major sleep drugs are required to carry this warning, including Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Sonata (zaleplon). 

How Much Sleep Do You Need? 

In sleep-research labs—where alarm clocks, lights, and other interruptions can be banished—scientists have found that the natural duration allowing adequate “cycling” through the sleep stages described earlier (the “physiological ideal”) is eight hours and fifteen minutes for adults (while kids and teens typically need several hours more).

We’ve known this for decades, and research studies have confirmed the “eight-hour rule” on numerous occasions. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Americans still get less than seven hours of sleep on a regular basis.  

The idea of getting more than eight hours of sleep per night may sound great—but what if you simply can’t (or won’t) get that much shut-eye? You could be setting yourself up for numerous health problems, beginning with the fact that your blood sugar levels will rise. Sleep researchers have shown that getting only four to six hours of sleep per night results in signs of impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. This means that cheating on sleep—even for only a few nights—can put a person in a prediabetic state.

These changes in insulin action and blood sugar control are also linked to an increase in risk for inflammation-related conditions, such as heart disease.

Poor sleep also contributes to obesity, because it precipitates changes on the hormonal level. Growth hormone and leptin are reduced in people who spend less time in deep sleep. Leptin is a hormone that plays important roles in regulating appetite, body weight, and metabolism. When you have less growth hormone in your system, it typically results in a loss of muscle and a gain of fat over time. Reduced levels of leptin will lead to hunger and carbohydrate cravings. 

In a famous (and cruel) series of animal studies in the 1980s, researchers showed that rats subjected to total sleep deprivation started to die by day eleven without sleep. By thirty-two days, all of the animals deprived of sleep were deceased even though there was no clear biological cause of death. The animals simply “gave out,” probably through a combination of physical and mental breakdowns involving the brain and the immune system.

Fast forward four decades, and we know that sleep is when our brain “cleans” itself by flushing out accumulated toxins of the day. It’s when our body secretes anabolic “building and repair” hormones to stimulate tissue and organ regeneration. It’s when our immune system hits the reset button and learns how to fine-tune its vigilance for the next day of exposures. 

Given all these health impacts, I am continually astonished by how many people think they can just “get by” with inadequate sleep and are then surprised when they struggle with low energy, belly fat, constant cravings, brain fog, low sex drive, depression, or any of the other problems associated with being underslept, overstressed, and out of biochemical balance.

Thinking that you can “get by” with inadequate sleep is exactly like thinking you can “get by” with a steady diet of Twinkies. 

Sadly, trying to “make up” for missed sleep is also not an effective option, with recent studies showing that the metabolic damage of sleep loss can’t be reversed by “extra” sleep later on. For example, researchers at the University of Colorado showed that sleeping five hours nightly during the week led to the expected derangements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar balance, evening snacking, and belly fat gain. But they also found that “sleeping in” on the weekend (as many hours as they wanted) not only didn’t help restore normal metabolism, but the sleep-deprived subjects also had even worse metabolism numbers and snacking behaviors compared to the “normal sleep” group getting eight to nine hours nightly.

If you’re “shorting” yourself on sleep, you are virtually guaranteeing that your biochemical balance will be chronically disrupted, and you are putting yourself in a position of weak mental fitness.  

To give you some idea of just how detrimental a lack of sleep can be to your biochemical balance and mental fitness, consider what happens to an average fifty-year-old who sleeps just six hours per night. That middle-aged person has evening cortisol levels more than twelve times higher than the average thirty-year-old who sleeps eight hours per night! 

Not only will an inadequate quality or quantity of sleep upset stress hormone balance, but it will also limit your ability to fall asleep the next night (because your cortisol is still too high) as well as the amount of time that your mind spends in the most restful stages of deep sleep.

A vicious cycle gets set into motion when you experience poor sleep, an overactive stress response and subtle changes in signaling across the gut-heart-brain axis that lead you down the path away from mental fitness and toward burnout. 

Even though numerous research studies verify the damage caused by sleep deprivation, and even if you now understand the importance of sleep for our mental fitness and performance across our gut-heart-brain axis, you may feel lucky to get just six or seven hours of nightly shut-eye. I know I do, and yet I also realize this is still not enough sleep to maintain my own mental fitness. On top of that, I also know that some of the best ways to ensure a restful night of sleep are to avoid caffeine after noon (yet I sit here writing this with an afternoon cup of java next to the laptop), leave work at the office (yet I’m writing this from my home office), and skip the late-night TV (yet all the on-demand streaming services allow me to easily binge on the latest shows), so that’s three strikes for me.

I tell you these personal details in the hope that you will see that maintaining and improving our mental fitness is not an all-or-nothing proposition. No one does this perfectly, myself included! Sometimes you have lots of stress, and sometimes you have less. Sometimes you get adequate sleep, but for many of us, that doesn’t happen often enough. On certain days you’ll be able to exercise and eat right and relax, and on other days you’ll hit the drive-through and feel like you’re working frantically.

The point here is not to strive to be “perfect” in your efforts toward better sleep quality and mental fitness; rather, the best approach is to apply the principles as consistently as possible to ensure that you can do as much as possible to keep your mental fitness high as often as possible. 

As such, please think of the suggestions below for building better sleep habits as a “buffet” rather than as a “to-do list”—where you can choose the things that look best to you, but don’t feel like you need to try them all. Many of these tips have worked for me personally, so I try to incorporate them as often as possible. 

Build a Better Bedtime

Exercise on a regular basis.

Exercise can help reduce inflammation, stress hormones, blood sugar, and simply help us feel better because of the pleasant postexercise fatigue that can help us sink into our bed in the evening. 

BUT…Don’t exercise too close to bedtime.

While exercise is great for the reasons just described, exercising too close to bedtime can increase alertness enough in some people to interfere with their ability to fall asleep. 

Relax before bed.

Take time to unwind by enjoying a nonelectronic relaxing activity, such as reading. Electronics, including computers, video games, and televisions, can increase alertness and stimulate the brain into a wakeful state that can make it hard to fall asleep. 

Make your bedroom dark and cool and (somewhat) quiet.

The slow drop in body temperature that you experience in a cool room can help you feel sleepy, and a darkened room with as little light distraction as possible can help you stay asleep. The idea of making your “room a tomb”—as dark and cool as possible (between sixty and sixty-seven degrees)—can be enhanced with a fan that provides both cooling and white noise. White noise is simply a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all the hearable frequencies, from low to high. When a noise wakes you up at night, it’s often not the noise itself but rather the sudden change or inconsistencies that your brain notices to jolt you awake. White noise masks these changes to help you fall asleep easier, and you wake up less frequently in the night because it keeps you from hearing changes in sound. I use a fan at home and a white noise app on my phone (ocean waves and rainstorms) when traveling. 

