Page 31 - Scene Magazine 45-06 June 2020
P. 31

 Nutrition Scene
   But, as I was trying to find something to write about that would matter at all during such an unbelievably unpredict- able time, I realized that our health, our diet, and our fitness is something we CAN control. It can give us strength, stability, calm our minds, and empower us to do better in our pursuits of life.
I promise. The further benefit is, you won’t get an insulin spike. Repeated insulin spikes don’t just result in weight gain, but also neurological issues, type 2 diabetes, increased triglycerides, and, get this, DEPRESSION.
My second suggestion - when you want to sit in front of the TV and have the bowl of sugar – stop, get on the ground, and do some crunches. Two things happen. 1) your abs will tight-
en, and cause tension on your stom-
ach which can often ease hunger and cravings. 2) You’ll create and use happy hormones while actually working on the summer six pack you’ve wanted (we still do have a summer in 2020, right?). Exercising when you want to relax and escape seems just dumb... until you try it a few times. You might actually be sur- prised at how effective it is in changing your stress and your mood.
So many of us are struggling with our emotions, our finances, our futures, and we look for an escape. According to the American Psychological Society, nearly 50% of American’s “stress eat.” And that is under normal human stress - let’s face it, that number is WAY HIGHER right now. Stress eating has been described
Another HUGE happy hormone releaser is EXERCISE. And not just run- ning on a treadmill or flopping around on the elliptical machine for an hour – weight training, resistance training, good old fashioned push ups and crunches. THESE activities make it easier and easier for your body to use and recognize your happy hormones. Work out freaks aren’t just happy because they feel confi- dent in their skin, their brains secrete and use happy hormones more efficiently!
Lastly, give yourself permission to feel. This isn’t a nutrition thing, this is a human thing. As a parent of four kiddos (three are mine, one belongs to a great dad but I still try to claim him as my own) the past three months have been both amazing, and heartbreaking. Hon- estly, I’ve been unprepared for many of the questions they’ve asked. And, what’s been the most difficult is – I really didn’t have the answers. So, there have been nights when they’ve been off to bed that I felt lost, unqualified, even unworthy to be a parent. And, that’s a feeling I truly would love to escape from, maybe with a bowl of M&M’s. But, I didn’t. I sat with it, owned it, and analyzed it. And what
I discovered was – I’m not the only one without answers. I’m just a dad, doing his best. And that my kids will learn they don’t have to have all the answers, too. And then I ate a bowl of kale. Just kidding.
as, “Permission to desensitize for a brief amount of time.” In essence, you’re giving yourself a break from whatever emotion you are feeling in the moment. When we eat, especially sugar, our body releases dopamine and endorphins, our happy hormones. And, temporarily, our stress diminishes. The key word in that sentence is “temporarily.” Like any drug, sugar only effects our happy hormones for a brief amount of time – if you’re lucky, you get an hour. So, like other drugs, we often have to go for more and more “fixes” in order to maintain our happy high. And, like other drugs, your body will get used to sugar, so you’ll have to use more and more to get the same “relief” you used to experience with less.
So, here’s my suggestion – and I know it won’t be as popular as the bag of M&M’s, but I’m still going to offer it. EVERY DAY get in green, leafy vegeta- bles. Shoot for at least two cups of them in a day (maybe not all and once, break it down if you have to). And, let me add something that I wish was obvious, but might not be – don’t cover your green
With everything going on in our country, and the world for that mat- ter, it almost seems silly to be writing an article about nutrition and health and fitness. Almost.
leafy veggies in ranch dressing. Please. It’s truly not the same.
Increase Your “Happy” Hormones
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However, a far less popular, but far more effective way to increase happy hormones long term, are through B vitamins. And, here’s something even more interesting – they’re most effective from their natural source, instead of a supplement. Now, look, I know I’m not going to start a craze with this, but one thing I can promise you, your mood will improve and last longer with a bowl of broccoli, baby spinach and (don’t hate me) kale, than it will a bag of M&M’s.
I didn’t make that up - it’s science,

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