Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chemical mood boosters and weightloss part 2

Endorphins are natural chemicals made in the brain that have very similar
qualities to Opium.  When it comes to helping us alleviate pain, feel more relaxed,
and putting a big smile in our hearts...endorphins (along with serotonin)
are one of the best "medicines"

Many things occur in our daily lives that effect our moods, emotions.  Stress, pain, and
relationship interactions are some of things things that can cause us to have lows or
down times.  At times like these, our brain wants to "feel happy".  So, food
cravings come into play.  High fat combined with high sugar foods stimulate guess what?  Yep, this is one of the biggest reasons we tend
 to eat foods that...contribute to weight gain.  
So...what can we do to steer clear of foods that are unhealthy and only give us
a temporary lift of spirits?  Chances are we won't be able to get rid of all outside
sources of emotional and/or physical stress.  Some people can just recognize a
bad craving and decide not to eat...wait out the urge.  But, if you are like me,
that is VERY difficult to do.  According to research...the following are some
means of help to stave off cravings for bad foods that make us gain weight.
1) Eating a breakfast with protein and complex carbs 
2) Eating small healthy snacks throughout the day       
   3) Eating high fiber gives the feeling of fullness                
   4)  and last but MOST important we can have our        
happy "medicine" by                               


Even mild exercise for about 30 minutes, releases
 endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals that
lift mood, help us to feel more calm and even helps to lessen pain.

What are some things YOU might do to avoid emotional eating?
I've turned to food many times to make myself feel better...even tho
I try hard to keep "bad foods" out of my home.  I still seem to find things
that I can eat, when my brain is screaming to get a food boost. 
 I need to think ahead...have a plan in mind...a plan with things that
 I can do to boost my emotions - other than food.
Maybe...SEW instead?  or maybe watch a comedy show?
What are some ideas that YOU might have?  Are there things that YOU do
to avoid emotional eating? 


Chedder Muffins with Spinach and Broccoli

1 muffin about 140 calories

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 scallions finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
3/4 cup thawed frozen spinach, squeeze dry
3/4 (1%) milk
2 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 cup wheat flour
     *(original recipe had 2 cups of white flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
      *(original recipe had 1.5 cups of extra sharp cheese
         and no Swiss cheese)
1 cup (2%) Swiss cheese

--Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin pan with paper liners
--Heat 1T of oil in large skillet, add scallions and garlic cooking until
       softened, remove from heat and stir in broccoli & spinach
--Beat eggs and milk with remaining 3T of oil in a large bowl.  Add
       (premixed flours), sugar, baking powder, stirring just until blended.
       Fold in the spinach-broccoli mixture and cheeses
--Spoon the batter into the muffin cups (2/3 full).  Bake until lightly
       browned...30-35 minutes.  Cool on rack and serve warm.


 ~~ Ruby's Report ~~

Treadmill - I did a minimum of 2 miles...6 days this week.  I also did one
day at 3 miles.  I'm now working to do at least 2 days each week
with 2.5-3 miles.
Food - I started eating plain low cal dark chocolate squares when I felt like
a treat.  That held my cravings for sweets at bay.  I've been doing pretty
good with my fluid intake.  I still need to eat more veggies and fruit.  This
next week I am going to try to get in at least 3 cups of fruit and 5 cups of
veggies...I'm gonna see if I can measure and write it down.  I will keep
track on my phone.

Weight (loss?) - I'm up .2  - I feel like my body is at a plateau...I need to
fire up the metabolism...not sure how to do that. 

Last weeks winner is
JAIMIE (blog) her comment last week...
"I've been walking more since I've been reading your tips
and I'm down a jean size

Here is what she won!
There will be more prizes... now and then.  So keep
commenting and setting goals =)

==================================================== we'z just wonderin'  how did things go this week for...
What goals would you like to set for next week?
Maybe some goals to get some of that "Happy Brain Medicine"?


Jennie P. said...

Those muffins look delicious! Hooray for you for walking 2+ miles. That is quite a distance. I used to walk and run a lot. I really need to do that again.

