Author: Alysia Shinaberry

Cooking for Picky Eaters: Nurturing Kids with Autism and Food Aversions 

Cooking for children who are picky eaters can be challenging, especially when it obtains to children with food aversions such as many children with autism. A child’s diet plays a crucial role in their overall health and development. In turn, this diet plays a huge role in your child’s life and if your child is a picky eater or has food aversions, they may not be getting everything they need from their diet to be healthy. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have sensory sensitivities and rigid eating patterns, leading to limited food preferences. Some children with ASD may have heightened sensitivities to taste, texture, and smell, which can contribute to their aversions. Ensuring a well-rounded diet is crucial in maintaining your child’s health, promoting their growth, and supporting overall development. 

Common Food Aversions in Children with Autism: 

 While food preferences can vary among individuals, there are some common food aversions that frequently appear in children with autism: 

  • Textural Challenges: Many children with autism struggle with certain textures, such as crunchy or slimy foods, leading them to avoid fruits, vegetables, or meats. 
  • Limited Food Groups: Some children with autism may stick to a few preferred food groups, such as carbohydrates or processed foods, neglecting the necessary nutrients.  
  • Sensory Sensitivities: Strong flavors or smells may trigger aversions in children with autism, making it challenging to introduce new or unfamiliar foods. 
  • Color or Presentation: A child’s preference for specific colors or food presentation styles may limit their choices, affecting the variety in their diet. 

Incorporating Nutrient-Rich Foods:  

Ensuring children with autism receive a balanced diet is essential for their growth and development. Here are some nutrient-rich foods to include in their meals: 

  • Protein Sources: Offer lean meats, poultry, fish, or plant-based alternatives like beans and lentils to provide essential amino acids and support muscle development. 
  • Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as berries, oranges, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, to provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 
  • Healthy Fats: Include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, which provide omega-3 fatty acids and support brain function. 
  • Whole Grains: Opt for gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and gluten-free oats to provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • Dairy Alternatives: If your child is lactose intolerant or has dairy aversions, consider providing plant-based milks such as almond, cashew, or coconut milks that are rich in vitamins! 

Tricks to Work Around Food Aversions:

Here are some helpful strategies to navigate food aversions and encourage a healthier eating experience: 

  • Gradual Exposure: Introduce new foods gradually, allowing your child to explore them through sight, touch, and smell before attempting to taste. 
  • Food Pairing: Combine less preferred foods with favorite choices to increase acceptance and familiarity. 
  • Food Modifications: Alter the texture or presentation of a food to make it more appealing, such as blending vegetables into sauces or purees. 
  • Food Chaining: Build upon preferred foods by gradually introducing similar alternatives, expanding their palate over time. 
  • Cooking Together: Involve your child in meal preparation and make it a fun and interactive experience to increase their interest in trying new foods. 

Kid-Friendly Gluten-Free Recipes:  

Here are a few delicious and nutritious recipes that cater to picky eaters, including those on a gluten-free diet: 

  • Mini Veggie Frittatas: Combine whisked eggs, chopped vegetables (such as bell peppers, spinach, and mushrooms), and shredded cheese. Bake in a muffin tin until set and golden brown. 
  • Chicken and Vegetable Skewers: Alternate marinated chicken cubes with colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers on skewers. Grill or bake until cooked through. 
  • Cauliflower Pizza Bites: Blend cooked cauliflower florets with eggs, gluten-free breadcrumbs, and seasoning. Form into small patties and bake until golden. Top with tomato sauce and cheese. 
  • Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers: Cook quinoa according to package instructions and mix with sautéed vegetables, ground meat (optional), and spices. Stuff the mixture into halved bell peppers and bake until tender. 
  • Banana Oat Cookies: Mash ripe bananas and mix with gluten-free oats, nut butter, and a touch of honey. Shape into cookies and bake until lightly golden. 

Have Lunch at The Oxford Center!

Cooking for picky eaters, especially those with autism and food aversions, requires patience, creativity, and a focus on nutrient-rich foods. By understanding the concerns, incorporating essential nutrients, implementing tricks to work around aversions, and exploring kid-friendly, gluten-free recipes, parents and caregivers can promote healthy eating habits while catering to their child’s unique needs. At The Oxford Center, we understand how important it is to make sure your child is getting everything they need to grow up happy and healthy. That’s why our lunch program is completely individualized to what will be best for you and your child!

