Tuesday, January 13, 2009

5 Ways to Avoid Emotional Eating

Here's a quick quiz for you: when you feel emotional and stressed out, what kinds of food do you eat?

If you're like most of us, your answer might be sugar, caffeine, salty foods, or nothing at all. It's the strangest paradox of all. When we're emotionally stressed out and really need good nutrients, we reach for foods that have the least nutrients of all. We fall into the trap of emotional eating, which actually causes us to feel more stressed than ever, even if we feel a bit better in the moment.

For instance, caffeine and sugar can cause your blood sugar to plummet after an hour or two. Plus, caffeine can cause increased stress in your heart rate, respiration, muscle coordination, and thought processes. Emotional eating helps you feel better in the short term, but can really cause a serious physical and emotional crash later.

Stress and nutrients are closely intertwined. When we're stressed, eating right can help us get rid of that stress, since stress increases the need for certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And when we eat right, we're less likely to get stressed because our bodies and minds have all the nutrients they need to handle stressful situations.

How can you take simple steps to eat right and avoid emotional eating? Check these quick fixes for stress reduction and good nutrition:

1. Avoid Heavy Sweets
If you've got a sweet tooth when you're stressed, try eating sweet fruits such as bananas, peaches, and melons instead. Or, try a cup of honey-lemon tea with plenty of honey. Honey won't strip your body of vital nutrients and lemon has a refreshing zing that will keep you awake. As a bonus, during the winter honey is actually warming to the body while sugar makes you feel cold. Honey also satisfies your sweet tooth when you feel the need for emotional eating.

2. Make Wise Choices Automatic
When you feel highly emotional it can be hard to slow down and choose the best foods to eat. It is more tempting to reach for the nearest snack foods, which are usually loaded with sugar or caffeine. To avoid this temptation, bring healthy snacks with you to eat during the day, including apples and peanut butter or celery with cream cheese. Even string cheese and a handful of nuts are better for you than a candy bar.

3. Hydrate
Drink pure water to refresh and cleanse your body and brain. Water is essential to every function in your body, and the more stressed you are, the more water you need. If you drink coffee, drink two cups of water for every cup of coffee. The same formula holds true for sodas. If you have trouble drinking enough water, try adding lime or sea salt to improve the taste. If you feel the urge for emotional eating, drink one glass of water first, then stop and consider your foods choices. The water will give you a feeling of fullness and give you a little extra time to prevent a food binge.

4. Digest
No matter what you choose to eat, taking food enzymes with every meal will improve your digestion and help you get the most out of everything you eat. Better digestion leads to higher energy, which means you won't feel so stressed. Less stress in turn helps you avoid emotional eating.

5. Get Enough Green

Eating green foods can give you a serious nutritional boost because chlorophyll plays a huge part in your body's health. For instance, research shows that chlorophyll is effective in rebuilding the blood, stimulating liver function, strengthening immunity, and detoxifying chemical pollutants. Numerous recent studies have also indicated that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. In short, getting enough chlorophyll can help you feel more vital and less stressed, which equals less emotional eating. Chlorophyll is found in highest concentrations in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as wheat grass and blue-green algae.

Cheers,
Alan

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Daily Energy – Get Yours from 3 Simple Sources

Did you know that according to a study published in "USA Today" 26% of Americans claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a month? A further 24% of those surveyed claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a week. Many sources report that Americans are sleep-deprived and lacking in daily energy. Most of those Americans reach for coffee in the morning and energy drinks in the afternoon. If you do the same, then you know all about the crash that happens in the late afternoon or evening. It's not a pretty picture.

Luckily there are simple and natural supplement sources you can use to boost your daily energy that can help you avoid an energy crash by the end of the day. Most people don't know about these sources or overlook them as they reach for the caffeine. These sources include Coenzyme Q10, DHEA, and glycogen.

** Coenzyme Q10 **
Most scientists estimate that you have about 100 trillion cells in your body, and every one of those cells needs to be fed if you want to have a high level of daily energy. To feed your cells you need Coenzyme Q10. According to an article in "M. D. News," Coenzyme Q10 works with our cells to produce 95% of the energy our bodies use. So when you don't have enough Coenzyme Q10 in your body, which happens as you age, you feel tired. The same article points out that when you buy Coenzyme Q10 make sure you are getting Q10 and not the lesser versions, such as Coenzyme Q1 through Q9 (which are often found at your local drugstore). Finally, most people need 10 to 30 mg of Coenzyme Q10 daily to get benefit.

** DHEA **
Most people associate DHEA, which is dehydro-epiandrosterone, with menopausal women since it is the precursor of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. But recent research (and there have been more than 5,000 articles published on the positive health effects of supplemental DHEA in the last 5 years) indicates that DHEA plays a vital part in cellular energy production. As we age, our bodies produce less and less DHEA, which means that we feel less and less energetic. Translation? If you need more daily energy, don't reach for the caffeine. Instead, reach for a bottle of DHEA. Most adults feel an increase in energy with just 100 mg per day.

** Glycogen **
Last but not least on the list of daily energy supplements is glycogen. Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. In a cave man, the liver would use glycogen any time the "fight or flight" response was triggered. In modern times our bodies need glycogen any time we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are meats including liver and most cuts of meat available in your grocery store. Another alternative is properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. This algae's cell wall is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away. So if you're on the run and don't have time to stop by the cafeteria for liver and onions, pop a couple of capsules of blue-green algae and you'll have daily energy to spare!

You don't have to give yourself the caffeine jitters or sleep around the clock to get more daily energy. The natural sources of daily energy described in this article are simple and effective ways you can use to help you make it through your day. When adding any of these items to your daily regimen, always start with a small quantity first and increase the amount as necessary until you get the desired results. With any of the pill-based supplements, taking them with food may decrease the effect but may also help you gauge the effects gradually and safely.

Cheers,
Alan