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anxiety and depression: helpful non-drug therapies

anxiety and depression: helpful non-drug therapies

Anxiety and depression. It seems these unwelcome visitors intrude on the daily lives of so many people. “More Americans than ever before are stressed, depressed and anxiety-ridden, and many are unable to get the help they need, a new study suggests.” (CBS News, Dennis Thompson,  April 17, 2017) 

Anxiety and depressionWith anxiety and depression on the rise, it’s important to know the treatment options available. While medicine helps some people, others have found it makes their symptoms worse.

We know our members are smart, resourceful, and dogged in their pursuit for the best remedies, so we asked readers of Pure Facts to share non-drug therapies that have worked for them. We learned some readers overcame their symptoms of anxiety and depression by following the Feingold Program. Others need to add some additional techniques. Here are some of the responses we received:

  • I’ve battled both anxiety and depression through the years. I also had the “SAD” disorder that occurs when there are fewer hours of daylight during the fall and winter months. The lack of good quality light has always affected my mood and worsened any depression or anxiety that I was going through. I find it nearly impossible to stay in a hotel room that has low wattage lights; I usually end up replacing them with higher wattage ones. Through the years I bought somewhat expensive light bulbs through specialty catalogs or health food stores for my bedroom and workroom lamps – the kinds that have the “full spectrum” of light. But recently I made a very happy discovery with the new GE brand “Reveal” light bulbs that I’m able to buy at my local stores and they are only slightly more expensive than regular ones. I could not believe the difference in my mood when we replaced the bulbs in one room of our house (I felt euphoric!) and the way that I felt worse when I had to be in our other rooms with regular “yellowy” light bulbs. The Reveal light bulbs give off more of a bluish light, and the light seems clearer and cleaner. I replaced all the bulbs in our home with the Reveal bulbs, and will not go back to anything else. Even late at night or on gray rainy days, my moods are more stable, and I can definitely attribute this to our indoor lighting. I would not have believed that indoor light quality could affect me so much, and I am so happy to have found a simple solution.
  • I took the antidepressant Zoloft for 9-years to treat mild depression and anxiety. Every time I tried to go off this medication, I felt I just couldn’t do it! No one ever told me that there would be withdrawal effects. A few weeks after I discontinued it, the withdrawal effects were gone. I still had some minor symptoms so when I saw a program about treating menopausal mood swings I tried the supplements they suggested (flaxseed and evening primrose oil supplement,  zinc and magnesium).  I noticed considerable improvement in my symptoms and when I don’t take them I find that I am moodier.
  • I have suffered with both anxiety and depression for about 2 1/2 years and have finally overcome them with the help of homeopathy and light therapy for what I now know is Season Affective Disorder (SAD). I have used SSRI drugs and have tried numerous supplements but homeopathy (and, secondarily, light therapy) have affected a cure for me that none of the other options could.
  • I’ve battled both anxiety and depression through the years. I also had the “SAD” disorder that occurs when there are fewer hours of daylight during the fall and winter months. The lack of good quality light has always affected my mood and worsened any depression or anxiety that I was going through. I find it nearly impossible to stay in a hotel room that has low wattage lights; I usually end up replacing them with higher wattage ones. Through the years I bought somewhat expensive light bulbs through specialty catalogs or health food stores for my bedroom and workroom lamps – the kinds that have the “full spectrum” of light. But recently I made a very happy discovery with the new GE brand “Reveal” light bulbs that I’m able to buy at my local stores and they are only slightly more expensive than regular ones. I could not believe the difference in my mood when we replaced the bulbs in one room of our house (I felt euphoric!) and the way that I felt worse when I had to be in our other rooms with regular “yellowy” light bulbs. The Reveal light bulbs give off more of a bluish light, and the light seems clearer and cleaner. I replaced all the bulbs in our home with the Reveal bulbs, and will not go back to anything else. Even late at night or on gray rainy days, my moods are more stable, and I can definitely attribute this to our indoor lighting. I would not have believed that indoor light quality could affect me so much, and I am so happy to have found a simple solution.
  • Our nine year-old son lived with anxiety and depression for many years but it is minimal now, and we believe the symptoms will continue to disappear. (He was also severely aggressive in the early years, but Feingold took care of that.)

