KRON 4 | How to Cure Dietary Amnesia

The inability to manage your stress often results in unhealthy, automatic overeating. You likely eat more than you think, don’t feel satisfied after a meal, nor remember what you ate. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips I shared with Marty Gonzalez, KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, to help cure your dietary amnesia.

kron4_mindfulness8

Dietary Amnesia

Dietary amnesia occurs when you eat, and you don’t realize how much you ate, whether you’re satisfied, or if you even ate. Stress is often one of the underlying causes of dietary amnesia.

The Downside of Stress Eating

People who eat when they’re stressed often eat FAST which contributes to dietary amnesia. A study found that men who ate fast were fatter than men who ate slowly. 

They also found the men ate faster than women — shoveling down 80 calories per minute compared to just 52 calories per minute for the ladies. If you want to lose weight, slow yourself down and eat “mindfully”. 

What Does Eating Mindfully Mean?

Mindfulness is about paying attention. When you pay attention to your food, that is, really pay attention, you begin to notice the taste, color, aroma, and textures of your food and become aware of what you’re putting into your body. Eating uses all of your senses — it’s a sensory experience.

How to Eat Mindfully   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | How to Cure Dietary Amnesia”

KRON 4 | Sugar and Diabetes; Now Potassium Too?

One out of three adults has pre-diabetes, that’s, over 84 million people — and nine out of ten don’t even know they have it. Diabetes increases your risk of death by fifty percent. Many are familiar with the link between diabetes and eating too much refined sugar, but did you know there’s a diabetes link to potassium too?

kron4_potassium6

The Battle with Blood Sugar

Your body processes the food you eat and turns it into a sugar called glucose. Diabetes is marked by high levels of glucose in your blood (hyperglycemia). This happens because glucose is ‘locked out’ from getting into your cells and starts to build up in your blood.

Blood sugar is a precious fuel for your body, but when it’s persistently high, glucose can damage nerves and vessels. Since glucose circulates throughout your entire body, high levels can cause damage anywhere.

Diabetes-related complications include:

  • Blood vessel damage that increases your risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Nerve and vessel damage to your eyes (retinopathy), feet, and kidneys

What is Insulin?

Insulin (produced by the pancreas) is the hormone that’s needed for the glucose in your blood to enter your cells. Think of insulin as the ‘key’ that unlocks the cell door and lets glucose in. Without the ‘key’, your organs are starved of essential energy and can lead to cell death.

kron4_potassium9
Insulin is the “key” that unlocks the cell door and lets glucose in. 

Types of Diabetes

The two most common forms of diabetes, known as Type 1 and Type 2, are distinctly different:

1. Type 1 diabetes mellitus: You DO NOT PRODUCE INSULIN and are unable to control the sugar in your blood. This form of diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells of your pancreas.

2. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): With this type, you DO NOT USE INSULIN efficiently and are unable to control the sugar in your blood. 

  • 90% of diabetes cases are type 2.
  • In T2DM, your cells become resistant to insulin. Your pancreas goes into overdrive producing more and more insulin in a futile attempt to get the glucose into your cells. As a result, your pancreas can eventually wear out (become permanently damaged) and can no longer produce enough insulin. 
  • High blood sugar levels can erode your cells’ ability to make insulin. T2DM is preventable whereas Type 1 is not.

Waist Size and Diabetes

fat business man use scale to measure his waistline
A waist size that is over 40″ increases risk for type 2 diabetes 12X.

People who are overweight or obese, particularly with visceral fat (i.e., belly fat), are more likely to develop T2DM, but even normal weight individuals can develop diabetes.

  • If you’re a man and your waistline is over 40 inches, your risk for diabetes is 12 times higher than someone with a normal healthy size waist. 
  • Normal waist size is half your height in inches. Therefore, weight loss is the primary goal in treating this form of type 2 diabetes.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is an electrolyte and mineral that helps keep your bodily fluids at the proper level. If your fluids are at normal levels, you can:

  • Contract your muscles without pain
  • Keep your heart beating correctly
  • Keep your brain functioning at its highest capability

Muscle cramps to more serious conditions, such as seizures, are symptoms of potassium deficiency which also means fluid imbalance.  

