Hey Everyone.

I am starting to offer online classes and in the chit-chat at the beginning of the class Natasha, my amazing project manager, and I were talking about how to get protein in and she described this amazing recipe.

Kristen

Here’s the basic recipe, I don’t actually even remember where I got it from at this point – somewhere online. My changes follow:

lemon coconut protein balls

1/4 C vanilla protein powder
1/2 C coconut flakes
2 Tbl lemon juice
lemon zest from 1 lemon
2 Tbl honey (or other sweetener).

Mix it all together, roll into (about) 6 balls, eat.

Natasha’s Notes
Why balls instead of bars? Their a fun change, and you don’t have to commit to a whole serving all at once. And they’re great for kids (my nieces accept them as “dessert” and eating 5-6 of something feels like a treat). You can make double or triple the recipe – they store well in the fridge for a few days.

I use whey protein isolate powder. For those into hemp, I could see rolling in some hemp hearts to get a little more protein and crunch…

Once I only had very large coconut flakes on hand and, although I thought they would just crush up, they didn’t so much so I added a little bit of coconut flour to help hold everything together. Also – I go out of my way to buy UN-sweetened coconut flakes (just dried shaved coconut). If someone was using sweetened coconut, which is what is commonly available in grocery stores, I’d recommend tasting before adding any additional sweetener.

I often buy dried lemon zest in bulk from Healthy Living as I don’t always have fresh lemons on hand and I love lemon. I use about 1 Tbl of the dried zest, but this really can be added “to taste”.

I use honey and I add it to taste. I find 1 Tbl is plenty, but that can vary depending on the type of honey. I had some nice dark orange blossom honey and I added less than a tsp because it has such a strong flavor. But I guess it depends on how sweet people are used to having things. I find I like things a lot less sweet than others. And it will also depend on if people are using a protein powder than is pre-sweetened or not (I know a lot have stevia or some other sweeteners already in the powder). So I’d recommend tasting the mix before adding any sweetener. But depending on if or how little you use, you might need to add extra liquid to get the consistency right.

The amount of protein will vary with the product used – what I use is 17 grams per 1/4 cup.

I also make a version of this with chocolate whey protein powder and coconut – omitting the lemon and using a few Tbl of water (or cold coffee or milk or milk substitute) instead of lemon juice. Once I used peanut butter and coconut flour with chocolate protein powder (but I’m guessing almond butter would be healthier…). The peanut butter ones came out a bit stickier, so I wonder about adding oats or some other something – maybe just more coconut (or almond) flour, but I haven’t made them again. They tasted good, but definitely not something to snack on while at a computer!

And once you get a feel for the consistency, anything could be used really. As I type this I’m thinking a dash of nutmeg in the chocolate ones might be nice, or chili pepper for those who like spicy chocolate. Maybe some chopped up dried tart cherries and toasted almond slivers, or dried raspberries, orange instead of lemon, mmm – lime instead of orange… I could go on all day. I think I’ll make some this afternoon and try out some different flavors.

If you try them, let me know what you think!

Cheers,

Tash

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For too long I have been wondering if I could better support therapists, coaches, nurse practitioners, mentors, and individuals through online training. I have looked into it number of times and quite frankly, I have not done it for the same reason many people don’t do things — fear of failure. Well, I can’t honestly work with my clients to try to get better and over come their fear of failing one more time around addictions, changing their diet, starting to exercise, or changing their job. If I don’t address my big fear not being everything to everyone. Another reason, I am going to just try online training is because I am bored with the should I or shouldn’t I. I am just going to do it and see what happens. I promise you, I will do my best. This will be far from perfect but I will learn and it will get better over time.

The other reason, I have not started on line training to provide you with information on how improved nutrition can improve fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sleep. Is that I don’t want to do it alone. But if you come along then I wont be alone. There will be a group of us who are just showing up and dialoging that sometimes our clients and patients are stuck not because they won’t do the emotional work in therapy or because they don’t have the right medications, but because their brain does not have the right resources to change. I see this all the time when the fatigue is better and the anxiety is down a little and people can predict it. They can better engage.

So, if you are interested. Here is the offer. I will do an online training on Friday April 8, May 13th, and June 10th at 8 to 9 AM PST. The cost will be $10 through PayPal. Every session you will get a handout to use with your clients. If you complete all three you will get a certificated of training.

If your are interested, please email me at allott@dyamicbrainsconsulting.com and I will send you the agenda for the three on line class and sign you up for the email list for the class.

If you can’t make this class or are not sure that you have the bandwidth for a novice. Please check in on my new website
KristenAllott.com. I will be posting resources for you to use.

