Adolescents, Nutrition, & Behavior

Adolescent Nutrition Presentation

Taken from a one of my presentations in Health Psychology…

With the exception of the first year of life, the majority of a person’s growth occurs during adolescence (Stang, Story, & U.M., 2008).  This creates an increase in need for energy and nutrients to supply the energy.  Nutrient needs are higher during adolescence than any other time of a person’s life.  Proper nutrition during this time is essential for healthy maturation into adulthood as well as to help prevent diet-related chronic disease that can occur during adulthood such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

However, despite the great importance of healthy eating during this crucial growth time of adolescence, many young individuals are not eating a diet that meets national nutrition guidelines, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Stang, Story, & U.M., 2008).  To understand and resolve this problem, it is important to understand the eating behaviors of adolescents and what factors influence them.  Personal factors such as cognitive-affective factors and behaviors as well as the social environment can impact nutritional intake.  Adopting poor nutrition behaviors as well as developing eating disorders are concerns that effect nutrition intake in a negative way that would impact health.  Understanding not only the nutrition requirements but also these factors that influence nutrition behaviors in adolescents will help in the prevention of nutrition related health problems that may occur in youth and later in adulthood as diet-related chronic disease.


Stang, J., Story, M., & University of Minnesota. (2008). Guidelines for adolescent nutrition services. Duluth, Minn.: University of Minnesota.

Many parents of adolescents understand the frustration of trying to get their kids to eat right.  At this age, most kids are trying to develop their independence.  They want to make some choices of their own.  Here are 3 good tips I can share with you that have helped me see that my own kids got the nourishment they needed to develop strong immune systems, mental and physical health.

  • Lead by example.  You can’t expect your kids to eat healthy if you do not eat healthy yourself.
  • Provide only healthy choices in your household.  Choices are there, while any choice made is a good one.  My services include education in this area.
  • Utilize supplements.  Even in making healthy choices in food, we sometimes find ourselves lacking in nutrients which can create cravings that lead to loading up on unhealthy calories.
    • For over 20 years I have used Nature’s Sunshine’s supplements.  I expect I will continue for the next 20+ years to use them because I have always been pleased with the results and quality of them.  We caring some items in our office and have them online at


If you need help becoming a family who eats healthy, I also provide family sessions that focus on helping in nutrition and behaviors.

You can find me at dohi Center for Well-being (717) 473-4980 or email me at

My sessions are held in our Waynesboro, PA office or can be scheduled at my mountain ranch in Fairfield, PA which also incorporates Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

Charlotte Test

Charlotte M. Test, Coaching for Well-being

Adolescent Nutrition Presentation

Taken from a one of my presentations in Health Psychology…

With the exception of the first year of life, the majority of a person’s growth occurs during adolescence (Stang, Story, & U.M., 2008).  This creates an increase in need for energy and nutrients to supply the energy.  Nutrient needs are higher during adolescence than any other time of a person’s life.  Proper nutrition during this time is essential for healthy maturation into adulthood as well as to help prevent diet-related chronic disease that can occur during adulthood such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

However, despite the great importance of healthy eating during this crucial growth time of adolescence, many young individuals are not eating a diet that meets national nutrition guidelines, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Stang, Story, & U.M., 2008).  To understand and resolve this problem, it is important to understand the eating behaviors of adolescents…

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Get into your Flow

Very interesting and an excellent topic!

Charlotte M. Test, Coaching for Well-being

 The Concept of FlowIMG_Tokyo_20180508_101654_processed_1525789031530

The concept of the flow experience is used to understand the feelings people are actually experiencing while working toward their goals.  Flow is experienced as intense enjoyment while a person becomes so immersed in an activity that they are not aware of time passing by or physical discomforts.  Contemplation of the feelings experienced would actually interrupt flow.  The feelings are so enjoyable to some they may seem addictive.  While the flow experience is rare for many individuals, it may occur more frequently for individuals with certain personality traits.  In addition, intelligence of the individual is also a factor that can be associated with flow.  By understanding the concept of flow and how it can be utilized, it is possible help individuals to increase opportunity to experience flow and achieve goals.

Taken from a paper written by Charlotte M. Test (The Concept of Flow, 2012).


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Do We Wait for Change?

Charlotte M. Test, Coaching for Well-being

Often people make the comment “A person first has to WANT to quit [change] their habits”, referring to smoking, drinking, drug use, gambling, eating unhealthy, etc.

What do you think?  Do we wait for change?  Do we wait for ourselves, our loved ones, or even our patients (depending on who in your life needs change), to announce they now WANT to change before seeking help to make those life changes?

My answer is this… No.  Often people are brought to counseling for addictions by loved ones or even by the law.  Are these people then thinking “oh now I WANT to ch


ange”?  No.  More than likely they are feeling resentment for even being asked to make a change.

So now what?  Well, that’s my job!  A good therapist will work with the individual to help them with change regardless of what the change stage may be.  The precontemplation stage…

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Equilateral and My Unscheduled Dismount

Dr. Timothy Test

Many may ask whether the combination on EMDR and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy #equilateralemdr (otherwise known as Equilateral EMDR) really works.  Perhaps like me you had an unscheduled dismount.  It likely has upset the relationship that you once had with your equine.  You may now be fearful of what to expect upon mounting your equine again.  While you may put on a great game face, you know things have changed.  This can have a more profound effect if we are older.  Being 20 and having an unscheduled dismount is much different than being older and realizing our mortality.

I would like to share my story in hopes that my words will help you take the next step and call us to help you get #backinthesaddle.  It started with obtaining a new mule.  Mulligan was 13 years old, had been trail ridden, rode in parades, and was shown as a jumper and…

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Improve your self confidence in 15 minutes

I used to be frighteningly under confident in social situations. And although people who know me now would never believe I used to doubt myself so much I literally had to learn confidence until it became a natural part of me. I can tell you relaxed optimistic confidence is just, well so much more fun.

Here I’ll tell you about the things that made the most difference to my confidence levels…

Some people have naturally high levels of confidence but everybody can learn to be more confident

Firstly, it’s important to get a clear idea of what self confidence really means, otherwise you won’t know when you’ve got it! So, self confidence means:

1) Being calm. For every situation in life you need to run on the appropriate level of emotion. Too much emotional ‘leakage’ into a experience can spoil the experience. You make great strides towards confidence when you begin to relax in a greater range of situations.

2) Being cool. The second part of self confidence is about being able to relax with uncertainty. To be ‘cool’ in a situation really means relaxing with not knowing how things will pan out. If you truly tolerate uncertainty, you can do pretty much anything.

3) Not being too concerned with what others think of you. You know when you imagine what some place is going to be like before you go there but when you get there it is totally different to your imagination? That’s how reliable your imagination is! Stop trusting your imagination so much. I’ve long since stopped bothering to imagine what others think of me because so often I’ve turned out to be wrong.

4) Being specific – where do you want confidence? ‘Confidence’ is meaningless until you tie it to something specific. You are already confident that you can read these words or can switch a light on and off. So you don’t need more confidence everywhere. To get what you want in life you have to establish exactly what you do want. Where do you want confidence in your life? Think about the specific situations now and write them down. You beginning to steer your brain towards confidence.

5) Understanding that what you expect is what you get. Your brain is an organ that needs clear goals to work towards. When a task has been set in your brain it will do everything it can do to bring about the completion of that task. If you’ve tried to recall someone’s name but can’t, hours later you’ll often find their name pops into your head.

The ‘trying to recall’ experience set the task or blueprint for your brain’s future subconscious behaviour which eventually produced the name for you – when you weren’t thinking about it consciously. You can use this natural mechanism to start feeling more confident. But, to ensure you set the right task for your subconscious mind, the next point is vital.

6) Don’t task your mind with negatives. Instead of: ‘I don’t want to screw up’ (which sets the task of ‘screwing up’ for your brain), set the blueprint for what you do want! Your brain doesn’t work towards what to do by being told what not to do. And nature has given you a wonderful natural tool to set the right task blueprints with.

7) Use nature’s goal-setter: Now you understand how vital it is to set the right task for you brain, you need to know how to do this reliably. Good hypnosis will strongly ‘program’ the right blueprint in your mind through the use of your imagination. If you powerfully imagine feeling confident and relaxed while in a relaxed hypnotic state it will be hard for your unconscious mind to do anything else. The blueprint for relaxation has been set firmly into your subconscious mind.

3 simple strategies to get you feeling confident quickly:

1) Think specifically of the time/place/situation you want to feel confident in. Remember ‘confidence’ doesn’t mean anything until you attach it to something specific.

2) Focus on words in your mind right now that describe how you do want to be in that time and place. Maybe words such as ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’ or ‘focused’. Remember your brain works on clear positive instructions.

3) Close your eyes for as long as you like and think about how those words feel. Then, imagine the situation itself and rehearse it in your mind feeling confident and relaxed. This way you set the right blueprint or ‘task’ for your unconscious mind.

You can repeat this often to make it more effective and use it with as many areas of your life as you need to. If you listen to a hypnotic cd or download that can make the benefits even more powerful (see my profile below). So if you feel like you’d be blessed with less confidence than some other people you can start redressing the balance by using your mind in the right way right now.

It took me years to learn how to be more confident – now you can do it in a fraction of the time. Good luck!

Boost your confidence now at

Article by Mark Tyrrell of Hypnosis

Life Care Planning

Life care planning is the process of developing a Life Care Plan (LCP) for an individual-adult or child-who has a congenital or acquired illness or injury that is expected to result in special needs and significant costs
throughout the individual’s lifetime. More simply put, a life care plan is a disability cost analysis The majority of LCPs are developed for people who have suffered a traumatic injury, however, they are becoming more commonplace for older adults with chronic conditions to anticipate their health and financial needs in later years.

According to Weed (1998), the standard definition of a LCP is “a dynamic document based on published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated cost, for individuals who experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs” More intimately defined, a Life Care Plan is a written document that projects current and future medical and nonmedical needs and associated costs for a person with a chronic or catastrophic condition. In addition to projecting future medical care costs, it outlines a holistic program that helps prevent medical complications, enhances the participation of the individual within the
community and society, considers quality of life issues, and assists in maintaining the emotional and psychological health of the individual.

Life care plans are developed by trained professionals in nursing, rehabilitation and related disciplines who have the education, experience and specific training that qualifies them to develop a LCP and provide expert witness testimony when  needed.  Life Care Planners can be either certified or non-certified.  The LCP is developed in collaboration with the patient, family, medical and health care providers and all those who are concerned with coordinating, accessing, evaluating and monitoring necessary services.

Who Uses Life Care Plans?

A LCP is a valuable asset for attorneys, trustees, claim professionals, clients and families, as it documents the specific needs and lifetime costs for an individual with a chronic or catastrophic injury or illness. This allows those responsible for health and financial management to anticipate the client’s needs and related costs. LCPs are used in insurance settlement cases, court proceedings, trust administration, and in case management for people with special needs. In particular, those who find much benefit from a LCP are:

  • Personal injury attorneys
  • Medical malpractice attorneys
  • Estate planning attorneys
  • Rehabilitation teams
  • Health care providers
  • Clients and families

What Information is Included in a Life Care Plan?

The LCP is a very thorough document and will address the following Categories.  Each LCP is unique as it

takes into account individual differences in each client.  Generally, the following categories will be included:

Projected Evaluations

  1. Projected Therapeutic Modalities
  2. Orthotic / Prosthetic
  3. Home/Facility-based Care
  4. Future Medical Care
  5. Diagnostic Testing/Educational Assessment
  6. Architectural Renovations
  7. Wheelchair needs (accessories/maintenance)
  8. Health Maintenance and Equipment
  9. Future Surgical Intervention
  10. Transportation
  11. Medication
  12. Supply Needs
  13. Aids for Independent Function
  14. Durable Medical Equipment
  15. Orthopedic Equipment
  16. Potential Complications

Who Needs a Life Care Plan?

Personal injury and medical malpractice clients

  • Birth injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Major burns
  • Amputations
  • Multiple trauma
  • Estate planning clients
  • Seniors with chronic illness or dementia
  • Clients with dependent children with health problems
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Mental illness
  • Physical disabilities
  • Clients with chronic illnesses
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Lupus
  • AIDS
 If you are in need of life care planning services, please feel free to contact me and we will discuss fees and what to expect.  I look forward to hearing from you!

The Psychoneuroimmunological Response To Stress

Stress has been shown to have an effect on the overall health of an individual (Chapman, Tuckett, & Song, 2008; Coe & Laudenslager, 2007). When unusual or social stressors are present, it can compound the already existing stress from a wound, resulting in a dysregulation of the supersystem, leading to a decline in health, function, and well-being. For example, a negative emotional state can have a large impact on the ability of wounds to heal quickly. This has profound implications for the individual’s ability to heal after surgery or trauma. Even such things as routine stress can have a negative impact on the ability of wounds to heal (Coe & Laudenslager, 2007). Moreover, exposure to acute psychological stress seems to trigger and increase in sympathetic adrenal activity, which in turn has an effect on the immune system (Kemeny & Schedlowski, 2007). In particular, Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal (HPA) axis-activity (which results in an increase in the release of glucocorticoids) and sympathetic mechanisms are the main mechanisms at work in the reduction or inhibition of cellular and humoral immune responses (Kemeny & Schedlowski, 2007).

The brain plays a major role in controlling the interpretation of what is stressful as well as the behavioral and physiological responses that are produced (Heuser & Lammers, 2003). Brief periods of controllable stress do not have a large impact on physical or mental health, however, when a person experiences a lack of control and uncertainty, a chronic state of distress can ensue, that increases vulnerability to stress-related disorders (Heuser & Lammers, 2003). In normal situations when stress is experienced by an individual, glucocorticoids are released from the adrenals to shut down the neural defensive reactions. A person in chronic stress can cause sustained increases in glucocorticoids, and in the case of humans, cortisol. When an individual overproduces stress hormones or is unable to terminate the activation of the HPA, maladaptive responses can occur. In certain cases, a chronic adaptation to a stressor can cause the HPA system to become tonically inhibited (Heuser & Lammers, 2003).

Stress affects the release of hormones which when overproduced can negatively affect the neuroendocrine response. Duncko, Makatsori, Fickova, Selko, and Jezova (2006) examined the relationship between high anxiety and impaired coordination of the stress response, global hyporesponsiveness, and hyperresponsiveness. It was hypothesized that high trait anxiety is correlated with impaired coordination of the stress response. The selection of volunteers was based on their score in the trait subtest of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and only subjects with scores higher than 45 and lower than 39 were included in the study. A total of 27 males were chosen for the study. 15 were placed into the anxious group and 12 in the non-anxious group based on scores. Anyone with a somatic or mental diseases, personal and/or family history of psychiatric disorders, body mass index higher than 28 and control blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg were excluded from the study. The subjects were asked to participate in a public speech. A spectrum of neuroendocrine parameters was measured before, during and after the speech. The results showed that high trait anxiety was correlated with as higher preference for emotion-oriented coping strategies but lower preference for task-oriented procedures. Additionally, high trait anxiety was correlated with lower scores on hardiness. The anxious group scored significantly higher in scales for stress, tiredness, arousal, anxiety and depression. Among the anxious group, a correlation was found between lower adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and cortisol responses during stress, which was also correlated with an exaggerated perception of stress and worse mental performance. While this study is limited in only examining males and small sample size, this study provides more evidence that for those individuals susceptible and vulnerable to stress; neuroendocrine factors can play a role in fatigue, anxiety, depression, and inflammatory response (Duncko, Makatsori, Fickova, Selko, & Jezova, 2006).

Don’t let stressors get you to this point. Make an appointment with us today and let us show you how to incorporate techniques into your life that will help you recover from daily stressors and become more productive in your personal life and your career. You will find yourself happier, healthier, and more energized. We will see you soon!


Chapman, C. R., Tuckett, R. P., & Song, C. W. (2008). Pain and stress in a systems perspective: Reciprocal neural, endocrine, and immune interactions. The Journal of Pain, 9(2), 122-145.

Coe, C. L., & Laudenslager, M. L. (2007). Psychosocial influences on immunity, including effects on immune maturation and senescence. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 21(8): 1000–1008. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2007.06.015.

Duncko, R., Makatsori, A., Fickova, A., Selko, D., & Jezova, D. (2006). Altered coordination of the neuroendocrine response during psychosocial stress in subjects with high trait anxiety. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 30, 1058–1066.

Heuser , I & Lammers, C. (2003). Stress and the brain. Neurobiology of Aging 24, S69–S76.

Kemeny, M. E., & Schedlowski, M. (2007). Understanding the interaction between psychosocial stress and immune-related diseases: A stepwise progression. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 21, 1009-1018.