When he was 1 year-old a neighbor watched him part time, and he would want to spend the entire morning in his car seat. I didn’t realize until several years later that this was due to his high fear/anxiety level.

A year later at a larger home day-care, our son refused to eat anything there for the first 2 weeks. I would go to pick him up after work and would find him lying on the living room floor crying because his tummy hurt so bad. The day-care lady said he was “stubborn” and I still did not see the real cause.

By the following year I finally understood that fear drove much of his behavior. I could not walk out to hang the clothes on the line (only a few feet from the house through a large patio door)

without him crying and clinging desperately to my leg. As he got older the fear continued. If I went into the bathroom and shut the door he would stand outside the door and cry (normal for a toddler, but not for a 6 and 7 year-old). Eventually as he got older he would talk to me until I came out, just to make sure I was still alive in there and did not leave him. We took him to the Pfeiffer Center where they found he was very low in zinc. According to Pfeiffer, low zinc is highly linked with anxiety and at extremely low levels can even lead to hallucinations and paranoia. After giving the prescribed dose of zinc for a few months we could see some improvements in his anxiety level, but not nearly enough. A year later we added homeopathy. At first the fear got worse – to the point where our son could not sleep unless his hand was resting on my back to make sure I was still breathing. After a change in homeopathic medicine and about 3 months, we were living in freedom! I could finally walk out to get the mail all by myself. At first my son would watch from the front window and in another month or two he would say, “Go ahead, I’m not afraid anymore.” Sweet music to my ears and something I had just about given up as even being possible. At first I was uncertain and would carry our cordless phone with me just to make sure he was not dialing 911 again just because I was downstairs doing the laundry and he couldn’t see me! Although he is a bit perfectionistic at this point and sometimes worries more than he needs to, it happens less and less. We all enjoy and treasure our simple joys now that he is better. We are very thankful for the Feingold Association as this was the beginning of a long healing process and we still follow the program very carefully.

 

Thank you to the members who contributed their stories. We are sure they will be helpful to many!

Members of the Feingold program receive an issue of Pure Facts each month. To receive yours, please follow this link and join our program!

how diet can affect handwriting

Sensitivities to artificial chemical additives can be difficult to explain to those who have not seen (or understood) the effects first hand. Generally speaking, people will understand what it means to have an allergy to nuts, fish, chocolate, etc. They expect to see hives, swollen tongues, difficulty breathing … all to varying degrees. It is easy to make the connection because there is an almost immediate correlation between ingesting the food and seeing physical symptoms clearly associated with allergies.

It becomes a bit more difficult to explain sensitivities to artificial chemical additives. Symptoms are not always clear cut such as hives. When a child is sensitive to things like artificial chemical additives, and is exposed to them, he can have different reactions, depending on where he is most vulnerable. Something like a food dye can affect the skin, leading to hives. Or it could be the lungs, resulting in an asthmatic attack. If the brain is affected, a child might behave badly or have trouble thinking and remembering.

It may be an artificial flavoring or preservative, or even a healthy food that is high in “salicylates” that is responsible for the reaction. It could be one of the artificial fragrances so widely used in non-food product.

Dr. Feingold used to explain that the muscles and nerves are especially sensitive to additives that are made from petroleum, and we see this in examples of handwriting.

One child might have good control of his fine muscles, but not his gross muscles; this means that he could have good handwriting, but is unable to do well in sports. For another child it could be the opposite, doing fine on the soccer field, but unable to write well. For these children, it is clear to see in the “before” and “after” samples of handwriting.

Some of these samples show large, awkward writing and even reversals of letters. Then, a few days later, after the effects of the chemical have worn off, the work shows the child has much better control of his fine muscles, and his ability to focus, understand and remember is much improved. Sometimes, a child who is doing well on the Feingold Diet will bring home schoolwork that makes it clear he has been exposed to a chemical that is causing him to have trouble with his muscles, nervous system or will be affecting his ability to think.

