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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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The Wild Geese – Michelle Jackson

Wild Geese: ‘In the US, there’s an attitude of ‘go for it’i-c36fwG5-X3

From Dublin, Dolores Van Bourgondien found a rewarding nursing career in Florida

Born in Raheny, Dublin, Dolores Van Bourgondien was only a child when her father moved the family to Zambia in 1975. She returned to finish her education as a boarder at Mount Sackville and was awarded a degree in English and Psychology from UCD in 1986.

“In June 1986, I left Ireland for good. My father felt that, with the economic climate at the time, there was no way all five of his children would get jobs in Ireland. He left a job as managing director at Airmotive Ireland to run an aircraft parts and engines sales business in the US.

“In order for me to enter the US, as I was over 21, I became a student and did an MA in English Literature at Hofstra University on Long Island.”

While studying, Van Bourgondien worked part time in the aircraft business doing sales and marketing. “As luck would have it Homeland Security came knocking on my door when I graduated and I had to leave the US, but the aircraft company offered me a job in the UK.”

For the next three years Van Bourgondien worked in the UK but, after winning a lottery visa in 1991, she returned to Florida and continued working in marketing and sales in the aviation business.

When her father died in 1999, one of the last things he said was: “I have no regrets.”

This prompted Van Bourgondien to go back to school as she had always wanted to be a nurse.

“As soon as I could, I left a high-paying job in aviation, with a self-employed husband and two children and went back to school,” she says.

Graduating as a registered nurse in 2005, she worked as an emergency room and trauma nurse in an inner city hospital in downtown Fort Lauderdale, otherwise known as a gun, knife and drug club! While nursing full time, she obtained a masters in nursing in 2013.

She is now an advanced practice nurse practitioner acute care/internal medicine’ – an ARNP – and her patient population is psychiatric.

“I work at most psychiatric facilities from Palm Beach County to north Miami. Unfortunately these days, we are dealing with a drug addiction crisis fuelled by out of control opiate addiction. Our patients are also ravaged by synthetic drugs which are cheap and imported into the US, mainly from China.

“Drugs such as Flakka and Mollys are common place and we deal with the medical problems associated with these drugs. In addition, there is a health care crisis which is compounded in those with mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety and depression.”

As an ARNP, Van Bourgondien also completed training in administering botox and fillers and has been working on setting up a health and wellness practice with a concentration on anti-aging.

New generation

Van Bourgondien’s husband, Mark owns a gym, Synergy Fitness Boca and has a very successful weight loss program.

As far as Van Bourgondien is aware, the position of ARNP, with its high level of autonomy that attending physicians give her in the US, is not replicated in Ireland.

“Nurse practitioners are valued here by physicians, and our opinions, especially our medical opinions and decisions, are trusted and respected. Also I think that, in the US, there is an attitude of ‘go for it’. I feel sometimes in Ireland that you are often talked out of why you can’t do something.”

As for quality of life in Florida, she is emphatic.

“I’m going to go out on a limb”, she says. “I love the US. This country has been good to me, given me opportunities in varying fields and it has rewarded me for my hard work. In terms of a social life I have been able to socialise all the time with co-workers and the families of the kids my children went to school with and more. You do have to put yourself out there though and take the lead in trying to meet new people and friends.”

To the new generation of emigrants, Van Bourgondien says: “The US still values brains, smarts, innovation, and it will seek out those types of employees/emigrants. Ireland has an extremely well-educated population, great universities and I think we also have a great work ethic and eagerness to do well.

“There will always be room in the US for those types of emigrants. The question is, though, under the current administration and what’s being portrayed worldwide, will emigrants still want to come here?”

Van Bourgondien has exploited professional networking bodies but not in an area where expat groups have banded together. Professional groups such as the Trauma Nurses and Emergency Nurses Association have been more beneficial.

“There are no comparisons to Ireland here which does make me homesick. You have to appreciate the weather, the outdoor lifestyle, palm trees etc. but I do miss a windy day in Sutton or a walk around Howth summit.”

She is currently working on a complete online health, wellness and anti-aging programme in conjunction with Synergy Fitness Boca (Her husband’s gym).

“I would love to be able to split my time between Florida, Ireland and Mark’s homeland, The Netherlands in the future.”

 

Picture Credit: Devon McManama at

Devon Marie Photography


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Depression – 5 Basic things to do !

Depression  5 Tips

IMG_4995[1]5 Tangible or Proactive Basics to Fight Depression

In part one of my Depression series I discussed some strategies to undertake when you initially recognize that you are suffering from depression.  Some people suffer so badly from depression that even seemingly minor and simple tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing, showering or even eating become insurmountable.  These symptoms warrant professional help and the first 5 tips are for those people who are unable to do even the smallest of tasks.

For those who recognize that they are probable suffering from depression I often recommend that they start with very basic yet essentials strategies to help improve symptoms. So many people really want to try to treat their symptoms without medication so I often say do the following 5 things, with 100% commitment to see do your symptoms improve.  Bad diet, lack of exercise and more frequently contribute to the symptoms of depression and how great it is to see symptoms improve or even completely resolve by just changing things in our every day lives.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Diet – Simply put, keep it clean. Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed carbs.  “Clean Foods” tend to be higher in the right vitamins and minerals that aid to decrease depressive symptoms, vitamins  such as B12 and folic acid for example.  For depression with anxiety, try to increase foods that also contain magnesium such as spinach, almonds and kefir.   Avoid sugars and processed foods and alcohol which in itself is a depressant.  In terms of simulants cut out sodas, caffeine’s, even trans fats and hydrogenated oils 52559fbc45c3c.image
  2. Exercise – Increases your endorphins, acts as a distractor taking your mind off depressive thoughts, can get you outside and provides socialization. You can start small just by walking around the block and work up to a 5K, class at the gym, boot camp and more.  Exercise is proven to improve mood and decrease anxiety.  The key to exercise is to start small and build up from there.  Unknown
  3. Hydration – Dehydration can be a major contributor to depression. Production of serotonin in the brain (which determines mood) decreases when there is a water shortage i.e. dehydration leading to depression, stress and anxiety.  In addition, dehydration also depletes other essential amino acids.  Dehydration also places the body under stress and when stressed the body increases production of leading to adrenal fatigue.  So make sure you are drinking enough water to hydrate your body.
  4. Stress Reduction – Meditation, Yoga, or anything that helps you relieve stress , for some that may even be knitting, dancing or getting a massage. Stress reduction techniques don’t need to be expensive nor do they need to take an inordinate amount of time.  Meditation for 5 minutes, 20 minutes gently stretching or 30 minutes listening to music or reading may be all it takes.  Find something that works for you.
  5. Sleep – Is hugely important and good quality, uninterrupted sleep is crucial. Unfortunately lack of sleep contributes to depression and depression contributes to alterations in sleep patterns.  So where to start? Firstly, rule out anything physical that may contribute to poor sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea.  Decrease alcohol and coffee at night and remove all electronics from your room.  For more on sleep see my previous article here http://bit.ly/2dE7N45 images

Basic Behaviors to change, improve on or incorporate: Diet, Exercise, Hydration, Stress Relief, Sleep.

Up next

5 Supplements

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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How to halt and even reverse aging ! The Telomere Effect.

How to halt and reverse aging!

1329410057_kim-richards-sandra-bullock-lgDo you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are?  Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth?  We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)

I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news.  I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.

I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.  Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process.  Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.

There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates!   The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.

Stress:

imagesI love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”.  According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length.  Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress.  We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.

Recommendation:  Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life.  Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.

Depression & Anxiety:

Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres.  The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres.  More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode.  Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.

Recommendation:  Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential.  Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Exercise:

images-4Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily.  What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.

Recommendation:  HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres.  Add in resistance training to your program as well.

 

Diet:

images-3What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process?  Easy!  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance.  Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.

Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples.  Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:

Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants.  But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.

Recommendations:  Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish.  Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.

Sleep:

images-1Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres.  If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as!  But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more.  Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.

