Tag Archive for Emily Roberts MA LPC

Start The New Year Off Right: Academically

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

We generally take the last few weeks of August to help our kids get prepared to go back to school, why not now?  January is the start of a new year, and it can be for your child too. Before the fall semester we buy them supplies, help them organize, and change the topic of conversation from summer fun, to school expectations.  Now is the time to re-evaluate our expectations, implement new routines, and help our students have a successful second semester.  Here are some helpful suggestions:

1.  Discuss your expectations.   The saying “just do your best” is no longer an acceptable way to tell your child what you require from them academically.   This statement sends mixed messages, making your child unsure what it will take to make you proud.  The reality is that children do not want to disappoint their parents, even if they sometimes act as if they do.  Help your child create his own reasonable expectations for himself, ask him what his goals are for each class.  After you have listened and thought about what his expectations are, come up with your expectations and see if they coincide.   When it is the child’s plan rather than your demands, they become much more invested, and real changes will occur.

2.)  Be realistic in your expectations.  If your daughter is a genus in math, but has consistently struggled in Language Arts, it may not be realistic to expect all A’s.  As parents, we want our children to be the best and brightest, but it is critical to evaluate how realistic our expectations are.  Recent studies show that setting the bar too high often leads to low self-esteem, depression, and other mental disorders.  When expectations are set at a level where the child feels they can be successful, they are motivated to work towards it, achieve it, and often surpass that goal.  When they feel that it is impossible to meet your expectations, the fear of failure often inhibits their effort. We often hear, “Well I knew I wasn’t going to make an A so I just gave up.”  This is due to the despair created by setting the bar too high.

3.)  Use genuine compliments. When reflecting on the past  semester and current academics, make sure to focus on the positive, without too much emphasis on the negative. It isn’t enough to tell your child “good job”.  While this is meant as a compliment, students often tell us that it is “generic” or what parents “are supposed to say.”  Instead, focus on praising their effort, creativity, or something that was previously challenging.  Praise the process (paying attention more in school) rather than the product (the B+). Telling them “I’m so impressed with the hard work you put into that project, you are so creative.”  is far more meaningful because you are explaining why you are proud of them.  This type of praise sticks with your child, unlike generic complements.

4.)  Use this semester to get to know your child better. Initiate conversations with your child to learn more about them.  Ask about their goals for the year, for the next five years, or even their lifetime aspirations. Ask them about new interests, current trends, or something you saw on T.V., things they may know more about than you (this lets them feel in control and will often get them to open up). Keep these conversations to an age appropriate level. A good place to try this out is in the car. Use a song on the radio or a recent news story to ask their opinion, and then LISTEN; try hard not to judge them on what their saying.  More often than not, you will find this technique will lead to deeper, more meaningful conversations.

5.) Avoid “Yes, but….” phrases.Comments like: “Good job in English, but I bet if you would have studied more you would have made an A.” or “If you just had the study habits of your brother, then you would get better grades,” send the wrong message. While your intention may be to motivate your child to work harder and aspire toward greater achievement, comparisons rarely have this desired effect.  Children will often withdraw and feel as though they are not good enough to make you proud until they can be like others, which may never happen. When their self-esteem is compromised by feeling inadequate, their grades will often suffer and their effort and focus generally decreases.  Make the basis of the conversation about what they need to improve on, rather that alluding to the success of someone else or what your child hasn’t achieved.  When having this conversation, make sure to point out what makes them unique in your eyes. 

Implementing all of these strategies at once can be a bit overwhelming.  Focus on the dialogue that you feel will be most beneficial for your child first, then once you are comfortable, continue to integrate new strategies.  When children of any age feel that they have a voice and are being listened to, they generally are happier and more communicative with their parents.  This leads to a lifetime of better conversations and a better relationship with your child.

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Holiday Season Survival Guide: Part One

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

“All I want for Christmas is a carrot!” I thought to myself as I attended a holiday party last week.  There were trays of delicious meats, puffed pastries oozing with butter, cookies, cakes, chocolate filled everything….Oh my I am salivating as I even write about this.  How hard is it to put out a veggie tray or nice salad?  Well, It’s that time of year again, where most of our socializing is done around food, wine, and treats.  It is hard to stay on track with your healthy life style when you are tempted at every turn. Whether it’s your co-workers bowl of holiday candies taunting you every time you leave your desk, or the 12 holiday parties you RSVP’ed for, there are temptations everywhere.   

