Category Archives: Autoimmune Disorders

The Key to the Ketogenic Meal Plan

Recently I discovered that my blood sugar and insulin levels were elevated. After doing some research I discovered that the underlying reason my blood sugar was elevated was that I had been taking Red Rice Yeast extract. Why? It was recommended to me as a natural alternative to taking a statin. What I failed to do while taking it, was also supplement with CoQ10. This is super important for anyone considering taking statin or taking red rice yeast extract.

Determined to lower my blood sugar level, I recently embarked on a ketogenic meal plan. Ketogenic meals are typically associated with people seeking weight loss, precisely because they lower blood sugar and insulin levels. But there are actually many reasons someone might want to try this type of eating.

graphic courtesy of www.myketokitchen.com

The great thing about a ketogenic meal plan is that it is whole food based. That means there are no processed foods when eating this way, and food sources should be the highest quality that you can afford.

While eating this way, each meal consists of 70% good fats, 20-25% protein and 5% limited and low glycemic load carbohydrates. Yes, you read that right, 70% healthy fats. The key to the ketogenic meal plan is healthy fat. At first trying to determine these percentages can be a bit daunting, but once you understand the formula and the foods that fall into the categories, it becomes easy.

So what are the good fats? These include coconut oil, avocado, grassfed butter, olive oil, avocado oil, and lard. You will also enjoy full fat cheeses, yogurts, cream cheeses and crème. You will be using these fats in cooking, as well as creating delicious sauces and dressings (hello, avocado sour cream dressing!)

For protein choices, consider the following options: grass fed beef, bacon, pastured chicken and turkey, wild caught fish- really any protein in its whole form is acceptable as long as it is not processed. Again, you are looking for organic, grass fed, wild caught, pastured proteins.

What’s a low glycemic load carbohydrate? It’s a non starchy fruit or vegetable. For fruits, think berries- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. For vegetables, think vegetables that grow above ground- lettuces, kale, collard greens, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchinni, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, cabbage, bell pepper, fennel, bok choy. Stay away from corn,carrots, beets, and potatoes of any kind.

The goal of a ketogenic diet is keeping your body in a state of ketosis. When you are in ketosis, your body burns more fat.  There are three things that prevent you from being in ketosis. 1) You are consuming more carbohydrates than you should be. You could also be consuming starchy carbohydrates. 2) You are not eating enough fat. We are so trained to think that fat is bad for us, when in fact healthy fats are critical to our health. 3) You are not eating enough protein. Satiety, the feeling of fullness, really comes from protein being consumed with healthy fat. You will be eating much more fat than you are normally accustomed to consuming.

The hardest part for me was eating less protein, as it only makes up about 20% of the calories. I knew it would be hard to stop eating all of the fruit, as I am sort of a fruitaholic as it turns out. But cutting back on the protein was trickier than I imagined because I had to keep checking to see what has protein in it and what does not. So heavy cream has no protein and coconut milk next to none. But a steak has a lot of protein and buffalo meat has even more. Fish is a very good choice, as well as chicken.

So what does a day of eating on a ketogenic meal plan look like?

Consider the following quick and easy breakfasts: an omelette with cheese on top cooked in coconut oil; An egg baked in half an avocado with cheese or bacon melted on top; Berry green smoothie made from blueberries, sour cream, spinach, and heavy whipping cream. I also throw in some of Dr. Axe’s collagen powder or some Naked Whey protein powder, but not too much.

Have I mentioned how much I love this product? Dr. Axe’s Collagen Protein.

For lunch, a meal may be something like a bacon lettuce and tomato salad; cauliflower cheddar soup; an omelette with bacon and veggies cooked in coconut oil, crab salad stuffed avocado.

Dinner are mostly protein and vegetable. For example,  lamb with pesto zucchini noodles; turkey meatloaf made with heavy cream and fresh parsley served with creamed spinach; garlic braised short ribs served with cheesy mashed cauliflower.

And don’t forget, you should be eating 2-3 snacks a day. Some of my favorites include, homemade crispy parmesan crackers; almond butter fudge; a smoothie; desserts called fat bombs and bacon and cheese deviled eggs.

Does all this sound pretty rich? Indeed! The whole idea of ketogenic meals centers around eating healthy fats. Consuming these healthy fats with proteins is what keeps the person feeling sated throughout the day. The way it works is that it resets your fat metabolism. In other words, you burn fat more efficiently. I have also found that I am building muscle much more easily. Mostly, I have no inflammation, sleep better and have thicker hair and eyelashes.  I am awaiting my blood sugar test results.

I’ve been using some of the recipes from The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos, and have found it to be concise and easy to understand. I also like it because most of the recipes have only 4 or 5 ingredients.

Every recipe I’ve tried in this book is delicious, more importantly, simple. There’s a super helpful shopping list as well that is for two weeks.

So, if you are looking to increase your levels of HDL and lower triglycerides, lower your blood sugar and insulin response- or if you are seeking the neurological benefits of this meal plan because you have epilepsy, anxiety or depression- you want to try this.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery *Eclipse Edition*

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

What is Wrong With the American Heart Association? Are They CocoLoco?

The American Heart Association (AHA) just keeps getting it wrong. In an article in USA today in mid-June, the organization is quoted as saying that coconut oil is bad for you. Really? Coconut oil may be one of nature’s most perfect foods. But the AHA has a long history of mistaking saturated fats as dangerous foods while touting grains and vegetable oils as good substitutes. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is thanks to the AHA’s Low Fat Guidelines in the 1970’s that we took the fat out of milk and put sugar in its place. Ever since then, Americans have been getting fatter and fatter.

Think I am exaggerating? Consider these facts:

  • US children, 30% of whom are currently obese, are projected to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. This is unheard of historically unless the country experienced a nuclear attack or the plague.
  • The US has the distinction of being the Wealthiest/Unhealthiest country in the world. That’s right. Among the 16 wealthiest nations in the world, we are dead last for health.
  • But for those of you who tend to be competitive, never fear because we are #1 for obesity, top of the list, fattest country in the world! We literally have every other country in the world beat when it comes to being fat.

Clearly the AHA’s recommendations are not working!

First the AHA told us to that all of the delicious nutrition that comes in whole fat milk was bad for us and now they are saying that coconut oil is bad for us! I smell a rat. They base this finding upon a report from the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease Advisory, which reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven controlled trials. “Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in their advisory.

There are several things wrong with this “finding” (and I use the term loosely.) First, just because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, doesn’t mean that the result is bad for us since not all LDL cholesterol is bad. Secondly, coconut oil has been shown to have incredible health benefits. Thirdly, it would appear that the AHA is funded by organizations with a special interest in promoting the lipid theory of heart disease, or a theory that blames saturated fats, when most of the cutting edge science has shown that saturated fats are not the problem.

Let’s start with whether or not LDL cholesterol is the problem. It isn’t clear from the article in USA Today which type of LDL cholesterol the AHA is talking about and this is important because there are different types of LDL. The researchers at the AHA seem to be saying that LDL cholesterol causes CVD, but the scientific data on the role of LDL has changed and much of the research today actually points in the opposite direction. In other words, not all LDL cholesterol is bad.

In the 1970s, when LDLs were first discovered, they were found to be higher in people with cardiovascular disease, so the assumption (a key word here, assumption) was that they were bad and lowering them became the focus for most practitioners. What wasn’t understood at that time was that there are two types of LDL: Pattern A and Pattern B. One is dangerous, the other is not dangerous and may even be beneficial. It depends upon the particle size of the cholesterol.

  • Pattern A: The particles are large, light, and more or less buoyant, just floating through the blood. As such, they do not cause plaque to build up which is what clogs the arteries, so they are harmless. Guess what contributes to the big fluffy particles? Coconut oil and other healthy saturated fats.
  • Pattern B: The particles are small to very small in size. The smaller the particle size the more likely it is to wedge itself under the epithelial cells that line the walls of our arteries and damage the surfaces. This is what stimulates plaque formation. This type of LDL is dangerous. Guess what contributes to the small particles? Hydrogenated vegetable fats.

 

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Bottom line: LDL cholesterol gets a bad rap because it is correlated with CVD. But correlation is not causation.

 

The following is an excerpt from my soon to be released book:

                  

                 Food Kills: Food Cures

                  You Decide!

Cholesterol travels in “containers” that are made up of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides that are referred to as lipoproteins. The lipoproteins range from largest to smallest in density compared with the surrounding water. Think of little suitcases and the smaller the suitcase the more tightly it is packed. The smallest suitcase, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the most densely packed and the largest suitcase, Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL), is the least densely packed. They are different sizes, and have different compositions, because they have different jobs, depending upon where they end up. (Chylomicrons are in a class by themselves and are mostly triglycerides.)

 

  • Chylomicron is the biggest carrier. It is produced in the gut and directly provides the fuel from fats that the body needs to fuel its cells. It also delivers fats to the liver, where the fats are then sorted out and redistributed into lipoproteins. It mostly contains triglycerides.
  • VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) carries fat, cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants to cells. So we depend upon it for the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants. Good stuff!
  • IDL (intermediate density lipoprotein) which is a bit smaller than VLDL, carries something similar to VLDLs, just in smaller packages. More good stuff.
  • LDL (low density lipoprotein) is what is left over after VLDL has delivered most of its healthy content to the cells. It is called “bad cholesterol“ because it is easy to attack. Using the suitcase analogy, it is like that old battered suitcase you have that no longer zips or stays closed. You have to tape it together and even then, it may fall apart at the most inopportune time.     

 While traveling, this LDL gets hit by microbes, free radicals, toxins, and glucose (or the pollutants and excessive sugar from our           food and environment). It is in the most fragile container and as such, it is the most likely to be damaged, especially if there is a lot of glucose (sugar) floating around. Sugar causes glycation or “inflammation.” Inflammation is the reason for most of what ails us today in America.

  • oxLDL (oxycholesterol) is LDL after it has been attacked and oxidized. So now the suitcase is a filthy mesh bag, leaking gunk that clogs our arteries. Turns out, this is the really dangerous form of cholesterol and the most likely cholesterol to cause vascular disease.
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the smallest suitcase with the highest density. This is the “good” cholesterol as it is very robust and reliable. It is like a Tumi (very expensive sturdy luggage) with James Bond technology built into it. HDL not only resists attack just like Bond would do, it actually saves cholesterol (the damsel in distress?) from turning into the damaged oxLDL. Finally, in a totally James Bond move, it destroys pathogens by infiltrating the pathogen and then from inside the cell of the pathogen, destroying it! It deserves the reputation for being the “good cholesterol”.
  • HDL-A1 – is the form of HDL that brings good cholesterol to the liver so it can be further distributed. It is produced when the cells in the skin are exposed to the sun and produce cholesterol sulfate.
  • B – HDL – is the form of cholesterol that goes specifically to the brain and again, requires sun exposure.

(Notice that the last two require sunshine in order to produce these incredibly beneficial forms of cholesterol? Stay tuned for a preview of my Sunshine Chapter.)

 

Contrary to what the AHA keeps saying, saturated fat is not the problem. Carbs are the problem, particularly hyper-hybridized grains and chemical versions of sugar, along with the hydrogenated fats in processed foods. These are the things clogging our arteries and causing inflammation. The AHA would have us believe that eating carbs and unsaturated vegetable fats is a good thing, when it is not. Low carb diets work, low fat diets do not.

Notice that in this study on the markers of metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, middle fat and type 2 diabetes) that on a low carb/high fat diet, glucose went down nearly 13%, insulin went down almost 50%, blood pressure went down nearly 20%, triglycerides went down more than 50% and HDL cholesterol went up almost 10%. High fat/low carb works.

The other problem with the “findings” of the AHA is the statement that coconut oil has “no known offsetting favorable effects”! Are you kidding? It may be one of the most perfect foods on the planet. It contains all of the amino acids, making coconut water the perfect hydrator when you are trying to restore electrolytes. In terms of its’ impact on weight management, coconut oil is metabolized by the liver and converts to energy instead of body fat. It has a high smoke point making it ideal for frying foods.

In the next article, we will explore the embarrassment of riches that we find in the coconut. In the article to follow and our conclusion for this series, we will look at why the AHA and it’s backers, Big Pharma and Big Food, might be promoting the lipid theory of heart disease and dissing coconut oil.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Sweets!

This post is for my sweets lovers. It’s that certain time of day, when you have a hankering for something sweet. But you want to eat the best quality sweets that are available to you- so plan ahead and make sure you have some of my favorites in stock.

Strawberries Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Yeah, this never gets old. It just doesn’t. And now that we are in strawberry season you can get those amazing strawberries with the old fashioned flavor- it’s like a little slice (or bite) of heaven.

Is there anything more beautiful and delicious than a strawberry off the vine in season?

Make sure you are using organic strawberries and organic dark chocolate. Don’t know how to easily melt the chocolate? Make a double boiler by doing the following. Bring a small pan of water to boil. Remove from heat. Place a smaller bowl inside or on top that pan so that they are nesting. Place the dark chocolate chips or pieces in the top bowl and let the heat work its magic. As the chocolate melts, stir it. Voila! Dip your strawberries and enjoy!

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Topped with Fresh Blueberries

Dairy free, soy free, gluten free, low glycemic, certified organic ice cream- Hallelujah! I’m there! In fact, I’m there with organic, fresh blueberries. Need I say anything more?

Top with blueberries. (Trust me.)

Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

Yes, you can have gluten free brownies that are amazing. I promise you these brownies are delicious. I swap traditional sugar for coconut crystals and honey and wheat flour for either sorghum or coconut flour and almond meal. But don’t let the batter trick you as you are making it! At first the consistency will seems like cake batter, but keep beating it!

“You’re gonna love me…” (my fabulous gluten free brownies channeling their inner Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls.)

My Recipe

(Use all organic ingredients)

20 ounces high quality 100% dark chocolate (Sunspire)

2 cups expeller-pressed unrefined coconut oil

3 cups coconut crystals sugar

¼ cup raw local honey

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup sorghum flour (or coconut flour)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

8 organic free-range eggs, beaten

4 tablespoon bourbon vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil, sugar and honey in a saucepan over low heat, gently stirring. (Or melt in a microwave safe measuring cup and stir together to combine.)

Beat the eggs

In a mixing bowl whisk together the almond meal, sorghum flour, fine sea salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the melted dark chocolate mixture. Beat on low-medium for two minutes, until the batter begins to come together.