If you can’t fall asleep after twenty minutes, get up.

If you try to fall asleep and can’t, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading, until you feel tired enough to fall asleep. The stress that comes from trying to “force” yourself to fall asleep will almost certainly keep you awake longer and may interfere with restful sleep when you finally do drift off. 

Brighten your day and darken your night.

Building on our discussion earlier about the importance of bright sunlight exposure during the day and dark exposure during the night, it makes sense for all of us to apply this new science to our own pattern of brighter days and darker nights to enhance our mental fitness. Your daytime setup should include some exercise (at least four to six hours before bed), ideally done outside in bright sunlight. Your nighttime setup is to cut the caffeine after noon (because caffeine’s stimulating effects can linger for five to six hours in most people) and banish blue light from television, computer, and smartphone screens at least one hour before lights out. 

Find your personal wind-down routine.

It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of establishing a nightly “wind-down” routine. Each of the “build a better bedtime” techniques are effective on their own, but linking them together in a pattern that you engage in on a regular/typical basis will also help signal your brain that “we’re getting ready to sleep.” You’ll find that falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting high-quality sleep will eventually become more of the rule than the exception.  

Here is my own personal wind-down routine that I practice almost every night. Feel free to use it as a guide:

9:00 p.m.—I relax and have a snack.

o          We typically watch the early local news and then stream an episode of one of the late-night comedians like Seth Meyers, John Oliver, or Trevor Noah. Your brain needs thirty to sixty minutes to wind down before bed, so being able to “disconnect” like this is a lot more effective than closing out those last few emails and then trying to immediately go to sleep.

o          To keep you asleep, you need good blood sugar control, so having a small protein/carb snack like nuts/fruit, cheese/crackers, yogurt/granola can facilitate that process (but a large meal or high-calorie snack like an ice cream sundae can interfere with your sleep).

o          On most nights of the week, I have a glass of wine with dinner, and on some nights I might have another glass while relaxing. My limit is two because more than that is likely to interfere with proper sleep cycling and interrupt the most restful deep stages of sleep. Sometimes, instead of a glass of wine, I’ll have a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile helps relax the smooth muscle in the gut, which sends a similar relaxation signal to the brain to help us wind down. 

10:00 p.m.—This is my target for going to bed.

o          While I’m brushing my teeth, I think of a few things for which I am grateful. This two-to-three minute “gratitude practice” is triggered by my nightly oral hygiene routine, so I never miss it (just in case we need a reminder, we also have a little sign on the wall at the foot of the bed that simply says, “Gratitude”).

o          After I brush my teeth, I take my evening supplements, which religiously includes corn grass extract to help improve sleep quality (by up to 40 percent) and omega-3s (to help balance inflammation and enhance overnight tissue repair).

o          Read! This is my secret weapon for a good night of high-quality sleep. If I have completed an effective “daytime setup” (exercise in the sunlight, relax before bed, small snack), then I’ll often start to get the “head bobs” after ten to fifteen minutes of reading my book (either a paper book or a Kindle to minimize blue light exposure) in my dim room (just a bedside light bright enough to read by) with a fan blowing cool air and soft white noise toward my bed.

o          If, for whatever reason, my mind is still at work and I’m having trouble shutting it off, I’ll do a set of deep breaths and a quick body scan—progressively relaxing each part of my body from toes to feet to calves, all the way up to my head. This simple process activates the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) and engages our natural anti-stress relaxation response. If you often have trouble shutting off the noise in your head, then keep a notebook by your bed so you can download any invasive thoughts out of your head and onto the page. This can help you stop worrying and ruminating because those thoughts will be there in the morning for you to pick back up if needed.

o          If I can’t fall asleep in twenty to thirty minutes, I don’t stress out. I’ll simply get up, grab a glass of water, write down anything that might be on my mind and interfering with my ability to relax, and then do something else (like read) until I’m more tired. 

6:00 to 7:00 a.m.—This would be my target range for waking up to ensure a solid eight hours of high-quality sleep.

When I’m doing it right, I’ll typically wake up before my alarm clock—or before the dogs bark for their breakfast. This is just the wind-down routine that I have found works very well for me. While it, or at least certain aspects of it, might also work for you, it is important for you to find the right combination of steps and strategies that represents the best fit for your own likes and dislikes.  

Supplements as Sleep Aids

How to get off Melatonin? 

Let’s say that you (like millions of other people) fell into the trap of taking synthetic melatonin supplements – and now you’re hooked (melatonin dependence) – how can we get you off melatonin and onto a natural regimen that will help you make your own melatonin again?  

The easiest and most straightforward approach for most people is to keep taking their “usual” dose of synthetic melatonin (typically 1mg-3mg nightly), while adding a cocktail of nutrients designed to restore your natural melatonin producing biochemistry. Do this for one week. 

After that first week of “taking both” supplements, you should be able to drop the synthetic melatonin down by 25-50% (this may vary, depending on the dose you started with, the form of delivery such as capsules, tablets, gummies, etc) – and keep the usage of the natural cocktail at “full dosing. Do this for the 2nd week.

By the 3rd week – and certainly within the first month – most people should be able to go down by another 25-50% and eventually completely off of the synthetic melatonin because their body has become fully (re)tuned to making its own melatonin at the right times and in the right amounts to deliver optimal sleep quality.  

Corn Grass

Corn grass (Zea mays) is just what it sounds like—the “grass” that develops into a corn plant. If you have ever seen the “wheat grass” on display on the counter at your local smoothie shop, then you have seen a related “monocot grass” that naturally contains a specialized phytonutrient (methoxybenzoxazolinone, MBOA), which acts as a positive regulator of the serotonin/melatonin system to enhance day-time serotonin levels (for mood improvement) and night-time melatonin synthesis (for improved sleep quality).  

Corn grass has been clinically shown to both improve mood and improve sleep-quality – in a number of ways that are superior to melatonin-based sleep aids. 

If you’ve read any of my books or my recent “Case Against Melatonin” white paper, then you already know that I am not a big fan of using synthetic melatonin supplements to induce sleep (especially for kids and teens);

  • because melatonin works for only about half of people who try it…
  • because those it does work for often wake up with the common “melatonin hangover” because their body has not fully metabolized the melatonin dose overnight, so they spend the first half of the day in a groggy melatonin-induced brain fog (not exactly what they were hoping to get from a sleep aid)…
  • because regular or frequent use of melatonin supplements can induce a “dependence” where your body stops producing this hormone on its own and must rely on nightly supplements to sleep at all…

Corn grass helps your body and brain naturally produce its own melatonin on demand, in the right amounts at the right time. Doing so has been shown to improve the amount of time spent in REM sleep (where the brain repairs) and deep sleep (where the body recovers) by as much as 40 percent. 

Griffonia seed

Combining corn grass with a small amount of griffonia seed is a way to naturally supply the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) that can be used as a building block for the production of serotonin and melatonin—and nutrient cofactors vitamin B6, C, zinc, and magnesium to optimize serotonin/melatonin metabolism.

Griffonia seeds are native to the Western and Central regions of Africa, where they are used medicinally to treat a wide range of stress-induced problems. I often recommend the combination of corn grass and griffonia seed for not just enhancing sleep quality but also for addressing stress-related imbalances, including issues like insomnia, depression, anxiety, sugar cravings, and pain (including fibromyalgia and migraine). 

Vitamin B6

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps regulate nervous system activity related to relaxation and sleep. Vitamin B6 converts a small amount of the tryptophan in your body to serotonin (our key “happiness” neurotransmitter) and then to melatonin (our primary “sleep hormone”). Without an adequate amount of vitamin B6 in your diet, your body’s metabolism of tryptophan may be disturbed. This may limit the amount of serotonin and melatonin in your body, potentially leading to mood disturbances, disrupted sleep patterns, and insomnia. 


Sufficient levels of magnesium are required to stimulate melatonin synthesis and maintain optimal nerve transmission. Not only can magnesium help you get to sleep, but it plays a part in helping you achieve deep and restful sleep as well. Magnesium deficiency has been shown to result in sleep patterns that were light and restless—an effect that is partially due to magnesium’s influence in “calming” the nervous system. 


Zinc plays an essential role in neurotransmitter function and helps maintain cognition, due to its involvement in both melatonin and dopamine metabolism. 

Japanese Asparagus

Japanese asparagus extract is a rich source of unique phytonutrients with the special ability to help the body create Hsp70 (heat shock protein 70), which is a cellular protein that induces “autophagy” that helps protect cells (especially delicate neurons) from stressors, repairs damaged cells, and balances inflammatory cytokine responses.

This biochemical reaction improves cognitive performance, reduces fatigue, and improves stress responses. Unfortunately, our heat shock protein response to stressors of all kinds decreases with age but is also thought to be one of the most modifiable “anti-aging” pathways that we can actively manage to help maintain mental fitness and physical health as we age.

Clinical research has shown that Japanese asparagus extract significantly increases the expression of Hsp70 and is effective in modifying stress responses, improving sleep quality, and improving heart rate variability (HRV is often used as an indication of your body’s overall state of recovery and resilience).  


Without exaggeration, I can tell you that having a consistent pattern of high-quality sleep can literally change your life by improving your mental fitness and physical performance across every parameter that you can imagine. Sleep is every bit as important for overall health and well-being as proper diet and regular physical activity—and just a few of these simple steps, applied consistently night after night for a few days to a few weeks, will deliver benefits for years to come.  

The Case Against Melatonin (White Paper)

Here is my narrated video about this post (at Marietta College where I teach the Certified Mental Wellness Coach course) – and the same narration on YouTube is HERE

In the U.S., melatonin use has increased 5-fold since 1999, and sky-rocketed during the pandemic to include millions of kids, teens, and adults – leaving many struggling with “melatonin dependence” – described as the feeling that they “need” melatonin to fall asleep. 

It has been known for at least 20 years that melatonin is not very effective for improving sleep quality – and add to that the growing concerns for dependencegrogginessgut problems, and interference with puberty, it may be obvious that health-minded consumers are starting to look for non-melatonin sleep aids. 

The European Sleep Research Society says “melatonin is not generally recommended for the treatment of insomnia because of low efficacy”. Two recent meta-analyses (one in 1,700 participants and another in ~44,000 people across 150+ trials) found that melatonin supplements can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep (“sleep latency”) by 7 minutes and increase total sleep time by 8 minutes. In kids, the effect of melatonin is a little better – improving time to fall asleep by 11 minutes and total time asleep by 15 minutes, which may not be a great trade-off for potential future problems? Importantly, even if melatonin supplements might give you a few minutes “more” sleep, none of these studies show any improvement in “sleep quality” – which is calculated from the amount of time spent in deep sleep (where your body recovers) and REM sleep (where your brain recuperates). 

 More than just a “sleep” hormone

Most people think of melatonin as the “sleep hormone” (which it is, but it also does so much more) – and millions think nothing of popping a few milligrams to help them sleep at night (which probably needs some more thought because of the potential problems associated with synthetic melatonin supplements). 

Far from being “just” related to sleep, melatonin is actually involved in many more aspects of overall mental wellness and physical health – including regulation of our entire circadian rhythm, energy metabolism, body weight, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance (which is why poor sleep is associated with diabetes and obesity – and whygetting better sleep can help with weight loss). 

Approximately 80% of the body’s melatonin is produced in the gut and this “gut-produced” melatonin is thought to have several potential roles, including: 

  1. Gastrointestinal Regulation: Melatonin produced in the gut is believed to play a role in regulating various gastrointestinal functions, including motility (movement of food through the digestive system), secretion of digestive juices, and protecting the lining of the gut from inflammation and oxidative stress.
  2. Circadian Rhythm: Just like melatonin produced in the brain helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, gut-produced melatonin may contribute to the circadian rhythms of the digestive system and the rest of the body. This can impact processes like nutrient absorption and metabolism.
  3. Immune System: Some research suggests that melatonin produced in the gut may have immune-modulatory effects, helping to regulate the immune responses in the gastrointestinal tract (which is home to 70% of our immune system).
  4. Microbiota Interaction: Gut-produced melatonin might also interact with the gut microbiota, which is the community of microorganisms living in the digestive system. There’s emerging evidence that the gut microbiota can influence melatonin production and vice versa.

Taking Melatonin (synthetically) versus Making Melatonin (naturally)

Because melatonin is such a vital hormone for myriad aspects of mental wellness and physical health – we need to ensure that our bodies are naturally MAKING the right amounts at the right times. But we also want to be aware that TAKING synthetic forms can be associated with common side effects such as headaches, irritability, dizziness, dry mouth, and night sweats, with the most common problem being the “melatonin hangover” grogginess experienced by many users the day after using melatonin (caused because your body has not fully metabolized the entire melatonin dose – so your brain still thinks it is night). 

Taking melatonin supplements can theoretically interfere with your body’s normal production of melatonin, but the extent of this interference can vary from person to person and depends on several factors. Just ask any former bodybuilder or power athlete about their experience with anabolic steroids and subsequent testosterone problems. It is simple biology that taking an external synthetic hormone – when you don’t need it – will change your internal natural metabolism of that hormone. This is a different scenario to hormone “replacement” therapy (HRT) where you are restoring an absent hormone back to a normal level – as in the case of estrogen after menopause. 

The handful of studies that have been done on melatonin supplements (“exogenous” = coming from outside the body) and subsequent production of the body’s own melatonin (“endogenous” = produced within the body) have been short (1 week to 1 month) – and conducted in people with jet lag or who are blind (and have disrupted melatonin production and abnormal circadian rhythms) – and not among people using melatonin supplements as a nightly sleep supplement for months or years (as so many people are doing lately). 

Because melatonin helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), there is a natural daily/nightly fluctuation between day/night and also between different phases/cycles of sleep that cannot be adequately replicated with single-dose melatonin supplements (even the “time-released” versions). When you take melatonin supplements, you’re introducing an external source of melatonin, which can affect your body’s natural production in a number of potential ways: 

  1. Suppression of Natural Production: Taking melatonin supplements can signal to your body that it doesn’t need to produce as much melatonin naturally. This can potentially lead to a reduction in your body’s own production of melatonin.
  2. Tolerance: Over time, your body might become accustomed to the supplemented melatonin levels, leading to a decreased response to the supplement. This could result in needing higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect, further affecting your body’s natural melatonin production.
  3. Circadian Rhythm Disruption: If you take melatonin supplements at the wrong time or inappropriately, it could potentially disrupt your circadian rhythm. This might make it harder for your body to regulate its sleep-wake cycle naturally.
  4. Individual Variation: People have different sensitivities to melatonin supplements. Some might experience little to no disruption in their natural production, while others might notice significant changes.

Because of the relatively low-effectiveness and the theoretical potential for harm, several medical and health organizations have expressed concerns about the use of melatonin supplements:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): points out that U.S. Poison Control Centers saw a ~500% increase in melatonin ingestions over the past decade – and suggests that melatonin is not recommended as a treatment for sleep problems in children and adolescents.
  2. National Sleep Foundation (NSF): recommends that melatonin supplements be used cautiously if at all and never as a substitute for good sleep hygiene practices.
  3. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM): suggests that melatonin supplements may be useful for certain sleep disorders, such as jet lag or shift work disorder, but they advise against the use of melatonin supplements.
  4. European Sleep Research Society (ESRS): has expressed concerns about the increasing use of melatonin supplements, including guidance about their low level of effectiveness. 
  5. Canadian Sleep Society (CSS): advises against the regular use of melatonin supplements as a sleep aid.

Based on the poor “user experiences” of melatonin supplementation that are all over social media, it seems prudent to look for other non-drug natural approaches to improve sleep – and luckily we have a number of them to choose from – many of which you can read about in my Natural Sleep Guide. 


  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Health Advisory: Melatonin Use in Children and Adolescents (Sept 9, 2022). https://aasm.org/advocacy/position-statements/melatonin-use-in-children-and-adolescents-health-advisory/
  2. Attia, A.M.; Montaser, B.A.; Abdallah, N.K. Role of Melatonin in Constitutional Delayed Puberty in Boys. Menoufia Med. J. 202033, 283. Available online.
  3. Besag, F.M.C., Vasey, M.J., Lao, K.S.J. et al. Adverse Events Associated with Melatonin for the Treatment of Primary or Secondary Sleep Disorders: A Systematic Review. CNS Drugs 33, 1167–1186 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40263-019-00680-w
  4. Boafo A, Greenham S, Alenezi S, Robillard R, Pajer K, Tavakoli P, De Koninck J. Could long-term administration of melatonin to prepubertal children affect timing of puberty? A clinician’s perspective. Nat Sci Sleep. 2019 Jan 31;11:1-10. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S181365
  5. Chen CQ, Fichna J, Bashashati M, Li YY, Storr M. Distribution, function and physiological role of melatonin in the lower gut. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep 14;17(34):3888-98. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i34.3888. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198018/
  6. D. Blum. New York Times. Sept 6, 2022. Can You Get Hooked on Melatonin? The sleep supplement doesn’t cause physical dependence, but falling asleep without it can be tricky for some people. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/well/mind/melatonin-dependency.html
  7. da Silva, J.L.; Barbosa, L.V.; Pinzan, C.F.; Nardini, V.; Brigo, I.S.; Sebastião, C.A.; Elias-Oliveira, J.; Brazão, V.; Júnior, J.C.d.P.; Carlos, D.; et al. The Microbiota-Dependent Worsening Effects of Melatonin on Gut Inflammation. Microorganisms 202311, 460. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020460
  8. De Crescenzo et al. Comparative effects of pharmacological interventions for the acute and long-term management of insomnia disorder in adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. The Lancet. Vol 400, Issue 10347, P170-184, July 16, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00878-9
  9. Fatemeh, G., Sajjad, M., Niloufar, R. et al. Effect of melatonin supplementation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Neurol 269, 205–216 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10381-w
  10. Ferracioli-Oda E, Qawasmi A, Bloch MH (2013) Meta-Analysis: Melatonin for the Treatment of Primary Sleep Disorders. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63773. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063773
  11. Givler, D.; Givler, A.; Luther, P.M.; Wenger, D.M.; Ahmadzadeh, S.; Shekoohi, S.; Edinoff, A.N.; Dorius, B.K.; Jean Baptiste, C.; Cornett, E.M.; et al. Chronic Administration of Melatonin: Physiological and Clinical Considerations. Neurol. Int. 202315, 518-533. https://doi.org/10.3390/neurolint15010031
  12. Kennaway D. Potential safety issues in the use of the hormone melatonin in paediatrics. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2015;51(6):584-589.
  13. Li J, Somers VK, Xu H, Lopez-Jimenez F, Covassin N. Trends in Use of Melatonin Supplements Among US Adults, 1999-2018. JAMA. 2022;327(5):483–485. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.23652 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2788539
  14. Minich, D.M.; Henning, M.; Darley, C.; Fahoum, M.; Schuler, C.B.; Frame, J. Is Melatonin the “Next Vitamin D”?: A Review of Emerging Science, Clinical Uses, Safety, and Dietary Supplements. Nutrients 202214, 3934. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14193934
  15. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) = https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
  16. Sateia MJ, Buysse DJ, Krystal AD, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of chronic insomnia in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2017;13(2):307-349.
  17. Talbott SM & Talbott JA (2013) Effect of Monocot Grass Extract (MGE) on mood state and sleep patterns in moderately stress subjects, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10:sup1, DOI: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-S1-P26
  18. Talbott SM, Talbott JA, Brownell L, Yimam M. UP165, A Standardized Corn Leaf Extract for Improving Sleep Quality and Mood State. J Med Food. 2023 Jan;26(1):59-67. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36179066/

