HEALTHY LIFESTYLE NEWS April, 2014 Issue #102

Sponsored by InspiredLiving.com for Better Health and Cleaner, Safer Living Environments

Copyright 2014 Carol A James. All rights reserved. This publication may be freely redistributed if copied in its ENTIRETY.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Promotion of the Month
  • Healthy Quote for This Issue
  • This Is Your Brain on Food: The Link Between Eating Well and Mental Health
  • Quality Of Life Begins In Your Mind
  • The Stress Test: Eight Simple Questions to Help You Manage Stress
  • Healthy Recipe: Peanut Chicken Breasts
  • A Touch of Humor: This “˜n That

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Healthy Quote for This Issue

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer


THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FOOD: THE LINK BETWEEN EATING WELL AND MENTAL HEALTH
By Steve Holt

Should the Hippocratic maxim “Let food be thy medicine” apply to mental health care? Absolutely, says Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, a professor at the University of Calgary and a pioneer in a resurgent field of research on the role diet and nutrition plays in the health of the brain. She says the medical and psychiatric community is rediscovering the many connections between food and mental illness after more than a half century of depending primarily on prescription drugs for relief.

“From around 1950 or so, there was an explosion of research on medications,” she says. “Big pharma took over the treatment of psychiatric illnesses, and we lost centuries of knowledge.”

Before that, we knew better. Kaplan points to the 1855 edition of The People’s Home Library””a standard on the bookshelves of homesteaders across North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In it, author T.J. Ritter diagnoses the cause of most psychiatric conditions as “imperfect nutrition.” Ritter asserted that for most people, improving one’s diet could help improve one’s mind.

But 20th century mental health care providers too often missed the point Ritter””and Hippocrates long before him””were making, Kaplan says, by treating the mentally ill with supplements of one nutrient or mineral at a time.

“They were seeing mixed results, because that’s just ridiculous,” she says. “We need [the nutrients] all together in proper balance.”

We may soon see psychiatrists prescribing produce rather than Prozac, however, thanks to a fairly recent body of academic research showing food’s powerful effect on mental health. Kaplan has been a leader in this area, publishing several studies linking nutrient intake with improvement in mood disorders in both adults and children. In a 2012 study with colleague Karen M. Davison, Ph.D., R.D., published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, the authors recruited 97 adults diagnosed with a mood disorder to record their diets and moods (how they felt throughout each day) over a three-day period. At the end of the study, Kaplan and Davison found that participants’ vitamin and nutrient intake was “consistently and reliably” associated with better moods and mental health.

Other studies have shown similar results and even pinpointed specific diets that appear to be associated with a healthier brain. Epidemiological studies, for instance, have linked a Mediterranean diet of mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts, and plenty of olive oil with better brain function. But the diet of good mental health doesn’t start and end with rabbit food. In a 2011 analysis of more than 5,000 Norwegians, Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia, and his collaborators found lower rates of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern diet heavy with processed and fast foods””or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads.

A Staggering Percentage of Military Kids Have Mental Health Issues””Will This Simple Fix Help?

“Traditional diets””the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized””have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues,” Berk told The Washington Post.

Let’s be real, though: A holistic approach to mental health care is necessary, and there are times when those living with various disorders need a pill (or three) alongside a plate of whole foods. But with a new, strong body of research in her corner and even a newly formed international research society, Kaplan dreams of a day when we’ve restored a proper balance between medical and nutritional mental health care””something Hippocrates would more easily recognize.

“In my ideal world, diet and nutrition is the primary treatment,” she says. “And medication is used as supplements.”

For more on this topic, consider participating in an April 9 Webinar”””Food on Our Minds: Diet, Mental Health, and the Role of Community Food Programs”””that will feature Davison and Kristyn Dunnion, who runs a community food center for those struggling with mental illness and poverty.

Author Profile: Steve Holt is a regular contributor to TakePart. His story about healthy fast food was anthologized in Best Food Writing 2011. His food and general interest stories regularly appear in Edible Boston, Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe, and other publications. http://www.takepart.com/author/steve-holt


QUALITY OF LIFE BEGINS IN YOUR MIND
By Mentor Max

It’s not what you have, but what you enjoy
that constitutes your abundance.
Your real riches are riches in your head and heart.

