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The Food Alternative
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Grand Junction, Colorado

Copyright 2010 - 2017 The Food Alternative
All rights reserved
Renee’ Calder, CNT, MNT
(970) 201-5723

Applying the Science of Nutrition to the
Art of Healing on the Western Slope of Colorado
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Grand Junction, Colorado

Copyright 2010 - 2019 The Food Alternative
All rights reserved
Renee’ Calder, CNT, MNT
(970) 201-5723

Applying the Science of Nutrition to the
Art of Healing on the Western Slope of Colorado
Disclaimer:  Nutrition Therapy is not intended as a diagnosis, a treatment, a prescription, or a cure for any disease either mental or physical,
and is not intended as a substitute for regular medical care. Nutrition therapy does provide nutritional evaluation, balanced diet planning,
nutritional supplement suggestions and lifestyle recommendations for the purpose of enhancing health.
Suicide Prevention
The reason for living is... just that.
To live!
Sounds simple enough, right?
Unfortunately, many people suffer from depression or other conditions
which could lead to a lack of enjoyment in life, or worse, to self harm.
Why is depression becoming so common in society today?
Mainly, due to raised awareness in the media, and in our communities.
social media and the news can actually contribute to
What causes depression?
Toxic overload from stress, our environment, what we eat, disease,  
sickness, and inflammation can create an imbalance anywhere in the
body. The overload happens when our bodies resilience to these toxins
has been broken down. Depression is one way the body signals that
these imbalances are occurring. Hence, the expression "depression
hurts". People seeking assistance often find themselves on a medley of
prescription medications, with no real answers explaining why they
don't feel well, nor much control over the outcome of these treatments.
What can be done about depression?
First, it must be realized that no matter how out of control life may
seem at this moment,
there is still hope! Next, steps must be taken
to learn how to become a master of your life. When you master your life
you become the master of every situation you encounter. Before you
can master your life you must first become a "Master of Self". Becoming
a "Master of Self" usually doesn't happen overnight. It happens when we
take an active participation in our life and our well being.
What is required to become a "Master of Self"?
Some steps you can take today to become an active participant in your
life include; managing stress, addressing digital overload, making helpful
food choices, practicing mind and body techniques, and finding
hobbies that promote the rest and relax response. Many of these
changes can provide improvement within a few days to just a few
months. Since I specialize in Nutrition, that is where I will begin.
Many people fail to realize the impact food has on mood. Several simple
diet and lifestyle choices can bring improvement while also cultivating
self mastery skills. Psychiatrists are beginning to prescribe allergy
medications for mental health issues, which means that they are
realizing the root of
depression is inflammation.
Food allergies, especially gluten, have been associated with
schizophrenia, depression,
anxiety, effective orders, migraines, and
seizures. Some foods that are known to cause inflammation are dairy,
wheat gluten, sugar, excitotoxins, refined foods, hydrogenated oils,
and food additives. Often, the removal of inflammation causing foods
clears depression within a few days to a couple of months. I think the
easiest starting point to removing inflammation causing foods, with the
quickest results, is to discontinue the ingestion of
processed foods, and fast foods. Next, would be to eliminate refined
sugars and begin elimination diets to test for food allergies. Watch the
videos to the right for more information on foods that cause
inflammation and foods to promote healing of mental health issues.
The digestive system plays a huge role in overall health but it has a
special connection with the brain. This connection is referred to as the
"Gut Brain Axis". If the gut isn't feeling well it will cause disturbances in
mental health. To ensure a healthy gut I would suggest 1/4 cup of raw
pumpkin seeds daily for 3 days (they are yummy so don't limit yourself);
drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of pure water daily; take
2 tablespoons of essential fatty acids daily (flax oil, hemp seed oil); add
digestive enzymes to your diet; and get 30 minutes of sunshine daily.
Watch "The Gut and The Brain" video to the right, by Thomas Delaner, a
Health Trainer and Author. It contains more information on foods to
keep the Gut Brain Axis in top condition.
These are just a couple tips from the iceberg of what can be done
through nutritional support to ease, and relieve, depression and mental
health issues. The next steps would include rebuilding biochemical
resources within the brain.
Contact me if you would like to know more
about the next nutritional steps to take towards better mental health.
Stress causes depression and is being called "The Black Plague of This
Century". While positive stress, managed successfully, is necessary for
personal growth and for cultivating coping resources, which become
embedded in our nervous system, providing strength when
encountering future stress. Constant stress is unhealthy, causing harm
to the brain via over stimulation of the fight or flight response
pathways. It is a vicious cycle that, if not dealt with, will create more
vulnerability towards the stress of tomorrow. The reduction of stress is
necessary to combat depression.
Stress today is not the same as the stress our ancestors experienced.
The modern world equates to constant low grade anxiety. Much of
todays stress comes from digital overload, also known as, Information
Fatigue Syndrome, Information Anxiety, and all the disorders that fall
under Screen Dependency (
explained here). Research shows that cell
phones and devices cause a dopamine rush. Dopamine is a
neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure
centers making us want to use them again, and again, causing a cycle of
addiction without any real reward. In fact, digital overload syndromes
are responsible for increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, reduced
immune function, sympathetic nervous system overdrive, mood/mental
disorders (anxiety, depression, ADHD), social anxiety, social isolation,
loneliness, and an overall lowered quality of life. For more information
visit the "
Time To Log Off" page. Take the quiz to find out if you are
addicted to your smart phone and the quiz to find out if you need a
digital detox. (links to quiz found to the right)
One of the best ways to manage stress is to add mediative practices
into your life. Meditation gets rid of the adrenaline and cortisol from
the stress response, while also flooding the brain with dopamine and
serotonin, which are "feel good" chemicals. Meditation builds reason,
empowering the brain with strength for abstinence from negative
impulses. Click here to find
3 simple meditative practices you can begin
doing today.
Sleep allows the remapping of neurons that process, consolidate, and
trim all the thoughts and emotions that happen that day. Get 8 hours of
sleep on a regular schedule. It is a fact that sleeping any amount of
time during the hours of 7 am and 9 am provides the most rejuvenation.
Ways to promote sleep include dimming the lights 30 minutes before
bed; no electronics 1 hour before bed; get some bright light exposure
(sunshine) during the day; find calming things to do prior to bedtime.
Hobbies or body work that promote self care and relaxation bring about
the rest and digest response. It is highly encouraged to engage in, and
seek out, relaxing hobbies and activities.
The brain is so absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately, it has a
rudimentary tendency to compare everything that is happening NOW to
past events, or it attempts to apply the NOW to future events. This
tendency, of the mind, distracts us from the things that are happening
in the present moment, creating disembodied programmed ideas and
reactions. Meaning we normally act more on anxious impulses rather
than utilizing our thoughts to reflect and choose. So, to be present in
the moment we must pay attention. To pay attention, the mind must
be off so it can receive all the current stimuli around it. This act of
purposefully paying attention is called Mindfulness. Once this is
mastered you will own the "off switch" to the noise machine in your
head. This state of no mind is the reset button, bringing sharp and
purposeful meaning to every experience. Becoming Mindful is not an
easy task because the mind will fight to stay on. Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy (CBT) tools can be useful to sharpen mindfulness skills. CBT
helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can
view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more
effective way. Click to find
25 CBT tools to get you started today.
Other health conditions can cause mental health issues see the
information to the right. It is encouraged that testing be done to rule
out any other health conditions that may be mimicking depressive
Remember, you didn't get depressed overnight, so it will take some
time and effort to get better (even naturally). Even doctors recommend
that prescription medications can take up to a month to begin working.
Unfortunately, medications can cause lifelong scars. Find
someone to
speak with on a regular basis so you can begin to connect patterns to
find underlying causes to the feelings you are experiencing.
You will
feel your self-esteem and power grow as you take control of your life
one step at a time.
Talk To Someone Now

Suicide Prevention

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Inhale Deeply while thinking "I AM"
Exhale Slowly while thinking "PEACE"

Continue this breathing for as long as necessary.
Also see the useful information in the video below.
Are you eating the foods that cause
depression? Watch video to find out.
5 Symptoms of Digital Addiction
Feeling Anxious
Missed Deadlines
Damaged Relationships
Body Aches and Pains
Feeling Guilty
click to learn more)
Other Health Conditions that can cause
Mental Health Symptoms  

Thyroid imbalance often presents as mental
health issues and can include conditions like
bi-polar disorder, psychotic disorder, fatigue,
depression, brain fog, apathy, irritability,
anxiety, and panic attacks.

Hormonal imbalance can lead to symptoms of
fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog, not
feeling like yourself and feeling like looking at
the world through different lenses.

Other things that can effect mental health
include tick borne illnesses, like Lyme Disease,
viruses, and parasitic infection.
Learn about better food choices to relieve
depression in the video below.
What is the Gut-Brain Axis?
Find out in the video below.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?