Monday, June 24, 2013

Sugar cravings!

After two weeks of eating healthy, and feeling so proud of myself for not eating junk...why is it today that I felt the need to make chocolate chip cookies with my little guy, and then eat two of them...and still want more? Why can't I control my cravings? How do I get over this challenge? I had to do a bit of research, and found this on WebMD.

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
That appetite may be hardwired. "Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth," says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian and American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokeswoman. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brainchemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high," says Susan Moores, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and nutritionconsultant in St. Paul, Minn.  
Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced by rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldn’t we crave sugar?
The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we over-consume, something that’s easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices, and sauces. And Americans do overconsume, averaging about 22 teaspoons of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association, which recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings: 8 Tips to Use Right Now

If you're craving sugar, here are some ways to tame those cravings.
  • Give in a little. Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar, suggests Kerry Neville, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and ADA spokeswoman. Enjoying a little of what you love can help you steer clear of feeling denied. Try to stick to a 150-calorie threshold, Neville says.
  • Combine foods. If the idea of stopping at a cookie or a baby candy bar seems impossible, you can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. "I like combining the craving food with a healthful one," Neville says. "I love chocolate, for example, so sometimes I’ll dip a banana in chocolate sauce and that gives me what I’m craving, or I mix some almonds with chocolate chips." As a beneficial bonus, you'll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.
  • Go cold turkey. Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although "the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough," Gerbstadt says. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
  • Grab some gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum, says nutrition advisor Dave Grotto, RD, LDN. "Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings," Grotto says.
  • Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist Judy Chambers, LCSW, CAS. "Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something."
  • Get up and go. When a sugar craving hits, walk away. "Take a walk around the block or [do] something to change the scenery," to take your mind off the food you’re craving, Neville suggests.
  • Choose quality over quantity. "If you need a sugar splurge, pick a wonderful, decadent sugary food," Moores says. But keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle instead of a king-sized candy bar, then "savor every bite -- slowly," Moores says. Grotto agrees. "Don’t swear off favorites -- you’ll only come back for greater portions. Learn to incorporate small amounts in thediet but concentrate on filling your stomach with less sugary and [healthier] options."
  • Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger, Moores says. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you "avoid irrational eating behavior," Grotto says. Your best bets? "Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce," Moores says.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I attending a workshop on Autism. It was a very well done presentation by the mom of a little girl who has autism. She told her story, how she found out, the process of evaluation and assessment, and the struggles that come with raising a child with autism. At the end, she gave tips on how to help families. Something that stood out to me was recognizing the early signs.

Autism is treatable.
Early intervention is critical.
Know the warning signs of autism in young children.
Act early.

Warning Signs of Autism in Early Childhood

Parents should ask their child’s family doctor for referral to a developmental pediatrician for assessment if there are concerns with any of the following:

Text Box: Communication
Red Flags

• No babbling by 11 months of age
• No simple gestures by 12 months (e.g., waving bye-bye) 
• No single words by 16 months
• No 2-word phrases by 24 months (noun + verb – e.g., “baby sleeping”)
• No response when name is called, causing concern about hearing
• Loss of any language or social skills at any age

Text Box: Behavioural
Red Flags

• Odd or repetitive ways of moving fingers or hands
• Oversensitive to certain textures, sounds or lights
• Lack of interest in toys, or plays with them in an unusual way (e.g., lining up, spinning, opening/closing parts rather than using the toy as a whole)
• Compulsions or rituals (has to perform activities in a special way or certain sequence; is prone to tantrums if rituals are interrupted)
• Preoccupations with unusual interests, such as light switches, doors, fans, wheels
• Unusual fears

Text Box: Social
Red Flags

• Rarely makes eye contact when interacting with people
• Does not play peek-a-boo
• Doesn’t point to show things he/she is interested in
• Rarely smiles socially
• More interested in looking at objects than at people’s faces
• Prefers to play alone
• Doesn’t make attempts to get parent’s attention; doesn't follow/look when someone is pointing at something
• Seems to be “in his/her own world”
• Doesn’t respond to parent’s attempts to play, even if relaxed
• Avoids or ignores other children when they approach

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What does clutter do to you?

What does a dirty, cluttered home do to you?
It makes you feel tired. A cluttered home is a visual and psychic drain. All that stuff makes you fatigued. One of the most fatigued people I know simply can NOT throw anything away. Antiques are her specialty. Everything is a “collectible.” But that does not mean SHE has to collect it. This client is slowly letting go of her addiction to acquiring and is finding her energy is rebounding.
It makes you feel hopeless. Simply put, too much stuff is overwhelming and we can’t handle it all, so we throw our psychological hands in the air in frustration. This leads to that hopeless, it’s-all-inevitable feeling.
It makes you poor. Yep, that’s right: POOR. Ever notice those homes of the mega-wealthy? They’re a study in restraint. You notice their homes because stuff isn’t everywhere.
Time and time again, I notice the environments of people who are struggling to make ends meet, and I notice that they have an overwhelmingly HUGE baseball cap collection, some kind of collectible that’s taken over the house, or too many pets. Get rid of all but the most meaningful things. You can do it.
How does clutter hurt you? It makes you feel out of control in your life. That’s because the stuff is in control and you’re not. Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life and take control of all THAT STUFF by donating it, throwing it away, or organizing it — and get everyone in your home in on the act.
What does a clean, organized home do for you?
It gives you a sense of calm. Imagine walking in to a room where the tops are cleared off and there are no papers and mess scattered about. How does it make you feel? That’s the AAAHHHH feeling you get when you walk into a hotel room…it’s neat and you can see the room and not all the stuff.
It gives you back your health. Dirty, cluttered houses can make you fatigued, constipated, have back pain, and congested. Not just because there’s stuff everywhere, but because there is dust on all that stuff — and dust is nothing but negative energy. Unclog your home and your health might be better to boot!
It gives you wealth. Think about the times when you were doing well financially… As money worries piled up, did you ever make the correlation that so has all the stuff around you? Get rid of it and you will see financial flow again.
It puts you in control of your life. Suddenly, order appears in the Universe, you can find things, the feeling of being overwhelmed isn’t omnipresent and you look forward to things; life is sweet again.