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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 11/9/11: Dr. Weil's Depression, 4-Week Plan to Happiness, Eliminate Back Fat, Strengthen Nails, Reduce Cellulite, Feel Thinner by Bedtime, Natural Alternatives to Sugar

The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: November 9, 2011
The Ultimate Happiness Plan

  • Dr. Weil shares his struggle with depression
  • Dr. Weil's 4-week plan to happiness
  • Get rid of your back fat fast
  • What foods to eat to strengthen nails, reduce cellulite and feel thinner by bed
  • Natural alternatives to sugar

Holistic health pioneer, Andrew Weil, MD, has an inspiring view of the world that in turn has inspired people throughout the world. But many have never heard that Dr. Weil has struggled with depression for most of his life. Today, he wants to share his 4-Week Plan to Happiness.

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In his late 20s, Dr. Weil felt depressed and agitated. He would pace and felt he had so much energy without an outlet. While traveling the world to gorgeous, exotic locations he felt disconnected from external surroundings and it was painful. He also felt this would be how he lived his life.

Dr. Weil categorizes his depression as mild to moderate and today the intensity and duration of depression that he felt from his 20s to early 40s has been greatly reduced.

His new book, Spontaneous Happiness stems from the amount of questions he receives about depression. The most asked question on his website has to do with depression. Dr. Weil's unique experience with depression provides him a valuable perspective to speak to the issue.

Depression is the new health epidemic in America. One in 10 adults are taking anti-depressants. Children are being prescribed anti-depressants. Dr. Weil also tried a pharmaceutical anti-depressant for five days but couldn't tolerate it, he felt mentally and physically numb.

Dr. Weil says it's natural to be depressed sometimes. That variation in mood is healthy [unless it crosses into moderate or severe and limits abilities, relationships.] Studies have found show that these natural down part of the mood cycle allows for intense inward focus where people are able to find solutions. Dr. Weil feels that his creativity has some root in the depression he experienced.

Dr. Oz asks, why do we have an outbreak, an epidemic of depression? Dr. Weil believes that a good portion of this recent rise in depression has been created by the medical and pharmaceutical complex where the pervasive rule is imbalances have to be treated with drugs. He says a fraction is manufactured, maybe a third. But that still leaves us with significant numbers of people going through depression.

Depression is unknown in primitive cultures, even in hunter-gatherer cultures that live today there is no occurrence of depression in their population, it doesn't exist. Dr. Weil feels today's high level of depression has a lot to do with our lower activity levels, our social isolation, our exposure to daylight has changed dramatically, conveniences of modern life enables us to live in cocoons. All these shifts in our modern lifestyle that are so different that how people used to live are complicating our lives and increasing our susceptibility.

Dr. Oz says you find happiness in your connections in life, relationships. The definition of the word happiness is luck or fortune, according to Dr. Weil, and for many people they see happiness as being dependent on external circumstances. Dr. Weil believes that happiness comes from the inside and comes spontaneously, if you let it happen, if you open yourself to the possibility of happiness. To Dr. Weil, the phrase “pursuit of happiness” looks like a greyhound dog running around the track with happiness is always out of reach.

Dr. Weil's Four-Week Happiness Plan
Consistent with his integrative philosophy of body, mind, and spirit. Exercise is the single greatest anti-depressant, nutrition has a positive effect on mood and meditation can bring a more balanced mental state.

Viewer Christine feels like her well has gone dry and doesn't know how to refill. The last 6 months she has felt empty and drained. Dr. Weil and Dr. Oz take Christine through Dr. Weil's 4-Week Happiness Plan.

Week 1: Cutting Back
Ask yourself, how much caffeine are you drinking? Caffeine is a strong drug that effects energy and is a strong factor in depression, Dr. Weil recommends going without caffeine for a week and see if you feel a positive change in mood.

New information is coming out saying that depression may be a manifestation of a pro-inflammatory response. A disturbed immune system can also trigger depression. Artificial, manufactured foods have an effect on the brain. Dr. Weil is talking about the food in the middle of the grocery store, the packaged foods and snack foods. Over-processed foods cause the an inflammation reaction in the body and over time a continuous state of inflammation has negative health consequences. Avoid these foods for a week and, again, see if there is a positive change in mood.

Week 2: Rebalancing Mood
Add a mood-boosting supplement cocktail on week two as well as exercising to protect and boost mood.