Not all children show obvious changes in their schoolwork, but for those who do, the examples can be dramatic.  Below are some examples which have been shared with us.

Handwriting Before and After

Handwriting Before and After

 

Handwriting Before and After

The evidence is clear, and rather amazing, isn’t it? The Feingold Diet helps much more than just focus and behavior. Our website and Facebook page are filled with helpful information to help you learn more about our program. Stop by, have a look, and feel free to contact us with any questions. Like our Facebook page and follow our blog to keep informed. We look forward to hearing from you!

christmas candy

Our family enjoys all types of candy for the holidays.  I also like making candy as gifts.  This year instead of making lots of different types, I stuck to just two.  Divinity is the first candy we made this year.  You just don’t see this one around very much anymore.  It takes me back to when I was a little girl.  You can replace the corn syrup with simple syrup. I have a recipe below for that.  There are different types you can try.  I like using crunched up candy canes in mine.  You can add a couple of drops of mint extract instead of vanilla, chopped nuts, or just eat it plain.

 

Peppermint Divinity

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup (you can use simple syrup if you can’t do corn syrup – recipe below*)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (not imitation)
  • 1 cup nuts (this is optional – we do chopped walnuts)
  • 4 all natural candy canes

 

  1. Heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Stir to combine, but once the sugar is melted do not stir any longer. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 250º F, hard ball stage.
  2. As the syrup is cooking, whip egg whites, along with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks have formed.
  3. When the sugar syrup has reached hard ball stage (250º F), remove it from the heat and begin to slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites, whipping together at a high speed.
  4. Add the vanilla and continue whipping the mixture on high until it holds its shape and does not fall back onto itself, about 5-6 minutes or longer.  I keep mixing on high until the mixture starts to loose its glossy look.. it should start to look dull white. While the candy is mixing place candy canes into a zip lock back and smash until the canes are small chunks.  Once you are ready to stop the mixer, stir in the candy crunchies with a tablespoon just until just combined.
  5. Using two teaspoons and working quickly, drop scoops of divinity onto sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
  6. Allow the divinity to dry and harden. This usually takes a couple of hours to overnight. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

*Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Place ingredients in a saucepan; stir until sugar is melted.  Cool.


This year I tried a new recipe for our fudge that turned out very nice.  I did let the fudge sit out overnight on the counter before I cut it into squares.  Don’t forget to use the foil in the pan and butter it well so it is easy to take out.   You can also use the simple syrup in place of the corn syrup for this recipe.  This recipe also makes nice gifts for the holidays.

Old Fashioned Fudge

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup milk (whole)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 3 squares (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate – total of 3 ounces
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – we use walnuts)

1. Butter 8 x 8 x 2 glass pan.  Line with foil leaving excess over the sides. so that here is enough to grab onto to pull the fudge out of the pan once it has cooled.  Butter the foil.

2. Butter sides of a 3 1/2 quart saucepan.;  mix sugar with dry gelatin. Add milk, corn syrup, unsweetened chocolate, and butter.

3. Cook over medium heat and, stirring frequently with a metal spoon, to 238 degrees on candy thermometer, or until a little in cold water forms soft ball that flattens when removed from water.

4. Remove from heat. Pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla. Cool 25 minutes.

5. Beat with wooden spoon until candy thickens;  usually takes about 10 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Spread in prepared pan. Let cool several hours, then cut into squares. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

From Cindy’s Kitchen ~ Merry Christmas

are antibacterial soaps good for my child?

child washing hands - antibacterial soaps

 

It’s the most germ filled time of the year! Well, that may not be entirely accurate, but it flows nicely to the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”; and germs are plentiful this time of year, so we took a little poetic license. The point is that winter is here. A time spent huddled together indoors spreading good cheer and germs of all sorts.

Being the good parents we are, we tell our children to cover their coughs and sneezes. We teach them to aim for their inner elbow, but we know many coughs and sneezes go into their hands …. or directly into the air. And let’s face it, tissues aren’t always handy and those noses need to be wiped somehow.