Here are some healthy tips from the Neurogistics staff on how to stay happy and healthy this holiday season:

Nikki Jackson, CCN, Director of Practitioner Services says “Chew gum at holiday parties or throughout the day after meals.  Brush your teeth before you go to the party, it keeps you from wanting to nibble”  “Also fill up on fiber-rich foods such as veggies or whole grains, rather than going for deserts.  Often eating a meal or a balanced snack before you get to the party keeps you from over-eating once you are there.”

Jill Cornelius, Customer Service and Practice Manager challenge you to drink more water!   Over the cold months we are still dehydrated, it’s important to stay hydrated so you don’t drink sugar and caffeine loaded beverages. “Keep a bottle of water at your desk at all times. Replace the sugar in your coffee or foods with Agave Nectar.  It tastes great and doesn’t give your body the sugar high and crash like sugar does.”

Champane Frias, Accounting Manager says “Hide the candy bowl at work and at home.  I hide it so my daughter does not ruin her teeth and so my co-workers don’t complain about the temptation.”  “Also park your car as far away as possible when doing your holiday shopping.  You will walk more.” Try taking a pedometer with you to the mall; you’ll be surprised how much walking you do when shopping.

Emily Roberts, MA, LPC, Childs Program Therapist, suggests “take a plate with you after the party, drop if off at a shelter or bring to a neighbor, it will keep your hostess from compiling about ALL the leftover food, and you’ll brighten someone’s day.”  “I also recommend making sure you are getting enough vitamin C, stash a few Emergen-C’s in your desk or purse and take them when your stressed or getting run down.  The last thing we want is to feel sick over the holidays!”

 Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

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Thanksgiving Tips: For Your Health and Sanity

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Many of us are under the impression that the Thanksgiving turkey is going to put us into a tryptophan coma; not true, it’s the gorging on high fat, carb-filled foods, along with the turkey that throws your body for a loop, and makes you feel lethargic.  Most Americans starve themselves leading up to meal time, increasing the likelihood that they will binge and overdo it on casseroles, stuffing, and candied yams. Here are some tips on how to keep you and your family sane this holiday:

  • Breakfast: eat a well balanced breakfast that means protein, carbohydrates, and some good fats.  Try Greek yogurt with granola, eggs and toast, a protein shake and a handful of nuts.  By eating normally in the morning, our blood sugar is more balanced (keeping your mood and hunger in check) you reduce your carbohydrate cravings later in the day, and are less likely to go back for seconds during your turkey feast.
  • Eat Turkey: if you’re a vegetarian, get some protein with your meal (chickpeas, Tofurkey, soy sausage).  For a 4 oz serving Turkey has 32 grams of protein.  This amount is perfect for keeping your carbohydrate cravings at bay and creating a balanced meal.
  • Snack: Especially for kids, bringing balanced and healthy snacks with you to your get together, or providing them if your hosting, will allow kiddos from crashing mid-day, decreasing meltdowns at mealtime, and making us all a little more balanced.  A plate of crackers and cheese can go a long way in maintaining your sanity.  Try deviled eggs, veggies and hummus, or a cheese plate. Make sure to get a little protein in.
  • Don’t Skip Desert:  If you’re stuffed, grab a piece and save it for later, however, avoiding it, will only lead you to obsess about it, and crave it later on.  Most of our bodies and minds are accustomed to tradition, meaning after our feast eating a slice of pumpkin, pecan or apple pie.  Try not to fight your cravings, take a smaller slice or save it for after the dishes.
    • If your child/you have a food allergy, bring a desert that is similar to what everyone else is eating.  There is nothing worse than looking around and seeing everyone else indulge in a delicious piece of pumpkin pie; gluten free crusts and pies are available
  • Veggies: In an ideal world, we would have 1/3 of our plate full of salad, steamed green beans, or squash, however most thanksgiving plates look anything but balanced. Try your best to get some greens on your plate. The nutrients speak for themselves, and the fiber will fill you up before you go back for seconds.
  • Be Mindful and Grateful:  Think about what you are eating and enjoy each bite.  When you are rushing through a meal or focused on a fussy baby, you are more likely to eat in a hurry and not enjoy the process.  Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, come up with a list of things in your life that you are grateful for, this can be personal.  Encourage your children to do the same.  When we sit down our family meal with the gratitude in mind, we are more apt to enjoy our surroundings, even if that means nagging in-laws and holiday stress. What are you thankful for?

Let us know your holiday tips below and have a safe and happy holiday!