At first it will seem thin, like cake batter, but keep beating until it thickens and becomes smooth and glossy. If you are adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Even out the batter with a silicone spatula. Stud the top with some dark chocolate chips and press in slightly.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350ºF oven for 32 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Cool on a wire rack; and remove the cooled brownies from the pan by gripping the parchment edges and lifting the brownies out as a whole. Chill for an hour before cutting. (They are good warm and gooey.) Yield: 16 servings

Fresh Fruit

Everyone has their favorite fresh fruit. Depending on the season, the sweetness and quality of the fruit can really be hit or miss.  Strawberries out of season, from across the country, can sometimes be really disappointing. The same goes for stone fruits like peaches or plums. My most beloved fruits to snack on when I really want something sweet and juicy are grapes and rainier cherries.

Behold, my beloved rainier cherries!

So, the next time you have a taste for something sweet, step away from the high fructose corn syrup whatever it is, and dig into one of these real food sweet treats!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Snacks!

It’s 11 a.m. and you are so hungry but lunch isn’t for another 90 minutes, or worse, 2 hours. What do you eat?

It’s 3 p.m. and you are really dragging but you still have miles to go before you are done for the day and able to head home for dinner. What do you eat?

It’s 7 p.m. and you had dinner, but suddenly you are hungry.  What do you eat?

I’m so glad you asked!

So many of us are on the go from the time we get up in the morning until we finally return home at the end of the day. Whether we are at work, or school, or running kids around from activity to activity, the best option is to plan ahead (like I always advise my patients about meals) and bring along some snacks. Even if you are at home, it can hard to choose foods to fill in the gap between meals.  So to make it easy, I’m introducing you to some of my favorite snacks.

Homemade Kale Chips

Store bought kale chips can be one of those items that has stuff in it that you wouldn’t necessarily want. So after much experimenting in my lab- my kitchen-  I’ve come up with a way to make kale chips at home. And they are so much better than store bought kale chips.  I use organic lacinato kale.

Lacinato kale can sometimes be referred to as dinosaur kale, or tuscan kale. It’s texture and size is different than traditional kale, and it is the best choice for making these chips.

Lacinato kale ready to be harvested. Isn’t it beautiful? I just had to share this photo.

Wash it really well and then let it dry completely. If I know I am going to be making these chips ahead of time, I just let it air dry for the day after washing it. If I’m in a hurry and want to make them right away, then I use a blow dryer to completely remove any moisture from the leaves. These will not become “chips” if there is any water on the kale when you add the oil, so remember, dry kale is the key. Once my kale is dry, I separate the leaves from the stem. This could be time consuming, but I’ve mastered the art of quickly separating the leaves from the stem by making two small slits at the bottom and running my two fingers down the stem on either side. Cut your kale leaves to the chip size that is ideal for you. (I like my kale chips medium sized.) Melt some coconut oil and add whatever spices you desire. It could coconut aminos and cayenne. It could be salt and herbs de provence. It really depends on your taste. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the kale chips to the spiced coconut oil mixture and make sure they are well coated. Place the kale chips in a single layer on the parchment paper. I bake these in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes to achieve that crispy, crunchy texture that I love about kale chips. I store them in a paper bag sealed tight if there are any leftovers.

Brown Bag Popcorn with Coconut Oil

We all love popcorn. Love it! Love the crunch! Love the salty, buttery flavor! What I don’t love is all the terrible ingredients in microwave popcorn. Have you ever flipped one of those bags over and read the ingredients? Half of them don’t even sound like food.  Instead, you should try my brown bag microwave popcorn with coconut oil. It’s delicious. Okay, here’s the key. You have to stand at the microwave and listen to your popcorn. Otherwise a) you will burn the popcorn and the bag or b) it won’t all get popped and you’ll have a bunch of seeds. First I melt the coconut oil, or grassfed butter, or a blend of both. I put my salt and spices in the melted fat and put it to the side.  Next, take your brown bag and fill the bottom with one layer of popcorn kernels. The amount of popcorn you put in the bag, depends on the bag size. So again, we just want a single layer of kernels. Don’t add anything else to the bag. Fold it over a few times so that it is sealed tight. Put it in the microwave and turn it on for five minutes. IT WILL NOT TAKE FIVE MINUTES. Now, I want you to listen as the popcorn is popping. When it gets to the point where it is 2-3 seconds between pops, pull that bag out. Open it up, pour the spiced, melted coconut oil or 100% grass fed butter into the bag. Shake it up really good, and enjoy! I swear this is the best popcorn you’ll have ever had.

Hummus and Vegetables

This is super easy. I make my own hummus, but you can use store bought as long as all the ingredients are real and it is organic (no citric acid, we are looking for lemon juice.) I love hummus with carrots and celery. It’s so fast and easy. If you love raw veggies, try green beans, tomatoes and peppers, zucchini and cucumber sticks- the list can go on and on.

Fresh Fruit

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this. We all have our favorite fruits.   My favorite fruits include bing cherries, grapes, and bananas.

Hummus with Almond or Rice/Seed Crackers

This is also super easy. If you can find a real ingredient hummus (remember, organic with no citric acid, we are looking for lemon juice) try adding one of these two crackers to your snack. I’m including the pictures because it helps when you are looking for them in the grocery.

Note: These particular rosemary crackers are made with real ingredients. For some reason, some of the other varieties of the simple mills crackers have different ingredients. But these rosemary ones are amazing. The almond meal makes them super satisfying.

 

 

 

 

 

Guys, these are my favorite snacks! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Do you have a favorite snack? Tweet me @drrenae.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017 Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment and recovery of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of The Blame Game-12

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Oh, Sugar!

Copy of Copy of Copy of NATURAL OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY-4In my practice, I spend a lot of time trying to educate my patients about food. One of the major learning curves for my patients is sugar. It is truly astounding how much sugar is in our food. I blog about this all the time. So I thought I would address the number one myth that I encounter in my practice:

“I don’t add sugar to my foods, so I am ok, right?

WRONG.

You don’t have to add the sugar, it is already there.

Most people believe that “added sugar” means the sugar you add to your iced tea or put on your cereal. The Centers for Disease Control defines added sugar as “all sugars used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods such as cereals, breads, cakes, soft drinks, jams, chocolates, ice cream, and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table.” Examples of added sugars include:
➢ Coconut sugar
➢ Brown sugar
➢ Raw sugar
➢ Corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup
➢ Malt syrup
➢ Maple syrup
➢ Pancake syrup
➢ Fructose sweetener
➢ Liquid fructose
➢ Honey
➢ Molasses
➢ Anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose, and dextrin

Sugar has developed a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous. In its natural form, however, it is one of the most important sources of energy we have. For humans, sugar is the only carbohydrate that circulates in the blood stream and serves as the primary energy source for the brain and the cells throughout the body. In the plant world, it is formed through photosynthesis, and is vital to the propagation of the species of each plant. Sugar is found naturally in many foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and even in milk.

The two main types of sugar that we must know about in order to be healthy are glucose and fructose.

Glucose  is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) found in the sap of plants, and in the bloodstream of humans where it is referred to as “blood sugar.”
Glucose is one of the analytics your doctor looks at when you have a physical. The normal concentration of glucose in the blood is about .1%, or between 70mg/dl to 120mg/dl. It can be too high, as in pre-diabetes or Type II diabetes, or it can be too low, as in hypoglycemia. Because it is the primary source of energy for the brain, it influences psychological processes such as self-control, decision-making and mood. Thus, when glucose is low, these mental processes may be impaired. When it is too high, we end up with insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.

Glucose From Grains
Glucose may come from fruits or grains. The one that gives us the most trouble is the glucose from grain. The majority of the glucose found in grain is called either amylose or amylopectin. Both are starches and as such have a higher glycemic load, a term used to describe how fast a sugar raises blood sugar levels. This is important because, gaining weight and diabetes are more about high blood sugar levels than anything else. Keep your blood sugar levels under control and your weight will be much easier to manage and you will not be at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, weight gain is not nearly as much about the number of calories you eat as it is about how high your glycemic load is or how high your blood sugar levels are.
Not all starches are created equal in terms of how much they raise blood sugar levels. Those with fiber have a lower glycemic load than those without it. Legumes, (beans) for example, convert from amylose into glucose + fructose, which lowers their blood sugar level. Whereas sticky rice and potatoes convert from amylopectin into glucose + glucose, which makes them two of the worst foods you can eat if you are trying to keep your blood sugars levels under control and manage your weight. (Raise your hand if you thought rice was good for you.)
U.S. grown grains have been hyper-hybridized to make them cheaper to grow. They are also starchier, more addicting and more fattening because they have a very high glycemic load. Grains in Europe, on the other hand, are still fairly simple genetically, which is one of the reasons that you can eat pasta in Italy and not worry about gaining weight. That’s how pasta got the rep for being good for you. The problem is that it doesn’t hold true here in the U.S. so if you are eating home-grown pasta, you are likely raising your blood sugar levels and gaining weight.

Glucose from Fruit – Fructose
Natural fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many plants. It is absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion. Fructose is found naturally in plant sources such as honey, tree and vine fruits, flowers, berries, and most root vegetables. In this form it is not harmful, unless your health is already compromised, in which case, you may have to limit even these foods until your blood sugar levels stabilize. In general eating fruit is better than eating most grains, especially hyper-hybridized grains, because the fruit has more water and fiber which is why it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as much as a starchy grain might.
Sugars to Avoid

Commercially derived fructose is “made” from sugar cane, sugar beets, and corn, all of which are usually genetically engineered. This is where things get sticky. Commercially derived sugars are really just chemicals that resemble sugar. Most of the sweeteners in U.S. foods are no longer sugar, but are toxic chemicals designed to delight the glutamate receptors in the brain and basically fake them out. Unfortunately, sugar is one of the most common ingredients in processed foods. There are three important forms of commercially derived fructose: crystalline, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Crystalline Fructose
This form of commercial sugar is a monosaccharide. It is usually created from cornstarch, but other starches such as rice and wheat can also be used. In this method, corn is first milled to produce cornstarch, then processed to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose. The glucose obtained is treated with a series of chemicals to convert nearly all of it into fructose. The fructose is then allowed to crystallize, and is finally dried and milled to produce crystalline fructose.

Sucrose (Table Sugar)
This commercial sugar is a disaccharide compound made up of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose. It is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role as a food enhancer, meaning it registers in the brain in a way that makes us want to eat more of anything containing it. It is used in baked goods because it dissolves easily.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is both a food additive and a preservative made from GMO corn that is ground into a fine powder and then broken down further with a fungus and a bacterium. It lasts longer than real sugar, tastes sweeter, and most importantly, from the food manufacturer’s perspective, it is cheaper and therefore much more profitable. Most important of all though, is that it is highly addicting and almost guarantees that the consumer will be more likely to repurchase any product containing it. This gives new meaning to the term consumer loyalty. Never mind that our bodies don’t know how to digest it and it can lead to a fatty liver (see below), Type 2 Diabetes, or obesity.

Good Choices
The best sugars on the market are:
Unrefined Coconut sugar or Coconut Sugar Syrup (coconut nectar) – They both come from the coconut, have a relatively low glycemic load and taste delicious. Both can easily be used in recipes. It is light brown in color so it looks more like brown sugar. Here are some of the main benefits:

Raw Manuka Honey – Honey has many medicinal properties. But the best is the raw Manuka honey in my humble opinion. I put a teaspoon in my sleepytime tea every night with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar.
➢ Anti-Bacterial
Hospitals around the world have been using bandages soaked in Manuka honey on patients in order to reduce inflammation and prevent MRSA staph infection in wounds and sores. One study found that when Manuka was used to treat infected caesarean and hysterectomy wounds, it had a success rate of 85 percent.

➢ Wound Healing
Not only is Manuka anti-bacterial, but it has also been found to help wounds heal faster.

➢ Anti-Fungal
Studies have found Manuka honey to have powerful anti-fungal properties. When used in its raw, natural form, Manuka honey is a great way to treat various types of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.

➢ Gum Disease Fighter
Studies have found that Manuka fights off three different types of mouth bacteria that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. It might seem counterintuitive to rub a sugary substance on the gums, but research has found that rubbing Manuka on the gums after brushing can reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth.

➢ Sore Throat Treatment
Manuka fights several bacteria that cause sore throats. When sore throat rears its ugly head, take a teaspoon of Manuka several times per day, swishing it in your mouth before swallowing.

➢ Acne Treatment
Studies have been done on Manuka as an acne treatment with positive results. When applied to the skin, Manuka can fight bacteria associated with acne and when taken internally, it can help fight bacteria in the intestines that may lead to skin blemishes as well as balance intestinal flora that are thrown off by antibiotics prescribed to combat acne.

➢ Sunburn Treatment
When applied to sunburned skin, Manuka can soothe the soreness and speed healing.

➢ Anti-Inflammatory
Manuka is a natural anti-inflammatory, which explains why it helps in wound healing, soothes sunburn and sore throat, and boosts the overall health of the body.

➢ Acid Reflux
Manuka honey can help with acid reflux because it coats the esophagus and intestinal tract which prevents damage from stomach acid and relieves symptoms. Manuka may also help to heal the damage already caused by acid reflux.

➢ Digestive Support
Using Manuka honey on a regular basis can prevent and treat bowel problems such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Manuka also encourages the growth of “good” bacteria in the intestines and gets rid of unwanted bacteria.

➢ Stomach Ulcer Treatment and Prevention
Research has found that Manuka honey prevents the growth of h. pylori (helicobacter pylori), the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers while maintaining good bacteria in the stomach.

➢ Energy Booster
Studies have found Manuka to be a great source of energy thanks to its healthy carbs and has also been found to improve the performance of endurance athletes. It assists the body in post-workout muscle repair and helps the body to maintain blood sugar levels during and after exercise.

Monk Fruit Sugar – Only buy it if it is without additives unless the additive is Erythritol, as Etythritol is a sugar alcohol that has a very low glycemic load. (See section on sugar alcohols below.) Monk fruit is indigenous to China and Thailand and is said to be 500 times sweeter than sugar. It’s colloquially referred to as monk fruit because it was said to have first been used by monks in China in the 13th century for medicinal purposes. Today it is thought to help in treating a cough and sore throat. The only problem I see with it, is that the hyper-sweetness makes it harder for us to appreciate natural sweetness.

So Just How Do I Cut Out All This Added Sugar?

