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Protein, Amino Acids, & Enzymes for Anxiety Relief

What do amino acids, protein, and enzymes all have in common in relation to anxiety relief?  When our digestive tract is healthy, the protein we eat (beans, fish, beef, chicken, nuts, cheese, certain grains, and dairy) is broken down into amino acids via enzymes.  Our body uses the amino acids to make all sorts of stuff, including BRAIN CHEMICALS that make us feel calm, cool, and collected.

Under physical or emotional stress, our digestive system shuts down.  The process of food being broken down and absorbed properly can come to a screeching halt if the stress becomes chronic.  Even short stints of stress creates problems. How many of us have had bowel problems under stress? I’ll refrain from any graphic details!

This is why part of finding anxiety relief permanently is to heal the digestive tract.  How can we make brain chemicals if our intestines look like Swiss cheese? It’s not possible.

This is what I did to heal my gut so I could make my own neurotransmitters and feel like a human again.

1. Identified using the ALCAT.com test what foods I was having allergy to and I strictly eliminated them.

2. Ramped up on high levels of a super strain probiotic (Life 5) to start healing the leaky gut and rid my body of yeast overgrowth.

3. Took potent enzymes with every meal. I used a combo of Allegany Nutrition and Young Living’s.

4. I did not eat any sugar or refined grains.  Well … any grains for that matter.

5. Used gentle fiber to cleanse my digestive system, my favorite are fresh ground flax seeds and apples.

6. For the first year and a half, I took a custom amino acid formula by Metabolic Maintenance because I couldn’t digest protein on my own. It was spendy but worth EVERY penny.  If anyone is having severe anxiety problems, I highly recommend having this done!

This process took a few years. Yes, that is a long time. However, my body endured decades of abuse through stress, poor eating, and lack of supplementation and it wasn’t going to heal overnight. But I can say now that I did it because most of my food allergies are gone, my body isn’t anxious anymore, and I lost a bunch of weight.   How is your body’s protein inventory? More on that in my next post!

Why I Love Aromatherapy for Anxiety Therapy

Seems like aromatherapy is everywhere, from our dish soap to little smelly bottles found even at gas stations.  It’s main stream, but I’ll caution you – all oils aren’t created equal.  But when you’re using truly medicinal oils, aromatherapy is a great addition to anxiety therapy.

Oils work super fast, that’s why I love them. I’m impatient! Our noses process aroma and we react to it faster than our brain can process it. Sight, sound, taste, and touch are processed by the brain before we have an emotional reaction.  Smell is the most basic of senses, even the most ancient of creatures process chemicals and they don’t even have eyeballs or a tongue!

What that means for you and I is if we are experiencing an unpleasant emotion and then inhale an essential oil that has properties known to calm the sympathetic nervous system, we respond quickly.  When our sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive, we experience anxiety, panic … AKA: fight or flight.

Problem is that almost all of the essential oils being sold are chemically changed or altered in some way. You might be thinking, “so what?”.  Well, most of these chemicals used to expand or make bad oils test like good oils in a lab are toxic to our nervous system.  They are also toxic to our liver and endocrine glands.  Just what we need if we’re experiencing anxiety right?  We’re already experiencing stress in those areas of our body, that is why we feel the way we do. Then add more chemicals, it’s a big problem.

People think rubbing or whiffing some lavender from the local health food store is going to help their anxiety.  What they don’t know is that they could be getting a good does of chemicals like toluene and methyl ethyl ketone – both are extremely toxic.  I have known people who purchased health food store oils and wound up in their doctors office having seizures.  Their blood results showed they were being exposed to toxic chemicals, which traced back to the chemically altered ‘frankincense’ they thought they were saving money on.

Don’t let this stop you from using essential oils.  Using safe quality essential oils will work faster than any Xanax, at lease that was my experience with Stress Away.  I’d start to feel that wave of panic coming on, I’d pull out my oil and take a good deep breath and I was fine.  Other oils that I’ve used through my healing journey are Harmony, Grounding, Valor, and coriander. All of these helped me feel more balanced and centered as I was working on healing my body.  Anxiety therapy hasn’t smelled so good!

Anxiety Therapy, Watch The Bubbly!

Heads up before New Years Eve!  If you suffer from anxiety, panic, and stuff like that … watch out for anxiety and/or panic attacks the next day.  I have known many people this happens to; it used to happen to me too. With these secrets, you’ll be able to have a good time and still keep up on your anxiety therapy.

