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- Judy and Nina

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Ask Judy and Nina / Re: Lexapro and Candida Gut Infection
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on May 12, 2018, 02:57:01 PM »
We still recommend that you focus on food portion sizes and try to get an intuitive feel for how much you need to eat - that will help you eat when you can't entirely control your intake and also allow you to tailor your eating to what you need as there are variations from one day to the next.

However, we definitely understand how having the nutrient breakdown can be really helpful.  Here's a guide for Phase I:

Phase I Meals:
Breakfast for women has 10-15 g protein, 20-30 g carb, up to between 5 and 7 g (occasionally up to 10) grams of fat - aim for very low fat in general)
Lunch has between 30-35 g protein and very low fat, and no starchy carb but lots of veggies (limit carrots and beets to 2 cups)
Dinner 50-55g carbs and lots of veggies

I hope this is helpful!

Ask Judy and Nina / Re: Lexapro and Candida Gut Infection
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on May 12, 2018, 02:51:03 PM »
Hello and welcome!  Thank you for sharing all of your experiences so as to be able to understand the factors you are considering as you are starting this program.  I hope you have gotten some insight into what works for you in terms of timing, satisfying your cravings and appetite, and controlling the candida.  I'll address your questions:

1. The outline of your emails and snacks is great.  Yes, you can have the 3rd snack before dinner for example, around 4pm.  Another option is an earlier dinner such as at 4 or 5pm, and then around 7pm, for example, you could have the 3rd snack.  In Phases II and III, there is not evening snack (unless you absolutely need it in general or on certain days to avoid bingeing and/or if you have strong cravings after dinner).

2. Yes, indeed, less-processed foods will still allow your brain to make serotonin.  It is true that the surge will not be as dramatic as when you eat processed foods because in the latter the release of sugar into your system is greater.  However, given the relatively small amounts of carbs in the snacks, I would think you'd be OK with some processed carbs especially if you feel more wholesome carbs are not as effective in controlling your cravings.  You might choose to have only unprocessed/wholesome carbs at mealtimes.  If you choose to have more wholesome snacks, you could microwave a sweet potato or some winter squash, have a whole wheat tortilla, breads made with sprouted grains (I LOVE Ezekiel English muffins you can often find in a supermarket freezer - the Ezekial breads and other sprouted breads are great as toast, too), low fat / low sugar granola, a bowl of rolled oats, steel cut oats, or oat bran, a bowl of whole grain dry cereal, brown rice crackers, multi-grain pretzels, etc.

3. We tried to keep it simple by giving portion sizes of real foods for meals especially since it's not possible to get the exact number of grams of carbs, fats, and proteins recommended each day and we have seen that if you stand back and evaluate over time, on average, people get the right number of grams of nutrients they need.  There have been posts on the forum and once I post this message I will look for the post that has the breakdown. 

I am optimistic and hopeful for you as well - please let us know how things are going so far.

All the best,
Ask Judy and Nina / Re: When is the best time to eat meals?
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on May 12, 2018, 02:36:09 PM »
Hello and welcome!  I realize you posted a week ago and hope you've had a chance to experiment with different timing of your meals and snacks to see what works for you. There sure is a lot to juggle when you start the eating program because there are multiple meals and snacks during the day and you have to consider factors such as your sleeping schedule, the physiology of the natural fluctuations of brain serotonin levels, and the relationship between ingestion of protein with brain serotonin production.

There are no absolute times of the day you "should" be eating.  The key is what works with the rest of your life.  For example, if you don't like to eat breakfast too early in the day, you can shift your meals and snacks to a later time.  If you prefer 3 main meals of brunch and dinner along with 2 or 3 snacks (depending on which phase you're in), you can do that, too.  You can have dinner shortly before bed if that works for you, or if you prefer not to eat late and you're in phase I, you can combine your evening snack carb portion with dinner (or have it as dessert). 

Do you have specific challenges with the schedule that perhaps we could help tweak for you?  How are things going in general?  We'll try to reply more quickly than last time :-)

All the best,

Ask Judy and Nina / Re: Lexapro and Candida Gut Infection
« Last post by MandyE on May 07, 2018, 07:13:48 AM »
Good Morning,

I am so excited to be starting the SPD this morning!  I read the book last week and have been exploring the forum, which I have found to be very helpful.  I did still have a few questions I was hoping you could help me with.

1. My meal breakdown is as follows.  I have a large gap between my lunch and dinner and I am wondering if there is anything I could place between my afternoon snack and my dinner if I need one, because this tends to be when I go home and binge on snacks.
Breakfast: 6:30
Snack: 9:30
Lunch: 10:30 (I am a teacher so lunch time is set for us.)
Snack: 2:00
Dinner: 6:00
Snack: 9:00?  I actually am in bed by 9.  Could I put this snack an hour before dinner?

2. While looking through the forum I have found that many people have asked about using whole foods (non-processed) for snacks.  Could you give me examples that I could use?  I still like the idea of my fig newtons and graham crackers but I also understand the point of focusing on non-processed foods (will also probably help more with my blood glucose levels and Candida).  Will the non-processed foods still have the same effect for serotonin?  I know that the processed foods produce a quick insulin response will non-processed food like a sweet potato or brown rice produce the same results?

3.  The last question I have is about nutrient breakdown for meals.  I would like to try and utilize different carbohydrates for breakfast and dinner than those listed in the book but I didn't find any guidelines in the book for these carbs.  Could you direct me to where in the book it says approximately how many grams of carbs, fat, protein, etc that my breakfast and dinner carbohydrate portion should have, or let me know, please.

