About the Human Body

The Connection between Diabetes and Alzheimer's

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Alzheimer’s disease has recently been in the news because of the lack of progress on new treatments. Many of the big pharmaceutical companies are abandoning their current research on finding new treatments for this incurable problem. The research has been trying to find a way to decrease the plaque that can build up in the brain. There’s a strong correlation to this amyloid plaque and worsening symptoms.

They have spent billions of dollars and hopeful studies to reduce plaque and improve outcomes. We still have no new medications and no really good treatments for this debilitating disease that reaches into most of our families.

There are a few medications on the market that can help slightly. They have been out for years and offer a little improvement with memory and other problems associated with dementia.

It seems like every day science is advancing and I am confident that one day we will have better options than we have now. For years now, we have known of the connection to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Some doctors have referred to it as Type III dementia.

There is more and more research showing this connection to diabetes and insulin resistance. Recently, there have been studies suggesting that common medications we use to treat insulin-resistant diabetes may in fact help with dementia.

So I am hopeful that eventually our smart scientists and doctors will come up with better solutions. But for now, what should you do if you are concerned about Alzheimer’s?

I believe the current evidence strongly supports healthy eating and exercise! I have seen numerous patients who change their diets and start an easy exercise program and have slowed down the damage of this disease. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made and will respond when we treat them well.

If you’re having bad results with your health, and you don’t eat well or exercise, why not try for a few days to eat clean and exercise a little? What do you have to lose but a couple of pounds?

Try my 10-Day Diet Challenge and see if you feel better in just 10 days. Most people report positive results. The average male will drop 6–8 pounds and the average lady will lose 4–6 pounds.

If you have diabetes or have a family history of diabetes, download my free manual and how to beat diabetes. I believe this information can also help slow down the development of Alzheimer’s in patients who are at risk.

 

I am amazed at how most people’s bodies will respond to healthy nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Most of people will spend more on taking care of their cars than they will spend on taking care of their bodies!

Take care of yourself. Splurge a little and pay for a gym membership or see your doctor for a check-up. Spend a little more money on buying good food. Invest some time in exercise. Read a good book. Your body will thank you for the investment!

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown


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Dr. Curtis Brown is a family care physician in Yukon, Oklahoma, specializing in nutrition and weight loss management. He is the author of The Caleb Journey.

The Truth about Man Boobs

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I have recently encountered a number of patients complaining about having man boobs. It seems to be a growing problem (pardon the pun). I think everybody knows what we are talking about when we say man boobs.

Gynecomastia is the medical name that we commonly refer to as man boobs. But not all man boobs are created equal. Gynecomastia is a medical condition that causes the male breast to increase its fat deposition. It can cause some pain and otherwise discomfort. Many adolescent boys have some gynecomastia.

There is a difference between gynecomastia and just a fatty chest. Maybe we are talking semantics here, but many overweight guys have fatty chests and refer to this as man boobs.

Generally, gynecomastia occurs when there is an imbalance between the androgen hormones and estrogen. You read that right. Guys do have estrogen. When young boys are going through puberty, they have an increase in both estrogen and testosterone. If this gets out of balance a little, it can cause some breast development. It almost always goes away, but there are occasions when more help is needed.

There are many medications that can cause gynecomastia. Some of the more common ones are used for stomach acid reduction. Cimedidine and omeprazole are common medications used by millions that can cause gynecomastia. Many prostate medications can cause some problems as well. A simple search of the internet will reveal a long list of medications that are associated with gynecomastia.

Another common cause is testosterone “boosters.” One of the common ingredients for enhancing testosterone is DHEA. It’s a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. It can raise your testosterone, but it often raises your estrogen levels. Again, the higher your estrogen levels, the more your chances are for developing gynecomastia.

So, what is a guy with man boobs to do? First thing is to realize gynecomastia usually is benign and will often go away on its own. If you are taking some medications that might cause it, talk with your doctor about alternatives. If you are having pain or feel a hard lump, it’s best to get it checked out. If it’s simply lasting longer than you think it should, please get it checked out. I have ordered many mammograms for guys over the years and do occasionally run into some problems.

The best solution is to lose weight. The higher levels of fat in our bodies can often translate into higher levels of estrogen. High levels of estrogen are the root of the problem. It certainly would not hurt to do some bench presses and weight training, but it is weight loss itself that can really help. (People often wonder if doing sit-ups and other abdominal exercises will burn the belly fat off faster than other exercises. Unfortunately, we cannot pick and choose where are body mobilizes fat and stores it for energy.)

Be careful of any quick cures you read about on the web. There are many products that are reported to help, but I am skeptical. 

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown

Two Weeks on the Keto Diet: The Good and the Bad

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The ketogenic diet seems to be the latest thing in weight loss circles. There are many articles about the diet and many celebrities are promoting it as well. So I decided to try the ketogenic diet for a couple of weeks and wanted to write about my experience.

The ketogenic diet—or keto for short—is basically a low-carb, high-protein, and high-fat diet. To get into ketosis, you need to consume fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates daily. The idea is to consume the majority of your calories from healthy fats (yes, there are such things) and protein. I recently penned a blog about the keto diet that goes into much more detail. Read “A Primer for the Ketogenic Diet.”

I have messed around with the keto diet for a few days at a time in the past but never really tried to sustain it for any length of time. Recently, I did the keto diet for two weeks and kept my carbohydrate intake down to under 50 grams a day and on several days fewer than 20 grams.

I found myself in ketosis (which is good) fairly quickly. The cool thing about ketosis is it tends to block your appetite. I didn’t get as hungry as I normally do. Overall, I dropped 2 lbs. a week for a 4-pound weight loss. Not to bad for two weeks. I also got to move my belt up another notch!

I did have a tough time with my workouts. I had trouble with energy. Our bodies will prefer to burn carbs as a primary source of energy, but when you are not consuming any carbs, our bodies turn to fats to burn energy. I was able to complete all of my workouts, but my intensity was down slightly. I think with time I could probably figure out a better way to fuel for workouts but did struggle for these two weeks.

I also had some trouble finding healthy fats to eat that were convenient. I do like avocadoes but after a while, I grew a little weary of eating them. Fortunately for me, my wife is an amazing cook and prepared some great ketogenic meals for me. I also consumed a lot of nuts. They are easy and convenient but do pack lots of calories. One of the good things about the keto diet is that it’s carnivore-friendly. You do want to watch your protein intake and not go overboard with it. (For me details about how much to eat, please read the previous blog mentioned above). I did probably eat too much beef jerky!

The interesting thing for me was my blood test results. I had previously tested my blood several months ago and then tested on the final day of my two weeks. My main personal go was to make sure I could get and keep my blood sugar down. My fasting blood sugar was well below 100 and my A1c was 5.4. (The A1c is an average of your blood sugar for 3 months.) The crazy thing for me was my total cholesterol. It went from being well below 200 to over 300! One positive thing about my lipid panel was my HDL (the good cholesterol). It went up really high as well. My ratio of good cholesterol to bad was okay.

My overall takeaway from my two-week experience was generally positive. I found the diet fairly easy to tolerate without getting too “hangry.” If I were to do it again and for a longer time, I would have to come up with some different snacks and meals. There are plenty of resources available for free on the Internet that gives you great recipes and other ideas for foods. I was disappointed in my total cholesterol number but hope to get it back to normal before long.

I hope this has been helpful for you and I would encourage you to try the ketogenic diet if you have any interest in it. It is especially good for getting your blood sugar down.

I am still a fan of my 10-Day Diet Challenge. It has worked the best for me over the years of just about anything I have done. Let me know about your experiences with your weight loss journey. I would love to hear from you about the keto diet or if you have done the 10-Day Diet Challenge.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown


Supplements: The Basics and the Best Ones

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Do you take supplements? Have you considered taking them, but you have too many unanswered questions?

Many doctors have varying opinions ranging from, “Must take always,” to “Never take any.” I believe somewhere in the middle is the correct path.

If you research the subject, you will find countless articles and opinions on the value of supplements. Almost anything anyone takes can have a placebo effect of up to 30 percent. I always make the argument that if you are taking a supplement and you feel better, it doesn’t matter if it’s a placebo effect or if it’s biologically effective. Better is good! (I guess the one caveat is that the supplement is doing no harm.)

One of the more critical things is to trust the source. So many of the supplements manufactured are unregulated. You may or may not be getting what you think you are. You will always want to verify the source as being reputable. For me, I always recommend Thorne Research products. They go above and beyond standard requirements for production and safety. I know there are other good manufacturers of supplements, but I have been working with them for several years and have had no issues or concerns.

Thorne only distributes their products through healthcare providers. They believe patients are at least receiving some guidance through their providers. I am an affiliate of Thorne. This means I get a rebate when someone purchases their products with my healthcare provider account. If you want to use their products, you will need to provide my HCP #: 1050950.

I suggest you visit their website even if you do not use their products. They have a tremendous library for education on most all things related to supplements.

The following are products I frequently recommend or take myself. I also provide a brief explanation of the reason to consider taking them. Please consult with your healthcare provider before starting anything. Also, be aware some of these might interfere with prescription medications. The following is simply a list and should not be viewed as a recommendation to any one individual. You can get on their site and learn more about each product than what is presented here.

·      Al’s Formula — a vitamin especially designed for men over 40.

·      Basic Nutrient III — a vitamin for men and post-menopausal women.

·      Basic Nutrient IV — a vitamin designed for women who are still having periods.

·      Children’s Basic Nutrient — simply an all-around MVI for kids.

·      Super EPA Pro — their best fish oil product.

·      Vit D-5000 —5,000 units of vitamin D3.

·      Whey Protein Isolate — a good protein supplement for smoothies. It has chocolate and vanilla flavors. (I prefer the chocolate in my smoothies, but the vanilla tastes okay as well.)

·      Fiber Mend — fiber supplement that can help keep your bowels regular.

·      Flora Mend — a probiotic. I almost always recommend patients take a probiotic if they are taking antibiotics for infections.

·      LipoCardia — expensive, but can help lower your total cholesterol and also supports muscle energy.

·      MethylGuard —a vitamin-B complex. (I take this one daily for energy.)

·      Meriva 500 — contains curcumin and is used for multiple reasons. I mainly think of it as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Thorne has hundreds of other products available and you can view them their website. They provide patient education in well-written monologues. Take a look at their products and research and compare with other brands.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown


A Primer for the Ketogenic Diet

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First Things First: What’s the Best Diet?

There are all sorts of diet plans easily available. Simply search the internet, and you will find hundreds of different types of diets—all claiming to be the best. It can be confusing to say the least. So which one is the best? Why are there so many different plans? How can so many experts disagree on the best plan?

One of the reasons there are so many different diet plans is because there are so many different people with different preferences, genetics, experiences, and tastes. Many plans are really healthy and good for you. Some are kind of crazy and should generally be avoided. But still, which one is the best one?

I am honestly not sure if there is a “best” one. The one that is best for you may not work for me.  So the best one for you is the one that works. It’s the one you can actually live on and is healthy for you.

This blog is about the ketogenic diet. It may not work for you. I know it can work for most people, but it may not fit your lifestyle or preferences.

Bye, Bye, Carbs!

The bottom line to weight loss is to use up more calories in your body than you put in. It’s as simple as that and as hard as that. Most of us cannot exercise enough to overcome bad eating habits (and we all have them). So any diet that accomplishes the net negative calorie intake should do the trick. However, not all calories are created equal. While it is true a hundred calories is a hundred calories no matter the source, our bodies are far more complicated than the simple math would imply.

It’s not hard to understand that a hundred calories from an apple is probably better for your body than a hundred calories from a candy bar. The food we eat contains far more than just calories. It actually communicates with our bodies in some wonderful ways.

One of the reasons I like the ketogenic diet is that it generally doesn’t make me as tired as some other diets I’ve tried. The idea behind the ketogenic diet is to limit your total carbohydrates to fewer than 50 grams a day and preferably around 20 grams of carbohydrates. Many of the foods I enjoy probably have 20 grams of carbs in each bite!

When we limit our carbs, our bodies have to turn to fat for energy. Generally, our bodies use glucose or sugar as its primary energy source. It’s easier to get the energy out of sugar as compared to protein or fats. When we don’t consume carbohydrates, our bodies will start to burn fat (a very good thing) for its energy needs.

When we start to burn fat instead of sugar, one of the byproducts of the fat metabolism is ketone formation. When we have ketosis, it tends to curb our appetites and we feel full longer.

Another positive benefit of the ketogenic diet is our insulin levels remain lower. Insulin is a pro-growth hormone. It makes us sluggish and tells our livers to store more fat. Insulin can also stimulate our appetites. High insulin levels lead to insulin resistant diabetes.

When we eat carbohydrates, our blood sugar immediately goes up. When blood sugar goes up, so do our insulin levels. High insulin levels are not good! When insulin levels increase, so do our appetites. That’s one of the reasons it’s hard to eat only one cookie or just one chip.

Eat the Fat

One of the problems with diets that are high in protein and low in carbs and fats is fatigue. It is amplified if you are exercising. The ketogenic diet allows for healthy fats. The fats give us energy and will help with exercise. It does take some adjusting. I find it hard to work out really hard when I am strictly on a ketogenic diet. It takes some time for my body to get used to it, but I can still get a pretty good workout in.

There are several lists of healthy fats on the web. In general, avocados, olive oil, nuts, and butter are good sources of healthy fats. Fish and other meats will also have healthy fats. Several sauces are considered acceptable on a ketogenic diet. I found this website to be very helpful with an overview of foods to eat and not eat: www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-food-list/. (I am not affiliated with them in anyway but do appreciate their work. They have some plans you can purchase that are more detailed. I have yet to get one but have thought about it.)

Break It Down

Ideally, on a ketogenic diet, you will get about 70–75% of your calories from fats and about 20–25% from protein. Try to limit the carbohydrates to about 5% of your total calorie intake.

Your calorie input will vary on your needs or desire. A general rule is to take whatever weight you want to weigh and add a zero to it. So if you want to weigh 150 pounds, simply add a zero and that equates to 1,500 calories. If you exercise, you can calculate how many calories you burned and add them back to your total for the day. If you burned about 300 calories working out, and your target weight is 150 pounds, then you should be able to eat about 1,800 calories that day.

One of the really tough things on a ketogenic diet is to control what you snack on. If you slip up and get too many carbohydrates, it will defeat the purpose of getting into ketosis. Healthy snacks you might consider would be walnuts, pecans, and pistachios. One of the sneaky secrets to watch out for is that each kernel of nut will have about 10 calories. The count can add up quickly.

Check Yourself

Don’t be surprised if you have increased urination during the first few days. Stored fat being burned for fuel will release a lot of water during metabolism. You will also want to be sure to drink plenty of water.

One of the benefits of a ketogenic diet is decrease in hunger. That is a major clue you are in ketosis. Ketosis will help suppress your appetite. Some people will purchase “keto” sticks for urine testing. It will allow you to know if you have ketones in your urine. Ideally, you will. If not, go back and look and see if you can find where the carbs sneaked in.

I hope this has been helpful information. Life is too short not to enjoy some birthday cake or some special food for a celebration, but I do believe most of us can improve our health with improving our diets. This is just another tool for you to use. Keep trying and eventually you will find a plan or combination of plans that fit you and your lifestyle.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown


 

 

Can You Trust Your Fitness Device?

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Technology is very cool and has amazing applications as it relates to our health and fitness. Fitbits and other devices are used to measure heart rate, steps, calorie expenditure, and other biometrics. Plus, they are extremely popular. But can you trust them? How accurate are they?

There are several studies out recently, and they all seem to agree. They are generally pretty accurate when used to measure heart rate and steps or distance. Most popular devices such as the Fitbit and the Apple Watch were within about 5% of heart rate and distance. That is pretty good!

Calorie expenditure is another matter. In various studies, it seems they are often as much as 30% off and some even much more. There are several reasons for this, but ultimately you should not rely on them to get an accurate reading of your calorie expenditures. There are many resources you can use along with your device to help get an idea or an estimate of your calorie burn.

If you simply do a search, you will find programs that will help you. If you want to get as good a number as you can, find an online program and use it and your device together. It should get you quite close and give you a general idea about how many calories you are burning.

Counting calories can be critical when trying to lose weight. You will lose weight when you burn up more calories than you consume. If you read about calories and weight loss, it is generally reported that one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound then, you would want to burn up or decrease your input by 3,500 calories.

The problem with the 3,500-calorie number is that it is just way more complicated than that! If we are in a controlled setting (such as a laboratory), this number is probably really accurate. But counting calories or estimating how many you consume is at best an educated guess. Even the professionals are off as much as 25% and our devices may be off as much as 30%!

I believe it is still a good idea to try to understand how many calories you are consuming and/or burning up, but it is a guessing game. Hopefully, you can get to within about 10% to 20% with some education and help from your device. Chances are your device is really close on the distance and heart rate, but not so much on calories.

Do you have a Fitbit or Apple Watch? Do you think they’re accurate?

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown

 

 

 

So What Are Mitochondria and Why Should I Care?

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Mitochondria are very important to our health and cellular energy. They are the engines that provide energy for our cells. In general, the more of these you have, the more energy you have.

Mitochondria health has been confusing at best, but we are learning much more about it. If you read about mitochondria on the Internet, you can find a lot of interesting information about their origin. One of the more interesting things is that all of our mitochondria come from our mothers. Fathers pass on nada! Mitochondria DNA is also very similar to bacterial DNA. Many evolutionists point to this as being evidence of evolutionary development. I personally do not ascribe to that theory but find it interesting nonetheless.