Wealth without enjoyment is little consolation.
True satisfaction comes from appreciating what you have.
There are two ways of being happy:
you must either diminish your wants or augment your means.

It’s always better to appreciate things you cannot have
than to have the things you cannot appreciate.

Your riches will always lie within you,
not in your material possessions.


THE STRESS TEST: EIGHT SIMPLE QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU MANAGE STRESS
by Susie Michelle Cortright

Choose a life of less stress by identifying your stress points. You can start by answering the following eight questions in your personal journal:

1. Look around you at all the ways you have created your lifestyle. Why did you make each lifestyle choice? Why do you work the hours you do? Why are your relationships in the state they are in? This exercise helps you to remember that almost everything in is a direct result of a choice we have made and that we have the power and the freedom to make a new choice anytime.

This is also an excellent tool for positive affirmation, particularly on those days when the sacrifices you’ve made stare you squarely in the face. If you discover that the choice you’ve made isn’t the right one, outline the changes you need to make.

2. What are your priorities? How important is your spirituality, your family, your professional identity? Consider this ranking when you’re called to make choices and compromises. When have you put your identity, your plans, and your self-nurturing on hold while you took care of someone else?

3. If you had 15 to 30 minutes each day for yourself, how would you spend it? Schedule time for yourself. Mark it in your day planner or on the family calendar.

4. How much of your stress level is the effect of over-dramatization? Remind yourself that the level of stress you experience is directly related to the way you internalize it and the importance you place on your own dramatization.

5. Do nutrition and exercise contribute to your stress or help you manage it? If you aren’t sure, keep an energy diary to help you determine the hidden factors in your lifestyle that may be robbing you of energy. Make a plan to change or eliminate those influences. Log the times each day when you feel beat or burned out. For me, it’s 3 pm — about the time I want to hit the cookie jar. Try to schedule your workout (not a great big snack) for the time of day when you need an energy boost.

6. How easy is it for you to say “no”? Respect yourself and your time enough to delegate tasks and refuse to take on more than you can handle.

7. Are you multi-tasking yourself into more stress? When we try to do too much at once, we are raising, not lowering, our stress level. Multi-task only when you can realistically fulfill all tasks adequately. It’s hard to tune into your kids while you catch up on your own reading, for example, and you can’t take time out for yourself while simultaneously devoting the time to anyone else. Decide which tasks deserve your full attention. Then give it.

8. Do you have the support network you need? Conduct a search for an online group that shares your hobbies, interests or lifestyle.

Author Profile: Susie Michelle Cortright is the author of More Energy for Moms – http://www.momscape.com/energy – and founder of two “just for you” websites: Momscape.com, designed to help busy women find balance, and BestSelfHelp.com, devoted to helping you find the most effective personal growth tools. Visit http://www.momscape.com today and get Susie’s course-by-email “6 Days to Less Stress” free. And visit http://www.bestselfhelp.com for free self-help classics.


HEALTHY RECIPE: PEANUT CHICKEN BREASTS

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbs chopped peanuts
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs minced onions
  • 1 tbs minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic — crushed
  • Several drops of red pepper sauce
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 whole chicken breasts — skinned & boned
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs melted butter
  • 1 10 1/2 ounce chicken broth
  • 1 tbs cornstarch

Directions

  1. Mix peanut butter, peanuts, 2 tbs soy sauce, onion, parsley, garlic, pepper sauce, and ginger. Spread on inside of each chicken breast. Fold in half; close with small skewer or a toothpick. Place in slow-cooking pot.
  2. Mix remaining 2 tbs soy sauce with honey, butter, and broth; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from pot. Turn control to high. Dissolve cornstarch in small amount of cold water; stir into sauce. Cook on high for about 15 minutes.
  4. Spoon sauce on chicken and serve.

A TOUCH OF HUMOR: THIS “˜N THAT

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?

Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Why don’t you ever see the headline, “Psychic Wins Lottery”?

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

Why is a boxing ring square?

Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?

Why is it considered necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?

Why is it that doctors call what they do “practice”?

Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?

Why is it that to stop Windows 95, you have to click on “Start”?

Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavour, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the third hand on the watch called a second hand?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why is the word dictionary in the dictionary?

Why isn’t there a special name for the tops of your feet?

Why isn’t there mouse-flavoured cat food?

Can fat people go skinny-dipping?

Why do you need a driver’s license to buy liquor when you can’t drink and drive?


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