A Teen's Guide to Limiting Sugar for Improved Brain Function

CupcakeConsuming natural sugar in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy gives us energy and can help improve your heart and brain health. However, eating and drinking too much added sugar can cause weight gain, hyperactivity, inattention, and poor memory. Psychology Today references two studies that explain why refined sugar causes cognitive deficits and memory loss.

Adolescents are the greatest consumers of high-energy, sugary junk foods and sweetened drinks.  This is a concern as studies have shown that a high sugar diet can have many negative effects especially on the brains of teenagers.

"Recent research in rodents has shown the adolescent brain is at an increased risk of developing diet-induced cognitive dysfunction. Adolescent, but not adult, mice develop memory problems after consuming high-fat diets. The brains of the adolescent sugar-diet rats...

How avocado can improve ADHD symptoms + Sneaky recipes for fussy eaters.

Avocado 1205 1917We used to be told to avoid fat when dieting.  However, we now know that there are different kinds of fats, many of which are healthy and should be added to our diets for heart and brain health. A study by Brigham and Women's Hospital found that women with more monounsaturated fat in their diets performed better on cognitive training tests than women who had more saturated fats in their diet. Avocados are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats and often recommend in ADHD diets. 

Here are some of the best tips I found to sneak avocado into your child’s diet:

  • Mash and mix into mayonnaise for sandwich spreads.
  • Blend into fruit smoothies and add honey or maple syrup if you need extra sweetener.
  • Swap out butter for avocado in baking recipes. Since avocado has a high water content, breads and muffins will come out much softer, but turn your oven...

The ADHD-ODD Connection

2018 06 11Ever find yourself wondering why your child with ADHD is sometimes aggressive, has emotional outbursts, or is constantly argumentative?  We know that there are behavioral issues associated with ADHD.  However, many parents have to deal with more severe discipline issues on a daily basis.  

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a reported link between having ADHD and developing ODD. The correlation rate for being diagnosed with ADHD and ODD is staggering, ranging between 60% and 80%. It is the most common co-existing condition associated with ADHD. People with ADHD are 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with ODD than the general population. The CDC also reports: "Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of the most common disorders occurring with ADHD. ODD usually starts before age eight, but no later than...

​Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Phone AddictionKate is a mom with ADHD.  She also has a child with ADHD. Each Sunday she shares her life experiences with us on Facebook.  Be sure to visit our Facebook page every Sunday to read her funny and heartfelt stories.  You just may be able to relate at times...

Phone addiction 

Who knew that the simple act of losing my phone for less than 24 hours would teach me such a big life lesson?

I lost my phone. I searched everywhere for it. I looked under all my paperwork, tore through my car, searched in all of my kid's rooms, emptied my purse 20 times, I even looked in the fridge (things sometimes end up inexplicably in the fridge)!

As I searched I felt frantic, my heart rate increased, I was anxious, I became short with my children. As the day progressed without my phone, I felt a sense of loss, not knowing what to do with my time, and I...

3 Minerals that may improve symptoms of ADHD 

ShoppingMagnesium has been shown to reduce hyperactivity in children in numerous studies. One study found that 72% of children with ADHD had lower levels of magnesium, and after being treated with a supplement, showed significant improvement in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Other articles have stated that magnesium has the potential to also help kids sleep better at night, relieve discomfort from sore muscles and growing pains, relieve constipation, and reduce anxiety.
Zinc has been shown to regulate communication between brain cells and plays a critical role in how your brain evaluates new information and forms new memories. The dopamine transporter is also regulated by zinc.  Researchers have seen that lower levels of dopamine are sometimes associated with ADHD symptoms. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward.  It also allows us to...

7 Exercises to reduce stress and calm the ADHD mind

RunningStudies that compare physical exercise and psychological well-being show that exercise is a key component to emotional health. One study in Finland discovered that individuals who exercised 2-3 times a week experienced significantly less depression, anger, and stress than those exercising less frequently or not at all. They also found that those who exercised at least twice a week reported higher levels of sense of coherence and a stronger feeling of social integration.

Here are 7 exercises I found that are recommended to reduce stress, relax muscle tension, and calm the ADHD mind.

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood. Walking burns off excess energy and the repetitive thumping of feet hitting the pavement can bring the mind back into focus.
  • Practice yoga, this combines meditation, stretching, and physical movement which reduces stress and improves blood...