PTSD: Understanding Innovative Therapy Options

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a term and condition many are familiar with, even if they do not suffer from the condition themselves or know someone personally who suffers from the condition. For those who have seen the effects of PTSD, they know how serious and debilitating the condition can really be. Some who develop this condition may lose their job, push away friends and family, lose the ability to care for themselves, fall into depression and other mental health concerns, etc. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of the condition and promote any and all options to help treat this condition and promote recovery and healing.  

What is PTSD?  

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a psychological condition that can develop in individuals who experience or witness a traumatic event(s). In order to receive a diagnosis, a person must have symptoms that last for more than a month and the symptoms must cause significant problems in their functioning lives. In 2020, about 13 million people in the United States were diagnosed with PTSD. Statistically, women are twice as likely to have PTSD than men and we estimate that one in eleven people will receive this diagnosis in their lifetime. With such a significant portion of the population living with this condition, it is important to understand this condition and what options are out there to help heal and recover. 

What Causes PTSD?  

PTSD is a psychological condition that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event or series of events. This condition is different for everyone, so the set circumstances in which someone develops this condition may vary between each person. Neurobiological factors, such as genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalances, and alterations in brain structure and function, can also play a role in the development of PTSD. 

What are the Symptoms of PTSD?  

Generally, there are four main types of symptoms for PTSD:  

  • Re-experiencing: Someone with PTSD may re-experience their trauma through recollection, flashbacks, and/or nightmares.  
  • Avoidance: Someone with PTSD may avoid anything that reminds them of their trauma and may become emotionally “numb”.  
  • Alternations in Cognition & Mood: Regular and repeated negative thoughts /perceptions about self, others, and/or the world. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy or have persistent feelings of shame/guilt.   
  • Hyperarousal & Reactivity: This may include an increased feeling of irritability, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, being overly sensitive to threats, and being easily startled.  

In order to be diagnosed, a person must have at least one re-experiencing symptom, three avoidance symptoms, two negative alterations, and two hyperarousal symptoms for at least one month.  

The Oxford Center’s Approach to PTSD


With this purpose in mind, The Oxford Center is at the forefront of utilizing innovative therapeutic modalities, including neurofeedback, to treat PTSD. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that aims to improve brain function by providing real-time feedback on brainwave activity. By monitoring brainwave patterns, individuals can learn to self-regulate their brain activity, leading to improved emotional and cognitive functioning. 

Neurofeedback has shown promising results in treating PTSD, with research indicating its effectiveness in reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Studies have demonstrated that neurofeedback can lead to decreased hyperarousal, increased emotional regulation, and enhanced cognitive flexibility in individuals with this condition. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment method that involves breathing pure oxygen. While traditionally used for conditions such as decompression sickness and non-healing wounds, emerging research suggests that HBOT may also offer benefits for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By exposing individuals to increased levels of oxygen, HBOT aims to enhance oxygen delivery to tissues, promote healing, and reduce inflammation. Studies have indicated that HBOT can have positive effects on brain function, including neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. These neuroprotective and regenerative properties hold promise for individuals with PTSD, as they may help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, cognitive impairments, and sleep disturbances.  

TOC Talks Episode 14: “PTSD- Causes and Solutions”

In this Episode of TOC Talks, Andrew sits down with Elizabeth Terry, our Director of Medical Services, to discuss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the causes and solutions, and what options are out there to help promote recovery! Listen in to find out how alternative treatments like Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Neurofeedback Therapy can help relieve PTSD symptoms! Don’t miss out on this interesting and informative episode!

Check It Out!

Want to listen to TOC Talks without the video? Subscribe to TOC Talks on your favorite Audio or Podcast platform! 

Check out our episode and don’t forget to subscribe to TOC Talks! We can be found on all your favorite Audio or Podcast platforms as well as video podcasts on our YouTube and Facebook pages! Find us at the links below!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Social Media Pages! If you would like to find our TOC Talks Podcast page, click on the link below.  

TOC Talks |

TOC Talks – PTSD- Causes and Solutions: TOC Talks Ep. 14 |

Should You Go Gluten-Free?

While gluten-free foods and diets have become more common in stores and restaurants, there is still a common misunderstanding surrounding what gluten and its effects on people. For those with something like celiac disease, eating gluten can have serious if not deadly effects. For everyone else, gluten is a common and almost necessary part of our diet. Pasta, bread, baked goods… these are some of most people’s favorite foods! What most might not know is that a sensitivity to gluten may be much more common than we think.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains that act as a “glue”. In foods, gluten gives baked goods a soft and chewy texture. What most don’t know is that gluten can act as an inflammatory food, and for those with a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, they may feel tired, nauseous, or bloated after eating large amounts of food with gluten. So, if you eat a big bowl of pasta and feel really tired and bloated afterward… guess what? That’s not a normal reaction! For years, you may have been dealing with a gluten intolerance that’s been wreaking havoc on your body, and in turn, your mental health.

Eating gluten with a gluten allergy or sensitivity can also result in upset stomach, irregular bowel movements, headaches and migraines, brain fog, fatigue, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, tingling and numbness in the extremities, skin problems such as acne, eczema, or unexplained rash, and infertility. So, even if you don’t have a gluten allergy that you know of, it may be beneficial to start incorporating new gluten-free options into your diet. Thankfully, The Oxford Center has some recipes to help you get started!  

Gluten & Dairy-Free Chicken Alfredo Pasta 

Pasta is one of the first foods we think of when we think of gluten, so going gluten-free may be a little daunting if you really love pasta. Thankfully, The Oxford Center is here to help! This is one of Chef JeAnnah’s own recipes for a FANTASTIC healthy, gluten-free, and even dairy-free chicken alfredo pasta!

This pasta recipe has lots of healthy fats from the cashews, fiber from the gluten-free pasta, lean protein from the chicken, and it even has extra vitamins and calcium from the fresh parsley!

You can even try making your own Gluten-Free Pasta! 

Making your own pasta at home can be a really fun way to relax and spend quality time with friends and family!

A Regular Gluten-Free Cooking Show is Coming Soon?!

You read that right! Very soon, The Oxford Center will be releasing a weekly cooking show featuring some AMAZING and fun gluten-free recipes. This show will be released every Tuesday on YouTube and social media and will feature Chef JeAnnah as she cooks up and shares some of her favorite recipes! Going gluten-free doesn’t have to mean giving up all the foods you love. There are lots of great gluten-free recipes out there so stay tuned while we release some more!

TOC Talks Episode 13: “The Start of a New Culinary Adventure!”

In this Episode of TOC Talks we are doing things a little differently! Andrew is joining JeAnnah Powell, one of our trained culinary chefs, to make a dairy and gluten-free chicken alfredo pasta! We are trying out the possibility of a cooking show to help share JeAnnah’s WEALTH of knowledge about cooking and baking with healthy, wholesome, gluten-free foods. If you like how this turned out and want to see a weekly cooking show, let us know!

If you are interested in cooking along with us, check out our downloadable recipe card!

Check It Out!

Want to listen to TOC Talks without the video? Subscribe to TOC Talks on your favorite Audio or Podcast platform! 

Want to watch all of our episodes? Check out our TOC Talks – YouTube Playlist!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Socials!

Check out our episode and don’t forget to subscribe to TOC Talks! We can be found on all your favorite Audio or Podcast platforms as well as video podcasts on our YouTube and Facebook pages! Find us at the links below!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Social Media Pages! If you would like to find our TOC Talks Podcast page, click on the link below.  

Can Neurofeedback Therapy help my Anxiety/Depression?

In recent years, people have been much more open in their conversations surrounding mental health and it is clear we are in a mental health crisis. For those struggling with their mental health such as anxiety/depression, the options may feel limited. Most commonly, these individuals turn to psychiatric medications that may or may not help, therapy, changes in diet or exercise, or they may not be able to explore any options. Recent studies have shown that another type of non-invasive therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety and depression: neurofeedback therapy.  

What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback therapy is a neurological therapy that can identify dysregulated brain waves and train your brain to function optimally. Firstly, a qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) will observe and measure brain waves. This test reveals target areas of the brain that are over or under active and can contribute to developing a plan of action. Following a qEEG, the therapy will use stimulus such as an image or music to help train the brain to operate correctly. When the brain is not operating properly, the stimulus will be unclear, and the brain will naturally want to correct itself in order for the stimulus to appear/sound clearly. As therapy sessions progress, the brain will naturally learn to function optimally for the stimulus to appear/sound clearly. This therapy, in turn, helps train your brain to self-regulate, cope, and manage correctly.  

Can Neurofeedback Therapy Help with Anxiety/Depression?

With neurofeedback being able to help train the brain to regulate itself and learn to maintain healthy brain wave patterns, it becomes a great tool to help improve mental health. In particular, neurofeedback can help alleviate anxiety and depression in these ways:  

Regulate Brain Patterns 

Firstly, anxiety and depression are often associated with abnormal brainwave patterns, such as excessive activity in the beta frequency range (linked to anxiety) or insufficient activity in the alpha or theta frequency ranges (linked to relaxation and emotional regulation). Neurofeedback aims to train individuals to modulate their brainwave activity by rewarding desired patterns and discouraging undesired ones. Through repeated sessions, this process can help individuals achieve a more balanced and regulated brainwave state. 

Promote Self-Regulation 

Secondly, neurofeedback empowers individuals to take an active role in their mental health by providing them with real-time feedback on their brain activity. By gaining awareness of their brainwave patterns, individuals can learn to recognize and self-regulate their emotional states. This newfound ability to modulate their brain activity promotes a sense of control and self-efficacy, crucial factors in managing anxiety and depression. 

Target Specific Symptoms 

Finally, neurofeedback can be tailored to address specific symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. For example, for individuals experiencing excessive rumination and negative thought patterns, neurofeedback protocols can focus on increasing regulated brain wave activity associated with relaxation and positive mood. By customizing the training to target individual symptoms, neurofeedback offers a personalized and targeted approach to mental health. 

Neurofeedback Therapy for Anxiety/Depression at The Oxford Center 

Neurofeedback can help anxiety/depression.

Here at The Oxford Center, we want to help you in every way we can. That’s why our experienced team can help guide you through Neurofeedback Therapy sessions to reach optimal brain patterns and improve your mental health (e.g. anxiety, depression, etc.). This therapy is non-invasive, and the best part? All the progress you make in our sessions is yours to keep forever! If you are interested in learning more about how The Oxford Center can help you improve your mental health, contact us today!  

May 2023 Newsletter

We are now Offering Pilates!

The Oxford Center is excited to share that we are now offering Pilates! Our unique approach combines state-of-the-art equipment, personalized instruction, and a commitment to your overall well-being. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, our program is designed to help you achieve your fitness and health goals with precision and grace.

Most Pilates programs are classes of 10+ people to one instructor… but not us! Our Pilates program is fully individualized! Sessions can be one-on-one for yourself and our instructor, or you can bring a friend or partner to do sessions with! Our Pilates sessions are only $65/hour for one, or $100/hour for two! Check out our new Pilates ad here

Discover the benefits of Pilates for yourself – increased muscular strength, improved posture, enhanced body awareness, and a renewed sense of vitality. Take the first step towards a healthier and more vibrant lifestyle today!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Throughout this month we are releasing new podcast episodes and articles that give great tips on how to improve your mental health and how The Oxford Center can help you along the way! 

We offer multiple services and ways for you to address mental health concerns in natural and noninvasive ways! Our nutritional services can help you discover natural ways to health your gut and learn more about the way food is affecting your body and neurofeedback therapy can help to alleviate anxiety and depression. If you are interested in improving your mental health, contact us today! 

Try Our Nutritional Services!

Did you know we offer nutritional services? Nicole is our Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP) and she is ready to help guide you on your way to making ever-healthier choices! 

Through our nutritional services you have the option to work with Nicole through a group program or one-on-one nutrition coaching. Our group class program combines the simple elements of an up-to-date nutrition education and a guided 3-week sugar detox (aka Real Food Challenge) with small group support into a powerful way to kickstart a new healthy lifestyle. The program focuses on how to use REAL FOOD to boost your energy, reduce inflammation, and get rid of sugar and carb cravings. It’s truly an empowering combination!

An individual program with Nicole offers a highly personalized and customized plan for your nutrition. Typically, this program will usually start with gut (GI) testing and food sensitivity testing. Following your tests, Nicole will sit down with you to discuss the results and cultivate a specific personalized plan that will work best for you and your body. An individualized program with Nicole is completely customizable and you will receive Nicole’s undivided attention and support.

