Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts!

Sorry, I have been remiss in my blog writing.  Life has a way of getting in the way of things you love to do.  I have had another “diagnosis” of another medical issue (not related to weight) and I have been a bit bummed out.  And what happens when you are stressed or sad?  Cravings.  Luckily, they haven’t been too bad and I have stuck to the usual nuts and cheese snacks…but still now and then you need something tasty.

So, I found some GREAT low-carb ice cream bars.  They have anywhere from 11g to 13g of carbs per bar and they are delicious.

Carb Smart has a line of ice cream and ice cream bars of all different types.

Here is my favorite Carb Smart bar and I found them at my local grocery store, Fresh and Easy and Smart and Final. They are also at Wal-Mart (and they do melt if they not in the refrigerator).


I also discovered that another brand makes low-carb ice cream bars and sandwiches:  They have a WHOLE line of low-carb products!

They have a locator:


So, you can have ice cream, it is “measured out” through being in a bar and you can’t overdo it.  And it has chocolate bits on it–and some have nuts!  And it is low-carb!  You can’t beat it!

Sugar Does Not Reduce Stress: There are Better Ways to De-Stress

I have a friend in my Sunday Pilates class.  She is pretty awesome.  She works hard, works out like crazy and has lost a ton of weight.  She is in excellent shape, but she desperately wants to lose a bit more weight.  Yet, she is under a lot of anxiety and stress and tends to run to sugar for her comfort.  I am writing this article in her honor!


Things that are BAD for anxiety:

Going to sugar and carbs is a way for many people to deal with their anxiety.  However, it actually is counter-productive.  It is actually the worst choice for anxiety.  Sweets (including sugar, honey and corn syrup) makes us temporarily feel better.,Here’s why: Sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The absorption causes an initial high or surge of energy. But that surge wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from your bloodstream. The result: You’re left feeling tired and low.  It also makes you continue in a vicious cycle of SUGAR and STRESS!


Going to coffee isn’t going to help.  Instead, drink water because if you drink coffee, you are actually dehydrating.  Some people drink coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine (tea, cola, and hot chocolate) to help boost their energy levels. The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and, when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable.  Even mild dehydration can cause depression. Caffeine also can keep you awake, leading to stress and anxiety. Remember that you need to sleep well to be in a positive mood.

Going to alcohol is not good either.  Some people drink alcohol because it seems like a good way to ease anxiety and stress.  Unfortunately, the good mood is only temporary. In the long run, alcohol is a depressant. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic, and it’s important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons, including mood. If you do drink, drink in moderation.

Processed foods, such as hot dogs, sausage, pie, cookies, and cakes cause anxiety or other mental health issues?There have been studies, people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweetened deserts had a 58 percent higher risk of depression than those who ate “whole” foods such as fish and vegetables. So skip the processed foods and have fresh foods!

Here are foods that are GOOD for anxiety:

1.  Foods with L-tryptophan.  Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which helps you feel calm).  Foods with it include:

 turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. You can also take it by pill form in 5 HTTP, available in health food stores.

2.  Foods with Vitamin B.  Vitamin B (including thiamin or Vitamin B1, helps with mood.  A deficiency in B Vitamins (such as folic acid and B12) can trigger depression in some people.  You can also take it in pill form in a good B Complex formula.  Foods with Vitamin B include:

beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts and eggs.

3.  Foods with carbohydrates will increase the production of serotonin in the brain.  However, you want to watch how many you get in order to not gain weight (50g to 100g a day to lose weight is recommended).  The rights carbs to choose:

Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) and not processed choices like sugar, candy, white bread or white rice.  

Whole grains take longer for the body to break down, and release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Processed carbs may give you an initial surge of energy, but that can be followed by an insulin rush, which rapidly drops blood sugar levels, ultimately leaving you feeling lethargic.

4.  Foods with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA),  help improve mood and reduce risk of heart disease.  Foods with Omega 3s are found in:

salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.

Walnuts, chia seeds, flax-seed and basil.

5.  Greek Yogurt and Other High-Protein Foods:  Proteins helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which, like serotonin, are neurotransmitters and carry impulses between nerve cells. Higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine have been shown to improve mood, alertness, mental energy, and reaction time.  Good sources of protein include:

Greek yogurt, fish, meats, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, and lentils. 

And don’t forget that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking some “me” time, getting enough sleep, exercising and getting in foods with natural spices to reduce cravings (like cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom.) will all help reduce anxiety.

Another trick is taking 200 mg of L-Theanine to reduce anxiety.  It really works!  It is available at any health food store and it is amazing.

Follow these tips and you will feel better and lose weight too.

Birth, Death and Dieting

I found out yesterday that my oldest dog, Charlie, might have cancer.  I love that dog.  I am pretty devastated.  However, I will not stray from my quest for physical fitness and staying thin.  I still got up and went to Pilates today.  Letting myself go will not make him healthy and I still have two other dogs who need a healthy mom.  I still have a husband who loves me and we will get through this together.

Today’s food will be the same as usual and I will stay on track.  It was my birthday on Thursday and I still ate appropriately.  I had a FEW bites of my husband’s chocolate gelato, but I stuck to my usual low-carb foods for the day.  Tonight, friends are taking me out to an Indian restaurant and I will only eat 4 ounces of Chicken Tikka and some of the Cauliflower of the Gobi Gobi.  NO naan bread, etc.

I will not allow myself to fall into the pit of depression or birthday eating, where you screw up months and years of hard work.  Carbs will NOT make me feel better in the long run.  I will only feel worse because–“Once over the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”


Some researchers maintain that reducing your carb intake can impact your brain’s serotonin levels, putting you at risk for depression and mood imbalance. Therefore, it is important to eat protein every 3-4 hours, get between 50 to 100g of carbs a day and to exercise to increase serotonin levels.  That is why I made sure I made it to Pilates today.  I will try to get on the elliptical later too.  And I am taking my vitamins.  B Vitamins are really important in times of stress!  I will also take L-Theanine 200mg, which is the most magic remedy for any kind of stress out there and it is a natural protein with no side effects.

So, if you are down–go for a walk, do something.  Not this kind of exercise…..



Here is my Charlie in better times. He loves going to the park (The bench at the park pictured behind him.  I am sure he peed on it!)


Do I Do My Chores or Do I Exercise?

I was faced with a tough decision yesterday.  I had a ton of chores to do and I am under stress to do them.  Do I give up my nightly exercise to do it?  What is one night?

Well, I decided to exercise because I had spent years neglecting myself, which is how I gained weight in the first place.  There will always be something to do, so why neglect myself any more?  I want to stay skinny and you can’t if you let yourself fall back on old bad habits.

You have to prioritize yourself.  You can have a nice car and a nice house.  You can have a nice Chanel bag….but what difference does it make if you look like crap?  Your body and the shape it is in says a lot about a person.  It says a lot about your sense of self-control, a sense of self-love and self-respect.  It is the FIRST thing that people notice about you.  They might never see your car or your house, but they will see YOU.  And how good does a nice expensive outfit look on a flabby person?  Not so good.  I can wear nice selections from Target in my skinny-toned body and they look better than some expensive outfit on a bigger, sloppy, untoned body.

There is weight prejudice out there.  People look at you and make assumptions based on your body.  I used to get asked if I was pregnant all of the time because the wheat products gave me girth and belly fat.  (I gave wheat up!)

If you spend a few extra minutes a day working on your body, it will pay off in dividends.  You will look better, feel better (mentally and physically), be healthier, your shopping for clothes will be easier and more fun, your partner might be happier with your look, you won’t get teased about your weight,  it is easier to get hired (there are studies about this), and you might get more appreciative (and sometimes jealous) looks from others.

And for you selfless types out there….remember this….on the planes, when the oxygen masks are released, what do they tell parents to do?  They say to put on the mask and breathe FIRST and THEN let your child breathe because if you pass out first, your kid has no one to help them.  If you get sick from being out of shape and large, who will be there for your family, friends or children if you fail?  You have to take care of yourself FIRST to be there for the family.  We have a friend who just died because he was so busy caring for his family and work and forgot to take care of himself.  He died at the age of 56 from a heart attack and left behind a widow and a 13-year-old girl.  I don’t want that to happen to me or anyone else.

So, I chose the exercise.  I felt better afterwards and my stress level lowered.  Exercise is great for stress.  It is a vicious cycle, you have stress and don’t feel like exercising, but if you exercised, you would feel less stress.  So, just do it and get that ball rolling.  And after you exercise, if you have time leftover, then do some chores.  You will do them feeling less guilty that you neglected yourself and you will have more energy too, believe it or not.
Exercise relieves stress