How to Rewire Your Brain to End Food Cravings

"Update your brain's biological software," says Dr. Mark Hyman. Once you understand the origin of your primitive brain's genetic cravings and how to control them you can start to bring them under control. Dr. Hyman coins a name for our nation's epidemic of diabetes and obesity. He calls it “diabesity” and, he says, it is rooted in our hunter-gatherer ancestry. When our primitive brain meets the modern grocery store with 40,000 products, we are in over our heads. Learn the three simple steps he outlines and be on your way to controlling your cravings and living a better, healthier, happier life.

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This Too Shall Pass

Former TV and radio news reporter, Mona Shand, is now the stay-at-home mother of three young children. She is also in the middle of starting a new home business. In this funny and insightful installment of her blog she puts the trials and tribulations of motherhood into sharp focus. The isolation, the tears, the joy, the sleep deprivation and the fleeting nature of childrearing are touchstones which all mothers recognize and with which we all empathize. If you are just feeling alone or on the verge of a "Mama-pocalypse" you will appreciate her take on the task at hand. 

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Lycopene

Lycopene is the natural pigment in tomatoes that makes them bright red. According to several recent studies, it helps in the prevention of cancer. The health benefits associated with lycopene are due to its antioxidant qualities. It’s more effective than beta-carotene in quashing the free radical singlet oxygen. Primarily located in cell membranes, lycopene keeps cell membranes in good condition which contributes greatly to the prevention of toxicity within those cells. Lycopene is also able to reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease because it stops cholesterol from being oxidized by free radicals. Oxidized cholesterol becomes the plaque that hardens arteries.

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What are Rejuvenating Foods for Summer?

Summer may be winding down, but we still have weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables to look forward to. The World’s Healthiest Foods blogger says that our menus should follow the bounty of the seasons. Cooling foods are in order, and salads, cucumber and melons are especially appropriate. Add protein to a salad with fish or tofu, and enjoy the hydration offered by summer fruits and vegetables. This is not the time for heavy meat, egg, fried food or dairy consumption; lighter is better! Try refreshing mint teas like peppermint or spearmint, or add fresh leaves to soups and salads.

 

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Have You Heard of Orthorexia Nervosa?

The term “Orthorexia Nervosa” was coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, a former chef who was interested in dietary theories. It refers to people who become obsessed about the quality of the food they eat. He says, “People can become so focused on eating a pure diet that planning and preparation of food come to be the dominant role in their lives.” With the “goodness” and “badness” of foods being debated on a regular basis, it can get confusing, and can lead to obsession. What to do? Help your children with balance by modeling it yourself—junk food is okay sometimes.

 

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Mommy Stretches

Mamapedia blogger Lowry Manders shares her daily stretching routine, and then goes on to describe a different way that parents must “stretch” themselves. Speaking with an older relative on a recent family vacation, she learned that her aunt had a difficult time connecting with one of her sons, because he was so different from her. A therapist told her at the time that she needed to “stretch” as a person. Lowry says of parenting, “Our job as parents is to offer unconditional love and acceptance of our children, just as they are.” Our children are not miniature versions of us.

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A Good Night’s Sleep

It’s not just young mothers who wonder if this is possible. Studies show 75% of people experience sleep difficulties, either short term or long term. Chronic sleep deprivation is especially worrisome, and can lead to health problems and depression. How can we improve our sleep habits? Eating late causes our bodies to work at digestion instead of relaxing so we can sleep. Too much caffeine can also cause sleeplessness, as can alcohol. Even drinking water or tea in the evening can cause us to wake up to urinate. Make the bedroom a sanctuary, and avoid working, watching TV or eating there.

 

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GET STARTED with Physical Activity – Walking

If you’re in fairly good health and your body and mind are in synch, you can get started walking. Ruben Guerena says to take it slow at first, and you’ll be amazed at the benefits you receive. He suggests drinking 8-16 oz. of water prior to your walk to ensure hydration. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Bring your music with you, but stay aware of your surroundings. As far as technique goes, be aware of your posture, swing your arms naturally at about waist level, walk with a normal stride, and remember, walking is just part of a healthy lifestyle.

 

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