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How to Boost Your Mood When You Are Down

There has been much focus lately on depression. New meds seem to come out on a weekly basis. But is there a better, safer way to elevate one’s mood? Researchers at the University of Connecticut think so. So do I!

The study involved a little over 400 people who were considered middle age. For starters, the participants went into details about their daily exercise programs (or lack thereof) and how they felt in general. They also reported levels of pain, be it physical or emotional.

The end results?

Those who led inactive lives and those who participated in “light” activity showed the greatest improvement in their emotional and psychological states after only 4 days of exercise.

The activity involved walking at a 15 minute or so, “conversational” pace. In other words, they were not pouring sweat doing CrossFit.

Doc’s Thoughts: The study was good but they missed a huge component – doing things that evoke passion. In other words, there is a major difference between “doing exercise because it is supposed to be good for you” and “running a marathon because it brings incredible joy into my life!!!!”

I strongly suspect based on observing patients that the former does little good and the latter is life changing. The difference is passion. When it is present, great things happen emotionally, spiritually and physically. When absent, it is hollow and empty movements.

3 Drinks Everyone Should Avoid

You already know you should drink water. Probably more water than you are currently drinking. And yes, you read that green tea is healthy. Coffee to a degree as well. But which drinks are on the “Must Avoid” list? Here are the top three.

  1. Soda. Be it regular, diet or anything else you can come up with, soda is an extremely unhealthy substance. Start with the sugar (or sugar substitutes). They are major contributors to diabetes, obesity and other endocrine based problems. Secondly, the sugar and carbonation contribute to the weakening of the skeletal system and teeth. In short, carbonation leeches calcium from teeth and bones. What is an alternative? More like what is NOT an alternative.
  2. “Fake” juices. Get used to reading labels. Know the basics at the very least. (In my online school – Dr. Orman’s Wellness School – we go into a mini-course on How to Read Labels. Click here for more info.) A lot of juices are in fact, not juice, but what I call “Fake Juice;” that is, somewhere on the label, you will see the phrase, “. . . contains 10% [or some other percentage] fruit juice.” Translation: 90% of this drink is something other than juice. Look a little closer and you will see “added sweeteners” and other such phrases with add up to a lot of unhealthy, unwanted calories. In short, they are flavored, sweetened water, NOT juice.
  3. “Starbucks” drinks. I use this term to include about 80% of the menu of places like Starbucks. You know, the triple mocha caramel frappuccino or something along these lines. They are typically around the 500 calorie mark, loaded with fat and sugar and are major contributors to obesity, adrenal insufficiency, thyroid problems, heart issues, diabetes and other issues. Go with organic coffee. Add stevia and some creamer if you wish. It hits the spot and provides benefits to you as well.

There are more but these are the top three AVOID drinks.

Off the record, once in a while is not an issue. It is when once in a while becomes a regular habit that problems begin to show.

Be a Wellness Warrior. Have the discipline to eat and drink healthy most of the time AND the lightheartedness to enjoy things now and again too.

Why the “Fat Gene” Really Does Not Matter

The gene called FTO and it is found in chromosome number 16. If you inherited it, you are bound to be overweight or so the recently-written stories go. A closer look tells a new story.

University of North Carolina researchers reviewed over 50 genetic studies of nearly a quarter million people. They studied various factors involving the FTO gene and found some interesting information out along the way.

For starters, do you exercise regularly? Great! You just offset the effects of this gene by at least 30%.

Secondly, researchers noted that being born with FTO does not guarantee a life of obesity (as was reported). In fact, those who have this gene only carry about 6 1/2 pounds extra versus those who do not.

Best of all, experts in the field say that genetic factors contribute to only about five percent of all cases of obesity. Maybe even less.

Doc’s Thoughts: Every single diet or healthy way of eating has 5 characteristics:

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Eat more green leafy veggies or greens in general.
  3. Eat more foods that contain healthy fats.
  4. Avoid sugar.
  5. Exercise regularly and live with passion. (I know. Technically this is not under the category of “eating” but fits here nevertheless.)

It is RARE that those who do not follow this have obesity issues. As this and other research is showing, genetics play a much lesser role as compared to behavior.

