Health

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

You may be surprised not all calories are created equal. (Most of this info is coming from my May/June 2018 Massage& Bodywork magazine) It’s true that fruits and vegetables have more nutrients for our bodies, but what about our souls? I mean, c’mon we heard of Soul food aka comfort foods. Mac and Cheese. Fried anything. Ice Cream. Cookies. Probably I ought to stop now.

Calories, the energy obtained from food, do count. But not all calories are equal. As a massage therapist I hear a lot of dieting stories from clients (body image comes up ALL the time in my world).Many are on whatever the latest diet is, some eat “perfectly” and can’t shed a pound- in fact, many of them still gain weight. This is because food contains subtle energy, not only physical energy, and it’s the ubltle energy of a food that often determines its physical and emotional effects.

As compared to physical energy, subtle energy is less measurable and predictable, but so much more powerful. Subtle energies actually organize physical matter. Subtle energies determine what shows up in our body, and cause the conditions creating food cravings, dislikes, issues, and reactions.

There are 3 basic types of subtle energies that impact our relationship with food- Feelings, frequencies, and forces.

This week I’ll cover Feelings. Stay tuned next week for frequencies and forces .

Feelings– It’s well known that our relationship with food is largely based on emotions. Emotions are formed when at least one feeling and belief conjoin to produce a motivating instinct. Our emotions are regulated in 3 areas of our body: Our gut, our brain, and our heart.

Gut related emotions create body based feelings. this means emotional experience slinked to a specific food can produce digestive ease or irregularity. For instance, if you grew up with a mean grandmother who forced you to eat white bread at her house, you will likely grow up to hate white bread. No surprise there. But you may also very well encounter an allergic reaction to white bread which is founded in the same emotional response to your mean grandmother. And you will likely NOT experience an allergic reaction to darker varieties of bread. How is this possible? The enteric (digestive) nervous system is composed of 500 million total neurotransmitters which produce hormonal, biochemical, and electromagnetic patterns and responses. In other words , an emotionally triggering food can stimulate anything from an illness to a stomachache.

What about the brain? In general, our brain responds to foods base on memory associations. Ready for some science-y stuff?? Here goes. Conclusions (memory associations) about food are stored in the hypothalamus, which links our thinking brain with our primitive/survival brain. Our hypothalamus actually determines our subtle or subconscious reactions to a food. while a food might need to actually be eaten for our gut to react (even emotionally), not so where our brain is involved. For instance- lets say your grandma’s awesome now- and you felt closest to her when you ate chocolate covered cherries together. Now you often crave chocolate covered cherries because your brain associates them with love. Guess what? there isn’t a chocolate covered cherry in the world that will make you sane weight. When a positive mmoy is associated with a food, the hypothalamus will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. The food- or even the thought of it, will relax us. In turn, our gut will cheerily metabolize the heck out of that food. We’ll burn the calories and feel great.

Conversely, if we had been shamed while indulging in chocolate covered cherries, the negative correlation with the food would activate the sympathetic nervous system making the food harder to digest. Not only that, but the extra calories will more easily be stored as body fat, the healthy gut bacteria will diminish in count, the body will become more toxic, and the resulting stress will raise the heart rate and the body’s production of cortisol and insulin. WHEW!! Over time the consumption off negative charged food can cause chronic inflammation, disease- processes, allergies, sensitivities and autoimmune dysfunctions. DAYUUUM.

The final frontier is the heart.
While the heart is a physical powerhouse of electromagnetic and hormonal activity, it is also the center of the spiritual self. In general, foods perceived to reflect spiritual qualities are more life enhancing, while those associated with harmful spiritual norms are more destructive. In other words, foods can carry spiritual blessings.

Intentional Chocolate is a brand of chocolate infused with good intentions by monks. A study published in 2007 showed that this chocolate increase a subject’s well being, vigor, and energy between 67-1000%. There is a reason why most spiritual traditions recommend that we pray over our food.

Ready for massage? Call me at (518) 744-2315 to book an appointment.

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Walking is Powerful Medicine

walking

Every walk is powerful medicine. Simply putting one foot in front of the other can do wonders for your health.