New Resources

Right out of college, I worked with adolesents in psychiatric crisis. People would ask me, if it was all kids were from homes with addictions or abuse. I said, ‘No’. The common thread for all the kids who were placed there, by state authorities, was that they rarely had a meal with an adult. I became a big fan of meals with family or community. It does not have to be everyday. Meals are a chance for adults to learn what is happening in the kids world and kids to learn about the adult world. Just talk about your day and ask and listen to what is happening in other people’s day. Here is a cool website about family meals. It gives tips and suggestions.
http://thefamilydinnerproject.org/resources/faq/

For more Resources

Check out my new website: KristenAllott.com
My Professional Facebook Page for cool stuff that is happening: https://www.facebook.com/DynamicPaths/

If you would like me to speak at your company, organization, or conference LinkedIn Profile for Dr. Kristen Allott.

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As I hear Seattle’s weather forecasts including “freezing fog, blusterier winds and chance of snow,” I’m reminded of a promise I made last winter. I am going to create for my clients a cold/flu handout—steps to feeling better quicker.

Our society can learn to sneeze into our elbows, wash our hands more frequently, carry disinfecting wipes for swiping surfaces, door knobs, stair rails, wear gloves and even sport the nose masks that trap airborne germs from spreading randomly. Without a doubt, the flu vaccinations reduce incidents of colds and flus in the very young and senior members of our communities. However, if you are out and about doing your business and living fully, you too will be exposed to random viruses. It is only a matter of time.

Chinese medicine prescribes being sick, so you can get better. I’m thinking “getting better” involves shortening the time of the sick, miserable feeling time. After symptoms begin to develop such as sneezing, watery eyes and/or runny nose, aching joints, headaches and perhaps a mild fever, prepare for the following three-day routine. I recommend for adults the following plan for feeling better quicker.

days: workmates, appoint folks, carpool group, nanny, etc. Clear calendar, blocking out time for feeling better quicker.

Names Numbers

1._______________________________________________________
2._______________________________________________________
3._______________________________________________________
4._______________________________________________________
5._______________________________________________________

2. INITIATE HOT BATHS: Make bath water hot enough that you sweat a bit—approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit or as hot as you can stand it for 20 minutes. Take 3 to 5 hot baths daily.

Rational: Virus and bacteria thrive in a 98.6 human habitat. Your immune system functions better at just above normal body temperature. When you take a hot bath or shower, you are intentionally, warming your body to make it more difficult for the germs to be happy, much less survive.

Day One Bath Times

* __________ *__________ *__________ *__________ *__________

Day Two Bath Times

* __________ *__________ *__________ *__________ *__________

Day Three Bath Times

* __________ *__________ *__________ *__________ *__________

3. RELAX AND REST: Nap frequently. Get loads of rest. Wear fresh and comfortable leisure clothes. Watch television. Read a book for fun. Sleep. Should you suddenly feel chilled, take another hot bath.

Day One Rest Time

Naps______ Television______ Reading______ Other______

Day Two Rest Times

Naps______ Television______ Reading______ Other______

Day Three Rest Times

Naps______ Television______ Reading______ Other______

4. EAT EASILY DIGESTED FOODS such as broths, soups with a few vegetables and a little rice, cottage cheese

Food Notes:
5. DRINK PLENTY OF LIQUIDS such as water, teas–warm drinks that sooth the throat and nasal passages. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary fruit juices.

Liquid Notes
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Hopefully, at the end of three days you will be feeling better. You are ready, maybe eager, to return to your normal activities. Should the symptoms linger longer than three days, please check with your medical professional of choice. Someone with whom you are able to problem solve is ideal. Take your Cold/Flu Handout with you for records of what steps you have taken in feeling better quicker.

This is what I have put together so far for an easy guide to caring for self during the cold and influenza season. What is helpful? How could the practical handout for feeling better quicker be improved? I welcome your feedback.

RECIPES FOR CHASING AWAY THE WINTER BLAHS

I am so pleased to be able to raid files of several friends and my own experience to share three recipes for chasing away the winter blahs.

* A NEVER FAIL GARGLE
* SPICED ORANGE/LEMON TEA
* LEMON AND GINGER TEA

You remember, no doubt, suggestions made by friends and relatives to use supplements such as zinc, vitamin C, and fresh ginger when suffering from symptoms cold and influenza symptoms. Generally, they do help. To those, I add cut back on your consumption of sugar.

A NEVER FAIL GARGLE that I use when needed is several tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small glass and shake to dissolve the salt. Gargle several times and swallow juice.

From the Early family kitchens comes the WARM SPICED ORANGE/LEMON TEA . It is a tea the family served during special family gatherings and/or to family members with the sniffles.

In a large pot or soup pan mix the following:
Equal amounts of frozen orange and lemon (lemonade) juices. Follow the directions on the frozen containers regarding water. Over a low heat, add these to the liquid mixture

* 1 Cinnamon stick
* 4-6 Whole cloves
* 2-3 Black tea bags or the equivalent loose black tea

Bring just to a boil. Turn off heat and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain if necessary. Add more water and/or sugar to taste. Serve while hot. Save any left over tea in a glass container to cool and them place in the refrigerator.

Later stir or shake liquid. Pour out only the cups of the liquid to be served into a warming pan or by cup in a Microwave. (Warm only the cups of tea needed.) The remaining liquid mixture should be good in the refrigerated glass container for 3 to 4 days.

The second warm tea is one discovered during the 15 years Joan Knutson taught English in a design university in Tokyo, Japan. While visiting her now in the southwest United States during winter months, chances are she will serve you a steaming cup of LEMON GINGER TEA.

Into a 2-3 cup tea pot, pour
* Juice of one lemon
* 2 Knuckle-sized pieces of ginger. (Using a juicer makes this very easy. However, the tea is delicious even when one small dices the ginger.)
* 2 Boiling cups of water.

Stir and then steep for 10 minutes. Strain liquid, if necessary. Pour into cups/mugs, adding a small amount of maple syrup to taste. Enjoy!

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PHYSICAL CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

February 11, 2015

Winter 2015 is synonymous with gray skies, gloomy drizzle, blue-funk heaveyheartedness, house-bound sameness and conversations on the topic of depression. Maybe it is not depression one may be feeling; maybe it is fatigue. How does one distinguish between depression and fatigue?

To answer that question, let’s distinguish between five things:

1. Fatigue: Fatigue occur when the human body simply runs out of power. It is rooted in the body struggling with a unrelenting problem. Perhaps it happens because of long-term burden, malnutrition, hormonal irregularities, and/or prolonged diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and/or obesity to name a few. Fatigue lasts all day and every day. Sufferers may be distracted for short periods of time, however, fatique remains constant.

2. Tiredness: Being tired lasts for two-three days following external forces such as disrupted sleep patterns (entertaining house guests), high levels of concern (mid-term exams), demanding physical tasks (moving an office or spring yard cleanup). Even a sudden increase in the numbers of people one is around socially may lead to feelings of being “out of juice” or expressions like “I am tired!”

3. Grief: The body slows down and is not willing to do as much as usual with the onset of the process of grief. With the loss of a person, pet, or employment, the brain needs time to adjust to the new reality. Unlike some cultures, Americans tend to undervalue the grieving process.

Nevertheless, grief is not depression. The breakup with a boyfriend, sweetheart, partner and/or spouse is not depression. It is grief. It is dealing with loss. As we recreate the story and make meaning of the loss, we may find that we have more zest for our life, Grief is a process that may occasion great renewal.

4. Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD): This condition is more common during the fall and winter. When there are fewer hours of sunlight, less serotonin is produced in the brain. Serotonin, a hormone that affects mood, appetite and sleep, is also a neurotransmitter, a transmitter of messages between nerve cells. Low serotonin levels may cause the messages between nerve cells to be tranmitted ineffectively, leading to the symptoms of SAD, such as feeling blue and down.

It is really important for each of us to get outside for at least 20 minutes every single day–drizzling rain, blowing snow or not. When dealing with Seasonal Effective Disorder, I find the following helpful: time in nature; sun lamps; and 2,000 IU’s of a reliable source of Vitamin D (Carlson) each morning.

5. Depression One of the easiest ways to distinguish depression from fatigue is by listening—yes, listening to body and brain messaging. With instances of depression, the “inner critic” is particularly loud and brutal. Depression can be physically caused by not having enough nutrients for neurotransmitter synthesis and production; lack of exercise; inadequate sleep; and/or unprocessed historic emotional information and experiences. Depression and fatigue can happen at the same time, but they have different treatment needs.

When in doubt, what is called for is time with a primary care giver and a request for a laboratory work up for fatigue. If you say you are depressed, the care giver may only give you medications. I believe that it is important to first rule out the nutritional/physiological causes. So, a list of labs to be requested is on the Resources page at dynamicpaths.com.

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The date is Friday, March 13th, 2015 from 9:00AM – 4:30PM with CE credits available. The training includes morning and afternoon sessions with topics on “Addictions-Marijuana and Sugar: What You Need to Know Conference”.

