Week in Review
This past week was full of activities. Monday boot camp, Tuesday’s 100 Day Challenge celebration, Wednesday morning boot camp, a heat-wave workout on Thursday, then Relay for Life. Whew! That’s a lot of movement . . . . this doesn’t include everything else we’re doing . . . gardening (really weeding!), swimming, biking, hiking . . . I JUST LOVE SUMMER!!
Monday’s class was packed full of old and new faces. It was nice to see Tabitha and her family, Kelly and her son, Chelsea with her friend Michelle, and Tim with his two children. Wednesday’s am group was full of smiles and energy since it was 75 degrees at 5:45 am and it felt good to move intensely before the blazing heat moved in. Yes, Thursday’s class was hot, but it cooled down to 85 degrees and we stayed in the shade for most of the time. In between partner sit-ups, we ran a short trail loop (shaded). I don’t know about you, but I can still feel my abs from Thursday. Lastly, yesterday at the Relay for Life, Adam Parent from Collins-Perley put on a short circuit workout in the middle of the track as people were walking around the track. I participated with two of my children and about six others tried it as well. Thanks Adam!!
Looks who was in the Burlington Free Press . . . yes Boot Campers, you!! It was in this week’s Buyer’s Digest. You guys sure get around 🙂 There’s another picture on the newspaper of Art and Celeste. I’ll bring a copyp to boot camp. http://www.vtgrandpa.com/forum/index.php?topic=14212.0
100 Day Challenge Celebration
Last Tuesday night was a wonderful night where we celebrated the accomplishments of the 100 Day Challengers. They embarked on a journey to
make positive changes for themselves and their family. As a Challenger, they
become a part of movement that provides each other support as they continue their shift in lifestyle. All Challengers receive discounts to nutrition and boot camp programs, opportunities to be a mentor, invitations to special events and included in all communications and blog posts.To Challengers: Megan and I are so thankful that you let us into your lives to help you shift into a more fit ‘n healthy lifestyle. You have the tools, support system, educational information and movement opportunities. Continue to utilize all of these as you move ahead in life; commit the grit!
How Sugar Impacts Kids
What does sugar do to kids? The effects are threefold and involve three inter-dependent aspects of their brains and bodies: blood sugar, and serotonin and beta-endorphin levels.
When we eat carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, our blood sugar rises and our bodies release insulin. Insulin then helps to fuel the body. But for children who are sugar sensitive, this careful balance of food and fuel is disrupted. Blood sugar rises more quickly and reaches higher levels than normal. As result, a greater amount of insulin is released, and sugar is absorbed more quickly into our cells. This creates that “sugar high” we’ve all felt. And it subsequently creates that nasty crash—defined by feelings of exhaustion, spaciness, and irritability.
An important brain chemical affected by sugar is serotonin. “Serotonin is a chemical that quiets the brain,” writes DesMaisons. It is what makes us all have that feeling of well-being and peacefulness. When a child has low serotonin levels, she feels out of control, depressed, and overwhelmed. “Sugar sensitive children have lower levels of serotonin than other children,” adds DesMaisons. By changing diet, these beneficial levels can be raised, creating more self-confident, in-control children with a much happier outlook on themselves and the world around them.
Beta-endorphins, another brain chemical affected by sugar, are what DesMaisons calls, “the brain’s own pain killer.” Children who are sugar sensitive are much more sensitive towards both physical and emotional pain. Trips to the dentist are far more traumatic, and feelings are hurt far more easily than in children who eat less sugar. But even more importantly, beta-endorphins are strongly associated with self-esteem. Children with normal beta-endorphin levels feel confident and secure. However, children who eat too much sugar, which heightens these levels, then “feel inadequate and unworthy, even if they are smart,” once the sugar wears off, writes DesMaisons.
A Seven-Step Solution
The first true step is to take a look at your and your spouse’s or partner’s diet. “I’ve written four books, and this is the hardest book I’ve ever done,” says DesMaisons of Little Sugar Addicts. “[This] is really about the parents and not the children.”
DesMaisons suggests keeping a food journal and becoming aware of your role as nutrition model for your children. She gives the analogy of an oxygen mask on a distressed airplane: In case of an emergency, flight attendants tell us to first administer the oxygen masks to ourselves, then tend to family members or loved ones. This advice applies here as well; assess your own diet and sugar intake before you take steps to improve your child’s diet.
DesMaisons lays out seven steps to fight sugar and its effects:
- Eat breakfast with protein; and do it within the first hour of waking, suggests DesMaisons, to beat a drop in blood sugar.
- Make connections between food and mood. Never reward a child with food—especially sweets.
- Change snacks and drinks. Children under the age of 18 should eat every three hours to prevent a drop in blood sugar. In addition to good, well-balanced meals, your child should get several high-protein snacks throughout the day.
- Eat protein lunches. Foods like cottage cheese, poultry and meats, eggs, and nuts are all essentials.
- Shift to whole grain food. Cut any white flour breads and pastas from your diet.
- Take out the sugar. (“Notice that taking out sugar is not step one. It is step six,” writes DesMaisons.)
- Take care of life. Relax, have fun, and spend time with your family.
Food Addictions: Fatty Foods Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of ScienceSource: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-02/fatty-foods-addictive-as-cocaine-in-growing-body-of-science.html
A Lot Like Addiction
Those changes look a lot like addiction to some experts. Addiction “is a loaded term, but there are aspects of the modern diet that can elicit behavior that resembles addiction,”said David Ludwig, a Harvard researcher and director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital Boston. Highly processed foods may cause rapid spikes and declines in blood sugar, increasing cravings, his research has found.
In one 2010 study, scientists at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, fed rats an array of fatty and sugary products including Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) bacon, Sara Lee Corp. (SLE)pound cake, The Cheesecake Factory Inc. (CAKE) cheesecake and Pillsbury Co. Creamy Supreme cake frosting. The study measured activity in regions of the brain involved in registering reward and pleasure through electrodes implanted in the rats.
The rats that had access to these foods for one hour a day started binge eating, even when more nutritious food was available all day long. Other groups of rats that had access to the sweets and fatty foods for 18 to 23 hours per day became obese, Paul Kenny, the Scripps scientist heading the study wrote in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The results produced the same brain pattern that occurs with escalating intake of cocaine, he wrote.
“To see food do the same thing was mind-boggling,” Kenny later said in an interview.
Researchers are finding that damage to the brain’s reward centers may occur when people eat excessive quantities of food.
“A career of overeating causes blunted reward receipt, and this is exactly what you see with chronic drug abuse,” said Eric Stice, a researcher at the Oregon Research Institute.