Unsung Heroes

Short videos highlighting some of the support products at Amare.

Digestive and Probiotics – to help improve the gut environment, gut motility, and digestion/absorption. Strain-specific probiotics, digestive enzymes, and phytonutrients to support overall gut function, reduce bloating, and alleviate heart burn. https://youtu.be/UxojFPiGtg0

GBX Fit and GBX Burn – the world’s only microbiome focused regimen to help you lose weight (“take it off”) and prevent weight re-gain (“keep it off”) by stimulating fat release, controlling appetite, and burning calories. Contains unique strains of probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fibers, and phytonutrients. https://youtu.be/vJE1j0sPy4I

Relief – the most comprehensive herbal approach to maintain normal inflammatory balance for improved flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. One of my favorite “post-exercise” recovery aids. Turmeric, Boswelliwa, Scuttellaria. https://youtu.be/sMvDhfyI7Xc

Ignite for Him – the absolute best way to maintain youthful testosterone levels with Cordyceps, Rhodiola, and Tongkat Ali. Benefits include more energy, better mood, higher energy, and superior body composition (more muscle and less fat). Oh yeah – better sexual performance too. https://youtu.be/ctx_6d-0Rmo

Superfood and Seedfiber – are high-potency functional foods that not only help close the gap for fruit/vegetable servings and prebiotic fiber intake, but they also contain ingredients to help improve immune system function, boost autophagy (cellular cleanup), and reduce stress and anxiety (ETAS Japanese asparagus extract and AHCC shiitake mycelium extract). https://youtu.be/LK-XrBz8-pU

MentaFocus – packed with brain-boosting polyphenols such as Californian pomegranate, New Zealand pine bark, French grape seed, and Asian apple fruit extracts to support focus, clarity, creativity, and memory. https://youtu.be/xuyCijXN49s

MentaHeart – the world’s only patented nutraceutical for optimizing the Heart-Brain-Axis for improved mental performance and physical performance. Astaxanthin, palm fruit bioactives, bergamot orange extract, black cumin seed oil, and Coenzyme Q10 help to increase heart rate variability (HRV) and bolster the body’s stress resilience. https://youtu.be/3QzlPyg1ZkU

MentaSync – improves the communication across the Gut-Brain-Axis by priming the immune system (for fewer respiratory tract infections, allergies, and food intolerances) and reducing leaky gut. The end result is that you’re both “less sick” and “more well” – and you feel great. Contains alpha-glucans from mushrooms and beta-glucans from yeast. https://youtu.be/3t75WxsQ86Q

What Makes a “Quality” Supplement?

In our Weekly Webinar (Aug 10) for Certified Mental Wellness Coaches (CMWCs), we talked about how to determine whether (or not) the ingredients in your supplements are high quality. Some of the topics we covered included probiotic strains, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), and a variety of phytonutrients.

Watch the video here – and see the chat dialogue below…

The next CMWC cohort will open on Sept 1 (and stay open for one week) – you can signup for alerts below…

11:57:52 From Dr. Shawn Talbott To Everyone:
We will start at the top of the hour – about 2-3min!
12:02:13 From Leo To Everyone:
Good Morning all!
12:09:18 From AJ Wheeler To Everyone:
Q? which amare product would you pair Menta Focus with for a great brain health stack? Thank You
12:10:15 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
I’ve read that the refining process removes contaminants and toxins from a finished omega product but also removes the natural polyphenols that keep the Omega3’s from oxidizing. What are your thoughts about polyphenols and their importance in Omega-3’s or what does Amare use to ensure the product is not oxidizing.

Many omega supplements  containing fish oil have a little effect in the body as they are not able to absorb.  How do we know that this fish oil is actually absorbing.

