Saturday, September 11, 2010

Carbs make me sleepy

I've joked that I must be solar powered because after the last 11 years of my life not spent outdoors I felt run down, tired, moody, depressed, and became outright anemic (there's a connection between mood, iron levels, weight and sunshine) My post on Thursday reflects my not being outside for a couple of days, I'm a much happier person now. The second half of Friday was very warm and sunny so I curled up on the deck on a lounge chair and sunned myself ahhhhhhhhhhhh energy restored. I'm in so much trouble when the weather gets too cool for sun soaking!

I spent the first half of today in the pouring rain at Fort Loudon's Trade Faire.  I wasn't terribly happy about that, but fortunately it was warm  the second half of the afternoon was actually sunny and pleasant and the muddiness dried up quickly.  I managed to soak up more rays when I got home.  I was fully energized!

Then disaster struck.  I cooked spaghetti, garlic bread, and chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Bad bad bad move! I ate less than a cup of spaghetti and a small piece of cake and a 2 inch square of garlic bread with  a salad, but it wasn't enough to offset the damage the carbs did.

Carbs make me sleepy.  So much so that I actually have to lie down and take a nap or I'll fall over (almost literally). 

Why?

This is the best article I've found on the subject.  Brain Feed

Apparently carbs increase seratonin levels which help you relax, thus the sleepy feeling.  The heavier laden with carbs your meal is, the sleepier you become.  Think how heavy Thanksgiving dinner is, potatoes, dressing, pies, cakes, rolls (bad carbs)...and how sleepy you become afterwards.  This doesnt' mean cut out carbs entirely, just be more choosy about when you consume them and what you consume them with.  Pepperidge Farms makes a fantastic 15 grain whole wheat bread with no high fructose corn syrup, 4 gs of fiber in each slice, 100 calories in each slice, yeah, a bit high in calories, just eat 1 slice with some natural pnut butter on it or hard cheese like colby jack or cheddar.  The harder the cheese the less processed goop in it as fillers..  Look at the labels on PNut butter for sugar and sodium counts, pick the one with the lowest counts.  I don't so much look at calories as I do sodium and sugar.  I also look for that evil culprit named high fructose corn syrup (hfcs).  If it'slised in the ingredients, I put the item back on the grocer's shelf and move on.  I know it's hard to find products that don't have hfcs in it, and sometimes you have to settle, I try not to settle until I've exhausted all other possibilities.

The bad carb (white bread, cakes, cookies,chips, pasta, soda) also induce a spike in blood sugar levels and thus fat storage.

Now that my sleepy after eating carbs mystery is solved, what carbs can I eat that won't make me sleepy?

Cherry tomatoes(also tend to be a bit higher in fiber than regular tomatoes), guacamole, hummus, avocado, RAW almonds, honey, cucumbers, peppers, really any fruit or veggie in it's natural (uncooked ) state, except potatoes,  brown /wild rice, whole wheat bread (not white) and dark balsamic vinegar.

On a side note, a lot of people I know start a diet by switching to diet drinks. Diet drinks are just as bad for you as the real thing because they are chock full of sodium.  The 'artificial' sweetener in them induces hunger because your body craves the real thing, real sugar, you might as well continue drinking the sugary drink and cut calories elsewhere.  Aspartame, almost always included in the diet drink, has been proven to cause cancer so while you're dropping your caloric intake here, even if you do start eating like a hog and blame it on lack of self control, you're possibly setting yourself up for an even longer harder battle down the road with cancer.  Remember, we don't do the blame game here.  We are our own worst enemies.

Your best bet is to go to a low/good carb diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, limited dairy, whole grains, and get plenty of sunshine and exercise.  You can still enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Self control isn't learned over night.  It takes time, commitment, honesty, and courage to get back up, wipe those crumbs off your lips, and get going.  I have chocolate cake crumbs on my lips, or I did have, and I paid for it today with a long long long nap and the scale will probably reflect it in the morning.

That just means I have to back up, look at what I did wrong, correct myself, and move on.  No beating yourself up allowed either.  You made the mistake, own it, get over it.  I made it, I own it, I'm over it.

4 comments:

pigeon toes said...

Thanks for posting this information. Will try your suggestions.

Jen said...

Just to let you know, the American Cancer Society says that Aspartame is NOT linked to any kind of cancer, and the few studies that HAVE suggested a link are questionable.

Of course, that doesn't mean you aren't right about sweeteners causing cravings. Probably better to switch to coffee or tea (if you're wanting caffeine), juice (if you're really craving the sugar), or just plain water.

Regular sodas and sweet tea do make it far more likely that you'll get diabetes - infinitely more likely than the chances you'll get cancer from diet sodas.

cmach said...

"Just to let you know, the American Cancer Society says that Aspartame is NOT linked to any kind of cancer, and the few studies that HAVE suggested a link are questionable."

Yeah right..I trust them like I do the FDA and Monsanto. All the billions of dollars going towards this organization over the past few decades and cancer is now at the highest rate ever? Whats wrong with that picture. Hmm I wonder who did the so called conclusive studies/tests that say there is no link to cancer (not to mention Alzheimer's disease, etc.) Perhaps the American Cancer Society themselves? You can pretty much bet that it wasn't a non profit non-biased non-paid-off panel of scientists that did these tests. If it's genetically altered, modified, or concocted in a lab by man and you are eating this stuff you'd be wise to expect some kind of undesirable side effect. So now there's so called tests by who knows who stating that these artificial sweeteners chemically made in laboratories are perfectly safe, and there are tests stating that GMO is perfectly safe, tests stating pesticides are safe, Mercury (amalgam), Cell phones, etc., etc.. So where the heck are all of these diseases coming from?? Falling out of the sky just randomly dropping on whoever happens to be standing in the wrong spot that day???

Anonymous said...

@ cmach...

What the? Seriously?? Right... so instead of reading scientific articles yourself you spread hearsay and what you want to think is true about food and the inherently evil corporations. Useless. Cmach, your post is so full of popular buzzwords it makes you look like you're wearing a tinfoil hat.

Ever think that cancer rates are higher simply because we LIVE LONGER? Our DNA breaks down, malfunctions, and voila you have cancer -- we aren't machines that live forever. A lot of things, INCLUDING SUNLIGHT, the most natural thing in the world, will damage DNA. If nothing else kills us eventually we're going to get something that we can't cure. Good luck getting help then because you won't want doctors using their "man made unnatural OMG chemicals" to try and save your life.

Go read a medical journal instead of these alarmist health sites. You realize health sites also want to sell you things half the time right? Heath food stores are some of the most expensive shops out there. Think about that.

Diet drinks are bad but get a little perspective on your alarmist worldview. Holy crap you people scare me for the future of this planet.