How to Decrease Stress Through Nervous System Regulation

Polyvagal Theory is a term thrown around quite a bit in the world of counseling and functional medicine, but how does it play a role in our stress responses in the day-to-day? That’s what this episode focuses on. This is a deep dive into understanding what it means to be in a state of “fight, flight, or freeze,” and how to support your body in healing so that you can become more stress resilient!

Carly Stagg is a former nutritional therapist turned family nurse practitioner specializing in functional medicine. Her professional practice focuses on autoimmunity, hormone balance, and thyroid care, as well as complex chronic conditions such as mold, Lyme, PANS and PANDAS with a nurturing, gentle approach. She is passionate about the innate self-healing capacity of the body and especially practicing medicine in a way that supports the body in regaining balance rather than competing with its natural state. She currently sees patients via telehealth at Ritual Functional Medicine. She has partnered with Chelsea Blackbird in creating the upcoming School of Christian Health and Nutrition, a 9-month training program focused on empowering and equipping those who feel called to work in the field of health and nutrition.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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How Adverse Childhood Events Impact Your Health

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls impulses and helps to manage behavior. This area is rapidly developing all throughout childhood and adolescence. Many people don’t realize that chronic stress can shrink the prefrontal cortex and inhibit proper decision-making. So what happens when a child encounters trauma or chronic stress? This interview breaks down what adverse childhood events are, and how the brain and body responds to them.

Patrick Wanis, PhD, helps people rapidly change their behavior. As a Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, Wanis has developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is now teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis has also developed multiple online psychological and behavioral assessments on Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, Mindfulness, Relationship Breakups, Self-Defeating Behavior, Individual Core Values, and Authenticity. His clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers.

CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for expert insights and analysis on relationships, sexuality, human motivation, trauma, communication, body language, and persuasion. Over five million people have read Wanis’ books in English and Spanish.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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The Pantry Item That Could Be Wrecking Your Mental Health

Lately I have been on a rampage against commonly used inflammatory vegetable oils. They are everywhere, in every dressing, sauce, packaged good, and even in frozen vegetable mixtures and “healthy” items. Because of what I know about how these inflammatory oils impact our cell membranes and lead to oxidative damage, I get enraged that so many food companies and “health coaches” or nutrition experts promote their use.

The main oils I try to stay away from are vegetable, corn, soybean, canola, sunflower, and safflower. The reason these oils wreak havoc on cellular health is because they are in the category of omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS). Omega 6 oils are not bad on their own, and we actually need them, but when we are consuming more omega 6 oils than omega 3s, excessive inflammation can occur. Also, these oils are very sensitive to oxidation under high heat, which can also cause damage on the cellular level.

In a perfect world, we would have a balance between omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats. In the era of processed convenience food, it just isn’t the case. Excess intake of vegetable oils like canola and soybean have been linked to anxiety, aggression, and poor cognitive function. While intake of omega 3 oils (found in fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds) has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even chronic pain.

Most restaurant items contain inflammatory oils, because they’re cheaper. Even if you go to a restaurant and decide to make a “healthy” choice of ordering a salad, chances are that salad dressing is packed with canola or soybean oil, along with lots of sugar. I try to avoid restaurant salads as much as possible. The last time I mistakenly ordered a shrimp salad at a chain restaurant, it was so sweet it tasted like dessert!

But here’s the thing – I like eating out. It can be a fun treat, and my family usually eats restaurant food about once a week. I don’t want to be the food police at a restaurant. I don’t want my need to control or stress about food to ruin an enjoyable dining experience.

This brings me to my pantry. I have control over what I make at home. I love cooking from scratch, using whole food ingredients as much as possible. I love knowing that I am supporting my family’s brain health through nourishing recipes that keep us full and fueled for our busy lives.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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How to Heal Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder

I remember when I was first diagnosed with all my mental illness labels, and how I was told I would struggle for the rest of my life. I felt isolated and insecure, believing I was the only person to struggle from something as heavy-sounding as “manic-depressive illness.”

Today, with mental illness labels becoming ubiquitous features to our modern society, we are becoming more accepting that mental health is something we need to support. But to heal? To reverse symptoms? THAT sounds like a foreign concept.

Survivors exist. Those of us who have gone through the labeling, the medicating, and the treatment and have come out on the other side with new tools that work long-term… we exist too. That is why I was so excited to invite fellow survivor Dr. Christina Bjorndal on the show.

Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders.  Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is recognized as one of the top NDs to follow by two independent organizations. Dr. Chris has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. She has written four books on mental health as well as created two courses – a 10-week course for individuals and a Clinician’s Integrative Mental Health 10 week course.

Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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This Is Your Child’s Brain on Processed Food

This is a tough conversation, but it is important to be aware of the way our kids’ nutrition impacts mood, concentration, focus, and overall health. Nutrition plays a direct role in neurotransmitter function, so we can’t have an honest conversation about kids’ mental health without addressing nutrition!

Dr. Joan Ifland, PhD, MBA, FACN, is a Nutrition Researcher & Processed Food Addiction Counselor. Dr. Ifland is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and she holds her PhD in Addictive Nutrition. She has 20 years’ experience in the field of food addiction and recovery. The Founder of Food Addiction Reset, Dr. Ifland is a leading expert in the field, author of the textbook on the topic. Processed food marketed to children has a powerful impact on their brain function with long-term consequences.

Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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What to Do When Psych Meds Aren’t Working

More people are prescribed psychiatric medication than ever before, so why are we seeing mental health issues continue to climb? How can we support our loved ones when the traditional treatments aren’t working for them?

Dr. Julia Britz specializes in supporting people who are struggling with mental health issues such as OCD, disorders eating and psychiatric medication tapering. Her passion for working with individuals suffering from these lonely conditions is that she too was a “hopeless case”, but got better. Dismissed by doctors, she was told over and over there was nothing else she could try beyond pharmacotherapy, and so was inspired to create myocddiary.com, a site dedicated to documenting the daily life of OCD and related disorders. Through this project and holistic therapies, she found new levels of wellness, and in 2014 did a TED talk called “MyOCDdiary: an imperfect story.”  

She utilizes natural and integrative modalities including targeted amino acid therapy, peptide therapy, micronutrient therapy, bioresonance, botanical medicine and epigenetic analysis, many of which are discussed in this episode.

Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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Overcoming Cancer, Crohn’s, and Other Autoimmune Disease

Struggling with a chronic illness can feel defeating, and struggling with multiple chronic illnesses can feel debilitating. This episode is for anyone who suffers from autoimmune disease or any other limiting label.

Amber Satterfield is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the Founder of Feel Good Nourishment, where she specializes in helping people who suffer from gut health issues and autoimmune diseases. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and cancer in the subsequent years. It wasn’t until she found functional medicine that she says her life & health changed forever. After her own journey, Amber became passionate about helping others do the same in their own bodies. Amber is now sharing her personal healing story in her new book, “Thriving with Autoimmune Diseases”, coming out later this year.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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The Surprising Secret to Health and Longevity

Being able to fight against oxidative stress and damage is crucial for our whole body health. When our body can fight free radicals with antioxidant support, we are healthier and have greater chances of being disease-free. Some studies even show oxidative stress being linked to brain issues like bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Chris Burres is the owner of SES Research, the first company to deliver carbon nano materials, and MyVitalC, the world’s first nano antioxidant.

When Chris realized a Nobel Prize-Winning chemical tested by NASA had been proven to almost double the lifespan of mammals, he decided to make ESS60 into a household item. He’s now on a mission to help people live longer, healthier and pain-free lives one dose at a time.

Listen to this powerful episode here or find wherever you get podcasts!

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Why You Need More Protein for Your Mental Health

In light of the new research being published on mental health, this episode is important! Our brains need key nutrients to function, and if we want to support the root cause of brain balance, we need to be aware of what nutrients we need. Because protein is crucial for building our neurotransmitters, it takes the primary focus in this podcast episode.

Christina T. Veselak, MS, CN, LMFT, is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition which teaches practitioners around the world how to use diet, along with amino acid and nutrient therapy to help prevent cravings and recurrent use by restoring neurotransmitter function and keeping blood sugar in balance. She has been a licensed psychotherapist working in the SUD treatment field since 1985 and a certified nutritionist specializing in mental health and addiction recovery since 1993.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Best Sleep

More and more Americans struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep on a consistent basis. We need all the practical tools and tips to support healthy sleep, and that’s what this episode is all about!

Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a neuropsychologist in New York City. She is also faculty at Columbia University. Her website Comprehend the Mind is here.

Dr. Hafeez has been a trusted and recurring expert across media channels for top outlets such as The Wallstreet Journal, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The New York Times, Bustle, Elite Daily, Refinery29, Prevention, Health, Healthline and on TV for such shows and news as Dr. Oz, The Doctors, CNN, CBS NY Weekend News, and FOX.

Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics: –

  • Why 40-50% of Americans are struggling with sleep, more so than ever before
  • What is circadian rhythm and why it matters
  • How sleep impacts mental health and replenishes the brain
  • How anxiety starts at night
  • The ritual to have to prepare for sleep
  • Tips to try to support better sleep
  • The best way to calm an anxious brain at bedtime
  • How parents can use kids’ bedtime to take time to develop their own sleep hygiene

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