by Dr. Tim Schroeder

Tim Schroeder, Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is involved in a variety of professional and personal activities. He feels that living a balanced life enables you to reach your greatest potential in both professional and personal development. Dr. Schroeder practices what he preaches as a health and wellness performance coach and has owned and operated a successful chiropractic clinic for over 29 years in Tahoe City, California. He is certified by Target Training International as a Professional Behavioral Analyst and has extensive training in the analysis of Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values. As one of only five Level 6 Master Instructors in the World Ki Gong Club, he appears on a domestic and international level to teach and share his knowledge of this important health tradition. In addition he maintains a passion as a fifth degree Black Belt and certified Master Instructor in the art of Tang Soo Do Karate. He uses insights gained from his years as a healthcare provider and martial artist to help you make changes now for health in your future.

Dr. Tim Schroeder will be leading workshops in Qi Gong and Stress Realization and Resolution at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Tahoe yoga

Do every day all that can be done that day, toward realization of your health goals. This statement encompasses the effort necessary for you to achieve optimum health for yourself. You can’t ignore the facts. Effort is necessary for you to be as healthy and vibrant as every human being deserves to be.

You have a couple of choices in how you live your life. You can live an ordinary life. This is a life that just happens. No effort is required. Things happen and you react to them. This reaction-based life is what most people do. Unfortunately an ordinary life does not furnish you with an abundance of anything. If you want abundant health, you need to put out the effort. Think about it. You live in a world where the simple maintenance of health requires effort. Most people don’t even put out the effort to maintain a minimum level of survival.

The ordinary life happens when one is born and immediately begins the process of death. There is no thought of what goes into their body, how their body is used for quality exercise, how to achieve optimum function of their nervous system or how to focus on good thoughts. For the ordinary person, life occurs and they react at signs of crisis. I believe that crisis is stressful and stress can lead to crisis. It is a self-perpetuating cycle fueled initially by lack of effort.

The other choice is to live an extra-ordinary life. An extra-ordinary level of health must be created. You need to pay attention to everything that will have an effect on your level of health. Every day you will have a number of decisions to make regarding your health. Some of your actions will be to avoid situations and circumstances that might impact your health negatively. You know what they are. They show their corrupt face on a regular basis and you get to decide if you will allow them to shock your system. The right choice could make a significant difference in your health potential.

To live an extra-ordinary life you also need to take pro-active, effective actions toward the realization of your health vision. An extra-ordinary life must be created. It does not occur on its own. Every day you need to spend time in consideration of what actions will ultimately lead you to a life of abundant health. You should not do more than is necessary to support your growth and regeneration. You should, however, do everything that is required for you to be healthy, happy and vibrant with energy. Remember it’s your actions that will allow you to have what you want. I assume that, because you are reading this, you want the best picture of health that you can possibly have.

Anytime you miss an opportunity to increase your health potential, that opportunity is lost forever. You may get another chance but the original chance will have been lost if you do not take action on the opportunity. Try to develop a keen awareness of what is essential for optimum health. Keep yourself tuned in to opportunities for you learn more about your health. I will certainly help you with specific ideas that will allow you to be as healthy as possible. If you have any questions or desire additional information please don’t hesitate to contact me. drtim@balancedoctor.com


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Dr. Mike Dow

Dr. Mike Dow

Article by

Dr. Mike Dow

New York Times bestseller

Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think, Act & Be Happy

Dr. Mike Dow will be delivering his keynote speech, "Heal Your Drained Brain" at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Mike DowStep 1:

Ask yourself: What am I truly missing in my life? The answer to this question will help you understand what your brain is really hungry for and if you’re low on serotonin, dopamine, or both. If you need more serenity, stability, or happiness in your relationship or job, you may be low on serotonin. If you need less boredom, more adventure, or to feel like you’re living and not just existing, it’s dopamine you need. Sugar and processed carbohydrates provide short-term boosts of serotonin, and high fat foods provide short-term boosts of dopamine. But using soda, pizza, and fries to try and feel better right now will prevent you from getting the serotonin and dopamine you’re craving in the long-run.

Step 2:

When you’re craving an unhealthy food today, try adding a serotonin or dopamine booster activity. The serenity of a 10 minute walk in the middle of a busy work day will give you a sustainable boost of serotonin you would have gotten from that candy bar or soda. And the vitality you’ll get from reconnecting with an old friend will give you the same boost of dopamine you would have gotten from those potato chips or fries.

Other serotonin booster activities could include cuddling with your significant other or a pet, joining a support group, listening to classical music, doing errands on foot, or looking into someone’s eyes when you’re talking to them. Dopamine booster activities include asking a special someone on a date, cooking something you’ve never made before, getting eight hours of sleep tonight, attending a bootcamp-style fitness class, or hitting the playground with the kids. Come up with your own booster activities to start to change your brain chemistry here and now.

