July 29, 2014

Are Probiotics the New Prozac? Probiotics & ADHD

As you know I feel there is an relationship between leaky gut and food sensitivities, and ADHD...read my post here ADHD and Leaky Gut. Below is an article about how your gut helps with brain function. Basically is comes back to DIET!!
By Dr. Mercola
While many think of their brain as the organ in charge of their mental health, your gut may actually play a far more significant role.
The big picture many of us understand is one of a microbial world that we just happen to be living in. Our actions interfere with these microbes, and they in turn respond having more effects to our individual health as well as the entire environment.
There is some truth to the old expression, having 'dirt for brains'.  The microbes in our soil, on our plants, in our stomachs are all a result of our actions.  Antibiotics, herbicides, vaccines, and pesticides, and the tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals we've created all have impacts and result in reactions from these microbes.
Probiotics Alter Brain Function, Study Finds
  • The treatment group ate yogurt containing several probiotics thought to have a beneficial impact on intestinal health, twice a day for one month
  • Another group ate a "sham" product that looked and tasted like the yogurt but contained no probiotics
  • Control group ate no product at all
  • The insular cortex (insula), which plays a role in functions typically linked to emotion (including perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal experience) and the regulation of your body's homeostasis, and
  • The somatosensory cortex, which plays a role in your body's ability to interpret a wide variety of sensations
Yes, Your Diet Affects Your Mood and Mental Health
Previous studies have confirmed that what you eat can alter the composition of your gut flora. Specifically, eating a high-vegetable, fiber-based diet produces a profoundly different composition of microbiota than a more typical Western diet high in carbs and processed fats. 
The featured research tells us that the composition of your gut flora not only affects your physical health, but also has a significant impact on your brain function and mental state. Previous research has also shown that certain probiotics can help alleviate anxiety:
  • The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility5 reported the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalized anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain.
  • Other research6 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA levels—an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes—in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior. It is likely other lactobacillus species also provide this benefit, but this was the only one that was tested.
Your Gut Bacteria Are Vulnerable to Your Diet and Lifestyle
  • First, they are typically loaded with sugar, and avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) is in my view, based on the evidence, a critical aspect of preventing and/or treating depression. Not only will sugar compromise your beneficial gut bacteria by providing the preferred fuel for pathogenic bacteria, it also contributes to chronic inflammation throughout your body, including your brain.
  • Many contain artificial sweeteners and other synthetic additives that can wreak havoc with brain health. In fact, depression and panic attacks are two of the reported side effects of aspartame. Preliminary findings presented at the 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology also report that drinking sweetened beverages―whether they're sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners—is associated with an increased risk of depression.7
  • Processed foods are also typically loaded with refined grains, which turn into sugar in your body. Wheat in particular has also been implicated in psychiatric problems, from depression to schizophrenia, due to Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA), which has neurotoxic activity.
  • The majority of processed foods also contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients (primarily corn and soy), which have been shown to be particularly detrimental to beneficial bacteria. There are several mechanisms of harm at work here. For example:
  • Eating genetically engineered Bt corn may turn your intestinal flora into a sort of "living pesticide factory," essentially manufacturing Bt-toxinfrom within your digestive system on a continuing basis
  • Beneficial gut bacteria are very sensitive to residual glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). Due to mounting resistance, GE Roundup Ready crops are being drenched with increasing amounts of this toxic herbicide. Studies have already confirmed that glyphosate alters and destroys beneficial gut flora in animals, as evidenced by the increasing instances of lethal botulism in cattle
  • Recent research also reveals that your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate's mechanism of harm, as your gut microbes have the identical pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds!
Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotics supplement)Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plusgenetically engineered grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora
Chlorinated and/or fluoridated waterAntibacterial soap
How to Reseed Your Gut Flora
  • Radically reduce your sugar intake. I'm being repetitive here, to drive home the point that you can take the best fermented foods and/or probiotic supplements, but if you fail to reduce your sugar intake you will sabotage your efforts to rebuild your gut flora. This would be similar to driving your car with one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake simultaneously. Simply not a good strategy at all. When you consume sugar at the level of the typical American you are virtually guaranteed to have a preponderance of pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi, no matter what supplements you are taking.
  • Eat traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foodsFermented foods are the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Some of the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods are also excellent chelators of heavy metals and pesticides, which will also have a beneficial health effect by reducing your toxic load. Healthy choices include:
  • Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
  • Fermented milk, such as kefir
  • Natto (fermented soy)
  • Take a high-quality probiotic supplement. Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis.
Nurture Your Gut for Optimal Health and Mental Well-Being