Low Potassium Linked to Diabetes

  • One 2011 study found that people taking thiazides (diuretic, a.k.a. “water pill”) to treat high blood pressure experienced a loss of electrolytes, such as potassium. 
  • Researchers noted that potassium loss might increase a person’s risk for developing diabetes.
  • Researchers have also linked low potassium levels to high blood pressure.

NOTE: Even though low potassium may increase your risk of developing diabetes, taking potassium won’t cure your diabetes.

How Much Potassium Do You Need?

An adult needs 4,700 milligrams per day. Even if you’re getting the right amount potassium each day, levels may still be deficient or excessive due to fluctuating potassium levels.

Causes of Fluctuating Potassium Levels   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Sugar and Diabetes; Now Potassium Too?”

Goodbye Old Year, Hello New Year!

New Year, New beginning on a notepad, vintage style.

Today is the day! Put a fresh smile on your face because today is the start of a new beginning. Remember… commit to 30 days. I’m with you! A year from now you don’t want to wish you had started today.

inspirational-new-year-quotes

“No one can go back in time to change what has happened. So work on your present to make yourself a wonderful future. Happy New Year.”

xo
karenowocsignature

KRON 4 | 10 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick

If you pledged to get healthier this year with yet another New Year’s resolution (or maybe even two or three resolutions), know that typically 80% of them fail by February. If you want to increase your odds of success this year though, here are some tricks to help make your new habits stick!

1. Commit to Thirty Days

Monatsende 30

Consider the first 30 days as the foundation for creating a new habit. It takes time to make a new behavior stick, but you’ll increase the chances of achieving your new pledge if you commit to making it through these 30 days.

To get inspired, watch this lighthearted TED talk, “Try Something New for 30 Days” as a new way to think about setting and achieving goals.

2. Do It Daily

Whatever your goal — whether it’s to go to the gym or eat three fruits a day — then do it DAILY for the first 30 days. It’s easier to nail down the habit if you do it everyday versus once every few days. The goal is consistency.

NOTE: If you pledged to go to the gym, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work out vigorously every day. Just get yourself to the gym for 30 consecutive days — even if it means walking in and taking just a few spins on the bike. The key is to get in the habit of getting up and going.

3. Mingle with Role Models 

Make a point of seeking out people whose habits you want to imitate because when it comes to becoming fatter, obesity spreads through social relationshipsA 32-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that you’re more likely to become obese if you spend time with close friends that are obese. That is, according to researchers, obesity can literally spread from person to person, much like a virus.

Therefore, if your close friend is obese, eats junk food, and doesn’t exercise, then it will be more difficult (but not impossible) to stick with your pledge to create new healthy habits. Although you cannot change your friend’s habits, YOU can still change yours. Seek out and spend time with your role models.

4. Negate Negatives with “But”

But“But” is a very powerful word. When you use it, it negates everything you said preceding the word “but” in that sentence. (Did anyone ever say to you, “Say, I love your new hair color, but….” Stop the negative self-talk. It can lead to overeating to relieve those negative emotions.

When you catch yourself saying, “I can never stick with my New Year’s resolutions,” follow it with, “but I have the skills to help me this time.” Use “but” to stop negativity in its tracks.

5. Own It

Resolutions fail because they’re created based on what someone else (such as your spouse, doctor, or parent) is telling you to change. Be sure your New Year’s resolution is something YOU want to achieve. That is, be sure your resolution is NOT based on what you “should” do.

A part of owning your goal is watching your language. The words “should”, “need to”, and “have to” are negative words, and you surrender control when you say them. Negative thinking and negative self-talk lead to negative emotions, such as feelings of defeat and depression, and thus, emotional eating.

