Refined Carbs May Trigger Food Addiction – Really?

carbs

File this one in the No Duh department. I think many of us have been saying this exact thing for years:

“Consumption of a meal that has a high glycemic index (GI) appears to stimulate key brain regions related to craving and reward, a finding that supports the controversial hypothesis of food addiction, new research suggests.

Investigators from Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts found that compared with consumption of a low-GI meal, a meal high in refined carbohydrates decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brain regions 4 hours after eating — a critical time point that influences eating behavior at the next meal.

“We think we have shown for the first time that refined carbohydrates’ biological effects can provoke, independent of calories and tastiness, symptoms related to addiction in susceptible people — those who are overweight or obese,” said the study’s principal investigator, David Ludwig, MD, from Boston Children’s Hospital.”

You can read the full story about how refined carbs may trigger food addiction here.

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that the intense cravings set off by certain foods was just in my head. Guess they were right…..it really is in your head and it stimulates several areas of the brain making you want more!

Arthritis Update and Going Wheat Free

wheat free

I previously blogged about having some issues with hand pain and increasing hand gripe weakness. The results from the blood tests and xrays came back. They show nothing. Absolutely nothing. Which on one hand is a great thing. It means no arthritis that they can see and my blood work does not show any immune system flare ups. The down side is the lingering question of why. Why do my hands hurt? Why is it getting harder to open things?

A possible suggestion was fibromyalgia. Yes I do have many of the symptoms: painful trigger points in the hands, shoulders, back and hips. Muscles in my legs that ache for no reason. Problems with sleeping and fatigue which I have always blamed on working the night shift for almost 20 years. There are no definitive tests that can be done to rule out fibro. As for the treatment, if it is fibro that is causing the problems, not much unless you want to take pills.

I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole and pursue the whole fibro thing if there really isn’t much that can be done. Before I take that option I started to think about the fact that there might be something I could do nutrition wise. I know that nutrition can’t fix everything but it sure can help many things. So I started to think about things that I have been reading over the years. I can see merit in just about every diet plan that is out there. There are always some who benefit and others who will not. I’m not into extremes but I’m all for finding what works for you and makes you feel great. I have a hard time jumping all in on particular ways of eating such as vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal, low carb, WAPF, etc. They each have their good points. I don’t believe that there is any one right diet for every single person.

With this in mind, having read many stories about people who have felt health improvements (decreased joint pain, improved skin, fewer gut issues, better sleep, etc) once they eliminated wheat. In some people it seems to stimulate an inflammatory type of response causing an increase in pain, fatigue and more. Over the last two years, during our drastic drop in income due to my husband’s sudden health issue and multiple lay offs, I started eating more wheat products because they were cheap. Let’s face it. When the food budget is tight adding in bread or pasta to meals helps keep people filled up. When I was heavy I blamed all the joint pain on the weight. After WLS my wheat consumption had been reduced to next to nothing. When the pain went away it was assumed to be the weight loss that did it. Now I began to question if it was something more since my weight has been stable for years. With that in mind I decided to go back to not eating wheat. While discussing this issue with my mother, who has been diagnosed with fibro, she decided to give it a try too. Check back for an update on my wheat free adventures. I want to give this a little more time before reporting some interesting results.

Google Reader Is Going Away But I Hope You’ll Stay

If you’re using Google Reader, you need to make a switch!

Google Reader will be shutting down on July 1st. If you make the transfer to another reader then you can transfer all your current blogs you subscribe to through Google Reader. After that date you won’t be able to transfer them.

I switched to Feedly.

Feedly

Check out this link from Google for more information as well as directions to download your reader data. I know Google Reader is used by a lot of people. After checking several other free readers out there I decided to go with Feedly. It’s worked out quite well. Feedly has even provided information to help make the transition a whole lot smoother.

If you are making the change to another reader here is the direct link to my feed: http://remakemyplate.com/feed/

This URL can be entered into any type of reader in order to subscribe. You can also subscribe through the subscription box on the website. This box uses Feedburner which, according to rumors, may possibly be disappearing in the future. For now Feedburner currently works fine.

You can also follow Remake My Plate by following me on Pinterest or Twitter. No matter which way you choose, I appreciate your support of my blog and sincerely hope you’ll stick around!

Tell Me Again How It’s Just Because I Was Overweight

When you weight close to 300 pounds and tell your doctor, or anyone else for that matter, that your knees, hips and back hurt it’s automatically assumed to be because of your weight. The same thing goes with being chronically fatigued as well. It’s the weight of course. And it very well might be true too. Then again, maybe it’s not.

Fast forward almost 9 years after losing 130 pounds with the help of WLS and it’s kind of hard to blame all those aches, pains and tiredness on being overweight. While the pain was greatly reduced after losing weight it just never really went away. Now here it is, almost 9 years later, and my hands are having issues. The joint pain has been steadily increasing and my joints in my thumbs seem to be getting bigger. I’m also losing gripping power and have a hard time opening things because of it. Turns out all these joint aches and pains may not actually have been caused by weight. Though the weight probably didn’t help.

hand arthitis

While that is not an xray of my own hand I am waiting to hear back on the results of the xrays that were taken. Along with all the blood work that was sent out. The current thought on my hand pain and decreasing strength situation – rheumatoid arthritis. Hmmmm….guess it wasn’t the weight after all.

Being overweight creates this weird type of discrimination. Because they could physically see one problem (the weight) it makes it easy to over look other possibilities. Now that I’m not heavy and look “normal” it’s much easier to think beyond the weight as being a cause for other problems. If I weren’t constantly being told that any problem was caused by my weight I would have pushed for more of an explaination. Now, here we are years later, and hopefully the mystery will be solved.

For those of you out there who look at the physical body and are willing to blame problems on what you can see (the weight) please put aside your prejudice and take a closer look. You may just be saving someone years of pain and suffering.

For those of you who are the ones carrying around the extra weight don’t be afraid to push to get more answers. Yes the extra weight doesn’t help things but it just may not be the reason why you are having a problem. Advocate for yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do so. We really need to stop accepting the response that weight is the cause of everything that we might be suffering through.

How To Save Money On Beef Stew Meat

After WLS you are told to focus on protein first. While there are varying amounts of protein in other foods usually the main source for most people is meat. If you purchase any type of meat the one thing you’ve probably noticed is prices are rising. Because I’m trying to stay within a budget I tend to look for ways to save money especially on items that are increasing in price.

The one thing I’ve noticed is the price of the different cuts of meat increases if the butcher has to do more work preparing the meat. Which makes sense. If the cut of meat, such as a steak, removes a lot of trimmings in order to get that particular cut then the price goes up. Sure the trimmings are used to make ground beef but the butcher still had to do more work to get that cut. Which is where you can save some money.

Beef stew meat in my area, just south of Boston, usually runs about $3.99 or more a pound. A sale might drop the price down to $3.49. If I purchase stew meat I still usually end up cutting it into smaller pieces once I get it home. Rather than shell out the extra money for the butcher to chop a larger piece of meat into smaller bits I do it myself. You can actually create your own stew meat by using a boneless chuck roast. It’s basically the same cut of meat and usually sells for less. Often times, when chuck roasts go on sale, I can get them for $2.79 to $2.99 a pound.

This weekend there was a sale on chuck roasts and I picked up four of them to make beef stew meat. The roasts were selling for $2.79 a pound plus I found one that was even lower since it had reached the “sell by” date so it was discounted even further.

Making your own stew meat doesn’t get any easier than this. First, purchase your boneless chuck roasts. Unwrap and begin dicing into the sized pieces you desire. Along the way I usually remove larger pieces of fat and any tough connective tissue. These get thrown out. In the end I removed about half a pound of fat in total from all four roasts. It only took me about 20 minutes to dice them all up.

Once I’m done cutting all the meat into the size pieces I desire I bag them into premeasured amounts in freezer bags. Now, when I’m ready to make beef stew or some other meal, I remove a bag from the freezer, thaw it and it’s ready to be used. I originally started my beef stew making adventure with about 11 pounds of meat. Once the fat was removed there was about 10 1/2 pounds left. I divided the meat into freezer bags that contained about 1 1/2 pounds of meat which is the perfect amount for a pot of stew in my house. I got 6 bags of prepared stew beef from the four roasts. Total savings: $13.80 for about 20 minutes worth of work. Plus, I won’t have to spend any extra time cutting store bought stew beef into smaller pieces.

Here’s some pictures of the beef stew making process. It really is super easy to do:

Beef Stew Collage2

Click on the pictures if you want to enlarge the collage. After this I place three of the quart sized bags into one larger gallon sized freezer bag. There’s two purposes for doing this. One, it reduces freezer burn because there are now two bags protecting the meat. The second reason is I always place an index card in the larger bag with information about what’s in the bag and the date I put it there. In the past I’ve had a few too many mystery items pulled from the freezer. Now I mark everything. It not only saves time but it saves money because I know exactly what I have and when it was put there.

How about you? What do you do to save money on purchasing meat for you and your family? Leave a comment below and share a tip.

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