Gut-Brain-Axis (GBX) and Your Mood

The Dr. Nandi Show is airing a shortened version of the original episode I was a guest on called The Gut Brain Connection – Could Your Stomach Be the Cause of Your Depression.

Please check your local listings for time and channel.  You can also look for stations on Dr. Nandi’s website:

The clip is also here on Facebook =

How Stress Impacts Your Waistline

Here is a piece from todays Runner’s World (in honor of Stress Awareness Day), where I provide a few of my tips to balance stress (particularly as they relate to weight gain) – but one area that the writer neglected to include is proper Supplementation. 

We know that properly supplementing the Gut-Brain-Axis can reduce stress, lower cortisol, improve weight loss efforts, and enhance overall mental wellness (which I write about a lot on this blog and in my new book on Mental Fitness).

Read the text of the article below – or the original on the RW website at =

How Stress Impacts Your Waistline

It’s National Stress Awareness Day (November 3). Here’s why runners need to be more aware than most of the ‘S’ word’s impact on physical and mental wellbeing



Modern life is stressful. A 2021 study found that one in 5 UK workers feel stressed more than 50 per cent of the time, while seven per cent feel stressed every day. Such levels of tension are particularly bad news if you’re also looking to improve as a runner.

From a physiological perspective, stress can not only affect how many calories you consume, but also hinder your ability to burn them. Stress can affect sleep, cause fatigue, compromise your form and endurance, and even put you at risk of injury.

Stress can dampen the immune system, too. In a study published in the journal Neuroimmunomodulation, the higher marathon trainees scored for factors such as anxiety and worry a month before their races, the worse off their immune systems were.

Your body under stress

When we’re stressed, our bodies perceive an imminent threat. In response, our glands release adrenaline and cortisol so we can fight or flee (hence the so-called fight-or-flight response). Cortisol tells the body to stockpile calories to contend with that threat and to store those calories where they’re most likely to stick: deep within the belly.

That’s why stress can rev up your appetite for sugary, fatty comfort foods – which deliver the biggest calorie punch per gram.

What’s more, overexposure to cortisol can cause your muscles to break down at a faster rate than they do when you’re not feeling stressed, according to Shawn Talbott, a nutritional biochemist who has completed more than 100 marathons and triathlons. When muscle breakdown is added to increased appetite and greater deposits of visceral belly fat, stress creates a ‘triple whammy’ for anyone looking to lose weight through running, Talbott says.

Recent research suggests that stress seems to worsen the effects of junk food. In a study published in 2014 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, researchers found that highly stressed people who eat a lot of fatty, sugary foods were more prone to health risks than unstressed people who ate the same food. Another study indicates – according to the lead author Kirstin Aschbacher from the department of psychiatry at UCSF – that when people are stressed, fat cells might grow faster in response to junk food than when they’re not.

Here are some proven strategies you can use to stress less and protect your body from its most harmful effects.

Eat your fruit and vegetables

‘The more stress you’re under, the more varied your phytonutrient intake should be,’ says Talbott. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are known to have huge health benefits, but there’s also emerging evidence that they can help shield your body from stress-related damage, he adds. ‘The more you get, the more you’re going to protect yourself.’


It’s been proven to lower cortisol levels. Lack of sleep is ‘probably one of the most underappreciated stress triggers out there’, says Talbott. If you’re working out hard, trying to lose weight and hitting a plateau, one of the problems may be that you’re only getting six hours of sleep every night.

Be mindful

Research is now proving that mindfulness-based interventions for stress eating reduce both cortisol and visceral fat. A study published in Journal of Obesity found that increasing mindfulness and responsiveness to bodily sensations reduced anxiety, eating in response to external food cues and emotional eating. In the study, those who had the greatest reduction in stress lost the most fat.

Happy Juice – NEW Relief+ and Artificial Sweeteners

In this video, I talk about…

Happy Juice – Amare’s combination of Mentabiotics, EDGE, and Energy+

NEW Relief+ = our updated natural approach to reducing pain and improving mobility

Artificial Sweeteners and their effect on the microbiome (and why natural sweeteners are better)

Here are the slides that I used =

Burnout is Having a Moment…

As a scientist who has been studying and writing about “burnout” for more than 20 years, I find it quite interesting that the media have finally latched on to the idea that burnout is REAL and WIDESPREAD.

My first book related to burnout (and chronic stress) was published in the beginning of 2002 – and my 14th book related to the “opposite” of burnout (Mental Fitness and “vigor”) was published just a couple of weeks ago.

Mental FitnessMaximizing Mood, Motivation, and Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome has now sold out twice on Amazon (but you can also get it directly from the publisher and for a dollar cheaper).

This tells me that there are a lot of people who are hungry for a natural approach to “beating burnout” that goes beyond surface fixes like meditation and mindfulness (which “can” work but often don’t work for many people – I have a whole chapter on Mindset and why “mindfulness misses the mark”).

A lot of the Mental Fitness book covers the fact that “how your feel is not just in your head” – but also in your gut (and microbiome) – and your heart – and your immune system, etc – and that there are LOTS of simple and effective (research-proven) strategies to help you “feel better” with superior mood, elevated energy, sharper focus, lower stress, improved sleep, and increased resilience.

I also wanted to share a few recent articles about “Burnout at Work” that I think might be of interest to readers of this blog…
2 days ago in the WSJ
1 month ago in The NY Times
<1 month ago – my tips to “Beat Burnout” on Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global

Last thing – my Mental Fitness Retreat in Plymouth MA has been hosting trainings around “mental wellness” – and we hope to start “corporate team retreats” in 2022 – so stay tuned for further info about that.