 

Step 3:

Eat more food to lose more weight! Now that you realize what you’re adding to your life is more important than what you’re taking away, eat more booster foods today. Booster foods are healthy foods that give your brain a slow, steady release of serotonin or dopamine while staying in your stomach about twice as long as those unhealthy pitfall foods. You’ll feel fuller, longer. This makes it easier to choose even more booster foods throughout the day.

Serotonin booster foods like high fiber cereal, whole fruit, or high fiber pasta and veggies in marinara sauce give you this chemical associated with happiness and peace in a healthy way. Dopamine booster foods like green tea, grilled chicken, or Greek yogurt give you a steady boost of this feel-good chemical associated with motivation, productivity, and vigor.

Step 4:

Start cutting down on the number of pitfall foods you eat every day. The best way to do this is using booster food swaps. Here are some of my favorite swaps: Vitamin Water Zero instead of diet soda, coffee with skim milk instead of a latte, whole oranges instead of orange juice, soda water instead of tonic water, balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead of Caesar dressing, Szechuan chicken instead of orange chicken, sashimi and edamame instead of a spicy tuna roll, salsa instead of guacamole, hummus instead of peanut butter, pepper instead of salt, mustard instead of mayonnaise, or a turkey sub on whole wheat instead of the roast beef on white. Long-term, sustainable weight loss is not about depriving yourself. It’s about getting what you need in the long-run. Weight loss is not a sprint. It’s a marathon, and the race is only with yourself.

 

Lake Tahoe Wellness WeekendStep 5:

Keep your momentum going by maintaining these new rituals. Diet Rehab is a 28-day program because it takes about a month for a habit to form in the human brain. When you are adding healthier booster foods and activities every day for 28 days, these choices start to require less conscious effort. If you’ve ever found yourself driving home when you meant to stop at the store on the way home from work, you understand the unconscious principle that will now help you to make these healthier rituals an easy part of your daily life. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with people who support you in these rituals, not keeping pitfall foods in the house, and building your day around the booster activities that help you to feel good and look great.


Learn more about Wellness Weekend 2018>>

Keep in touch! Click here to sign up for our email list, and be the first to know about deals, events, and more!


 

Tim Schroederby Dr. Tim Schroeder

Tim Schroeder, Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is involved in a variety of professional and personal activities. He feels that living a balanced life enables you to reach your greatest potential in both professional and personal development. Dr. Schroeder practices what he preaches as a health and wellness performance coach and has owned and operated a successful chiropractic clinic for over 29 years in Tahoe City, California. He is certified by Target Training International as a Professional Behavioral Analyst and has extensive training in the analysis of Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values. As one of only five Level 6 Master Instructors in the World Ki Gong Club, he appears on a domestic and international level to teach and share his knowledge of this important health tradition. In addition he maintains a passion as a fifth degree Black Belt and certified Master Instructor in the art of Tang Soo Do Karate. He uses insights gained from his years as a healthcare provider and martial artist to help you make changes now for health in your future.

Dr. Tim Schroeder will be leading a workshop on Stress Realization and Resolution at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Lake Tahoe Wellness WeekendFor any individual the process of being born into this world is dynamic and vivid. At the moment of birth there is instantaneous awareness of something new. From that time on, each and every moment is filled with discovery. At birth the mind is active and the spirit is pure. The body continues to grow using a very specific set of biologic instructions and demands. The mind continues to develop its individual perceptions based on its own experiences. The spirit is cultivated by an interaction between the body and the mind. Body, mind and spirit are perfectly blended at the moment of birth.

A child who is new to this world is innocent and protected. The newborn is also extremely aware of its external environment. With proper nurturing the child grows and begins to see the world in his or her own unique way. An optimum goal for every person is to continue, for a lifetime, to live with a complete fusion of mind, body and spirit. It is when the balance of body, mind and spirit is upset that your pure life experience is disturbed.

A newborn child has this balance but often loses it as he or she goes through life. Due to physical, chemical or emotional stresses, the goal to balance mind, body and spirit tend to be ignored. Unfortunately, adult human beings seem to forget the joyful experience that a newborn has. The newborn’s experience is a quiet awareness of pure, unencumbered living.

Society has necessarily created an environment that leads us away from quiet awareness. As an adult we can’t sit idly by and expect our needs to be met. We must be bright, creative thinkers who interact with our environment in order to have a complete life experience. But we should not allow ourselves to forget the innocence that we had when we were first born.

To be complete we should strive for the enlightened experience of the newborn each and every moment of our life. This will give us the opportunity to step back from the chaos of life to see everything new. A fresh vision will lead us back to quiet awareness amid the harsh requirements of survival in an unnatural, technology driven world. Quiet awareness creates a mind that is active and relaxed. Just like a newborn, quiet awareness lets a body be at peak performance balanced with the potential to recreate itself with perfection. Quiet awareness allows the spirit to shine unimpeded with unlimited potential for pure love.