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Co-Viewing Media with Your Child

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Many parents today are appalled at the television that our children are watching.  From the sexual innuendos that appear in cartoons, to the inappropriate commercials that are shown during “family viewing hours” it is difficult to find anything appropriate for our children and young adults to watch. Did you know that the average viewer between the ages of 8-14 watches an estimated 6.5 hours a day! I would assume some of that is screen time on the computer, but that is a lot of unsuperived media time.

 I often tell parents that after their children are watching popular shows, that “debriefing” is needed.  After watching even mild shows, the messages stay with your child, and if they are confused by the message, they often begin to make their own conclusions about what they see.   I strongly encourage you to investigate what your children are watching, whether its with them or on your own time via Hulu.com or researching the shows on websites such as commonsensemeida.org

Here are some questions to ask your children when  for co-viewing meida :

  • “Do you relate to this show?  Do your friends?  Why or why not?”
  • “What about the characters?  Are these like kids you know?  If not, what makes them different?”
  • “Why do you or your friends like this show?”
  • If/when you see inappropriate behavior (drinking,  drugs, or sexuality), a child fighting, or something that makes YOU uncomfortable,  in a scene ask: “Is this behavior normal for kids your age or kids you know?”  “What do you think about the kids on the show doing _________.”
  • Provocative clothing:  “Is that a new trend?  If so what message does it send about her?”
  • “Do you believe these characters are really in middle school or high school?”
  • “Did you learn anything from watching this show?  Or is it just mindless entertainment?”
  • “Do you think there is a message creeping in that the writers are trying to get across?”
  • If logical ramifications do no occur in the program, to a clear moral issue, ask what they think could happened, ask them to make an alternate ending. For example, unprotected sex, drinking and driving, or shoplifting. 

It is also worth it to research the characters that your child looks up to, do this with your child so they can differentiate between reality and acting.  Here is a great article from Common Sense Media: Mixed Messages to Kids. Let us know your thoughts and how TV is monitored in your home.

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In Response to ABC’s Nightline Gluten-Free Segment

Recently ABC’s Nightline did a piece titled “Is Gluten Free Healthy?” We at Neurogistics found this interview highly unprofessional, in that they talked more about the “fad” of gluten-free instead of the well documented benefits for many people; not just those with  disease.  They did not touch on individuals who have sensitivities to Gluten and whose guts are not working well.  Many studies confirm that gluten increases constipation in ones gut, thus decreasing absorption of nutrients.  We see that replacing gluten with rice or other options has benefited so many children and adults in creating optimal health. Pam Machemehl Helmly our Chief Science Officer and Clinical Nutritionist says ” For many Gluten is toxic and has a huge role in children’s behavior and overall health.”

Although Dr. Green makes a point in regards to Gluten free diets may lack in fiber and B vitamins, that is only true if you are not eating a well-balanced diet. It is more unhealthy to be getting all of your fiber and B vitamins from white flour, which Dr. Green says is where the Gluten-Free diet lacks in health benefits.  It is recommended before placing yourself or your child on a specific diet to get nutritional counseling, or even allergy and gut testing to identify these sensitivities and get proper dietary recommendations.  However, we have seen many more than only Celiac clients benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets. For some Gluten has an opiate like effect on the brain, and in children or adults who eat it we see an almost “drug-like” reaction. Intense cravings, mood swings, and uncontrollable behaviors can steam from gluten.

In Dr. Green’s defense, you can tell this was an incredibly short segment, and if time alloted I am certain he would explain in depth the benefits of gluten-free diets.

The blog by Gluten Free Fitness does a great job of analyzing the segment.  The author says ”

Overall, I was incredibly disappointed.  There has been so many great news pieces done on celiac disease and gluten intolerance lately that this was like a kick in the teeth.  “This was a wonderful opportunity for education and discussion on the beauty of naturally gluten free food, on the importance of eating ‘real food,’ how you CAN get nutrition in your diet, how celiac disease is under diagnosed, and it wasn’t that at all.” Read more here

 To watch the segment click here and let us know your thoughts.

In Good Health,

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

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Eliminate Negative Self Talk: 5 Steps

 By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Mistaken beliefs often keep you from achieving your important goals in life, they come from the negative thoughts we have about ourselves.  These thoughts can come from others, negative scripts we have told ourselves, and the mixed messages you hear from the media.  Mistaken believes set limits on your self-esteem and self-worth.  Many times I hear clients say ” I should be _______”, when you focus more on the should’s, ought’s, and could’ves you are selling yourself short and not looking at what you have done and are capable of doing.  Negative thinking and mistaken beliefs need to be challenged to reduce anxiety, decrease depression, and increase well-being.

