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Post Show Psychosis – A real problem that affects many body building competitors

Post Show Psychosis – A real problem that affects many body building competitors

Dolores Van Bourgondien

Post Show Psychosis Syndrome – Post Bikini Competition or even Pre Show Advice !

 

You’ve trained for months, sacrificed friends, families, dates, food and alcohol, missed out on parties, showed up at a function with dinner in a Tupperware or Ziploc. You’ve risen at 430 for fasted cardio and closed your day with weights.   You’ve Prepped, primped, weighed and measured and now, post show, nearly instantaneously you have fallen into a depression.  Nothing seems to work, nothing can get planned or organized and you’re eating like you’re going to the electric chair!!! Does this sound like you???

OK so “psychosis” may be a strong word BUT it is defined as “characterized by an impaired relationship with reality” and many competitors feel this, post show to some degree.  Their thoughts are far from realistic and often downright delusional!  And a syndrome is defined as a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms or a characteristic combination of opinions, emotions, or behavior. Competitors far and wide (US, Ireland, Australia and more) all show the exact same thoughts, moods and emotions post show ranging from statements of feeling fat and fluffy to feeling inadequate and like failures.

As an ARNP (and competitor) I’m taught to look for signs and symptoms of psychosis, especially when these signs or symptoms are clustered together.  What I have noticed is that there is a post show “Psychosis Syndrome”, and competitor’s world wide are experiencing these symptoms; some mental/emotional and some physical.  The following are 5 Symptoms that many competitors will experience post show.  Its not only important to identify these symptoms but to also offer what are viable solutions or “treatments” so that many can avoid these mentally, emotionally and physically debilitating pit falls.

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  1. Post Show Crash – All the comments, congrats, best wishes, compliments. The exhilaration of walking on stage, the feeling of “I’ve done it” !!!! and then the focus or attention is no longer on you. Competitors fall into a funk and many people find it hard to deal with the lack of attention. Don’t forget for many months’ friends and support systems have been pushed away as you strive for that bikini or figure body.  You have ignored invitations and social outings and friends, while supportive, have gone on with their lives.  Competitors often don’t have a post show goal.  For 12 – 16 weeks your focus has been on one thing, getting to the stage.  Now What?????  The let down of having nothing to focus on often outweighs the success of your accomplishment.  Lets not talk about the expectations of placing?  What if you have done absolutely everything possible to achieve that amazing bikini body.  What if your coach, friends and family all think that you should place (top 3 or 5) what if you don’t what if you are 5th call outs in a group of 25 and you are squarely on the wings.   We are all human and no one likes rejection or criticism.

 

Solutions:  Competitors need to be realistic! This needs to be fun! This shouldn’t consume your life!

Strike a Balance:  While prepping try to strike a balance with friends and family – arrange a coffee date instead of at the bar, have lunch dates and socialize with friends instead of dinners and If you have family functions try to plan ahead – look at restaurant menus and come up with a selection of foods that work or bring our own foods.

Set a Realistic Prep Time Frame:    Also try to embark on a prep that doesn’t mean that you are constantly deprived for 12, 16 o r20 weeks, a prep that is realistic and fits in with life and a lifestyle and which may actually be longer than a 16-week prep.

Get a Great Coach:  Choose a coach that is realistic and honest and has both your best interests AND your health and sanity in mind.

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2.  Feelings of Inadequacy and  Depression
–   Many competitors feel inadequate after a show (again this is out of touch with reality) and this also coupled with depression. Many competitors fall into a complete “funk” immediately after a show.  Depression is defined as feelings of dejection and despondency and is manifested by feelings of sadness, loss of appetite or increase in appetite, loss of feelings of satisfaction or pleasure. Difficulty sleeping and lack of energy and increased fatigue and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.  Competitors may also have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.  What complicates things further is that a lot of these symptoms are also felt from dehydration, lack of carbs and intense training so its difficult to distinguish real depression post show from just the side effects of what your body has been through in the last few weeks pre show and peak week itself.