So how do we get back to the quiet awareness of a newborn? Look at each moment of your life as new. Although there are moments of time that appear to be mundane, realize that each moment is always a totally new experience. See each new moment as fresh and interesting because each instant you live is truly as new as it is for a newborn. Past experience is good because it allows us to make guided decisions about our future. But any new experience is a different state of mind. Realize that every moment is a new experience.

You have a responsibility to yourself and your family to be creative and productive. When you live with discovery and curiosity you will naturally become more productive. Your mind will be cleaner and clearer. Your body will rejuvenate and express its innate potential to heal. Your spirit will enjoy the journey. Be new now!


Dr. Tim Schroeder will be leading a Qi Gong workshop and speaking about Stress Realization and Resolution at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule and book the full weekend (or just a class!) here.

Keep in touch! Click here to sign up for our email list, and be the first to know about deals, events, and more!


 

Dr. Mike Dow

Dr. Mike Dow

Article by

Dr. Mike Dow

New York Times bestseller

Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think, Act & Be Happy

Dr. Mike Dow will be delivering his keynote speech, "Heal Your Drained Brain" at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Take advantage of mother nature’s mood boosters.

You’d love a little boost of serenity, joy, and happiness, but you’d love to get it naturally. Whether you’re pregnant or are worried about the slippery slope of dependency that can occur with prescription drugs, there are countless reasons to seek out natural remedies.

Natural alternatives to prescription drugs have become increasingly important in recent years. An April 2016 report revealed prescriptions written for benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium tripled between 1996 and 2013. More troubling: Overdoses quadrupled during this same time period. Another popular class of drugs, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft and Lexapro, aren’t as dangerous when it comes to potential for addiction or overdose; however, some patients do experience unpleasant side effects, even on these.

The good news: Recent studies have shown many natural alternatives to not only be effective, but also come with very few side effects. Plus, many options can work alongside existing treatments for those with mental illnesses that do require medication. As always, talk to your prescriber to make sure any natural treatment is safe for you.

 

Mike Dow1 | Take a high-EPA, low-DHA omega-3 supplement.

EPA and DHA are the two main types of fatty acids, but they each serve different purposes. EPA is your “feel better” omega-3 and it competes for space with DHA, your “think better” omega-3.

Most omega-3 supplements have roughly equal amounts of both, but that won’t boost your mood as powerfully as a high-EPA formula. In fact, an August 2011 study found an omega-3 supplement high in EPA was as effective as prescription antidepressants in treating major depressive disorder. Meanwhile, another study looked at stressed out medical students and found this formula reduced anxiety by 20 percent.

The clinically-effective ratio to look for is 7 to 1 EPA to DHA. In the depression study, the daily dose was a formula containing around 1,000 mg of EPA and about 150 mg of DHA. For the anxiety study, it was double that amount: around 2,000 mg of EPA and about 300 mg of DHA.

Omega-3 supplements are safe for most people, but check with your doctor before taking a supplement because fish oil can have a blood-thinning effect and might not be right for people with bleeding concerns who are already taking a blood thinner, anti-platelet drugs, or ginkgo.

 

2 | Try light box therapy.

While light boxes have traditionally been used for people with seasonal affective disorder, they’ve been shown to help with non-seasonal dips in mood, as well. Past studies have shown exposure to bright, artificial light can naturally lift levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. In fact, one carefully designed, randomized trial showed that light boxes may even be as powerful as prescription antidepressants. Additionally, light boxes also normalize your melatonin production, which promotes more restful sleep and in turn can benefit your mood, according to a January 2011 study.

Look for a box that has at least 7,500 lux of full-spectrum light, which is necessary to deliver the power and type of light that has these beneficial effects. Use it in the morning for 20 to 60 minutes, but avoid exposure if you’re bipolar, because light boxes can trigger manic episodes.

 

Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend3 | Practice yogic breathing.

Yogic breathing, also called pranayama, is nearly as effective as prescription antidepressants. In fact, it’s so effective that researchers in a landmark study deemed it an alternative “first line treatment” for acute mental illness. Older studies have found that breath practice can reduce stress hormone levels after just a single session. Yogic breathing even works in the most serious cases of drained brains. One study found that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – one of the “heaviest hitters” in treating severe mental illness – was only slightly more effective than pranayama for treating patients hospitalized with a mood disorder.

One of the easiest yogic breathing practices is called “diaphragmatic breathing,” which engages your diaphragm at the base of your lungs and the abdominal muscles to empty the lungs powerfully. It may be a little difficult at first, but over time, as the muscle strengthens, the practice will become easier. For beginners, try this lying downwith a pillow under your head and one under your knees. Work your way up to employing the same technique while sitting in a chair or standing.