Mounting research indicates that problems in your gut can directly impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression.
The gut-brain connection is well-recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, so this isn't all that surprising, even though it's often overlooked. There's also a wealth of evidence showing intestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases.
With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment. A recent article1 titled "Are Probiotics the New Prozac?" reviews some of the most recent supporting evidence.
The featured proof-of-concept study, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) actually altered participants' brain function. The study2 enlisted 36 women between the ages of 18 and 55 who were divided into three groups:
Before and after the four-week study, participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, both while in a state of rest, and in response to an "emotion-recognition task."
For the latter, the women were shown a series of pictures of people with angry or frightened faces, which they had to match to other faces showing the same emotions.
"This task, designed to measure the engagement of affective and cognitive brain regions in response to a visual stimulus, was chosen because previous research in animals had linked changes in gut flora to changes in affective behaviors," the researchers explained.
Compared to the controls, the women who consumed probiotic yogurt had decreased activity in two brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation:
During the resting brain scan, the treatment group also showed greater connectivity between a region known as the 'periaqueductal grey' and areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with cognition. In contrast, the control group showed greater connectivity of the periaqueductal grey to emotion- and sensation-related regions.
The fact that this study showed any improvement at all is remarkable, considering they used commercial yogurt preparations that are notoriously unhealthy; loaded with artificial sweeteners, colors, flavorings, and sugar. Most importantly, the vast majority of commercial yogurts have clinically insignificant levels of beneficial bacteria. Clearly, you would be far better off making your own yogurt from raw milk—especially if you're seeking to address depression through dietary interventions.
According to lead author Dr. Kirsten Tillisch:34
"Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut. Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street... 'When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings 'you are what you eat' and 'gut feelings' take on new meaning.'"
The implications are particularly significant in our current era of rampant depression and emotional "malaise." And as stated in the featured article, the drug treatments available today are no better than they were 50 years ago. Clearly, we need a new approach, and diet is an obvious place to start.
It's important to realize that you have neurons both in your brain and your gut -- including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain! Perhaps this is one reason why antidepressants, which raise serotonin levels in your brain, are often ineffective in treating depression, whereas proper dietary changes often help...
Processed, refined foods in general will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast, so limiting or eliminating these from your diet should be at the top of your list. Following my recently revised nutrition plan is a simple way to automatically reduce your intake of sugar from all sources. Processed foods wreak havoc on your gut in a number of different ways:
Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to and can be harmed by:
Considering the fact that an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, reseeding your gut with healthy bacteria is important for the prevention of virtually ALL disease, both physical and mental. The first step is to clean up your diet and lifestyle by avoiding the items listed above. Then, to actively reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria, you'll want to:
    Ideally, you want to eat a variety of fermented foods to maximize the variety of bacteria you're consuming. Fermented vegetables, which are one of my new passions, are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into our gut. And, unlike some other fermented foods, they tend to be palatable, if not downright delicious, to most people.
    As an added bonus, they can also be a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. We tested samples of high-quality fermented organic vegetables made with our specific starter culture, and a typical serving (about two to three ounces) contained not only 10 trillion beneficial bacteria, it also had 500 mcg of vitamin K2, which we now know is a vital co-nutrient to both vitamin D and calcium. Most high-quality probiotics supplements will only supply you with a fraction of the beneficial bacteria found in such homemade fermented veggies, so it's your most economical route to optimal gut health as well.
Foods have an immense impact on your body and your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan is the best way to support your mental and physical health.
Mounting research indicates the bacterial colonies residing in your gut may in fact play key roles in the development of brain, behavioral and emotional problems—from depression to ADHD, autism and more serious mental illness like schizophrenia. Certainly, when you consider the fact that the gut-brain connection is recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, and that there's no shortage of evidence of gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases, it's easy to see how the balance of gut bacteria can play a significant role in your psychology and behavior.
With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, from cradle to grave, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment.
Cultured foods like raw milk yogurt and kefir, some cheeses, and fermented vegetables are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria. So my strong recommendation would be to make cultured or fermented foods a regular part of your diet; this can be your primary strategy to optimize your body's good bacteria.
If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is definitely recommended. A probiotic supplement can be incredibly useful to help maintain a well-functioning digestive system when you stray from your healthy diet and consume excess grains or sugar, or if you have to take antibiotics.

July 27, 2014

Team Sports vs Individual Sports for an ADHD Child

For my son team sports wasn't a good fit. He played baseball and basketball for two years and football for one year and it just didn't work. He’d get so overwhelmed. Grant it this was before he became gluten, dairy, & soy free… perhaps if he would have tried them after his diet change things would have been better.
I have found the individual sports are much better for an ADHD child. Personally I feel the reason an individual sport is a better fit for a child with ADHD is they get to make almost all the decisions, which they love. There isn't as much risk of getting overwhelmed by teammates, other players, and coaches.
My son decided to take up karate. He’s now been it for many years and it’s been so beneficial for him. The main things it has taught him is control, focus, and respect. Three things an ADHD child really needs to master!
Karate emphasize self-control, including self-discipline and respect for yourself and others. Focus and concentration are need to remember the moves and to spare with others. These things really challenge an ADHD child.
Now don’t just sign-up your child for just any karate class. Please do your homework and make sure it’s a good school. It took us two different dojos to find a karate class that wasn’t just a bunch of kids goofing off…we were looking for serious martial art teachers that “REALLY WANTED” the kids to learn karate. We also asked the Sensei if we could move our son to an adult class (he was 13 when he joined) because we thought the adult students wouldn’t “goof off” as much as the younger class. The Sensei agreed and my son thrived with the adults.
So when you’re considering sports for your ADHD child don’t forget to look into individual sports too.

Here are some other individual sports you might want to check into: archery, cross country, golf, wrestling, chess (my son will play chess with anyone and anywhere—he loves it that much), cycling, horse riding…

July 26, 2014

Apricot Chicken Recipe ~Gluten & Soy Free~

I thought I'd share with you one of our favorite recipes using the the onion soup mix I mentioned in the post below. You can use any type of chicken--I usually use breasts. Use the smallest and shallowest dish you can so the chicken really "sits" in the sauce. You can serve this with rice or a baked potato.
Sorry I have no "after" photo...my family ate it before I could get a pic.
4 or 5 large boneless/skinless chicken breast
1/2 of a packet of onion soup/dip mix
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tea vinegar
1 tea honey
A dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish. Mix everything together and pour over the chicken.

Bake for 35-45 min--just until chicken is done.

July 23, 2014

Lipton Onion Soup Mix REPLACEMENT (Gluten & Soy Free)

Lipton Onion Soup Mix isn't gluten free (it has barley in it), or soy free (soybean oil) and even if it were I’d still not eat it because of the MSG (monosodium glutamate). This stuff is just BAD! 
But what about green bean casserole or meatloaf ? No worries I found a great replacement!

It's from Trader Joe’s. It only cost .99! I called the company and it IS gluten and soy free!
 If you don't have a Trader Joe's near check Ebay I know you can find this mix there from time to time.

July 20, 2014

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread ~Paleo~

We have so much zucchini from out garden we can hardly eat it all! I've been making this zucchini bread weekly. It super moist and a great way to use up zucchini. 
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
3 organic eggs
2 tsp gluten free vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 1/2 cups of almond meal or flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Generously grease a loaf pan with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350.

With a hand mixer mix eggs, vanilla, sugar, and coconut oil until well blended. Add grated zucchini and mix in.  In separate bowl mix almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix just until everything is blended. Don't over mix. Pour into the greased loaf pan (grease pan really well. I pour in coconut oil and roll it around to coat it). Bake for 50 min to 1 hours. Cool before serving.

July 19, 2014

Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France?
Is ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the United States. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes. The preferred treatment is also biological--psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.
French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Instead of treating children's focusing and behavioral problems withdrugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child's brain but in the child's social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child's brain.
French child psychiatrists don't use the same system of classification ofchildhood emotional problems as American psychiatrists. They do not use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM.According to Sociologist Manuel Vallee, the French Federation ofPsychiatry developed an alternative classification system as a resistance to the influence of the DSM-3. This alternative was the CFTMEA(Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L'Enfant et de L'Adolescent), first released in 1983, and updated in 1988 and 2000. The focus of CFTMEA is on identifying and addressing the underlying psychosocial causes of children's symptoms, not on finding the best pharmacological bandaids with which to mask symptoms.
To the extent that French clinicians are successful at finding and repairing what has gone awry in the child's social context, fewer children qualify for the ADHD diagnosis. Moreover, the definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system, which, in my view, tends to "pathologize" much of what is normal childhood behavior. The DSMspecifically does not consider underlying causes. It thus leads clinicians to give the ADHD diagnosis to a much larger number of symptomatic children, while also encouraging them to treat those children with pharmaceuticals.
The French holistic, psychosocial approach also allows for considering nutritional causes for ADHD-type symptoms—specifically the fact that the behavior of some children is worsened after eating foods with artificial colors, certain preservatives, and/or allergens. Clinicians who work with troubled children in this country—not to mention parents of many ADHD kids—are well aware that dietary interventions can sometimes help a child's problem. In the United States, the strict focus on pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD, however, encourages clinicians to ignore the influence of dietary factors on children's behavior.
And then, of course, there are the vastly different philosophies of child-rearing in the United States and France. These divergent philosophies could account for why French children are generally better-behaved than their American counterparts. Pamela Druckerman highlights the divergent parenting styles in her recent book, Bringing up Bébé. I believe her insights are relevant to a discussion of why French children are not diagnosed with ADHD in anything like the numbers we are seeing in the United States.
From the time their children are born, French parents provide them with a firm cadre—the word means "frame" or "structure." Children are not allowed, for example, to snack whenever they want. Mealtimes are at four specific times of the day. French children learn to wait patiently for meals, rather than eating snack foods whenever they feel like it. French babies, too, are expected to conform to limits set by parents and not by their crying selves. French parents let their babies "cry it out" if they are notsleeping through the night at the age of four months.
French parents, Druckerman observes, love their children just as much as American parents. They give them piano lessons, take them to sportspractice, and encourage them to make the most of their talents. But French parents have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent. Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word "no" rescues children from the "tyranny of their own desires." And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France. (Author's note: I am not personally in favor of spanking children).
As a therapist who works with children, it makes perfect sense to me that French children don't need medications to control their behavior because they learn self-control early in their lives. The children grow up in families in which the rules are well-understood, and a clear family hierarchy is firmly in place. In French families, as Druckerman describes them, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.
Copyright © Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.
Marilyn Wedge is the author of Pills Are Not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids

July 17, 2014

Pink Slime Going to School Lunches

The U.S. Department of Agriculture told "The Daily" online newspaper that it's buying 7 million more pounds of the "slime" for school lunch programs across the country.
All USDA ground beef purchases for the National School Lunch Program must meet the highest standards for food safety," the USDA said in a statement to "The Daily." "This includes stringent pathogen testing and compliance with all applicable food safety regulations. USDA would only allow products into commerce or especially into schools that we have confidence are safe."

The "slime" consists of beef by-products: cow intestines, connective tissue and other parts that are not used in traditional beef cuts.

Those parts are more susceptible to E. coli and salmonella contamination, so the last ingredient to the "pink slime" is ammonium hydroxide, which kills that bacteria.

McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King all decided in January they would stop using the "pink slime" in their food after pressure from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

We may still eat it and not even know it. The FDA considers ammonia "a processing agent," so it's not required to be listed on any food label.

9Health Reporter Dr. John Torres says the ammonia does not cause a major health risk to our bodies. Dr. John is more concerned about the possible E. coli and salmonella that could still exist in the beef by-products, even after the chemical treatment. He also adds that the by-products used do not have the same nutritional value as pure ground beef.

"The big concern is that this is a chemically processed food, it doesn't have nearly the nutrients of normal beef," Dr. John said. "It's one of those things, 'Do I want my child to have this?' On a short-term, moderate basis: maybe. On a long-term basis: no."
Dr. John says he's a big advocate of being a "label-reader," but that only works if the ingredients are actually required to be on the label.

"I want to know about that and that's probably the main thing, having them explain to us how much they're going to put in the food and how long they're going to use this in our food system and how much the kids are actually going to get during the school day," Dr. John said.

The plant that produces the "slime," Beef Products Inc., estimates its ammonia-based product is used in 70 percent of the ground beef sold in the United States. That's expected to decrease significantly with the recent boycott from fast food chains.

July 15, 2014

The Difference Between Food Allergy & Food Intolerance

Food allergies and food intolerance's can have similar symptoms, but are very different conditions. I believe that children who have ADHD have food allergies or intolerance's. These two words can’t be interchanged because they are very different.
My son will often tell people, “I can’t eat that because I’m allergic to wheat” or dairy or soy…whatever it may be. In reality this is NOT true. He’s not allergic to wheat, dairy or soy—he has an intolerance to them. But it’s much easier to say, when you’re at a restaurant or over at someone’s house, “I’m allergic to it that’s why I don’t eat it.” Then there’s no questions asked or a lengthy explanation.

But it’s important to know the difference between the two. Simply put a food allergy can kill you and a food intolerance won’t cause you to die but it can make you very sick and have all different types of reactions—ADHD included.

Here’s a little deeper explanation of the two:
A food allergy is an immune system response. It is caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. An allergic reaction occurs when the antibodies are battling an "invading" food protein. We’ve all heard of people who have eaten a peanut and have died, this is an ALLERGY.

Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down, the food. We’ve all heard of people who drink dairy and then have cramps and diarrhea. This is an INTOLERANCE. The dairy won’t cause them to die, but it will make them very sick.

