A new study published in Nature Communication in August by Cedars-Sinai investigators details the endocrine disrupting dangers of certain chemicals including Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT), a commonly added preservative to packaged foods and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a polymer found in non-stick (or teflon) cookware. Specifically, these chemicals have been found to disrupt gut-brain communication, interfering with signals sent from the digestive system to the brain to indicate satiety. As a result of this communication break-down, we might continue eating and over-eat instead of stopping when “full’!
How are you handling Thanksgiving this year? Or the other food-focused winter holidays? Are you plagued with fears of political arguments and mired in post-election hysteria? Wondering how you will handle the not-so delicate political disagreements table-side?
Some of you that I hang out with on Facebook have already heard…. I ate gluten on Saturday! No, I didn’t get cross-contaminated, I straight-up ate wheat!
By choice? No.
By my own flagrant stupidity. Yes.
I’m one of those annoying people to eat out with that asks the servers a gazillion questions and after they answer, I ask the same questions (possibly reworded). People who live the carefree life of eating whatever they want tend to not so enjoy eating out with me! Let me tell you… It makes for some awkward first dates!
There is a restaurant in Denver where I eat fairly often and have never been cross-contaminated, never had the server roll eyes at me, never been given the confused look for asking about types of ingredients or cooking processes and never received exasperated sighs of frustration as my order more resembles an algebra problem than a meal—“Can I have x without y, except for when z is present? Please?”
So as is usual, we ordered food, informing our waiter that we are severely gluten sensitive and confirmed that she wrote down our gluten status on the ticket. She however, forgot to type-in “gluten free” when she entered our ticket into the system for the chefs.
The first step to changing your relationship to food is to understand that relationship. Uncontrollable food cravings can make changing to a healthier lifestyle daunting and depressing. Social stigmatization can make it overwhelming and feel futile. Some friends, family, lovers, coaches and practitioners may even make you feel like there is something wrong with you because you can’t control your urges for certain foods; however, succumbing to sugar cravings is rarely a matter of willpower.
Once you understand the biological mechanics around food cravings, you can take steps to make lasting changes to your diet that will leave you happier, healthier and not feeling deprived. Realize that sugar cravings are not just cravings for that white powdery stuff, but also the foods sugar goes in (e.g. cakes, cookies, processed foods, fast foods, soda, etc.) and those foods that convert into sugar in the body (e.g. anything containing grains, such as breads and pastas; as well as higher glycemic vegetables such as potatoes and cravings of potato chips and French fries; and even fruits and fruit juice).
This article is part of a series of articles on supporting you to control your sugar cravings. Each article uncovers a different cause of your sugar cravings.
A Cause: Imbalanced Neurotransmitters – Maybe it’s all in your head…
If you have food sensitivities—you have leaky gut. If you have bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth or a parasitic infection—you have leaky gut. If you have an autoimmune disease, you at one time had leaky gut and may still have it. Hyper-permeability of the small intestinal mucosal lining or leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is extremely common yet rarely diagnosed. It is responsible for autoimmune diseases (not just celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease), all food sensitivities (not just those with gastrointestinal-type symptoms) and the development of all sorts of nasty opportunistic critter take-overs. It is even a causal factor in psoriasis and the autism spectrum! So what say you? Shall we get our gut junctions closing again—stat?
What is Arthritis? And why are you lumping other forms of pain in with it?
The word “arthritis” simply means “joint inflammation.” There are generally believed to be two types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is inflammation caused by degeneration of the joint and is due to chronic wear and tear—often of the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints—often in the hands.
Chronic experiences of pain, be it arthritis or some other form, are most often amplified, if not caused by, inflammation.
We are always being told to not judge a book by its cover… to avoid being judgmental. But that is BAD advice when it comes to health. We MUST be judgmental. In this video, I share three examples, two that are very pertinent to the gluten intolerant community and one that is relevant to everyone.
Please share how you have found being judgmental beneficial to your health!
No—it actually isn’t true at all. The truth is that we are what we digest. To digest foods the body must concentrate blood flow to the digestive organs, to properly absorb nutrients for energy and cellular regeneration.
Unfortunately, this state of digestion and nutrient absorption only happens when the body is in a state of stillness—under control by the parasympathetic nervous system. Our body does not digest when we are walking, agitated or in a state of stress. During these times our blood is shunted away from our digestive organs and into our extremities, in preparation for “fight or flight”.
But guess what? Though we are rarely conscious of it, we are almost always in “fight or flight mode!” Unfortunately we live in a world that runs on full throttle. A fast-paced society built on over-extending ourselves. Most of us are consistently controlled by our sympathetic nervous system and the result is diarrhea, constipation, alternating diarrhea and constipation, malnourishment, depletion, fatigue and burn-out.
Luckily, it’s easy to pop the switch from being in the sympathetic to parasympathetic. No, I’m serious. Easy. This isn’t some crazy, difficult, involved diet that you probably won’t keep up with. Nope. This is easy. It takes less than 10 seconds per meal to vastly improve your digestive fire. In the video below, I share this 10 second secret to igniting your digestive fire. I promise… EASY!
As Valentine’s Day nears, I just can’t help but to bring up the discussion of constipation, because let’s face it… It is impossible to feel sexy when you are all clogged-up!
In 1991, 4.5 million people in the US indicated that they are constipated most or all of the time (that’s about 1 in 61 people). Let me reiterate… constipation all or most of time! That’s an awful lot of time to be clogged-up. And how difficult is it to be creative, be vibrant, be creating beneficial change in the world when your body is full of it? Pretty darn difficult.
Constipation results in about 2 million visits to the doctor each year and Americans spend $725 million dollars on over-the-counter laxatives each year! That’s a lot of money being flushed down the toilet! Unfortunately, laxatives are the exact opposite of what people should be doing to deal with constipation. Laxatives are like putting a bandaid filled with broken glass on an open wound and expecting not only for the wound to stop bleeding, but for it to heal all quick and clean-like.
In this video, I discuss getting to the root of your constipation, instead of bandaiding it and making it worse. I also talk about the importance of serotonin as related to our digestion and how all of us, constipated or not could and should boost serotonin naturally. Oh and for the lovers out there, make sure to listen for the tip on how we can get all of our juices flowing.
Now it’s your turn. Have you uncovered what causes constipation for you? How do you stay regular? What works for you to keep things moving?
Discover more on how to promote happy digestion by signing up for our free Digestive Health Video Training Series.
I try to support people with whole foods as much as possible, but sometimes it is necessary to use a nutrient to support your health goals. If you are addicted to sugar or refined carbohydrates, now may be one of those times. In this video I share a nutrient that many of us are depleted in that can trick your body into thinking it’s getting glucose so it stops craving glucose (aka sugar and refined carbohydrates).
This tip will work for you if you have imbalanced blood sugar. So, if you get 3pm cravings every day for sugary foods, bready foods and caffeine and you are in a slump—this tip is for you. If you get shaky if you skip meals or get “bitchy” when you haven’t eaten—this tip is for you too! Watch the video!
Suggested amount for emergency craving: 500 mg sprinkled under your tongue (use powdered form or open a capsule). For restoring systemic imbalance: Two 500 mg capsules (or powder) three times a day between meals until cravings are no longer an issue.
For those of us that experience these symptoms, your blood sugar disregulation may be the cause of your sugar cravings and every time your blood sugar drops too low, you will get sugar cravings. Although the quick fix offered in the video will be helpful, you also need to work on the longer-term solution to supporting your health and balancing your blood sugar.
And consider joining the Vitality Transformation Blueprint Group to support you to improve your blood sugar balance, kick sugar to the curb, take control of all of your cravings, improve your comfort in the kitchen, skyrocket your energy and so much more. The next in person Denver group starts March 3 and the next virtual group for non-Denverites starts the first week of April (email katie(at)nourishedhealth(dot)com for more info).
Please feel free to share your tips below in the comments for “kicking the crack”… crack sugar that is.
Would you like to learn more? Check out our free Anti-Inflammatory Video Training Series.