Try this exercise to help rid yourself of a of a negative believe you have.

ex) People don’t like me

1.  What is the evidence for this belief?  Looking objectively at all your life experience, what is the evidence that this belief is true?   Evidence- in the past others rejected my friendship.  BUT I also have made and maintained many friendships over the years.  My friends and family love me for who I am. 

 2.  Does this belief always hold true for you?  If not, when has it been proven false? This belief only looks at a few circumstances when I was not accepted by others; this has only happened a few times. I also just made a new friend at work.

3.  Does this belief look at the whole picture?  Does it take into account both positive and negative ramifications? If I think this way I wont get hurt by people, but if I think this way I also will be lonely and not make new friendships or form new relationships.

 4.  Does this belief promote your well-being and/or peace of mind?This belief makes me more anxious and does not promote well being.  When I feel this way I am less confident, making it harder to make new friends and be myself. It DOES NOT benefit me.

 5.  Did you choose this belief on your own or did it develop out of your experience of growing up in your family? Experience with a bully in high school and a few failed relationships in my twenties made me feel like others don’t like me.  However, these people were not positive, and were aggressive personalities, perhaps they are not the best judge of my character. Family and long term friends do not feel this way.

Try this exercise when you notice you have an overwhelming negative thought, one that is causing you distress or a perpetuating beleif that is not benefiting you.  Long lasting change and elimination of the negitive self-talk takes time and practice, be patient and determined.

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Running on Empty: Stress and Women

 By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Adults today are more frazzled and overwhelmed than ever before.  For many of us, being stressed has become a way of life; managing a hectic schedule, meeting deadlines at work, striving to be the perfect parent and partner, or dealing with increased financial woes,  all of these daily stressors can have a negative affect on our health.

Dr. Robert Leahy, the director of The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, and author of The Worry Cure, reports that women today “have the same anxiety level as a psychiatric patient did in the 1950s”.  Wow Ladies…what are we doing to ourselves?

This is extremely worrisome for women.  Not only can in contribute to the onset of mental and physical disorders, but it can cause hormonal and immune system imbalances. 

They longer we run on “low”, the more of our neurotransmitters we burn through.  Our excitatory neurotransmitters, those that allow us to meet deadlines, bake 3 dozen cookies for the bake sale, and read your child a bedtimes story (all in the same night), are harder to access. The longer they are activated without downtime the more likely they are to become depleted. Depletion can cause burn out, depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. Compare this to a car that’s running on empty, you can’t drive it forever, you need to stop and refill your gas tank…you get the analogy.

Now, I am not trying to stress you out even more, but it is imperative to look at your life and where your daily stressors come from. Your demanding boss, that obnoxious PTA mom who is always delegating her tasks to you, paying bills, or the high expectations you put on yourself; once these are identified take action to reduce their impact on your life.  Talk to your boss about setting up expectations she has for you or making more reasonable deadlines; set up a coffee date with the PTA mom to ask how you and she can work together (or avoid her all together); set up your bank account to pay bills automatically, you won’t even think about them. If you find that you are putting more pressure on yourself than the world is demeaning of you, and it’s more than you can handle it may be beneficial to seek out professional help.

Here are some other ways to manage and reduce stress:

  • One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get it out. Write in a journal, talk to a good friend, and make a to-do list.  The act of writing worries down is shown to automatically reduce stress and improve your memory.
  • Boost your immune system and fight stress with good food and supplements.
    • Find a good immunity complex at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joes, containing high amounts of Vitamins B, C, and D; these are the first vitamins to deplete when you are getting sick or running on empty.
    • Make good fats a staple in your diet. Supplement with an Omega 3 fatty acids, such as a fish oil containing DHA and EPA.  These fats that contribute to well-being, healthy skin and nails, and boost your immune system.
  • Eat to fight stress; don’t overload on carbohydrates and make sure your eating enough protein.  Protein is the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin (aka the feel good neurotransmitter). 
  • Delegate tasks, instead of taking things on that you don’t have time for ask for help. Recruit a co-worker to help with a project or your partner to help with cooking dinner or taking your place in the carpool when you’re overwhelmed.
  • Exercise is a great way to reduce stress; it releases endorphins in your body to make you feel good, plus it temporarily increases your energy. Try an afternoon jog rather that that cup of coffee, or go for a walk with a friend rather than catching up on the phone.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Therapists swear by combining deep breathing with visual imagery, to even there most anxious patients.  It increases oxygen to your brain; physiologically calming you down and allowing you to move on quickly to the next task, without getting overwhelmed. 