➢ Limit processed foods as much as possible.
➢ Cut out sugary sports drinks, soda and flavored milk.
➢ Cut out artificially sweetened foods altogether. “Diet” foods, such as diet soda, are the worst and have been shown to increase cravings for sugary foods and to have neurotoxic effects on the brain.
➢ Replace sugary foods with those that are naturally low in added sugar. This can include fresh fruit, small amounts of unsweetened dried fruits or unsweetened cacao nibs. Jovial Foods makes a delicious ginger cookie that has a small amount of coconut sugar. Or make your own baked goods using coconut sugar, raw Manuka honey, or Xylitol sparingly as sweeteners or on hemp cereal.
➢ Avoid foods that contain any sugar made with corn, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup like the plague as these sugars are like sugar on steroids and they will make your child crave sugar all the time. Look for foods that contain “no added sugar” or “reduced sugar.” Just make sure that the sugar hasn’t been replaced with an artificial sweetener.
➢ Avoid processed foods that are marketed as being “low fat.” When food manufacturers remove fat from a product, they often add in more sugar to compensate for the reduction in flavor and texture. This is especially true of milk. Buy only 100% grass-fed milk.
➢ Avoid products that contain “hidden” sources of sugar such as flavored yogurt, processed cereal, granola bars, dried (sweetened) fruits which also often has canola oil added as well, energy bars, apple sauce, ketchup, flavored instant oatmeal, fruit spread, store-bought salad dressings, store-bought bread, etc. You can make your own versions of these foods and sweeten them naturally or find the ones that are not sweetened with harmful sweeteners. A good rule of thumb is the fewer the ingredients, the healthier the food if it is processed.

How to Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners From Your Diet
➢ Check your food labels at home and throw out everything that has in it: Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium (K), Saccharin or Sucralose, Equal®, NutraSweet® or Splenda®
➢ Use natural sweeteners like coconut crystals, coconut nectar or organic raw honey, Monk fruit or Xylitol.
➢ Avoid products that are labeled “low calorie,” “diet,” or “sugar free,” since they all likely contain sugar additives, some of which are likely to be artificial sweeteners.
➢ Drink purified water instead of diet drinks.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

What Do You Mean “It Isn’t Really Olive Oil?”

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If my readers know anything, they know that I am on a fake food crusade. We are all tired of buying foods that appear to be one thing, when in fact they are actually something else entirely.

Take for example, olive oil. One of the basic staples of every kitchen. My guess is you have a bottle of it in your cabinet right now. If you are like me, and love to get a good deal on a quality item, you probably have a rather large container of it in your pantry. I’m guessing your bottle says it’s 100% extra virgin olive oil, that it is imported, and possibly it has some other phrases that lead you to believe it is what it says it is.

Have you ever heard of the Agromafia? Neither had I.

Now watch this.

As if it weren’t bad enough that our food supply has GMOs everywhere, now we are being told that our olive oil isn’t really olive oil, it is diluted with other unhealthy oils, like canola or sunflower, or chemicals or deodorants (who knew?!)

The truth is that no matter what your olive oil container SAYS, there is a very strong chance it isn’t really 100% extra virgin olive oil.

How do you find it?

I’m so glad you asked.

Also, be on the lookout for certifications. If it’s from California, it should say “COOC Certified Extra Virgin.” Also recommended is the Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA) and UNAPROL, the respected Italian olive growers’ association. But if you are going to purchase an imported oil with nothing to rely on except its country of origin, both Chile and Australia are considered the safest best.

So basically, buy your EVOO from a small producer, make sure it’s that unique, luminous green color, and be prepared to spend more in order to get the real thing.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2017.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of The Blame Game

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2017. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

What Is Insulin Resistance?

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Insulin Resistance

One in every three adults in the U.S. now has elevated blood sugar levels according to the American Diabetes Association. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of insulin resisance from prediabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome. In a culture where catchup has sugar in it, maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging.

The effects of insulin resistance range from fatigue to stroke, amputation, blindness and even death. That is the bad news; the good news is that insulin resistance is preventable and treatable. My AwesomeEight group (all of whom lost over 200 pounds) were able to ditch their insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure medications by following the following recommendations and you can too.

Blood sugar goes up because of glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating carbohydrates. But other things can also impact blood sugar. Stress plays a significant role as it raises cortisol, which interferes with how insulin is used. Even how often you eat and how much you eat at one time impacts blood sugar.

What to Do

In general, eating a clean low-processed diet, getting HitFit, getting sunshine and plenty of good rest are the keys.

  1. Eat Clean
  • An anti-inflammatory diet is key. I’m talking about lots of good fats, healthy proteins, and good fiber from non-starchy vegies, a bit of fruit (especially berries)
  • Protein: The bestproteins for managing blood sugar include: wild fish such as salmon, pastured eggs and poultry, 100% grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yogurt, kefir or raw cheeses)
  • Fats: The best fats are extra virgin coconut oil, MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (like almonds, chia, hemp and flax), and avocado. These fats are delicious besides being very good for you.
  • High fiber foods: fresh veggies, whole pieces of fruit (not juice), sprouted beans or peas, and hemp. The highest fiber foods are artichokes, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, apples, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and sweet potatoes.
  1. Blood-sugar stabilizers
  • Cinammon – has been found to have 18 percent phenol content in dry weight. For type-2 diabetics or those who suffer from insulin resistance, studies have shown that improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control can be had for as little as 1 teaspoon per day. Improved insulin resistance helps in weight control and lessens the risk of heart disease.
  • Cloves – contain 30 percent levels of the antioxidant phenol in dry weight. It also contains the antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin. This herb has antiseptic as well as germicidal properties. It also offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits. Clove oil can be used to for something as uncomplicated as toothaches, headaches, cough and even indigestion.
  • Oregano – is popularly found in Spanish and Mediterranean cooking and is sometimes known as marjoram. It adds depth and flavor to any dish and goes well with tomatoes, eggplant and meat. It has been thought to treat bacteria and parasitic infection and its oil has been used to treat head lice. In a recent study, oregano was found to treat giardia – an infection of the intestines brought about by microscopic parasites – effectively. Herbalists even recommend it as a treatment for E-coli.
  • Sage – contains phytosterols reputed to have a cooling action. Herbal medicine practitioners use it to treat uterine bleeding and cramps. A German study on this herb shows that diabetics who drank infusions of sage on an empty stomach reduced their blood sugar levels. It is popularly used to flavor meat and soup dishes and can even be drunk as tea.
  • Garlic – Garlic contains sulfur compounds – specifically hydrogen sulfide gas – which dilate blood vessels. It is this effect that reduces blood pressure. This same compound helps in the metabolism of iron and protects against oxidative damage and even high cholesterol. Garlic can be found in different types of vegetable and meat recipes and adds a characteristic flavor in soups and sauces.
  • Other blood sugar stabilizers are: apple cider vinegar, green tea, and herbal teas.
  1. Stay Away from Sweeteners

Use natural/unrefined, organic sugar sources such as coconut crystals, stevia, pure maple syrup, blackstrap molasses or raw honey. The really dangerous sugars contain high fructose corn syrup, fructose or dextrose.

  1. Avoid Grains

If you must use flour, choose those made with 100 percent whole grains, or else try coconut flour/meal, or almond flour for a healthier option.

  1. Beverages

Stick with water, seltzer, green, herbal tea or black tea, and coffee in moderation (1 or 2 cups early in the day). Limit alcoholic beverages as they can also raise blood sugar, especially if you consume sweetened alcoholic drinks. NO SOFT DRINKS! ESPECIALLY NO DIET DRINKS

  1. Get Regular Exercise

High Intensity Interval Training or Burst training is the best. Doing about 30–60 minutes of exercise 3 days of the week (such as running, cycling, swimming and lifting weights) and doing weight bearing on the opposite days is ideal. 4. Manage Stress

  1. Essential Oils For Stress

 Lavender, rose and frankincense) are all helpful for diabetics and those with insulin resistance.

  1. De-stress

Yoga, massage and acupuncture are great. Other ways to wind down include spending more time outdoors, joining groups in your community, and connecting with family and friends more.

  1. Get Enough Rest

The best sleep you can get is the sleep you get before midnight. A lack of sleep raises stress and appetite hormones (like cortisol and ghrelin, which make you hungry), making it harder to avoid snacks that are high in sugar.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2017. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of The Blame Game

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2017. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017 Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/.

 

Why Is Diet Soda Dangerous for Anorexics?

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Why is diet soda dangerous for anorexics? One word: Cholesterol.

Inflammatory Toxins

I talk a lot about inflammation. There are a number of additives that have been shown to be inflammatory. Here are a few of the most common ones.

  • Aspartame – H.J. Roberts, M.D., coined the term “aspartame disease” in a book filled with over 1,000 pages of information about the negative health consequences of ingesting aspartame, which included headache, dizziness, vomiting, memory loss, and fibromyalgia among other disorders. Aspartame is composed of Aspartic Acid, Phenylalanine, and Methanol, all of which have serious side effects.
  • Aspartic Acid. Aspartic acid, or aspartate, makes up about 40 percent of aspartame. In the brain, aspartate acts as a neurotransmitter, helping information get from one neuron to another. An excess amount of aspartate in the brain releases free radicals and, in turn, kills the neurons by allowing an excess of calcium to be absorbed. Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia and Parkinson’s disease are only a few of the chronic illnesses linked to excessive amounts of aspartate over an extended period of time. The FDA has also reported nausea, vision, sleeping problems, migraines and more as side the effects of excessive aspartate consumption too.
  • Phenylalanine, an amino acid, makes up about 50 percent of aspartame. Phenylalanine raises blood phenylalanine levels, which can decrease serotonin and lead to depression, seizures and even schizophrenia.
  • Methanol. Methanol, also known as wood alcohol makes up the remaining 10 percent of aspartame. This is where things get especially dangerous. Methanol breaks down into formic acid, which is harmless for all animals except humans. In humans, the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme converts methanol into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. The formaldehyde, or methanol poisoning, is a neurotoxin causing such conditions as:
  • Headaches
  • Ear buzzing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Weakness
  • Vertigo
  • Chills
  • Memory lapses
  • Numbness and shooting pains in the extremities
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Neuritis

The most well-known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems, including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and may cause birth defects. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a daily limit of 7.8 mg a day of methanol, which equals half of an 8 oz. aspartame-sweetened beverage.[1]

If you don’t believe that there is formaldehyde in your Coke just smell it when it is warm.

By-Products of Aspartame

Diketopiperazine (DKP) is produced by the body when aspartame is metabolized. Uterine polyps and increased cholesterol levels have been linked to DKP.

Many of us in the eating disorders field are seeing anorexic patients with high cholesterol levels, especially among those who also binge and purge. Perhaps this is due in part to the fact that most patients suffering from anorexia live on diet soft drinks, thus influencing DKP levels. DKP may also help to explain this paradox of high cholesterol and low body fat among the bulimarexic population . [2]

Are you drinking diet soda?

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

[1] Documentary: Sweet Misery

June 29, 2013 | 230,764 views

[2] Rigaud D. Diabete Metab. 2009;35:57-63.

Ohwada R. Int J Eat Disord. 2006;39:598-601.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2017. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

Happy New Year!

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2017. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

#MotivationMonday for Eating Disorder Recovery

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#TestimonialTuesday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia,  and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Your Thanksgiving Questions. My Thanksgiving Answers!

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You asked. I have answers. The always fun Thanksgiving Question and Answer blog post.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to take a moment to let you know that I am infusing some humor into this special post because, quite frankly, this is the most difficult holiday for folks with eating disorders and their families. Humor is a special kind balm in every sticky and uncomfortable situation that gives us perspective.

Here we go!

Thanksgiving stands firm as my favorite holiday – cooking/baking, Macy’s parade, family, time off work and of course, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! But, each year poses another struggle to overcome in this journey called recovery. I am 12 years going strong (on December 18th) in recovery to an eating disorder. The path has not been smooth travel; but, every hardship created strength within. This year, God presented before me the one struggle I cannot release. . .eating in front of others. I have always been criticized, critiqued and condemned for what’s on my plate. When knee deep in eating disorder behavior, it was condemnation over lack of food and combinations created to fill my cravings with least calories possible. Travelling through recovery, I continue to get criticized and critiqued over foods chosen (now much healthier portions and recipes made from scratch). I hear comments like, “Well, we know you wouldn’t eat that,” “You eat so healthy (in a condemning voice),” “What are you eating? (in a disapproving connotation)” There are other comments made about my lifestyle, which is now very healthy emotionally and physically. It gets old hearing others comment about my looks or eating habits when I know I continue each day to choose what is best for my health. Others do not realize that staying healthy and choosing recovery every day is not easy. Their comments do not help. It makes me fill with anxiety when eating with others and so I often avoid it. I am presented with the challenge to kindly stick up for myself and become a bit more transparent. With God’s help, I will enjoy every part of this Thanksgiving and respond to any comment accordingly.  

Everyone with an eating disorder struggles with these issues as you so eloquently describe them. Sometimes people are genuinely trying to say and do the right thing and it comes out wrong. And sometimes they are just being intrusive. In any case your responsibility starts and ends with being kind while taking care of yourself. You said it, stick up for yourself graciously. What does this look like?

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Don’t be petty.

Kidding! That’s what you say INSIDE. Outside you smile and say, “Yes, it’s just so delicious,” or “I’m truly enjoying this moment.” And then you transition to something else. “Did you see the Bengals game last Sunday?” (I’ll talk about transitions a little later.)

Most importantly, enjoy the parts of this Thanksgiving that have the most meaning for you. It might not be the food.  THAT IS TOTALLY OKAY. If you need someone to give you permission to acknowledge that your favorite part of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with food or eating in front of people- I grant you permission. Sometimes just releasing yourself from that expectation is helpful.

Thank you so much for addressing Thanksgiving for those of us who cannot get happy about it due to our eating disorders and food allergies. Some of my issues concern becoming like amnesia when asked to bring “a dish” to a dinner.   I mentally freak out and can’t think of anything I can make to bring. Then there is the comparison issue going on at the event – who made the best dish and so on. I can’t do that anymore. There is the issue of timing of the meal. My son and daughter in law eat around 7 pm. That is too late for me to eat that much food and I’m starving – not a good thing. Also food allergies – mine are gluten, dairy, turkey, soy. After many mistakes and problem issues I now prepare my gf dressing, sugar free cranberries, roasted chicken and gf pumpkin pie. They can eat the cranberries I bring and I take a regular pumpkin pie for them and whip cream.

Want to mention that one of the best Thanksgivings I ever had was with my former partner we were in Nassau and had the most wonderful, fresh caught that day seafood with a French cream sauce and capers and Caesar Salad. Unforgettable!

So this letter went on a little longer, and I cut it short so that parts that might identify this person were omitted. But let me say this. This is all very common. Food allergies, the comparing of the dishes, the time of the meal-  so many people share these frustrations. Here’s what I think. Or rather, what I’d bring. You say, you had this amazing Thanksgiving in Nassau. I would bring Caesar salad. Because a) it’s something you love. b) who doesn’t love caesar salad? c) it’s easy.

To address the other issues that were in this question (both public and omitted), I say this: Come when you can. Leave when you have to. It is what it is. You can’t control people, places, things. No is a complete sentence.

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Do I approach the subject of food to my daughter or just avoid the topic?

I am assuming that she has an eating disorder. DO NOT APPROACH IT. SAY NOTHING! That being said, here is what you should say: “We’re so glad you are here!” Talk about anything but anything related to food.

How do I protect my child’s privacy and still appropriately answer questions from relatives about a) Why is she not at Thanksgiving (if she chooses not to attend) or b) How is she? or c) Comments about what she is eating or how she is looking.

Make sure you are within kicking distance of the people asking the above questions. A good kick to the shins under the table should solve the problem. Kidding! In all seriousness, you can’t really warn them ahead of time, that actually makes it worse, but you need to practice and master the art of transitions. What are transitions? I’ll give you a few examples.

Well meaning family member (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt):  Where is your daughter? Why isn’t she at Thanksgiving? 

You: She wanted to do something else this year. What are your children doing for thanksgiving? or She wanted to do something else this year. Can you help me get people drinks? Can you go ask Aunt Shirley what she’d like to drink? or She wanted to do something else this year. Boy, Judy sure looks busy in the kitchen, I’m going to ask her what I can do to help. 

Well meaning family member: How is she? (concerned furrowed eyebrows)

You: She’s good. How are you? or She’s good. Did you see this new recipe I’m trying? or She’s good. Did you see I made grandma’s green beans? or She’s good. Did I tell you i just started watching this new television series on Netflix that I love? Do you have Netflix? It’s so much better than cable. 

Well meaning family member: God, she looks so thin. 

You: (Saying nothing.) Did I tell you I’m going full out black friday shopping tomorrow? I’m literally lining up at 6am to buy a television for $5. (or whatever). or (Say nothing and ignore the comment) Hey I’m thinking about going to see Second City’s Holidazed and Confused at Playhouse in the Park for the holidays. I saw them on TV and it looks so funny.  When you directly ignore the comment it sends a very strong message.

In all these examples, you are appropriately answering their questions, while also protecting her privacy. Anyone looking to get into a deep conversation on Thanksgiving about how your daughter is doing needs to examine their own reasons for essentially starting an inappropriate conversation at an inappropriate time.

What is the best way to convey how loved and wanted she is at these family events?

Just say it, lots.

Guys, just remember, stay away from the politics. Stay away from the food talk. Express your sincere gratitude at having loved ones with you. And if you don’t have it, you don’t have to say anything. And make sure you have a good thanksgiving soundtrack, it helps with the lulls at the table.

Just remember:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

Thanksgiving! Final Call for Questions!

Last Call! It is the last day to send in your questions/concerns related to Thanksgiving.

Every year I receive questions and concerns that so many of us can relate to.  I’d love to hear from you.

Maybe your concerns relate to an eating disorder. Maybe the family dynamics make Thanksgiving a dreaded holiday. Maybe you have a politically divided table (a problem a lot of families are facing this year.)

My goal is provide some tools to manage the holiday. I’ll include my answers in my blog and newsletter on Tuesday November 22nd.

So, please tweet me your questions @drrenae, send me an email at drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com with the subject Turkey Time, or message me on Facebook. All questions and concerns will remain anonymous.

I promise, with a little courage from you asking the questions, and me giving you the tools, this Thanksgiving will be different. Because you’ll be prepared. Let’s face the fear before we sit down at the table.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia,  and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Thanksgiving. You Have Questions. I Have Answers.

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Thanksgiving is a really hard holiday for a lot of people.

For people who are newly recovering from an eating disorder it can be tough. For obese patients, the thought of having to face all that food is enough to make them want to skip the holiday altogether. For binge eaters, who are in an already stressful situation, they just want to hide out in the kitchen eating. For a patient with an eating disorder who is not in treatment, it can be an incredibly uncomfortable situation. For parents of a child with an eating disorder, the thought of having all that food on the table and the person not eating can make them livid. I could go on and on. But I won’t.

Instead, I want to hear from you. What is your concern about Thanksgiving? Do you have a specific question? I’d love to hear from you. I’m compiling questions to answer in a blog post right before Thanksgiving. My goal is provide some tools to manage the holiday. I’ll also include my answers in my newsletter on Tuesday November 22nd.

So, please tweet me your questions @drrenae, send me an email at drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com with the subject Turkey Time, or message me on Facebook. All questions will remain anonymous.

I promise, with a little courage from you asking the questions, and me giving you the tools, this Thanksgiving will be different. Because you’ll be prepared. Let’s face the fear before we sit down at the table.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Recipe: Meatloaf

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So this past week I posted a photo of my latest greatest quick dinner recipe on Facebook and I received so many requests for the recipe, I decided to post it. It’s super simple, and you are going to love it. I served this meatloaf with mashed carrots with sour cream and some homemade kale chips (unbelievably delicious and crunchy!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb beef (grassfed, organic)

1 egg

1 cup mashed carrot

1 cup diced onion

1 cup bread crumbs made from dried out sourdough garlic toast

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 tsp real salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp italian herbs

1 tsp bourbon smoked paprika

2-3 tbsp bbq sauce

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil.  Fork together the beef, eggs, carrots, onion, bread crumbs, crushed tomatoes, and herbs.  Make sure everything is mixed well.  Put into baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, then top with bbq sauce and bake for five minutes more.

Remove, slice and enjoy!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

 

#TestimonialTuesday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit © 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#TestimonialTuesday

recipe-3

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-the-blame-game-5

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Recipe: Cauliflower Chili

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For those of you who are unaware, Cincinnati is chili country. We have strong opinions about chili in the Queen City. So I decided to try out my clean chili recipe on my unsuspecting neighbors at our block party last weekend. If I may brag for a moment, I won the “Best Chili” award!

So what set my chili apart? Cauliflower.

Yes, you read that right.  It can be used to make pizza dough, rice, and mashed “potatoes.”It is an excellent substitute and incredibly versatile. But even more than that, it is so good for you

Back to the block party. Everyone was shocked that my chili was meatless, vegan, and grain free, because it had so much flavor and such a wonderful meaty texture. When I revealed that cauliflower was the secret ingredient, everyone wanted the recipe.

Here’s what you need:

4 large carrots

1 large onion

6 cloves of garlic

2 bags of frozen rinsed cauliflower

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup organic cacao

2 tbsp organic cinnamon

1 tbsp bourbon smoked paprika

2 jars of organic basil marinara

Start by prepping your vegetables. Peel your carrots, peel your onion and pull out your cauliflower.

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Is this amazing frozen cauliflower? I love that you can get heirloom organic varieties in the frozen food section!

Give that cauliflower a really good rinse.

Look at all this amazing color! I love it!

Look at all this amazing color! I love it!

 

Next you are going to pull out your food processor and pulse the carrots, onion, garlic and frozen cauliflower. Keep it chunky. We don’t want teeny tiny bits, we want this to have that wonderful mouth feel that typical chili has.

I pulse the carrots first.

I pulse the carrots first.

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Pulse the onion and garlic. I used red onion because I had it on hand. Whatever onion you have on hand will work.

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Add the cauliflower and keep pulsing.

Then take 1/2 cup of coconut oil and heat it up in large pot. Throw in the vegetables and sauté them until they start to soften. Add cumin, salt and white pepper to taste. Add cacao, cinnamon, and bourbon smoked paprika. The vegetables should be coated in the spices.

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Your kitchen should be smelling amazing right now.

I want you to add two jars of organic basil marinara.

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This is the marinara sauce I use. You can find it at Whole Foods.

Then you are going to lower the heat way down and walk away. Let this thing cook down for an hour, maybe two and let the flavors come together. Every once in a while, check it, give it a stir, make sure it isn’t burning on the bottom.

In the end, it will look like this:

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Doesn’t this look amazing?

This recipe has minimal prep time, with maximum flavor. Make it this weekend and you’ll have lunch all week long.  Try it and tell me what you think!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

 

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

What Is An Antioxidant?

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-natural-options-for-anxiety-2What is An Antioxidant?

Antioxidants are the nutrients found in food that neutralize free radicals by sharing an electron with the free radical, making it whole again. Thus, antioxidants stop the chain reaction of free radical formation and the oxidative stress that prematurely ages us.  As a result, antioxidants provide protection against a long list of conditions and chronic diseases.  More importantly, they keep us from aging prematurely.

Antioxidants come in several forms, including the vitamins A, C, and E, alpha lipoic acid, plant-derived polyphenols, and the element selenium. They are also found in nuts, broccoli, and colorful fruits and vegetables.  Blueberries, pomegranates, broccoli sprouts, green tea, and dark chocolate are just some of the antioxidant-rich “superfoods” found in almost any supermarket today.

The Mother of All Antioxidants: Glutathione

The mother of all antioxidants is glutathione.  Glutathione is a combination of three amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.  It is referred to as the master detoxifier because it recycles all of the other antioxidants. So, although vitamin C, E and Alpha Lipoic acid are potent antioxidants, they can become depleted.  Glutathione basically fortifies and then recycles them.  

Besides recycling other antioxidants, glutathione also defuses free radicals on its own.  The secret of glutathione’s power is the sulfur it contains. Sulfur is the sticky stuff that allows it to snatch up free radicals and other toxins in our body so that they can be excreted.  I take 2 teaspoons of organic sulfur crystals every day  to support my glutathione.  It works.  I have one patient that says if forced to choose the one thing she would take if she could only take one health aid, it would be her sulfur crystals.

You may remember reading about sulfur before on my blog.  Recall that the mother of all hormones is cholesterol sulfate and the mother of all vitamins is its metabolite, vitamin D3 sulfate. The common denominator between the big three—glutathione disulfide, cholesterol sulfate, and vitamin D3 sulfate—is sulfur.  It’s no surprise then that the longest-living and healthiest people in the world hail from places where sulfur is more abundant, such as Greece, Italy, Japan and Iceland.  Sulfur is the common denominator again and again in my research and one deserving of our attention if we want to prevent premature aging as well as disease.

It is disturbing that most of us have never heard of these three super antioxidants, given their importance in promoting overall health.  In fact, glutathione disulfide, vitamin D3 sulfate and cholesterol sulfate, are very poorly understood and relatively unknown to the medical community, let alone the general public.  Why is this so?  Well, probably because until very recently, pharmaceutical companies hadn’t figured out how to make a buck off of them.  You can’t take a glutathione pill, the body must produce it on its own.  Likewise, you get cholesterol and vitamin D3 sulfate from the sun, not off the shelf.  If the American public was more informed about the role of sulfur, we would be able to manage the onslaught of free radicals that we are currently subjected to on a daily basis far better and perhaps the aging process would not be accelerating as much as it is at present.

Although you can’t ingest glutathione directly, you can supplement to help your body produce more if it.  Some are saying that the ability to produce more glutathione would be like discovering the proverbial Fountain of Youth.

Getting your Glutathione Going

In order to transfer the electrons that neutralize free radicals, glutathione needs a cofactor (helper) in the form of a coenzyme called NAD+, which you can get from several different supplement companies.  Another way to support glutathione is to take organic sulfur crystals as I mentioned above.  You can purchase it online.  A good one is made by Happy Body.  

Taking melatonin is another way of supporting glutathione.  The best way to take it is in the form of organic tart cherry juice, which is loaded with Melatonin naturally.  The added benefit is that it makes you sleep better so be sure to take it at night.  All three of these strategies, organic sulfur crystals, NAD+ and melatonin, reduce free radicals.  Reducing free radicals improves skin, hearing, hair, memory, endurance, sexual function, muscle and bone health.  It would also prevent cancer, vascular disease and dementia.  Need I say more?

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

#MotivationMonday

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Happy #MotivationMonday!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Considering Antidepressants? Consider This!

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Depressed? If you’ve spoken with you family physician about feeling depressed and you were offered an antidepressant without any medical testing or alternative solutions, know that you are not alone.

The use of antidepressants in the United States has skyrocketed in the last decade. According to the New York Times, “One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four.” Even more disturbing is that “nearly two-thirds of a sample of more than 5,000 patients who had been given a diagnosis of depression within the previous 12 months did not meet the criteria for major depressive episode as described by the psychiatrists’ bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or D.S.M.).”

So before you run out and fill that prescription, consider the following:

There are a number of reasons that we end up with a mood disorder but they all come down to an imbalance or deficiency in one of the following: neurotransmitters, hormones, or the immune system.

Neurotransmitters

 The 3 most common are Norepinephrine, Serotonin and Dopamine. They interface and in so doing affect our mood.

nuerotransmitters

There are other important neurotransmitters as well that can become unbalanced by drugs or medications.

nuerotransmitter-2

“Okay…how do I know if my neurotransmitters are unbalanced?”

That’s a great question! You can test this. I tell my patients to speak with their physicians about the Neuroscience NueroAdrenal Panel. This saliva and urine test measures

  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine
  • GABA
  • PEA
  • Histamine
  • Glutamate
  • Creatinine
  • DHEA
  • Cortisol 4 times in one day

Hormones

Estrogen and testosterone are the most likely hormones to become unbalanced causing mood disorders. Adrenal fatigue is another common cause of anxiety.

hormones 

“Okay…but how do I test my hormones?”  Again, talk to your physician.  If your hormones are found to be out of balance you can supplement with bioidentical hormones. This is not the same as traditional hormone replacement.

Immune System Failure

Seventy percent of the immune system is in the gut. The majority of Americans suffer from leaky gut and do not realize it. The gut is now seen as the little brain. Leaky gut = Leaky brain (anxiety, depression, & dementia.)