Take the first step in your nutrition journey today!

Toleration Meals are Here!

Young mother and her daughter having breakfast together

We are now offering toleration meals for those in our ABA lunch program! Our toleration meals work with your child to help them expand the food they accept and eat during mealtimes. The toleration meal is a smaller portion of our lunch that allows for clients to be exposed to new foods without needing to buy an entire lunch. These are clients who might be working on taking just a bite of food, touching it/licking it/bringing it to their lips/etc., or even just accepting the food on their plate. 

Step one is usually just tolerating a single piece of something novel – the next step would be the toleration meal which gives you more of a feel for what a real meal should be like because it is plated, and the client gets a little bit of every component of a dish. 

Interested in learning more about our lunch program and all we have to offer? Click the link below!

Autism and Law Enforcement Workshop

Our Autism and Law Enforcement Workshop was a great success! Our CEO and founder, Tami Peterson, PhD, worked alongside Officer Ed, our security officer, to educate local police departments on autism, our facility, and what to do in case of an emergency! Although law enforcement is tasked with keeping the public safe, interactions between first responders and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other psychiatric conditions can be contentious, and in some cases, deadly.

Tami helped to educate the officers in attendance on autism and why it is important for the officers to understand autism when they interact with someone with autism. Officer Ed took the officers on a tour of the building to go over the layout and all entrances/exits and protocols if there happened to be an emergency at The Oxford Center. 

Officers received training in identifying characteristics of people with autism, de-escalation techniques, techniques when responding to an emergency / active shooter at The Oxford Center, interaction with a person(s) with autism, and communication techniques. Officers were encouraged to come back and spend time at the center so they can get to know the kids and help the kids get more familiar with them. 

We thank all of the officers in attendance for taking the time to come out and learn more about our important community! 

TOC Talks Episode 12: “Who is Officer Ed?”

In this Episode of TOC Talks, Andrew sits down with Officer Edward Blackburn, The Oxford Center’s security officer! Together, they discuss Officer Edward’s background, some of his prior experiences, and what he does at The Oxford Center. Listen to find out who Edward is, how he found The Oxford Center, the ways he is improving the safety of The Oxford Center, and why Edward loves what he does!

Check It Out!

Want to learn more about some of our other security features at The Oxford Center? Check out our security video!

Want to listen to TOC Talks without the video? Subscribe to TOC Talks on your favorite Audio or Podcast platform! 

Check out our episode and don’t forget to subscribe to TOC Talks! We can be found on all your favorite Audio or Podcast platforms as well as video podcasts on our YouTube and Facebook pages! Find us at the links below!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Social Media Pages! If you would like to find our TOC Talks Podcast page, click on the link below.  

TOC Talks |

TOC Talks – Who is Officer Ed? |

Food & Your Mood: How Your Diet Could Affect Your Mental Health

According to new studies by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder while about 20 million adults in the United States suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. Currently, about 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental illness in the United States. These numbers don’t take into account the many individuals who go undiagnosed, so most likely those numbers are actually much higher. The United States is truly in a mental health crisis. 

Whan adult is diagnosed with a mental illness, they may begin to see a therapist, but most will begin taking a prescribed medication. It is no secret that the field of psychiatric medications is far from perfect, so most that begin taking these medications spend years trying to find a medication that actually helps them, if they ever do, and in the meantime the medication might make them feel worse. What if something as simple as your gut health and the food you eat is the reason you are suffering from a mood disorder like anxiety or depression?  

How Can Food Affect Your Mood Disorder and Mental Health?

We all know that food is essential to survival. When we break it down, the reason humans eat food is to receive nutrients, aka vitamins and minerals. So, if the body isn’t receiving the correct amount or variety of nutrients, then the body naturally starts to feel the effects of some deficits. While the effect your diet has on your body can be extremely complex, and mood disorders can be very complex, there are some simple aspects that we can all learn more about to help improve mental health:  


serotonin helps mental health

Serotonin is a chemical in your brain that carries messages between nerve cells through your body and is an important factor in regulating body functions such as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and more. The gastrointestinal tract produces about 90% of serotonin from the foods you eat. With serotonin playing such a key role in mood, sleep, and digestion, having a low amount of serotonin in your body can induce symptoms such as mood changes, depression, anxiety, memory issues, sleep problems, and more! Foods rich in tryptophan (an amino acid) can boost serotonin levels and in turn, help you to improve your mental health. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, salmon, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate! 

