Are you Depressed?

In my opinion,  psychiatrists should first test their patients for nutritional deficiencies before writing prescriptions for Zoloftor for  antipsychotics, like Zyprexa.  Conscientious doctors send patients to get lab work done prior to prescribing drugs or increasing dosages.  There are times when people do need antidepressants.   However,  other times  spinach would go far to eliminate the symptoms of depression.   Think Popeye.

If you haven’t ever tested your nutrition levels, you might inquire with either your psychiatrist or primary-care physician. Supplements can be expensive, but you can make it back  by not having to see your psychiatrist as often. You should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you’re on prescription drugs.


Vitamin D

According to my doctor, Vitamin D deficiency is a major epidemic that doctors and public health officials are just beginning to realize. This deficiency has been linked to depression, dementia, and autism. Most of our levels drop off during the fall and winter months, since sunlight is the richest source.   My doctor believes that we should be getting from 5,000 to 10,000 IU  a day.  However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends most healthy adults get only about 600 IUs daily.  Hence, the widespread deficiency and increases in depression.


I am forever extolling the virtues of Magnesium, because this, like Vitamin D, is deficient in most American adults, according to my doctor, and the symptoms are not pretty.  They can, in fact, set off a chain reaction of unpleasant symptoms. Our lifestyles decrease our levels of Magnesium.  Some of the things that contribute are excess alcohol, salt, coffee, sugar, phosphoric acid (in soda), chronic stress, antibiotics, and diuretics (water pills). Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the stress antidote, the “most powerful relaxation mineral that exists,” according to Hyman. It is found in seaweed, greens, and beans. The NIH recommends a daily intake of about 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium for adult men and 310 to 320 mg for adult women.  Magnesium Citrate can also act as a laxative, so buy your Magnesium accordingly….and time it well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

I was surprised when my results showed an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency because I eat plenty of salmon and take fish oil supplements every day. That shows you just how much fish — salmon, tuna, halibut — or flaxseeds and walnuts we need to consume to be at an optimal level. These essential minerals reduce inflammation and play a critical role in brain function, especially memory and mood. The body can’t make them, so you need to either eat them or take supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are just one of the supplements I take every day for depression

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins like vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 can provide some incredible health benefits, including reduced stroke risk and healthy skin and nails. On the other hand, a vitamin B deficiency may impact your mental health. More than a quarter of severely depressed older women were deficient in B-12, according to one 2009 study.

The best sources of vitamin B-6 are poultry, seafood, bananas, and leafy green vegetables. For vitamin B-6, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 1.7 mg for adult men, and 1.5 mg for adult women. Vitamin B-12 is found in animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk) and shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and crab. Most adults should need to consume 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 daily, according to the NIH.


People with a low folate level have only a 7 percent response to treatment with antidepressants. Those with high folate levels have a response of 44 percent, according to Hyman. That is why many psychiatrists are now prescribing a folate called Deplin to treat depression and improve the effectiveness of an antidepressant. I tried it and it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference; however, I have several friends who have had very positive responses to Deplin. You need not try the prescription form of Deplin. You could just start taking a folate supplement and see if you get any results. Your daily recommended folate intake depends on your gender, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and age. However, most adults need at least 400 mcg daily. You can also get your daily folate requirements by consuming foods high in folate, including dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, and citrus fruits and juices.

 Amino Acids

Amino acids — the building blocks of protein — help your brain properly function. A deficiency in amino acids may cause you to feel sluggish, foggy, unfocused, and depressed. Good sources of amino acids include beef, eggs, fish, beans, seeds, and nuts.


Iron deficiency is pretty common in women. About 20 percent of women, and 50 percent of pregnant women, are in the club. Only three percent of men are iron deficient. The most common form of anemia — an insufficient number of red blood cells — is caused by iron deficiency. Its symptoms are similar to depression: fatigue, irritability, brain fog. Most adults should consume 8 to 18 mg of iron daily, depending on age, gender, and diet, according to the NIH. Good sources of iron include red meat, fish, and poultry. If you really want to get more red blood cells, eat liver. Yuck.