If you read “our story” to the left you will see we had Johnny tested for allergies and nothing really came up (we went to an allergist and they did the scratch test on the back...olive tree pollen was his only reaction out of dozens they did). But when we tested via the blood he had major reactions to everything he was tested for--his doctor was very concerned because she'd never seen so many reactions, that's how bad it was…so we knew his body was having a very hard time and that’s why we were seeing all ADHD symptoms. Here’s the post. Allergy Testing

July 13, 2014

Iced Passion Tea Lemonade

We’ve been drinking a lot of this lately. I carry this everywhere I go. It's fast and tastes so good on a hot day!
Here's what you need:
Newman’s  Own Lemonade
One bag of Tazo Passion tea
Fill glass with ice and then fill the glass half with water and half with lemonade. Drop in a tea bag. Put on lid and mix it a little. Don't worry the tea will steep even with the cold ingredients. I leave the teabag in and as I drink it down I add a little more water and lemonade throughout the day. This is a great way to rehydrate.
I cut the lemonade with half water to reduce the sugar but it you want it full strength go for it!

July 11, 2014

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for ADHD?

As you know I love Dr. Weil. For me he's the perfect balance between natural medicine and western medicine. 
For those of you that don't know him here's a little bit about him:

Dr. Andrew Weil is an American medical doctor and naturopath, and a teacher and writer on holistic health. He is founder, professor, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He received both his medical degree and his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University and established the field of integrative medicine which aims to combine alternative and conventional medicine. Weil says that patients should take the Western medicine prescribed by the doctor, and then incorporate alternative therapies such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and herbal remedies, meditation and other “spiritual” strategies.

Dr. Weil just released this month what he recommends for ADHD. Look at the highlighted recommendation...food sensitivities!!!! No wheat, soy, or dairy (& a few others)....we're on to something people!! 
* I don't know if I've ever mentioned it but we don't eat peanuts either.

First, make certain that the underlying cause of your child's disruptive behavior really is ADHD, and that he or she isn't acting out difficulties at home or expressing frustration with a learning disability. Be sure to rule out hearing or vision problems, allergies, depression, learning disabilities, or even boredom in a gifted child. In addition, try these measures:
  • Take a supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are critical for normal, healthy brain development and evidence suggests they may be present in lower levels in people with ADHD.
  • Consider food sensitivities. While there's no evidence that a dietary approach helps in all cases, a 1993 Cornell University study found that eliminating dairy products, wheat, corn, yeast, soy, citrus, eggs, chocolate, peanuts, artificial colors and preservatives seemed to decrease ADHD symptoms. An even earlier study showed that a low-allergen diet supplemented with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins produced favorable results.
  • Make sure that basic nutrition is sound. Starting the day with high-sugar or highly  processed foods can lead to hypoglycemia in mid-morning and ADHD type behavior.
  • Check the levels of ferritin (iron), zinc, and magnesium. Deficiencies of all of these have been shown in some studies to worsen ADHD symptoms.
  • Explore Neurofeedback.. This technique helps people learn to control their own brain waves and can teach people with ADHD how to improve their brain wave patterns.
  • Exercise: Working out on a regular basis has a natural calming effect; it also raises levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, which facilitates the ability to focus attention. Martial arts including tai chi and karate can improve self-discipline, boost concentration and slow the restless cascade of intrusive thoughts.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation refers to the various forms of practice that involve focusing on body sensations, especially breathing. A preliminary study at UCLA trained participants in meditation, and required them to conduct mindful sitting and walking sessions over eight weeks. Result; cognitive tests revealed participants had increased ability to focus even when other stimuli were competing for their attention.
  • Make sure your child is getting the appropriate accommodations at school. Sometimes relatively simple school interventions can make a big difference.
  • Employ consistent and positive behavior management at home. Children with ADHD are often subject to almost constant ongoing criticism. Focus on what they do well, not just the areas of difficulty.
  • For a comprehensive guide, see ADHD Without Drugs by integrative pediatrician Sanford Newmark, M.D. Dr. Weil strongly recommends the book to all parents, relatives, and friends of children with ADHD.

July 10, 2014

Chicken Marinade

This is my go-to marinade for chicken. I always get compliments on it. The amount below is for 4 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts. I buy mine from Costco and they are really big. 
*I've also used this marinade for veggies too, so get creative!
1/4 cup olive oil
7-10 fresh basil leaves chopped
 2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 lemon juiced
Salt & pepper to taste
Pour olive oil in large ziplock bag. Add chopped garlic and basil. Juice the lemon, right in the bag and then toss in rinds. Add salt and pepper and massage the ingredients a little. Add chicken and let marinate for a few hours. Toss on the barbeque and grill.