The information from Prevention Magazine I’m about to share is no secret, and we all know getting up and moving is better than having our butts glued to the couch. But before I go into what they say, I’d like to have a little “say” myself. Look at the first 2 sentences: walking is powerfully good for us, and its simple – is the basic meaning of those words.

While you are reading this I’m wondering if you can look at the stuff in your life that stresses you out and think about dealing with it in the “just put one foot in front of the other” way.

Alrighty! Here’s some of the wonderful things walking can do for us:

Brain

Engaging in moderate physical activity, like a brisk walk, for 68 minutes or more a day may improve neuron health, according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Immune system

People who walk briskly for 20 minutes a day 5 days a week have 43% fewer sick days than those who exercise once a week or less, per research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Bones

Women who walk 4 hours a week have a 41% lower risk of hip fracture than those who walk less than 1 hour a week, the landmark Nurses’ Health Study found.

Mood

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that 12% of depression cases could be prevented if we all walked (or did another form e of exercise) for at least an hour each week.

Heart

Regularly walking 3 miles an hour or faster can cut your risk of heart disease by half, compared with walking 2 miles an hour or slower, according to a study in Circulation.

More Energy

Need to beat the afternoon lull, or refocus your concentration? According to a recent study in Physiology & Behavior, a bear 10 minutes of walking, or climbing a few flights of stairs, is more energizing than consuming 50mg of caffeine. And unlike a 3 pm shot of espresso, a quick burst of exercise won’t keep you awake at night.

Greater Confidence

A new series of studies published in the journal Body Image found that people who walked in nature were much more likely to feel good about their bodies than those who walked in an urban environment. Researchers think that nature walking dampens our negative thoughts and helps us focus on how our body works rather than how it looks.

Fewer Cravings

Instead of reaching for the kitchen candy stash, take a lap around the block instead: Research in the PLOS One showed that a brisk 15 minute walk can reduce your urge to grab a sugary snack. Why? Moving around can blunt emotional triggers that prompt mindless snacking.

Don’t forget that a massage can help heal those exercise aches and pains you may get from increasing your physical activity! Call me at (518) 744-2315 to book an appointment.

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Healthy or Hyped? The Truth About Fad Foods

fad food

When health benefits are touted for a specific food, check who’s making the claims. The food industry finances a lot of research, some of it biased.

Here’s some information from an article from Prevention magazine:

Let’s take our friendly avocado. Avocado is having a moment. Once avoided by health conscious eaters because of its high fat content, the creamy super fruit is now being whipped into smoothies, spread on toast, an churned into ice cream. Fueling the trend are studies that highlight avocados’ high levels of beneficial fats and potassium, as well as links to improvements in heart health, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even-despite the high calorie count- weight loss. The source of funding for much of this research? The Hass Avocado Board, a California based collective of importers and growers who’s mission it is to promote the fruit.

For decades food industry organizations have supplied substantial amounts of cash to fund research. For instance, juice maker Pom Wonderful has reportedly spent $35 million on pomegranate research, sparking countless news articles and advertisements hailing the fruit’s high antioxidant content and other health benefits. (in 2010, the Federal Trade Commission issued a formal complaint against the company, saying many of its health claims were overblown.) Last year, Ocean Spray said it would commit $10 million to exploring cranberries’ antimicrobial properties.

The food industry’s deep pockets can be helpful for getting research conducted that otherwise wouldn’t be done– as long as the scientists carrying out the studies operate responsibly. If the researcher themselves can stay unbiased, there’s always a benefit to having more information.

But beware of bias. Upon a review of 168 industry funded nutrition studies, it was discovered that 156 of them drew conclusions favorable to their sponsors. There may be a rare case where a company is motivated by improving the public’s health, but overall, the purpose of this research is marketing.

Consumers can do their part in weeding out the good science from the potentially bad. If a nutrition study comes out with an incredible and implausible result, the first question should be “who paid for it?” If the answer is a company with a vested interest in the outcome of the study, be skeptical.

There’s a lot of small things you can change in your life to be healthier, both in mind and body. Check out some of these other posts for a good health boost: