If you love the first part of this FB Live on Daniel's Plan Q&A session, you'll sure love this part two where we answered some great questions on motication, emotional eating and more.
Daniel Amen: This next question is really good. What do you recommend to help me maintain my motivation? I'm good for a week, and then motivation goes out the window. What do you think?
Tana Amen: I would say that this is where knowing your why and having it firmly planted in your head, and not making it about something temporary ...
Daniel Amen: Put it up where you can see it every day.
Tana Amen: Absolutely.
Daniel Amen: The Daniel Plan book actually have an exercise we call the one page miracle. On one piece of paper, write down what you want, and then ask yourself every day, "Does my behavior get me what I want?"
Tana Amen: That's what I was going to say, and it's really what you need to do. When I was training for my black belt test ...
Daniel Amen: Did you say that I was brilliant?
Tana Amen: Brilliant. You're brilliant. I love you.
Daniel Amen: Could we say it one more time?
Tana Amen: You are brilliant, my love.
Daniel Amen: Thank you.
Tana Amen: When I was training for my black belt test, you know that was six years of hard work, and there were times where I'm like, "Okay. I'm just done. I'm tired. It's hard. This is hard. I'm tired of getting bruises and whatever," but what I did was keep ... Stop looking at me like that. He thinks I'm crazy. I kept these signs, and motivational quotes, and things like that around the room where I trained, and that really helped me. I kept pictures of amazing people that inspire me, and the end result, and I kept what my goal was at the end firmly planted, so that I didn't lose sight of it just because I was tired.
Daniel Amen: Motivation and why go hand in hand. You have to know your why, and it has to be so important you just stick with it. I wanted to go to medical school. It was a big endeavor, but I wanted to do that, so everything else became around that goal. You just want to know why you want to be healthy.
I find I'm my own worst enemy. How can I change this about myself? It's true for everybody who is not healthy that you're your own worst enemy, because you're not focused on being well. That's why Tana and I wrote a book called The Brain Warriors Way, because it's a war. If you're not armed, prepared and aware, then our society is not set up for your health. Our society is set up for your illness.
Tana Amen: One thing I would probably say about that, because I think we all have, at some time in our lives, done this sabotage thing. Most of us have done a self-sabotage thing at some point in our lives, and if you look at why you do that and you really figure it out ... What I like to do is have people think about the times, because probably most likely, at some point in your lives, you've, also, really succeeded. You've done something really well. Even if it was when you were in seventh grade and you made the cheerleading team, or the basketball team, or whatever it was, think about that time, what you did, what went into that, and really break it down step by step. Did you go to sleep earlier? Did you practice? Were you just really focused on it and really serious about it?
Break it down step by step. Chances are, there's a formula there, and if you apply that same formula and you look at what you're doing now that is sabotaging you, I bet you you can see that there's a big gap in what you're doing now and what you did then to be very successful.
Daniel Amen: I'm going to bunch these two questions. How do I overcome emotional eating? I find that food is the first place to go when I'm sad, stressed, or bored. I'm going to combine that with what do you recommend to help with cravings and sugar? I want sugar all day long.
Ultimately, sugar and foods that quickly turn to sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, sugar, cause an insulin response in your body. What that means, your body sees sugar. Your pancreas produces a lot of insulin in that way to drive the sugar into your cells. One of the other things it, also, does is it works on an amino acid called tryptophan and drives tryptophan into your brain.
Why do you care about that? Tryptophan is the amino acid building block for serotonin. It makes you happy, so, yes, brownies, cupcakes, rocky road ice cream, they all make you happy short term. They give you inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer's Disease long term. You want to go short term benefit, long term problem. There are other ways to increase serotonin. Exercise is one. I think you actually use exercise as an anti-depressant.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Daniel Amen: When you're having a craving, go for a walk, and then there's supplements like 5HTP and saffron that can help naturally boost serotonin in the brain.
Tana Amen: I want to touch on something, too. That's absolutely true, and here's the really, really simple thing you can do, stop eating sugar. When you eat sugar and simple carbs, you crave sugar and simple carbs. When you stop, it's hard for a couple days, and then if you eat some fat and healthy protein, like we talked about in the beginning, those cravings will start to go away within a few days. They'll start to subside.
I'm getting dozens of messages now that the holidays are over about people who were warriors, and then got off track because of the holidays, and now they're really struggling to get back on. That's exactly what happens, because as soon as you start eating those foods, they're addictive, and the more you eat sugar and simple carbs, the more you crave them. The only way to get off of them is to get off of them, so use the same solution ...
Daniel Amen: And to see them as a weapon of mass destruction.
Tana Amen: Go back to step one, the thing you did in the beginning and start over.
Daniel Amen: Eating well and buying all these organic foods you recommend is expensive. I go to grocery stores and compare the price of organic fruit and vegetables to the regular ones, and I just can't do it. Is there a way to make eating well more affordable?
Again, EnvironmentalWorkingGroup.com, it will tell you which foods ...
Tana Amen: Dot org.
Daniel Amen: ... that are okay not organic, and which foods you should buy them organic or you just shouldn't eat them. For example, blueberries. I've been talking about blueberries forever. We call them brain berries around here, but they hold more pesticides than almost any other fruit, and you just want to ask yourself when it comes to expense, "Do I want to pay now or do I want to pay later," because all the pesticides in your body promote illness, and, yes, some things are more expensive, but not nearly as expensive as you could attest to as getting cancer.