What to do:

  1. Heal the gut – Clean food, bone broth, & probiotics
  2. Supplement with antioxidants. There are two type of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants.
  • Enzymatic antioxidants break down and remove free radicals and require the minerals zinc, copper, manganese, and iron.
  • Non-enzymatic antioxidants are vitamins C and E, glutathione, lipoic acid, carotenoids, and CoQ10.
  • Pterostillbene (improved version of resveratrol)
  • Astaxanthin – Although it’s technically a carotenoid, it deserves its own special mention due to its superb nutritional advantage. It is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E.  
Like resveratrol, it can also cross the blood-brain barrier, AND the blood-retinal barrier – something that beta-carotene and lycopene cannot do.
  • Vitamin C – Important structural component of bones, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments.
You can get vitamin C from raw, organic vegetables and fruits, but you can also take it as a supplement or have it administered intravenously (IV). Note that most of the vitamin C in the US is synthetic and likely to contain GMOs. Real vitamin C is hard to find. When taking a vitamin C supplement, opt for one made with liposomal technology, which makes the nutrient more absorbable to your cells. The best brand is LipoNaturals.
  • Vitamin E – Natural vitamin E is a family of eight different compounds: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols so always get one that contains all 8.
  1. Take Low Dose Naltrexone- An opioid blocker that reboots the immune system especially if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, cancer, Alzheimer’s or vascular disease.
  2. Supplement with foods that have been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties.
  • Hemp Seeds – have been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties. Of the 20 known amino acids, hemp supplies them all, including the essential ones the body can’t produce. Also high in fiber, hemp seeds are more digestible than any other high-protein food, including meat, cheese, eggs, human milk, or cows’ milk. They’re also high in antioxidants, and minerals like iron, zinc and copper as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, carotene, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Finally they contain chlorophyll, sulfur, phosphorus, phospholipids, and phytosterols. They help people suffering from tuberculosis, psoriasis, and even colon and prostate cancer.
  • Cherimoya – Another natural antidepressant is a plant called Cherimoya. It is used in traditional Mexican medicine for its anxiety-relieving, anticonvulsant, and tranquilizing properties, and positive effects on depressive disorders.
  • Rhodiola – Rhodiola is an herb thought to strengthen the nervous system, fight depression, enhance immunity, elevate the capacity for exercise, enhance memory, aid weight reduction, increase sexual function and improve energy levels.
  • Passionflower. A few small clinical trials suggest that passionflower might help with anxiety. Passionflower is generally considered safe when taken as directed, but some studies found it can cause drowsiness, dizziness and confusion and is best taken at night.

Of questionable use are:

  • Valerian. In some studies, people who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, people reported no benefit. Valerian is generally considered safe at recommended doses, but since long-term safety trials are lacking, don’t take it for more than a few weeks at a time. It can cause some side effects such as headaches and drowsiness.
  • Chamomile. Limited data shows that short-term use of chamomile is generally considered safe and can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. Use of chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people who are sensitive to the family of plants that includes chamomile. Other members of this family are ragweed, marigolds, daisies and chrysanthemums.
  • Lavender. Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or aromatherapy with lavender can reduce anxiety; however, evidence is preliminary and limited. Oral lavender can cause constipation and headache. It also can increase appetite and the sedative effect of other medications and supplements and can cause low blood pressure.
  • Lemon balm. Preliminary research shows lemon balm can reduce some symptoms of anxiety, such as nervousness and excitability. Lemon balm is generally well-tolerated and considered safe for short-term use, but can cause nausea and abdominal pain.
  • Kava. Kava appeared to be a promising treatment for anxiety, but reports of serious liver damage — even with short-term use — caused several European countries to pull it off the market. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings but not banned sales in the United States. Avoid using kava until more rigorous safety studies are done, especially if you have liver problems or take medications that affect your liver.
  1. Manage Your Sulfur

Sulfur deficiency is a greatly overlooked source of ill health and mood disorder. There are four primary sources of sulfur and all are deficient in US diets:

  • Cholesterol Sulfate – The mother of all hormones is Cholesterol Sulfate, which we get from the sun shining on our skin. Without it the other hormones do not function.

USE A UVB LAMP REGULARLY TO INCREASE CHOLESTEROL SULFATE

  • Vitamin D3 Sulfate – Mother of all vitamins, although it is not really a vitamin, but a hormone that comes from the production of Cholesterol sulfate. Critical for the immune system.

USE A UVB LAMP REGULARLY TO INCREASE VITAMIN D3 NATURALLY

  • Glutathione Disulfide – Mother of all antioxidants

SUPPLEMLENT WITH ORGANIC SULFUR CRYSTALS to SUPPORT GLUTATHIONE

  • Broccoli sprouts – Fresh broccoli sprouts contain Sulforanphane, which is an organosulfur compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant. It has an amazing impact on joint pain and arthritis. It is also an “exceptionally rich source” of enzymes that “detoxify” cancer-causing compounds.

EAT RAW BROCCOLI SPROUTS 4 OR 5 TIMES A WEEK

  1. Fight Free Radicals with Antioxidants
  • Organic Sulfur Crystals
  • Astaxanthin
  • Vitamins C, D, E, K, and A – Get A, D and K from fermented Cod liver oil in exactly the right combination (never supplement with A alone.) Take C in liposomal form from a compounded natural source.
  • Cholesterol sulfate – from sunshine
  • Vitamin D3 – from sunshine
  • NAD+
  • Pterostillbene
  • CoQ10
  • Foods high in polyphenols

Finally, there are things you can do, that do not cost a penny, that can help minimize anxiety and depression.

Exercise

The research is very clear, exercise is a must for minimizing anxiety and depression. It does this is by increasing the level of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones, in your brain. It also de-stresses you. Medication and yoga are also excellent for reducing stress. Sometimes all you need to do is get outside for a walk. A sauna can relax you or perhaps you need something very physical like a game of tennis or kick boxing. Try watching a funny movie, or something that makes you feel good. Do not exercise excessively – High Intensity Interval Training combined with weight bearing exercise is the best combination. Any aerobic exercise should be limited to no more than half an hour as oxidative stress (more free radicals)

Build a solid support system

A support system composed of friends, family and, if necessary, professional counselors,  can help you work through your emotional stress.

Eat Clean

Polluted food causes problems on two fronts: It drives more free radicals which destroy the immune system and it lacks antioxidants which we must have to support the immune system. Without an intact immune system, we are vulnerable to disease processes that drive anxiety and depression. Avoid fructose, sugar and grains in order to normalize insulin and leptin, both of which are powerful tools against depression. Clean eating is 100% grass-fed, organic, wild caught and fresh instead of processed. (See Clean Eating Protocol)

Eat the Right Fats

Coconut oil is at the top of the list and should be used to cook with but should also be used as a supplement. Duck fat, ghee from grass fed beef and raw butter are the only oils to use for cooking. (See infograph on fats) Supplement with a high quality omega 3 krill oil and use fermented Cod Liver oil, which has the right combination of vitamins K, A and D, all of which are critical for clear thinking and mental calm.

Get UVB light from the sun

The research is also very clear here, people with the lowest vitamin D levels are 11 times more prone to depression than normal.

What to Avoid

  1. Sugar and Gluten

Americans are OD’ing on sugar, sugar substitutes and gluten. It is critical to avoid fructose, sugar and grains in order to normalize insulin and leptin, both of which drive depression when they are out of balance.

  1. Food Allergies/Sensitivities

Eating foods that you are allergic or sensitive to can drive considerable anxiety and depression. Have yourself tested and eliminate those foods. In many cases you can add them back in as your gut heals. For example, it is common for people to be allergic to dairy and not know it.

Final Thoughts

This is a game of avoiding free radicals while increasing antioxidants. We explored increasing antioxidants above. Now lets look at avoiding the things that put us more at risk. In general, the body knows best and does it best. When we interfere with medications, we usually make things worse. This is certainly true when it comes to mood disorders. Here is what Dr. Richard Mercola says about antidepressants:

“First of all, when looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo. As you know, all drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, it really doesn’t make sense to use them as a first line of defense.

And yet doctors all over America prescribe them as if they were indeed sugar pills! However, it gets worse. Research into the long-term effects of antidepressants shows that patients are no longer really recuperating from their depressive episodes as was the general norm prior to the advent of modern antidepressants. The depression appears to be lifting faster, but patients tend to relapse more frequently, turning what ought to have been a passing phase into an increasingly chronic state of depression.

Long-term studies now indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed.

According to Whitaker’s research, this tendency to sensitize your brain to long-term depression appears to be the same both for the earlier tricyclic antidepressants and the newer SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

In addition, SSRI’s have been shown to increase your risk of developing bipolar depression, according to Whitaker. Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of children who take an antidepressant for five years convert to bipolar illness. In adults, about 25 percent of long term users convert from a diagnosis of unipolar depression to bipolar.

This is a serious concern because once you’re categorized as bipolar, you’re often treated with a potent cocktail of medications including an antipsychotic medication, and long-term bipolar outcomes are grim in the United States. For starters, only about 35 percent of bipolar patients are employed, so the risk of permanent disability is great. Another risk inherent with long-term use is that of cognitive decline.”

Finally, anyone whose physician is prescribing them antidepressants without taking the time to rule out underlying medical reasons why they could be feeling “depressed” should do themselves a favor and get a second opinion. 

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

Welcome to Medicine’s Newest Lab

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For anyone trying to change his or her eating habits, going to the doctor can be discouraging. Often, efforts to reverse chronic disease using nutrition is met with skepticism, condescension and a prescription when discussed with physicians.

However, there’s good news in Cincinnati!

UC’s Institute for Integrative Health and Wellness has strengthened its partnership with our areas largest organic farm.

Medical students and other health professionals will now make regular trips to Turner Hill Farm, in Indian Hill, to a new teaching kitchen, to learn how food can be used to prevent disease. This comes on the heels of a growing movement in medicine that aims to educate patients on the importance and value of nutrition.

Dr. David Eisenberg, associate professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, recently spoke at UC to announce the partnership and highlight the contradictions that are inherent in our health care system. Hospitals still serve notoriously unhealthy foods. Physicians are more likely to write prescriptions than discuss specific healthy eating protocols for patients.

Dr. Eisenberg encouraged students to think of the kitchen at Turner Hill as a laboratory where medical students could reflect on their own eating habits while considering and developing programs for patients.

As a clinical psychologist who works very closely with patients looking to make behavioral changes in order to reach their health goals, the news of this partnership between an organic farm and the next generation of doctors, is incredibly inspiring.  To have a major medical school both acknowledge and commit to training physicians to use organic food as the first line of defense is long overdue.

Welcome to medicine’s newest lab- the kitchen.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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What Is Low Dose Naltrexone?

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Naltrexone is commonly known as a drug that was approved by the FDA in the mid-1980s for drug addiction, and a few years later, for alcohol addiction. Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of drugs known as opioids (a class that includes morphine, heroin or codeine).  Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is approximately 1/10th of the typical opioid addiction treatment dosage. In most published research, the daily dosage is 4.5 mg, though the dosage can vary a few milligrams below or above that common value.

Should I ask my doctor about LDN?

If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder (Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, Thyroid, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, etc.), cancer, tumors or HIV/AIDS, you want to speak to your doctor about adding LDN to your treatment plan. LDN shows incredible promise in studies as an anti-inflammatory, for conditions such as fibromyalgia. For MS patients, LDN has been studied and patients reported a significant increase in quality of life in terms of mental health. LDN has also been studied as a “primer” to traditional cancer treatment, showing increased efficacy when LDN is taken prior to chemotherapy.  Although completed studies are limited, there are long-term studies in progress, as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence that LDN makes a significant difference in peoples lives that suffer from a wide range of disorders.

So how does it work?

LDN is taken at bedtime, in very small doses. When you take LDN at bedtime — which blocks your opioid receptors for a few hours in the middle of the night — it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function. This is known as the “rebounding effect.”

Where do I get LDN?

LDN is available by prescription only, and must be filled at a compounding pharmacy.

It is important that you work closely with your physician to determine your daily dose, as patients report proper dosage can require some trial and error. Stay away from any prescription for slow release LDN, as you will not receive the same rebounding effects on your immune system of benefits of blocking the opioid receptors all at once.

Good resources where you can learn more about LDN and find doctors who use it include LowDoseNaltrexone.org and LDNScience.org. For more studies related to LDN, visit Pub Med.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday #EDRecovery

Copy of Copy of The Blame Game-3

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Can’t Sleep? Considering Sleeping Pills? Try This First!

art in theeveryday

More and more of my patients are complaining about their sleep. Falling asleep, staying asleep and length of sleep are all common complaints.  Some patients have been offered sleeping medication by their physicians without any consideration for what they can do help themselves.

Although there are many sleep myths, there are two myths related to sleeping medication that I want to discuss.

Myth: Sleeping pills have many benefits despite their side effects (one of which is a good chance of dying.)

Fact: They are really not that effective, and they have a lot of negative side effects.

Sleeping pills generally only increase the amount of time you sleep by a matter of minutes. If you have ever taken one, you know that far from waking up refreshed, sleeping pills can impair your functioning the next day, making you even less alert and more disoriented than you would have been from just being tired.

Sleeping pills have also been shown to have strange side effects that include waking hallucinations, sleepwalking, sleep driving, sleep eating, amnesia, and depression.   Perhaps it is the body’s way of reproducing the lost REM sleep? The most important thing when it comes to sleeping pills is that they do not address the underlying problem.

Myth: Unless I want to take a prescribed sleeping pill, there is nothing I can do to improve my sleep.

Fact: There are many natural things that can help you get to sleep, enhance REM sleep, and stay asleep.

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) has been shown to extend the REM phase significantly. It also increases the deep sleep stages of non-REM sleep. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Stanford University conducted a clinical study on REM sleep. They found those people who took 5-HTP increased the amount of REM sleep they enjoyed at night by as much as 53%.
  • The sleep hormone melatonin, which is made from serotonin, the neurotransmitter known as the happy hormone enhances sleep. Serotonin comes from the amino acid tryptophan. You can only get tryptophan from foods like cottage cheese, brown rice, avocados, bananas, walnuts, tomatoes, meat, turkey (highest tryptophan food) and starchy carbohydrates (bread, pasta, carrots and potatoes). But you can supplement with Melatonin or you can drink tart cherry juice, which is naturally loaded with it. Studies have shown, that people who drink two glasses of tart cherry juice per day see as much as a 90 minute increase in their daily sleep.
  • In addition to tryptophan, we also need Vitamin B6 to produce serotonin. B6 can raise serotonin production even more when you take 5-HTP and vitamin B6 together. In fact, laboratory research shows taking vitamin B6 can increase serotonin production by as much as 60%.12 Many older adults suffer unknowingly from a deficiency of this crucial vitamin.
  • Gamma-aminobutryric Acid (GABA) GABA has a calming and relaxing effect and helps you get to sleep because it suppresses excessive brain activity. It puts the brain into neutral gear and helps put a stop to racing thoughts and anxiety that makes it impossible to fall asleep. When you’re short on GABA, your thoughts and worries run amok like a hamster in a wheel. Other research shows a GABA deficiency interferes with the deep “delta” sleep that usually begins within 45 minutes after bedtime. Finally GABA promotes alpha waves in the brain, which occur when you’re feeling relaxed.
  • As is often the case, we have to get these supplements across the blood brain barrier and the best way to do that is with an amino acid. In this case taurine, which increases your body’s GABA levels and is an excellent stress buster on its own, works well. A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience found taurine increases the number of GABA receptors in the brain. They also found taurine calms neurons, or brain cells,15 helping you feel more relaxed.
  • To stay asleep, especially if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you’ll want to take L-theanine, Niacinamide and Passion flower extract. L-theanine has an amazing power to soothe and quiet your brain because it raises levels of serotonin and GABA. Niacinamide, better known as vitamin B3, can also help you relax, sleep better, and lower the anxiety caused by stress. Passion flower extract is particularly helpful for coping with the hormonal changes that can keep you awake, in particular rising cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, or the flight or fight hormone.
  • Magnesium is absolutely essential for a good nights sleep as it can stop body aches or wayward leg 
syndrome from waking you up at night. I recommend Magnesium L Threonate.

This combination of nutrients, can help you fall asleep more quickly, wake up less often during the night, and sleep more deeply. The product I use is Advanced Sleep Formula by Advanced Bionutritionals as it combines all of these in a way that maximizes sleep.

Sleep Soundly and Feel Sensational!

Good sleep hygiene is absolutely essential for good health, and there are many things you can do to insure a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep in general try these approaches:

  1. Sleep in a completely dark room. Use black out curtains or an eye mask if necessary to create complete darkness.
  2. Keep the room cool and the bed warm. You can always take the blankets off if you get too warm, but a warm room is more difficult change without waking up. Try to get fresh air in your bedroom at night.
  3. Keep your bedroom free of clutter, you will sleep better in an organized room
  4. Cover electronic sources of light.
  5. Use a noise machine or a fan to create white noise which is soothing and which blocks out other noises

If you can’t sleep because you are anxious:

  1. Make a list of the things that you are worrying about getting done. This helps you organize the next day and you can let it go
  2. Journal using pen and paper not a laptop. Journaling also helps you to let go by clarifying your thoughts and feelings about your day. Once you have it sorted out emotionally you can put it to rest when you close your journal.
  3. Turn off the TV and read a book an hour or so before you want to fall asleep unless you are reading something that you cannot put down. Most people get sleepy when they read but not everyone does. If you are one of those people that can read a good book all night, then don’t start.
  4. Count your blessings or say a prayer.
  5. Use tension/relaxation to relax muscle groups. Tense the muscle, hold for 10 seconds and then relax. Do it ten times for each muscle group to really relieve muscle tension
  6. Use melatonin, vitamin B or magnesium L threonate.
  7. Use homeopathic remedies that are relaxing or make you sleepy like poppy seed and ashwaganda
  8. Take an Epsom salts bath before bed
  9. Get into the habit of taking tart cherry juice concentrate from the Montmorency cherries every night.

Sweet dreams!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday #EDRecovery

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#TestimonialTuesday

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“I have been going to Doctor Norton for almost a year now. One would assume that this past year has been the most trying year of my life, as I have struggled with an eating disorder and personal tribulations. On the contrary, this past year has truly been the most enlightening and positive year of my life due to the fact that I had the pleasure of being treated by Doctor Norton.

When I came to Doctor Norton, I was confused and angry. I lived in a haze, blinded by my self-destructive pessimism and hopelessness until I began treatment. Throughout my life, I had never felt healthy; I suffered from a severe thyroid condition, chronic migraines, stomach pains, and debilitating anxiety. At the age of 21, I had given up the hope that I would ever feel energetic and healthy, but Doctor Norton’s unique treatment plan that centers on Clean Eating and positive affirmations finally gave me hope. Her approach empowered me and disempowered my eating disorder. I am no longer controlled by food, anxiety, and chronic health problems but rather have the confidence to lead a meaningful and joyful life, which I never thought was possible until my time with Doctor Norton.

Finally, Doctor Norton hasn’t just helped me develop clean eating habits. My life has fully evolved due to Doctor Norton’s promising treatment, as I now have a unique and positive perspective of the world and myself. She continuously exceeds my expectations with her unrelenting generosity, compassion, and genuine sympathy, and because of her, I have truly never felt more beautiful and confident in my entire life!”

-CG, Patient

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

Natural Anxiety Relief

NATURAL OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY

Treatment for anxiety does not have to equal “drugs.” You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by applying lifestyle modifications before trying medication. You may be surprised by how much such changes lessen anxiety naturally. If you often feel anxious or have panic attacks I strongly recommend the following:

  • Exercise

In addition to the creation of new neurons, including those that release the calming neurotransmitter GABA, exercise boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. Many avid exercisers also feel a sense of euphoria after a workout, sometimes known as the “runner’s high.” It can be quite addictive, in a good way, once you experience just how good it feels to get your heart rate up and your body moving.

  • Optimizing Your Gut Flora

Your gut and brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This is why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health and vice versa. It’s also the reason why your diet is so closely linked to your mental health.

Prior research has shown that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.  The probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has also been shown to normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis.

So optimizing your gut flora with beneficial bacteria is a highly useful strategy. This is done by eliminating sugars and processed foods and eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables, avoiding processed vegetable oils, and using healthy fats. Additionally, eating plenty of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or taking a high-potency probiotic would be useful to reestablish healthy gut flora.

  • Omega-3 Fats

Your diet should include a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fats, like anchovies, sardines, wild-caught Alaskan salmon or krill oil. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play an important role in your emotional well-being, and research has shown a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among medical students taking omega 3s.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Is it #fitspo #bdd #mdd?

SPRING

Chances are you’ve probably heard about Body Dysmorphic Disorder. BDD is characterized by an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed. This obsession is then partnered with the compulsion of going to extreme lengths and measures to hide or fix this “flaw.” If there is a real flaw, its importance is severly exaggerated. A person suffering from BDD spends much of their day thinking, obsessing and compulsing over this real or perceived flaw.

Have you heard of Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder? Chances are, you haven’t. Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder is a subset of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  MDD primarily affects males, often athletes, and presents as an obsessive preoccupation with a delusional or exaggerated belief that one’s own body is too small, too skinny, or insufficiently muscular. In most cases the individual’s actual build is normal or exceptionally large and muscular already.

Men suffering from MDD are obsessed about being inadquetly muscular and lean, when in fact, they are not. Their compulsion may include spending many hours in the gym, spending inordinate amounts of money on supplements, having strange eating patterns and even substance abuse.

What drives these obsessions? Are we just talking about crazy people that are too self-focused? Or has our society run amok?

If you are an Instagram user, a Facebook user- really any social media- you see #fitspo every day. Generally there is a photo of an extremely defined body part like abs, arms, or chest, along with this caption. Sometimes faces are included and sometimes they aren’t.

So what does #fitspo stand for? “Fitsporation.” In theory, #fitspo images are supposed to inspire “healthy” bodies. And maybe some of them do. But if you just googled #fitspo, you will find image after image of an exceptionally “fit” person’s body part. Image after image after image. Most of them have received many hearts!

What does it mean that we are collectively acknowledging well-developed near perfect body parts by giving them hearts? What about the people that lost 20 pounds by eating clean healthy food and engaging in a fitness routine that brought down their cholesterol but didn’t happen to end up with a six pack? Shouldn’t they receive just as much attention and adulation?

#fitspo seems to focus directly on the appearance of body parts, the size and visual perfection of the part and that seems dangerous to me. Maybe the photo should say: #8hoursadayinthegym or #Mywifeleftmebecauseofmyobsession or #Ispendallmytimeandmoneyonthis. It’s easy to see how a person’s own expectations about what is realistic could become distorted, especially when one is bombarded with these images over and over again, and they are glorified.   They may set the standard of perfection so high that the would be health seeker just gives up. Again, I am speaking directly about the images, as opposed to someone posting something like, “Just broke my personal record for dead lifting,” or #myfirsttriathalon. Both of those are based on personal fitness goals. It is important to note the difference.

So next time you are about to hashtag a photo, or are about to heart an image on Instagram, ask yourself this question:

Is it really #fitspo? Am I helping or hurting? Maybe I am encouraging #BDD or #MDD……

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

#MotivationMonday

Copy of The Blame Game

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

 

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

The Blame Game-6

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

Copy of The Blame Game-2

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MondayMotivation

The Blame Game-5

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit © 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

Eating Disorder Recovery

Copy of The Blame Game

It’s Pi Day (3.14)! Clean Pizza Tutorial!

O N E D R O P

It’s Pi Day (3.14) and right now the internet is blowing up with photos of pies and pie recipes.

Most people who know me, know that I am not a baker. I make pies once a year.  Therefore, I will not be discussing sweet pies today.

However, I am all about discussing PIZZA PIE! (You’re shocked, aren’t you?)

Here’s the question I am asked every week by new patients:

“Dr. Norton, does eating clean mean giving up pizza?”

(Wait for it..)

No! You can still have your pizza!  (We are going to have to modify it slightly, and I promise you it will taste a thousand times better than any pizza you’ve had before!)

One thing that I work really hard to help my clients understand is that eating clean does not mean deprivation. It means finding the highest quality foods and adapting old recipes to work with new ingredients.

Let’s start with the dough. This is really the biggest modification of pizza.  We can go one of two ways. You can use either Einkorn Pizza Dough or Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

Why Einkorn? Einkorn is a very ancient grain (still used in Italy today) that still has much of the original protein and is not nearly as starchy as the hyper hybridized wheat found in the United States.  If you are non celiac gluten sensitive, you might want to try the Einkorn dough.  (I get my einkorn flour at Jovial Foods). You may be pleasantly surprised that it is easier to digest with no tummy trauma.

“But Dr. Norton, I can’t eat wheat.” Then I suggest you try making cauliflower pizza crust. You haven’t heard of this? Here’s the most amazing, easy recipe! This is also a great recipe if you are trying to get more vegetables into your child’s diet.

Then we need some organic tomatoes. I only buy glass jar tomatoes and it is incredibly easy to just use them straight from the jar, or take a moment and make a super quick tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano). I top my pizza with raw organic shredded cheese and grass-fed unprocessed pepperoni. And because I love tomatoes so much, I add a little fresh sliced tomato on top as well. You can top yours with whatever organic ingredients you like. Keep your meats grass fed/pastured and your cheese raw and organic. That’s really the key to adapting this for clean eating.

Here’s what my pizza looks like:

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Although it may not look like it, the Einkorn crust was very crispy and the organic ingredients were wonderful together. (Also, I’m drooling looking at this picture while I type. Seriously, this beats any takeout or restaurant pizza any day.)

Consider topping yours with some fresh organic basil after pulling it out of the oven. The aroma of the tomatoes with the fresh basil will send you to pizza heaven.

Happy Pi Day!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

 

 

Errors of Thinking- #7 Uncritical Acceptance of the Critic

 

Copy of Copy of Never make an exception of yourself-5

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, just because someone says you are lazy, doesn’t mean it’s actually true. Even if it’s your mother!

Are you shocked?

I find that many people suffer from this error of thinking and sadly, it’s often those that are closest to us whose criticisms go unquestioned.  Instead we accept it, and repeat it back to ourselves as if it were true. It’s painful when people who are close to us criticize us.

The deeper issue though, is that we define our self worth by what others think of us.  Stop and think about that for a moment. If a person praises us, we think we are worthy. If a person criticizes us, we think we are unworthy. From my vantage we have relinquished the control of our self esteem to an outsider. And that’s never a good thing.

How do we conquer this error of thinking?

Stop and ask yourself:

Is the person criticizing you an authority on the topic? (Usually, they aren’t.)

Does this person have all the information? (Usually they don’t.)

Is this person’s criticism constructive or destructive? (Constructive criticism is often situation specific, and is not a generalized assassination of character.)

Finally:

If you are in the moment and experiencing criticism, and can feel your emotions rising, do not respond immediately. Give yourself permission to think about what the critic is saying when your emotions have cooled off.

Remember, just because someone says something about you, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

 

How to Dine Out and Eat Clean

How to Dine Out and Eat Clean

Not a day goes by that a patient doesn’t ask me, “What about going out to eat? How can I eat clean when I am in a restaurant?”

My answer is always the same. It is not easy and you have to do your homework. You may also have to go with your own food or beverage. Yup, that is what I do. I take my own Ginger Ale. This is not ideal, but it is better than drinking their tap water or wishing I had a vodka tonic. (Q Ginger Ale is made with organic agave and has only 15 grams of sugar per bottle and lots of real ginger.) I have also been known to take my own salad dressing.

Most of us believe that we just have to avoid fast food restaurants in order to remain healthy. It turns out that it isn’t just fast food that is the problem. A new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows 92% of all restaurants, big and small, mom and pop or national chains, exceed the calorie requirements for a single meal.  That burrito bowl at Chipotle? That’s actually 2 portions. You should split that with someone.

Researchers measured meals from 364 different restaurants across the U.S. They found that 123 of them had a single meal—without beverages, appetizers, or desserts—that exceeded a person’s caloric requirements for a whole day!

A patient of mine lamented recently that she does fine all week eating clean at home but that when she goes out to eat, she almost always overeats. It makes sense according to the senior author of the study, Dr. Susan B. Roberts of Tufts University, “These findings make it clear that making healthy choices while eating out is difficult because the combination of tempting options and excessive portions often overwhelm our self-control . . .” She goes on to say “Although fast food restaurants are often the easiest targets for criticism . . . Small restaurants typically provide just as many calories. And sometimes more.”

One very interesting finding was that five of the restaurants in the study provided side dishes at no extra cost. The average energy provided by these items was 471 kcal, which was greater than the 443 kcal for the entrées they accompanied. No wonder you can gain a couple of pounds going out to dinner once or twice a week.

Which ones are the worst? The study showed that American, Chinese, and Italian restaurants had the highest calorie counts, averaging 1,500 calories per meal.

So what can you do? Start by choosing the healthiest restaurants. Always pick the ones that offer grass-fed and wild caught. If you are lucky enough to have any organic restaurants, choose those. Stick to the items on the menu with the fewest ingredients. Pass on the bread and do consider bringing your own dressing. Order the veggies not the pastas, pastries or pancakes.  In Cincinnati, I dine at the Capital Grille. I always order the lamp chops and a side of asparagus.

Do you have any favorite restaurants in Cincinnati where eating clean is easy? I’d love to know! I’m compiling a list. Send me a Facebook message or Tweet me @drrenae.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 
Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook
Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Positive Self Talk!

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!

POSITIVE SELF TALK-3

Definitely feeling confident thinking this.

POSITIVE SELF TALK-4

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

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

#letsdothis #iamicaniwill #igotthis

Christmas Week Self Care Strategies

DR. Norton's-2

If ever there was a week for self care, I would say the week of Christmas is one of them.

Unless you are extremely organized, and have been working towards Christmas all year, chances are you are scrambling to make it to Christmas. Last minute gifts, trying to cram in as many traditions as possible- it can leave a person exhausted.  It’s no surprise people are totally burned out by Christmas Day.

I cannot stress how important self care is during the holidays.

What does self care look like?

Here’s my top ten list of self care strategies!