This one is SO important!  Zinc is used by more enzymes (and we have over 300) than any other mineral. It is crucial to many of our systems. It activates our digestive enzymes so that we can break down our food, and works to prevent food allergies (which, in turn, averts depression in some people, since some of our mood disruptions are triggered by food allergies). It also helps our DNA to repair and produce proteins. Finally, zinc helps control inflammation and boosts our immune system. The NIH recommends a daily intake of 11 mg of zinc for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.


Like iodine, selenium is important for good thyroid function. It assists the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone T4 to the active thyroid hormone, T3. It also helps one of our important antioxidants (glutathione peroxidase) keep polyunsaturated acids in our cell membranes from getting oxidized (rancid). Most adults need about 55 mcg of selenium daily. The best food source of selenium is Brazil nuts, which contains about 544 mcg of selenium per ounce.


Iodine deficiency can be a big problem because iodine is critical for the thyroid to work as it should, and the thyroid affects more than you think: your energy, metabolism, body temperature, growth, immune function, and brain performance (concentration, memory, and more). When it’s not functioning properly, you can feel very depressed, among other things. You can get iodine by using an iodine-enriched salt, or by eating dried seaweed, shrimp, or cod. I take a kelp supplement every morning because I have hypothyroidism. The daily recommend amount of iodine for most adults is about 150 mcg.

EEEEEEK! Spiders!

EEEEEEK!  Spiders!

When I lived in Texas, I felt like I was living in the insect capital of the universe! This is a fast natural remedy for getting rid of scary spiders! It also works for other creepy crawly things.

7 Weeks of Work – 1 Day Off


I woke up early on this glistening autumn morning in Portland, thankful to be alive and happy that this marks my first day off in a long, long time.  ….a little over seven weeks, actually.  Monday will mark week 8.

I have already meditated this morning, and am planning to make my house sparkle….clean, reorganize, regroup….Then, I’m going down to my studio to do the same thing, and to start on a new mosaic, if there is time left over.

Feeling so happy to have this day with no grueling homework and editors ringing my ears off with calls for rush orders and dealing with clients, new and old.  Not going to waste another minute on the computer, but since I had not really updated in awhile, I wanted to check in to say, “Hey!” and to let you know I’m still alive…..and awake…..and so happy & grateful for the opportunities that this day offers.

the meaning of each chakra


Hope YOU have a beautiful day, too!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day….but wait! There’s more!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to my friends, my family and my 200 fabulous blog followers (some of whom are included in the aforementioned categories.)  Today is the day when thousands of people from all over the world, put green food coloring in their beer to celebrate the life of a 5th century religious fanatic.  But wait!  There’s more!  Today is also the day that my beloved husband and I celebrate many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many years of wedded bliss.    Yes, this is our wedding anniversary.

It seems like only yesterday when we had our gorgeous wedding at Ocotillo Gallery in Tejas. Our friends…our family…the beautiful music…the flowers…the candles…the art…the wonderful food and beautiful wedding cake…  (Special gratitude to sweet Peggy Spott, who I miss with all my heart…)   When I close my eyes, I can still see every detail.  I still tear up when I recall that day, and how happy and in love we were.  We could barely say our vows, we were so overcome by emotion.   Feeling much the same way this morning, at 4:46 a.m. as I sit here in the quiet Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, as my beloved husband sleeps just yards away.

Today we leave this lovely abode and head toward Klamath Falls.  We will be staying at the Running Y Ranch resort tonight, then heading home tomorrow.  Time to settle back into our normal routines once more,  and to hold the memories of this past week in our hearts forever.  It has been a fabulous vacation.  I am grateful for every minute of it.

Happy anniversary, dearest John,

 Thank you for this magnificent journey through life as your wife.  I wouldn’t change a minute. I  am eternally grateful for every day that we have shared.  Precious, are these times together.  I do cherish them, each and every one.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Your loving wife,


stacy black dress.edited