Aug 262016
migraines headaches

Stress Eating and Migraines

If you have ever had a splitting headache with pain far more severe than a typical headache, you might actually be suffering from migraines. While often called a ‘migraine headache’ it isn’t the same thing. A migraine, which affects about 38 million Americans each year, causes severe pain that is debilitating and often keeps you from normal activities. It is not uncommon to need darkness and quiet when going through one. Stress eating can often contribute to migraines since certain foods tend to be migraine triggers. Here are some things you should know about the link between stress and migraines, particularly when you start to stress eat.

Common Migraine Triggers

Before exploring the link between what you eat while stressed and how that choice can trigger a migraine, it will help to understand the different causes of migraines. You will notice many of these triggers are easily preventable, which will help reduce the frequency or severity of the pain.

Ten common migraine triggers are:

1. Hormonal changes, such as menstrual periods, menopause, and pregnancy
2. Alcohol
3. Caffeine
4. Food and food additives
5. Sensory stimuli, such as a bright sun glare or the smell of paint thinner
6. Physical factors like physical exertion
7. Insomnia
8. Stress
9. Medications
10. Environmental changes

About Stress Eating

Once you realize how many migraine triggers have to do with stress and the food or drinks you consume, we can now talk about stress eating. “Stress eating” is the habit of going for fattening and carbohydrate-driven foods when stressed or anxious. You might go through the Burger King drive-thru after a bad day at work or eat half a batch of chocolate chip cookies worrying about finances. Stress eating will temporarily make you feel like the stress isn’t a concern because eating is a distraction. However, stress eating is a harmful habit that hurts you physically and mentally.

Foods That Can Trigger Migraines

There are also many foods and ingredients that will cause migraines, which is another reason stress eating can lead to these painful encounters. For example, foods that are fried or high in carbohydrates can lead to migraines due to the negative effect they have on your body.

Other foods that often trigger migraines include:

MSG – This is an additive often found in restaurant foods to increase its flavor. Ask the restaurant if they use MSG and look for a NO MSG label on packaged and processed foods.

Caffeine – Caffeine can help avoid migraines, but only if you are used to drinking it. This is due to the response your body goes through during caffeine withdrawal. However, if you drink too much caffeine, it can also lead to migraines.
Beans – Beans may seem like a healthy food, but if you tend to consume navy or kidney beans in your stress eating meals, they might be causing your migraines.

Fruit – Many people are surprised that eating fruit while stress eating can cause migraines. Only some fruits should be avoided by migraine sufferers, including dried fruits and bananas. Dried fruits have sulfites and bananas have tyramine, both of which cause migraines. Tyramine is also found in processed food, so that should be avoided.

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Aug 242016
stress eating

Stress Eating VS Cravings: Knowing the Difference

If you have a habit of getting fast food, eating a pint of ice cream, or binge eating when you have had a bad day, you are probably stress eating. It can give you a short-lived feeling of relief from financial, marital, family, or work stress. You distract your mind and only focus on the food you are eating. The problem is that most people go for the really bad food when stress eating. You are more likely to get a donut than a banana when stress eating in the morning, or hit up McDonald’s for a cheeseburger instead of making a salad at home. However, there is also the concern that you are truly hungry, and not just eating due to stress. Here are some ways to tell the difference.

How do you know you are stress eating?

The biggest problem is figuring out whether you are stress eating or mindful eating. With stress eating, it is directly due to emotions, which is why many people refer to it as emotional eating. Here are some common signs of stress eating:

A. Wanting the most fattening food to make it “worth it”
B. Telling yourself you NEED this food to make you feel better
C. Eating more than normal after a bad day or situation
D. Having specific foods you always crave after dealing with stress
E. Experiencing the “craving” come on suddenly

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is the practice of eating only when you are truly hungry. This is when you have food cravings based on needing sustenance, not on feeding your emotions. Sometimes, your body can trick you into thinking you’re hungry, even if you are in between meals and shouldn’t be having such intense cravings. This is where a lot of the confusion lies. With mindful eating, you really need to focus in on the signals your body is giving you.

What are some ways to find out if you’re genuinely hungry?