I figured these tricks out through self experimentation because I used to have panic attacks the next day even after 1 drink!  Of course abstaining is the best way to avoid post-drinking anxiety.  However, here are a few tricks if you decide otherwise.

1. Do not drink alcohol without having a big meal full of good fats and protein. This will help keep your blood sugar balanced.

2. Have about 2 ounces of Ningxia Red before bed and 2 ounces first thing the next morning.  This packs in a bunch of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that help the adrenals and balance blood sugar.

3. Apply my favorite oil for blood sugar balancing before alcohol, before bed, and first thing the next morning – coriander.

4. Take a handful of digestive enzymes (Detoxyme) before bed and a few when you first wake up (wash it down with Ningxia Red).

5. Drink 8 ounces of water before bed and another first thing in the morning when you wake. Dehydration adds to anxiety!

6. Have anxiety busting essential oils on hand. I like to use them before bed and when I wake up, especiall Stress Away.

Adrenal and liver stress is the root of post-partying anxiety. As your body gets stronger and healthier, you probably won’t have this happen.  But for now, help your body out and you’ll have a much better New Years Day.  Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Things that Aggravate Anxiety

What triggers anxiety for you?  We’re all different. Some of us just feel anxious all the time for no apparent reason. Others of us know what sets us off like giving speeches or test taking.

I’ve made a list of 10 of the most common anxiety triggers I can think of. If you have any, please share!

1.  Steroid Hormone Imbalances – especially lack of progesterone in women and testosterone in men.

2. Neurotransmitter Imbalance – especially low epinephrine, serotonin, and GABA.  (neurotransmitters are brain communicating chemicals).

3. Coffee – standard coffee creates a surge of adrenalin (epinephrine) that can cause anxiety.

4. Blood Sugar Drops – a quick drop in blood sugar causes the body to send out a surge of adrenaline (epinephrine), cortisol, and hgh.  When our adrenals are weak, this can make us feel super anxious or even have a panic attack.

5. Adrenal Fatigue – weak adrenals can’t keep up with calming brain chemical demands.

6. Food Allergies – if our body doesn’t like certain foods and has an extreme response it can go into fight or flight. Flight can equal ANXIETY!

7. Phobias – test taking, traffic jams, heights, airplanes, spiders …. need I say more!

8. Thyroid Hormone Imbalance – very common, often overlooked.

9. Vitamin / Mineral Deficiency – B VITAMINS (esp. B6, B12)!  Magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, chromium.

10. Infection – sounds weird, but I have known people who have had low grade infections that caused anxiety. Once the infection was gone, poof – no more anxiety.

Funny, most of these triggers aren’t “In Your Head!”.  Surprised?  More on that  HERE.

Insulin Resistance Repair Via AntiOxidants

zs020497.xhsAs I’ve been finishing up the coursework for my masters degree, I’ve been fortunate to be studying how antioxidants work in the body.  We’ve all heard about antioxidants and their super powers through advertising, radio, and even Dr. Oz.  But how can blood sugar problems and anxiety (insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, diabetes) be helped by antioxidants?

Uncontrolled blood sugar – which is usually present in people who have anxiety, panic attacks, depression, ADD / ADHD – leads to tremendous damage to the body at the cellular level.  This damage makes insulin resistance worse and we see in health challenges such as weight gain, hypoglycemia / diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hormone imbalance, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Damage happens because the insulin receptors get oxidized, kinda like when iron becomes rusty.  Have you ever tried to use rusty tools? They don’t work so well do they?  Neither do oxidized insulin receptors. Over time the damage gets so bad we start seeing impaired glucose tolerance: aka. insulin resistance.

Beside eating a balanced blood sugar diet, getting insulin supporting minerals/vitamins, and nourishing the adrenals / liver – antioxidants are important for long term repair. They will actually reverse the damage and help the body use insulin as it is supposed to.  Taking 4 ounces a day of a super potent food based antioxidant (Ningxia Red) was how I repaired my insulin receptors.  Over a course of time my insulin levels have balanced out – I’m not swinging high and low anymore.  With that comes NO ANXIETY OR PANIC ATTACKS – yeah!

My personal belief as a nutritional coach and as a person who has dealt with severe insulin resistance is that major damage cannot be fixed by eating handfuls of blueberries, fresh veggies, and oranges. An intense and purposeful antioxidant regimen must be followed to ensure more damage isn’t being done through food choices or lifestyle. Plus, it’s important to ensure enough antioxidants are being consumed to do the repair or the attempt will be futile. Your body can be healed and you’ll feel amazing when you get there!