Oh man I love snow days!! The house is decorated, we watched a movie with Shelby, the horses got their blankets on, and Mark put together his annual yearly picture collage with a couple hundred photos. It feels good to get things done:) You know what didn’t happen? Bad eating, and that feels great! When we ate munchie foods and snacks, we always kept them in the house; now that we don’t snack between meals, there’s nothing calling us from the Pantry or Fridge! No crackers, no chips, no cookies, nothing. Between not having the junk in the house, and eating our high fat meals, Cravings Are Gone. I know from my emails, and I remember myself, how loudly food can call to you; change your thoughts, change your kitchen, change the way you cook, and those food voices get softer and softer until they disappear. Honest. You don’t have to Change Everything All At Once; just have a plan. Make one small change every week. Write it out. Stick to it, be determined even in the face of set backs. It’ll happen, I promise.
The picture on the right is Mark making the collage. The picture on the left is Shelby pouting because we have no junk food; she had to cook up a snack of chicken sausage and was wishing she’d spent the snow day at a friends house. Kids….
That leads to the Change your Mind / Change your Body plan. The mantra for this week is “I think Long Term.” So often we just think with a little spot in the brain that’s full of ”addicted neurons”; think Long Term and you’re using consequences to guide your behavior instead of momentary desires. Your body and your health will permanently change when your thinking does, so solidify in your mind why food matters. Here’s some fodder:
I got another good question this weekend, ”what exactly is Insulin Resistance?”. One of my nutrition clients is trying to figure this out, but we all need to know the answer because according to pubmed, at least 25% of the US population is Insulin Resistant. Tests are showing that some babies are actually born insulin resistant (moms- cigarettes and alcohol aren’t the only thing you should avoid when pregnant, grains and sugar do damage too.).
Insulin Resistance is the condition before full blown Diabetes Type 2; here’s what happens (the short answer): When you eat carbohydrates (any and all) they break down to Glucose. The Pancreas releases Insulin to shuttle the Glucose out of the blood. It takes it to the muscle cells for fuel, the liver for storage, and then takes it to a different part of the liver where all the leftover glucose gets converted to triglycerides/fat, and stores it.
Go back to the muscle cells: Insulin is a Caustic, Irritating, Damaging hormone. (It wrecks havoc on our arteries as it courses through our veins). When there’s not too much of it, the muscle cell doors “open” to let the insulin carry the glucose, and other nutrients, in. When there’s too much insulin, from eating carbs all day and keeping blood sugars high, the cell doors “close”. They say “NO” to the insulin. Glucose and nutrients can’t get in. That’s Insulin Resistance.
When the Glucose can’t get in the cells, the Pancreas gets a signal that blood sugar is high, and makes more Insulin. More Insulin courses through our body, causing more damage. More Glucose is converted to Fat, since the muscle cells can’t use it. The excess glucose and insulin stay in the blood stream too long, causing free radicals, and damaging the cells on the back of the eyes, the kidney, and the extremities – these cells can’t resist. ( a condition Diabetics are all too familiar with).
What else happens during Insulin Resistance? It’s not a good list: nerve damage, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high LDL, coronary artery disease, fatty liver, wrinkles and age spots, impotence, polycystic ovary disease, and I could go on and on and on. Insulin Resistance can last for years before full Type 2 develops.
High blood sugar and high circulating Insulin are really really bad for you. What we eat matters! What we eat determines our weight, our moods, our skin, our energy levels, our health. Insulin Resistance is reversible, and preventable. Choose wisely, choose Real Whole Food. Check my What I Eat Page for Ideas, and if you’re in the area, drop in this Friday, December 13, between 12 and 2, for my Paleo Christmas Party! Taste delicious Paleo foods without causing the blood sugar and insulin spikes:)