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You Can Retrain Your Brain to Prefer Healthier Foods!

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Join the Conversation: Does this news excite you, too?
If you find it hard to say no to candies, cookies, chips, it may be because your brain is addicted to them, according to a new study.
In short, your brain is actually hooked on junk food, which, of course, leads to weight gain and obesity and other harmful dieases.
But promising news came out recently, which reveals taht you you can literally ‘reprogram’ your brain so that you not only break your food addictions, but you actually develop a preference for healthier non-fattening foods so you lose weight.
For my part, I’m simply thrilled by this exciting news.
You may wonder, though, is this just too good to be true? Not so!
Some definitive proof this is possible came from a September 2014 study by scientists at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show how the brains of volunteers had been altered during a six-month experiment, during which they forsake high caloric foods for low caloric ones.
Thirteen overweight or obese adults between the ages of 21 and 65 were placed in either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group received 19 hour-long support group sessions during the 24 weeks in which they were taught how to use portion-controlled menus and recipe suggestions designed for high-satiety. The foods consumed in this plan were low-glycemic index carbohydrates along with high fiber and high protein (known as the idiet.) FYI, these are the foods I recommend, too, as you can discover in Beyond Sugar Shock.
These foods” have “a slower digestion profile and reduction fluctuations in blood glucose that could reduce hunger,” according to the study. The control group received no such counseling or support.
What’s intriguing is that before the experiment began and six months later, on its completion, all study participants underwent the fMRI scans as they were shown 40 food and 40 non-food images. The foods were half high caloric and half low caloric.
While being scanned, the volunteers rated the desirability of the images they saw on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being undesirable and 4 being extremely desirable. Those who had gone through the six months of intervention measured significantly less response in the striatum region of their brains (an area governing reward processing) when shown the high caloric foods and more responsivity when shown the low caloric images.
It was as if the brain charges they previously got from these foods had been disconnected. They also achieved significant weight loss, whereas the control group lost little weight and still had no control over how their brains craved certain unhealthy foods.
One of the study co-authors, Sai Krupa Das, Ph.D., who is with the United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center, observed how the weight loss program they used with high-fiber, low glycemic foods worked hand in hand with behavior change education to bring about the remarkable changes in weight and brain activity related to cravings.
“The weight loss program is specifically designed to change how people react to different foods, and our study shows those who participated in it had an increased desire for healthier foods along with a decreased preference for unhealthy foods, the combined effects of which are probably critical for sustainable weight control,” according to Dr. Das. “To the best of our knowledge this is the first demonstration of this important switch.”
Sources: “Training your brain to prefer healthy foods.” Tufts University. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-brain-healthy-foods.html.
“Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention.” Deckersbach T. Et al. Nutrition & Diabetes. September 2014. http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v4/n9/full/nutd201426a.html
iDiet program. https://www.theidiet.com/content/food
Join the Conversation: Does this news excite you, too?