Thank you so much for your help!  I am really excited and optimistic to start this diet.  The paleo diet was very hard for me to stick to with all of these carb cravings and eating non-stop.  Hoping this will help get that back under control and help me loose some weight in the process.  Have a great day!
Ask Judy and Nina / When is the best time to eat meals?
« Last post by Buchanan8633 on May 04, 2018, 05:43:40 PM »
Hi Nina & Judith,

I just finished reading your book but I have some questions. Thereís a lot of information to remember so sorry if itís already been said.

Iím trying to plan out my schedule for stating the diet and noticed that there time constraints on the snacking intervals in relation to lunch and dinner, however Iím curious, is there a specific time constraint on when it is appropriate to have breakfast, lunch or dinner?

For example, do I need to eat Breakfast within an hour of waking up? Should I have ate dinner three hours before going to bed? How late in the evening can I eat before bedtime? Does that matter on this diet?

Do you have any other suggestions I might not be thinking of, for the time frame the eating schedule?

Ask Judy and Nina / Lexapro and Candida Gut Infection
« Last post by MandyE on May 04, 2018, 09:25:58 AM »
Good Morning,

I was hoping you could help me out on my recovery journey.  I am recovering from almost a year of Lymes antibiotic treatment.  The lymes finally seems to have been resolved.  But as a result of the antibiotic treatments I have been left with a Candida infection in my gut.  Due a large amount of anxiety and some depression I was also put on Lexapro to help me through all that I have been through.  The lexapro has helped tremendously and I don't want to stop taking it but have gained weight very quickly while on it and have tremendous sugar cravings and never feeling like I am full.  However, the increased sugar has not helped the Candida growth.  I am on Nystatin to help with the Candida and have been instructed to significantly reduce my carbohydrate intake and to stick with limited fruits and sweet potatoes, so I can get rid of the Candida.  However, I end up craving and craving sweets and coke.  I feel like I am in between a rock and hard place and am hoping you can help me out.  I have also landed into the pre-diabetic category (A1C is 5.7).  But I know that I my body needs carbohydrates and many times sweet potatoes just don't cut it.  I did not have this much of an issue with sweets prior to starting Lexapro but like I said I don't want to stop taking Lexapro, its really helping but I also need to deal with the weight gain and the Candida.  Thank you for any help or advice it is really appreciated.  I would like to start the Serotonin Power Diet but need advice in regards to how it will affect my blood glucose levels and Candida.  Or if it is not advised for me to try it until the Candida is under control.
Bipolar Disorder/Depression Medication / Re: Forced To Choose
« Last post by Angie274 on April 30, 2018, 12:03:14 PM »
Hi LadyG,

I just read your post and I had to reply. I am in the exact same position you are, except that I have been on and off various SSRI antidepressants for the past 18 years. Everytime I tried to come off these drugs my energy would return and I would start to lose weight, however the anxiety and severe depression of withdrawal were to much for me to bear and I couldn't function. Due to my concerns about weight gain and the bad sedation side effects I have had on SSRI's I have now been put on Moclobemide and Abilify, but already I am gaining some more weight on them. I am hopeful that this program will help me lose some of the weight. Like you I feel I have to choose between keeping depression and anxiety away and my weight/physical health. I feel angry that I was not warned by the doctor who first prescribed these drugs to me 18 years ago that they would make me fat and ruin my health. I wish you luck with the diet, please let me know how you have found it. Thanks :D
Mentoring and Support / Re: Not Enough Guidance
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on April 27, 2018, 02:49:47 PM »
Hello and welcome back - thanks for sharing your story. 

The fewer added calories you have, the more likely it is you'll lose weight.  So, we recommend only up to one Tablespoon of added fats (which includes cream in your coffee) per day. 

Yes, you can have as much artificial sweetener as you like - people have different levels of tolerance for it so listen to your body.

Many people have been used to having more starchy carbs earlier in the day and protein in the evening so we understand why flipping it can be difficult at first.  You're right, the brain chemistry is why it's flipped in The Serotonin Power Diet and we know for many it works to curb appetite and allow them to feel more satisfied and lose weight so we hope that will be incentive enough for you to make the switch. 

Have you looked into mindfulness as a way to counterbalance anxiety-producing situations?

Mentoring and Support / Re: Help! Confused!
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on April 27, 2018, 02:13:53 PM »
How are things going as you continue on the program?  It can definitely take time to get used to the new way of eating especially if you're eating significantly more vegetables and consuming far fewer calories than before.  I know this is obvious, but if you want to change your weight, you need to change your eating.  That being said, your eating HAS to be changed in a way that is tolerable and sustainable for it to have lasting results you can maintain.

We do realize the diet is not for everyone so you have to listen to yourself and honor your needs.  We do believe with tweaking, the program can suit everyone who benefits from raising their brain serotonin even if weight loss is slower than they'd like - just controlling cravings and feeling better mentally are motivating to many to stick with it by eating larger quantities and allowing the weight loss to happen slowly over time. 

Try eating only cooked veggies - that may help relieve digestive issues.

I'm glad you're not as hungry as you usually are - that's a great sign you're responding to increasing your brain serotonin.  As needed, switch to men's portions and eventually stick to the women's portions.

Try using fat free and no-calorie dry and fresh spices, mustards, hot sauces, vinegars, salsas, etc. to jazz up the meals and snacks so they're not so bland. 

Please keep us posted!
Wishing you all you need to feel your very best,

Mentoring and Support / Re: Help! Confused!
« Last post by javalover on April 23, 2018, 03:16:23 PM »
I agree with you, I don't think there is hardly any food on this diet.  I have to eat a ton of veggies to fill me up and that is wreaking havoc with my IBS.  I'm on day 3 and I'm not as hungry as I normally am....but I am not enjoying at all what I am eating...it is bland and sucks! 
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