Exercise, Diet and Sleep – Nancy

Exercise, diet and sleep: three important ingredients for health, and also for mood stability.  Keeping our bodies healthy is a vital strategy for mental health as well.  All body systems work together, so it makes sense that a healthy balance in one area will contribute to a healthy balance in others. Try this experiment: make a chart or note of …

Habits for Weight Loss

Three Habits for Weight Loss

Many people with depression have trouble avoiding weight gain, a recent study suggests that there are three habits for weight loss which may help. The study, which was published in BMJ Open, tracked nearly 60,000 people in Japan who also had type 2 diabetes and looked at eating habits and their relationship to weight gain over time. Aside from the …

binge eating and bipolar

Binge Eating and Bipolar – Nancy

In our practice we often see a link between binge eating and bipolar.  Recent studies are showing that there is a link between emotional eating and bipolar disorder, with as many as 10% of bipolar sufferers also struggling with eating disorders, a much higher percentage than in the general population. The Mayo Clinic, which has studied the link between binge …

Higher Carbohydrate Meals Increase Punishment

A study in 2017 finds that the composition of food in one meal can significantly affect behavior in the following hours, higher carbohydrate meals increase punishment behavior. How does this work and what does it mean in terms of understanding how diet affects mood? In the study, a high carbohydrate breakfast boosted tryptophan and lowered tyrosine. Tryptophan is the key …

Circadian Rhythms and Food

Scientists are uncovering a fascinating relationship between circadian rhythms and food consumption. It looks as though when you eat can have a big impact on how your body metabolizes the food and on whether or not you gain weight. It has long been clear that light exposure plays an important role in setting a number of circadian rhythms in the …

Intermittent Fasting and Brain Health

Conventional wisdom, especially in the realm of diet and health, often turns out not to be right. Conventional wisdom (as it happens, heavily subsidized by grants from the Kellogg Foundation) has argued that “breakfast is the most important meal” and “fasting diets are unhealthy.” An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Casazza in 2013 suggested that the …

Can Junk Food Shrink Your Brain?

Did you know that increasing or even maintaining your intake of burgers, fries and soda pop—and pretty much any other hallmark of the “Western diet,” high in saturated fats and refined sugar—isn’t just an efficient way of rotting your teeth out and raising your risk of cancer, diabetes or heart disease, but that you may also be shrinking your brain? …

MIND Diet Prevents Memory Loss

Researchers at Rush University have developed a diet (the MIND diet) that appears to be associated with significantly reduced cognitive decline in aging. The diet was developed from three sources of information: the Mediterranean diet (as elsewhere on this blog), the DASH diet for the prevention of hypertension, and a review of the literature on the effects of specific dietary components …

Mediterranean Diet and Depression

Boost your brain power naturally! Try this simple intervention to reduce depression, stroke, heart disease and improve cognition. Does that statement make you a bit wary? A recent meta-analysis of 22 studies spanning two decades finds that the Mediterranean diet is associated with significant reductions in the risk of depression and stroke, and significant improvements in cognition. Across the studies, …

Food, Mood and Cognition

We recently got a useful update on this topic from one of the clinicians who works with us at Gateway Psychiatric. She had attended a seminary of the same title from the Institute for Natural Resources. Inflammation can be associated with poor diet for example, high consumption of sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup and high saturated fat intake. Chronic …

Hormones and Food

In an earlier post we talked about some of the research on appetite. We reviewed some of the peptide hormones that regulate appetite and how the entire system that controls appetite is really designed to cope better with a time of scarcity than a time of plenty. Here I want to talk more specifically about the interplay between other hormone …

Hunger Regulation

Recently several folks have asked us questions about diet, hunger, weight gain, and nutrition. Certainly for many people with depression, gaining weight is an important issue, both as a cause and consequence of depression. Let’s begin by trying to make some sense of hunger. In other posts we will be talking about how stress and the hormone system relates to …

Know Your Body

Geneen Roth talks about how infatuated she was with her imperfections while growing up. She was constantly thinking of how much better looking she would be if she didn’t have certain features. If only she could cut out all the flaws, so just her best features would remain she could be happy.  Roth tried to reach self improvement through shaming …

Fish Oil Update

Since so many people with bipolar and depression take fish oil we thought we would pass on some information in a summary form from Consumer Labs. The full information is available if you subscribe. Consumer Labs is the only source of reliable information about supplements (the only place that does any testing) and if you take supplements we strongly encourage …

A Protest

So many of us have to deal with things that are not fair – depression, unsupporting spouses, financial reversals, weight gain, etcetera, it can be tempting to launch a protest of some kind against the unfairness. These protest actions don’t have to be obvious at all, but they can have powerful effects, nonetheless. A few women recently told me, “I …

Myths of Weight Loss

In a recent article published in the the New England Journal of Medicine, David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, wrote a summary of what is definitely known and what is not known about obesity and its treatment. We thought that we would add a summary of this important and controversial …

Mood and Food

Today’s post was inspired by Disorderly Chickadee’s blog. She has been in an unstable (irritable) mood but her post is about how proud she is of the fact that she has been losing weight. For some reason, several people we have been working with have also been feeling irritable and agitated, and using some of that energy to lose weight…It …

Rousseau and Nature’s Way: Realistically Thinking about Treatment and Medication

We’ve been thinking about people who come to our clinic, say that they are not sure that they have a mood disorder, and they want to try get off of their medications and use dietary supplements to cope with their ups and downs. We have a lot of interest in the idea of using various non-medication options for managing moods. …