I am terribly sorry at the long delayed response. My computer or something eradicated my ability to enter this web site until now. RE:PMS. We did have a marketable product, well not me but a company was selling it retail. It was called PMS escape. But the company had financial problems from other sources and could not support the sales so the product disappeared. You can eat your way through PMS though. Do this. Eat all the nutritionally rich foods in the morning and for lunch and then by mid afternoon, switch to carbs. Have a low or no fat carb snack by 2 or 3 pm, a carbohydrate dinner, and another carb snack mid evening. For suggestions, look at the snack ideas and meal ideas in The serotonin power diet. Remember that the new serotonin which will take away the PMS symptoms will be made for only about 3 hours so you have to dose yourself again with the carbohydrates when the mood swings come back. But you will be very much relieved of the emotional pain of PMS if you do this.View Thread
I am sorry this reply is so tardy and I hope things are better by now. Your hunger after dinner is easily taken care of. All you have to do is eat only carbohydrates and vegetables for dinner as we suggest in our book, The serotonin power diet. If you do this, your brain will make new serotonin which controls appetite and also increases relaxation and calmness. You will find you are sleeping better and do not need to eat more late at night in order to go to sleep. Eating protein prevents this; eat your protein early in the day as we suggest.View Thread
Dear Cliffie23 I am terribly sorry to be responding so late to your problem of being alone and eating alone at night since your husband passed away. I just received your response. Eating to fill lonely time is hard to stop and the answer is not more discipline over your eating but finding some companions with whom you can spend time in the evenings. Since you obviously have a computer have you used it to search out activities near where you live that will occupy you early in the evening ? For example, does your library have a literacy programs in the evenings helping people learn English? Or could you volunteer at a performance center or go to workshops or classes at least one evening a week? Have you thought of doing an on line class? Most of these are interactive so you can chat with your classmates who may be living on the other side of the country.. I have a friend who volunteered to bring meals to shut ins and would stay and talk with them because they were as lonely as she was. I hope things are a little easier now and please write again. JudyView Thread
Recently I was watching a "makeover" segment on some women's television show while paging through a women's magazine advertising expensive and high-fashion clothes. This was in the gym, and although many of the women exercising near me probably would have loved to undergo a free makeover (it is hard to look glamorous early in the morning while sweating), I doubt any could fit into the size zero and under clothes modeled in the magazine. The models had arms so thin they could fit through a doughnut hole and it was obvious that they were as curveless as a Q-tip. "Why," I asked myself, "do magazines still feel it necessary to display clothes, shoes, and even jewelry on bodies that are so unrepresentative of the typical woman?" In contrast, the women usually selected for the weekly makeovers have bodies similar to those one sees every day in the supermarket, at work, at PTA meetings. Is the reason for the impossibly perfect bodies shown in the advertisements that we, the public, would be less inclined to desire the products being advertised if the models looked like ordinary people, i.e. like us? Clearly this message is at odds with the "after" appearance of the women who are transformed on a television program with the help of fashion, hair and make-up experts. Although my sample is small, confined as it is to the TV programs I watch while in the gym, I rarely see anyone who would be considered thin and most of the women are a comfortable size 10 or higher. What is so wonderful about the end result is that the women look beautiful, glamorous, and happy with themselves and wear clothes that reveal, in a flattering way, their not-perfect bodies. So there is the paradox of women's magazines that advertise clothes that anyone with more than 3% body fat would have trouble wearing and at the same time, television programs showing what women with womanly fat stores should be wearing. The same disconnect between reality and fantasy pops up occasionally in women's' magazines devoted to fitness and health. There is usually a feature on exercises that will transform sagging, lumpy, tight or underutilized muscles into toned and sculpted body parts. The model demonstrating the exercises, often involving a chair or large ball, has a faultless figure. She is not overly thin because her body is well muscled but anyone looking at her would recognize the necessity of giving up one's day job to achieve her body. Why don't these magazines use people whose bodies are not perfect? Would we be less inspired or more? Several years ago, I ran a weight-management center that included private or group sessions with personal trainers as part of the program. We were delighted when one of the people applying for the job was several pounds overweight and confessed to many years of struggling with her weight. We knew—and our clients confirmed this—that they would feel comfortable working out with someone who understood their issues and did not sport an ideal body. As we approach January, expect to be assaulted by relentless advertisements for weight-loss programs, exercise programs promising total physical transformations in only weeks, and exhortations by almost anyone in health professions to become healthier by becoming thinner. Achieving a healthy weight by eating and exercising is an important goal. But it is also very important to gain and maintain respect for one's body, with all its imperfections, regardless of one's weight. Perfection is achieved only in the magazines and that, perhaps, only with an airbrush.View Thread
