Monthly Archives: January 2016

Positive Self Talk!


Everyone could use a reminder about the power of positive self talk.

Self talk is that inner voice that helps us calm our monkey minds once the hamster wheel of anxiety or depression starts spinning.

Self talk is just a part of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) but it can be applied in any moment to help us cope with the present emotion.

For example, it is Monday morning and you are dreading going to work.  You have a project to work on that seems like it will never be finished.  You literally cannot get your butt out of bed to get ready to leave.

Here’s how to use positive self talk. As soon as you think, “I really don’t want to go to work because I am never going to finish that project.” Tell yourself (either inside your mind or quietly) “Stop- I am. I can. I will.” You should feel a literal difference in your body- your breath, your heart rate, etc.

A good sign that you could use a little positive self talk is if you find yourself saying “always” or “never” in relationship to a negative feeling your are having. For example, “I am never going to finish this project.” That should send up a little signal that you need some positive self talk to get you through this moment. Remember, as our arousal level goes up, problem solving goes out the window. So if you want to complete the project, you have got to bring the arousal level down.

“Always” and “never” represent black and white thinking and can get us into trouble.

The best thing about positive self talk is that the more we practice it, the better we become at it. It becomes second nature to have these positive thoughts as a response to our negative ones.

Here are a few of my favorites in case you need some new positive phrases to try:

POSITIVE SELF TALK-5This is a classic. Don’t you just feel simultaneously comforted, motivated and determined? I do!


Definitely feeling confident thinking this.


Yes! The ultimate! For when you really need to get pumped up. “Let’s Do This!”

What’s your favorite self talk phrase? Tweet me @drrenae 

-Dr. Norton


#letsdothis #iamicaniwill #igotthis

The One-Two Punch to Knock Out Obesity


Typically when I meet a patient for the first time who is battling obesity, I hear two things:

  • “I have no idea why I am overweight. I hardly eat anything.”
  • “I cannot stop eating certain foods once I start.”

Why is this?

Let’s tackle the first statement. The patient is working really hard to lose weight and isn’t eating very much of anything and yet, they are still overweight. Why?

When we discuss their eating habits more in depth, I find that the foods the patient is eating are full of obesogens, unnecessary food additives, insecticides and are generally genetically engineered (GE). As a result the hormones that regulate hunger and fat storage are disturbed. One such hormone is Leptin.  Research has shown that Leptin is too high among those who are obese. In order for recovery to take place, Leptin levels must be restored to their normal level. Yet the vast majority of practitioners are unaware of Leptin and its relationship to Obesity. Food additives have been shown to damage Leptin receptors and signaling mechanisms.  This results in food addictions, food cravings, excessive appetite loss, excessive central fat storage, and food allergies that cause bloating, constipation and/or diahrea.  Disturbed Leptin levels may explain the phenomenon of yoyo dieting.

This leads me to the second statement. “I cannot stop eating certain foods once I start.”  My patients look relieved when I tell them that they are not alone in the feeling and behavior that once they start eating certain foods they literally cannot stop. I’ve never had a patient tell me that can’t stop eating apples. Or that once they start eating grapes they cannot stop. Or red peppers. This is why I advocate abstinence from processed foods. When you eat clean you allow the hormones that are a part of regulating fullness to return to a normal state.  This doesn’t happen overnight though.  For a patient who bingeings every night on potato chips, we work together to find a substitution that is satisfying but not full of addictants and obesogens. This could be non-gmo popcorn that is air popped drizzled with coconut oil and herbamare. It could be super crunchy jicama sticks drizzled with coconut oil.  Substitution is really important because if the new food it isn’t better in flavor than the processed triggering food, it won’t work. You’ll still be craving that food.

The second part of my approach consists of using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with patients. Once a patient is skilled in lowering their arousal level, they discover that they are no longer triggering this type of eating behavior because of they are better in control of their emotions.

You see, recovering from obesity is possible. It just requires a one-two punch.

-Dr. Norton






When Is “Bingeing” Actually Binge Eating Disorder?


We use the word “binge” very casually in our society.  We “binge” watch episodes of our favorite shows on DVR or Netflix.  We “binge” listen to podcasts.   Most of us probably “binged” on Star Wars movies before.

But when is bingeing on food actually Binge Eating Disorder?

Consider a time when you thought you were bingeing and ask yourself the following questions:

*. Did you consume an abnormally large amount of food in a short period of time as compared with what others might eat in the same amount of time under similar circumstances?

*.  Did you experience a loss of control over eating during these episodes?Do you consume food faster than normal?

*.  Do you feel fuller than usual?

*.  Are you consuming large amounts of food when not hungry?

*.  Are you consuming food alone due to embarrassment over the amount of food you are eating?

*.  Do you feel disgusting, guilty or depressed after the binge?

*.  Do you feel distressed about the binge?

Finally, think about your behavior over a period of time.

Has the binge eating occurred at least once a week for 3 months?

It is important to note that weight gain may or may not be associated with BED. And while there is a correlation between BED and weight gain, not everyone who is overweight binges or has BED.

If you find yourself answering yes to these questions, I am here to help.

Email me at or call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment.  Tele-therapy phone sessions available.

-Dr. Norton


Is Food Addiction A Made Up Concept to Excuse the Overeater?




A significant portion of the U.S. diet is as addicting as heroin or cocaine.

Sugar, for example, especially in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), registers in the same part of the brain as does heroin and cocaine!

Other staples of the American diet are addictive, too. Dr. Mark Hyman says that U.S. wheat contains “super starch and super gluten – making it super fattening and super inflammatory.” Hyman also says wheat has “a super drug that makes you crazy, hungry and addicted.”