12:12:38 From Karen Lanka Hedman To Everyone:
Love my sardines! Every once and awhile.
12:15:26 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Will blending the fish oils decrease the effectiveness? Or will those ingredients still be third party lab vetted?
12:15:37 From Leo To Everyone:
Is that the same problem with Sunset?
12:16:27 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
12:17:12 From Judy To Everyone:
for cognitive/memory, what do you think about these: 1. Netherlands studies for Aronia (“brainberry” tm)? 2. mycelium specific based extracts like lion’s mane/ reishi vs whole mushroom?
12:21:28 From Karen Lanka Hedman To Everyone:
SO helpful!
12:26:54 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Can you go back up? My question about blending the oils.
12:27:20 From AJ Wheeler To Everyone:
A Lot of flamingo here in Baltimore- I would not recommend eating
12:27:44 From Keiki-Dawn To Everyone:
Elderly have constipation issues, which products can we give them?
12:28:29 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
What would you recommend for lupus?
12:29:43 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
Does MentaSync help heal the gut more than MentaBiotics?
12:35:17 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
So you would you only take sunset or Omagas?
12:37:31 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
It’s for my mom and she has brain things. Lol
12:41:22 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
now using oura ring
12:41:33 From Robin Lopez To Everyone:
i do with my watch
12:43:07 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
What is the name of the band you’re wearing?
12:44:19 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Is there anyone that shouldn’t take MentaHeart?
12:44:51 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
So we cd conclude that Mentaheart and Omegas are the secret sauce for heart health.
12:45:32 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Can people on blood thinners take OmMega? I’m thinking about the comment you made about nosebleeds if you took too much.
12:46:41 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
What do you recommend for lupus flair ups?
12:46:44 From Frances To Everyone:
This is such great info. So interesting. Thank you!
12:49:59 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
How about Relief for helping with that?
12:51:17 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
Is relief good also for inflammation
12:51:19 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Can someone pop into the chat the LG Stack – my phone rang – TIA
12:52:43 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
gave my 11 yo grandson 1 relief in yogurt this weekend – he got hit by pitch in baseball in elbow and it ached/hurt – w/in 45 min he said it stopped being achy
12:52:45 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
I heard you once talk about Fit and Burn where you said if you don’t move, the fat being released isn’t going anywhere. IE: you won’t lose weight.
12:52:48 From Liz To Everyone:
how do we approach lowering inflammation if a person is also healing from an event like surgery? my mom is having shoulder surgery (today!) for a broken bone- and in this case, we want an inflammatory response to speed healing?
12:53:35 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
LG – is the root of america’s prob
12:54:28 From Dannielle Sprigg To Everyone:
Leaking gut in children? Are we getting the same formula in Kids fundamentals.
12:54:33 From Laura Beeck To Everyone:
Mentafocus or mentasync?
12:54:51 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
12:55:10 From Laura Beeck To Everyone:
Does mentabiotics not help with leaky gut?
12:55:52 From Liz To Everyone:
LOVE my superfood and seedfiber!!!
12:58:07 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
How do you use Superfood & SeedFiber? Smoothies?
12:58:55 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Dr. Peter Attia
12:59:01 From Kathleen Lanka To Everyone:
12:59:03 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
I use in smoothies – seed fiber I use in protein balls w/gbx protein – superfood is good by itself as well
12:59:05 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Focuses on longevity podcast
12:59:07 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
I read a book about it
12:59:09 From ROBIN STUEBER To Everyone:
Heard about atophagy from you Dr. Sean
12:59:10 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
12:59:14 From Laura Beeck To Everyone:
Dr Stephan Cabral fasting
12:59:22 From ROBIN STUEBER To Everyone:
13:00:03 From Liz To Everyone:
superfood i mix with my happy juice (I don’t use Energy+ in my happy juice bc i get caffeine in other places), so I mix Mentabiotics, Superfoods, and Edge together.
13:00:13 From Liz To Everyone:
seed fiber I mix into a smoothie or into overnight oats!
13:00:19 From Leo To Everyone:
Any plans on merging SuperFood with Sunrise
13:00:44 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Reacted to “seed fiber I mix int…” with 👍
13:00:50 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Reacted to “superfood i mix with…” with 👍
13:02:16 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
13:02:24 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
13:03:17 From ROBIN STUEBER To Everyone:
I add SeedFiber to stews and chili in addition to smoothies. 💕
13:03:27 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “I add SeedFiber to s…” with 👍
13:03:42 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
You’ve said you take a few things everyday. Do you mind sharing your personal supplement regime?
13:04:14 From Keiki-Dawn To Everyone:
Since listening to Dr Shawn, we have implemented seed fiber and superfood.
13:04:43 From Bailey Waite To Everyone:
I hide it in pasta sauce and my kids don’t even know 🙌
13:04:51 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
So heat doesn’t change the value of the product then👌🏻
13:04:59 From Grace Evans To Everyone:
Recipe please????
13:05:00 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
I wish we had a morning Complete Shake in powder form that would give everyone overall nutrition …… and cookies!
13:05:08 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Dr. Shawn’s version of edibles!
13:05:11 From Bailey Waite To Everyone:
I also add it into Nutella when I’m making my youngest, who is anemic, her toast in the morning
13:05:22 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
I heard you once talk about Fit and Burn where you said if you don’t move, the fat being released isn’t going anywhere. IE: you won’t lose weight.
13:07:26 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
Big carrots
13:07:29 From AJ Wheeler To Everyone:
bleached big carrots
13:07:38 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
Publix store
13:11:13 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Starting over goals
13:11:14 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
Back on routine
13:11:14 From Liz To Everyone:
we were all off our routines!
13:11:15 From Laura Beeck To Everyone:
Fit in clothes
13:11:15 From Bailey Waite To Everyone:
summer is BUSU
13:11:18 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
conventions coming up
13:11:18 From Nelea Lane To Everyone:
School is just new beginning
13:11:29 From Frances To Everyone:
They have time
13:11:31 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Let’s get our act together
13:11:32 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Party’s over
13:11:35 From Adina Pilkington To Everyone:
You have more time to focus on yourself
13:11:36 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
We started school already
13:11:38 From Liz To Everyone:
Yes!!! Summer relaxation, and we all relaxed our standards
13:11:48 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
Reacted to “Party’s over” with 🤣
13:12:32 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
I lost 50lbs with the fit and Burn program
13:12:44 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
I’m a GBX Fit & Burn acolyte! I lost 25 lbs last semester
13:12:50 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Reacted to “I lost 50lbs with th…” with 😍
13:12:53 From Liz To Everyone:
13:12:56 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with 🤯
13:12:57 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with 😮
13:13:01 From Susan To Everyone:
Reacted to “I lost 50lbs with th…” with ❤️
13:13:02 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with 🔥
13:13:05 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
So scary these drugs – tummy paralysis
13:13:07 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Removed a 🤯 reaction from “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…”
13:13:10 From Frances To Everyone:
13:13:14 From Susan To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with ❤️
13:13:25 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
13:14:22 From Susan To Everyone:
So someone who is weight loss resistant should do the leaky gut protocol first and then the fit and burn program?
13:14:40 From Liz To Everyone:
can you say that again? What will naturally increase GLP1
13:16:38 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
After taking Fit & Burn for about 2 weeks, I had high blood sugar (for 12 years) that came down to the normal range for the first time. Is that why?
13:17:05 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
Can you talk about the optimal use of/timing of Fit & Burn? Anything more suggestions than Fit on an empty stomach and with exercise and Burn with food, and beyond what you just mentioned?
13:17:23 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Replying to “After taking Fit & B…”

Meaning Fasting Blood Glucose normal for the first time in 12 years.