The words “should”, “need to”, and “have to” imply something is wrong with you. That is, something is ‘broken’ and needs to be fixed. For example, notice the difference in how you feel when you say, “I have to exercise” or “I need to lose weight” versus, “I want to exercise because I love walking vacations” or “I choose to lose weight, so I won’t have knee pain” which puts the control, motivation, and power to change back on you.

Healthy Living

6. Relish the Reward   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | 10 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick”

KRON 4 | Last-Minute Restorative Gifts for $25 and Less

Don’t stress if you still have gifts to buy for Christmas! I shared some of my top last-minute restorative gifts yesterday with Marty Gonzalez, KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor. They’ll help ease active minds, increase well-being, and relax tight muscles  — all for $25 or less. And while you’re at it, treat yourself to one (or all seven) of these super health solutions. 😀

KRON4_HealthyGifts21

1. Gaiam Restore™ Multi-Point Massager – $10

Your muscles adapt to the demands you place on it. If they’re chronically tight and you don’t do anything to change that, your body will tend to stay that way. Eventually, your posture changes (i.e., your head jets forward, your shoulders hunch, your abdomen sinks in, and your legs tighten up).

KRON4_HealthyGifts14
Massage should be a routine part of your self-care.

KRON4_HealthyGifts19

This massager targets trigger points in small muscles with deep pressure depending on how much you “dig” in. If you prefer a more relaxing session, just lighten up on the amount of pressure you apply.

KRON4_HealthyGifts15

The Multi-point Massager has six outer prongs and one longer center prong. This allows you to easily “tilt” it and hit multiple pressure points at the same time. Especially good for massaging the tight upper chest muscles if you have poor posture (rounded shoulders). A great massager for partners!

Found this at Whole Foods Market (the Whole Body Care section), but Target and most sports/fitness stores carry products from Gaiam (pronounced “Guy-um”).

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: If you carry your stress in your shoulders, turn the massager upside down and place the KNOB of the massager into the “knot” at the top of your shoulder, hold it there while you add pressure, then roll your shoulders backward in small continuous circular motions while you work out the knot.

2. Whole Foods™ Aromatherapy Travel Fan Diffuser – $14

This compact (2 in x 4 in) diffuser is perfect when you want the benefits of aromatherapy while you’re on the go. No water or heat needed to operate. It also has a continuous soft color changing light. It’s truly portable — no electricity needed. Includes five 1″ round absorbing pads which are refillable when needed. Available at Whole Foods Market (the Whole Body Care section).

KRON4_HealthyGifts11
Use it at your computer, in the car, airport, hotel room, wherever and whenever you need to restore.
KRON4_HealthyGifts12
Powered by a USB cable or 3 AAA batteries.
KRON4_HealthyGifts13
Just add a few drops of essential oils on the absorbing pad, then turn it on. 

3. Everyone Essential Oils Blend (Relax) – $14 

Pair these pure essential oils with the diffuser. No synthetic fragrances. This soothing aromatherapy blend contains essentials oils that can help you relax: Lavender, Vetiver, Lavandin, Ylang Ylang, Orange, and Frankincense. Includes a dropper inside. Available at Whole Foods Market (the Whole Body Care section).

4. Gaiam Restore™ Pinpoint Back Massager – $25

I LOVE this back massager!! Yes, love it! I’ve tried different brands and varieties (including the larger S-shape style) of this type of back massager, and this one is a winner. The material is strong, yet it still has some flex. (The flexibility factor was problematic with some I tried — either too much or not enough.) What I love most is its size. The “hook” can fit in a carryon, laptop bag, even a backpack. That means, when you start to tense up at the office, on a plane, train, BART, wherever, you can relieve pain in your neck, shoulders and back on the spot before it becomes unbearable.

KRON4_HealthyGifts9

Found this at Whole Foods Market (the Whole Body Care section), but Target and most sports/fitness stores carry Gaiam products.

KRON4_HealthyGifts22
Includes a downloadable exercise guide.

KRON4_HealthyGifts10 Continue reading “KRON 4 | Last-Minute Restorative Gifts for $25 and Less”