 

Many didn’t do as well as planned or expected, many compare themselves, negatively             to their competition, many will state I was bloated, felt fat, I felt clumsy etc.  Comparison is the thief of joy!!!  DON’T compare yourself to others think of the things that you have accomplished in this journey.  You stuck to a plan, you should have improved your health and wellness, you achieved a goal many don’t.  Would you beat yourself up as much if you had completed an Ironman, swan a mile race, learned a new language.

Solution:

Focus on the positive and look at what you have accomplished and learned

You Learned how to fuel your body and to weight lift

You planned a goal and maintained the discipline necessary to achieve that goal

You inspired others – this is huge along the way you have definitely inspired many.  You may be the reason why someone loses weight, improves their health or even dedicates themselves to a goal.

 

Feeling “blue” can be common after the show as emotions dip and the hype diminishes BUT when these feelings last more than 3-4 weeks after your metabolism has settled and as your hormone levels readjust sufferers should seek professional help

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  1. Weight Gain– Yes this is probably one of the biggest mine fields.  Many competitors have dropped considerable amounts of weigh to get to the stage and let’s get one thing straight immediately – YOUR STAGE BODY IS NOT YOUR LIFE BODY!!!!! PHEW.  Maybe this should be the title of this article because is is probably the single most distressing mind F*** with competing.  Most competitors should be told that their life body they will probably see about 2 weeks prior to competition and they need to be happy with THIS body – usually 10 lbs. above stage weight, this is sustainable.    Many competitors eat after a competition as if they’re  going to the electric chair (guilty as charged) and for many this mentality lasts well beyond the competition (guilty as charged) now the competitor has to cope with a steady and consistent weight gain until they realize WTF I need to get this under control.

 

Solution:  Reverse diet, again reverse diet, again reverse diet.  The night of the competition and even the day after you can have a cheat meal but look at it like just a meal and just that day.  Most competitions happen on a Saturday in the US so take Saturday night and even Sunday as a cheat day but on Sunday prep meals as you have done for the last 12-20 weeks and have those meals on hand.

Competition Prep packages should include 1 month AFTER the competition – Just my opinion, and you will get your moneys worth and more by paying for an additional month of guidance after the competition is over.  Ask any competitor out there and they will tell you that immediately post show is 10 times harder than the prep itself.

So what’s reverse dieting.  The day of the show your metabolism is probably at its lowest functioning level, you may be depleted, you may have used keto, carb cycling and more to get to your stage goal – Reverse dieting with a great coach who is knowledgeable allows you to add foods back into your diet while also allowing your metabolism to increase to pre- show levels.  As with getting to the stage reverse dieting is highly individualized and tailored to the individual competitor.

 

Doing a longer, slower and less restrictive prep will in the long run allow you to return to preshow levels at a more controlled rate.

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  1. Injury – What Mark Van Bourgondien noticed training The Synergy Show Stoppers Team was that post show many competitors returned to pre show workouts too quickly with a higher incidence of injuries.  Also injuries that competitors had worked through to get to the stage now become insurmountable obstacles to returning to preshow levels. Just as he trained competitors to Reverse Diet he felt that many competitors needed to Reverse Exercise giving their bodies time to recover from the strenuous and demanding workouts they had performed leading up to show.  All competitors Reverse Exercise for 4 weeks post show and this has dramatically decreased injuries while also increasing compliance with returning to the gym.  What Mark had noticed was that there was a high rate of slacking off post show when competitors were scared to return to the gym or frustrated that they were not able to perform to the levels they had achieved about 4 weeks out.  These obstacles dissipated with Reverse Exercising.

 

Solution; Slowly increase workouts and activity immediately post show.  You will not be able to return the day after the show to the intense training that you had been doing and exercise should be tapered up the same way as food is reintroduced.  The following is a sample of how the Synergy Show Stoppers are reversed exercised.

