Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bad digestions...Help!

This is a typical day for many of you: You have had lunch and you go straight to carry on working.

Suddenly, oh dear, you start to feel bloated like a balloon, heavy and thirsty, and also terribly sleepy...

Where did it all go wrong?

A few things could make you feel this way:

- Overeating
- Too many carbohydrates, too little protein
- Eating too fast
- Talking too much
- Eating foods with sulfur
- Eating foods that are difficult to digest

We have 3 issues> Heaviness, drowsiness and bloating
Heaviness and bloating from overeating and eating too fast, and drowsiness from too many carbs.

We know that overeating is typically the main reason of feeling too heavy. Not listening to your stomach needs and eating in less than 20 minutes won't allow your brain to process the fullness feeling. You end up stuffed like a turkey. Use the hunger scale and eat consciously:

The hunger scale helps you to put more attention on your actual physical needs. Always aim to stay between 5-7

Digestion starts up there in your mouth, not in your stomach. Which means that consciously chewing your food will ease the digestion process and you will also enjoy much more the different flavors of the food. That's why eating too fast won't allow the saliva to mix well with the food and the enzymes won't work properly. Your stomach will need to work much harder and of course a lot of blood circulation will go there.

Feeling sleepy is the cause of all the above, the natural process of our body to slow down a bit after a stressful morning, plus the addition of a meal  full of heavy carbohydrates. Why?

Well, there is a difference in the way neurotransmitters are released when we eat carbs or proteins.

Carbohydrate effect:
Bread, pasta, potatoes....---> Absorption of Tryptophan aminoacid---> Serotonin is released: Relaxing and calming effect

Protein effect:
Meat, eggs, fish, legumes, cheese--->Absorption of Tyrosine aminoacid---> Dopamine is released: Alert and awake

There you have the key to your endless Sunday siestas.

For this reason, remember that if you still want to feel in a good mood, productive and awake after lunch, and don't want to fall sleep on your desk, balance your meal. Eat the right portions of carbohydrates and  protein, remember the Ideal Plate:

1/2 vegetables and fruit
1/4 carbs
1/4 proteins


Difficult digestions could be caused by certain foods as well, like:

- The Brassicas genus> Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts... contain Sulfur and are great for your health but very gassy...
- The Allium genus > Garlics, onions and leeks all of them contain sulfur too.
- Too much insoluble fiber and legumes

So, don't let your lunch give you bad digestion, you have enough with your daily stress!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer: Your Opportunity To Change / Llega el verano, es la oportunidad para el cambio!

It 's summer time, it's hot and sticky (or maybe it's freezing cold... if you read me from the other hemisphere of the planet!) and we are on holidays...So we have two sides of the coin: 

1- We put on weight

2- We lose weight

N.1 is pretty common when eating lots of ice creams and drinks and stop exercising, because it is hot and sweat gets in between the goal of staying fit.
N.2 is also common, as it is the time of the year when we are more motivated to look our best and trim down a bit. The cold meals help a lot: more salads and fruits , less hot chocolate and cakes. For those on track with their health this comes almost naturally because their lifestyle and eating habits adjust to the hot season.

It is ok to lose weight in summer time and perfectly natural to do so as our body will adjust a bit later on in winter time due to the different foods we ingest. However, the opposite is not very desirable because the weight we put on in summer can stay with us during winter. Summer gives us the big opportunity of the year to Change the way we eat and the way we want our health to be for good.

How do we manage to stay perfectly balanced in our diet and lifestyle?
- Eat less
- Exercise more

Yes, you know it already... but you might not have the determination and willingness for a commitment.One of the reasons why for many people it is difficult that change is because they set the goal too high.
Would you like to change your health habits? Take small steps, baby steps! Don't get overwhelmed and you will reach your goal!

3 things that get on your way , Lets tackle them!

These are very typical thoughts for delaying and/or losing motivation:

- "It is my guilty pleasure" : Do you love your croissant for breakfast everyday? or ice cream everyday? or chorizo? Don't go cold turkey, instead of cutting off the croissant, the chocolate or chorizo, adjust slowly the frequency. Have a croissant 3 times/week for 2 weeks and then 1/week for another 2 weeks.

Now Fill the gap with good, tasty and healthy alternatives:

*wholesome toasts with avocado or compote
*refreshing bowls of fruit and cereals with frozen yogurt
*braised turkey or smoked salmon.

- " I'm so sad/bored... let's see what is in the fridge": Do you over eat when you are stressed? Emotional eating perhaps? When we eat because we are stressed, bored or moody we are maybe avoiding, delaying certain issue or worrying about future. What can we do?

- Go for a walk

- Take a full deep breath! This is actually one of the most effective ways to release anxiety

- Distract yourself with something you really love for 5 minutes, after that your mind game(yes/no) will stop

- Be conscious of your real needs: Am I really hungry or is it just craving?

- Brush your teeth

- Drink water

- Have plenty of healthy alternatives  to those biscuits you might make off : cherries, strawberries or cherry tomatoes. Don't overstock your cupboard on unhealthy foods.

- "I hate sweating": Yes, in summer we sweat more than what we usually do. But, this is no excuse to no exercising. Also, this is a catch-22 ,cause the more body weight you carry the more uncomfortable you feel with the sweat and the less you want to exercise.
Ask yourself: How will I feel if I do it? and How will I feel if I don't do it?
Moving will make you lose weight ,which will help you feel less sweaty and in better form. Instead of seeing the negative things and making excuses, seek the alternatives when it's too hot and the positive things that will have in your determination to reach your goal:

-Swimming and pool aerobics
-Beach walks
-Evening or early morning walks: cooler and beautiful atmosphere
-Cycling around the park

+ It dissipates all worries and makes you feel happy--->Say hi to the endorphin rush in your brain!
+ It reduces those emotional cravings---> your stress hormones decrease
+ Think of the feeling of being under the wonderful cold shower afterwards

GREAT HABITS ARE FORMED DAILY. Truth be told, good eating habits and exercise requires consistent commitment and being great isn't easy, that's why we all admire healthy and fit people. But you can also be one! So how great you want to be?

Come on! Start now before summer is gone!!!

Finally, some Food for thought: