Archives for August 2014

Don’t let the Naysayers Stop you!

Don't let the Naysayers Stop you!

 

Have you noticed how powerful a naysayer can be?

They are the people who see the glass half empty, say negative and mean things about what you are doing. It’s almost as if they know when you are feeling happy, doing something fun, healthy or good for yourself, then they pull out all the stops to bring you down. Naysayers come in different forms. Sometimes they are people who are close to you, other times, they might be an acquaintance on Facebook or a person you don’t know personally like a journalist or author.

One thing they have in common is that they can burst your bubble and get you to question what you are doing. Or worse, stop you in your tracks completely.

Let’s take the ALS Ice bucket challenge. Millions of people have embraced it and have been pouring icy buckets of water over themselves to raise awareness and funds for the ALS charity. It’s a fun and harmless activity. No one is getting hurt.

However, naysayers are saying:

  • it’s a waste of water
  • people were spending more money on the bags of ice than the donation they are making
  • people are donating money to ALS, so there will be less money going to other charities
  • people are behaving like sheep and all following each other

The list goes on.

Whether you agree with the ice bucket challenge or not, a lot more people know about ALS than at the start of the summer and as of Tuesday 26th of August, the ALS Association received $88.5 million from donations compared to $2.6 million they received this time last year (July 29 to August 26).

Naysayers have something to say about everything; including ADHD and this can have an impact on how you go about treating your ADHD.

First, they might not believe that ADHD is real (Don’t get me started on that one)!

Or they argue that the things we know help ADHD don’t work.

A year or so ago, there were a couple of research reports that said that there were no benefits to taking Omega 3 supplements. That an individual who took these supplements were just paying for expensive urine. People started to pay more attention to those reports rather than all the other research that had found very positive effects of Omega 3, including improving memory and concentration. It is sad because Omega 3 is one of the easiest ways to see a big improvement in your ADHD. Clients know when they have forgotten to take their Omega 3’s for a few days because they don’t feel as good.

Another example is having a gluten-free diet. There are 1000s of people who have jumped in to say that, unless you have celiac disease, gluten-free diets are just the latest fad.  Yet, I have seen a huge difference with my clients when they cut gluten from their diet.  Not everyone, but a large enough majority to make me think it’s more than a fluke. The benefits include brains feeling sharper, being better able to focus; be less hyperactive, and achieving a sense of calm to having zero brain fog.

The problem is that we tend pay more attention to 1 naysayer than 100 positive reports.

A few years ago, I got into a great habit of drinking 3 liters of water a day (when you are dehydrated, it’s harder to focus). Then, I read (in a book about a completely different topic) about how silly it is that people carry water bottles with them at all times like they were in the desert. Having read that, was enough to knock me off all my good water drinking habits for almost a year. That was crazy and annoying! I had whole books about the benefits of water; yet that one comment threw out my good habit, and it took a long time to get back into my water drinking groove.

However, it taught me a valuable lesson: be aware of naysayers! In fact, guard yourself against them and don’t listen to them! If you are doing something that works for you and helping your ADHD, keep doing it! If something intrigues you, give it a go. If you like it, keep doing it. No matter what it is! There are always going to be people who think it’s a silly idea, or have strong opinions that they don’t keep to themselves. However, the only thing that you need to listen to is your body. It’s the most powerful compass you have to guide you to do what is best for you. You will be healthy and so much happier if you listen to it!

 

What has been your experience of Naysayers? leave me a note in the comments section!

 

 

ADHD and Gluten

Do you know which food sensitivity is most frequently connected with ADHD? Gluten.

Do you know which food sensitivity is most frequently connected with ADHD? Gluten.

In fact, some researchers believe 70-80 percent of ADDers have a gluten sensitivity.

Gluten is a protein substance found in most grains, (wheat, barley, rye) and food processed from those grains, such as, cereals, breads, processed and packaged foods. These products play a big part a standard western diet.

Gluten sensitivity affects the frontal and pre-frontal lobe of the brain, which is where our executive functions are housed (short term memory, planning, etc.) We know that the executive functions are impaired when you have ADHD; so by cutting out gluten, you can improve that functioning.

How do you find out if you are gluten sensitive? The best way is to cut out gluten for 30 days and see if you notice an improvement in how you feel and think; although you will properly start to notice an improvement in less than a week.

It is possible to ask your doctor to test you, but the tests are expensive and not very reliable (with a lot of false negatives). Also, the result can also be misleading. For example, the results might say your sensitivity is ‘mild’, but don’t let that trick you. What is mild on the medical spectrum may not be mild for you; which could mean a huge difference in how you function and operate.

I went gluten-free on the 1st of November 2012. I was motivated because I had a longstanding knee injury that was stopping me from running. I had tried all the traditional things, physiotherapy etc. and nothing seemed to work. When I heard that a gluten-free diet helps sports injuries because it reduces inflammation in the body, I decided to try it as an experiment. It totally worked! In the spring of 2013, I started running again. In June 2013, I did a 12K Spartan race where you run through a crazy obstacle course and get covered in mud. In September, I did my first ever half marathon in 2 hours. I was super proud and none of this would have been possible if I was still eating gluten.

What does this have to do with ADHD? Well, back in November 2012, in less than a week, I noticed a huge difference in my clarity of thought. My brain felt sharper and I felt happier (even though I hadn’t been feeling sad), and so I knew I would never go back to eating gluten.

Not wanting to keep good things to myself, I started suggesting to clients that they go gluten-free. They experienced incredible results too. Everyone experienced different benefits. However, the common ones were: their brains felt sharper, being better able to focus; less hyperactive, a sense of calm, zero brain fog, with no more afternoon slumps.

The other benefit was that those that had excess weight to lose, lost it effortlessly.

Changing the way you eat does involve a bit of discipline and creativity as you overhaul a lifetime of food habits.

However, researchers found that everyone who has gluten sensitivity that gave up gluten, noticed improvement with their ADHD symptoms. That is an astounding result! Researchers barely ever say everyone!

Your challenge this week, is to give up gluten! It’s a big challenge, I know! But I promise you it will be worth it. Let me know how you get on!

 

Have you ever gone gluten free? I would love to hear your experience. Drop me a note in the comments section!