 

Reverse Exercise Sample – 4 Station Split

Week 1:   Warm Up Session only – Light Treadmill Work Daily

Week 2:    Warm Up Session, Station one, Light Treadmill Work Daily

Week 3:  Warm Up Session, Station one, Station Two Light Treadmill work Daily

Week 4:  Warm Up Session, Station one, Station Two, Station Three Light Treadmill work Daily

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  1. Blame Game – So let’s talk about blame! Yes, blame – a lot of competitors blame themselves for not placing, not being the best, not having done enough.  Even more competitors blame others; their coaches, the judges, other competitors, hair stylists, makeup artists, suit creators for their not placing or doing as well as they could.  STOP!!!!  There is no blame, this is a subjective sport with multiple multiple variables.   Who showed up on the day, did you show up on the day, did you genuinely do everything possible, was it a big show or small show, did multiple other teams show up.    Were you ready, not ready? Were you going on stage, at all costs,  without being stage ready. Does it really matter.  What competitors need to know from the start is that while the sport is great fun and rewarding you ultimately have to have a thick skin.  You have to be able to accept criticism that is meant to be constructive but is extremely personal you will be judged on your body its flaws and imperfections.  You will be judged on suit selection, bling, hair make up, posing as well as body conditioning and symmetry.  You HAVE to know the “standards” for each category and you also have to trust a coach when they say you’re not ready, need more conditioning, need to lose more weight or fat, need to develop better quads or shoulders to develop overall symmetry etc.  This advice is not a criticism – it is coaching and training so pick another show.  This sport can be difficult but no one likes a sore loser and the most amazing competitors are gracious in defeat.  If you do feel things are unfair be gracious and sportsmanlike, smile and move on and NEVER publicly blame anyone.  If you want to you can have a constructive discussion with your coach and talk to your family and close friends (though they may be too invested to be subjective)

 

Last words, if you have not been dissuaded by this article,  then enter a competition, they are great fun, you meet great people and you can achieve goals many do not.  The best advice I can give is :

  • Get a Great Coach
  • Create a realistic Plan
  • Set Realistic Mini Goals
  • Prep your Food
  • Reverse Diet
  • Reverse Train

 

But ultimately Have Fun!!!

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Depression and Supplements to Add to your day to fight depression symptoms

Depression  – 5 Supplements to Fight Depression

 

Parts one and two of my articles on depression dealt with the basics of how to control depression symptoms.  As I stated already when symptoms become severe, when they last more than a couple of weeks, when you can’t even get out of bed or function then you need to get professional help.  If your feelings of depression are mild or if they are improving, in addition to the tips mentioned in articles one and two you can add in the following natural supplements to help increase mood.  For many of these supplements I have written individual and more substantiate articles previously and I have included those links after each supplement.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Omega 3 – Decreases Anxiety and Depression and acts as a mood stabilizer– Studies suggest that those patients that took Omega 3 Fish oils showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms. In one study alone 64% of patients who took 10 Gms of Omega 3 over 4 months showed significant improvement in symptoms. In addition, fish oils help play a role in brain function and include both EPA and DHA which many who suffer from depression are deficient in. For more info on the benefits of Omega 3 please check here. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/omega-3-5-benefits-decrease-depression-anxiety-and-even-pms/                     Unknown
  2. Vitamin D – Recent studies have shown a strong link between depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar and low levels of Vitamin D with symptoms improving with supplementation.  Seasonal affective disorder, commonly seen in Northern countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland probably have higher levels of hypovitaminosis than countries located on the equator.  Sadly, according to Dr James Greenblatt Vitamin D deficiency (levels less than <20 ng/ml) are regularly seen in schizophrenia, psychosis, elective mutism and anxiety.  The take away from this is have your Vitamin D25 Level Checked and supplement accordingly with between 600 -800 IU Daily this is assuming that you are getting 450 IU of Vitamin D from food sources (not often easy to do).  Good Vitamin D Food Sources are Salmon, Fish, Mushrooms, Eggs, Fermented Milks, Vitamin D3 Only Capsule 600 – 800 IU daily but please consult with your health care profession.  https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/the-imp ortance-of-vitamin-d-the-dangers-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/

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  1. B12 – Low levels of vitamin b12 and other b vitamins have been implicated in depression and these vitamins have been shown to affect brain chemicals, mood and other brain functions. Reasons for low levels of vitamin b12 can stem from poor diet, mal-absorbtion, celiac or Crohn’s disease.  Correcting B12 deficiency starts with correcting diet imbalances. Eating a diet that is rich in b12 plentiful in animal products such as fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and low-fat and fat-free milk. Additionally, there are foods that are fortified such as cereals.  If you need to be supplemented 500 mcg by mouth daily is a suggested recommended dose.

 

  1. Theanine – L- Theanine is an amino acid found in Green Tea. Recently L-theanine has been extracted from green tea and is being used to treat both anxiety and depression. L-Theanine works by increasing the synthesis of GABA which in turn leads to increased brain levels of dopamine while decreasing serotonin thereby increasing feelings of calm and wellbeing.

 

  1. Turmeric – Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/5-benefits-of-turmeric-anti-inflammatory-anti-bacterial-and-fights-depression/
  1. Maca – Last but not least one of my personal favorite supplements especially for its all round benefits. In recent studies Maca was shown to decrease depressive symptoms I postmenopausal women.  The Fatty acids in maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking and depression. Many doctors focused on holistic wellness often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/maca-decrease-hot-flashes-and-mood-swings

 

Bonus Turmeric Tea Recipe

I’m Irish so Tea to me is a magical elixir with healing properties.  All the problems of the world , all the ailments could be solved with a cup of tea, the thing your Mum would rush to make for you if you had a bad day, had broken up with a boyfriend, had a fight with a best friend.  While I often reach for a cup of Barrys Gold Tea I do make this healing, anti-inflammatory, calming Turmeric tea and actually drink it daily.  I don’t know whether it’s the ritual of boiling the water or steeping the turmeric blend, the aromatic smells and tastes but I always feel an air of calm come over me when I drink it.

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Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

 

 

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Sugar ! The “other” White Powder

2619f2b6b8454582_187481430Sugar (and Spice) May not be all things Nice –

 Let’s not Sugar Coat it!

Sugar, has now become the “other” white powder and is associated with systemic inflammation tooth decay, increases in diabetes both in adults and children.  It contributes to Metabolic Syndrome X and obesity.  To add to the problem, in an attempt to substitute with other alternatives a large number of people are turning to sugar substitutes which have been shown to contribute to cancer.   On average Americans consume a staggering 130 lbs. of sugar yearly.  Sugar is found in nearly every food and manufactures of processed foods often sneak in sugar substitutes using names such as malt, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, maltodextrin to name a few.

What is it: a sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting essentially of sucrose, and used as a sweetener in food and drink. It’s a short chain, water soluble carbohydrate.

Where is it Found:

  1. White Sugar – Calories 16 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium, potassium, protein,  2g of Carbs all Sugar with no trace vitamins or elements.  How is it manufactured?  From Sugar cane which is then shredded mixed with water and sometimes a saturated syrup then its crushed between rollers redissolved with chemicals, char filtered and evaporated further then boiled and crystalized removing its color and rendering it right.   Sugar, especially highly processed sugar is used in processed foods, candies, cereals etc.  While we need glucose for energy any excess gets converted to fat by the liver.images
  2. Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar. Calories 17 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium 2 mg, potassium 16mg, protein,   43g of Carbs all Sugar with no trace vitamins or elements.  Basically same refining process except that residual molasses is left behind
  3. Coconut Sugar Mahava  – Calories 15 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium, with trace magnesium, zinc and iron, potassium,  0g of Carbs all Sugar with no trace vitamins or elements.  This product is Non-GMO, Organic, its sustainable and unrefined but the bottom line is it is essentially still a sugar.  images-1
  4. Honey – Calories 20 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium, potassium, protein, 17g of Carbs but because it is sweeter than sugar the theory is that people use less.  It contains small trace amounts of vitamins and minerals and there is only one processing tip and that is heating the honey which cuts out 3 refining steps of sugar.
  1. Agave Calories 20 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium, potassium, protein,   2g of Carbs all Sugar with no trace vitamins or elements.  Agave comes from the Agave plant and most Agave in the US comes from the Blue Agave Plant BUT it is as highly processed as high fructose corn syrup, is extremely sweet and at the end of the day while it is a “fructose” its still a sugar and if in excess in the body it does get converted to fat.
  1. Stevia – Calories 20 in a Tsp, 0 g of fat, cholesterol. Sodium, potassium, protein, 2g of Carbs all Sugar with no trace vitamins or elements.  Stevia comes from the Stevia Plant and its active compound steviol glycosides are sweeter than sugar are calorie free and are effective for those on calorie/carbohydrate controlled diets as steviol does not increase blood glucose levels but beware for most commercially prepared stevia products there are 40 steps in the process using chemicals such as methanol, acetone, ethanol and isopropanol. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens.   Most brands also use erythritol which is generally obtained from fermented genetically modified corn.
  1. Aspartame & Saccharin & Sucralose – Sugar Substitutes – Used as substitutes to sucrose to sweeten foods and drinks.  Usually zero calorie with no nutritional properties but with links to cancer (with the exception of sucralose) in lab animals prompting FDA warnings that these products are harmful to your health.  I usually do not recommend these products to any patients as a substitute.