The “super drug” Hyman is referring to is actually a group proteins called “gluteomorphins” (after gluten and morphine) that cross the blood-brain barrier. Converted “exorphins,” like endorphins, the small molecules in the brain that make you feel high during a long run, these proteins can lead to addiction. According to Dr. Hyman, their presence not only causes addictive eating behavior including cravings, bingeing, and overeating, but they can also “cause multiple problems including schizophrenia and autism.”

Those with obvious eating issues often think of themselves as weak-willed or victimized in some way when they cannot resist the urge to binge or over eat a particular food. But the truth is that polluted foods are designed to make you want more, and they are highly effective when it comes to driving over-eating.

-Dr. Norton


The Bliss Point

The Bliss Point

There are some foods that we just cannot stop eating once we start. You know it and I know it.

The food industry knows it as well.

Recently NPR interviewed Michael Moss about his book Salt Sugar Fat which deals with the how the food industry engineers our cravings.

That’s because these foods are manufactured to create a bliss point. What is a bliss point? Exactly what it sounds like! The point at which the food causes so much bliss that we cannot resist buying and or eating it! The term “bliss point” was coined by researcher/experimental psychologist Howard Moskowitz during his research on Prego Spaghetti Sauce.

This all sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Like a conspiracy theory. But it isn’t. It’s just business, according to Moskowitz. In this New York Times 2013 article by Michael Moss, Moskowitz has no regrets about his research. ““There’s no moral issue for me,” he said. “I did the best science I could. I was struggling to survive and didn’t have the luxury of being a moral creature. As a researcher, I was ahead of my time.”


I recently did a lunch and learn and talked about the concept of the bliss point and sensory-specific satiety with the group- you should’ve seen the look of horror on their faces.

The worst part is that the food industry has added sugar everywhere. It’s in products you wouldn’t even think of as a “sugary” product, like pasta sauce. Yogurts are another great example. Some yogurts contain as much sugar as a serving of ice cream. This is probably the worst offender of all- many of the cereals targeted to children are 50% or more sugar. Keep in mind, according to the latest dietary guidelines adults should be consuming 22 grams of sugar or less per day.

Combine this with the fact that how we eat has shifted dramatically in the past few decades, it isn’t hard to see why so many people are having health issues and are lost as to what to do. Remember, 90% of the average grocery store is full of processed, unhealthy, manufactured foods that are “optimized” for consumption. On average, half of food dollars spent in America in the grocery store. The other half are spent on eating out.  So if we are eating out half the time, and the other half of the time we are shopping the middle aisles of the grocery store, it’s no wonder our health is in such a sorry state.

For patients who report that they “cannot stop eating” certain foods, learning that the food industry is designing foods to trigger our bliss point is always mind blowing. “So it really is the food?”

Yes, it really is the food. If you can call it food.

-Dr. Norton


How Many GMOs Do You Think You Are Eating?

How Many GMOs Are You Eating?

Did you know that most Americans eat their weight in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) each year?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) calculated that the average adult American annually consumes genetically engineered foods in these quantities: 68 pounds of beet (table) sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil, and 29 pounds of corn-based products, for a total of 193 pounds per year.[1]

In other words, most U.S. adults consume more than their weight in GMO foods. It may be that children consume even more, relatively speaking. Around the world, GMOs are considered so dangerous that they are banned, or at the very least heavily regulated and labeled, so informed citizens can avoid them. In the U.S. they are not labeled or regulated, and those who support labeling face an uphill battle.

In contrast to the healthiest developed nations, which either prevent or strictly regulate genetically engineered crops, the U.S. takes the opposite tack. We can claim that 91 to 93 percent of our soybeans and canola (Rapeseed)[1], 85 percent of our corn, and up to 95 percent of our sugar beets are now genetically engineered. Most people do not realize that 50% of the sugar supply in this country comes from sugar beets, so a majority of all table sugar is genetically engineered. Not only is the table sugar genetically engineered, but it is also primarily a chemical with no nutritive value whatsoever.

Our foods are loaded with GMOs and pesticides. GMOs were designed to fatten livestock. They do the same thing to us. Pesticides contain Glyphosate, which, has been shown to cause weight gain. Eliminating them from your diet will change the way you think about eating. Eating clean allows me, as well as the majority of my patients, to eat 1/3 to ½ more calories per day without weight gain. There are a few exceptions. Cheese and nut butters as well as nuts, must still be eaten in moderation. But organic vegetables and fruits, and sea vegetables (seaweed, kelp, etc.) as well as 100% grass-fed animal protein, wild-caught fish, seeds, good fats, and eggs can be eaten in significantly larger portions than the polluted versions with no weight gain or dangerous health hazards.

Foods that are certified organic must be 100% Organic and Non-GMO to be as safe as possible. Loopholes that still exist in the laws mean that we can still be ingesting GMOs unless it says Non-GMO. The worst part is that GMOs may take over completely and we will not be able to get GMO-free foods, especially if the labelling laws don’t change.

My advice?


-Dr. Norton




[1] The word ‘canola’ was coined in 1978 from ‘Canadian oil, low acid’. Canola Oil actually comes from the Rapeseed plant, which causes severe allergic-like reactions in most humans and animals, possibly resulting from the high levels of erucic acid it produces. Euric acid damages cardiac muscle and glucosinolates, the nutrients that cleanse the body of free radicals. Sahasrabudhe, M. R. (1977). “Crismer values and erucic acid contents of rapeseed oils”. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 54 (8): 323–324.

[1] Thursday, October 18, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer for