A Not So Politically Correct Take on Appetite from a Registered Dietitian

OK everyone!!! Patrick is spending the night at the hospital – another 30 hour shift. SO I’ve got some time to share something with you all that I’m super excited about! 

Boy do I. Love. This. Book- “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth. Mindful eating- my, how we forget this day and age what that actually means. As a clinical dietitian, you see the repercussions of poor diet around you 24/7. An unhealthy diet is the cause of 678,000 deaths per year- that’s ABOVE tobacco, alcohol abuse, and high blood pressure. I can’t cover diet all in one post but I am going to talk about a piece of the puzzle & the one that I am most passionate about- mindful eating. Because I talk a lot about meal timing in this blog, this post is not appropriate for diabetics (as a dietitian, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that).

So! I read this book back in college & it was completely game changing for me. The book Women, Food and God (don’t be turned off by the title for anyone who does not have a religious background- it does not delve far into religion by any means) focuses on how we ignore hunger cues for SO many different reasons. Whether it’s because it’s just plain old “time to eat” or “I am supposed to have six small meals a day” or “I promised my friend I’d meet at a bakery”- whatever it is. As human beings, lets be honest, we were meant to work for our food. That is how it always was before technology and all this fancy stuff! We did not have a restaurant on every corner or a vending machine outside our office begging us to get another snack. NOPE. We would go out into the world and hunt and fish and this would take TIME and ENERGY. But here we are. We feel the slightest inkling of hunger (or thirst) and we are on the prowl. We eat when we are bored, we eat for holidays, we eat because it’s “lunch time”, we eat to celebrate a birthday, to catch up with a friend, we eat mindlessly on the phone, we eat while we watch a movie, we eat in the car on the way to work. But are we even hungry? Trust me, I think the social aspect is wonderful. Traveling and trying new restaurants is our favorite past time. However Patrick and I will not eat if we are not hungry- under any circumstance. But that’s the only “diet” we follow & it works. It sounds easy- but it takes work! Is it strange for people at times? Yes it definitely is. It is not easy to not eat with a friend when you are not hungry- but I do it all the time. My friends know this and they know it well. Do not care how uncomfortable it makes someone, don’t care if they’re judging- because it doesn’t make sense. If you’re not hungry your body is saying- “I’ve got the energy we need in here- no worries”. A lot of the time it takes people time to regain hunger cues because if you are used to ignoring them aka eating more or less than what your body needs – your hunger cues may be out of whack but they do come back! It just takes time to relearn how to listen to your body. Starving yourself, only sends your hunger cues into constant FEED ME craziness- so we will cover this in another post because restricting is another topic, for another day, my friends.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest”.

“If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you’ve had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist”.

“And if you worry that not finishing the food on your plate is a slap in the face of all the hungry people everywhere, you are not living in reality. The truth is that you either throw the food out or you throw it in, but either way it turns to waste. World hunger will not be solved by finishing the garlic mashed potatoes on your plate”.

helath

Sweet dreams & Happy Hunger Cues!

Matcha > Coffee & Adderall

MATCHA! I love it in and on all things. Pancakes (see below), oatmeal, yogurt, obviously my daily morning concoction (that I’ll share with you all) – I mean I’d sprinkle it on pizza if people wouldn’t look at me all funny. I tried it for the first time in high school and have been hooked since! I sprinkle it in almost everything for a bit of clean feeling energy & that earthy taste that keeps me comin back every time.

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Side Note: Add a tablespoon of Matcha to your pancake batter & a teaspoon of spirulina. I made these pancakes with whole wheat & coconut flour. Post to follow on benefits of spirulina & the pancake recipe!

From the Dietitian: Hope you all are seated because I could go on about the health benefits for quite some time. I’m gonna bullet it for you all so it’s not a bunch of mumbo jumo. I get excited and then everything starts running together haha! Background: I just got Patrick started on Matcha. Let’s just say the guy is not easy to convince (totally a science guy-EVERYTHING must be proven with research and yadda yadda). At first he looked at me like I had 10 heads and then he tried it and he now drinks it every morning & is equally as obsessed as I am. Why did I start Patrick on it this month? He started his rotation in the MICU (Medical ICU). This means 30hr shifts/>80hr work week and a lot of intensity. Clean, calm, alert energy- YES! Perfecto timing you could say! I make a matcha drink in the morning with a lot of additions- I’m going to share this with you on a later post but the main ingredient is MATCHA!

From the Doctor: He can’t say much because he just started drinking it two weeks ago! But like I said, he drinks it every morning because he feels like he has sustained energy throughout the day without the crash! Do we still drink coffee sometimes (yes- we are not anti-coffee at all. Just prefer Matcha).

From the Dietitian (I’m back again!): 

  • Stuffed to the rim with antioxidants, EGCG (or epiocatechin gallate – great for metabolic & cardiovascular health), L-theanine and polyphenols- this puppy serves as quite the immune defense
  • But back to L-theanine. Because this is my favorite thing about Matcha & why I will forever choose tea over coffee. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a calming effect. It’s found in both black and green tea. A lot of people will take L-theanine for anxiety! This is why there is less of a crash with tea like a lot of people have with coffee. Matcha gives me a calm/alert feeling that I love love love. Who needs nasty adderall? 👎🏻

Side note: We all are super busy humans these days. We work hard and don’t rest as often as we should. Probably why people love adderall so much- it’s why I did. I was prescribed adderall throughout college. I’d take it and then stop because I HATE the side effects- but I loved the focus. Matcha gives me that mentally alert feeling without the horrible crash that makes me turn into a gremlin! I’m not going to delve too much into adderall because a. my hubby isn’t home so I can’t pretend like I know all about the logistics (not my scope haha) BUT b. I hate the stuff & for me- I didn’t think it was good for my body.

  • Polyphenols-  Before I go here, there is ongoing research with this topic. Polyphenols are a great source of antioxidants. And we all say antioxidants but I think people forget what it actually means and I love love chemistry so I’m taking this opportunity! Definition: An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents another molecule from oxidizing. Lots of processes in the body cause oxidation naturally (this can also happen from poor diet/pollution/UV rays etc)- the intake of antioxidants is needed to counteract some of the negative results of the build up of too many oxidized molecules. Picture you have three molecules: You have a healthy molecule (full of electrons aka happy), you have a free radical molecule (missing an electron aka unhappy) and you have an antioxidant molecule. The free radical wants to take an electron from your happy molecule (causing damage) BUT instead the antioxidant (as kind and generous as it is) gives an electron to the free radical so it doesn’t have to take an electron from your happy molecules (see photo below)!  AND IN TURN reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative  (ex: Alzheimer’s) and cardiovascular diseases. Sounds pretty fabulous to me- if that doesn’t make you want to drink matcha and eat your fruits and veggies I don’t know what will. ATOMS2
  • Matcha can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar
  • High in Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin C, chromium, and magnesium- I will post about importance of mineral don’t you all worry. But I’ll spare ya since I just went on a chemistry binge.
  • Contains fiber (anti constipation club here)Matcha-Antioxidants-Chart-Other-Foodscaffeine-chart-ig_1024I hope you all enjoyed & Knox wishes you all a very happy Sunday!