How to nourish your brain: amino acids and nutrition for mental health and addiction recovery
Audio only version
Christina Veselak is a psychotherapist and nutritionist, specialising in addiction recovery, relapse prevention and mental health. She is the Founder and Director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition. With a unique focus on psychotherapy (trauma, emotion, addictions) and nutrition (biochemical imbalances), in this compelling interview she explains that nutrient and neurotransmitter depletion in the brain can cause addictive behaviours and other mental health symptoms, and outlines the ways diet, amino acid and nutrient therapy, and psychotherapy can significantly help prevent addiction relapse. She notes that addiction programmes which offer nutrition therapy have significantly reduced relapse rates.
- The 3 main drivers of poor mental health and addictive behaviours: 1) biochemistry (genetics, nutritional status, hormones, blood sugar levels, inflammation), 2) psychological history (trauma, life experiences), 3) spiritual life (spirituality, reaching our full potential)
- How the brain needs the right nutrients, hormones and blood sugar balance to safeguard against relapse
- Ways in which low blood sugar, protein deficiency and neuroinflammation can prevent the conversion of amino acids into key neurotransmitters (dopamine, GABA, serotonin), why this can significantly impact mental health, and what to do about it
- What reward deficiency syndrome is, how to diagnose it, and which amino acids and nutritional co-factors can help
- Ways in which zinc and vitamin B6 can cure the little-known condition pyroluria; a root cause of social anxiety and stress intolerance
- How amino acids nourish the brain and rebuild neurotransmitters rather than deplete them like the drugs they are replacing
- Herbs and nutrients that can help reduce neuroinflammation
- How the combination of EMDR, inner child work and amino acids can help soothe childhood trauma, addictive behaviours and poor mental health
- How to nourish our adrenals with diet, herbs and self care, which is especially important in families dealing with the stress of addiction
About Christina Veselak
Christina T. Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN, is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition which teaches practitioners how to use diet, along with amino acid and nutrient therapy to prevent cravings and relapse by restoring neurotransmitter function. She has been a licensed psychotherapist working in the SUD treatment field since 1985 and a certified nutritionist specializing in mental health and addiction recovery since 1993. She currently provides on-line Relapse Prevention/Recovery Coaching and Mental Health Nutrition to a wide variety of clients, through her clinic, Garden Gate Counseling and Consultation. She is an experienced public speaker, and has presented at conferences and trainings around the country.
Christina has consulted for supplement companies, IV Amino Acid Detox Programs, and Residential Treatment Programs, helping them integrate this life-saving nutritional approach into their offerings. Christina is also a founding member and former Executive Director of the Alliance for Addiction Solutions, a non-profit organization which promotes the use of nutritional and other natural modalities to support repair of the addicted brain. Christina is committed to staying abreast of the rapidly growing science of orthomolecular psychiatry and functional nutrition & biochemistry for mental health, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with both the general public and professionals in the fields of addiction recovery and mental health treatment.