One reason you find it so hard to keep your weight off is as you mentioned the steroids you are taking. However I assume that you had some physical therapy after your back surgeries. What were you told to do as part of your recovery? Do you have access to a pool ? Would you be able to do exercises in water if you could get to a pool. Are you able to do any stretching exercises or use rubber cords to strengthen your arms and legs? It sounds as if you are very lonely and perhaps you should see whether there is any community gentle exercise programs you could join and also meet others while you are doing the exercise.View Thread
Odd food items have suddenly appeared in workplace snack rooms. Wedges of waxy cheese, tubes of hard salami, and pears that look shellacked have replaced the ubiquitous half-eaten birthday cake. 'Tis the season of the holiday food basket. Perhaps research on the anthropology of ritual food gifts can explain the thinking behind clustering processed cheese, fatty sausage, and Scottish shortbread in a basket and sending it as a holiday present. This research should include a study as to why the foods are put inside their own boxes and then enclosed in a cellophane bubble big enough to house a spaceship. I ask you, do the people who package the gifts in such an eco-unfriendly fashion think that the recipient will use up enough calories unpacking them to justify consuming such fattening foods? Or is there something about our contemporary cuisine that explains why somone would eat a slice of sausage on a piece of shortbread. The experience of many recipients of these culinary offerings is to pass them on, as quickly as possible. There's no regret in this regift — it's a full contact sport. People in one office I know race to see how fast they can pass these food baskets on to delivery and service people with whom they work. Those who fail to regift in-house end up lugging the packages home and hoping that their kids' teachers and local letter carrier will happily accept. As a last resort, there is always a Christmas party where the rewrapped food packages can be left discreetly, without a note, of course. The idea of sharing food, especially during celebratory events and holidays, is probably as old as the first cave man potluck supper. Friends and relatives traditionally bring food to help a new mother or a family dealing with sickness or death, and communal meals are effective ways to weld together neighbors or co-workers. But the typical holiday food gift basket usually does not convey the same message of warmth, support and caring for a few reasons: 1) The recipients are rarely in need of food and the food baskets are rarely, if ever, delivered to those who are, such as people in shelters or those who visit soup kitchens. 2) The foods are useful if one is struggling to stay alive on the side of a mountain after a plane crash or after a natural disaster that destroys the electrical infrastructure, and thus refrigeration. The shelf life of the items in the basket (with the exception of fruit) may be longer than the lifespan of the recipient. Sadly, since the senders of these gifts do not think of them as disaster relief, they are rarely used for this purpose. 3) People who might actually benefit from receiving a holiday food basket (someone recovering from surgery or struggling to cope with newborn twins) will find it difficult or even impossible to obtain any essential nutrients from these foods, much less turn them into meals. But they may be useful to serve to visitors, I suppose. 4) Generally speaking, many of the gift food baskets contain the same categories of food items. After a while, even chocolate pretzels (my favorite) lose their appeal. Yet you shouldn't give up on giving food as gifts at holiday time. Many of us treasure the homemade jams, gingerbread, or jars of homemade granola some of our friends and families give. As for the rest of us, who have neither the time nor capability to make our own food gifts, companies should make available healthy, delicious foods that we can give our business colleagues or the relative who has everything. There are some companies that do put together healthy appealing foods such as the Fruit-of-the-Month Club. Others fill baskets with an assortment of whole-grain bread mixes with natural preserves or pure maple syrup. My own wish list would include a monthly delivery of soup; there would be cold-weather soups that contain ingredients I rarely use in cooking, such as kale or beans, and warm weather soups that I would like to try, like melon gazpacho or cold blueberry. I have a friend who is a vegan and always looking for foods that do not contain eggs or dairy products. She would be ecstatic if she received main courses and desserts that were more interesting than her own creations. What about a gift basket with exercise equipment such as stretchy cords and light weights that can be used at home along with a DVD on how to use them? New moms who cannot get out to a gym and who you know are desperate to start exercising again would welcome such a basket (as long as the recipient understood that the giver was not calling them fat). Maybe, instead of sending the food basket, the sender makes a contribution to a facility that feeds the homeless. That would be the best gift of all, wouldn't it?