Gosh that picture of the kitty resting on the dog's head is just killing me. So darn cute!

KatieQ said...

It's definitely true about exercise and endorphins. I only got to exercise once this week and I can feel a big difference in my body and my mood. No weight gain and I did manage to drink my 64oz of water everyday. Next week, I am determined to get to exercise at least 4 times.

Needled Mom said...

The muffins look delicious and sound so healthy.

I do best if I do not have snack stuff around.

Janet said...

I actually didn't clearly know that cravings for sugar and fat are instigated by a need for seratonin... Thanks for that. And I happened to read it just as I am craving sugar...

Vroomans' Quilts said...

OK did you see that lady in the back with the hula hoop around her ankles - that's me! Not really, but that's how co-ordinated i am. I have been pretty good with my on-going system, which for the winter, is good. With the bad weather, made my walk around the house - have one of those long hallways that openes with 2 doors into to large rooms on both sides - so can really do 'laps' and my furries have joined in with a bit of tag-catch me if you can thing too.

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

I'm so pumped to have won! Thank you! This week I have done really well. I like to eat salads from McDonald's, so I've gotten them a few times to keep my calories low, and so far I've lost 6 pounds in about 3 weeks. I am down a whole jeans size. My goal: every week I plan to walk every day (I have a 3 year old and 1 year old who must accompany me). So, lately I've been wearing the 1 year old which adds 24 extra pounds and helps up the intensity. I push the 3 year old, which is a lot of work on hills. And my goal: to go for a walk every day. That way, if it's a good day, I absolutely go. On a rainy day, I'll skip it unless there's a break in the rain. A really cold day, I'll just have to pass. But with the mentality that I will do every day, I end up doing more than I probably would if I just said 3-4 days a week. Last week I did some jogging on my walks, and a few days later could feel the difference in my pants and shirt sleeves. Hooray!!!

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

ps It also helps that I ate every single box of Girl Scout cookies my husband brought home, so I won't be tempted with them anymore now that they are all eaten:)

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I actually saw a number on the scale this morning that I haven't seen in about 8 months. That felt good! When I want a snack, I have homemade oatmeal cookies. There is a lot of oatmeal in them. I also add cranberries and golden raisins, an to a whole batch, about 3/4 c. of dark chocolate chips. I use only brown sugar, I add an extra egg, and I use real butter. Every time I have these around, my weight goes down. I suspect it's because there's so much fiber, and no plastic.

Emma said...

If you feel like you are plateauing, you might want to consider taking a probiotic supplement. Not just eating yogurt or one of the yogurt shots, but a pill full of good bacteria that are dried and won't get killed by your stomach acid as soon as you eat them.

Did you know that most of the good bacteria in yogurt dies as soon as it hits your stomach? I didn't. But they do. :( I still eat yogurt, but my husband and I started taking a super-strong probiotic last week and it's doing wonders. We have a few funny stomach symptoms but it's overall positive.

Why probiotics though? Because when doctors look at the good guys living in the intestines of a healthy-weight person and compare it to the intestines of an obese person, there isn't a thing in common. There are certain bacteria that all healthy-weight people have in common that aren't in an obese person's system. The good bacteria can actually stop you from having cravings for sweets too - the bacteria in obese peoples' systems are sugar-eaters, so when you don't have enough sugar, they release a chemical that can cause you to crave sugar so the bacteria can eat. If you kick those bad guys out of your guts, they initially will fight and you'll crave sugar, but once they're gone, you won't crave it nearly as much.

I've been doing a lot of research on this, if you can't tell! Oh, and I'm down in waist size, but I don't know weight. And that's without changing my diet except to add in probiotics and I upped the exercise a tiny bit this week.

Miss Hillbilly said...

I just downloaded a few apps for my Kindle (my mother in law gave us a Kindle fire.) The apps are 5 minute exercises for when you are anywhere and have some time. My plan is when the stress hits--grab my Kindle and do a 5 minute exercise.

Emma's comment has me intrigued.