Survival of the Fittest Thoughts

"It doesn't matter what you learn about nutrition, if you don't also learn to love yourself, you will never give the body what it needs" – Maria Ayne R.H.N.

Really excited to share this podcast interview I did on Ben Coomber Radio. It was an honour to be invited on this show. Ben is such a cool down to earth guy. I felt like I was chatting to a life-long friend. I hope that’s how you feel when you listen.

Working on yourself to be happier can be tough, we see it is hippy woo woo stuff. But in a disconnected world where we spend more time on our phone and on social media than with our family, friends and doing the things we love, are we kidding ourselves? Are we limiting our potential and really putting our energy into the right places? This podcast will challenge what you believe and what you are doing with your time, our most valuable resource. Ben and I chat all things food, emotions, connection, social media, meditation, happiness vs contentment, our internal dialogue and more. Enjoy!

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This is an extra special podcast interview I’m sharing with you guys today. It’s with a dear friend of mine, Mike Reid, who was not afraid to get deep with me. We cover all sorts of dichotomies many people face in life—including the ones I personally struggled the most with in the past. If you enjoy listening to me ramble on about life, then I think you’ll really love this one. We focus on health, love and relationship—it’s a goodie. It’s the perfect follow up on my recent post on unconditional love.

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Yesterday, as I was mindlessly scrolling through social media stories, I came across a quote that really caught my attention.

“The more chances you give someone the less respect they’ll start to have for you. They’ll begin to ignore the standards that you set because they will know another chance will be given. They’re not afraid to lose you because they know no matter what you won’t walk away. They get comfortable with depending on your forgiveness. Never let a person get comfortable disrespecting you.”

The individual who happened to share the quote, clearly seemed to be coming from a neutral perspective. It was clear that they themselves had not written it, but rather, were looking for an opinion on the idea. This was obvious because they were doing a poll on it. Because I couldn’t disagree with it more, I felt compelled to tap the “disagree” option. I have to say, I was not surprised to find my vote was the least popular opinion. When I let it all tumble around my head a bit more–as I often do with these types of things–I found myself increasingly drawn to the idea of rewriting the quote from a completely different perspective. When I sat down to do this, an essay come out. I’m warning you, it’s long! But, I have chosen to share those words with you because I believe they are valuable to our spiritual evolution. I feel it’s important to add that this perceptive has not come from ideals I downloaded from someone else; they have been drawn from a collection of my own life’s experiences.

I’m aware that nothing is absolute, so I can appreciate that there’s an element of truth in the original quote too. However, I found the absoluteness of it to be disturbing, and so I felt called to offer an alternate perspective. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the original author was, so at this time, I’m unable to give credit where it’s due. At any rate, I am grateful to them for writing it, so that it could ignite this stream of consciousness I about to share with you.

So here it goes…

“The more chances you give someone the more respect they will have for you, because the more they can see that you are bulletproof.

As they are gifted more and more opportunities to see you through a more truthful lens, they will begin to release the false ideas and illusions they’ve created in their mind about you.

If they do not use these gifts for their own expansion of consciousness, that is their loss… not yours.

You will not have to set any standards because nothing they do or say can affect you. That is, if you remain accountable for yourself by concentrating on doing your own work, so that you can continue to sustain your own sense of personal power, along with the feelings of fullness and security that come from within.

And because of the truth that the most dangerous people of all are insecure people, they will eventually find enormous amounts of comfort in your incredible stability.

As they stop seeing you as either predator or prey, they will seize to have any reason to harm you, disrespect you, push you away, or treat you with anything other than love and neutrality.

They will begin to ignore other people’s standards and instead emulate you, because love always fucking wins.

They will grow afraid to lose you because they know that—unlike most others—you are among the rare few that’s willing put their ego aside so that you can love and accept them unconditionally.

As you continually show them that you are willing to understand where they are coming from, and that you’re unlikely to turn your back on them for all of the reasons most people would, they start to trust you in ways they have never trusted another before—forming an unbreakable bond that will extend beyond this lifetime.

They will find great comfort in your forgiveness, empathy, compassion, love, and stillness.

In your strength and resilience, they will witness enormous power. Eventually they will become unwilling to let anyone disrespect you—including themselves.

