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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food, Brain Chemistry and Metaphysics In My Life Update November 2011

A few days ago I started recording what I eat and  how I am feeling as a first step on the way of developing a life-long eating plan that supports optimum brain chemistry.
My motivation to look into this?
I want to be able to carry out more of the ideas I have. I have worked this on the metaphysical level a lot already and continue to work on that level. Now, for balance, I am working on the physical since I want to manifest on the physical my fulfillment. ( I have a good bit of inner fulfillment and the ability to make peace with "the way things are".)

My studies and practice of Marshal Rosenberg's work, NonViolent Communication, confirmed and strengthened my hunch that listening to all the voices in me is important. (The interaction dynamics of the tribe inside of me is pretty much like the scope of interaction of the tribe outside of my body. I like to call this Inner Tribe/Outer Tribe.)

Earlier this year, I called to council the Inner Tribe with the goal of investigating and resolving tension that had been ongoing for years. The dispute turned out to be between the Inner Feminine and and Inner Masculine. He was frustrated with his lack of success in the world. His definition of success is having accomplishments that are visible in the world and being acknowledged by others. She kept arguing him down with being content in the moment, seeing  beauty and "it is all a dream anyway" etc. Her motivation for doing this was her fear of Him pushing the body too hard. She has some ability to incite illness and physical injury mishaps and she used these powers to slow him down when she thought he was getting obsessive. They did practice Nonviolent communication with each other and heard each other's feelings and needs. They came up with an agreement that eased them both. She agreed to make room for him to plan and proceed with his ideas and actions in the outer world and he agreed to make an "escape clause", that he will "back out", if necessary, in order to take care of body.

Now, back to food and brain chemistry.
"Seek and Ye shall find" and " Ask and it will given to you" work well enough in my life that I keep doing it. Thus, without consciously knowing why, I picked from my bookcase "Potatoes not Prozac ... Are You Sugar Sensitive?" The title puts me off a bit because I am allergic to potatoes. The low yard sale price and the intuition urge overcame my potato repulsion. The book has been on my book case for 2 or 3 years.

All my life I have loved sugar and had guilt over it. Lately, my heavy feeling body and low level achy stinging sinuses and headaches were annoying me along with my desire to accomplish more in the world.

Other items on the book cover that got my attention this time:
"Control your Cravings..." and "Recognize How Foods Affect the Way You Feel"
The author, Kathleen DesMaisons, has a Phd in Addictive Nutrition. Humm.

The author examines levels of three things in relationship to food and "the way you feel" :blood sugar, serotonin, and Beta-endorphin. Charts in the book describe the feelings associated with optimal and low levels of these three in every combination, such as optimal blood sugar, low serotonin, and beta-endorphin.

Ok, those charts really got me hooked. I am paying attention now!  Though I have made great improvements in how I feel over the past 25 years, I see great hope for how to get more improvements! Here listed in these charts are issues I have dealt with metaphysically and now I see what I can do on the physical plane. (I know that anywhere one enters the Body - Mind - Spirit Loop, the action taken affects all three, and this can be observed, sooner or later.)

Here is what impressed me: Having low self esteem, Overwhelmed by other' pain, feeling isolated, feeling "done to" by others, and craving sugar can be brought on by insufficient Beta-endorphin.

Craving sweets, craving high carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and cereal, feeling blocked or scattered can result from insufficient serotonin.

The author gives aid in determining sugar sensitivity, a cause of alcoholism and impulsive eating. An example of the behavior of a sugar sensitive person she gives is: "When you were little and had Rice Krispies for breakfast, did you eat the cereal or did you eat the cereal so you could get to the milk and sugar at the bottom of the bowl?"

Ms. DesMaisons, goes on to write "People who are not sugar sensitive think the milk and sugar at the bottom of the bowl are disgusting. People who are sugar sensitive smile... They got high by tilting the cereal bowl into their mouths and tasting the clump of sugar at the bottom."

"Being sugar sensitive means you have a special biochemistry. you have a different relationship to sugar than a person with 'normal' biochemistry. You can become physiologically dependent on the effect sugars have on your body, that is "addicted".

The author lays out a great self help plan to develop a lifestyle that promotes the optimal balance of blood sugar, serotonin and beta-endorphin. Eating habits play the biggest part. She lays out the science and and what works for her clients. The first part is keeping a food and mood journal simply for self observation. This journal will aid in making decisions and observing progress.

At the time of this writing I am on the third day of keeping the journal. In the past I have cut out sugar and sweets, and then resumed their consumption many times. So it is natural for me to go ahead and cut them out and cheat some and just keep faithfully writing down amounts, what time and how I feel.

I have the added complication of being allergic or sensitive to many foods. I have gotten used to a lifetime of low energy, achiness, intermittent headaches, sinus pressure, and slightly itchy or sore throat. I know many of the problem foods, so I know what to stop eating when the symptoms get too great. (On top of all food  allergies,  I suffer mold allergies too)
And all of this used to be much worse. Up until age 26 or so, nausea after eating was normal for me and every year between August and the killing frost in mid-October, I was plagued with heavy flu like symptoms from ragweed pollen .... and when I was little I was allergic to cats.. so sad. I used to hold cuddly kittens. Within 15 minutes, my eyes and nose would start pouring water!

At the beginning of the food/feel journaling I was angry at having to look at how I am feeling physically and write it down. I have learned to ignore a lot of the physical discomforts.

Looks like from what I have read in the book, I am really gonna have to give up sugar. I love freedom! I went through a spell one day into journaling of feeling angry about the looming decision to give up more freedom around food. I talked to myself about the freedom I am gaining in exchange. The freedom I am gaining is the possibilities of what all I can do if I have clearer thinking and more physical, mental, emotional stamina. I got myself content.

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