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 Recommendations

Sugar is a sugar is a sugar!  In excess it will convert to fat by the liver and be deposited and stored.   Advice use the least processed sugar possible in the smallest amount necessary and always stick with “natural” products and not the sugar substitutes!

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

 

 

 


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5 Benefits of Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory, anti-bacterial and fights depression !

 

5 Benefits of Turmeric!

Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Here are 5 benefits to using turmeric and why we should be incorporating this spice into our daily nutrition routine.

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  1. Blocks Cancer Cells– Some research has shown that curcumin (Turmeric) can help decrease cancer cells with best results seen in breast, colon, stomach and skin cancer. In studies chemo and curcumin combined worked more effectively in killing cancer cells than chemo alone and curcumin stopped the spread of cancer from cancer cells to other parts of the body.  More research is needed but if we also look at lower rates of cancer occurrence in those countries where between 100-200 mg of Turmeric is consumed there is validity to the argument.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants seek out and eat up molecules in the body known as free radicals, that cause to damage cell membranes, alter DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
  1. Anti- Inflammatory & Pain Relief Turmeric and its most potent active ingredient Curcumin contain more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme) Dr. Weil. Turmeric research has shown positive results in the treatment of arthritis showing better pain relief when compared to NSAIDS such as Diclofenac (Voltaren) without the dangerous side effects we often see with conventional medicine.  Other studies have also show good results in conditions influenced by inflammation such as fibromyalgia, Crohns and IBS
  2. Diabetes – Great news for pre-diabetics (those with HGBA1C between 5.7 and 6.4 and blood glucose levels between 100 -125). In one 9-month study use of curcumin significantly lowered the number of individuals who would go on to become diabetics.  Additional curcumin seemed to improve overall β-cells performance.  Curcumin is a good adjunct to prediabetes treatment.
  3. Antibacterial: In a March, 2015 Study against 4 common bacteria Gram-positive (S. aureus and E. faecalis) and Gram-negative (E. coli and P. aeruginosa). It was found that Curcumin worked effective as a  broad-spectrum antibacterial by damaging cell membranes so that bacteria could not proliferate.  In these days of increasing antibiotic resistance it we need to find additional antimicrobials with low cytotoxicity (poison threat) and turmeric’s membrane damaging property may work either by itself or synergistically with other antibiotics to treat more resistant bacterial strains and super infections.
  4. Bonus Tip : Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.

 

Turmeric is a Spice:  Add it to chicken, meat or fish along with curry powder, make tea with it, and add to vegetables

Bonus Recipe:

Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

Recommended Dose:  1.5 – 3 Gm of Root Daily

Contraindications:  As with all medications please consult with your doctor before using and especially if you take anticoagulants such as Warfarin as Turmeric may increase the effects, with diabetic medications as Turmeric may increase events of hypoglycemia and if taking acid reflux medications.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net or go to my website http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net