If you, your children or grandchildren are struggling with anxiety, this is a MUST READ.

Anyone reading my articles on Meridian Magazine (since 2007) knows that I’m a big proponent of a healthy living lifestyle with a foundation based on the Word of Wisdom in general with an emphasis on a whole-food, plant-based diet in specific.

The Word of Wisdom, Doctrine & Covenants Section 89, dates back nearly 200 years ago to 1833.

Though unproven at the time, research now scientifically documents it to be the best diet for overall physical health, prevention of chronic disease and weight management.  (If you haven’t already ready Jane Birch’s book, “Discovering The Word of Wisdom” and her articles based on it, you’re in for a treat.) LINK TO HER ARTICLES)

Dr. Birch’s book has become the standard guide to correlating the 1833 revelation with current scientific research that proves the Word of Wisdom’s efficacy for optimal human health then and now.  It is proof and testimony, indeed, of Joseph’s authentic role as the Lord’s prophet and God’s plan to bless our physical health because the science we look to now was completely unavailable at that time.

Continuing scientific research for a whole food diet proves that not only is it the best and God’s revealed plan for physical health, but it is His plan for emotional health as well! Everyone has  heard the old adage, ”You are what you eat.”  When it comes to mental health and anxiety, research now shows that nutritional factors often underlie the anxious thoughts and feelings we have every day.

In the troubling, baffling – and almost bizarre – times in which we now live, stress and anxiety abound with good reason!  Strangely, in our own immediate circle, we have been a part of more than ten deaths (mostly seniors and elderly parents passing at home) just since last Thanksgiving.  Almost everyone I mention this to chimes in with a few more bizarre stories from their own lives in the past several months.  The pandemic rages on, affecting every family and neighborhood in stressful and demanding ways we couldn’t have imagined just two years ago.  Words like “vaxxed” and “boosted” would have meant nothing two years ago, yet now we all know exactly what they mean. We have all been a part of many a discussion (often with more emotional content and disagreement than we’d prefer) as we try to wrestle it to the ground.

There are many recommended ways to cope with the times and we are grateful for them!  Articles abound on various strategies, especially the critical value of gratitude during these times.  Two articles in Meridian Magazine just last week were so helpful and uplifting!  “How Gratitude Can Transform Suffering” CLICK HERE: by Becky Douglas and “Finding A New Beginning Despite an Old Ailment” by Tanya Neider CLICK HERE

Good news: There’s something more we can easily and actively do immediately to battle anxiety and the associated sugar cravings, weight gain and fatigue.

And it all goes back to the precious and ever faithful counsel of the Word of Wisdom!

A newly published book, Feed Your Brain, Not Your Anxiety: Stop the Cycle of Worry, Fatigue & Sugar Cravings with Simple Protein Rich Foods by Dr. Kristen Allott is an excellent eye-opener on how a whole food diet can quickly and positively impact emotional peace and health for better and easier days.  This easy-to read workbook effectively puts the Word of Wisdom to work to help us conquer anxiety.

Dr. Allott’s scientific research and experience with her patients are proof that  regular, healthy whole food purchased at your local grocery store can become the most effective healing method available for managing emotions and stress!

As a bit of background, I connected with Dr. Kristen Allott, the author and a naturopathic physician, speaker and advocate of whole foods for mental health doing research for my Meridian Article “Five Reasons To Ditch Diet Soda for Good.”   CLICK HERE

This darling lady actually picked up the phone herself when I reached out to her office for permission to quote from her writing at her website and extensive blog at www.Kristenallott.com.  In our friendly conversation, she introduced both herself and her new book, “Fuel Your Brain, Not Your Anxiety.”  We agreed that there is a desperate crying need for tangible, do-able, effective, non-drug/chemical support for the emotional stress and anxiety of our times.

As a scientist and doctor wanting to meet the needs of her patients, she has taken it on in a powerful way and now published a book, which has quickly received glowing reviews.  She sent me several copies which I have shared and learned much from. 

Fuel Your Brain, Not Your Anxiety is written for personal use and formatted in a simple to understand workbook format to help us understand and personally apply the information immediately.

This book is quickly becoming a favorite for professional guidance counselors and behavioral therapists to give to their patients.  Thanks to the large font and workbook style of the book, friendly conversational tone of the author, plenty of examples and excellent picture diagrams, this book is a pleasure to read and implement. The diet changes are not extreme and when applied, have an almost immediate impact on behavior improvement, increased peace and emotional self-control for individuals of all ages, especially children.

In the first chapters, she lays out the science in a concise way with text and diagrams to explain 1) what causes anxiety, 2) what impacts it, and 3) how a well-fueled brain is a less anxious brain.

What is anxiety?  Though the answer is complex, Dr. Allott teaches us that it’s an “umbrella” term for literal “dis-ease” (meaning lack of ease) that can exist in our minds, in our brains, in our bodies and even within our relationships.  The workbook style of this book helps the reader self-assess their own particular anxieties with questions. Based on the answers, the reader is able to understand the specific cues from their body, their brain, their troubling relationships and their mind.

She often uses the term “well-fueled brain.”  What does that mean?  It means replacing highly processed food and fast food with protein rich foods and healthy carbs. 

With more simple diagrams and brief explanations she helps us see that when we deprive our brain of needed appropriate fuel, in not too many hours, it creates a craving within our bodies for a quick fix.  She likens the adrenaline that kicks in when glucose (this craving) is low as the “bear in the room.” The quick fix is SUGAR, which is usually very available, fast, cheap and easy to consume. (Think of the candy bowl at the receptionist’s desk, crackers, cookies, fast-food, chips, high fat snacks, etc. that we gravitate to at these times.)

In Part I she helps us understand the fundamentals of regulating glucose (sugar) as a solution for anxiety and fatigue.  Her self-analysis questions will even help you rate your fatigue score! You’ll be able to assess emotions, brain fog, thought patterns and see larger than necessary emotional outbursts for what they actually are.

She explains that when you eat protein WITH a carbohydrate, instead of just carbohydrates, your brain has fuel for 3 to 4 hours instead of 1.5 to 2 hours. 

In Part II she instructs us on what to do and has plenty of ideas for meals and snacks using nuts, seeds, protein drinks or bars and lean meat.  While those of us who are vegan, vegetarian or prefer a whole-food, plant-based diet wouldn’t choose meat or dairy, we know what to do: substitute some beans for those meat or dairy products!   For carbs, she recommends whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc.  Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables is a big part of making the approach healthful, interesting and delicious.

Best Snack And For Better Sleep: Dr. Allott  highly recommends a snack of ¼ cup of 100% fruit juice with ¼ cup of nuts, seeds or natural peanut butter both during the day and just before bed to help you settle down and fuel your brain for the next 8-10 hours while you are asleep and not eating.

Like everyone, I’m fascinated with the reviews at Amazon and include two of my favorites here:

“As a Child Psychotherapist, my days are filled with helping children and parents to manage anxiety. Dr. Allott has been my guide for years in understanding how food either helps or hinders us. I can almost always tell what a child’s diet consists of just based on their anxiety symptoms. This workbook has been long awaited and many will find it to be an essential guide to understanding how to use food as medicine when dealing with anxiety. I am incredibly grateful to have this workbook available to me and all my clients and my own family. I am now buying 2 more copies after giving my first copy to my sister- in-law.”

“This book is a life-changer. I am the mother of a teen-ager.  Unlike many of the reviews for this book, I do not work in mental health. Rather I am an every-day person looking for decreased anxiety. The book is easy to read, and with the workbook, it is easy to follow and understand the recommendations given by the author. Mostly, there is an understanding that change is personal and does not happen without practice. I have given this book to my teenage daughter and her friends as this COVID year has them very stressed and anxious. And like many teenagers, they gorge on junk food when together. We are starting a book club just for this book, so they can work together to become the best they can be.”

Back to Carolyn: In these troubled times, we are all dealing with our own anxieties. To compound our own, we are watching our children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends of all ages deal with their anxieties! What a blessing to find relief for ourselves in a natural way with this book. We can then to pass it on by both example and with this book — using healthy food.  It’s always God’s first choice for health and healing.

You can purchase this book at Amazon.

“Fuel Your Brain, Not Your Anxiety: Stop The Cycle of Worry, Fatigue & Sugar Cravings with Simple, Protein-Rich Foods” by Dr. Kristen Allott, ND, MS

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been a columnist for Meridian Magazine since 2007. She provided mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success and happy living both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 through Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents of a growing number of darling little ones. They are now happy empty nesters in Sandy, Utah.