13:17:38 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
was that sync, burn and menta?
13:17:41 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
So if you use Fit you have to move ie: walk, exercise or you won’t release the fat?
13:18:07 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “After taking Fit & B…” with ❤️
13:18:26 From Susan To Everyone:
Reacted to “After taking Fit & B…” with ❤️
13:18:28 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with ❤️
13:18:30 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
Reacted to “I’m a GBX Fit & Burn…” with 🔥
13:18:48 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
Reacted to “I lost 50lbs with th…” with ❤️
13:20:36 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
Fit, Mental heart and a game of Picklebal! Kill it!
13:20:37 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
What is the reason some can take supplements w/out food and be fine (husband) and Me, makes me so incredibly nauseous – ( I am able to take fit, mood and relief on empty)
13:20:55 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
How soon from taking it? Immediately, in a hour??
13:21:14 From Susan To Everyone:
Can you talk about the best way to reduce bad paracites? Seeing lots of cleanses online…
13:21:28 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
That too!
13:21:37 From Laura Beeck To Everyone:
So does it matter what time of day you “move” if taking fit in the morning?
13:22:01 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Him too
13:22:33 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
13:22:33 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Can you share what you take throughout the day?
13:23:17 From Bailey Waite To Everyone:
vitaGBX doesn’t bother me if I take it on an empty stomach but focus does make me nauseous !
13:23:55 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
I’m sensitive and it does not bother me either
13:23:58 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
I give probiotic to my dog and the vet is shocked that my doodle has no allergies
13:24:01 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
What time frame CD you take burn after you eat to still have benefits if you forget to take w/food
13:24:41 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
If someone is asking for vitamin supplements would you suggest VitaGBX, Superfoods and/or Sunrise? Combo?
13:25:21 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
did you see that it’s starting to come out now that the PPI’s are causing dementia
13:26:30 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
I’m not able to take the Mentabiotic or kids fundamentals, will start itching on my palms. I’ve been taking the probiotics. Am I missing any strains that I need for Candida that I’m not able to get from the Mentabiotics.
13:26:48 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Your protocol of this helped my husband stay off the PPI’s for barretts and he has zero symptoms – no gerd or reflux
13:28:22 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
Are we going to merge Digestive and Restore?
13:29:40 From ROBIN STUEBER To Everyone:
I have to leave…looking forward to the recording. Mahalo Dr. Shawn!❤️💕🙏
13:29:57 From Grace Evans To Everyone:
So someone with digestive problems could take digestive by itself?
13:30:28 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Oh, it works – I took my husband off it! (wink wink) LOL
13:30:35 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “Oh, it works – I too…” with 😂
13:31:03 From Renea Bartlett Pope To Everyone:
Menopause is a disease??
13:31:08 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
My husband loves Ignite for HIM
13:32:30 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
My husband swears by Ignite for men!
13:33:09 From Nelea Lane To Everyone:
Do women ever take Ignite for Him?
13:33:17 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Replying to “Do women ever take I…”

yes for sure

13:33:57 From Leo To Everyone:
Can we maintain common sense and remove Big Pharma’s capture of the government
13:34:00 From TF Saori Barlow To Everyone:
Replying to “Do women ever take I…”

I do! I do crossfit 4 times a week and I just started using it. I think it really helps with endurance and recovery.

13:34:01 From Liz To Everyone:
what about women with PCOS who have higher Free T? could they try Ignite for Him to normalize it?
13:34:29 From Linda Oviatt To Everyone:
Any plans for a Meal Replacement shake that is full of protein, collage, nutrients etc?……..and the cookie for a snack would be nice!
13:35:38 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
DHEA – is this addressed w/ignite
13:36:26 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Can you take more than 2/day or will that not increase the boost
13:36:43 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
please tell me this is recorded =)
13:37:21 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
That would be so cool – Pet Wellness
13:37:22 From Liz To Everyone:
going back to inflammation – re: omegas and Relief from earlier – how do we approach lowering inflammation if a person is also healing from an event like surgery? my mom is having shoulder surgery (today!) for a broken bone- and in this case, we want an inflammatory response to speed healing?
13:37:22 From Nelea Lane To Everyone:
our new product ok for dogs?
13:38:05 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
I’m not able to take the Mentabiotic or kids fundamentals, will start itching on my palms. I’ve been taking the probiotics. Am I missing any strains that I need for Candida that I’m not able to get from the Mentabiotics.
13:38:14 From Robin Lopez To Everyone:
i give my dog relief
13:38:29 From Nelea Lane To Everyone:
Reacted to “i give my dog relief” with 💜
13:38:40 From Liz To Everyone:
Linda that would be awesome!
13:39:00 From Julianne Muhlestein To Everyone:
If someone is asking for vitamin supplements would you suggest VitaGBX, Superfoods and/or Sunrise? Combo?
13:39:05 From Leo To Everyone:
Fit20 and Origin
13:39:17 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Id love a peanut butter protein AND a grass fed chocolate protein
13:39:25 From Jill Snowden To Everyone:
Fit 20 chocolate
13:40:04 From TF Saori Barlow To Everyone:
Can you tell us about which product helps with lower the cortisol level? I understand Mood+ & Menta Biotics do. Anything else help with that?
13:40:16 From Georgia McDonald To Everyone:
Can you not have both options?
13:40:24 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Replying to “Can you not have bot…”


13:40:37 From Pam Brill, CMWC To Everyone:
Replying to “Can you tell us abou…”


13:42:54 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
When will new magnesium come to amare
13:43:37 From Liz To Everyone:

Claims – What Can/Can’t You Say About Supplements?

Here is a recent discussion (last week) on the Weekly Webinar for Certified Mental Wellness Coaches (CMWC) – about WHERE dietary supplements come from (product development) and WHAT we can (and cannot) say about them (Claims)…

Topic = How to Talk about Dietary Supplements – Science versus Claims? (and open Q&A)

This is an important topic – and talked about the differences and distinctions between things like…

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD – the disease) or depression (the mood state)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD – the disease) or anxiety (the mood state)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD – the disease) or irritability (the mood state)

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD – the disease) or focus (the mood state)

I shared a number of files within the CMWC course (at Marietta College), including chapters on product development and claims regulation from my text books and graduate classes.

I had a number of specific “real world” examples of ingredients I have used, products I have developed, and claims language that I’ve had to navigate – it was a fun discussion!

