Natural Happy Pills

This is from Women’s Health Magazine (Novemember 2011).

Folate isn’t just for expectant moms. New Research shows that a broken-down form of the nutrient can help antidepressants do their job better. Patients who took prescription L-methylfolate along with a daily antidepressant had 50 percent fewer symptoms than those who took the antidepressant alone. “The brain needs L-methylfolate to make and release mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, ” explains psychiatrist John Zajecka, M.D., of Ruth University in Chicago. Even better: The stuff has as few side effects as a placebo.

The Bright Side of Hard Times.

This one is from the March 2012 issue of Health Magazine.

Getting through hard times can really make you stronger, says a new review of research in Current Directions in Psychological Science. I one study, people who’d experienced a few big challenges-like a divorce or death-were more resilient in later stressful situations than those who hadn’t. Another study found that people with chronic back pain who’d faced tough times we’re less likely to let pain inhibit them than those who’d led a more trouble-free life. “Adversity can toughen people,” says author Mark Seery, assistant professor in social psychology at the University of Buffalo. “You might see situations as manageable, not overwhelming.”

The 8 Wonders Of Matcha Green Tea

If you’re not drinking matcha green tea yet, you’re behind the times! Get with the program and try this metabolism-enhancing, stress-reducing, immune-boosting, cholesterol-lowering, teenage-mutant-ninja cancer fighter!

Although people drank green tea in China more than 1,000 years ago, it became an important part of the Japanese culture. They named the tea matcha1. Zen Buddhist monks drank it to remain alert and calm during long hours of meditation2.

Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade to increase chlorophyll content. These chlorophyll-rich leaves are then handpicked, steamed, dried and ground into a fine green powder3.

The history and cultivation of the tea is interesting, but what matters most to health enthusiasts is its antioxidant content. One cup of matcha green tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea! That’s almost exactly the same ratio to the “spider strength” Peter Parker gets when he puts on his suit!

Fit To A Tea

The tea’s power is so super because entire leaves3 are dissolved in water rather than steeped in bags. Instead of throwing away the leaves, you ingest all their antioxidant powers.

Those numbers are off the charts. Matcha green tea possesses antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, 17 times that of wild blueberries and 60.5 times that of spinach1! Holy St. Francis, Batman!

And that’s not all! Matcha’s magnificence makes a long list.


Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen4.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea1.


One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea1.

Matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.

Heart Disease Preventer:
Lowers LDL “Bad” Cholesterol

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL “Evil Emperor Zurg” cholesterol concentrations5.

Weight Loss

A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that green tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure6.

Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise4.

Both studies suggest matcha green tea can enhance both resting metabolic rate and fat burning - can I get an Amen?!


Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. The Hulk would be proud!

Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body1, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.


Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea2. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain.

Stress is known to induce the brain’s beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure1.

Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee2.


Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.


Try a cup of matcha green tea as an afternoon “pick-me-up” anytime you need extra focus. matcha green tea is an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches1 you might get from a coffee crash.

Tips To Better Your Matcha Experience

Matcha green tea is available as a concentrated powder and can be found at health food stores. I recommend organic matcha, because it is produced without any artificial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

Do not add matcha green tea powder to boiling water because it will taste “grassy.”7 Boil the water and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding the tea.

It might take some time to get used to matcha’s flavor. Give in to the power of the tea!

Is Your Meal a Downer?

This is from the Winter 2012 issue of Health Monitor magazine.

Before you bite into that doughnut or cheeseburger, consider this: It may cause your mood to crash, say Spanish researchers who studied more than 12,000 people. Their finding: Those who chowed down on lots of foods filled with trans fats (baked goods, drive-through fare, processed foods) had a 48% increased risk for depression compared with those who didn’t. Happier news? Olive oil and polyunsaturated fats (like those found in fish and vegetable oils) seem to fend off blue moods-something to keep in mind when making up your plate!

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotation.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

This quotation is empowering. It’s about self-esteem. No one gets to tell you who and and what you are. You get to decide that for yourself. You also get to decide who you are in relation to the rest of the world.

Fish Oil Eases Eczema.

Eczema hasn’t been as much of a problem for me in recent years but I’ve had terrible bouts of it and I know terrible it can be. Here’s a bit of information about how to keep eczema under control from the 1/2/12 issue of First magazine.

If you have an eczema flare-up, take a fish-oil supplement daily. If you take 2 of them normally, try 4. Just try more of it than you normally would for a week. If you don’t take a fish oil supplement, this would be a good time to start. Within in a couple of days, you’ll see a difference in your skin. Your skin will be less red and inflamed. By the end of the week, there’s a good chance that your eczema will be gone. The reason it works: Fish oil is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are very effective at calming the skin.

Cherry Juice is a Sleeping Aid.

This one is from NE mag January 9, 2012.

Want to sleep longer? Try cherry juice. Researchers found that adults who drank two glasses of tart cherry ice daily slept 39 minutes longer-and got a more refreshing night’s sleep. The study from Britain’s Northumbria University found significant improvements in sleep behaviors of cherry juice drinkers, including less daytime napping, compared to their normal sleeping habits. Scientists theorize that the cherry ice increases levels of melatonin, a sleep hormone, in the the body.

Another Healthy Reason to Eat Dark Chocolate.

I’m sorry for taking so long to add new blog entries. In all honesty, I’ve been going through a bit of a painful time but now I’m ready to take my own coaching advice. It’s tempting to curl up and do nothing but wallow in self-pity when you’re going through a difficult time in your life. Exercising and doing things that you love helps. Spending time with friends will distract you and get you out of your own head. Working on something rewarding will help you to move forward. Life and Health Coaching and writing my blog that goes with it helps.

That being said, this is from the January 2012 issue of Oprah magazine.

Here’s an eye-opener. For years studies have shown that flavonols, the antioxidant-rich compounds found in cocoa, improve circulation. Now new reach indicates that because those compounds increase blood flow to the brain, they may also help you see more clearly. 2.5 hours after consuming 720 milligrams (the amount in about one ounce of dark chocolate), study participants’ visual function and ability to detect motion direction improved dramatically.

Do you have a long drive ahead of you at night after a long day of work? I say eat a square of good, healthy dark chocolate, 2.5 hours before the drive. It will help you see!

Eat Chocolate for Better Eyesight!

This is from the January 2012 issue of Oprah magazine.

Here’s an eye-opener: For years studies have shown that flavonols, the antioxidant-rich compounds found in cocoa, improve circulation. Now new research indicates that because those compounds increase blood flow to the brain, they may also help you see more clearly. Two and a half hours after consuming 720 milligrams of flavonols (the amount in about one ounce of dark chocolate), study participants’ visual function and ability to detect motion direction improved dramatically.

Fat Blocker-Here’s a Sweet Way to Ward off Holiday Weight Gain.

This one is from the 1/2/12 issue of First magazine.

A sweet way to ward off holiday weight gain: Enjoy blood oranges. Italian researchers found that anthrocyanins, the antioxidants in responsible for the fruit’s vibrant red hue, prevent fat cells from filling. When animal subjects drank blood-orange juice daily, they lost up to 13 percent of their body weight in three months-without diet or exercise!