5 Supplements to Avoid

When you think of hype and “over the top” promotion, usually pharmaceuticals come to mind. However, supplements are not immune. While there are some that I do not recommend because quite frankly, they do not work or work well, those listed below can be dangerous.

Here are 5 that despite the press, should be avoided.

  1. Colloidal silver has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics and a cancer preventive. Its origins are from the days when royalty would drink from silver cups and was said to be healthier, the reasons have more to do with sanitation and quality of food versus silver. The short and sweet of it is is that the human body. Short-term use can cause skin discoloration and long-term use can produce neurological problems, kidney damage and fatigue.
  2. Yohimbe. Having taken it once, I thought I was having a heart attack. It is a horrible substance. Yohime comes from the bark of an African tree and is claimed to be used for fat loss, increased energy and was the original “viagra.” In my experience with patients and the aforementioned incident, it does not do anything for fat loss or energy. Plus the side effects are just not worth it.
  3. Aconite is the coldest and one of the most poisonous plants in the entire Materia Medica. It is used to treat arthritis, inflammation and migraine headaches. Again, with the potential side effects AND the fact there are much healthier and safer alternatives, it is just not worth it.
  4. Country Mallow. Sounds like a harmless herb you would find in the south. However, it contains ephedrine, a potentially dangerous stimulant banned by the FDA. Same story here — safer, better alternative make this herb useless.
  5. Germanium. In the 90s, this substance was the “rising, new star” for immune problems. It is a trace element used to make devices. It was claimed to be the end of cancer. No more comments needed here.

As you can see, there is a specific theme with the aforementioned. There are safer and more effective treatments for all of the above.

See advice before even considering substance such as these and others. Order a Virtual Doc Wellness Visit. For a small fee, this can save a great deal of pain, time and money in the long run.

A Lot of Weight Loss and the Reason For It

I have been involved with Natural Medicine for 30 years now and never during this time have I see a pattern like this before.

More clients, customers, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues etc., have mentioned that they have lost weight this year (January to now) than in the past 4 or 5 years combined. Anywhere from 10 pounds up to 35, men and women have emailed, called or spoken to me about this. It is odd, albeit in a most pleasurable way.

Given this trend, I decided to contact as many as I could and ask them specifics; that is, how did you lose the weight, why now, what motivated you etc. Below are the results:

  • About 1/3 focused on eating less
  • 50% focused on reducing the amount of sugar (and sugar laden foods)
  • 25% focused on exercising more frequently
  • 10% focused on exercising more intensely
  • About 75% did not know exactly what they did that worked

It was the last group that obviously caught my attention. Most said something to the effect of “I am not sure. I watched what I was eating and exercised about the same amount but it ‘just seemed to work this time.'”

Playing “Sherlock Holmes” and finally asking the right questions, I think I found the answer and it is this:

Virtually everyone I spoke to started focusing on the process, not the goal.

What this means is they stopped saying phrases like, “I have to lose weight” or “I am going to burn off 30 pounds” or some other very specific goal. Instead, they simply began to focus on eating a healthy breakfast or committing to going to the gym 4 times a week. They concentrated on the WAY they would lose weight, not the actual NUMBER.

The irony is that most of these individuals were not even consciously aware that this was the key shift taking them from “I failed” to “I did it!”

This was a powerful shift as goal setting is not always the ideal. For many, they obsess about the specifics and when Failure comes to visit, it brings along a lot of negative emotions. In many instances, people feel so poorly at even temporary setbacks that they quit. Invariably, this becomes a habit/pattern that is repeated in areas such as weight loss.

Stop this pattern and begin to focus on daily activities. Add 1 or 2 at the most per week.  For example:

  • This week, I will take my supplements after every meal.
  • This week, I will go to the gym 4 times and make each movement there, productive.

Forget the scale. This week, nothing else matters except that I take my supplements after each and every meal.

Focus on something “process” oriented. You may need to make adjustments here and there until it fits you but once in place, focus on these. The weight loss/Body Re-Shaping will take care of itself.

Personal Note:  With complete ease, I lost 16 pounds by simply focusing on the Breathing Method that I teach in my online school. After every meal, I took about 3-4 minutes to do specific breathing and after about 5 weeks, I noticed the difference.

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