Pasted below is the Chat Dialogue so you can see some of the Q&A that happened…

12:57:46 From Dr. Shawn Talbott To Everyone:
We will start in a few minutes – at the top of the hour
13:05:30 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Sounds like an amazing reference. Will it be available at Amare convention
13:13:39 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Where can I find study re: ADHD and eg: Ritalin not helping focus at all and in fact interfering with decision making.
13:15:24 From Lianne Yoneda To Everyone:
Just got a copy from eBay for $8.95
13:16:01 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “Just got a copy from…” with 👍
13:18:12 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Reacted to “Just got a copy from…” with 👌
13:26:37 From Lauren McCoy To Everyone:
Does this mean we can refer to or quote something (like an article or your textbook) but put a link to where you got your information at the end of your post on social media?
13:32:18 From Liz To Everyone:
great question Lauren, Ive been considering linking “resources” with a growing list of articles and studies i use for reference. Now I’m not sure if that’s necessary/worth the time
13:32:50 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Reacted to “Does this mean we ca…” with 👌
13:35:47 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
so I cannot quote that specific saffron does that, I cant quote the study?
13:37:11 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
so im on social media can you give me an example of how to say that saffron helps with that
13:37:28 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
What about in Canada.. is our ‘DSHEA’ ‘health canada’
13:47:58 From Judy To Dr. Shawn Talbott(Privately):
13:48:49 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
this is really good as I am speaking to parents at an autistic school
13:49:56 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
What was that last bottle with eh pomma+
13:54:29 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Why not combine wellmune and ahcc in one product?
13:55:10 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
can you remind me what ahcc stands for
13:57:09 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
that just does not seem right!
13:57:40 From Liz To Everyone:
so regarding antioxidants, i understand reducing supplements, but what about foods that are high in antioxidants? (because there are so many other health/ microbiome benefits)
13:58:24 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
What about someone who is on the other side of cancer…what would you say would benefit them the most?
14:01:55 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
i remember that from McCord talking about it, such great info!! you always give so many nuggets
14:05:36 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
i was just doing research on lowering blood sugar and was ready to post about that. if i don’t attach it to a product can i say that when not talking product but only talking about a specific herb?
14:08:56 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
14:08:58 From Liz To Everyone:
Can you say something like “X strain of bacteria has been shown to do Y” in a post?
14:09:38 From Lauren McCoy To Everyone:
Liz you and I are on the same wavelength trying to figure this out and help our audience connect the dots
14:10:07 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
can i show that white paper on mentabiotics?
14:10:14 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “Liz you and I are on…” with ❤️
14:13:02 From Lauren McCoy To Everyone:
Is that 2 clicks away LOL
14:13:15 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Reacted to “Is that 2 clicks awa…” with 😂
14:15:07 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
Reacted to “Is that 2 clicks awa…” with 🤣
14:15:25 From Liz To Everyone:
Reacted to “Is that 2 clicks awa…” with 😂
14:17:07 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
theres a rumor that if you had a personal recovery with a product that you can say that but cannot generalize it. in women’s day magazine an article was published about a lady with thyroid issue who found mentabiotic from amare and said it helped her
14:18:20 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
Did I see get this right re: Rafuma-depression improved 50% over 60 days..correct? Is this also in your blog.
14:22:52 From Gail’s IPhone To Everyone:
I heard someone say that this product’sturmeric is 36x more effective than what’s on the market. Is this factual?
14:23:00 From Tracy Jo Rollins To Everyone:
do an ironman
14:25:10 From Nicky McGinnis To Everyone:
Amazing information!! Thank you
14:25:14 From Lauren McCoy To Everyone:
Thank you for being so generous with your time!
14:26:38 From Jazzie Will To Everyone:
I have a quick question off topic…How many electro’s can we have a day?
14:30:57 From Liz To Everyone:
can I be a study participant?!?!😂
14:31:28 From Ariane Riddle To Everyone:
Thank you!
14:31:29 From Liz To Everyone:
thank you so much!

Last few “free” Garmin watches…

Thanks for such a generous response to my “birthday wish” last week – to donate to the Erika’s Lighthouse #MentalWellness charity!

We have just a handful of Garmin VivoSmart 4 watches left for anyone who wants to donate $75 for a “free” watch – and when they’re gone, they’re gone…

These are the same watches that we used in our last research study to track steps, sleep, stress, etc – they’re pretty cool and fun to play with…

All you have to do is submit a donation – and I’ll reach out via email to get your mailing address to ship the watches.

Thanks again for supporting such a great cause to educate teens about depression, suicide, and #MentalWellness.

Birthday Wish (and a free smart watch)

Today is my 56th birthday – woo!

We have a fun day planned – I started with a morning track workout with some running buddies – this afternoon we’ll take a tour of our local oyster farm (Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury) – and tonight we’ll go to a concert with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. We also have our good friends the Hintze’s visiting from Wisconsin – so it’s shaping up to be a great birthday!

I want to “exchange” gifts with you…

I’m raising money for Erika’s Lighthouse – a charity that educates teenagers about depression – and I would love it if you’re able to make a donation to support their amazing work (that is your gift to me).

We use these watches in some of our research studies to track steps, sleep, stress, and other health parameters – and we have a few remaining from our last trial.

My gift to you is that for every donation of $75 or more, I’ll send you a Garmin VivoSmart 4 smartwatch.

Donate $100 – and I’ll send you TWO watches.

They sell for around $85 on Amazon (discounted from the regular $129) – so this is a great deal and you’ll have the good vibes for supporting a great charity.

All you have to do is submit a donation – and I’ll reach out via email to get your mailing address to ship the watches.

Good vibes will be transferred immediately. 😎

Ingredient Sourcing?

Do you know where the ingredients in your products come from?

Most people have no idea – and most companies don’t want to tell you (usually because they might be using the cheapest, poor-quality, low-potency, generic ingredients).

At Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company that I helped start, we have been educating our customers about “ingredient sourcing” since day one.

Since our herbal, phytonutrient, and “biotic” ingredients come from every corner of the globe, we go to great lengths to ensure that every ingredient in every product is not only potent (the right bioactives), and pure (free from contaminants), and proven (effectiveness in clinical trials), but we also ensure that the people harvesting our ingredients are treated the right way (fair wages, safe working conditions, etc) and that our global partnerships are ethical, sustainable, and supportive of the local economy.

Here are a few videos that will give you a perspective about what we do – and why we do it – and why it is so important and so unique…

Amare Sourcing Video = https://youtu.be/q3kEYYgRoFg

Global Sourcing Video = https://youtu.be/gX3F-8-fDso

Amare Edge Ingredient Sourcing = https://youtu.be/N5GNaVJRT64

I have a producer friend who wants to build this idea into a show – with cameras following me around the world into the jungles of Madagascar, mountains of Asia, and deserts of Africa (which would be fun). But whether or not Netflix is interested, we’ll continue sourcing ingredients the way we have since day one – not because it makes for good TV – but because it’s the right thing to do.