Tana Amen: I want to, also, add to that when the studies were done at the Harvard Public School of Health, they actually found that eating healthy turned out to be $1.50 per day per person. Now, if you have six kids, yes, you have to learn how to budget that and be a little more thoughtful, but one of the things people weren't taking into account is that when you truly are doing it, if you're actually being honest and doing this in a really healthy way, you're cutting out things like expensive coffee drinks, and treats and snacks at the movies, which are just treating you to illness, by the way. You're cutting out a lot of the things that you were doing, so people weren't taking into account the fact that they're saving money on fast food and things like that, because they are now doing things in a more wholesome way. It's about $1.50 per day per person.
Daniel Amen: We eat out a lot and go to many social functions. What are some of the things I can do to stay on my healthy eating plan?
In your purse, put a little bottle of Sweetly.
Tana Amen: I've got Stevia and a bar always with me.
Daniel Amen: We carry food with us that's healthy, but, anyway, Sweetly makes ten different flavors. I like chocolate, and you'll always have it in your purse, because you love me. I'll get sparkling water and a lime. Nobody will harass me about that. I'll put a little bit in, because I like something a little bit sweet, and I'm perfectly happy. If it's an event where I will eat ahead of time.
Tana Amen: That's what I was going to say.
Daniel Amen: That way, I will not be tempted to make a mistake.
Tana Amen: What we will often do is eat ahead of time, and then pick at the salad and just eat a little bit of this or that. If they have chicken, order it without the sauce. They're usually willing to accommodate you a little bit.
Daniel Amen: I like this one. Which brand of permanent hair color do you recommend? Is the media right to say we should stay away from parabens and PPDs? I'm not ready to go gray yet.
Tana Amen: Me either. This is a hard one.
Daniel Amen: There is a couple of apps. My favorite one is called Think Dirty. Download it. It's free, or the Environmental Working Group as an app called Healthy Living, another one called Skin Deep, and they actually let you scan the products. When I first did this in my bathroom, I literally threw out 70% of the products in my bathroom. Parabens, phthalates and PEGs are endocrine disrupters. I'm putting all this stuff on my body to be sexy for my beautiful wife, and they're completely dropping my testosterone, so I'm not going to feel like being sexy. You don't want to do that. You don't want to put anything in your body that has pesticides in it, and you don't want to put anything on your body with poison, unless, of course, you don't like yourself. If you don't like yourself, that's a psychiatric issue we should talk about.
Tana Amen: As far as the hair color goes, that's a hard one. What I have done ... Yes, I'm not going gray yet. Not going to do it.
Daniel Amen: I would love you.
Tana Amen: I know. He keeps telling me, "Go gray." It's not going to happen.
Daniel Amen: I would love you.
Tana Amen: I know you would, and I love you for that, but it's not going to happen. You won't have to worry about it. That is the one thing I'm not ready to do, and I'm hoping that someone comes up with a really healthy hair color. They do make hair color, and I can't remember. I want to say it's Schwarzkopf. I'm not 100% sure. There is a brand that makes it without ammonia and lead, but I do know it just has other chemicals in it. Probably a little better than most, but to make up for that, what I do now is I try to be more careful with all the stuff I use on a day to day basis. Does that make sense? I just try to not daily assault my body with all of the chemicals around the house.
Daniel Amen: I think we only have time for one more question. I like this last question. How would you recommend some of the Brain MD health products with the Daniel Plan to help maximize potential?
I create supplements and have for a long time. They're under our Brand MD health line, and I think everybody should be taking a great multiple vitamin. We make one called Neurovite Plus, an awesome Omega 3 fatty acid supplement. We make Omega 3 Power, and these are different than what you can buy in the store, because they're concentrated, highly purified. Each batch is filtered for 256 toxins, and then I think you should check your vitamin D level and optimize it. We have products, if you tend to be a worrier and over focused, if your mood is not good, if you feel too anxious, you can't focus, or you have memory issues.
I think supplements help you mind the gap between that perfect diet and what most people do.
Tana Amen: I would add to that one last thing, and that is that we make an awesome protein powder, because a lot of the recipes you will see, are things like smoothies and stuff like that, so we make a plant based protein powder that includes all the amino acids, branch chain amino acids, if you're a vegan. It's got fiber in it. It's got no sugar, so it's really clean. Tastes really good, chocolate and vanilla. I think that that's another product that goes really nicely with The Daniel Plan. I'm biased, because I helped create it.
Daniel Amen: Yes, you did.
Tana Amen: I really like it, and because we use it in so many recipes. That's one thing.
I just want to touch really quickly before we end on that question, because it's just been stuck in my head, about the person who does the self-sabotage. Chances are you have learned to ... You've learned a series of habits that are sabotaging you, and you can learn tiny habits that will help you get back on track. It's about those daily habits. That's why we call it training, the daily training of a warrior. You just have to start that training and start with small habits, and build on them, but it's about daily training. You can't show up for the fight, you can't show up on fight day and expect to win if you're not training every day, so just every day, start those small things that are going to help build you up and get back on track.
Daniel Amen: One habit that I just really love, actually it's on the top of my to do list, it's every morning, I start with today is going to be a great day, because then my brain will find why today is going to be a great day. I, also, start with what I'm going to do today. Is it good for my brain or bad for my brain?
In the Daniel Plan, there are literally hundreds of daily habits that you can begin to put in your life. Just do one thing at a time.
Tana Amen: One thing at a time.
Daniel Amen: When you make a mistake, learn from it.
Tana Amen: Just get back. Up fell down. Get back up. You only fail if you stay down.
Daniel Amen: We are praying for your success. We are thrilled to be on this journey with you. You can tune in. The Daniel Plan has so many different resources. Tana and I have two new books called The Brain Warrior's Way, The Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook. It's all Daniel Plan friendly. We're just grateful you're part of our communities.
Tana Amen: Thank you so much.