Now that you have those images in your mind, let’s talk about hand washing. We tell our kids to wash their hands constantly and that is in fact great advice. But what are our kids using to wash their hands?

It’s become common for most places to provide antibacterial soap. Sounds great doesn’t it? A little rub-a-dub-dub with that magic formula and all the bacteria gets washed away! Wait a minute. Not so fast! Science doesn’t exactly back that up.

The active ingredient often found in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers is called Triclosan. It was first used in 1972 by surgeons. That same year, Congress instructed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish guidelines for the use of antibacterials in soaps. As of 2017, this quote is found on the FDA website: “FDA is undertaking a review of active ingredients used in a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) antiseptic rubs and wash products.”

In 1978 the FDA said Triclosan was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” Also, a 2011 study by E. M. Clayton found that children who had greater amounts of Triclosan in their system were more likely to suffer from asthma and allergies. This might be in response to antibacterials killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria. The children’s immune systems actually became weaker.

What’s a parent to do? Teach your children to wash their hands with plain soap and water. It has been found to be just as effective as antibacterials in killing harmful bacteria.

Helpful Tip:

If your child is asked to bring hand sanitizer to school, here is a recipe to make a Triclosan-free version. Blend 3 drops of liquid grapefruit seed extract (GSE) with each ounce of aloe vera gel. Place it in a plastic dispenser.

(Caution: full strength GSE is very acidic so be careful to avoid getting it on your skin.)

Have questions Feingold approved soaps or washes? Our website is full of helpful information or feel free to call us at 1-631-369-9340 (EST).

add joy to shopping with AmazonSmile

Image of AmazonSmileDecember is typically a hectic month filled with parties, school functions, baking, and …. shopping! It seems each year our gift lists grow as we welcome more special people into or lives. The ‘Season of Giving’ should give us happy feelings, but often our long lists gives us feelings of stress instead. On that note, The Feingold Association  has a tip to help bring back the joy of giving; AmazonSmile donations.

While thoughts of strolling through the stores enjoying holiday music and decorations might bring a smile to your face, the reality often brings stress. The stores are overcrowded and instead of strolling through, you are carried by the tide of rushing shoppers. Instead of hearing the beautiful sounds of holiday music and cheer, you hear customer complaints and unhappy children. The items you hope to buy are rarely placed where they should be as other shoppers have already foraged through and everything is displaced.

It’s hard to feel joyful giving gifts when it’s so difficult to make the purchases. To avoid all the chaos, many have chosen to shop online as much as possible. No more crowds. No more angry people pushing you along. Items are simply found by typing in a search bar. Do you feel the stress melting away? Maybe even a little excitement at the thought of giving gifts again? We haven’t even shared our tip yet!

What if the gifts you purchase not only bring happiness to the person(s) you give them too, but also make donations to The Feingold Association with no extra cost to you?

How do I make this magic happen, you ask? By shopping on Amazon through the AmazonSmile link. On your first visit to smile.amazon.com , you will need to select The Feingold Association to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. If you already have an Amazon account, you will use that same account on AmazonSmile. Once you select The Feingold Association as your charity, everything is exactly the same as shopping on Amazon. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization …. The Feingold Association!

Isn’t this a great way to support us? Shop the same way you normally do, on the same items you normally buy, for the same price you normally spend, and still make a donation. It couldn’t be easier!

We thank you in advance for shopping through AmazonSmile and choosing The Feingold Association as your charity. Donations go a long way to keeping our costs low. Remember, you can shop AmazonSmile all year long, not just for the holidays.

Thank you again, and Happy Holidays!

click on picture to order program and join the Feingold Association



about us    
The Feingold Association is a non-for profit organization that provides the Feingold Diet Program  which is a form of elimination diet where foods containing certain harmful additives are removed and replaced with similar foods that are free of those additives. When starting the Program, certain foods and non-food items containing an aspirin-like chemical called salicylate are also eliminated, and later tested for tolerance…more


 

Shopping through AmazonSmile donations benefit The Feingold Association

 

If you shop on Amazon and want to give back to Feingold you can order by clicking above on the Amazon Smile logo.

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