Food cravings affect everyone at some point in time. Do you long for salty or sweet snacks? or both? For me, I crave salt. Sometimes, a craving could indicate that there is something lacking in your diet but for the most part, we crave things we’re not ‘supposed’ to eat, especially during times when we’re not supposed to eat them.
Last week, I was grocery shopping and saw a product with cheese in it that my mind tried very hard to convince me that I needed. Imagine that, even though I’m lactose intolerant, my cravings run so deep in my nervous system that I wanted to eat it!
I had a mental battle going on in my head where one side was coming up with reasons for why I should eat it i.e. it’s just a treat, you have been so good avoiding it, a little bit won’t hurt and the other side of my mind was fighting just as hard i.e. you’re doing great, don’t give in and you can walk away.
At one point, I actually picked up the product, put it in my basket and then was able to take it back out and put it back on the shelf. I proceeded to run away from that aisle and out the store. Close call. By the end of it all, my mind felt fatigued with all the decisions and mental gymnastics, however I was proud for putting the item back. I had won this round in mental toughness yet I knew there was still a long way to go.
I also notice that I have more food cravings during times of increased emotional or mental stress when my body is in fight or flight mode. Food cravings also signal to me that it’s time to take care of my body and get it checked for neuro abnormalities (i.e. physical, emotional or mental stress).
Next time you find yourself face to face with chocolate or chips that you’re not supposed to eat, see it as an opportunity to practice your mental toughness skills. Or, do what I did, put the item down and run out of the store.
Last week, I was in a rush at work because some patients came early, others were late and showed up without calling and I was trying to juggle too many things at once. I felt like I was running around everywhere, and I was.
All of a sudden, in my haste, my dress got caught at the corner of one of my tables and I scraped and bruised my knee. Ouch! The pain stopped me right in my tracks. I paused, took a breath and instead of worrying about catching up, my attention was shifted to tending to my wound. I had been in such a rush in my mind and now, I was brought back into the present by my body.
I took this injury as a sign from my body to S-L-O-W Down.
So, other than injuring yourself, what are some ways your body is telling your to slow down?
If your body is telling you to rest, listen! If you notice any of these secondary conditions, let me know at your next visit and we can teach your body some new strategies. Listen to your body!
Ever have one of those days where you wished you stayed in bed that morning? I had one of those recently.
I woke up late so I skipped my meditation and morning exercise and things went downhill from there. I forgot my lunch, couldn’t figure out the numbers for my accounting…..Nothing seemed to turn out as I had planned or imagined it would. By the evening, I was tired, frustrated, grumpy and worn out.
I then thought to myself, what can I do right now to feel better? My brain said, eat junk food. So I ate junk food….bad choice, I felt worse after.
Next, I decided to change my question. What can I be grateful for right now? The answer that came to me was “the sunset” which represented the ability to start over again tomorrow. So I drove out to a secret or not so secret place behind the airport to watch the planes fly into Ottawa and to watch the sunset.
It was one of those beautiful sunsets on a warm summer night that lights up the entire sky. Just when I thought the sun had gone down, I looked up and saw the silver lining. Literally. That magical moment where a silver line appears in the sky just as the sun goes down. I smiled to myself and was filled with gratitude.
I then remembered a quote from Og Mandino “I will live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.”
No matter how bad a day, there’s always a silver lining. Next time you have a ‘bad’ day. The question to ask is, what am I grateful for today?
If anyone is interested in source of the Og Mandino Quote. It comes from the Scroll Marked 5: Live each day as if it were your last
This week's guest blog post is brought to you by Amy Longard, Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Have you ever noticed that your mood takes a turn for the worse if you skip a meal? Do you ever feel tired, lethargic or just plain cranky in the afternoon? If you've experienced this, you'll know that it's not enjoyable for you or for those around you. A good way to avoid these unpleasant situations is to fuel up on foods that keep your blood sugar balanced. Making smart choices will not only improve your health, but also your mood, energy levels, creativity, and memory. Below I’ll tell you about how our food choices can impact our blood sugar balance and how to avoid the dreaded highs and lows.
Our brains require glucose to function properly. When blood sugar (blood glucose) drops too low you'll notice changes in cognition and mood. You may experience impaired memory, irritability, slowed thinking, or even feelings of depression. For example, if you consume a lot sugary foods your blood sugar levels will spike. When this happens, your pancreas pumps out insulin to help regulate and store any excess glucose found in your blood. In this situation, the body often produces more insulin than needed and, all of a sudden, you've gone from very high blood sugar to very low blood sugar. What happens next? Lethargy, fatigue and cravings for sugary, sweet foods. At this point, you’ll reach for something sugary and sweet, and the cycle continues on.
To prevent this emotional, psychological, and physiological roller coaster, focus your diet on healthy, whole proteins, carboh ydrates, and fats. Your meals should include lots of fresh produce (particularly vegetables; extra points for leafy greens), whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and good quality oils (like extra virgin olive oil and unrefined coconut oil). Why? Because these foods will nourish and satiate you by providing a balanced mix of vital micro and macronutrients. You'll feel full longer, you’ll be more energetic, and you’ll keep your blood sugar stable.
Healthy snacks also are a great tool to help balance blood sugar. Having a little bite to eat both mid-morning and mid-afternoon will provide that little top up of glucose your brain needs to continue functioning at full capacity until your next meal. Some healthy snack options include a handful of trail mix, an apple, rice cakes with almond or peanut butter, granola and yogurt, or hummus with veggies. I’ve included one of my favorite snack recipes below.
You’ll want to limit sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. In moderation, most of these things are okay, but be aware that they can trigger blood sugar irregularities. These products are very low in nutrients and high in calories, offering little to no health benefit, and leading to an instant spike in blood sugar. It’s okay to indulge from time to time, but balance is key. If you consume mostly healthy, whole foods your diet will contain m ore mood-boosting nutrients. You’ll also be healthier and happier, with balanced blood sugar to boot.
Amy Longard, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) www.amylongard.com
Raw Zuccini Almond Dip
The back to school buzz is in the air and parents are singing ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year” while kids are mourning the loss of their summer. With the start of a new school year, kids can experience anxiety, especially if they are going into a new school, attending school for the first time or meeting a new teacher.
Anxiety in children can show up in different ways. Clinging onto parents, acting up, wetting the bed when they don’t usually, avoiding social situations or even physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches.
Here are some tips to curb back to school anxiety:
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.