You will show them that the self-fulfilling prophecies and/or limiting beliefs they have stored about themselves in their subconscious, are not as true as previous patterns may have indicated.

You might even help them heal in ways that could ripple out, increasing the vibration of the entire planet.

Don’t bother trying to understand the complexity of why the universe has chosen you to be the one who rubs up against this other soul.

Just focus on what you have control over—you. Keep doing the work you need to do to be able to be the change that you wish to see.

When you’re awarded the opportunity to walk this bumpy road with another soul, you are simultaneously blessed with an opportunity to build a bond and level of connection few people ever get to create—trust me, I have been lucky enough to build quite a few incredible bonds in this exact way.

If that doesn’t happen, and instead the story ends different, that’s fine too; it’s easier when we remain detached from any particular outcome.

At the root, there are only two emotions—love and fear. We are essentially one. Only fear creates a need for separateness from each other. So if another person is not loving you, or they show disrespect towards you, that is a sign of some kind of fear.

Before judging them, ask yourself what is it about me that has triggered such a response within them? Allow for a bit of room in both your mind and heart, as you acknowledge that you have no idea what that person has endured in their lifetime that makes them feel they need to act in any way other than love towards you.

If you have chosen Love as your religion and another person treats you with disrespect, if you respond in any way other than love and compassion towards them, you have lost twice.

Do not let their inability to see your worth inhibit your ability to see your own. Take comfort in knowing that their opinion of you has nothing to do with you.

Never let a person who is uncomfortable with a little disrespect tell you how to love another person; or who you should welcome with open arms into your tribe.

Your own intuition will know best; trust and listen to the calls from within. Sometimes that means you choose to walk away, and other times that may mean you need to be a pillar of strength in both of your lives. Don’t let my words, or an any other quote on the internet determine which road you deem it best to travel down.

Regardless of which of these two paths you choose—for your own wellbeing—it’s wise to do the work to neutralize the charge between the two of you. Otherwise, you will have to carry that charge around—which draws from the light around you.

If respect comes from the self, no one can force you to give it up.

Those who need to be respected by others all of the time are depending on outside sources to maintain feelings of personal power. Therefore they lack stability from within. Therefore they are insecure. Therefore they are the most dangerous of the bunch. Therefore it is they who should not be trusted.

When you have unwavering trust for yourself, you will see no need to store a charge on another person in your nervous system. That liberated energy can be more usefully directed towards your own expansion of consciousness. Ironically, that makes you even more full inside, and that much more unbreakable.

And because you like and respect you, all other likes and/or respect from others will just be bonuses—they neither make or break anything.

If the disrespect by others ignites any feeling other than neutrality, that feeling brings conscious awareness that there’s a crack inside. Once you go inward and work to fulfil what is missing inside, you will have no other choice than to thank the other person for giving you the experience. In effect, you will automatically feel neutral about them, along with their actions.

This is true freedom.

What an incredibly powerful gift a little friction with another soul can be.

Never be uncomfortable with a little friction.”

– Maria Ayne

 

What an honour it was to be a guest on Positively Selfish with it’s Robyn Lee, for this New Years Resolution episode.

We dive DEEP into new years resolutions  and goalting: why we do it, how we do it and why it usually ends up in failure, making us feel like failures!

This episode is for you if.. well, if you are a human being! Essentially, listen to it – it will change your perception, your life and your mindset.

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I’m super excited to share this particular recipe. I say this because, one of the things that urks me the most about many paleo, wholefood and “healthy” alternative recipes out there are the excessive amount of sweeteners in all of them. Sure, some of these sweeteners are better than others, but not everything needs maple syrup and honey in it. Sweetening recipes still leads to: insulin spikes, excess energy consumption, and overtime can make your palette less sensitive to other foods, among many other things.

I’m a huge advocate of making sure breakfast foods are low GI and this easy recipe is just the way to do that!

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 6 medium free range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes for decorating

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 170 C or 350 F

In a blender, combine bananas, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and coconut oil and blend until smooth. Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and blend again. Lightly oil a loaf tin before lining with baking paper. Spoon in the batter and decorate with coconut flakes. Let it sit for 10 minutes before putting it in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Sending love from Sydney.

