Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

Eat and Be Happy: Foods that Boost Your Happy Neurotransmitters

Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine by Janice Taylor
As we head off to the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts of plenty, I thought it might be useful to know what foods bring forth the best feelings. Yes, foods change the chemical structure in your brain, and therefore have an impact on your mood.
It’s scientific! Research shows that nutrition or the lack thereof does alter the production or release of neurotransmitters. Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters.
Serotonin gives us a feeling of calm and relaxation, a general sense of well-being. High levels of serotonin can cause a person to feel sluggish and drowsy. Low levels of serotonin can intensity food cravings.
Foods that release serotonin in the brain are: fruits, breads, grains and vegetables to a lesser extent.
Dopamine and norepinephrine increase our energy and level of alertness. Protein causes both dopamine and norepinephrine to be released in the brain. Foods that are connected to the release of these two neurotransmitters are: meat, chicken, fish, nuts, soy products, eggs and dairy products.
Including 3-4 oz of protein in your lunchtime meal may help you to stay alert and happy throughout the afternoon. (Imagine – no 3 p.m. slump!) On the other side of the coin, should you have trouble sleeping at night, you might limit your protein and increase your carbohydrates – particularly at dinner time (no, I did not say have cake; I am referencing the above list).
However, overeating, regardless of the amount of protein in the meal can cause lethargy and sleepiness. When we overeat, the blood flow is redirected to the stomach and away from the brain. The ideal amount of calories per meal is between 300 and 500 calories. This will keep your energy flowing, and your mood on even keel.
In addition, other ‘foods’ that have an affect on our brain are caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and tend to dehydrate the body. And caffeine is a stimulant while alcohol is a depressant. A good guideline for sugar, especially for us sugar-addicts who experience the ‘sugar-high’ and ‘sugar-low,’ is to limit your consumption to less than 200 calories per day. That should help to eliminate the ‘sugar-blues.’
What about water? Yes, drink up, my friend.
At the end of the day, it’s all about good and balanced nutrition. As you head off to your holiday parties, family gatherings, remember … at the end of the day, it is all about good and balanced nutrition.
Make a beeline for the fruit platter instead of the fruitcake; increase your happy neuro-transmitters and enjoy!
A merry and a happy to you all!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice
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Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!
For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
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Do YOU Suffer from Social Anxiety?

I received an email from a member of the Kick in the Tush Club, who greatly suffers when at social functions. Parties and gatherings bring forth extreme feelings of discomfort. In order to feel better, she eats. And sometimes she eats some more.
I thought I would share her letter here, because I know she’s not alone. Many of us are uncomfortable in these types of situations. Many suffer from social anxiety. What advice do you have for “N?”
Dear Janice ~ I, too, am seeking permanent thinness. I do fine at home, at work, at restaurants, at night, in the car. It’s the social events that drive me out of “won’t power” to bunches of this and that, usually chocolate thises and thats.
No one does this to me; no pushy offers. It’s me and a party that is a lethal combination. I don’t like parties; but I do like sugar in most any form. The only person I need to say no to is me, so it’s the “won’t power” vs. piles of cookies and sitting around. I’ve found myself washing the hostess’s dishes so I don’t have my hands in the candy bowl. Do I need to wear elbow-length white gloves so picking up chocolate would be disgusting?
Suggestions are welcome. Best, N.
Dear N. ~ I do like the visual of the elbow-length white gloves! It’s almost as ‘bad’ as me duct-taping my mouth closed when cooking!!
All kidding aside, it sounds like you are extremely uncomfortable in social settings that require schmoozing and mixing it up people you may or may not know. You’re not alone. Many people have difficulties in social settings.
Now, I could give you the basic advice that you may have heard before.

  • Eat something before you go, so you won’t be famished and go off the deep end.
  • Decide ahead of time how many cookies you’re going to have. And stick to it!
  • If possible, bring a crudite platter or fruit platter so there’s something there you can eat!

