Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hormones aren't just for teenagers anymore

The ravenous girl has been so busy she hasn't had time to write! We were out of town last weekend, we headed to visit Craig's family in Charlotte and went to the Quail Hollow Golf Tournament. It was quite fun. I could never watch golf on TV until I went to a tournament. I actually kind of enjoy it...who knew (my extent of golf is putt-putt :) ) I willingly turned the channel at watched The Players this weekend :) I spent yesterday with my mom, we went to her friend's book signing of Finding Mrs. Warnecke: The Difference Teachers Make When im not busy being ravenous I teach the wee minds of toddlers, so I was quite excited to get her book! Today we spent with my family, it was quite enjoyable! down to the heart of the matter...Insulin! I told you all a bit about my idea behind the blog, so here's the whole story :)

My interest in the whole organic and health movement really surfaced around New Years. It was time to make a resolution and I knew I wouldn't keep. My idea for my resolution came from Season 8 of the Biggest Loser. My co-workers sister is Tracey of the purple team. I watched weekly cheering on Tracey and the rest of the contestants on - I was so inspired by them! They had such dedication and determination to make a difference in their lives! I myself am not overweight, nor am i skinny, but lazy when it come to exercise, i am. I just don't like it...along with several million other Americans! Watching them get healthy told me that I could do that too. I had never watched BL before and certainly didn't care for Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper, i didn't get what they were about. After watching one season I saw that Bob and Jillian really weren't mean, they were just stern and Jillian really does care. The next thing i knew i was in Borders buying her book Master Your Metabolism. So here I was mid-January reading and learning and even though we've never met, Jillian was scaring me half to death! In my 25 years of life I never thought what i was eating was having such a detrimental effect on my endocrine system. All you have to do is change what you eat and start an exercise regimen (your doc's going to have to help you on that one) and BAM you've got your endocrine system working for your body! I know it is easier said than done, but the food swaps we have made really do taste so much better than the crap we've been eating.I want to share my own research and what i have learned in the book with you!

Our bodies are made up of many hormones, and it doesn't matter how old you are for them to effect you!The main hormones i've learned about are insulin, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA & cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, HGH and leptin & ghrelin. Over the next posts (which may take me a while :) ) I'll tell you what they do and how the food we eat effects them. Now I'm not going to sit here and spill the book out, I do highly recommend purchasing it, its a health food bible i reference it all the time! So first hormone first....Insulin

Insulin affects almost every cell in our body. It comes from the pancreas and is important in the way our bodies react to food. Insulin lowers the levels of glucose in our blood stream. All carbs have glucose in them (its essentially forms of energy, that's why we "carb up" before doing high endurance activities) Too much of it causes insulin spikes, whole grains can help this from happening. When we eat our meal is broken down into simple sugars, and those sugars are released into our blood stream. The pancreas releases the insulin to come break down the sugars and turn them into glycogen for use in our muscles. Insulin also helps the glucose turn into fatty acids and be stored for fuel later. You can see how too much insulin can cause us to gain weight from that right? Jillian uses a great example in her book and that I am just going to have to share with you. She says : "Lets say you had a milky way on an empty stomach. your blood sugar surge is so dramatic that insulin overreacts and works twice as hard to clean the sugar from the blood. This overefficent sugar removal doesn't leave enough glucose circulating in your blood stream so your blood sugar concentration drops and you feel hungry again and you crave (and probably eat) more carbs. That's the post sugar 'crash and binge' cycle - the root of sugar addiction. When muscles are still filled up from the last snack where does insulin put new calories - straight into fat. " See wasn't that a great example! When this happens too many times your pancreas will overcompensate and produce more insulin that your cells will eventually ignore...that is Insulin Resistance...a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes! Carbs that are high on the glycemic index, lack of exercise, not eating breakfast, smoking, and stress are just some factors that can lead in insulin resistance. Some conditions commonly associated with messed up insulin levels are: diabetes, heart disease, PCOS, & sleep apnea.

Okay, now what to eat and what to avoid...

Avoid processed grains and refined sugars, and look for high fiber foods!

Eat Cinnamon! Studies have shown cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels, so why not try it on a tasty snack! This recipe I discovered in Jillian's Master Your Metabolism cookbook!

Cheddar & Apple Slices with Cinnamon
1/2 organic apple, cored and sliced
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 oz low fat cheddar ( i prefer cabot creamery cheese....its awesome!)

sprinkle apple with cinnamon and top with a slice of cheese! Calorie count is 107.6!

Here's a little side note you might not have known....cheddar really isn't orange! Its white! When you buy it orange you're getting artificial colors (gasp) thats why i like caobt! and its so tasty!

I know that was a ton of info! let me know if i can answer any questions!