Once you try these delicious bite sizes pieces of chocolately-coconut heaven, you may have a hard time believing that they are good for you. Made with 100% real whole-food ingredients, this recipe will be quickly become one of your favourites.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Coating

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, whisk coconut milk and coconut oil until they are well combined. Then add vanilla, honey and sea salt and mix well. Slowly add in desiccated coconut and mix until there are no lumps.

Line a square baking dish and pour in the mixture, then place it in the freezer for 2 hours to set. Take it out of the freezer and cut into 1 cm x 3 cm bars, and then freeze for an additional 20 mins.

Meanwhile, to make the chocolate coating, mix cacao powder, coconut oil and honey together in a small bowl. Make sure the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Remove the coconut bars from the freezer and dip each bar completely into the chocolate coating, and then place them on a lined baking tray. Freeze for an additional 30 mins. Transfer to the fridge in an airtight container for storage.

Enjoy!

Willpower is an incredibly deceptive little fucker. It appears to work so effectively a good portion of the time, but then it always seems to fail miserably when we need it the most. Ever wonder why at times it’s so remarkably reliable to count on, and then within mere hours so deeply unfaithful?

It’s because willpower works similarly to a muscle – the more you use it the stronger it gets – but just like a muscle it can become drained and fatigued with overuse. Even the act of repeated decision making during a day can have a significant impact on how quickly one experiences willpower fatigue. In addition, states of low blood sugar mean your brain will have less fuel to power it – a clue to why starving oneself is so closely intertwined with bouts of binging.

Willpower is often your primary defence in the face of temptations, making this one of the reasons why addictions appear to be so laborious to overcome. The more you desire something or someone, the more often and the more intensely you use willpower to avoid succumbing to it, and the quicker you will use up stores. Making it much more likely you will be left standing completely defenceless in the face of your seductress.

Sugar was my seductress, and I can say with certainty that I know that I am definitely not alone.

If you are one of the countless people who knows how important it is to eat clean and avoid junk food, but you can’t actually make good decisions when it comes to your meal plan for any significant period of time, then you are highly likely a victim of repeated willpower fatigue. If you, like so many others, have ever broken a promise to yourself about adopting a healthier lifestyle – or if you perhaps have a habit of binging on something you’ve repeatedly vowed to quit – then you now know the culprit.

Learning this was pivotal in my wellness journey, because in order to effectively control anything you need to know how it works, and governing our desires work no differently than anything else.

How does one escape from this destructive maze?

The answer is to harvest a greater desire that not only trumps the old one in how much we want it, but it must also conflict considerable with the old goal or addiction that you have become a defenceless prisoner to – the trick is to no longer have a longing for the old habit. If you are using willpower to avoid something, then that’s a great indicator that you still have a longing for it, and perhaps you haven’t yet linked a greater goal to put down the old one for. You can understand why it can’t just be any old goal, it needs to be an inner burning desire from within you that holds more weight than any other desire you’ve had in the past. It’s almost a cruel joke that what often dictates our desires, is what we perceived to be denied of in the past.

It doesn’t work if you try injecting a new goal that is actually someone else’s desire for you, or someone else’s desire or habit you have inflicted upon yourself. It is important that it be for you, and an innate desire that motivates you without outside influence – there needs to be a constant state, and we all know that we are the only guaranteed constant thing in our own lives.

We all have these inner burning desires, but too often we don’t believe we deserve them or we have fear holding us back from going after them, maybe we feel incapable of obtaining what we really want. Sometimes we can’t even admit that we even want them out of fear of failure or rejection. Many factors can lead us to bury these desires, making more room for external addictions.

I know it’s easier said than done, but examining who you are and what you really want in your life, and what you feel you deserve for yourself – and then actually taking steps to go after it – may very well be the only way out of the maze.

It was this piece of the puzzle that really helped me the most and I hope it works similarly for you. It has been examining this piece that made me realise how paramount it is to our own personal reality that we really examine ourselves and lead me to understand how important it really is to “know thyself”.

In the next following posts we will cover topics on methods to better know thyself, and a few other factors you need to know about the brain and how it relates to emotional eating and food addictions, so stay tuned.

