Why I’m Here

I am a Functional Medicine Health Coach candidate and have loved learning about all of the ways to help others who are suffering (some who think it’s just normal to feel the way they do–in other words miserable) or those who could use just a transformation of some kind in their lives. Here, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned from various sources, either through school or books, documentaries or links and posts from other sources that I think can be really helpful! They will be about relationships and personal growth, health concerns, stress transformation, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, better sleep, inherited family trauma, resilience, mindfulness, travel ideas and anything else I think will be helpful to others. My one and only blog post prior to this was as avidadvicegiver and my sister can attest how much I love giving advice but I’ve been told I have a way of presenting the information that doesn’t seem to be preachy or offend or insult others (except maybe for my boyfriend!)

Another Book Recommendation

Mark Wolynn presented the themes of his book on a video chat on the 5th of May. The title of his book is It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle was absolutely fascinating and could be life-changing for so may people. People who don’t even know that if their parents or grandparents experienced a trauma, it more than likely altered their genes, and it was passed down to them. The author talked about about his own experience with 3 of his grandparents losing their mothers at a very young age. His mother (and later he and his sister) were distraught whenever their mothers would leave the house. When the mother left, each of them would find their mothers clothes or scarves and smell them hoping to get a whiff of their mother’s scent. He could never explain why he needed to do this until he learned of this concept of inherited family trauma.

The really fascinating part is the idea of an ancestral alarm clock. He gave examples of people who have had trauma occur at a certain age or timeframe or milestone in the past. Family members then repeat the exact trauma at the same time. An example he gave was if your parents divorced when you were 8 years old, when your child is 8 years old it could trigger you and you would start to pull away and just think you’re losing affection/interest when really it could be tied back to your family trauma…

Book Recommendation

The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, PhD addresses both mindset and stress transformation. She explains that the effect you expect, is the effect you get. If you think stress is bad for you, your body produces chemicals that cause you harm. If you instead realize and believe that stress can be a good thing, your body follows suit. Fascinating and potentially life-changing information on both stress and mindset transformation. For mindset, transformation she mentions several studies that showed you can have a lasting impact on others when you tell them, for example, that they can succeed and make positive changes throughout life. When they believe this and take it to heart, it happens. If you think everyone is out to get you, you will see this everywhere you look. If you think people are nice, people will be nice to you. She cites two studies where mindset transformation occurred and it had lasting positive impacts for people. Highly recommend the book!!

Treating Military Veterans through Diet

Military members with “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” and traumatic brain injuries can and should be treated with better diets. Military members should eat more good fats such as olive oil, walnuts and flaxseeds which have been proven to reduce the risks of getting dementiaby 60 percent and improving brain health in general. Other ways to improve your health are probiotics.
The Department of Defense should ensure sweeping changes to include mandatory appointments with either functional medicine doctors, or military doctors certified in functional medicine or functional medicine health coaches. This would ensure the root causes of any diseases are found or the prevention of new diseases occur through proper diet and nutrition. The whole person approach is most effective. And since no person’s microbiome is the same as anyone else’s, foods also affect different people differently. As one doctor suggested, “it’s not we are what we eat, but we should eat for who we are.”

How Diet Can Affect Mental Health

Gut bacteria can have tremendous effects on psychological or mental health. The digestive system is supposed to extract energy from what is eaten so if people are tired or run down constantly, it could mean the gut is out of balance. Also, 95 percent of serotonin, the mood-regulating neurotransmitter is located in the gut rather than the brain where most people believe it to be found. If one is moody, depressed or anxious there is more than likely a gut imbalance due to the symbiotic relationship with gut health and neuro-health. This bio-directional communication is what has been called the gut-brain axis. It’s influence on well-being and mental health is well known in the up and coming field of gastroneuroenterology. Bacteria living in the gut may influence the activity of cells in the brain remotely. These cells are involved in controlling neuro-degeneration and inflammation. Investigators have found evidence “ that food has some sort of remote control over central nervous system inflammation.”13Also, according to Dr. Tom Sult who is board certified in holistic medicine, “the same kinds of things that cause a leaky gut can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier. So now you have these same toxins leaking into your brain and you get all kinds of symptoms whether they are mood disturbances like depression or anxiety or just cognitive disturbances commonly called brain fog or almost acquired dyslexia kinds of symptoms”.
Other symptoms in the brain include dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There are some in the medical community who are now calling Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes.This is because insulin resistance causes brain damage. The brain is made of 60 percent fat with much of it being omega-3 fats. Good fats added to the diet are the best way to keep a healthy functioning brain. There are foods that have been shown to reverse dementia. Patients who ate very low-carb, low-grain, low-glycemic, high-fat diets reversed dementia when ten different case studies were reviewed. A lack of fat in the brain has also been attributed to “neurodegenerative diseases; mental disorders such as depression, suicide and aggressive behavior, [Attention Deficit Disorder] ADD and autism, stroke; and trauma”.

Gut Health and Your Immune System

Gut health, or lack of it, also effects your immune system. So people with poor gut health are more susceptible to sicknesses and viruses. Our prevalence as a society to become germaphobes allowed our immune systems, especially in younger americans, to never fully form. “Our anti-microbe mission has been accompanied, in industrialized countries, by an explosion in the prevalence of chronic noninfectious diseases and disorders. Diabetes, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune diseases, autism, obesity and certain types of cancer are at an all-time high”. The consequences of our modern diet, excessive use of antibiotics and over sanitization have altered the microbes that affect our immune systems.