Blood Sugar & Mood Swings 

blood sugar affects mental health

Your blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main sugar found in your body and is typically the main source of energy. Having a blood sugar level that is not stable throughout the day will in turn affect your energy levels and leave you feeling anxious, lethargic, and weak. Simply put, blood sugar affects your mood stability. It is important to eat a meal of balanced healthy protein, fats, and carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar within range and not spike our insulin levels. Think “sugar high.”  

Simple carbs like sugary snacks or refined grains (“empty” carbs like pasta, white bread, rice, etc.) and even complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables, can make our blood sugar levels spike suddenly, then crash. After that crash we feel irritable, fatigued, and crave more sugar to bring back that initial spike. Meanwhile, prioritizing fat and protein alongside complex carbohydrates will slow down digestion and release a steady amount of glucose into the bloodstream, which in turn helps us to maintain a balanced blood sugar level and consistent mood.  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids & the Brain 

omega 3 helps mental health

Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of important healthy fats that are important for a number of bodily functions. Emerging research has shown a strong link between omega-3 fatty acids and improved mood, reduced symptoms of depression, and regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are crucial for regulating mood. A diet that is lacking in omega-3 fatty acids may lead to increased symptoms of anxiety and/or depression so boosting the omega-3 fatty acids in your diet might just help you boost your mental health! Healthy fats are present in fatty fish like salmon or sardines, beef liver, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. 

Gut Microbiota: The Gut-Brain Connection 

gut health affects mental health

Your gut microbiota is the bacteria that lives in the human digestive system and helps to harvest energy, digest food, and supports a strong immune defense. New research shows the bacteria in your gut can affect mood and behavior. So, if the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut is out of balance, then your gut is not able to do its job correctly in regulating your mood and behavior. Aim for a diet rich in fiber from fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods to help promote a diverse and healthy gut microbiota. These beneficial bacteria produce neurotransmitters and short-chain fatty acids, which positively impacts your mood.  

Micronutrients & Mood Disorders/Mental Health

mental health and vitamin deficiency

Micronutrients, which are more commonly known as vitamins and minerals, are essential to maintain a functioning and healthy body. If your body is not able to adequately digest the foods you are eating or you may not be eating a healthy, balanced diet, then it is likely that your body may not be getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals to support your body operating at its best and may prompt symptoms similar to anxiety and depression.

Deficiencies in micronutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and folate have been associated with depression and anxiety and could have a very simple solution that does not include trying different psychiatric medications. Consuming a variety of nutrient dense foods like leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and properly raised meats can help to ensure you are getting plenty of these mood-supporting nutrients. Optimizing your digestion to get all the nutrients out of your food is equally important and may require some help from a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.  

Nutritional Services at The Oxford Center for Mental Health 

No matter what is going on, The Oxford Center is here to help! Our nutritional services offer you the option to gather support in group classes as you learn all about food and the way food interacts with your body, or you can sign up for more personalized one-on-one support! Our functional nutrition therapy practitioner and restorative wellness practitioner is familiar with everything to do with food and your body, and she has personally gone through everything she asks clients to do!  

TOC Talks Episode 11: “Is Your Gut CAUSING Anxiety/Depression?!”

In this Episode of TOC Talks, Andrew sits down with Nicole Cunningham, a Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP), to discuss mental health and how our diet is affecting… or even CAUSING anxiety and depression! Listen in to find out how your diet affects your body, your mood, and how the bacteria in your gut might be CAUSING symptoms of anxiety and/or depression! Don’t miss out on this interesting and informative episode! 

Check It Out!

Want to learn more about our nutritional services? Check out what we have to offer! Nutritional Services – The Oxford Center

Want to listen to TOC Talks without the video? Subscribe to TOC Talks on your favorite Audio or Podcast platform! 

Check out our episode and don’t forget to subscribe to TOC Talks! We can be found on all your favorite Audio or Podcast platforms as well as video podcasts on our YouTube and Facebook pages! Find us at the links below!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Social Media Pages! If you would like to find our TOC Talks Podcast page, click on the link below.  

TOC Talks |

TOC Talks – Is Your Gut Causing Anxiety/Depression?! |