If you are stressed, often times your family and friends can feel it too. Get a handle on it now, before it takes over your life.

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Quick Protein-Filled Snacks

By Emily Roberts

The importance of rotating protein is often under-minded when we are dieting or attempting to get kids to eat whats on their plates.  We often go for whatever is easy and quick rather than whats really beneficial for our brains and bodies.  In our past post The Power of Protein, we talk about the importance of protein and briefly on rotating proteins:

Why Rotate?: If we eat the same thing everyday our body is going to get used to the amino acids in that food, making it difficult to create new strains of amino acids, thus less neurotransmitter availability.  Therefore, making changes in protein increases your availability to create new strains.  Simple fixes are, chose fish instead of chicken on your salad.  Add protein powder to your morning oatmeal instead of just milk, or try adding in a mid morning snack of yogurt and nuts.

Below are some great ideas to get new proteins into your old routine, as well as easy snack ideas for children and adults alike:

Edamame: Instead of chips reach for this heart-healthy, protein filled snack.  With 11 grams for a 1/2 cup, you are doing yourself a favor.  Sprinkle some sea-salt on them, put them in a Tupperware and take them along to the office or in your child’s lunchbox.

Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese: Instead of boring fruit on the bottom yogurt (still a good source of protein) try something exciting like Fage 2% Greek Yogurt, it has 17 grams of protein.  Add a little Agave Nectar and a handful of nuts and you have yourself a perfect snack!  Kids love it with fruit and granola.

Hummus or Baked Chickpeas: Instead of your usual dip or spread try hummus with veggies or baked chips, its a great alternative to or usual spreads.  Kids eat it up, and by adding this in we are getting in protein from a legume, something most of us don’t get unless we are eating beans or lentils.  The snack packs are a great, portable, snack idea or for throwing in a lunch pale. Baked Chickpeas are a fantastic way to appease your crunch and salty cravings and helps to fill you up.

Beef Jerky: Instead of salty chips or rice cakes.  It can be high in sodium, however 1 serving shells out 70 calories and 11 grams of protein, with only 1 gram of fat.  Try a few pieces instead of your usual afternoon snack.  Kids love the chewy texture and its super portable. There are some organic brand out there that are pretty healthy.

Let us know what protien snacks you and your kids like, we’d love to hear them!

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The Depressed Brain: Alternative Treatments

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

It is estimated that 25 percent of the American population will experience depression at some point in their lives.  What we do know is that depression is treatable, and a variety approaches have been proven effective for reducing and overcoming symptoms.   Many consumers and those who suffer from depression symptoms are under the impression that medication is the only option.  This is not the case.

A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and GlaxoSmithKline (a pharmaceutical corporation), indicates that cognitive therapy is at least as effective as medication for long-term treatment of severe depression, and it is less expensive.  This is not to say that medication is not effective, but rather that there are often options, such as talk therapy, that are overlooked by the average consumer.  We are told by commercials, friends, and even our physicians that depression can be treated with medications, but there are other options.

A recent article by Dr. Daniel Amen confirmed that natural supplements are effective in treating the neurological imbalances causing depression symptoms. Dr. Amen, author of Change Your Brain Change Your Life, is a renowned physician, child and adult psychiatrist, and brain imaging specialist.  He discusses the surprising outcomes after speaking to a group of UC Psychiatrists:

As a group, they were very interested in learning about using natural supplements as a way to treat their patients. You have to understand that in most traditional psychiatry programs in the U.S., the use of natural supplements as a treatment option is NOT part of the curriculum. Most psychiatrists get absolutely NO training in this.

And that’s a real shame. Because there are many supplements that have A level (strong) or B level (good) scientific evidence that they are effective in treating a number of mental disorders. Here are some examples:

  • St. John’s wort, SAMe, and sage have A level evidence that they help with depression.
  • 5-HTP, omega-3s, saffron, and DHEA have B level evidence that they reduce symptoms of depression.
  • St. John’s wort, 5-HTP, and inositol have B level evidence that they calm anxiety.
  • 5-HTP has B level evidence that it helps with weight loss.
  • Ginkgo biloba and sage have A level evidence that they enhance memory.
  • Huperzine A, vinpocetine, acetyl-l-carnitine, phosphatidylserine, and omega-3s have B level evidence that they boost memory.
  • Melatonin has A level evidence that it improves sleep.

