“In this food I see clearly the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
Your emotional body and your physical body are profoundly interconnected. Your emotions affect the physiological function of your body, just as physiological changes impact your emotional and spiritual body. Just as practicing yoga strengthens the body to sit during meditation, building better nutrition habits makes it easier for you to practice mindfulness in your daily life. And while mindfulness-based psychedelic-assisted therapies can profoundly accelerate the overall healing process, they aren’t a magic bullet. Without addressing core nutritional deficiencies your progress may be limited. Oftentimes, by changing their eating habits before, during, and after a psychedelic therapy protocol, our clients see better results and are more able to maintain long term results.
Nutrition can support transformational work in a myriad of ways, by:
Regulating the Stress Response
Emotional trauma can lead to a heightened stress response. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an extreme manifestation of this phenomenon, but it is seen in less extreme cases as well. Some somatic manifestations of trauma include:
Balanced nutrition can help restore balance in the body and build greater resilience to stress.
Getting off medications
Many practitioners prescribe pharmaceutical drugs—such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers–to address overwhelming symptoms in patients. Psychopharmacological medications are meant to do just this—to help reduce suffering during acute pain. These drugs should not be stopped immediately, and the process of getting off medication can be uncomfortable. Following a drug weaning schedule by your prescribing physician is imperative. Nutrition, amino acid therapy, and specific supplementation, can support the process and ameliorate symptoms.
Supporting the Gut Brain Connection
There have been many studies published in the last decade looking at the importance of the gut-brain connection. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper serotonin production and a resilient stress response. A damaged microbiome is associated with anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic inflammation. Healing the gut is essential for healing the brain and should be the first step in rebalancing health.
Supporting Neurotransmitter Function
Imbalanced neurotransmitter function in the body can contribute to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addiction. Neurotransmitters can be depleted by drug use (prescription and recreational), addiction, poor diet, stress, environmental toxicity, and malabsorption. Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins in the body, including neurotransmitters. By supplementing with the materials the body needs to create neurotransmitters we can stimulate the natural production of new neurotransmitters. Martha Hammel, a certified neuronutrient specialist at the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness, is proficient in developing amino acid protocols to replenish neurotransmitters and rebalance mood.
As a mindfulness practice
We all have to eat! Use your daily meals as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Eating is such a sensory experience. Take your time to experience your meals. Smell your food. Bless it. Close your eyes. Chew slowly. Don’t eat in front of the TV or while reading. Take your three meals a day as opportunities to be present. In this way, nutrition can be used as a mindfulness tool during preparation and integration of peak experiences. A healthy diet has been linked to longer term success with ketamine-assisted therapy. Dialing in nutrition prior to psychedelic experiences may increase the effectiveness of the psychedelic.
What Does a Nutrition Session Look like:
The goal of the first session is to understand your current state of health and how it came to be. We will dive deep into your health history, concerns, current state, and health goals, then establish a process for meeting your goals. After your first session you will receive a long email detailing your tailored recommendations including suggestions of changes to diet, supplementation, or mindful eating exercises. It is suggested that you schedule at least one follow-up appointment to make sure your food choices are on track.
If you would like to participate in amino acid therapy, are struggling with an addiction or eating disorder, or are trying to get off of psychiatric medications, we recommend that you purchase a monthly package to receive ongoing support.