Beyond Sugar Shock

Do You Mindlessly Rush & Stress or Mindfully Relax? 7 Tips to Calm Down

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Join the Conversation. Are you a Rusher or Relaxer? And have you ever hurt yourself mindlessly hurrying?
Last Sunday afternoon, mindlessly stressfully and rushing landed me in major trouble—specifically, major physical pain.
Despite my recent efforts to relish nature’s magnificence, appreciate my peaceful surroundings, and slow down my breathing, last week I temporarily forgot my mindful intentions.
Instead, I was was hurrying and scurrying as in an area I don’t know.
There I was, in the Downtown Disney® Marketplace in Orlando, Florida, speedwalking so I’d arrive on time for the opening keynote of the Launch conference, sponsored by intentional-leadership guru Michael Hyatt and motivational speaker Ken Davis.
I was very eager to attend this event, because I’m a huge fan of Michael Hyatt, author of the fabulous book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, a jewel I discovered, thanks to Hay House, publisher of my most recent book, Beyond Sugar Shock).
Anyhow, although I’d been savoring my meandering for about an hour (even finding some sweet-smelling bath salts), I’d simply lost track of time.
Photos 4-11-11 017So as I was rushing to the Launch conference opening talks, a curb came out of nowhere — well, that’s certainly what it felt like! — and I wrenched my knee. Ouch! Aargh! Eeeks!
I could actually feel my kneecap move around into places where it didn’t belong (although I was wearing a very thin protective brace, because I’d harmed this same knee before.)
In short, I hurt myself because I was in a rush, and I wasn’t fully present or consciously alert.
Otherwise, I would have seen that high-level curb and therefore easily avoided it.
For the next four days, while at the great Launch conference, I regularly iced my painful knee. (I chose not to take the hours it would take to find a doctor in Orlando, get X-rays, etc., because I didn’t want to miss the amazing event.)
Yesterday, after returning back home, I realized that I badly needed medical help.
After many desperate calls to orthopedic surgeons—who couldn’t see me until June or July!—I finally pleaded pitifully enough so that one doctor’s assistant kindly squeezed me in to see a top-notch doctor to whom I’d been recommended.
The Doctor’s Verdict
I have a medial collateral ligament strain, grade 2 (meaning that it wasn’t super-awful, but it wasn’t just a minor injury).
Healing Required
I need to wear a big, monstrous brace while walking (see photo above.
Plus, I have to see a physical therapist a couple of times a week.
And I need to ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.
As for exercise, I can’t do any Zumba or high-intensity spinning or stair-blasting. Okay, I admit, that’s very frustrating!
I also can leisurely walk and in about a week, I may be able to start swimming (not my favorite sport) and I can do slow biking on a stationary bike.
I’ve Also Personalized My Healing Plan
Since I’m a health coach and life coach, I’ve come up with some more healing action steps.
As my awesome tapping consultant, Mary Ayers — who I had to cancel on to see the doctor — reminded me, I need to do lots of EFT on the pain and the feelings associated with my injury.
I also plan to get help from Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution.
I also need to slow down. (See also my 7 Tips to Calm Down.)
My doctor predits that in about 8 weeks — I hope sooner, my knee should be fine.
I’ve Rushed for Years. What About You?
Contorting and twisting my knee while confronting that darn curb made me realize and admit that for years, I’ve excelled at rushing.
I’m a Rusher Par Excellence!
Apparently, I’ve even sought out places to live and a profession where scurrying is a plus—or, rather a must. Yikes!
Just consider:
Up until two years ago (when I moved across country to be with my then-terminally ill mom, who I later lost), I lived in Manhattan, the city where if you rush, you excel. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it often seems that everyone is dashing about and running late in The Big Apple.)
Not only that, but as a trained journalist, I’m used to frequent article deadlines. In fact, my editors often leaned on me, saying, “Connie, where is your story? We need it!” Back in my days as a daily reporter, I had to crank out several articles a day.
Now I”m forced to face that this I may have hurry sickness, which, in turn, has made me accident-prone.
The fact is this isn’t the first time that my stressing and rushing have made me accident-prone and then caused me serious physical pain.
While a daily journalist and pushing to meet constant deadlines, striking computer keys so quickly (I’m super-fast) and so often on an ergonomically unsound work station and not taking enough breaks, led to excruciatingly painful carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tendonisovitis and dystonia. At the time, I could barely move my hands, but my doctor didn’t recommend surgery. Besides, I was was determined to find another route — thank you, acupuncture and B vitamins. Anyhow, I had to take many weeks off work, and and eventually I just quit my job so I could go freelance to protect my poor ailing wrists.
Another time, while racing to meet a deadline to finish my first book, Sugar Shock, I badly injured my back by sitting too long while on the keyboard and by not getting up to stretch often. My amazing acupuncturist helped me get through this time.
Then, once, while dashing for a cab in New York City, I severely sprained my ankle by stepping in a nasty pothole I hadn’t noticed.
Oh yeah, there was also the time, while rushing to get back to my sailing lesson that I rammed head-first into a glass window and suffered a concussion.
Beyond Sugar Shock Book CoverNow, let’s get to the sugar connection, which date to about 1998. While trying to cope with the ever-pressing deadlines of a journalist, I became addicted to sugar and processed carbs, which I call quickie carbs.
In fact, I relied on unnatural sugar and carb highs to give me a buzz, help me think straight and write quickly. (Ultimately, I beat my sugar and carb addiction while creating many easy-to-master tools, which I shared in my book Beyond Sugar Shock. FYI, my quit-sugar-iversary comes uup Tuesday so stay tuned for my upcoming post, “7 Ways Life Improved by Being Sugar-Free for 16 Years.”
Back to my hurry accident. The Universe — speaking through my aching, throbbing knee — is clearly telling me to Slow Down!
Plus, I need to get a handle on what some experts call “hurry sickness.”
As I’ll ll now I nurse my injured knee back to health, I’m more determined than ever to breathe deeply, mindfully relax, and consciously choose calm. Read on so you can join the No-Rush Challenge.
Of course, most of us know that scurrying and hurrying while under stress is just not healthy.
A plethora of research shows the many benefits of slowing down. When you’re mindful, you’re happier, you live longer, and (no surprise!) you’re less accident-prone.
Plus, when you eat more mindfully, you lose weight.
Will you join me in a campaign to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing? Here are 7 tips to get you going.
7 Tips to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing
1) Claim Calm.
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, breathe deep into your belly and then exhale. Do this for three to 7 minutes. As you do this, inwardly repeat, “I claim calm now. I claim calm now. I claim calm now.” (If you can’t last that long, just try 7 or 10 rounds.)
2) Stay Calm Even If You’re On Deadline.
Whenever you feel rushed for one reason or another, claim calm for at least three breaths. You can do this even when you’re working, driving, waiting for your kids, walking or preparing that pressing project.
3) Take Relaxing Time-Outs.
Throughout the day—at least three times a day—claim calm again for seven breaths; notice and enjoy the scenery around you.
4) Calm Down Before a Meal.
Every time you eat, take seven “I claim calm” breaths first. Research ven shows that you can even lose weight by eating mindfully.
5) Add time.
Whenever you have an appointment, give yourself an extra 45 minutes to an hour to get there. That way, you won’t get frazzled if you hit unexpected traffic, get lost or encounter other surprising challenges. (You certainly won’t mess up your knee as I did rushing to get there.)
6) Keep Track of Time.
Enjoy yourself, but if you have an appointment, keep an eye on the clock so you won’t have to rush at the last minute as I did.
7) Be Alert for Street and Sidewalk Ruts & Potholes.
What a no-brainer! Wish I’d taken my own advice here.
Join the Conversation. Do you rush instead of relax? Have you injured yourself (like me) because you were rushing?

Beyond Sugar Shock

Holiday Gift for You: Download to Relieve Holiday Stress with Debra Berndt

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The holiday season can be a very stressful time between overwhelming family gatherings to polite sugar-pushing at holiday parties.
This year it’s my pleasure to give you a holiday gift, an uplifting, soothing Relieve Holiday Stress download with Love-Mind Expert Debra Berndt.
You can listen to the Relieve Holiday Stress Replay at your convenience.
In this exciting, soothing program, Debra — a master in creative visualization and hypnosis, who has helped thousands of people around the world — explains how our subconscious mind works.
Then she guides you in three creative visualizations, which will leave you relaxed and refreshed.
Take a moment now to check out your Relieve Holiday Stress Replay Page, and then return to it, at your convenience, when you time to listen.
You can listen to the entire recording at once. Or, if you’d prefer, you can listen to part of the Relieve Holiday Stress program now and enjoy the rest later. It’s up to you.
We invite you to email this free, audio holiday gift, the Relieve Holiday Stress Replay Page, to friends, co-workers, family members and others, who you think may appreciate this program.
Please note that I’m offering this gift now for free to help you lead a a calm, peaceful holiday season,
If you’re interested in Debra’s Complete Relaxation Set (9 MP3s) and Weight Loss Set (4 MP3s), please contact Debra directly to find out how to obtain these exciting programss.
For more holiday help go here to get:
7 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress.
How to Skip Overeating (although I wrote this for Thanksgiving, these tips can help you at any holiday function)
Enjoy your Relieve Holiday Stress program now, and have a sweet holiday season.
Remember to spread the word to your friends and loved ones.
Please Join the Conversation
Tell us about your Social Media Vacation. How has it helped you? Have you become more productive, enthusiastic, refreshed, etc.?
Share your thoughts here.

Announcements

Get Your Gift: Be Calm this Holiday Season

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This holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice NOT to be stressed out?
To give this a more positive spin, would you like to be calm, relaxed and refreshed?
Break away from your worries.
Join creative visualization expert Debra Berndt, the Love-Mind Expert, and me for 3 soothing, guided visualizations. This is our holiday gift to you.
Claim your gift now. Just listen here (below), or go to our replay page.
Relieve Holiday Stress with us now.
You’ll feel renewed and rejuvenated after hearing Debra’s soothing voice and meditation. Now learn about her amazing s Complete Relaxation Set (9 MP3s) and Weight Loss Set (4 MP3s).

