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Serotonin Power Blog
Being a guest has it’s challenges as well. You need to be sensitive to the ways of other households, you don’t have your usual comforts of home and familiarity, and you may not have access to the foods that make you feel good and that you are choosing to eat these days. And your host may insist you eat everything served especially those who spend countless hours shopping and preparing the food.
Achieving a goal, like losing weight, following your meal and exercise plan, earning a degree while you’re working, or raising money for a cause you believe in, can feel euphoric, especially when you’ve overcome significant challenging obstacles to get there. We know logically that it’s hard to make the changes required to reach a goal. So why, then, when the going gets tough, are we unprepared and wonder why the journey is not pain-free? Part of it has to do with our desire to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and take the path of least resistance. Being aware of this triad can help you better accept, and tolerate, the obstacles you’ll face.
Clinical depression can be associated with confusion and cognitive impairment. Processing speed, creativity, memory, and mental focus can be compromised in the setting of depression. Cognitive decline associated with depression can look like dementia in the elderly. Treatment for depression, and social support and compassion, can be a way to improve cognitive function.
We care for others, willingly and with love, such as being there for your children, friends, work colleagues, and community. At the same time, doing so can bring unexpected and ever-changing demands that at times can feel depleting, overwhelming, and frustrating. Taking care of yourself – and making sure your needs are met – while caring for others is vital, especially when caring for elderly parents, a spouse, child, or other family member with a chronic condition.
Studies show that high-fat food intake is associated with increased daytime sleepiness and decreased alertness. The deterioration in alertness was sufficiently great to be a possible deterrent to the performance of specific jobs. However, excessive daytime sleepiness found an association with saturated, but not unsaturated fat. This is another reason to choose nuts, seeds, olive and sesame oil, tahini, and avocado.
An enduring problem associated with strategies aimed to reduce obesity, or at least to make the obese healthier, is the “one size fits all” approach. It is rarely cost effective to work with an individual patient to figure out why weight was gained or perhaps regained. It takes time to figure out how lifestyle may contribute to overeating. Does the patient get enough sleep, or eat to stay awake? Is the patient overwhelmed by work or caregiving, perhaps for an elderly parent or disabled spouse? Is the overeating a response to depression, anxiety, social isolation, marital, financial, or other problems — or simply loneliness? Could intuitive eating work for everyone? The reasons for weight gain are not intuitive; nor, it seems, is the solution.
Fortunately, the increase in emotional comfort and decrease in stress experienced after eating carbohydrates is not dependent on changing food choices or new foods entering the supermarket. Carbohydrates will elicit a positive mood, regardless of whether the food was also eaten by one’s grandparents or is new to the contemporary eater. After eating pasta or quinoa, oatmeal or farro, or orange or purple sweet potatoes, relief from feeling down or anxious or tense.