Did you know humans can go without oxygen for only about 5-10 minutes, without water for 3-8 days and without food for up to 70 days?!
OK, so we need oxygen, not unlike a fire.
The fire in the wood stove provides heat and so do calories. Calories are a measure of heat…heat=energy. The fire in the belly just like the fire in the wood stove can burn hot and fast or slow and steady. I prefer a slow steady stream of fuel because when I get empty, my mind/body craves ‘crapola’ . My fire and yours will provide a steady stream of mental and physical energy if we feed it the right fuel for the long burn.
What keeps us energized for the long burn? Oxygen, water and carbohydrates. What specifically does that mean? French fries, cheese, tuxedo cake and pie? NOOOOO! These highly flavorful foods taste good because of obvious and non-obvious ingredients like sugar and fat, but not only do we bottom out after eating these but the pull for more keeps calling us.
Sugar and fat are addicting, but we can cut the ball and chain! According to studies*, our brain chemistry responds to sugar the same way an addict responds to opioids. Whether you consider yourself a sugar addict or not, highly palatable foods like ice cream,
tuxedo cake, french fries, and broccoli with cheese sauce, have the potential to become addictive with continued use. These foods calm us initially but it’s a high price to pay going forward. When the ‘high’ fades, we get really empty mentally and physically and then depression, anxiety and anger take hold until we get another dose of sugar and fat to feel better; vicious circle, unfortunately.
If these highly palatable foods are in the house, especially out in the open on the counter or even in the back of the fridge or freezer, we will find them and eat, hungry or not. It’s the exact same behavior we have with other substances of abuse.
People are amazing creatures though, we can break free. Firstly, don’t bring ice cream, cookies, candy and pie in the house…especially if YOU know they call to you in times of fatigue and woe.
This is SAD(standard American diet) and will keep you sad, achey and tired. Use food like the medicine it is and heal your aching back, hips and foggy brain with more plant foods and save the sugar and fat for RARE occasions outside the house.
Fueling the body is not black and white, swirl some color into your daily diet. Whether you eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks or 2 big meals and 3 snacks, re-educate your tastebuds and leave the highly palatable foods behind by strategically swirling in some colorful wholesome high fiber plant foods. Plan ahead and be selective with REAL food to avoid becoming empty mentally and physically. Anti-inflammatory, high fiber plant food like fruit and starches along with nuts and seeds on the regular will head off any sugar cravings and keep the fire burning long and slow. Carbohydrates are not the problem, it’s the quickly absorbed sugar accompanied by fat that inflames the body and creates the vicious cycle of highs and lows.
You can start over anytime with a plan that includes shopping from a list on a full stomach and planning ahead with colorful meals and snacks, reminiscent of those 80’s clothes.
*D.A. Wiss, Dean Ornish, Neal Barnard