Last CMWC of 2021 & Mental Fitness on CBS Channel 2

Got to share the new Mental Fitness book on CBS Channel 2 – along with my top ”Good Mood Foods”

Check out the segment here and read about the foods below…

For anyone interested in Mental Fitness – the book is on sale everywhere and our = certification course for Mental Wellness Coaches is scheduled for Oct 20th-23rd in Plymouth MA.

This will be our LAST in-person workshop this year! (and prices will go up next year when our mental wellness spa is fully built out and ready for our guests to enjoy)…

Mental Fitness book featured on KUTV’s Fresh Living (CBS ch2 Salt Lake City)

Good Mood Foods

My latest book is out – “Mental Fitness – Maximizing Mood, Motivation, and Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome”

It sold out in its first day on Amazon – but it is back in stock now.

The book covers the idea that how we feel is not just in our head – but also in our gut (the “2nd brain”) and the heart (the “3rd brain”) – and there are natural ways that we can get our “three brains” to perform their best so we feel our best with our highest level of Mental Fitness.

Here are my Top 3 Good Mood Foods – one for each brain…

Blueberries for our Head Brain – Polyphenols (pomegranates, tea/coffee, chocolate, berries, citrus, grapes)

Pumpkin Seeds for our Heart Brain – Seeds and Nuts (walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)

Oatmeal for our Gut Brain – Fiber (oatmeal, whole grain bread, dark leafy greens, bananas, cauliflower, asparagus)

Option 1 = Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts/pumpkin seeds

Option 2 = Smoothie with GBX Protein (Chickpea protein), SuperFood (Green, Red, Purple plants), and SeedFiber (sunflower, cucumber, cranberry, black cumin seed, blackberry, grape seed)

Dr. Shawn Talbott: “Eat better”

Eat better (microbiome and gut health) — the data is unequivocal — our Standard American Diet (SAD) is linked with more mental wellness problems, including burnout. Eating a more “Mediterranean style” diet is both therapeutic for existing mental wellness problems and protective against future ones. This pattern of eating is simple — and delicious — and not any more expensive than the junk […]
— Read on

Resilience is in Your Gut

Had a terrific time recording this podcast about Resilience with Jen Morris (The Well-Rounded Actor) – give a listen about how harnessing our “2nd brain” (in our gut) to improve how we feel and perform.

Eating for Mental Fitness

My new book on Mental Fitness hits shelves tomorrow!

Pick up a copy at the links below…

I did a little segment with WUSA Channel 9 in Washington DC that outlines a few of my favorite foods and nutrients for boosting Mental Fitness (mood, motivation, focus, energy, etc)…

Click HERE to see the segment

Mental Wellness Coach Certification – September Dates!

The Certified Mental Wellness Coach (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 and Mental Fitness.

We held our first CMWC course in Wisconsin at the end of April and our first “residential” classes in Plymouth MA in June, July and August – with great feedback about the content and the “workshop” format.

Our next course will be held September 22 – 25 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 (includes food)
  • Lodging = $1,000 for 5 nights at 3Waves Wellness (approximately – often less expensive depending on specific room and duration of stay) – and if you want to arrive earlier or stay longer, we can arrange that too!
  • Food = included breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments (healthy and amazingly delicious)
  • Fun = whale watch, history walk, kayak/SUP, beach day (all weather dependent)
  • CMWC course materials (from Functional Foods Institute) = $299 (details below)

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 room options include 3 queens with private baths, 2 kings with private baths, and a really cool 3rd floor suite with 2 private king rooms sharing one bath…King rooms can be shared with the addition of roll-away beds.

All rooms are equipped with ChiliPad mattress covers – so you can control the temperature of your bed for the most amazing night of sleep. We also have a number of “mental wellness modalities” that are available to all guests – including Brio massage chairs, Oculus virtual reality meditation, Apollo NeuroTouch Therapy, Joovv Red Light Therapy, and a ZeroBody Float Bed – so you can learn about AND experience Mental Wellness at a level you never have before.

You can see a bit about Our location (3 Waves Wellness – formerly known as “Above the Bay at Thornton Adams”) HERE – we are close to the beach, the forest, the history of Plymouth, and dozens of cool restaurants, bars, and shops.

Our current curriculum has been a hit with all types of Health Professionals (physicians, chiropractors, nurses, nurse practitioners, naturopaths, personal trainers, health coaches, life coaches, etc) – and our intimate “workshop style” events fill quickly…(all of our other events have sold out almost immediately)…

To reserve your seat or ask any questions, please email me directly at – or Julie at (you can “reserve” your seat in the class now and pay later)

Tentative Schedule: 

  • Sept 21 (Tuesday) – arrive and settle in
  • Sept 22 (Wed) – 9am-Noon Learning / Noon-1pm Lunch & Learn / Afternoon Fun
  • Sept 23 (Thurs) – 9am-Noon Learning / Noon-1pm Lunch & Learn / Afternoon Fun
  • Sept 24 (Friday) – 9am-Noon Learning / Noon-1pm Lunch & Learn / Afternoon Fun
  • Sept 25 (Saturday) – 9am-Noon Learning / Noon-1pm Lunch & Learn / Afternoon Fun
  • Sept 26 (Sunday) – checkout as a newly Certified Mental Wellness Coach (CMWC)!

Background – Why Becoming a CMWC is Important – and Timely

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 that 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
    • Why EVERYONE needs a coach!
  • 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

Mental Fitness Book Signing

Signing 1,000 copies of my new Mental Fitness book – it’s out on Sept 14! This feels like a workout? 🤦‍♂️

Doing this in the garage next to the bikes and paddle boards – because why lug the boxes into the house!?!? 😜

One more box of 48 and it’s off to paddle board the bay – gotta practice what I preach, right? 😎