  1. Take a nap.  Yes, you! Lay down and take a nap. Everyone could use extra rest. If you can’t sleep, even just laying down for 20 minutes with your eyes closed may help reduce the feelings of anxiety or stress you are feeling.
  2. Color.  I’ve been posting a lot of articles about how coloring in those adult coloring books is scientifically proven to be as effective as meditation. So go grab your crayons or colored pencils, your fancy coloring book and zen out. In a pinch, I suggest a pen and a piece of paper. Doodling should have the same effect. There is a whole art form devoted to doodling called Zentangle. Check out this article from Psychology Today.
  3. Go listen to some music. You can do this while coloring, or while napping/resting. Or you can just do it on its own. Think about the last time you just sat and listened to music. It was probably a really long time ago.
  4. Call a friend. This is an excellent time to phone a friend. You can commiserate about how nothing is wrapped, or how your mother in law is driving you insane or whatever. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
  5. Take a walk. Just going outside, especially if the sun is shining (which it isn’t today in Cincinnati) and feeling that sunshine on your face and hands while you walk can really help you relax.
  6. Spend some time with a pet. Pets just make us feel better and more relaxed. So take your dog with you while you walk, or spend five minutes playing with your cat.
  7. Cut a corner. If you feel yourself getting worked up about something on your list of to-do’s ask yourself if you can cut a corner. Does everyone really need homemade bath salts? Or can a jar from the store work just as well? Sometimes what we plan doesn’t match reality in terms of time or ability. And that’s okay.  There were  good intentions, but reality has constraints. Cut a corner.
  8.  Nourish yourself. Make sure you are eating foods that are nourishing you- not draining you. There’s a lot of sweets floating around this time of year and quite frankly, most of us don’t feel great after we overindulge.
  9. Gratitude check in. Sit down with a piece of paper and spend two minutes writing down things you are grateful for. You might be surprised at what comes to mind, but go with it. Gratitude in even the smallest things can help us bear the anxiety of the holiday.
  10. Call your therapist.  If you can get an appointment with your therapist during christmas week, take it and don’t give it up! That is gold!  A conversation with your therapist during christmas week can help reinforce all the good things you’ve been doing for yourself and bring perspective to whatever your worries. Truly.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Want to hear more about the holidays and eating disorders? Check out my interview with Mark Heyne of Cincinnati Edition on 91.7 WVXU Cincinnnati.

 

The Food is at Fault!

The Blame Game

We tend to blame the victims of disordered eating, no matter what form it takes. Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia, Emotional Eating and Obesity are all assumed to be the result of poor choices and/or emotional disturbances that lead to over eating. Anorexia is often perceived as a choice the patient makes to achieve cosmetic improvements.

The eating problems plaguing Americans are the direct result of the deficiencies and toxins in the food supply and are not the result of implusive choices or vanity.

The Big Pharma complex, industrial farming, and the food and beverage industries, (I call them Big Pharma, Big Farming and Big Food or the 3 Big Pigs) have worked hard to convince us that our foods, beverages and drugs are safe as long as we take/eat them in moderation.

The issue is serious. The United States has the distinction of being the unhealthiest wealthiest country in the world today. So, how can a country with so many economic and natural resources not maintain healthy eating habits? The answer is simple and scary. Not only are the foods and drugs constructed by the 3 Big Pigs not safe, they are driving the catastrophic decline in the health of Americans and seriously decreasing the quality of life for millions of people.

Clean food heals the dysfunction and diseases caused by polluted foods. One of the reasons my patients get well is that they learn to trust food again by learning how to “eat clean.” Clean eating empowers them—it frees them from the slavery of addiction, and it calms the anxiety they have about eating. The more clean food they eat, the fewer cravings they have because the systems that regulate eating behaviors and weight fluctuations stabilize in the presence of clean food. Under these circumstances my patients can learn new healthy eating patterns.

The sad thing is that most of the treatment for eating disorders completely ignores the role of food pollution during recovery. To highlight how important clean food is and how destructive therapies can be that ignore the problems with our food, I’m going to describe the experience of a young patient of mine (age 14) in a typical residential treatment program for eating disorders.

In the residential program MA was ingesting the majority of her calories in the form of Boost[1] as a behavioral consequence of refusing to eat. She was also being kept in bed, all day, every day, for 13 days in a row. Understand she was not being kept in bed because she was too medically unstable to be up and around; she was kept in bed because she refused to eat. Her parents, or their insurance company, were paying a small fortune for this “treatment.”

Her treatment with me began by giving her choices about her food. She could pick whatever she wanted, as long as it was clean and had the necessary nutrients for her to slowly regain her weight. She slowly but consistently has expanded her foods to include everything she needs to thrive while consistently gaining weight.

Here is her experience with my approach to eating disorder treatment:

 The Blame Game-2

Did I mention this patient is only 14? She wasn’t asked to write this, she felt compelled to. After having such a terrible experience in residential treatment and finally finding a treatment program that was really working for her she needed to express what was changing in her relationship with food.

Whether you are bingeing, purging, restricting or are addicted- I guarantee that polluted food is playing a part in your illness. The food is at fault!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

[1] These are the first 10 ingredients in Boost: water, sugar, corn syrup, milk protein concentrate, vegetable oil, (Canola, High Oleic Sunflower, Corn) soy protein isolate, and Carrageenan. The only ingredient that is not GMO or a form of processed L-Glutamine (MSG) which is highly addicting, is the water. (See Chapter _ Sources of Food Pollution)

 

Mark Your Calendars!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Hey guys, I’ve got great news! If you missed the chance to ask me a question about the holidays and eating disorders, you have another chance to ask me!

Mark your calendars for Monday December 14th at 1:30 p.m. I’ll be joining Cincinnati Edition host Mark Heyne to talk about eating disorders during the holidays. We will have time to take questions.

You can tune in online!

 

I Am Anorexic And It Is Thanksgiving. HELP!

I Am

If you are reading this, you are probably in recovery. (Or you mistook it for some Pro-Ana trash. Sorry, but read on anyway). All of my patients, whether they are suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating or Obesity want to know what to do at Thanksgiving. Depending upon the disorder, there are very specific challenges. If you have food addictions, the holiday is triggering. If you restrict, you may be attacked with a spoonful of mashed potatoes by a well-meaning grandmother. If you purge, you may be trying to remember where the most remote bathroom is at your Aunt’s house in case you blow it.

I put out a call to action on Twitter and Facebook for questions/concerns about the holiday and here’s what I got:

Any ideas/coping skills to get through eating at a dinner table of 20 or more people? I have to eat in front of people, which I hate doing. I have bulimia. I feel like everyone is staring at me when I’m sitting there.

This is a very common feeling/reaction. There is a lot of shame associated with bulimia. The reality is that no one is paying attention to you and most people are worried about how people are seeing them. Try to focus on making the person next to you feel comfortable and it will make you feel more comfortable. Think of yourself as the helper and not the helpless, the therapist and not the patient.

I have been working really hard to kick my sugar habit. I’ve been stressing about how I am going to face the dessert buffet. There are certain desserts that are “family” recipes that we have every year. I just know that sugar is a very slippery slope for me. I don’t want to start back down that road. Is there a polite way to say no thanks?

I think that you can legitimately say that you are allergic to processed sugar. That’s one way. You could also say, “that looks delicious but I promised myself no dessert.”  You could also say you worry about your blood sugar levels and you promised yourself no dessert. (I wouldn’t comment on the fact that you only allow yourself to eat “good sugar.” This can be misconstrued.)

This is going to sound crazy, but then again we’re talking about my family, so here goes: I cannot eat gluten. About three quarters of my family gets it, but inevitably, the preparer of most of the food (my mother) makes everything with all kinds of gluten. I’ve politely suggested adaptions that are easy but she claims she cannot do it. It won’t turn out right. I’ve kind of just given up. Is it rude to just bring my own food?

Absolutely not! If you are gluten intolerant it is your responsibility to take care of your gut and lead by example. Avoiding gluten is absolutely critical. I say, bring your own food!

My question is totally not related to food at all but has more to do with family- when a certain member of the family starts talking politics it gets really uncomfortable because obviously not everyone shares the same feelings on a lot of hot button topics right now (i.e. syrian refugees, presidential candidates, conspiracy theories.) Do you have any advice? I hate having to sit and listen without being able to challenge the person’s point of view, but at the same time, I know better than to engage. Thoughts?

I’d get real behavioral on this person. Nod when you like what the person is saying, make eye contact and smile. Give no response, not even a nervous smile, and make no eye contact if you don’t like what the person is saying. Look at your plate. Then get up. It’s time to go do the dishes. Eventually even an amoeba will learn to stop doing this at the table.

My daughter has been in therapy for anorexia for about six weeks. Any advice or words of wisdom? 

Just remember that this is extremely anxiety provoking. Any focus on how she looks, what she is eating, what she is going to eat, or what she ate, just makes it worse. The biggest issue for the parent of the anorexic is dealing with their fear. Because the fear turns into anger in a flash. And your daughter can’t help that she is anorexic. It is a disease (of the mind.) Not a choice.

Finally, my holiday tips which have helped my patients over the years get through the holiday relatively unscathed.

  1. Get perspective.  This is a holiday to celebrate survival.  The pilgrims and the Indians came together to give thanks that they made it through another bitter winter and that they had enough food.  So yes the focus is on food, and we have taken it to the extreme, but the real thanks is about how people, families and even members of different cultures/races work together to survive.  This is a holiday that recognizes the importance of the family and the role that our grandparents and their grandparents played in our family history. Families are important, no matter how annoying they are.

So here is a tip: Understand that this is not about you, or your eating disorder.  No one really cares how you look, they just want to make sure you are ok. Translated, that means that if you don’t want the focus to be on you, focus on the person next to you.  Ask her/him questions.  Think of yourself as a Jr. shrink or an investigative reporter.  You will find that people love to talk about themselves and you have control of the conversation when you are the one asking the questions.  (You like control, right?)

  1. Plan ahead when it comes to the food.  If you know that there will be no food there that you can eat without getting triggered or sick, then take some of your own food.  The safest thing to eat is turkey, especially the breast meat.  Take a side dish to go with the turkey that you can share and you are all set.  Try some sweet potatoes, that are prepared this way.

You can also take your favorite snack for before dinner.  Popcorn that has coconut oil and sea salt on it is awesome and way better than the chips or pretzels dipped in who knows what.  Or shrimp and cocktail sauce that you make yourself out of organic catsup and horseradish with a dash of Coconut Aminos. Yummy!

Take your own drink and if you are inspired, your own desert.  Don’t feel like making desert? How about some organic gelato or ice cream? Cinnamon flavored ice cream is my personal favorite.

Worried about what people will think?  Don’t.  No one cares what you are eating.  Worry more about them eating the delicious stuff that you bring.  In fact, you may want to plan on sharing.

  1. Pace yourself.  Use the days off to rest and pamper yourself.  Get in an extra workout.  Start a new book.  Take a walk, before or after dinner.  Organize a closet that has been driving you nuts, but don’t organize the whole house or spend days cooking by yourself.  Take short cuts wherever and whenever you can.  Hold a baby.  Pet something.

Just remember, whether you are hosting or are a guest this Thursday, this holiday is about survival, adapting and gratitude. That first brutal winter, after the Mayflower arrived, most of the colonists remained on the ship where they suffered from outbreaks of contagious diseases and scurvy. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. And it was only because the Native Americans were willing to share their wisdom on how to survive in this new land that the pilgrims were able to survive.

You can see why my patients are such an inspiration, especially at this time of year. On they tread, to territory they don’t necessarily want to explore, and yet they know they have to. They must adapt, their lives depend on it. And as they move through recovery, I see them blossom as individuals and in relationship to their loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Dr. Norton
#GetSunEatCleanBeWell.

“These Are a Few of My Favorite Fats…”

Dale Carnegie

(Imagine Julie Andrews spinning through the alps, praising my favorite fats…)

My four favorite fats are:

  • Canola Oil
  • Crisco
  • Soybean Oil
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

Just Kidding! Those are my most disliked fats.

My favorite fats are:

  • 100% grass-fed raw butter
  • 100% grass-fed Ghee
  • Organic, cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil
  • Italian, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil

Best sources of fat:

  • 100% grass-fed animals and game
  • Wild caught fish that are low in mercury, high in selenium
  • Coconuts and olives

In general, those first four fats are hydrogenated, rendering them a trans fat and/or they contain GMO ingredients. Whereas my favorite fats are raw except for the Ghee, which is a clarified butter, and the fats found in grazed animals and wild-caught fish.

Raw Butter

It is hard to find raw butter in some parts of the country, like Ohio. Here you have to join a herd share. But it’s well worth it. For one thing it tastes amazing. In addition, raw butter from 100% grass fed cows is the best fat you can get. It is the only fat with a perfect ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats, which is 1:1. This is important because we get way too much Omega 6 fat in the standard American diet, like 30:1. Experts say that the ratio is as high as 60:1 for individuals that are really unhealthy.

Ghee

Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is commonly used in South Asian cuisines, traditional medicine, and religious rituals. Ghee is prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream, and removing the liquid residue. The texture, color, and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, source of the milk used in the process, and the duration of the boiling. This is one of the dairy products that can be heated without destroying the goodness because it has no lactose and very little protein.

Coconut Oil

I am going to do an entire blog on coconut oil. Go here to listen to Bruce Fife and I talk about it. He is the coconut king.

In a nutshell, no pun intended, coconut oil is as good as it gets. I fries well, has a high smoke point, tastes great (no it doesn’t make your food taste like coconut) and doesn’t store as body fat. It basically is pure energy as it goes straight to the liver. It emulsifies fat and actually does reduce cellulite. It is also amazing for your brain and you can use it on your skin and in your hair.

Olive Oil

I loved Olive Oil, even as a kid, she was my nerdy, flakey hero! But it just barely makes my list, and I use it sparingly as it is an Omega 6 oil. Usually I only use it in salad dressings (unless I make them from yogurt or heavy cream). I also marinade fish in olive oil and lemon juice, although I fry the fish in butter or ghee. Make sure that your olive oil is actually really olive oil. Word on the street is that they are lacing it with canola oil and other lesser oils. So buy organic and from a known source. I prefer the old Italian family olive oil makers as they seem to make the best oils.

Fat From 100% Grass-fed Beef

The one thing you need to know about this fat is that it stores as muscle, not fat! That’s right conjugated linolenic acid, (CLA) the main fat in grass-fed beef ends up as muscle, not fat. That is why people didn’t like grass-fed beef initially as it did not have the “marbling” or fat that grain-fed beef had. But guess what? The thing that makes the cow full of fat, makes us full of fat too. So you decide. Pastured animal fat is also GMO free, another big plus.