Endurance athletes can improve their performance by improving their energy production in the mitochondria. Training improves not only the mitochondria’s individual abilities to make more energy but also encourages the muscle cells to make more mitochondria. More mitochondria per muscle cells equates to more energy production.

Our brain cells have more mitochondria per cell than any other cells. The brain requires lots of energy for it to perform at peak levels. Better and healthier mitochondria should improve cognitive function and may help prevent Alzheimer’s. There is lots of current research around supporting the brain cells’ mitochondria.

It seems to make sense that if you can keep your mitochondria healthy and active, that it will translate into health and improved energy. Once again, sugar and refined carbohydrates seem to hurt our mitochondria. There are various theories about this, but most of it seems to come back to an increase in inflammation. More inflammation is BAD, less inflammation is GOOD!

Thorne Research has several products that promote mitochondria health. I am currently trying one called Neurochondria. It is early, but I think I can tell a slight difference in my energy, especially for workouts. (It is perhaps the worst-smelling supplement I have ever taken!)

It has most all of the basic nutrients that are recommended for optimum mitochondria support. This includes Acytel-L-Carnitine, folate, B12, glutathione, Coenzyme Q10, R-Lipoc acid, to name a few.

I am only taking about a third of the recommended dosage. It is fairly expensive. If you want to learn more, go to their website and search for it. They have tremendous amounts of research and information available for free. I am affiliated with them and if you purchase from them, I receive a dividend. You will need to use my HCP number (HCP 1050950) to be able to order any of their products. (They only allow products to be sold through healthcare providers.) You can also use their site for research and see what product your local health store might have that is very similar.

Mitochondria are extremely important to our well-being, and we go as our mitochondria go! Eating a clean, healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and getting regular amounts of exercise can make a big difference in your mitochondria’s health and your overall energy.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown


 

 

What Are the Benefits of Fasting?

Fasting is almost a four-letter word! F-A-S-T(ing)! It is an ancient ritual that is not practiced much in our culture. In ancient times, it was mainly a spiritual practice to draw one closer to their Creator and to practice self-denial. (Obesity was not much of a problem in the ancient world.)

Today, I want to review some physical benefits our bodies have to fasting. One of the major ones is to reduce our insulin levels. Insulin is a pro-growth hormone that slows our basic metabolic rate down and promotes fat storage in our liver and abdomen. Lower levels of insulin facilitate fat burning. (Who doesn’t want that?)

Chronic high levels of insulin can cause many problems we face in our society today. Insulin-resistant diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is the result of long-standing elevated insulin levels.

Fasting also promotes elevated levels of human growth hormone, which improves fat burning and increases muscle mass. Fasting improves cellular repair through reducing oxidative stress. This can have several positive effects on our bodies to include better overall immune function.

Fasting also positively affects gene expression. This is an area of great possibilities, and we are really just now unraveling some of the secrets of our DNA.

Fasting, if practiced regularly, has been shown to increase basic metabolic rate from 3 to 14%. It has also been shown to decrease abdominal fat by 4 to 7%. The abdominal fat is particularly inflammatory.

As mentioned earlier, fasting decreases insulin. It has been shown to decrease it as much as 20 to 30%. This will improve insulin resistance and can lower the overall blood sugar by 3 to 6%. Fasting has been shown to improve blood pressure, lipids, and inflammatory markers as well.

So, as you can see, there are many benefits to fasting. There are also many ways to fast. I am not an advocate of fasting from everything. I think we can do harm to our bodies if we fast from liquids and get dehydrated. I am an advocate of fasting for 12 to 24 hours from anything with calories.

I must confess: it has been a while since I have fasted. But I am going to remedy that problem. I am going to start a new ten-day weight loss challenge this coming July. Part of the challenge will include a fast for 24 hours!

One of my main goals is to lead us into the practice of fasting. I also want to bring back fasting in my own life and use it to draw me closer to God. I believe fasting will improve our physical health and can also improve our spiritual health. I will be posting more details about the next ten-day challenge. It will be some time after the Fourth.

Until then,

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown

Attitude of Gratitude

 Last week, I had tried to get you to try a simple experiment. It was to simply stand in front of a mirror and get you to smile for three minutes a day. I know it sounds silly and I am not promising to cure you of all ailments, but if you did the challenge, I bet you felt a little better.