I used to think that Black Friday referred to the mood people were in when they got on the scale the day after Thanksgiving. Even though I have since learned that the term is related to the economics of Christmas shopping , not holiday overeating, I still like my take on the term.
My own Thanksgiving meal is cooked and waiting to be served and as usual I made too much and am hoping that there won't be too many leftovers. Because of various dietary restrictions among my guests( does anyone not have any dietary restrictions these days?) the food is relatively simple and very low in fat. But did I have to make three pies and a corn pudding and two pumpkin breads? Of course not but I like everyone else have been influenced by a month of Thanksgiving recipes and menus coming at me from the newspapers, food network and magazines at the supermarket check out counter.
Staying on a diet is so hard this time of year and as we march toward the December holidays, it gets harder. It is really hard to resist a hot out of the oil potato pancake or a crushed nut butter filled Christmas cookie, and good intentions melt faster than the first snow fall.
Perhaps the best way to handle this overeating season is to really do what we all preach: Eat with moderation!
One of anything is not going to damage the diet . This includes alcoholic drinks along with the party munchies that are so tempting. I suspect that weight is gained during the holiday season because a lot of the eating is mindless ( we are busy talking or running around playing hostess or standing over a hot frying pan) and we don't realize how much we are eating.
But if we can just manage to notice what we are eating and drinking, then it might be possible to sample the holiday treats without finding ourselves five pounds heavier by Jan 2.View Thread
Dear Jis4Judy, Medical experts on t.v. have to have their facts straight and your experience with his cholesterol misinformation and mine with his misinformation about why people crave carbohydrates in inexcusable. He or his producers simply don't know simple neurochemistry: serotonin is made after eating carbohydrates. People who are emotional overeaters are using carbohydrates to make themselves feel better . Of course they should not be eating icecream or cookies to do this; there are many very low fat carbohydrates which can be eaten instead. And the wrist band is hardly a substitute for cravings that come from the brain. He is very popular and I think we both would like to see him use his popularity to have all of us better informed, not scatching our heads and wondering where the misinformation came from.View Thread
I nearly fell off the treadmill when Dr. Oz, whose program was beamed on the overhead TV screens in the gym, proclaimed that snapping a rubber wristband against the wrist would stop the need to eat cookies. "I would like to see a premenstrual woman zooming in on a piece of chocolate, suddenly stop, snap the wristband and then settle for a celery stick," I muttered to myself as I resumed my running. "She is more likely to turn the wristband into a slingshot to be used against anyone like Dr. Oz, coming between her and chocolate." Dr. Oz should know that a craving for carbohydrates is generated by the brain, not the taste buds, and is as natural as feeling thirst when the body needs water. Thus snapping a rubber band against the wrist to stop cravings is about as effective as hitting your head against the wall when you are thirsty and trying not to drink. The thirst and the cravings are signals from our bodies to do something. Thirst is a demand that we drink to increase our blood volume. Carbohydrate craving is a demand that we eat something sweet or starchy because the brain needs to make serotonin. However, unlike thirst, the craving for carbohydrate is often accompanied by deterioration in mood. Studies we carried out at MIT many years ago found that when people had an urge to eat carbohydrates, they were usually stressed, irritable, angry, depressed, cranky, distracted, tired or impatient or all of the above. These moods of course, reflect a change in serotonin activity or levels. Dr. Oz should also know the following. Serotonin is made after any non-fruit carbohydrate is eaten and digested. Insulin is released and the pattern of amino acids in blood shifts to allow tryptophan to enter the brain. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin very quickly and serotonin levels increase in the brain. This discovery was made in the early l970's. I agree with the prohibition against eating carbohydrates that are greasy or high in fat like fried batter, chips, doughnuts or other sweet or starchy fatty foods. The brain doesn't want the fat; it wants you to eat carbohydrate. Whether you choose to eat the carbohydrate in the form of a healthy whole-grain food such as Multigrain Cheerios or a high-fat, sugary food like a candy bar is another matter. All that the brain requires is that you consume about 30 grams of carbohydrate and—this is important—that the carbohydrate food is low in protein. Protein prevents tryptophan from getting into the brain. (Fructose, the