Try yogic breathing: Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand below your rib cage, over your belly. Inhale through your nose, breathing into the belly so it moves out toward your lower hand. Keep the hand on your chest still. Exhale through your mouth, contracting your abdominal muscles to push all the air out. The hand on the belly should now move toward your body as the lungs fully empty. Repeat with slow and steady inhales and exhales. Practice this for several minutes, a few times a day. As you become stronger, try the advanced version by lying down with a heavy book over your stomach, which will help strengthen the muscles.

This can also be a tool to check in with your mood. When you begin to feel stressed in your daily life, check in with your breath by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Which hand is moving? If it’s the one on your chest, this is a clue that the sympathetic nervous system — your stress response — has become dominant. You can use the diaphragmatic breathing to gently correct this.

 

4 | Drink turmeric.

An April 2014 study found turmeric — an ancient healing spice that’s the main ingredient in curry — was as effective as prescription antidepressants in treating depression.

Try a turmeric wellness shot daily: Combine half a teaspoon of turmeric and black pepper with an ounce of cold water. For an extra eye-opening boost, toss these two ingredients in a blender with fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and/or ginger.

 

Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend5 | Eat foods with folate.

Folate, also known as vitamin B9, plays such a large role in mood regulation that it’s now available as a prescription to treat depression. Folate is the B vitamin that helps your brain convert the dietary amino acid tryptophan into the chemical 5-HTP, which is then converted into calming, feel-good serotonin. Knowing that, it’s no wonder low folate has been associated with dips in mood. Folate also supports healthy adrenal function to help you deal with stress.

Instead of taking a pill, get your folate fix by eating a wide variety of vegetables and beans. You may be familiar with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate found in fortified products like cereals and other grains — but most Americans eat far too many carbohydrates, which can drain your brain and cause blood sugar spikes. Meanwhile, the naturally-occurring folate found in vegetables is more effective and better for you. Get more folate from spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, romaine, mushrooms, asparagus, bananas, melons, lemons, Swiss chard, broccoli, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas.

 

6 | Sip on saffron.

Studies have found the red spice to be as effective as prescription antidepressants in treating mild depression.

Try a bedtime latte: Warm one cup of your favorite type of milk and add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and five threads of saffron.

 

7 | Work out for 10 minutes.

November 2015 study found people who were physically fit released a whopping 42 percent less cortisol — aka the stress hormone — throughout the day when compared to people who were unfit, and less stress means a better mood and energy levels.

Lack of time is one of the most common reasons for not exercising regularly, but one method, sprint interval training (SIT), provides the same benefits in just 10 minutes as traditional interval training workouts at 50 minutes. In fact, an April 2016 study found sprint interval training three times a week for 12 weeks afforded sedentary people similar improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic health as those who did traditional interval training.

Specifically, the SIT format involved two minutes of warming up to start and three minutes of cooling down at the end. In the middle were three repetitions of 20 seconds of an “all out” sprint followed by two minutes of light activity.

There’s only one total minute of intense work here — those three 20-second bursts — within the short, 10-minute workout. The research from this study also proves how tiny bursts throughout your day — like taking the stairs after lunch — can have a real effect on your overall health.


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Amy Vailby Dr. Amy Vail

Dr. Amy Vail is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has been in private practice in the Tahoe area since 2006. Dr. Vail’s approach to therapy is a based on a wellness model that supports the underlying healthy self, while working to unravel faulty beliefs and behaviors that prevent adults, adolescents and children from living their best lives. Dr. Vail has a collaborative approach to therapy and works closely with parents, teachers and other doctors to monitor the emotional growth and total well-being of her patients. Dr. Vail has extensive training and experience in Psychodynamic Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Object Relations Therapy. Dr. Amy Vail has a great interest in experiential and wilderness therapy and incorporates intuitive and energetic medicine in her practice.

Dr. Vail works with individuals, couples and families and leads topic specific groups and facilitates relationally oriented group therapy for emotional growth and development.

Dr. Amy Vail will be discussing the impact of social media on mental health at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Tahoe WellnessFriendship takes time. Relationships require effort. Great relationships require consistent effort.

Most people have good intentions to keep relationships healthy. However, when asked how they show their partner or friends how important they are, most people do not have a very clear answer.

When asked directly how people show their loved ones they care about them, some common responses are, "They should know I still care, we are still together," "I gave them a birthday present," or "We go out to dinner, sometimes."

Nice thoughts, but they don't demonstrate to your partner how much they mean to you.

Complacency undermines success in relationships. Complacency undermines success in life in general.

Come up with an action plan to increase satisfaction in your relationships. Consistent and concentrated efforts usually lead to success. Many people start out excited to make positive changes in their lives — just look at New Year's resolutions. However good people's intentions are for a fresh start, most people give up resolutions within the first two weeks of January.

 

Wellness Weekend"A" for Effort

Make a concerted effort to show your partner and friends how you care about them. A few suggestions are:

Let your partner know you are happy to see them. Meet your sweetheart at the door when they get home. Look up from whatever you are doing when they enter the room. Make eye contact. Take a cue from a dog; wiggle and wag and rub up against them. Be excited to greet them every time you see them.

Make plans to do fun things together. Put these plans on your calendar. Schedule time to connect. Once a week, once a month, once a season, and once a year, do something specifically to celebrate your partner and your relationship.

Be playful. Life is busy, and if you do not make the time for each other, you will not find the time. Couples that do not make the time eventually do not want to spend time together.

Be affectionate. Touch your partner, hold their hand, rub their back, cuddle up next to them and hug them. Give your partner a kiss. A kiss that lasts more then two seconds. (One of the biggest complaints I hear from people in long-term relationships is their partners do not kiss them anymore).

Be kind. Kindness is one of the most important qualities in any type of relationship. Look for opportunities to demonstrate kindness. Acknowledge and recognize your partner and their accomplishments. Listen to them when they are talking, really listen. Give sincere compliments.Lake Tahoe Retreat

Notice your partner. Help them feel they are seen by you. Verbalize you notice they got a haircut or look great in that outfit. When they don't feel well, acknowledge their feelings. Offer support. Ask how you can help. Ask them what they need from you and learn to offer it.

Communicate your thoughts and feelings. Tell your partner you love them. Tell them when they have hurt your feelings. Tell them what you need from them. Tell them what you are thinking and dreaming about. Do not assume they know how you feel about them. Do not assume they can read your mind. (No matter how long you have been together). Assumptions cause trouble. Most unhealthy relationships are based on assumptions.

Be honest. Nothing undermines a relationship as fast as dishonesty. A lie may seem sweet in the beginning, but it is bitter in the end, whereas a truth is bitter in the beginning but sweet in the end. People do not know what to do with liars. Lies create conflict. Most people do not like conflict. Again, be honest.

Accept responsibility for yourself and the quality of your relationships. Know that you are 100 percent responsible for your own self. Know that you are 100 percent responsible for the energy you bring to your relationships. Learn how to offer a sincere apology. We all make mistakes. Grow from these lessons. Forgive yourself and forgive others and move on with your life.

Do not dwell in the past or in the wreckage of your future. Honor yourself. Do not settle for mistreatment of yourself or mistreatment of anyone else. Know you are worthy of love.

Take care of yourself. Stay healthy, stay active, stay positive, stay interesting, stay motivated. Be the kind of person someone would want to be in a relationship with.

 

Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend

Photo by Noelle Otto from Pexels

There are 168 hours in a week.

Spend 15 minutes a day with the intent to focus loving energy on your partner or your friends or yourself — that adds up to one hour and 45 minutes a week. Fifteen minutes may seem like a very small amount of time to make much of a difference in a relationship, but try it for your self.

Set aside 15 minutes a day to tend to your relationship. Make the effort; the rewards will be sweet all year long. The rewards may feel so good and the benefits so great that you will quickly find more blocks of 15 minutes to dedicate to your relationship.

 

Happy loving, every day.


Dr. Amy Vail will be speaking about the impact of social media on mental health at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule and book the full weekend (or just a class!) here.

Keep in touch! Click here to sign up for our email list, and be the first to know about deals, events, and more!


 

Dr. Mike Dow

Dr. Mike Dow

Article by

Dr. Mike Dow

New York Times bestseller

Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think, Act & Be Happy

Dr. Mike Dow will be delivering his keynote speech, "Heal Your Drained Brain" at Wellness Weekend, November 9-11, 2018. See the full schedule here. 


Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend

Photo by Noelle Otto from Pexels

It’s a cruel scientific fact that our brains start to slow down past 40. Whether your first bit of brain fog appears as a ditsy episode of forgetfulness, or a few ‘senior moments’ when you can’t quite put a finger on a friend’s name, it can be frightening to accept that an element of mental decline is largely inevitable with age.

Research shows our brains start to noticeably slow by the time we reach 40, and up to 17 per cent of people over 65 will end up with some form of mild cognitive impairment, such as occasional difficulties concentrating, finding the correct word, focusing, or remembering where on earth we’ve put the car keys.

Episodes of feeling grumpy, miserable or anxious are extremely common in middle age, too, and the truth is that between 6 and 15 per cent of patients who meet the criteria for ‘mild cognitive impairment’ will go on to develop full dementia. But this doesn’t have to happen. New research suggests that brain fog – that huge grey area between normal functioning and the dreaded dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – may, in fact, be reversible.

As a psychotherapist, I have studied the complexities of the brain for years, and I am convinced the way we eat, sleep, work and live has a profound effect. The brain relies on a complex symphony of chemicals to keep mood in check and to function properly, but if you disturb that balance you can very swiftly become depressed, unable to sleep and too worked-up to concentrate properly.

If you are eating the wrong foods, getting insufficient exercise or sleep, overindulging in social media and TV, having too much stress and too little downtime, you will almost certainly be destabilizing the levels of three crucial brain chemicals. They are serotonin (which helps you feel calm, serene, optimistic and self-confident), dopamine (responsible for making you feel excited, motivated, and energized) and the stress hormone, cortisol (which revs you up into a high gear when you need it).

Also, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of omega-3s. They are the best fats for your brain because they prevent inflammation – the key, we now know, to cognitive function and warding off depression, stress and anxiety

But you really can reverse these trends and take charge of your brain health in as little as two weeks if you remove the blocks that keep you stuck and give your brain the materials it needs to operate effectively. Here’s how…

Boost Brain Fats

Dr. Mike DowA good supply of healthy fats in your diet can help you feel, and think, better. Enjoy plenty of olive oil (packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, found in some studies to prevent Alzheimer’s and depression) and oily fish, and choose organic meat if you can.

  • Choose organic: factory-farmed meats tend to be higher in omega-6 fats (which can feed the harmful brain-dulling inflammatory process in our bodies) whereas organic meat and dairy tends to be naturally higher in anti-inflammatory, brain-healthy omega-3s.
  • Think of fish as prevention and treatment for your addled brain. Studies show just six months of fish-oil supplements is enough to improve verbal fluency.
  • Pick extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings and plain olive oil for cooking – virgin olive oil isn’t stable at high temperatures.
  • Avoid soybean oil – it’s packed with unhelpful omega-6 fats.

Avoid Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners might be saving you a few calories but they cannot give your brain the nutrients it needs for optimal performance. Your brain needs a readily available supply of blood sugar to keep it running, and sweeteners deprive it of this. Worse, sweeteners have been shown to disrupt the levels of good bacteria in the gut, disrupting production of the happy-hormone serotonin (much of which is manufactured in the gut).

Brain Fog FixTurn Off Your Phone

Scaling down social media use and electronics will boost your ability to focus and concentrate. Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, Snapchat pics and Instagram followers exert an addictive pull – all those lights, dings and ads scrolling across the screen give our brains a tiny hit of dopamine – just as it would for a compulsive gambler sitting in front of a slot machine.

  • Turn off your phone or its ringer as often as possible and don’t leave it charging in your bedroom so it doesn’t disturb your sleep (even subconsciously). Aim to have one full day of the weekend completely phone free.
  • Dump the Kindle at night and read books instead.
  • Cut back on multi-tasking – focus on doing one thing at a time and give that all your attention. This can be a powerful antidote to the barrage of distractions of social media.

Switch Off The TV

Engaging in leisure activities helps stimulate the brain: studies show that reading, playing board games and musical instruments, dancing, travelling, knitting and gardening all reduce risk of cognitive decline and protect you against senior moments. But TV does the opposite – studies show watching TV increases your risk of cognitive impairment by 20 per cent (whereas reading reduces it by 5 per cent).

Drink A Glass of Champagne

One alcoholic drink per day (two for men) may help keep toxins out of the brain, reducing your risk of dementia by as much as 23 per cent. The benefits hold for all types of alcohol, but studies show wine, particularly red wine, works best. The red grape skin is rich in a potent antioxidant called resveratrol, and among red wines, pinot noir has very high levels. A glass of red wine with dinner may lessen blood-sugar spikes by preventing intestinal glucose absorption and reducing your liver’s production of glucose. Red wine appears to be more effective in this regard than white.

If you prefer a lighter drink, try champagne – research suggests the phenolic acid it contains may prove a powerful weapon to help you think better.

But don’t go crazy: heavy drinking (defined as more than three to four drinks per day) is associated with increased risk of dementia.

Spice It Up

Turmeric contains a plant compound called curcumin, which has major anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and increases levels of a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) which has been dubbed ‘Miracle Gro’ for the brain. And in addition to making you think better, turmeric will make you feel better, too, possibly increasing serotonin in the brain. Studies show that for fighting Alzheimer’s disease, low doses of turmeric over a long period of time are more effective than very high doses.

So rather than relying on an occasional Indian takeaway for your turmeric fix, aim to eat one food containing turmeric with a grind of fresh black pepper (which makes the turmeric more easily absorbed by the body) every day. Just add a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, stews and salad dressings.

Saffron, another common ingredient in curry, can also inhibit Alzheimer’s disease and the carnosic acid in the common herb rosemary may also boost your brain health (the scent alone can improve memory) while sage has been shown to improve word recall.