Motion leads to emotion. If you act a certain way, you will eventually feel that way. Something as simple as smiling can change your current mental state. I dare you to try it!

Another key to feeling less stressed (code word for fear) is to change your focus. Focus will lead to feelings. We become a summation of our thoughts. If you have a bunch of depressed or stressed thoughts, you will feel depressed or stressed. Every thought has some emotion tagged to it. If you change your focus, which is simply controlling your thoughts, you can change your emotional state.

Do a quick inventory of your emotional state for the week. Write down every emotion you had this week. Try not to edit it—just write them down as they come to mind. Hopefully, you have had a good week, but go ahead and do this little exercise. Try to determine what your primary emotion for the week has been. Honestly, I think mine has been frustration.

Now, the primary reason we feel frustrated or stressed is because our current situation doesn’t match up with our expectations or our blueprint for life. If we are feeling good, chances are our current situation matches up with our blueprint for life.

If things are not matching up with our blueprint for life, we can either change our blueprint (our expectations) or change our situation. Often, our situation can change simply by changing our focus. If we remained focused on the negative outcome or negative possibilities, chances are that our emotions well be negative. If, however, we focus on the positive things or possibilities (the glass is half full), we will tend to have positive emotions.

We all have a tendency to take a negative thought and go to the darkest corners in our minds with them. This is why solitary confinement is the worst punishment for prisoners. They are left alone with their thoughts.

You have to learn to control your thoughts. Most of the things people tend to worry over are outside of their control. They really have no influence over the outcomes. Take captive every thought you have and dwell on the good, the pure, the noble.

If you are having repetitive thoughts in your life that you really cannot control the outcome of, discipline your mind not to think about it. I have no control over the changes coming in healthcare. I can worry about it all, but it will not change the outcome. Now, I need to be aware of changes, but it will not help me to worry about Obamacare or Trumpcare. I have no control. So, when I am tempted to worry about it, I try to take control of my thoughts and focus on something else.

Focus will lead to feelings. Control what you focus on! If you want to take a deeper dive into this subject and other ideas for healthy living, take a look at my e-book, The Caleb Journey.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown

Stress Tip: Smile for a While

 How was your week? Was it a productive week or was it one filled with frustration and stress? If I had to guess, more people experienced frustration than enjoyment. I hope that is not true for you, but I know in our culture there is a tremendous amount of stress.

I believe stress is really a code word for fear. When I say that I am stressed, it usually means I am fearful something isn’t going according to my blueprint for life. Stress (fear) can lead to all sorts of physical ailments. I have seen people worry themselves into an ulcer and even heart attacks.

So, if you had a stressful week or even a stressful month (maybe even a lifetime of stress), I have some simple solutions to improve your attitude. These solutions are so simple they seem almost silly. The only side effect is happiness or less stress. This is not better living through chemistry! No medication is involved.

A few years ago, there was a study that took clinically depressed patients through a treatment for 30 days and at the end, they had a 100 percent cure rate. They had clinically depressed patients stand in front of a mirror and smile for twenty minutes a day for 30 days in a row. Now it had to be a big smile, but that was all they did. (Sounds crazy or too good to be true!)

The key takeaway is “motion can lead to emotion.” Think about it for a few seconds. If I asked you to describe someone who looked depressed, what would they look like? Chances are they are slouched over slightly, face downcast, and not slow moving. We have all experienced this state of emotion. Now, consider someone who is excited or happy. What do they look like?

Try a little experiment. Make yourself looked depressed for a minute or two and see how it makes you feel. Now, try making yourself look happy or excited. How did you feel? Could you notice any difference even slightly? So, something as simple as paying attention to your body can change your mental state.

I have a challenge for you this week. Simply stand in front of a mirror and smile—a big smile—for about three minutes a day. If you have a big meeting, maybe before you go into it, smile for a while. I know it sounds crazy, but what do you have to lose? Let me know how you do!

If you want to take a deeper dive into this subject and other ideas for healthy living, take a look at my e-book, The Caleb Journey. Here’s what people are saying:

This was a productive, useable, comfortable plan for me to follow. This plan is obviously based on successful personal and professional experience and knowledge in the medical, nutritional and sports fields, as well as in the spiritual well-being realm.” —Harry Brewer

This 3-week challenge focuses on your spiritual walk, teaches you about your own body, and offers recipes and actionable tips to help you not only lose weight, but also find true happiness again.” —Shayla Eaton

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown