BRAIN OPTIMIZATION Mental Fitness & Nutritional Psychology for Chronic Stress Management and more....


Diamond Mind Strategies give you what most Corporate Wellness and Performance Coaching programs don't.

Most wellness and performance coaching programs are loaded with great ideas for people to implement...IF they were actually ready to take them on and turn them into a lasting lifestyle or method of higher achievement. The problem is that often people aren't mentally prepared to adopt new approaches that require consistency over time. Hence, the New Year Resolution phenomenon of taking on those goals in January to fall off the wagon by March.

Brain Optimization is about disrupting the interfering associations and stress chemical conditions that your brain has been operating under in order to clear the space for new, healthy, and powerful brain connectivity that support optimal functioning mentally, physically, professionally, and in relationships.

People do more to protect their Smartphones than their Smart Brains. We often operate as if on "Airplane Mode". Brain Optimization is about supplying your brain with a full charge and a solid "service" connection.

Mental Fitness are the mindset exercises that reduce chronic stress build-up. Additionally, they are designed to help you harness purpose, passion, and power as you tap into and utilize your Core Power elements. Lastly, mental fitness exercises are practical in aiding in communication enhancement within relationships that matter most to you.

Nutritional Psychology is about eating to nourish your brain so that it functions at its optimal best. My BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL approach to nutrition evaluates and educates someone on how to eat and supplement more effectively for energy, focus, clarity, and mood stabilization.

Part of Nutritional Psychology focuses on the use of nootropics and possibly hormone support. Nootropics are natural supplements that impact the production of hormones we need for brain and body functioning. HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy, is a modern medicine intervention that helps preserve our cognitive functioning and emotional stability in addition to the physical benefits.


1. Most people are so used to a chronically stressed brain that they don't realize the difference anymore.

2. Most people are diagnosed with anxiety or depression and put on medications before implementing strategies that are natural and easy to implement to reduce those symptoms.

3. Most people underestimate the toll that Stress Brain has on their cognitive, emotional, and physical functioning.

4. Most people don't know that the condition of chronic stress is connected to biological Oxidative Stress.

5. Most people aren't aware of nootropics, natural supplementation that support Brain Optimization and body wellness, to restore and protect mental and physical functioning.

6. Most people don't know how nutrition impacts brain health and how brain health impacts body condition.

7. Most people know that adding fitness (20 min of walking, 30 min of yoga, 1 hour of working out, etc) is important for mental and physical well-being...and most people struggle to incorporate and/or maintain a fitness routine.

8. Most people haven't learned how to reduce chronic stress build-up every day, through out the day with easy-to-implement mental fitness exercises in order to give their brains and bodies the winning edge.

9. Most people know that hormones are connected to midlife issues in the bedroom, but they don't realize the connection between hormones and midlife issues in the "boardroom".

10. Most people spend a ton of money on products and services, from fancy face creams to elective surgeries, to ward-off or correct the aging process yet they don't treat the root cause of aging wear and tear on their brains and bodies: chronic emotional stress & oxidative stress.

BURNOUT: living with chronic stress keeps us operating in "firefighter mode". Going from situation to situation trying to "put out fires", of course, further exacerbates "firefighter mode". End result: BURNOUT.

Burnout symptoms include: decreased energy, decreased memory capacity, decreased libido, decreased sleep, decreased creativity, decreased ability to solve problems, and more on the "decreased" functioning side. On the increase, however, you will also find increased irritability, increased weight gain, increased exhaustion, increased conflict, increased depression, increased anxiety, and others.

So what can we do to protect our greatest asset, our brain, from the burnout of chronic stress?

I teach people mindset exercises, body movements, and nutritional strategies that are super easy to implement- afterall, trying to manage stress can't cause more stress, right? Too often, people try to incorporate a new healthy habit (such as yoga, meditation, getting to the gym, or changing their diet and their brains just aren't ready for those changes! What happens? They get frustrated, start to create reasons for why they can't make it happen as they intended, and quit. They "fall off the wagon". Doesn't surprise me, though. I know why it was a set up for "failure": they hadn't yet optimized their brain, or created the mental space for new information to be absorbed and lasting habits to form.

Mental Fitness & Nutritional Psychology Solutions

All it takes to optimize your brain functioning:

*a few different 90-second mindset exercises daily to reduce the cortisol and adjust the previously imprinted connections that currently exist.

*a new understanding and planning of nutritional choices to nourish healthy brain hormone production and reduce the fight-or-flight response.

*a couple of mind:body actions throughout each day to attend to whole body internal "communication".

I call it Mental Fitness & Nutritional Psychology.

The New Mind:Body Connection

Let's start with recognizing how our body communicates with our brain and vice versa. Painful, tight, contracted muscles send the message to our brain that we are "ready to fight". The brain goes into that fight or flight response automatically. Raised cortisol.

1. MENTAL FITNESS EXERCISE: Stretching daily shifts the muscle:mind messaging

Go online and find resources for stretches that you can do from your seat at work or, even better, get up out of your seat for five minutes every hour and walk to a special or quiet space to really adjust muscle to mind communication. Move a muscle, change a thought, is the saying.

2. Mind In Muscle connection movements release cortisol in the brain.

Another new mind:body connection can be made to adjust brain chemistry, harness what I call "Core Power" and help rev your metabolism at the same time. Mind in Muscle exercises are about taking two to twenty minutes one, two, or three times per day to simply contract a single muscle group and focus your attention on the strength and power that is in that movement. For example, doing leg extensions at your desk squeezing your quads at the the top of the movement and really feeling the tightness and then really feeling the release of the contraction. Repeat at least 20 times. Same with bicep curls or ab contractions.

3. I have a approximately 40 Mental Fitness Exercises that range from those that take 90 seconds to those that can take an hour or so of your focus. They are designed to elevate awareness and enhance what I call Mindset Mastery. Through my Mental Fitness Exercises, you develop a new personal power to manage life on life's terms. You will fortify your Purpose, Passion, and Power with both short- and long-term plans. Here is an example of a 90-second cortisol-reducing intervention:

MENTAL FITNESS EXERCISE: Peaceful Place Exercise

Use all of your senses to recall your most peaceful place. Be there for as long as you can. Find where in your body that peaceful place resonates.

There is more coaching you can have around creating and practicing your peaceful place exercise. Your brain only knows what you give it to know. Using your imagination to create this imagery with all of your senses changes the chemical reactions in your brain.



Backdrop info you need to know: symptoms of depression are IDENTICAL to symptoms of malnutrition...yet most people will take a pill before adjusting their dietary intake.

Another need to know for backdrop: your brain doesn't know the difference between external or internal stress. Hence, how we nourish ourselves can add to or diminish Stress Brain.

Oh, one more: timing is everything.

HORMONES are not just about your sex life. Hormone balancing is essential for brain and body functioning,. Testosterone levels impact mental functioning because they are directly related to both menopause and andropause AND responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response.

The other hormones we need to talk about are all about Brain Optimization: Cortisol, Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin. Chronic Stress, "Stress Brain", is when cortisol levels remain at a constant high. This condition causes wear and tear on: creativity, clarity, mood, memory, energy, heart health, body fat retainment, muscle aches, and more.

NOOTROPICS are natural supplements designed to optimize brain and body functioning. Nootropics help to create health at the cellular level. Real "bodybuilding" is about caring for our most basic building blocks to our physical selves: our cells. Fragile cells equate to Oxidative Stress.

Oxidative Stress, or when the amount of "free radicals" exceeds the amount of antioxidants in our system, causes fatigue, memory loss or brain fog, headaches, vision problems, wrinkles and grey hair.

Mental Fitness & Nutritional Psychology Strategies help reduce Stress Brain and Oxidative Stress.


1. Protein is not just for muscle-building...and timing matters.

2. Not all carbs are created equal....and timing matters.

3. Water is not just for hydrating skin and blood-flow. Our brains require hydration at a certain level in order to not go into Stress Brain mode.

4. Nootropics, natural supplementation, are the scientific advancements that offer physical & mental stress-reduction intervention at the molecular level. In addition to food choices and general nootropics at the end of this presentation, I will also provide links to products that I use myself and have had plenty of clients use with great feedback.

5. Hormones are important to balance for healthy, high functioning mentally, physically, and sexually. I have a hormone-management practice whom I trust implicitly and will provide their contact information so that you can ask questions/explore options directly with the top dog there. One of my goals is to help you become most educated about your own body and as a consumer of health products!

To become an educated consumer and learn more about your own body from a hormonal standpoint, contact Adam Lamb, owner of www.renewliferx.com. Tell him Ava sent you and he will respond quickly! Email: adam@renewliferx.com

Scroll down for nutritional & product information for to help guide your choices:


email: ava@avadiamondmentalfitness.com

phone: 203-671-4152

Serving NY/CT/NJ and remotely Worldwide


It’s time to swap out “Comfort Foods” that actually backfire into Dis-comfort (stressed brain, stressed body) with foods that truly create greater comfort with their ability to lower Cortisol levels.

Now, here’s the skinny on Fats. Obviously, knowing the difference between trans fats and healthy fats is important in your decision-making. Simply, trans fats come in natural foods (which are not the concern) and in artificial form (which are the major concern) called “partially hydrogenated” fats that are used often in frying, baking, processed foods, margarines, and packaged snacks. Healthy fats are the unsaturated types. Not only do healthy fats, such as those found in fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and egg yolks help to reduce cortisol levels but they also are more important for hormone production for those of us in midlife. In my last bodybuilding competition prep (at age 52), my smart Coach tested out some changes in my diet and when we decreased carbs and increased healthy fats, I dropped fat and had more energy during my hardest weeks to have both happen.

These foods are Cortisol cutters:


These creamy fruits stress-proof your body. Rich in glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage, avocados also contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and more folate than any other fruit. A single serving (about one-quarter of an avocado) has plenty of B vitamins, too. Remember, this may technically be a fruit, but I count it as a fat, so use portion control. Thin sliced on sandwiches, it adds a whole new layer of flavor.


Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, and they've been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress.


These scrumptious nuts (careful, they are tempting to eat by the handfuls which are loaded with calories) contain high levels of Zinc which offers a natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant impact.


A complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a soothing feeling that helps overcome stress.


I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until after I had my first child. It wasn’t until then that I knew what complete and distressing fatigue felt like. Admittedly, I went from 0-100 with “needing” an oversized cup of Joe every morning just to feel ready for the day ahead. To this day, that holds true as a morning ritual in my life. Here’s the issue with caffeine consumption (and I can attest to this myself), when you cross a certain line with amount it absolutely has the adverse effect. For those of us who struggle with a tinge or more of ADD, this reverse impact occurs earlier on in amount of caffeine ingested. If I drink more than one large cup, I can actually fall asleep. Other signs of being over-caffeinated are the tingly feeling behind your eyes, the flushed feeling in your face, or the heart-racing in your chest. Additionally, being over-caffeinated results in dehydration as caffeine is a diuretic. When we are dehydrated, guess what happens? We lose our energy and ability to focus.

So initially, caffeine works because it INCREASES receptors of Serotonin (the mood and appetite regulator) and INHIBITS the release of GABA (the chemical that makes us sleepy). It is said to increase metabolism and be the most reliable pre-workout. Woohoo…that’s why we love it, right?

Why does this happen? Because caffeine is directly related to the elevation of the stress response chemical, Cortisol. Don’t forget that Cortisol isn’t all bad…in fact, in addition to giving us extra energy when we need it to climb tall buildings in a single bound or lift weight in the gym, it helps us to burn calories. The issue with elevated Cortisol is how it stresses us out mentally. If we create a more constant condition of higher Cortisol levels in our brain, it also backfires into telling our bodies to hold onto fat as protection. Regulating caffeine intake, then, will help to experience the upside and eliminate the downside of your favorite Joe.

Omega-3 is a healthy fat that helps to natural clear brain fog. Whether you eat a daily supply of fish or make sure that you take your high-quality Omega-3 fish oil supplements, this essential fatty acid has numerous benefits to your mental and physical health. Lack of Omega-3 intake has been linked with “fogginess” in thinking, depression, and anxiety symptoms.

There are other supplements that can help with “brain fog” to increase clarity and concentration. These are sometimes controversial and called “Nootropics”. Do your own research. I happen to like Alpha GPC and LOVE Rhodiola Rosa for increasing brain energy while simultaneously reducing anxiety chemicals and aiding in fat loss. Always check with your healthcare providers before taking any supplement

THE CARB CONNECTION to mood, energy, and focus: too much/too little/just right.

Anti-oxidant Producing Foods to reduce Oxidative Stress:






NOOTROPICS recommended to reduce chronic mental and physical stress:

#1 in cell energizing: MitoQ. This product is the most widely researched product that has proven to protect and nourish healthy cell production and utilization. This is a foundational approach to increasing energy. I will provide a link to MitoQ products soon.

L-theanine 200 mg mental focus, anti-stress without drowsiness, regulation of sleep cycle, reduced irritability

PEA: what is phenylethylamine? An alkaloid...a trace amine...found in foods and produced by our bodies. A wonderful and powerful substance found in a number of foods, that helps to produce a powerful energy and mood-boost. To really feel the benefits, recommend taking a PEA supplement, rather than gorging on chocolate or red wine.

Phenylethylamine is broken down rather quickly in our brains, so the effects are strong but short-lived. “LOVE DRUG”!

Juglans regia is the English or Persian walnut tree that has been used in traditional medicine for many years. Recent clinical research has demonstrated a variety of benefits from this plant including “reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, type II diabetes treatment, and prevention and treatment of certain cancers, and the lessening of symptoms attributed to age-related and other neurological disorders”, reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and antioxidant and anticancer activities. More recently, a particular bark extract of juglans regia – 2-Amino-5-Methylheptane – has been found to be a central nervous system stimulant capable of enhancing energy levels and mental alertness.

I am asked to sample MANY products every year because of my combined mental health and athlete professions. I sample and I rarely fall in love. However, I have not tested Smart Coffee on and off for over a year and have concluded that I absolutely experience improved focus, clarity, mood, and energy when I start my day with it in the morning. The Xanthomax is tricky and I would only recommend that people check with their doctors before using it because of the Chromium in it. That said, I know plenty of people (myself included) who experienced significant appetite-reduction/carb-craving suppression using it, if weight loss is a goal then it could be a good option to help. Smart Coffee is loaded with the ingredients that I love for my brain and body wellness, including all all of the aforementioned. Here's the link to my personal page with this company so you can order yours:


Chromium, without picolinate, is a natural mineral found in many foods such as meat, unprocessed foods, fats and vegetable oil. Specific foods that have chromium in them naturally include carrots, potatoes, broccoli, whole grains and molasses . Other examples include eggs, beef and brewer’s yeast.

Dr. Oz said that about 90% of us may not getting enough chromium absorbed into our body. We eat foods that we think are good for us such as whole grains, but when processed we aren’t left with much nutrients. Chromium is good for insulin function, when we don’t have enough chromium in our body the insulin isn’t functioning optimally.

Chromium Polynicotinate has been touted as a breakthrough in glucose and fat metabolism, weight loss and management of high blood pressure and cholesterol. When chromium, a basic nutrient, is combined with picolinic acid, chromium picolinate is created. Chromium picolinate reduces sugar and carbohydrate cravings. It also suppresses the appetite, which is how it can help lead to weight loss. If you have any liver function issues, however, you need to consult with your doctors for certain.

With all of nootropic products I have tested over the past few years, Nooflux's AXON and ZEN are two that I have found consistently useful for managing mood and enhancing cognitive functioning. They have an open label (full disclosure of what's in it) and lots of research supporting their ingredients.

Axon is helps stimulate the production of proteins associated with brain support and neuron development. By combining ayurvedic herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and choline, Axon helps to improve memory, provides neuroprotection, and stimulates the growth of brain tissue.​ Lion's Mane Mushroom and Bacopa Monnieri are the special nootropics that attracted me to Nooflux's Axom. They do the trick!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, is a remarkable mushroom that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. This mushroom has shown to promote the development of new nerves and to enhance brain function, even after the user has stopped taking it. Very few experience side effects and when they do they are limited to itchy skin, according to Nooflux. Always talk to doctors about any kind of supplementation. I am sharing what I happen to find effective for me and many of my clients. Here's the link to learn more and purchase:

Bacopa Monnieri is one of the oldest and most studied nootropic compounds to date. Bacopa has centuries of use in Ayurvedic medicine as a cognition enhancer, stress reliever, and brain protectant. Bacopa monnieri is different from many modern nootropics as it must be taken over a long period of time to achieve maximum results.


Let's shift gears in this final moment to talk about anti-aging. How much time and money do you invest in skin care products or treatments? Research claims that the average American woman spends nearly $3,000 per year. If so, why wouldn't you want to protect that investment? Chronic stress creates an uphill battle for fighting the aging process on skin (and your brain, of course). To best protect that investment and to enhance the effects of your skincare choices, you MUST do what you can to reduce cortisol levels. To discover the best, consumer rated skincare products and a great community to learn from about skin care itself, read my article on www.thetruthinaging.com and join Marta Worhle's amazing site:



Created with images by aytuguluturk - "mechanical brain man" • Piotr Chrobot - "Fire extinguisher" • Jesper Aggergaard - "neck and shoulder treatment at physical therapist" • rawpixel - "beach book calm"

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