Fish oil is a key to brain health, in fact the brain is dependent on these essential oil. Fish oil has been shown to protect against depression. Dr. Weil recommends taking 2 – 3g of fish oil a day. He says it can work quickly and dramatically, calling it the single most effective intervention.

There are Vitamin D receptors in the brain and low levels of Vitamin D is associated with mental disturbance, even psychosis. Dr. Weil recommends taking 2000iu of Vitamin D daily.

Dr. Weil says everyone should take a multivitamin, and Dr. Oz agrees. Make sure your multivitamin contains Folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. Research shows these three nutrients, in particular, are important to balancing mood.

Re-establishing social connections is a key component to week 2 as a lot of things in our contemporary lives lead to isolation. People are afraid to reach out and talk instead they connect to the computer. Christine mentions that she would like to reconnect with her sister, they had a falling out a year ago. She wants to forgive her sister and move forward with their relationship. Dr. Weil reminded her that the power of forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Forgiving allows you to give up toxic burden of wanting to hurt or punish for that perceived hurt, the other person doesn't even need to know.

Week 3: Curfew on Incoming Information
We are exposed to so much new media: the internet, texting, and email. Dr. Weil says to turn it all off at 8pm every night for a week, turn off the computer, turn off the news, turn off the phone [can you stand it!] He says we have to make rules for using it and for shutting it off. Media and technology effects all areas of life, makes work seem to last all day and becomes overwhelming.
get through this you ear week 4

Week 4: Experiment Natural Anti-Depression Techniques
Dr. Oz asks, why wait until week 4 to start with these supplements? The recommendations in weeks 1 – 3 are the first steps, says Dr. Weil, and could well sort out the depression before week 4.

Ashwagandha, also called Indian ginseng, is a bit of a sedative and a good remedy when the depression is associated with anxiety.

[Dr. Oz recommended ashwagandha last month as a fatigue fighter after age 40.]

SAMe, S-adenosylethionine, is a rapid acting anti-depressant supplement that, Dr. Weil says, works within 24-48 hours and is also suggested for use in reducing arthritis pain. Be mindful, SAMe can be stimulating, do not use it close to bed. SAMe is not recommended in those with bi-polar. The website recommends taking 400 – 1600mg of SAMe.

[According to, “SAMe may enhance the impact of mood-boosting messengers such as serotonin and dopamine.”]

Rhodiola, also called, artic root, supports mental clarity and focus, with a mood elevating effect.

Dr. Weil recommends taking one or two of these at a time but not all three at once.

Acupuncture can be a supportive tool to work through depression. Look for a practitioner who has used acupuncture for depression.

Massage, and touch in general, releases the hormone oxytocin which increases mood.

Research shows that gratitude, expressing gratitude and receiving gratitude, can have a positive effect on elevating mood.

Adjusting posture can adjust the emotions. People experiencing depression exhibit a sunken chest giving a clue to their closed heart. Dr. Weil showed the Dr. Oz and Christine how to stretch to open the posture.

Stand with arms extend out, the left palm up, he calls the left palm the receiving hand, and the right palm down. Breath in and raise the arms above the head, exhale and bring the arms down. Feel the motion open the chest and feel gratitude for the experience.

Read an interview with Dr. Weil about his new book Spontaneous Happiness that appeared on his website

Eliminate Back Fat on Any Budget
That fat that hangs around under the bra is embarrassing but how can you get ride of it? Working out all the time and eating well seems to not budge the buldge.

Gaps between the back muscles is a place where fat can accumulate. As we age the gap increases and the skin sags showing the fat more and more. Add an ill-fitting bra and the appearance of the back fat is increased.

Cool Sculpting
Haideh Hirmand, MD, plastic surgeon had previously only used liposuction to remove back fat. The back area is a fibrous area, the skin is thinner so it doesn't heal as well and surgery leaves visible scars. Cool sculpting freezes the fat cells causing the fat to self-destruct then the body will clear out the fat. There is no anesthesia involved, no pain, no down time and no scarring.

A doctor applies a hand-held device that suctions the fat into it then cools the skin like a stick of butter in the fridge. [Should butter analogies be used when talking about freezing fat off the body?]

The willing subject, said she felt a little tugging through the short example and the cooling wasn't uncomfortable. Dr. Hirmand says the procedure takes 60-minutes per treatment and 1 to 2 treatments will be needed. Each treatment will set you back $750.00.

After holding the device on the area for 60-minutes the area will become numb. The cold tells the fat to die and the body metabolizes the fat slowly. This treatment works well with exercise and nutrition. It takes 2 to 3 months for the body to complete the removal of fat and results to be seen.