I’ll be presenting the afternoon session on” Sugar Addiction: What To Do About It”. During our time together, we will discuss strategies for decreasing sugar cravings; addressing evening binge eating; and improving mental and physical health. You’ll complete the seminar not only knowing the physiology behind sugar cravings, but also you will have practical ways of dealing with sugar addiction.

For more Information http://www.cascadia-training.org/course-detail.php?tn=&id=121#register.

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I’m pleased to be able to invite licensed mental health professionals from the Seattle area to a consult group meeting on the first Friday of the month. The consult group will gather with three times: Friday, February 6; Friday, March 6; and Friday, April 3, 2015.

These sessions will be at my Dynamic Paths office, located at 943 North 89th Street, Seattle, in the Looking Glass Room. The topic will be “Working with Obesity, Through the Lens of Attachment to the Body and Food”. Only your presents is required. Please RSVP at allott@dynamicpaths.com.

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PHARMACOGENETICS TESTING

December 29, 2014

In case you have not met pharmacogenetics testing, may I introduce you? It is a testing tool that takes the guesswork out of prescribing medicines and in their appropriate dosages for individual patients.

The screening tool will indicate which medications the patient’s liver can successfully process. A patient with a slow metabolizing liver will need smaller dosage to successfully reach a therapeutic window; fast metabolizing livers will use larger dosages of medication for the therapeutic window. The types of medications and conditions that the genetic information can impact are medications for depression, anxiety, elevated cholesterol, blood thinners, specially warfarin, and cancer.

I’m interested in spreading the word about pharmacogenetics testing and its possibilities because of its power to reduce adverse drug reactions. Approximately 30% of the people I’m seeing in my offices these days have spent more than a year trying out various medicines in order to find the most effective ones in treating their symptoms. These searches cam be impossibly long and unsuccessful. Pharmacogenetics testing can dramatically shorten the search times for the “just-right” medications and can help prevent adverse drug reactions.

Some of my clients are suffering from unnecessary side effects caused by overmedication. The test can aid in recommending appropriate dosage. Finally, pharmacogenetics testing can predict conflicting side effects, when used in combination with other prescriptions.

A 55-year old executive with depression tried out most antidepressants over a period of three years. He felt extremely frustrated and declared: “I just can’t—no, I won’t continue using those medications.” He experienced being “physically uncomfortable, clumsy, and mentally foggy.” The pharmacogenetics testing revealed that he had a slow metabolizing liver. Therefore, for success, he needed to be taking much smaller medication doses. Making those adjustments can be handled fairly painlessly and quickly.

The people who should consider pharmacogenetics testing are individuals who have had adverse reactions to medications and who have not had good success treating mental health conditions despite multiple attempts.

In your areas around the country, ask providers near you if they do pharmacogenetics testing. Or inquire whom the provider knows that does this type of testing. If you are in the Seattle area and interested, I am doing the testing through my office, using the following labs:
* Assurexhealth.com
* Genelex.com
* Pgxlab.com

The procedure is very simple: a doctor swabs the inside of patient’s cheeks and sends the swabs to a lab for genetic testing. Depending on the patient’s insurance, the screening may cost 0-$400 dollars. Medicare actually pays for the screening because it has been shown to be a cost reducer. It is certainly worth investigating for it provides life-long data that will benefit you and/or your patients.

Since this is a new testing procedure, your doctor may not be acquainted with it. Attached you will find an article published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine about pharmacogenetics test. You may print it to share with your doctor and decide together if this testing is suitable for your continued health care.
NOTE: Pharmacogenetics Testing or http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351041/

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If your desire is to weather holiday seasons or any season of your life feeling your best and without unreasonable weight gain, you will be interested in this article I included in my November newsletter (plus or minus a few edits). My wish is that these 10 tips serve as thoughtful guides throughout the year as you face eating challenges surrounding all types of celebrations.

1. At the beginning of the month, mark the days for free eating—a time to enjoy eating whatever you want.

2. When sugar cravings are especially high, turn to protein; eat protein every 3 hours.

3. During feasting and high celebration times, exercise routines are disrupted, so plan shorter workouts such as 10 minutes of walking; complete 20 squats, 20 count of plank or 10 sit ups. I like calisthenics because one can break up the exercises during the day and still receive the benefits.

4. Seek services of a nutritionist or exercise person of choice to assist with goal setting and doable action plans, supporting your desired results.

5. Include on your gift list a fitness band (a step tracker) along with time from a tech savvy family member or friend to assist you in setting up the gadget. Fitbit and Jawbone are two programs that I have observed as really excellent. There are others. Don’t forget: walking 10,000 steps a day changes health. The resulting movement prevents diabetes, improves the quality of most sleeping and mental health. It will be far easier than you might imagine meeting the minimum 5,000 steps daily, while using one of these convenient programs.

6. Commit to eating breakfast daily.

7. Consider purchasing a full spectrum light. A less expensive alternative is buying a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp you presently have. Turn it on, while you are preparing breakfast.

8. Be outside at least 10 minutes a day—even on rainy or cloudy days.

9. Thoroughly enjoy food that you are eating. Do not feel guilty. Guilt comes with no benefits. Have a plan for your eating the next day.

10. If you are tired, try a 20 to 40 minute nap.

* Remember drinking alcohol, not even excessively, disrupts sleep and results in tiredness the following day. Choose evenings with alcohol wisely.

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MEET YOU TODAY ON FACEBOOK

December 29, 2014

You will find on my Facebook page recent postings on the evils of diet soda drinks and a referral to a fitness gym in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle that is both kind and competent for those of us who are just getting started or are rebooting fitness efforts. And lastly, you may be interested in Cleveland Clinic’s support of pharmacogenetics testing.

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IN ONLY 3 DAYS, LESS DEPRESSION

September 26, 2014

A study on depression caught my eye recently. A growing number of you may be interested, too.

In short, researchers tested subjects with irritable bowel syndrome for celiac disease. Biopsies showed no evidence of a celiac disease in the group. Then, participants, who had eliminated wheat from their lives prior to the study, were asked eat wheat for three days to observe results.

After three days with gluten in their diets, subjects’ scores on the State Trait Personality Inventory (STPI) for depression worsened. Scores improved, as participants returned to gluten free eating. Their gastrointestinal symptoms did not change, as they ate gluten diets or as they returned to eating gluten-free diets.

Researchers are beginning to be able to articulate some of the possible reasons why gluten can contribute to depression. Their models show that gluten blocks tryptophan at the cellular level, which lowers serotonin in the brain. Gluten can impact the opioid receptors, which have been known to contribute to depression. I have also noticed that frequently people eat more nutritious foods once they eliminate gluten. That’s a good thing, especially when they do not replace those food products with gluten-free pastas and breads. Truly, there is noting nutritious about eating pastas and breads.

Although there are some challenges in the study, it does bring up the value of trying to eliminate gluten for a period of time and seeing if your own symptoms improve. Commit to a plan. Will you be gluten-free for three days, three weeks, or three months?

I’m a little skeptical about someone being able to note changes in three days. However, if that is what you can allocate to a plan, give it a try. I see mental health symptoms improve in three weeks. Often, I see an individual’s body change shape. It appears that they lose water mass, when they stay off gluten and eat a paleo-type diet for three months.

 Home Challenge:

  1. Write down all of your physical and emotional symptoms and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5.
  1. Take a few days to study your diet for gluten free foods. Basically, we are talking about meat, vegetables, fruits, rice, quinoa, butter, bliss ice cream, chocolate, salt, pepper, most Indian foods, most Thai foods, and some Mexican foods. Here is a link to Mayo Clinic’s list of foods that contain gluten and are to be avoided: Mayo Gluten-Free Diet.
  1. Decide how many days, you will be in control of your non-gluten diet. Will it be three days, three weeks, or three months? Whatever the time you decide, make sure that it is a clean experiment.
  1. At the end of the time period, re-rate your symptoms.
  1. Challenge the results by eating the gluten food that you missed eating the most.
  1. Twenty-four hours later, re-rate your symptoms. If your symptoms are noticeably worse after eating your gluten favorite thing, gluten may be a problem for you.

Truthfully, this testing on your own is really hard to accomplish. If that is the case for you, find support. Ask a friend who is gluten-free for assistance. Go see your local alternative medical doctor, acupuncturist or nutritionist. Performing and feeling your best is worth the effort.

For closer consideration of the link between gluten and depression, here is a link to the abstract for the research article. Gluten and Depression

Or you may want to consider reading renowned neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD’s book, Grain Brain: the Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers. Written in 2013, Dr. Perlmutter explores the science of mental health and neurological disorders and their relationships with gluten.

 

JOIN DYNAMIC PATHS’ FACEBOOK PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/DynamicPaths

I have a Facebook page for Dynamic Paths! On it I placed Ted videos, scientific studies, poems, and occasional videos that I find interesting and/or sometimes hilarious. I understand myself passing on to you helpful information and promoting short pod-casts and video casts.

During Fall 2014, I will be sharing information about the causes of evening binge eating both in the newsletter and on Facebook.

Please join today! On my personal Facebook page, you have a choice to be either a close personal friend or an Aikido-ist. Believe me, most conversations are quite dull in that second category, unless you’re interested in the nuances of falling down and getting up, while practicing Aikido.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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