Announcements

Heartfelt Holiday Gifts

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Wow! What a wonderful Gab With the Gurus Radio Show about Heartfelt Holiday Gifts today!
Five charming, dazzling guests just appeared on the show to offer you suggestions for Heartfelt Holiday Gifts.
1) In this Heartfelt Holiday Gifts show on BlogTalkRadio.com, you’ll hear from Randi Luckman, founder of HealthGifts.com, who tells you (drum roll here…) about The Sweeter Life Gift Basket that we’ve developed for you.
Please note that the gift shown to your left is her Stress Buster package. Tomorrow, you’ll get details about the contents of our new Sweeter Life Gift Basket.
2) In addition, on this this Heartfelt Holiday Gifts show, you’ll also get inspirational, heartwarming Gifts_Giving_Back suggestions and thought-provoking thoughts about gift-giving from the renowned Gift Guru Robyn Spizman, founder of TheGiftionary.com.
TheGiftionary.com has thousands of ideas that can help you to show your loved ones you care by offering Gifts That Give Back.
3) Meanwhile, Debra Berndt, creative-visualization guru and love-mind expert Debra Berndt, tells you about two life-changing products that she’s steeply discounting just for you.
You can get her soothing Complete Relaxation Set (9 MP3s) and Weight Loss Hypnosis Set (4 MP3s).
You’ll be shocked when you learn how the low price at which she’s offering them to you.
To get your special discount, all you Relax set CRS-2 need to do is type in the code “sweet” to get the special discount.)
To get a flavor for Debra’s amazing talents at relaxing you, check out our free, soothing holiday gift. That’s right — you get a free download from our Relieve Holiday Stress program which we held last week.
We’re offering this present to you as our way of wishing you a happy, healthy, calm holiday. You can listen to your audio download now, through the end of the month.
To get there quickly and easily, just go to http://tinyurl.com/RelieveHolidayStress.
Iloveme ring Please feel free to spread the word, too, to your friends around the world about this free holiday gift. Just send them to: http://tinyurl.com/RelieveHolidayStress.
4) You’ll also hear from Arielle Fierman, who creates amazing jewelry, especially the I Love You rings shown above).

General

Relieve Holiday Stress — Our Holiday Gift to You

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Did you catch the uplifting, soothing Relieve Holiday Stress program with Love-Mind Expert Debra Berndt last night? No problem if you missed it. In the spirit of the holiday season, Debra Berndt and I have a gift for you. You can listen to the Relieve Holiday Stress Replay Page now through the end of December. […]

Break Free With Connie

7 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress

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While 'tis the season to be merry, for many of us, it's also a season for stress, anxiety and angst, which leads us to behave in ways we're sure to regret later. During this time of year, people often resort to bad habits–they may cave into sugar cravings, go for the booze and overdose on […]

Break Free With Connie

Relieve Holiday Stress With Us & 3 Tips to Calm You Down

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During the holidays, millions get stressed out and anxious. In fact, research shows that people overwhelmed and anxious more now than any other time of the year.
As we all know, being stressed out can lead to overeating or binging, short tempers, neglecting exercise, arguments with your loved ones and ignoring your needs.
To help you out, I’m presenting a life-changing teleseminar, Relieve Holiday Stress on Wed., Dec. 2 at 8 pm EST, with Debra Berndt, an acclaimed master of creative visualization and author of the upcoming book, Let Love In: Open Your Heart and Mind to Attract Your Ideal Partner.
Our Release Holiday Stress teleseminar on Dec. 2 at 8 pm — which is free to attend live and also available via audio replay — may help you to:
* Lose or maintain weight;
* Be happier throughout the holiday season and beyond;
* Relax around your family and friends;
* Curb your sugar cravings;
* Find love or get along better with your partner;
* Feel good about your body no matter what;
* Be calm when you’re short on funds;
* Attract money;
* Exude confidence; and
* Become the master of your life by dissolving your stresses
In addition to presenting this Release Holiday Stress teleseminar, we’re also offering 3 Tips to Calm You Down now:
1. Transform your thoughts. While you may not be able to alter your circumstances, you can change the way you think about them. For instance, when you start to get upset about about your annoying Aunt Jean, who is prying into your love life, or your cousin Cindy, who keeps urging you to try her apple pie and other sugary “goodies,” take a deep breath and interrupt your negative thoughts. Then, see these circumstances with rose-colored glasses. Your Aunt Jean and cousin Cindy are just showing that they love you. Tap into how they feel for you. Be thankful that they’re so concerned, even if the way that they show it is misguided. Now, see your situation calmly, with gratitude instead.