Dr. Oz showed pictures of before and 90 days after one treatment. There was a significant reduction but still a little bit of fat roll was visible.

Constance White, editor-in-chief of Essence magazine says that the right clothes can reduce the appearance of back fat.

Skinnyshirts are a blend of cotton and spandex with a collar and cuffs on the long-sleeve version. Dr. Oz called the shirt, Spanx with a collar. Ms. White explained that the shirt provides compression, holding in the bulges. Find Skinnyshirts online or at department stores for around $76.00.

For a no-collar supportive shapewear, Maiden Form has a tank-top that can be worn as an under shirt to smooth the tummy, back fat and love handles. Look for Flexees Fat-Free Dressing Tanks for around $38.00 online or at department stores.

Foods for Your Common Complaints

Finger Nails
Lisa has brittle nails that no product can fix. She wore acrylic nails for 20 years because of her weak nails. Three years since removing the acrylics, her nails are still less than healthy.

Kristen Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, Wellness Manager at the Cleveland Clinic recommends eating Swiss chard because it is high in biotin. Studies have shown that biotin strengthens the nail and nail tissue as well as prevent breakage. She recommends eating ½ cup of Swiss chard three times per week.

Toni lost 30 lbs but the cellulite is still there leaving her feeling self conscience in a swimsuit. Lotions, patches, nor creams can reduce the appearance of it. Dr. Oz said “Oh!” when she showed her legs.
Dr. Oz proclaimed a disclaimer: there are no quick fixes for cellulite but there are things you can do to help the appearance. Ms. Kirkpatrick recommended eating more Vitamin C such as provided by papaya. Vitamin C is needed for growth of collagen, the skins structural framework. Eating ½ cup of papaya provides the total days worth of Vitamin C.

Bloated Belly
Diane has a bloated belly at then end of every day that she has to unbutton her pants. Crunches don't work. The bloating begins mid-day for Diane and she feels more uncomfortable the rest of the day and night can't wait to get into comfy clothes. Some foods can cause bloating and some can reduce it.

Ms. Kirkpatrick recommends asparagus a bloat busting food. Asparagus is a natural diuretic though it takes a few hours to work. She suggests eating ½ cup asparagus by lunch time. Dr. Oz warned that your urine will smell like asparagus after eating it.

Best Alternatives to Sugar
Game show time!

Which is the best sugar substitute in a cold drink? Brown rice syrup or agave nectar?
Agave nectar is the answer.
Agave is sweeter syrup than brown rice syrup therefore you will use less. Agave is made from the heated sap of the agave plant. It contains 60 calories per serving.

[Dr. Oz showed the brand Madhava. I've used this one in particular and it is tasty. There has been some research in the last few years showing the agave is extremely hard on the liver, harder than honey. I switched back to honey after learning that information and while I didn't necessarily feel a physical different it set my mind at ease.]

Which is the best sugar for baking? Beet sugar or date sugar?
Date sugar is a better sugar alternative over white sugar. Date sugar is made from dehydrated dates. It contains fiber, iron, and potassium and is great for cooking. Beet sugar is simply a refined white sugar.
[Note that date sugar contains fiber! Oh, fiber! I made a batch of pumpkin cookies with date sugar and shared them at work. One fellow eat more than his share of cookies and had quite the colon cleanse by the next day. I recommend starting slow with date sugar! It's good, just full of fiber.]

Which is the best sugar substitute in a hot drink? Buckwheat honey or coconut syrup?
Buckwheat honey is sweeter than sugar so, again, you can use less. It has a low glycemic index, contains iron, and the same antioxidant level as a tomato. Buckwheat honey, or honey in general dissolves easily in hot drinks and not so much for cold drinks. Coconut sugar has a higher sugar content and, Dr. Oz says, some brands contains added high fructose corn syrup.

In Case You Missed It: Here's What Dr. Oz Wants You to Remember
Use the tree herbals recommended for mood support: ashwagandha, SAMe, and rhodiola
To support the health of finger nails, eat Swiss chard, steamed not boiled.
Asparagus contains inulin to help flatten out a bloated belly.
Date sugar costs as little as $7.00 per pound, use it in baking.

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1 comment:

  1. I need to try some kind of belly fat diet and exercises. I still look pregnant after almost 5 years. Yeah, my youngest is going to turn 5 in two months, and I still look preggers. It's gross.