Do you ever have such intense cravings that the world feels like it may end if you don’t satisfy those needs? Cravings are not just a habit or a want - they can be much deeper than that. Our body doesn’t understand the difference between foods, only the different nutrients it needs to work properly. Our brain makes that connection with certain foods so that we will be reminded to eat more of them. So, cravings are sometimes a need for other nutrients disguised as the desire for high sugar, fat, salt. These desires manifest in little pings in our brains that say “Yay that's the good stuff we need!”, even though what we satisfy those desires with may be something totally different than what our bodies need. I'm going to help you break down some of these cravings and why we might be having them, and I’ll touch on some healthy foods we can eat instead to make those cravings subside.
If you crave ice you may be deficient in iron! You also may be feeling fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety. Some ways to get more iron is through animal based protein (chicken, red meat, poultry). You can also start cooking with an iron skillet to help get more iron into your diet.
In order to create serotonin, we need all of our essential amino acids, which can be found in animal based products. Eggs and cheese are a great source because of high levels of tryptophan. Some other foods that can help are salmon, nuts, seeds, turkey and tofu. If you noticed, a common theme in all those foods is the presence of healthy fat, which will help regulate blood sugar levels.
Some snack ideas that incorporate healthy fats are:
Salt, however, can also be a double edged sword, because of where salt is often found. Chips or crackers are carbohydrates and when we eat those a lot, we find ourselves right back at our sugar cravings.
I hope these tips will help to give some more insight into your cravings. It is not the end of the world if we don’t eat a piece of chocolate, but it sure can feel like it when we are lacking magnesium. We all have cravings that may stem from habitual behavior, but staying consistent with your healthy eating goals will help curb those cravings. Fill your life with healthy foods and before you know it, those cravings will be a thing of the past!
For additional help with your cravings, check out the Wilcox Wellness & Fitness CRUSH YOUR CRAVINGS GUIDE. You can download it for free BELOW.
When ever I hear stories from my clients about how our personal training services benefit their lives, it's music to my ears, and the story that was shared with me recently is no exception.
Many of the core strength and thoracic mobility exercises I incorporate into sessions are inspired by thoughts of slipping on the ice, especially as we approach the end of an icy winter, and are designed to keep my population of clients moving freely and gracefully well into their elder years.
Last weekend this same person took another slip on the ice, but this time they were able to position their body in mid air so that they landed on their side and with their head fully protected from impact. This time, the fall resulted in just a minor bruise and no serious injury! What an incredible reward for the hard work and commitment that this person has put into their training program. That's what it's all about!
Furthermore, due to the sedentary lifestyles that too many Americans fall into these days, core muscles in general are weaker for lots of people. In some cases, core muscles can be so weak and atrophied that they almost resemble the core strength of a newborn baby, losing the ability to instinctively react in the event of an unexpected slip. When this happens, our muscles are not strong enough to cause us to curl up into a protective shell, preventing our heads from hitting the ground. This is what happened to my client when the first fall occurred two years ago, which resulted in a concussion. The second time however, they had the thoracic mobility to rotate their body as they fell, allowing them to land on their side instead of their back AND they also curled up, protecting the head from hitting the ground.
They said that they weren't sure if the strength that they had built up in the gym helped avoid another concussion and injury, or if it was my voice in their head talking about curling up and bracing through the core to protect the head from hitting the floor. I suspect it was more of the former :-)
Working on that thoracic mobility and core strength may not feel all that glamorous or exciting, but take this client's word for it! There is a method to the madness. Keeping that core strong and that thoracic spine mobile will help to protect you from serious injury, and allow you to keep on trucking in all of the activities that you love to do inside and outside of the gym. If you are looking for a challenge and a way to strengthen your core all in one, we have a fantastic Stronger to the Core Challenge guidebook you can download below that provides some great exercises and movements centered around strengthening this central area of our body.
We would love to support you in reaching your health & fitness goals. Click "Let's Chat" below to schedule at a time that fits your schedule. During this call we will discuss your personal goals, share more about how we support our clients, and answer all of your questions.
As they age, men can start to lose testosterone levels, resulting in an imbalance of testosterone to estrogen levels. High cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) can also lead to these imbalances, and can have similar effects for women.
In short, it’s not just women who go through these changes as we age, but symptoms will be more obvious for women going through menopause.
Some of the best foods to eat before bed are actually healthy fats, some proteins, or complex carbs. Trying to stay away from sweets, simple sugar, alcohol, and processed food a few hours before bed can really make a difference. Some food pairings that make a great bedtime snack are:
Following these simple tricks will help you get through those hormone fluctuations, and have you feeling less anxious, more rested, and better overall during this process that we all go through.
1. EAT. Sometimes when we wake up in a funk the last thing we feel like doing is eating. I always feel better once I get a little nourishment in my belly. Eating breakfast is one of the best ways to kickstart your metabolism. It is also quite possibly the hardest meal of the day to get right. As a society, we have created rituals and traditions around eating terrible food during breakfast. A greasy breakfast sandwich, a sugary donut, a double sugar mocha latte... I could go on. There are famous slogans (America runs on...) that encourage and normalize this behavior as well.
Having consistent energy levels throughout your day is important for being productive and reaching your goals, and is a sign that you are eating right. 20% of people skip breakfast altogether, and this greatly impacts our ability to control blood sugar, which in turn can change your appetite and affect energy levels. Eating sugary foods first thing in the morning will also cause similar imbalances.
Protein doesn't have to come from meat either. One cup of cooked beans has about 17 grams, while most nut butters have about 7 grams in just two table spoons. Vegetables, grains and seeds all have protein as well. Additionally, and thankfully, one of the most popular breakfast foods is also a great source of protein: eggs. It really is about what you pair them with.
2. Take an extra 5 minutes to savor your coffee. I sit on my couch and hold my coffee cup in my hands feeling it's warmth. I sit quietly and let any stressful or anxious thoughts or feelings melt away. In a sense, this is could be considered a form of mindfulness. If we were all able to introduce a little mindfulness to our mornings, or even some basic breathing techniques, we would all be on track for a more successful day.
Stress might often be considered by some to be an entirely mental condition, but there are numerous, tangible affects it can have on your physical body as well. Just high levels of stress alone can have an impact on hormone levels, your appetite, and even your immune system. If you wake up stressed, you may feel the urge to comfort yourself a little, and this could lead you to make not so great decisions when it comes to picking the right foods to start your day with.
On top of that, research into "chronic psychological stress" shows that a stressed body has a harder time regulating inflammatory responses, as cortisol (one of the main stress hormones) plays a role in regulating inflammation. Inflammation has earned its place as the new evil in the world of health research, as it has been tied to impaired immunity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name a few.
We would love to support you in reaching your health & fitness goals. Let's chat! Click below to schedule at a time that fits your schedule. During this call we will discuss your personal goals, share more about how we support our clients, and answer all of your questions. www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/getstartedbrunswick.
“If we all ate the same and exercised the same, our bodies would still look different from one another.” -Author Unknown
I had a high school gym teacher who was very motivating and always told us to work out, eat healthy, and that it is never too early or too late to start focusing on our wellbeing. I carried this passion with me on to college, and once I found the nutrition program there was no turning back. I fell in love with the idea that our body is a temple, and that we only have one life to live, so we better make it a good one.
Food has always been a big part of my life, as it is for most people. At every social gathering, holiday, or celebration, food has always been the centerpiece bringing everyone together. I LOVE FOOD! Food has always been there for me through all the good times, and the bad times. Unhealthy habits often arise as symptoms of trying times, and I developed some pretty unhealthy habits during the more stressful times in my life. I would be lying if I said I’m not emotionally attached to food, even knowing what I know now about healthy eating habits. I recognize this and work every day to become a little better, (and trust me when I say it is not a linear progression.)
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.