Recommendations:  Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier.  Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)

There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included.  Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring unknown-1

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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Goals & Intentions for 2017

 

unknown-2Setting Goals and Intentions for the New Year

5 Great Goal & Intention Setting Tips

We’re a little over one week into the New Year and already people are falling back on some of their resolutions or goals.  What are some of the ways that we can ensure that we succeed at goal & intention setting so as to achieve all we desire in 2017.

  1.  I don’t care what anyone says. To be successful you HAVE to write your goals down and also keep them in a place were you can glance or refer to them frequently. Get a diary and just jot down all the amazing things you would like to achieve in the next year.  This list is random and creative and it should flow but doesn’t necessarily have to have any rhyme or reason.  Don’t worry if it seems hard to start just stick with it a bit.  You can muse on areas of love, career, spirituality, home, family as some general headings to get started.
  1.  Light a candle or incense or even smudge the area you are sitting in with sage. “Clear” the space or pray to a higher being for peace and guidance. Smells and sounds often help to calm the person as they are getting ready to set the tone for intentions. th-1
  1. Be realistic about your goals and while we often use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to refer to goal setting – I like to be a not more “loose” with the specifics and timing of goals allowing the Universe to provide (as it always does) in the divine timing that it has set. You do have to be realistic about goals – setting a goal to lose 50 lbs in 1 month is neither realistic or healthy, a better goal would be to break the task into smaller more achievable pieces such as a weight loss of 10lbs per month.
  1.  Set goals that motivate you and set you on fire. You shouldn’t set goals just for the sake of setting goals. Goals should motivate and excite you set you on fire and ostensibly improve you in some area of your life!
  1.  Make an action plan. Its great to make goals but the next step is crucial you need to make plans to achieve those goals. If your goal is to travel to Iceland or Machu PIccu get travel brochures, enquire about airfare and hotels, pick a date and plan on saving every week. Sites like SmartyPig allow you to save for your goals and will direct debit a set amount on a set schedule.  Its great to have goals and dreams but the plans and steps to get there are equally important.
  1. Dream Big – OK this may be counterintuitive to the “be realistic” part of SMART goals – But go on have fun dream big.  What would you really like to accomplish if someone told you you couldn’t fail.  That beautiful farm & studio in Leitrim It will be yours (well mine) ! Running your own company, writing that novel or producing that movie.  All are within reach !

Happy 2017 Dare to Dream Great Dreams – and make them all real in 2017 !th-2

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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New Years Resolutions Prep (Part 1)

5 Great New Years Resolutions Prep

unknownResolution Prep

Clear the Pantry (and the fridge and other cupboards)

Just about one week until New Years and everyone seems to be making all of those New Years resolutions.  Did you know, that statistically most people will have abandoned their New Years resolutions and goals by the 3rd week of January.

Do you want to be more successful beyond the first few days ?  Here are some tips that you can do prior to “D” Day or “R” Day to stave off temptation.

Clear the Pantry ! And the Fridge and other Cupboards !

  1.  What are your goals.  Decide what your goals are ! For example if your goals are to try to eliminate sugar from your diet that means that all cookies, high sugar cereals, even cereal bars and those highly processed foods will have to be dumped.  Throw out the quick boxes of cake and cookie mixes, dump the high sugar yogurts and the cookie dough and lets not talk about pop tarts, ice cream and other frozen treats.  These are the obvious culprits but even unobvious foods like processed apple sauce, ketchup, granulated sugars and sweeteners are all culprits – Stay tuned until tomorrow when we will discuss your replacement food list.  Here are the top 10 offenders:

Granulated Sugars and Sweeteners, Drink Powders and Sodas, Candies, Dried Fruits, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Jams and Preserves, Cereals, Oatmeals (Packaged), Cereal bars, Ketchup, Ice Cream, Canned Fruits and Syrups

Also check your food labels for the following r high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar as the 1st or 2nd ingredient, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG.) and carrageenan and chuck them all.   (Also see my article on Sugar- The other white powder (http://bit.ly/2gczuA2)

thGoal Setting:

  1. Eat Less Sugar, Eat less processed foods, Eat less packaged or boxed items, Eliminate meat, dairy, gluten from my diet, eat less fat.