sugar in fruit and in many sugary drinks, is the one carbohydrate that does not lead to serotonin production.) Carbohydrate that contains large amounts of fat, such as cookies and ice cream, are digested more slowly than fat-free carbohydrates so it takes the brain a longer time to make serotonin. Just as we lose our thirst after drinking water, we lose our cravings after serotonin is made. And as an added benefit, those unpleasant moods we experienced along with our cravings are replaced by a decrease in stress and an increase in calmness, energy, focus and patience. Of course, if people are prevented from eating carbohydrates by wristbands or given inaccurate advice as they were on the Dr. Oz show, the cravings don't go away. Instead, they will seem to take on the form of an addiction. We all know that when we are terribly thirsty, all we can think about is how and when we can drink. When the brain needs to make serotonin, the cravings can become just as insistent. And who has the worst, most insistent carbohydrate craving? Women with PMS. The saying, "I could kill for chocolate," is, one hopes, not based on reality but there are plenty of anecdotes of women braving hurricanes and blizzards to get their carbohydrates when they have PMS. We studied the food choices of women with severe PMS who stayed in the MIT Clinical Research Center at the beginning and end of their menstrual cycle. These normal-weight women increased their calorie intake by more than 1100 calories daily when they were premenstrual—and the calories came entirely from carbohydrates. When we discovered that inadequate serotonin activity was behind their food cravings and their premenstrual moods, we tried treating these symptoms by giving the women a fat- free, protein- free carbohydrate beverage twice daily. We reasoned that if serotonin could be increased with a small amount of carbohydrate, then perhaps these women could feel better without resorting to drugs or herbal supplements. The carbohydrate intervention worked extremely well; not only did the women feel significantly better, they also were able to control their appetite. So I would suggest to Dr. Oz that he reconsider the use of snapping wristbands to decrease carbohydrate craving and look to the brain instead. When the brain wants carbohydrates to increase serotonin, neither wristbands nor will power is going to prevent someone from doing what the brain wants. Of course, the carbohydrate craver should be encouraged to choose healthy carbohydrates and remember that only 30 grams, not thirty cookies, have to be consumed. But the payoff is worth it. A lot of carbohydrate cravers are going to be much happier after their cravings are satisfied—and their wrists won't be sore.
The November issue of Women's Health has an intriguing article entitled ' Never Get Sick Again' Expecting the article to tell me to wash my hands as often as possible, I was surprised that the recommendations were not to increase hand hygeine but suggestions that , if followed, will improve our mental as well as physical health. After all who can argue with the benefits of regular massages ( unless you hate them) taking vitamin D ( important for bone strength) and increasing contact with friends and neighbors to prevent stress brought on by loneliness. Overweight readers were told to lose weight because it is well known that obesity may increase recovery time from an infection. But the advice as to how to lose weight was unhelpful.. Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietician who was quoted in the article told the reader to chew on some sugar-free gum in the afternoon when craving afternoon snack. And to stop drinking lattes and have green tea instead.
Well what about drinking some fat-free lattes so calcium intake and bone health increase? Wouldn't this help keep us healthy? This was not an option.
Nor was the option of satisfying the afternoon munchies with food. The article failed to note that for many people, mental and emotional health depends on eating a fat -free, protein -free, carbohydrate snack in the afternoon. We have known for decades that the level of serotonin, the brain chemical which keeps us in a good mood drops in the late afternoon . And early sunsets cause it to drop even morer than during the summer.
The craving for an afternoon snack is caused by the brain trying to get more serotonin made. The brain needs us to eat a non-fruit carbohydrate when serotonin levels drop because when we consume a small amount of something sweet or starchy ( but with no protein ) certain processes go on in the body that lead to more serotonin being made.
A stick of sugar-free gum won't stop the cravings because no serotonin will be made after it is chewed. But eating about 30 grams worth of popcorn, pretzels, crunchy breakfast cereal or cinnamon toast will trigger the manufacture of this very important chemical.
And the effect will be to make us feel better since serotonin takes away grumpiness, tiredness, frustration, distraction, depression and best of all for the dieter, appetite.
And to my way of thinking, that must help keep us healthy.View Thread