Or … we could look at this another way.
Instead of approaching this from the food angle and working on how to say ‘no’ to the food; perhaps you could look at getting more comfortable with being at these social gatherings. There are many techniques that can help including hypnosis, meditation, and breathing – to name a few. I think that this is a perfect example of how weight loss isn’t about the food; it’s about something else that is triggering food.
I hope that gives you food for thought. Thanks for writing, and please let us know how you move through this uncomfortable challenge. We’re rootin’ for you! ~ Janice

For those of us who can relate to this problem. RIGHT NOW … Write down 5 things that YOU CAN do that will change the way you approach and experience social gatherings. And what advice do you have for “N.?”
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice
———————————————————–
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!
For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
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SMA: Seasonal Music Award goes to … (video blog)

Yes, friends, it’s time for the SMA. Seasonal Music Award – something I created just this minute (if it already exists … please don’t tell me; let me enjoy the glory of believing that I had an original thought).In honor of Chanukah, today’s SMA : Seasonal Music Award goes to… drum roll please!Hanukkah in Santa Monica by Tom Lehrer. What are your picks for the SMA’s – SMA: Seasonal Music Awards?Comment below! Let’s party together!!!Happy Chanukah to all!Spread the word … NOT the icing!Janice———————————————————–Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter. Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine

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Winter Solstice: A Time for Rebirth, Regrowth and Renewal

Birthday of the Unconquered Sun by Janice Taylor
I was chatting with a few of my weight loss clients about the holiday season. Inquiring, of course, how they were going to celebrate their holiday, whether it be Christmas, or Chanukah, or Kwanzaa or the New Year. Perhaps Festivus?
One word led to another and the Winter Solstice entered the picture. A perfect day in that it is not infused with gift buying, nor forced celebrations, but rather a day that is ripe with opportunity for rebirth and renewal.
In the northern hemisphere, winter solstice has been an important time of celebration throughout history. It marks the shortest day of the year as well as the longest night. The sun is at its lowest and weakest point, and from this day forward, the light will grow brighter and stronger. It is the turning point of the year. The Romans called it the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
To our ancient ancestors, it seemed as if the Sun and Moon had stopped dead in their tracks as they made their way across the sky. The Sun was believed to be a celestial ruler, a male divinity. And the Sun’s rebirth was believed to come out of the Goddess. This predates Christianity. The Church felt that by assimilating this holiday into Christian beliefs, it would help bring in those who followed the old ways.
Winter Solstice is also called Yule. It stems from the Anglo-Saxon “yula” or “wheel” of the year. In pagan rituals, the Yule Log was lit on Winter Solstice’s Eve and burned for twelve hours. This year the winter solstice falls on December 21 at 7:04 AM EST and 12:04 UT (Universal Time).
The Winter Solstice marks a central part of nature’s cycle. It is a time of new growth, rebirth and renewal. It is a reminder that in order to begin anew, the old must end.
It is the time of year when we pay homage to the darkness of life’s mysteries, while still keeping our faith. Spring will come again.
Symbols of the Winter Solstice
Many of the symbols used to celebrate the Christmas season originated from the Winter Solstice celebration. They had deep spiritual significance.
The Yule Log
Lighting a fire acknowledged the return of the sun; its warmth and light and the lengthening of the days. The Pagans believed that good luck would come if the log was lit on the first try and burned for twelve hours.
Mistletoe
Kissing under the mistletoe originated in the late 18th century. The “kissing bush” was an evergreen: either holly, rosemary, pine or yew. Since these plants thrived during the winter, they became symbols that life continued even on the shortest, coldest and darkest of days.
Candles
The use of candles symbolized light and helped to focus the spirit.
The Feast
Food has always been associated with winter celebrations, whether it was Saturnalia of the Romans, the Solstice or Christmas dinner. The winter reminds us that there are lean months ahead. To take part in this feast was a life affirming act. It showed that one had faith in God and Goddess and believed that light and warmth would return once again.
So – set your clocks for Sunday and at 7:04 a.m. Eastern time, join with me in rebirth, renewal and reinvention.
Happy Holidays!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice
———————————————————–
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!
For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
ART heart.jpg about Janice

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