You can also say that I will eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes or I will eat clean, I will pack my own lunch for work or school, I will eat clean, I will eat out less often.  These goals are just specific to your diet and eating but you should evaluate, explore and determine goals in all aspects of your life !   Join us on January 7th for a great Goal Setting and Vision Board Class (https://www.facebook.com/events/1530477190301339/) and I will post this class online after January 7th, 2017

Be Brutal

  1. Yes you have to have a heavy hand and a cold heart when cleaning out your pantry (or even closet).  Everything goes.  Be determined and unwavering do everything at once and don’t go back to complete the task – leave no stone or hiding place unturned.

Get a garbage bag – A big One !  

  1. Dump everything that does not comply with your eating and health goals and when you are finished put the garage bag outside.  There is something extremely psychological and detrimental to removing food from a garbage bag or pail.  If you have an issue with waste see number 5

Pick a Food Shelter!  

  1. Pick a food shelter – Look at local shelters and see can you drop off food supplies to the shelter.  But be aware that most places will only take unopened packages.  So all opened goods will still need to be tossed.  Alternatively ask a friend or family member if they want to take your items.

Check Expirations!  

  1.  While you are purging your items check the expiration dates on those items that you are keeping.  Packages of rice and beans that you are keeping may be beyond their shelf life and also need to be tossed.

 

Next Up – A look at those items that you will stock in your fridge and pantry !unknown-1

For any questions or comments you can contact us at www.Synergyhealthandwellness.net or 561-866-1211 or Dolores@synegryhealthandwellness.net


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5 Drugs we’re seeing in ED & Psych right now and what you need to know.

5 Drugs we’re seeing a lot of right now!  What you need to know!

Images of parents and grandparents passed out from Heroin overdoses and their child (grand child) in the back seat flooded Facebook and social media platforms in the past few weeks.  This drug epidemic is not isolated to the northeast, California or far removed areas – this drug epidemic is seen in all locales, countries and cities and is absolutely non-discriminatory affecting all races, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, ages and sexes.  The following is a list (in no order) of the 5 most common drugs we are currently seeing in Emergency Departments and Psychiatric facilities, especially here in Palm Beach County.

  1. Heroin – We have seen an explosion in the number of heroin addicts in recent months and years some of which can be attributed to the closure of pill mills but truly many of my patients were introduced to heroin through “friends” in school and college. Sadly, much heroin today is being “cut” with dangerous fillers such as Fentanyl, Dibutylone, Carfentanil and even Flakka which is why we are seeing so many overdoses.   These added substances directly affect the patients breathing so much that patients cannot support their own breath.
    1. Class Opioid
    2. How is it used: Snorted, Smoked, Injected, Inhaled?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Overdose, “nodding” excessive sleepiness,
    4. Additional Problems: Hep C, HIV, Abscesses, Septicemia, Endocarditis, physical dependence – many of these life threatening.
    5. Treatment: Buprenorphine (now also implantable), Detox and Rehab, Methadone
  1. Cannabis – While medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial for certain conditions we are seeing a rise in patients being seen in psychiatric facilities more for the side effects of excessive use than sheer numbers of those addicted. For example, of all substances addicted to cannabis patients have the lowest level of encounters in Emergency Departments or Psychiatric facilities.
    1. Class: Cannabinoids
    2. How is it Used: Smoked, Dabbed, Inhaled (Vape), Ingest (edibles)?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations, depression, Dry mouth, dizziness, coughing
    4. Additional Problems: Has been linked to increased schizophrenic breaks, Tachycardia (sustained heart rate at 120 beats per minute).
    5. Treatment: Abstinence! and treat the symptoms hydration, possible arrhythmic if elevated heart rate persists, watchful monitoring.  Patients can return to normal in most cases by refraining from use.
  1. Synthetics – Remember the face eating patient in Miami a couple of years ago and most recently the cannibal patient in Jupiter, both patients had apparently used “synthetic” drugs, drugs mostly manufactured in China, in large commercial factories. This is a really hard class of drugs to detect initially as drug developers stay one step ahead of drug tests. But the behavior we see is unforgettable. Patients often arrive combative, with superhuman strength, paranoid with dangerously elevated temperatures and its not unusual for them to remain in this state for 2-4 days and more. Unfortunately, some patients do not recover!
    1. Class: Synthetics
    2. Common Names: K2, Spice, Flakka, Gravel
    3. How is it Used: Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations (visual and auditory), delusions, superhuman strength, elevated body temperature (remember the pictures of patients running in traffic and stripping off their clothing) aggression, violence, seizures, chest pain.
    5. Additional Problems: Rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition affecting the kidneys and often requiring the patient to have to undergo dialysis.  Chest pain leading to heart attack, self harm and suicide, Hyperthermia
    6. Treatment:  Initially our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  Treat the rhabdo, hyperthermia and other medical issues such as trauma and then treat the addiction with inpatient detox and rehabilitation
  1. Prescribed Medications This is a huge category and everyday we see patients addicted to prescription medications that include Opiates such as Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dilaudid.  Benzos such as Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax.  Anti-Epileptics such as Gabapentin and Neurontin and while these medications are supposedly not “addictive” we do see misuse and signs of withdrawal with psychoactive effects.  Patients will increase dosages to get better effects, can seize if they miss a dose and will purchase medications on the street (Yes, Gabapentin does have a street value). Miscellaneous Analgesics – Tramadol (non narcotic with narcotic like properties) but now a scheduled drug.
    1. Class: Multiple Opiates, Benzodiazepine, Anti-Seizure, Analgesics
    2. Common Names: OxyContin, Klonopin, Gabapentin, Tramadol
    3. How is it Used: Oh yes we have seen Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted, insertion (rectal and vaginal)
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Depending on drug type Opiates will mimic the signs and symptoms of heroin such as drowsiness, sleep, decreased respirations.  Benzos are much like opiates we also see slurred speech and lack of coordination.  Anti-Epileptics – weakness, loss of balance, headaches, slurred speech and seizures/   Analgesics – headache, nervousness, anxiety
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient as there are so many side affects associated with withdrawal not least of which is seizures and falls.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with antiemetic’s such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper benzo schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.
  2. Alcohol Last, but by no means least, along with Heroin abuse this drug is one of the most abused on the planet. Many of the alcoholics we see in psych facilities are there because they have been Baker Acted in the ED.  Many of the patients we see in the ED are there due to traumatic injury, because they have been found passed out or because they are suicidal (therefore they are Baker Acted).
    1. Class: Alcohol
    2. Common Names: Beer, Liquor, Wine, Hand Sanitizer, Mouth Wash
    3. How is it Used: Ingested?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Slurred Speech, lack of coordination, poor judgment, loss of memory, loss of consciousness
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  As stated in the ED we see a lot of alcoholics as trauma patients who have been hit by a car while walking in traffic, head injuries, assaults on the street.  Also alcohol withdrawal related seizures are probably the most violent seizures I have ever had to treat, usually occurring 6-72 hours after drinking has stopped.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with anti-emetics such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper Librium schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.

Picture of a Drug Addict  This could be your brother, sister, mother, father, friend.  It’s the banker, the nurse, the student, the teacher, the rich socialite, the impoverished homeless person.

Treatment  

  1. Recognition
  2. Intervention
  3. Stabilization

Treatment facilities with Inpatient, PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) or IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), Half Way House.  The draw back with these programs, especially in the US is expense and in other areas of the world sheer lack of availability.

AA:  Alcoholics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Alcohol.  http://www.aa.org  find meetings here.

NA:  Narcotics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Narcotics.  https://www.na.org find meetings here.

Outlook:

From a personal stand point, we are losing the “war on drugs”.  Is our current strategy working? Are we seeing less patients?   With a continued lack of connection to each other this problem is only going to persist. For a different perspective on the war on drugs http://chasingthescream.com.

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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