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Showing posts from November, 2010

"Turkey Makes You Sleepy" myth...

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas fast approaching, I thought it suitable to discuss the "Turkey Makes You Sleepy" myth...

Unless a microwave dinner is your idea of a Thanksgiving feast, you probably have had firsthand experience with the after-dinner fatigue that sets in after the meal. Why do you want a nap? To escape the dishes? Perhaps, but the meal itself plays a big part in the way you feel.

* L-Tryptophan and the Turkey

The turkey is often cited as the culprit in after-dinner lethargy, but the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast. Turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan also can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep. However, L-tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any othe…

Building Healthy Snacks...

By Cristin Dillon, SELF magazine

Snacks can be a make-it or break-it point in many people's weight loss plans so don't take them lightly--plan them, build them and enjoy them using some of these simple tips!

Snacks should generally be thought of as small meals. If you take out something for a snack, you should ask yourself if you would eat that for a meal. For example, if you grab a bag of chips and a soda for an afternoon snack, ask yourself: Would you ever serve chips and soda for dinner?! The same goes for chocolate, animal crackers, coffee, muffins, pastries, candy and doughnuts.

Snacks have a very important role in our diet because they bridge us between meals. Ideally you should not go longer than 4 hours or so without eating because at that point your body has to start working hard to keep your brain fueled and this can cause you to feel tired and distracted. Snacks put a little gas in the tank so that you can run efficiently until your next meal.

Snacks should generally be…

Did someone say, "CHOCOLATE!?!"

Carob: Better Than Chocolate

Many people the world over love chocolate in all its various forms: chocolate candy, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, etc. Often chocolate is associated with pleasure, happy times, and holidays. So how could anything be better than chocolate? Well, carob is better for you than chocolate in several ways.

Chocolate packs more than just good times. Chocolate contains chemical substances from the same family as caffeine, which is found in coffee and tea. These chemicals are caffeine and theobromine. The main chemical substance in chocolate (theobromine) is exactly the same as caffeine except for one atom; and like caffeine, it also affects the body in serious ways. This family of chemical substances (which include caffeine and theobromine) can cause or contribute to imperfect balance, racing heart, insomnia and sleep disturbances, bedwetting, fatigue, obesity, dizziness, irritability, agitation, anxiety, acne, and more. Some diseases and health problems, in…