For more on Dr. Amen Click Here

What has been confirmed by the scientific community is that most forms of depression can be traced to imbalances in neurotransmitter levels, more specifically Serotonin levels.  These levels can be depleted through genetics, or environmental triggers (stress, trauma, and lifestyle).  Serotonin is one of the primary inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.  Serotonin plays a role in so many areas of the body, and is one of the first neurotransmitters to become depleted.  It is involved in balancing mood, apatite, sugar and carbohydrate cravings (due to low Serotonin levels), sleep cycle regulation, pain receptors (including headaches and muscle pain), and many more.  When looking for alternative options to treating depression, testing ones brain chemistry is extremely important in identifying the neurotransmitters that are out of balance, and is another option for treating depression.  For more information on neurotransmitter testing and depression Click Here.

*If you or someone you know is suffering from depression please contact your practitioner immediately.

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MSG: In Your Child’s Lunchbox

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

With back-to-school in full effect, many parents are packing their rouine lunches or giving kid’s money to buy lunch at school, but do you really know what your child is eating?  Interestingly enough, we notice when kids are eating more prepared and prepackaged foods, often times their behavior gets worse.  Why? Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is added to many “kid friendly” and fast foods. In many ingredient lists is hidden as “flavor enhancer” or “natural flavors”.  MSG increases glutamate levels (glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitters) thus increasing aggression, impulsivity, and decrease the ability to focus. This is not only occurring in our children’s brains, but ours as well.  That bag of Barbecue chips is full of MSG, so is that “natural flavored” cereal bar….Just think about it.

“It taps out our inhibitory neurotransmitters causing inflammation to the brain.” Says Nikki Jackson-Drummond CCN.  This is a normal reaction to ingesting MSG, even for someone who does not have an allergy to MSG. According to Grocery Warningby Mike Adams,” There is no regulation whatsoever on the use of MSG in school cafeterias despite its possible ill effects.  In fact, current trends allow fast –food pizza and hamburger chains to sell their MSG-laden products during the children lunch hour.” Adams says, ” The sudden increase in glutamic acid within the body is rapidly absorbed an can raise the normal blood level of glutamate to eight or ten or even twenty times its usual amount.”

So what’s in your kid’s lunch box?  Popular children’s soups, macaroni and cheese, even products that are labeled “natural” have “natural flavorings added.”  If you are giving your child these foods, or they are getting them at school, the likelihood is that they are increasing the glutamate enough to disrupt your child’s brain chemistry. We have seen some kiddo’s brain chemistry levels plateau or become worse do to diets heavy in MSG foods, without parents even knowing it was disrupting their neurochemistry!

Common Foods:

  • Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles®  (targeted towards children)
  • Doritos®
  • Campbell’s® soups – all of them – based on their commitment to add “umami” (read – MSG) to their products
  • Pringles® (the flavored varieties)
  • Boar’s Head® cold cuts and most of their hot dogs
  • Progresso® Soups – all of them
  • Lipton® Noodles and Sauce
  • Lipton® Instant soup mix
  • Unilever or Knorr® products – often used in homemade Veggie dips. 
  • Kraft® products nearly all contain some free glutamate
  • Cup-a-soup® or Cup-o-Noodles®
  • Planters® salted nuts – most of them
  • Accent® -this is nearly pure MSG
  • Braggs® Liquid Aminos – sold at Whole Foods
  • Hodgson Mill Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour®
  • Tangle extract (seaweed extract) – found in sushi rolls (even at Whole Foods)  Seaweed is what MSG was first isolated from.
  • Fish extract – made from decomposed fish protein – used now in Japanese sushi dishes – very high in free glutamate.
  • flavored ramen noodles
  • boullion – any kind
  • instant soup mixes
  • many salad dressings
  • most salty, powdered dry food mixes – read labels
  • flavored potato chips

This is part of the list from MSG Truth http://www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

There are many safe, alternatives to MSG filled foods.  Do an experiment, what is your behavior or your child’s behavior like after avoiding MSG free foods for just a few days?  Check out this mom’s blog post for specific foods and where to buy them for an MSG free diet http://www.latitudes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=2976

Next time your thinking about grabbing a quick bite, or throwing in that flavored bag of chips into the lunchbox, think about it, do you really want your child eating a flavor enhanced, chemical filled snack?  Think about it….

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