Fat From Wild-caught Fish

 Definitely one of the healthiest fats you can eat. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for the heart, immune system and against a range of diseases.

They have been shown to lower elevated triglyceride levels, curb stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis, lower depression levels, reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to WebMD. That’s a lot!

“I simply remember my favorite fats, and then I don’t feeeeeeeeeel, soooooooooo baaaaaaaad!”

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Thanksgiving. You Have Concerns. I Have Solutions.

diwali festivalThere’s still time to send me a question for my special Thanksgiving Q&A blog post next week.

If you have an eating disorder, or have a loved one with an eating disorder, and Thanksgiving is keeping you up at night, send me your concern.

If you have been free from bingeing but the thought of navigating the dessert buffet is stressing you out,  send me your concern.

If you have food issues and Thanksgiving is less of a gratitude event and more of a “grit your teeth through it” event, know that you are not alone.

Send your Thanksgiving issue to drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com or tweet me @drrenae. I’ll answer it in a special blog post next week.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

The Number One Food Myth and Our Denial

SINCE

For the past week or so I have been talking about the moderation versus abstinence model when it comes to recovery from eating disorders and obesity. I advocate clean eating, or abstinence from polluted foods, which I define as follows:

  • All organic fruits and vegetables (or sticking with the clean 15 and avoiding the dirty dozen)
  • 100% grass-fed sources of animal protein
  • Wild-caught fish low in mercury and not exposed to nuclear waste
  • Oils that have been minimally processed, are organic and Non-GMO, – coconut, olive, ghee, grass-fed raw butter
  • Foods free of MSG, GMOs and food additives, food coloring or chemicals used in processing
  • Minimal grains – substitute hemp seed florettes or nut flowers
  • No protein powders – use Sacha Inchi instead
  • No sodas made with sugar, no cigarettes and minimal alcohol – red wine in very limited amounts
  • No table sugar – use Xylitol
  • No table salt – use naturally harvested Himalayan sea salt
  • Good bottled water – FIJI is nice
  • Lots of pre-biotics and pro-biotics
  • Lots of fermented vegetables and drinks – like Kombucha and kimchi
  • Sea weed (unless you have Hashimotos)
  • Get Sun!

Eating this way and getting sunshine will stabilize your weight, reverse the aging process, prevent or reverse autoimmunity, decrease or eliminate inflammation, support your neuro and cardio vascular systems, help to stabilize your hormones, clear your gut and improve your immunity. So with all of those benefits, why isn’t everyone eating healthy? Because they are in denial.

According to the results of a poll conducted by Consumer Reports Health “Americans tend to give themselves high marks for healthy eating, but when we asked how many sugary drinks, fatty foods, and fruits and veggies they consumed, we found that their definition of healthy eating was questionable,” said Nancy Metcalf of Consumer Reports Health, which conducted the poll.

Of the 1,234 American adults polled, 89.7 percent said their diet was “somewhat” (52.6 percent), “very” (31.5 percent), or “extremely” healthy (5.6 percent).

But 43 percent of the survey respondents said they drank at least one sugary soda or other sweetened drink every day, and just one in four said they limited sweets, sugars or fats in their diet. Just looking at the sugar alone; we know now how deadly sugar is when it comes to inflammation, especially neurovascular health. Sugar has recently been shown to be as addicting as heroin or cocaine. It is also a problem when it comes to neurological health. For example, it is now believed that Alzheimer’s is a new form of diabetes. Indeed some are calling it Type 3 diabetes and of course it is largely driven by the excessive amounts of sugar in the US diet, especially the sugar in soft drinks. But it also driven by the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that can be found in most US processed foods. HFCS is in everything from catsup to cookies.

Instead of avoiding these “foods,” Americans are trying to use them in moderation. The poll found that 4 in 10 Americans said they ate “pretty much everything” or “mostly everything” that they want. Given that the United States is the number one fattest country in the world with the distinction of being the unhealthiest, wealthiest country in the world, I’d say we are in denial.

The poll also found that few count calories or weigh themselves, but when they were asked to report their weight, 4 in 10 were wrong. Huh, go figure! A third said they were at a healthy weight when they actually were overweight or obese according to the researchers. Interestingly, 8% thought they were overweight or obese when they were actually a normal weight using their BMIs. Budding Anorexics?

Only 3 in 10 Americans surveyed by Consumer Reports said they eat the recommended five or more servings of fresh fruit or vegetables daily. For those who do not eat the recommended amounts, the most common reason was that they thought they were consuming enough already. Denial.

Other reasons given were that vegetables are hard to store or spoil too quickly — an excuse given by 29 percent of Americans. I hear this a lot in my practice. Can you say frozen vegetables? As a single person, I am a big believer. They have been shown to be just as nutritious, sometimes even more nutritious. They are definitely easier and faster to prepare. (I pride myself on being able to prepare a scrumptious meal in under 8 minutes.) Costco has the best deal, a 5 pound bag of frozen fruits or vegetables for around $6.50. They are delicious and great for smoothies and you cannot beat that price.

Many people say they don’t like vegetables. In the poll, 17% said someone in their household didn’t like vegetables, and 13% said they don’t like them. I believe this is a consequence of eating so much polluted food that is loaded with MSG which over excites the taste buds and makes you crave fake salt and sugar. If you prepare the vegetable correctly, I defy you not to like them. Steam, boil or even nuke them and add coconut oil, sea salt, along with your favorite herbs and spices…..so delicious!

Those polled also said that vegetables take too long to prepare or are too difficult to prepare. Come on! There is nothing easier than sticking the frozen vegetable in a microwave safe dish adding some coconut oil and sprinkling on organic seasonings. Three minutes and 30 seconds and voila!

I care deeply about my patients. I have to dispel a lot of food myths in my practice and one of the biggest is the Moderation Myth. Moderation worked for a previous generation because our food was nowhere near as polluted as it is now.

The new food truth is this: In light of what we know about polluted food, Abstinence is the only guarantee of health.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

A Lack of Information is Fattening

Untitled design-4

“I am lazy, stupid and fat!”  A cruel statement, right? But this is what my patient who is recovering from Bulimarexia hears in her head every day, all day long. The reality is that she is a hard worker, very smart and a normal weight after years of struggling with an eating disorder.

But her fear of suddenly or somehow becoming “fat” is so intense that it may take another couple of years for this voice in her head to go away, and it may never go away completely.

Sound crazy? It isn’t unusual for people to think this way.  We are afraid of being obese as a culture. The sight of an obese person strikes fear in the hearts of many. Unfortunately we often hate the things we fear, which leads to stigma. And stigma, especially in the case of obesity, gets in the way of recovery, as it tends to be internalized by the individual being stigmatized. It also impacts members of our society that are not obese in ways that are detrimental to their health.

What I see when I look an obese patient is a person with a medical condition, a person that is often very ill. As a health care provider that has had great success working with the morbidly obese, I know that the problem can be reversed and that with the right information the person can lead a perfectly normal life.

But most people will not see or relate to the illness. They will react with fear, and/or they will stereotype the individual that is obese. Research on the stigma attached to obesity shows that overweight individuals in the U.S. are assumed to be lazy and lacking in intelligence. They are often viewed with disgust. They regularly experience bias in the workplace as well as in many other areas of their lives. Even their own doctors may be biased when it comes to treating them.

For example, according to an article in Psychology Today “A survey involving a nationally representative sample of primary care physicians revealed that, not only did more than half of respondents think that patients who are obese were awkward and unattractive, but more than 50 percent believed that they would be noncompliant with treatment. One-third thought of them as “weak-willed” and “lazy.” 

I recently published an article in Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News on the failure of medicine to treat obesity effectively. While doing the research for that article, I discovered that the rates of obesity are high among physicians, many of whom are overworked and most of whom do not understand the role of nutrition in obesity. For example, the standard advice today from most physicians is still to recommend eating more grains and less fat, which is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing if you are overweight. (Link to why grains are bad for you and why saturated fats are good for you) So much for “Physician heal thyself”.

But the other thing that really stood out while I was researching the article was how overwhelmed physicians felt while trying to treat obese individuals. I also get this from my doctor friends. In another study the researchers found that as the patients’ weight increased, “physicians reported having less patience, less faith in the patients’ ability to comply with treatment, and less desire to help them.” 

When it comes to my own patients, I am always amazed to discover that the issue of their weight does not come up with their primary care doctor even when they have serious complications of obesity and/or need to lose anywhere from 100 to 200+ pounds. One patient said “Talk about the elephant in the room! If I were oozing blood or had a terrible rash, I am sure my doctor would mention it. But because it is my weight, and he makes the assumption that I can’t or won’t do anything about it, we gloss over it.”

The problem with this is that the stigma of being obese can lead to more obesity as well as to other serious problems. Being stigmatized for being obese sets up many vicious cycles or self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, if going to the doctor doesn’t help, then going to the doctor becomes less likely. This in turn means that the complications of being obese, which include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, may not be diagnosed until they are advanced.

Likewise, many obese individuals are uncomfortable going to a gym or putting on work out clothes because of their fear of being judged. Obviously this makes it less likely that they will workout or get fit, and more likely that they will continue to gain weight.

The obesity epidemic may also be one of the reasons that younger children, older women and more men are developing Anorexia; I believe that these conditions are over-reactions or maladaptive responses to the fear of being obese. Of course, fear of being obese also leads to bingeing and purging, or bulimia.

The point is that obesity is a serious medical condition. However I do not believe that it has anything to do with will-power or motivation, and it certainly is not related to one’s intelligence. It is the direct result of the polluted nature of U.S. foods.

In other words, OBESITY IS NOT THE RESULT OF EATING TOO MUCH. It is the result of EATING POLLUTED FOOD.

The sooner we face that as a nation, the sooner we can stop blaming the victims of food pollution and start fixing the problem. Some people would have us believe that the obesity epidemic is getting better. It isn’t. The reason I say this is that nearly 30% of today’s children are obese. Nearly 72% of men and 67% of women in my generation are currently overweight or obese. When we were children, only 10% of us were overweight. This does not bode well for the future or for our children.

U.S. foods are polluted with addictants, obesogens, carcinogens, GMOs, MSG and trans fats to name a few of the pollutants. All of these “ingredients” drive overeating and/or bingeing. They also cause us to store more fat than we need and feel less like being active. Finally they damage the mechanisms for regulating eating and fat storage.

Yes, that is correct. Even if you eat a little of them, you can gain unneeded weight. (You can also develop many other problems, like vascular disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and type 2 diabetes.)

Sound like an over statement? Consider that the U.S. is the wealthiest unhealthiest country in the world. We are also the most obese and we are nearly dead last when it comes to general health, with one of the lowest infant survival rates, despite having the best medical technology.

Are you surprised? I find that most people are surprised to hear these things despite the fact that this information is definitely out there. We just don’t think of ourselves this way. We have all drunk the coolaide. But ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. It is sheer agony and it makes those who are the victims feel ashamed and weak, which makes them more vulnerable to remedies that do not work, such as dieting, or bypass surgery, or cryochambers. (link to article on woman dying)

What disturbs me the most is that if we keep believing that we can eat anything, as long as we eat it in moderation, we are not going to fix the problem. The foods that are the most dangerous are “designed” to make us keep us eating them.

We cannot fix the problem with this kind of thinking even though it is very fixable! Find out more about what your food is really doing inside your body. You may be surprised. What I can promise you is that lack of information is fattening.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

“Dr. Norton, Why Is My Hair Falling Out?”

Why is my hair falling out?

If you have Hashimotos, or any of a number of autoimmune diseases, such as Alopecia, or hyper or hypothyroidism, one of the most upsetting things that can happen is that your hair falls out.

The traditional treatment for thyroid disease is Synthroid, which is a synthetic version of T4. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Several studies have shown that a subset of patients feel and do better on a combination of T4 and T3, not just T4 (i.e., levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid).

My patients report that by adding T3, they have less depression, brain fog, and fatigue. This could be huge for those individuals that don’t feel well on their current thyroid therapies. However, even with the right combination, hair loss can still be a problem. Hair loss can be so stressful that it makes it even harder for medications and supplements to work.

What is Normal for Hair Growth?

Normally, each hair grows about a half inch a month for about three years, and then it goes into a resting period. One in ten hairs is in a resting period at any one time, and after about three months of resting a new hair pushes the old one out. When too many hairs go into a resting period at the same time, or the conversion process speeds up, hair loss occurs.

One of the things that speeds this process up is the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT is very unfriendly to the hair follicle. It attacks it and shrinks it, sometimes making it disappear entirely. Hair becomes thinner and finer, and may stop growing entirely.

The conversion of testosterone to DHT seems to speed up in some patients with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, despite what is considered sufficient thyroid treatment.

The key when it comes to hair loss is patience. That said, being open to alternative medicine in the form of supplements is also very helpful. For example, evening primrose oil (also known as EPO) is a nutritional supplement that seems to work well. In his book, “Solved: The Riddle of Illness,” Stephen Langer, M.D. points out that the symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency are very similar to hypothyroidism. He recommends evening primrose oil – which is an excellent source of essential fatty acids — as helpful for people with hypothyroidism and hair restoration.

Kenneth Blanchard reinforces the usefulness of evening primrose oil, “For hair loss, I routinely recommend multiple vitamins, and especially evening primrose oil. If there’s any sex pattern to it — if a woman is losing hair in partly a male pattern, like the bald spot on the back of the head – -then, the problem is that there is excessive conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone at the level of the hair follicle. Evening primrose oil inhibits that conversion. So almost anybody with hair loss probably will benefit from evening primrose oil.

As an individual with hair loss and as a practitioner that sees a lot of hair loss, I can vouch for it’s effectiveness. Again patience is a virtue, as it takes a few months to a year.

Look at Other Alternatives

In one study, Dr. Hugh Rushton, a professor at Portsmouth University, also found that 90 percent of women with thinning hair were deficient in iron and the amino acid lysine. Lysine is the most difficult amino acid to get enough of via diet.

Lysine helps transport iron, which is the most important element in the body and essential for many metabolic processes. When L-lysine and iron levels are low, the body probably switches some hair follicles off to increase levels elsewhere. Meat, fish and eggs are the only food sources of lysine. There are also supplements that contain lysine. I take L-lysine every night. It also prevents fever blisters.

Some other natural ways to deal with hair loss include:

  • Arginine (be aware that L-lysine and Arginine compete and net each other out. So take one in the morning and one in the evening to get the benefit of each)
  • Cysteine
  • Organic Green Tea
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Progesterone (in a bioidentical drop form)
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Trichosaccaride
  • Vitamin B6
  • Zinc

Did I miss a protocol that you swear has resulted in hair growth? Tweet me @DrRenae and let me know!