Sending love from Sydney.

Maria

P.S. You all know how much I love feedback, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment and let me know how you felt about this post.

 

 

 

 

Chocoholic
noun
1.a person who is excessively fond of chocolate.
Origin of chocoholic
choco(late) + -holic
Chocoholic
A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate.
'Chocoholism' is quite common. In studies of food cravings, chocolate and chocolate confectioneries almost always top the list of foods people say they crave.[3] According to WebMD women are especially vulnerable to having this behavior.

An addiction so powerful it has earned its way into dictionary.com and wikipedia.org. Well played chocolate, well played…but what brings this rich chocolate delight to the top of everyones list of foods they crave? What’s in this little bean that has lead so many people, especially women, so vulnerable? It can’t be the taste, I mean raw cacao bean has got to be one of the most offensive things I have ever put in my mouth. Some might argue that when working with the right accomplices – sugar and milk – it’s taste quite divine, but so does everything else short of mud. When doing a comparison on just taste, I might even say I prefer vanilla, but I don’t ever crave a vanilla cake. In fact, according to my sources – dictionary.com and wikipedia.org – vanillaholic isn’t even a word. Not even a word, despite being the secret weapon in so many desserts. The chocolate puzzle must have another layer.

I will refer to that layer as Magnesium.

Magnesium is an essential mineral, meaning we need it to survive. We exhausted our body’s reserves more rapidly in times of stress, fatigue, physical exertion and of course – if you’re lucky enough to be a lady – when aunt flow comes to town. Hurray for being a lady…Not! Dietary sources of magnesium include spices, nuts, cereals, dark leafy green vegetables and cacao.

Well then, you could argue it must be healthy if chocolate is on that list. While the philosophy on cacao bean and nutrition wavers depending on the nutritionist, the kind of chocolate confectionary you crave when you are stressed is pretty unanimously agreed by all experts to be a nutritional villain.

The thought pattern that “I am craving it, so my body must need it” falls a little short here, as most people don’t crave many of those other foods on that list the way they do chocolate, yet some of them are even more abundant sources of magnesium. Ah, yet another layer to this addictive thriller.

This layer can also be known as Zinc.

Zinc is the most common of mineral deficiencies, and happens to be used up more rapidly in the body when we consume and metabolize sweet treats. Some of the first signs of a zinc deficiency include reduced sense of smell, loss of appetite, and taste changes. All of these factors make you less likely to reach for spinach when magnesium stores are low and more likely to reach for a more powerful sensation – like a hit of chocolate. The taste of nuts and cereals just don’t have quiet the same bite as that dark bean.

It’s a vicious little spiral; as each time we succumb to the compulsion to reach for our favourite chocolate dessert, we simultaneously create another deficiency that leads us to prefer to reach for that same chocolate dessert next time around and less likely to want anything to do with the much healthier options. What’s worse is, it is often those with powerful food cravings who are also the notorious perpetual dieters. Adding yet another portion to the recipe for your zinc deficiency disaster.

It’s those who restrict food intake that are most vulnerable to this compounding wreck. Restricting calories, skipping meals and cutting off certain food sources are among the main culprits to so many nutritional deficiencies in first world countries, zinc being right there at the top of mineral deficiency list. Although no less wicked than another other nutritional deficiency – as an absence in any essential nutrient will devastate the body.

Don’t play nutritional shaman of your own life if you don’t really know what the consequences are. Just because some fad diet where you only ate two days a week and starved yourself the other five days of the week worked for you a year ago, doesn’t mean it will continue to and the consequences to your body could be very difficult to undo.

There is no diet as impressive as the one that mother nature sets for us, no google search quiet as clever at constructing a meal plan as she is. If you don’t really know what you are doing, and you don’t really understand the power of eating the right foods – real food – then be open to learning from someone who does.

I hope you learned something from this post. I appreciate your feedback and looking forward to hearing from you in the discussions below.

P.S. Yes I know the fad diet is eat 5 days and starve yourself for 2 days, but really, does that make it any less absurd?

Sending love from Sydney

-Maria

I wanted to start off by apologizing for the hiatus I have taken.  After the death of a family member my desire to write diminished, and then I got caught up with life, trying to survive by myself in a whole new hemisphere – but I have landed on my feet now and viola, I am inspired to write.

I left in the middle of a series of posts about food cravings.  You might recall me, justifiably, calling your brain a selfish bitch.  This post is about how the tiny ecosystem in your gut might also be contributing.

Before you put me in a stray-jacket for suggesting that singled-celled organisms might be controlling your thoughts, and you protest “They can’t do that!” let me tell you a few things they can do…

Evolve

While your genetic code takes a human lifetime to be passed down to the next generation, these tiny microbes only take hours.  Their ability to reproduce so fast also increases their opportunities to evolve as rapidly as our external environment is changing.  For millions of years they have been co-evolving alongside animals, just as they are continuing to do on us – their survival is partly dependant on us and they also return the favour.

When one of these critters living on our bodies does something that we like or that we feel benefits us, we call them ‘good bacteria’ and when they do something we don’t like or cause our bodies to respond in an undesirable manner, we call them ‘bad bacteria’.

What are a few things they do that we like and don’t like?

Well for starters, they can help us digest our food.

How much impact can they possibly make on digestion?  Well cows – who eat a grass diet – don’t actually have much of an ability to get any nutrition from the grass on their own.  Instead, they depend on the bugs living in their four-chambered stomach, to produce the enzymes they need to digest this high-fibre diet.  I know what you are thinking, “but we aren’t cows” and while that’s a fantastic observation, just know that they do a similar thing for us.

Synthesize Vitamins

We’ve known for a long time now that the bacteria in our gut also produce vitamins essential to our health.  For example, vitamin k which is a nutrient needed for blood clotting is produced by our bacteria in our gut. Without this vitamin you could bleed to death from a tiny cut, and there is increasing attention towards the idea that a lack of it may be linked to colitis.  So digesting our food and producing vitamins we need, so far these pests aren’t so bad.

Until of course you’re standing at the check-out aisle flirting with the hottest human you’ve ever seen–you can’t even believe your luck. Then suddenly, oh no is that gas? Damn it, you knew you shouldn’t have had that milk in your latte this morning!  As a bead of sweat drips down your face you think, “maybe I can hoooold…” oh there it goes, and it’s a stinker.  The smell wafts through the store, while all eyes turn on you, you look back and your future husband has already b-lined it straight out the door and into his car where he is safe from your obnoxious fumes.  You can thank your gut bacteria for that chemical warfare too.

Besides toxic chemicals, they can release hormones.  Hormones are the power chemicals that lead to all kinds of reactions within the body. Even our ability to feel an emotion is governed by hormones; dopamine makes you feel happy and motivated; serotonin can lead to euphoria and reduced appetite; and of course there are others such as the hormone leptin, which is released by the lining of your stomach when your stomach has been filled.  Leptin travels to your brain signalling that you are full and you should stop eating. Without leptin you would never feel satisfied, you would continue to eat everything within site.  To complicate matters a little bit, it’s now known that bacteria can interfere with hormones, one of those said hormones being leptin. Uh oh

Thousands of different species inhabiting your body and calling it their home, while they are all fighting for the greater portion of real estate and for their chance to dominate.  Their desire to let each other cross borders seems to be even less tolerant than ours.  Each one doing what it takes to survive and reproduce as fast as they can. All these passengers are at an ongoing dinner party, while we are playing the host, they eat what we serve them.  Unfortunately the diet each species needs to thrive are not all alike.  The choices we make at each and every meal determines which species gets a fighting chance and which ones are at a major disadvantage.

When you put together all these facts about these little guys, the notion that they might be influencing your food cravings becomes a little easier to digest.

Ultimately you are in charge though and your food choices matter.  A high fibre plant based diet will lead to greater numbers of some species, while a diet low in fibre and richer in meat sources could lead you to house a whole other group, on the same note a highly refined junk-food diet has the capacity to sway the power towards a whole other group all together.  It is likely that the foods you are a custom to eating are the exact foods the predominate species in your gut need to continue to survive.  You can trust me when I say that for billions of years if bacteria have shown us one thing at all, it is that they will do absolutely whatever they need to do to survive.  These microbes are under no moral obligations to play fair, and the fact that you want to get beach body ready ranks a whooping no where on their priority list.