Change Your Thinking

You may be slipping unconsciously into negative thought patterns. Spot which ones you engage in the most – simply identifying the pitfall is a step in the right direction – and aim to reduce the following mental blocks that could be dulling your brain:

  • Personalization: Assuming that something is happening because of you. (‘I didn’t get that job because I’m not smart enough.’)
  • Pervasiveness: Allowing a problem to invade all parts of your life. (‘I have a headache – might as well call in sick to work today.’)
  • Paralysis-analysis: Getting stuck in your own thoughts. (‘Why couldn’t I remember where I put my keys last night? What does it mean? What will I do if this keeps happening?’)
  • Pessimism: Always believing the worst about everything. (‘I felt foggy this morning – I must be getting dementia.’)
  • Polarization: Seeing everything as either/or, black/white, yes/no. (‘My boss didn’t respond well to my presentation, I might as well quit.’)
  • Psychic: Feeling sure you know what another person is thinking. (‘I know she’s never liked me anyway.’)
  • Permanence: Using the past or present to judge the future. (‘I’m never going to get over this divorce.’)

Instead, aim to do something new each day that gives you a sense of pleasure, productivity, power, pride, passion, peace or purpose.

Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend

Share And Care

Studies suggest an ageing brain is more thoughtful and more social, and this offers a great opportunity to connect, empathize, and converse with others.

Go To Bed by 11PM

As well as boosting learning, mood and creativity, sleep acts as the brain’s ‘self-cleaning’ cycle to prevent brain fog and get rid of the plaques between nerve cells that cause Alzheimer’s. A good night’s sleep can improve alertness and strengthen the brain’s connections, helping you consolidate the memories you encoded during the day. Poor sleep leads to raised levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and lowers dopamine levels, leaving you unhappy, unmotivated and unfocused.

Do whatever you can to get eight hours of restful sleep per night and keep it constant:

  • Go to bed by 11pm and wake by 7am to maximise your natural light exposure.
  • Aim to eat seafood as often as possible – the omega-3 fats it contains support the production of the hormone melatonin, which promotes restful sleep.
  • Grab a nap mid-afternoon if you need to – set aside 40 minutes (as it may take 20 minutes to fall asleep).
  • Re-set your natural rhythms by exposing your eyes to bright light as soon as you wake up. Draw the curtains, turn on the lights or go outside immediately.

Enjoy CoffeeLake Tahoe Wellness

Consider coffee (without sugar or milk) a health food that can help protect against cognitive decline and prevent dementia and depression. Try espresso macchiato (black coffee with a little foamed milk) or espresso over ice with a splash of soya milk. Both under 50 calories with no spike to blood-sugar levels. Enjoy three cups per day.

 

Eat to Feed Your Brain

The ideal brain-fog-clearing diet keeps junk food and carbohydrate intake low. Blood-sugar rushes and crashes can leave us feeling foggy, listless, anxious and depressed. Worse, a high-carb diet can lead to a condition called insulin resistance (where your cells don’t respond as they should to the metabolic demands of the hormone insulin) which has been linked to memory problems and dementia. So replace high-sugar, quick-release carbs with ‘complex’ slow-burn carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables that contain mood-boosting amino acids.

Here are some simple swaps...

  • Opt for an ‘open sandwich’ with plenty of nutritious filling piled on just one slice of wholemeal bread, not two.
  • At the sandwich shop, ask for your bread roll to be hollowed out to cut your carb intake in half.
  • When ordering pizza, choose thin crust rather than carb-heavy deep dish, share one pizza with friends and fill-up on a large salad first.
  • Eat veg raw or lightly cooked to maximise the fibre’s blood-sugar-blocking capabilities
  • Enjoy wholemeal pasta (occasionally) but only undercooked – eaten ‘al dente’ it takes longer to digest and keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
  • Drink black tea with your lunch (it reduces the amount of glucose that is absorbed into the gut).
  • Use large crisp lettuce leaves in place of bread for sandwiches and wraps.
  • Mash a tin of butter beans (packed with fibre and nutrients) instead of quick-release potato.
  • Switch white bread, rolls, pitta and wraps for wholemeal which can provide more naturally occurring fibre.
  • Swap spaghetti for courgetti (spiralised courgette – or just use a vegetable peeler to create thick ribbons), or change to no-carb noodles.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties) in your coffee instead of sugar.

 

Extracted by Louise Atkinson from The Brain Fog Fix, by Dr Mike Dow, published by Hay House.

Learn more about Wellness Weekend 2018>>

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Granlibakken Tahoe is offering 25% off all-inclusive conference packages October 2018-May 2019

Tahoe Conference CenterGranlibakken Tahoe’s all-inclusive meeting packages are designed to help teams connect with each other and connect with success. A peaceful location in a private 74 acre wooded valley offers the perfect space to make any meeting or retreat productive and memorable. Granlibakken’s new Soul Shelter meditation and yoga room is the perfect space for attendees to rejuvenate between sessions, and is also well-equipped to host group yoga sessions. Meeting facilities accommodate groups from 4-400, and improvements made to the conference center has earned Granlibakken national recognition as a leader for its efforts to reduce energy consumption. By investing in more efficient heating and cooling systems, updating appliances, and implementing a Green Purchasing Policy, Granlibakken has reduced energy consumption by approximately 43 percent since 2015.