This can be the tricky part, but there are a few ways you can figure out if you are actually hungry or if the cravings are due to stress. First of all, consider what you are going through and how you feel. Are you overwhelmed by negative emotions? Did you just have a fight with your partner? Are you dealing with major financial or work stress? These are common reasons to stress eat. Here are some other ways to figure out if you are dealing with hunger cravings or stress eating cravings:

1. Drink a glass of water and have a piece of fruit. If you still feel hungry after both are done, you might just have a regular hunger craving.
2. Keep a journal that tracks the relation between your emotional states and the food you eat; are you having a craving around the time you normally binge eat? This is stress eating.
3. Put your hand on a part of your body. If you just placed it on your head, you are probably bored or stress eating. Putting your hand on your stomach signals being genuinely hungry.

If you notice that you are stress eating, it is time to look at what is causing you stress and work to avoid those triggers.

 Posted by at 3:11 pm
Jun 152016

Juicing For Life

Juicing is an excellent way to add the nutrients your body needs quickly and easily.

A single glass of juice combination can serve as a whole meal. Once you have juiced a few times and see how much food goes into a single glass you will quickly recognize how this makes sense.

Once made, Keep your juice front and center in the fridge where you can see it. This constant visual reminder will encourage you to use it often and get the most the potential benefits of it. To get the most health benefits from juicing, recognize that the longer juice sits there, the less nutrients are present. If you wait some time to drink it, you will not be getting as many of the beneficial vitamins and minerals. Be aware that refrigerated juices will sometimes change color a bit once they cool off.

Sometimes the dark green vegetable base of the juice will have too strong a flavor to be enjoyed. To offset any bitterness, mix in sweeter fruits and/ or veggies, oranges and even carrots. A great recipe for a yummy juice is a mixture of cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries. Be creative!

Juicing for Health

When you begin creating juice for any health reasons, start with dark green veggies as the base for your juices. You will get the most nutritional benefits when the juice contains between 50 to 75 percentage spinach, broccoli, or chard. The remaining percentage can be more vegetables or fruit of your choice.

If you’re finally starting to feel your age through aches and sufferings, add some fresh juice into your diet for revitalization. Juice offers several nutrients that may help assist your memory and even been slow cell damage due to free radicals.

Juicing veggies and fruit is a perfect way to introduce children to the idea of healthy foods. While many children are not huge fans of vegetables, drinking their veggies seems to be much easier. I can’t speak for you but anything that helps my kids eat better is a plus.

Include low calorie fruits and veggies in your juices as much as possible so that doesn’t need to be burned off. Good options are kale, cabbage, cabbage, and broccoli.

As previously mentioned, juicing is an effective option for obtaining your recommended daily requirements of nutrients. You can mix various categories of fruits together to build your own yummy and healthy juices from scratch.

Start your juicing adventure today!

 Posted by at 2:55 pm
Apr 202016
how to get fit fast

How To Get Fit Fast! Formulating a DIY Fitness Plan

By Jacob Leane

We’ve all been there – you run for the bus and get “unusually” breathless, or you sit down to lunch and realise there’s an “extra” fold of skin hanging over your belt. A largely sedentary lifestyle coupled with a desk-bound job do a lot to contribute to a person’s lack of fitness. The first panicky response a person would have is to sign up for a gym membership or go on a strict diet. Both resolutions will crash and burn due to lack of planning. It’s far better to formulate a fitness plan that works instead of going to extremes.

Goals – Keep Your Eye on the Prize

First, you need to identify why you want to get fit. Do you want to fit into that pair of jeans again? A specific deadline for your fitness goal, such as “I will drop ten kilos and fit into that bikini by summer”, also serves as encouragement to start exercising. A specific goal, whether or not it’s realistic or whether you manage to achieve it on deadline allows you to visualize and implement the steps you need to accomplish it.

Plan – How Will You Achieve the Goal

Being “fit” consists of having strength, speed, aerobic endurance, flexibility and agility. Exercise that emphasizes aerobic endurance helps you slim down while strength-oriented training will build muscle and bulk. Weight lifting doesn’t necessarily result in a bull neck and hulking shoulders. It’s advisable to carry out more repetitions while lifting lighter weights in order to develop strength. In turn, increased muscular strength builds up the heart and lungs as well.

Aerobic exercise should always be included in any fitness plan. It could involve walking, cycling or running/jogging for 20-60 minutes daily. Rowing is an aerobic exercise that is exceptionally attractive because workouts are low impact. Sustained aerobic activity burns fat, builds muscle and, of course, builds up the cardiovascular system.

Flexibility is attained by the stretches you carry out at the beginning and end of each exercise session. Light stretching increases your pulse rate before exercise while also allowing you to ease back down from an intense workout. A fitness plan should incorporate elements that build strength, endurance and flexibility in order to be successful. If you exercise at a gym, don’t be afraid to try out different machines and classes to find what works best for you.

Intensity and Frequency – Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Ease into the new routine before attempting to move on to a more high impact version if you’re committing to a fitness plan for the first time, or if it’s been a long time since you exercised regularly.

It’s recommended to get moderately intense aerobic exercise of 30 minutes’ duration daily or vigorously intense aerobic exercise of 20 minutes’ duration three days a week. Most people find the former more achievable as it involves exertion that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat while still being able to carry on a conversation at the same time.

Rather than straining to run nonstop for 30 minutes, you can make it easier for yourself by alternately running and walking for the same length of time. In that manner, you achieve the exercise goal while not subjecting yourself to undue stress.

Rest is an important aspect of getting in shape. Aerobic exercise can be carried out every day, but a day of complete rest is required to allow your muscles to recover after weight training. Don’t be ashamed to take the day off if you’re feeling especially sore or tired either.

A fitness plan is not something you buy and leave on a shelf, it’s a habit and lifestyle that has to be cultivated and maintained. Before starting a fitness regime though, it’s important to go for a physical examination to identify any underlying medical conditions or illnesses. An examination is especially important if you have heart problems, diabetes, have been sedentary for more than a year, are over 65 and don’t currently exercise, are pregnant or have a medical condition or injury or are recovering from one.




 Posted by at 9:26 am
Apr 112016
your brain on exercise

A Look at Your Brain on Exercise

There seems to be no end to the advantages of physical exercise. People have to move or otherwise become a victim of what is sometimes called the sitting disease. If the majority of your entire day is spent sitting, your overall health will be affected, it can lead to weight gain, heart disease along with other serious chronic health issues as you grow older. Lack of motion can result in heart attack, stroke, and a basic reduction in quality lifestyle in your senior years.

All of us agrees that being active is physically great for our bodies. But, are you aware that physical exercise also has numerous advantages to the human brain? What exactly occur in the brain when we exercise to have such an remarkable effect on our mental health?

What Happens In The Brain During Physical Exercise

Physical exercise causes our heart pressure to rise, which sends a signal to the brain that the body is experiencing stress. In response, a protein is produced into our body referred to as “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). This protein is regarded as a “reset switch” – it repairs memory neurons, making thoughts seem really clear immediately after exercising and putting our bodies at ease.

At the same time, endorphins are discharged in to the brain, which are meant to reduce the degree of discomfort and pain associated with physical exercise, even creating a sense of euphoria. Like BDNF, endorphins are discharged in response to the sensation of “stress” brought on by exercise. The phrase, “runner’s high” is a coin expression used to describe the surge of endorphins during exercise that work as a natural anti-depressant.

The identical antidepressant-like effect from the “runner’s high” generates a reduction in stress level hormones. In addition, a study done in Stockholm showed that running stimulates cell development in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain accountable for memory and learning.

How The Mind And Body Are Impacted

Together, BDNF and endorphins give us a “happy” sensation after physical exercise. They are somewhat addictive naturally, which is a good reason why some people seem passionate about working out, of course this “addiction” is usually a healthy one.

Aside from the short-term high from endorphins and BDNF, physical exercise also offers long-term benefits. Research has revealed that people tend to be happier plus more effective throughout the day once they exercise. A Penn State study showed that individuals who had exercised within the previous month were happier and more productive at the job as opposed to those that had not exercised (although not quite to the same degree as people who had worked out earlier on that day). People who keep fit have much better moods than those who don’t and keep a stronger sensation of calmness during the day.

Physical exercise impacts the brain on different fronts. Not only will it boost heart rate that pumps more oxygen towards the brain, it also facilitates the release of varied hormones that provides a nourishing atmosphere for the growth of brain cells.

Research carried out at UCLA showed that performing exercises stimulates the growth of new neuronal connections in many different important cortical areas of the brain.

 Posted by at 4:08 pm