Moral of the story?

Play it safe and eat real food, it shows that over time, you actually start to prefer this lifestyle and your body learns to adapt to crave these foods.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and much as I enjoyed writing it.  Comments shares and likes are very appreciated and the feedback, positive or negative, helps me determine what more I should share.

-Maria

 

 

Being a Nutritionist can sometimes be incredibly frustrating, especially when it comes to the subject of shedding weight.  When passing suggestions to people, I often get cut off before I can offer any guidance.  “I already know what I need to do” they often say, generally followed with an “I just have to do it.”

Okay honestly, I am aware that you know what to do…Everyone and their dog knows that if you quit eating lollies and you start eating kale, then you are likely to shed weight.  What it takes to lose the love handles is really no secret.  Those who state that they already know what to do are often no different than the vast majority.

I have also never heard anyone say to me, “Starting Monday morning I am going to start being as unhealthy as possible.  I am going to do whatever it takes to quit the gym, I’m going to hire a trainer and he is going to force me to binge eat on fast food, ice cream and chips.”  I think then that it is fairly safe to assume that the masses want to be fitter and healthier.  So, if we all want to be in great shape and we already know what it takes to be healthier, why then aren’t we all successfully doing it?

The answer is not in the what, but in the why.

Knowing what not to eat doesn’t address or defeat the most deliciously evil part of the battle – the insidious food cravings!

The next 3 posts are meant to help you understand why we all have so much trouble doing what we know we need to do, sprinkled with a few suggestions on what may make it easier to accomplish it.

Here are among the top 3 reasons why food cravings can be so powerful.

1.  Your brain is a selfish bitch

2. The yeasty beasties

3. You don’t really know what to do and you’re only making your problems worse by causing mineral deficiencies

 

Your brain is a selfish bitch

During fasting or starvation all of the organs in your body will make adjustments to conserve energy – they can actually shrink in size (40%) to adapt to the current situation – except for your brain.  The brain is the most demanding organ of the body. It puts its needs first and serves itself first.  The brain’s main source of fuel is glucose (sugar), and it also happens to be the primary consumer of glucose.  At only 2% of the total body weight, the brain uses a whooping 25% of the body’s energy, give or take about 500kcal/day.

Moreover, the brain doesn’t have much of an energy storing system, for that, it depends on the body.  This is referred to as “energy on demand”. When the brain needs energy and the blood stores are low, it takes it from the energy stores (fat stores) of the body, turning the fat into glucose and using it as fuel…it’s genius really.  When the body’s stores eventually run out, it will demand it from the environment (food).  There can be a glitch in this system if there is a defect in the control systems of the brain: extreme stress, advertising from sweets, and conditioning of eating behaviour, can be among the factors leading to these defects. So instead of using first the body’s energy store for glucose, it demands it directly from food. This surplus of energy can accumulate, leading to increased fat store in the body, but your selfish brain doesn’t mind because it is temporarily happy,  albeit a bitch! This phenomenon is known as “The Selfish Brain Theory”

If you have satisfied your low blood sugar with lollies then you have given your subconscious mind positive reinforcement that these foods will relatively quickly give your brain what it wants. Each time you repeat this behaviour you strengthen the synaptic connections in your brain, turning binge eating into a wickedly powerful and dangerously impulsive habit, leaving even the strongest mind feeling like a hopeless prisoner who repeatedly surrenders their conscious mind’s goals and needs.

You may say, but I don’t crave sugar, I lean toward salty or savoury.  Don’t fool yourself, even those who think they aren’t addicted to sugar often are.  Try going off sugar for a week – no sweeteners, including honey – and tell me that you aren’t addicted.  Nonetheless, if your cravings tend to be for salty or savoury things then this is still largely in part due to the selfish brain theory.

The brain gets its nutrients from the blood, passing the blood brain barrier via a special insulin-independent transport system.  When your blood pressure gets low, the blood flow to your brain decreases.  This makes your selfish brain very angry >:(.   It has very cleverly learned from past experience that where salt goes water goes. In other words the salt pulls fluid into your blood vessels, expanding your blood, making it easier for your heart to pump blood to your brain.  Savvy your little brain is.  Again, every time you repeat this behaviour you reinforce your brain to behave in this manner.   It’s like coddling a screaming child, it might seem like a great idea at the time, but often in long term it reveals to be a very bad choice.

Here’s the kicker, low blood pressure is often caused by a sugar crash, whether it be induced by caffeine, lollies or simply a heavy carbohydrate meal. This is why sweet cravings are often followed by ravenous salt cravings…your brain knows what’s coming.  In some instances it gets really sly and demands both at the same time.  Next thing you know you are eating ice cream straight out the tub only to takes breaks to shove a handful of pretzels down your face.

So what to do?

1.  Don’t panic and don’t beat yourself up over it!  Blame, shame, guilt and anger only give way to comfort eating, turning your “treat” into a guilty pleasure.  I swear, we were all doomed since the introduction of the word “treat”.

Anytime you have one of these negative thoughts you release a neurotransmitter that allows you to feel that thought.  Repeating that thought over and over in your mind repeats the release of the neurotransmitter in brain.  Overtime, you can cause a self-induced chemical imbalance in your brain.

Ever wonder why you don’t emotional eat when you are happy?  Because happy thoughts release the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is an appetite suppressant.  Anyone who has ever sampled street drugs that artificially raise serotonin levels – such as ecstasy or MDMA – can testify how powerful the appetite-suppressant effects of serotonin can be.

Instead call friends, do yoga, have sex, smile, watch a comedy, take a bath, or do anything that works for you.  Write down a list of the things that make you happy:  raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, anything but more eating!

I work around food all day long, when something doesn’t always go my way, I mitigate stress-eating by having a quick chat with a co-worker who thinks my sarcastic bitchy humour is actually funny.  She laughs at everything I say, which makes me happy and then I go merrily about my day.  Do whatever works for you.

2. Don’t let your blood glucose levels drop to dangerous levels.  If you are trying to adopt new eating habits then make sure you are always prepared with a wholesome meal that is ready to eat.  Don’t get caught with low blood sugar and nothing healthy that’s ready to go.  You will be doomed in this case.  Rarely does willpower stand a chance against low blood sugar.

Caffiene, heavy carbohydrate meals and stress can lead to fluctuating hyper and hypoglycaemia. Do what it takes to reduce these, and for god sakes don’t start your day with sugar!  I explain the reason for this a bit more throughly in a past post “Say No to Crack”

3. Fruit is a great way to quickly raise blood sugar.  If you aren’t eating fruit right now because you are on a special diet then try a spoon full of raw coconut oil.  Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid that can be converted very quickly by your liver into energy.

For salt cravings, try bone broth, it works just as efficiently as any salty treat at increasing blood volume, and it’s healthy.

4. Don’t keep garbage in the house!  If you are stressed, tired, or hangry, and the lollies are right there staring you dead in the eye, then you will eat them. Why set yourself up for failure?  If your partner isn’t on board with your food-revolution, and he or she makes that clear by asking why they can’t have treats around the house because you have a problem, then refrain from punching them straight in the mouth, and perhaps just try changing the location of the sweets.  Breaking patterns is key!  Replace everything that was in your usual junk filled pantry with healthy alternatives, encouraging notes, or pictures of your goals.

5. Chew your food!   Chewing your food thoroughly before you swallow is incredibly underrated.  The first stage of digestion happens in your mouth.  Chewing not only helps break down the food while it is in your mouth, but it also sends signals to your stomach that food is coming. These signals allow your stomach to release the appropriate enzymes it needs in order digest that particular food.   Your body is amazing!  Failing to chew slows down the digestive processes.  Selfish brain doesn’t have the patience for slow, don’t make it angry.

And finally of course there is exercise, which amazing for everything and deserves a whole blog on it’s own.

This post was Part 1 on how to outsmart food cravings.  If you liked it then help me reach more people by sharing.   Feedback is always appreciated!  Feel free to comment straight on the blog rather than the facebook page, as it opens up the conversation to everyone.   Very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sending love from Sydney,

Maria