Granlibakken’s strong commitment to the environment, combined with its convenient west shore Tahoe location, makes it a desirable venue for events, retreats, conferences, and weddings. Downtown Tahoe City, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, is less than a five minute drive from Granlibakken and offers an array of shopping and dining options, along with access to Commons Beach. In close proximity to Reno-Tahoe International Airport with airport shuttles available and an easy drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, only a few hours, traveling to Granlibakken is simple.

Granlibakken is offering 25% off all-inclusive packages for retreats, conferences, and events held October through May. This package includes three meals daily prepared by Granlibakken’s award-winning kitchen staff, access to 24,500 sq. ft. of flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space, onsite accommodations, resort-wide wireless access, and Granlibakken’s many amenities-including tennis courts, an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, and onsite hiking trails.

 


Lake Tahoe Conference


About Granlibakken Tahoe:

Granlibakken Tahoe is a family-owned and operated resort located in a peaceful 74 acre forested valley just steps from the shores of Lake Tahoe. With a variety of accommodations onsite, from standard bedrooms to three-bedroom townhouses, Granlibakken comfortably accommodates groups, individuals, and weddings. The resort’s 24,500 square feet of flexible year-round meeting space can host groups of 4 to 400 with ease.

Lake Tahoe RetreatThe newly renovated Soul Shelter yoga and meditation space offers space for guests to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh in the heart of the Sierras. Granlibakken’s newly renovated gym allows guests to stay on top of their fitness goals while traveling. The Meditation Garden offers a calm place to gather or to relax in the heart of the property. An onsite Day Spa, outdoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna inspire relaxation and rejuvenation. Miles of hiking and biking trails wind through the forest surrounding Granlibakken Tahoe, allowing for a respite from the busy world and reconnection with nature. The Treetop Adventure Park aerial trekking course located onsite is a fantastic teambuilding activity or individual challenge.

Hot buffet breakfast is included in all stays, as well as resort-wide high-speed wireless Internet access, parking, and access to onsite amenities. Granlibakken’s unique location and mountain hospitality provides the perfect place to reconnect and unplug.

 


 

Dr. Mike Dow

Dr. Mike Dow

Granlibakken Tahoe is proud to announce that Dr. Mike Dow, bestselling author and psychotherapist, will be headlining this year’s Wellness Weekend with his seminar titled “Heal Your Drained Brain.”

Dr. Mike Dow’s wellness journey began at 10 years old when his younger brother, David, experienced a massive stroke. Witnessing his brother’s treatments throughout his teen years helped Dr. Dow to realize his calling to help others on their own journey to physical and mental well-being. Dr. Dow has since become well-known and respected in the psychotherapy field. He has authored numerous books about mental health; he has hosted radio programs, and has appeared on many TV programs, including Dr. Oz and The Doctors.

Dr. Mike Dow

Dr. Mike is not only known for his warmth and candor, he also presents science-based solutions and programs to help individuals improve their health and happiness. "I am thrilled to be participating in Granlibakken's Wellness Weekend,” says Dr. Dow. “I believe evidence-based practices--including meditation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, whole-food-centric nutrition, and sustainable livings are incredible mind-body medicine.  By educating ourselves in these practices, we can model them for others.  And in doing so, we can create a world where wellness -- not chronic disease - becomes the norm.” Dr. Mike will discuss his holistic approach to mental and physical health.  More importantly, he will lead attendees through practices that will serve as the mind-body medicine in their own cells. In our everyday lives, we often consider our physical health, our work performance, and the well-being of our friends. Rarely do we consider the impact that our lifestyles—as busy and overstimulated as they are—are having on our brain health. Dr. Dow presents manageable and concise

steps that individuals can take for better brain health and greater physical and mental longevity.

 

Dr. Mike Dow at Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend

Wellness Weekend is a unique event that will feature three days of workshops, seminars, and classes that combine a unique fusion of Eastern and Western medicine, philosophy, and practice. The weekend includes two tracks of workshops—movement and lecture-based. The schedule has just been released, and features topics ranging from CBD oils to Tai Chi. These classes and lectures are suitable for people of all abilities and experiences, and offer unique perspectives and insights into health and well-being.

The early-bird rate for the three days of events is $260, which includes daily meals, as well as all workshops and socials. Rates go up to $276 for the weekend on September 1. Lodging is available onsite at discounted rates.

Granlibakken, a premier venue for health and wellness events, offers an exceptional setting for this inspirational retreat. Reservations for Wellness Weekend, to be held November 9-11, 2018, can be made online here.