All posts tagged: healthy

Our Guts, Our Selves

When people talk about “gut feelings”- something they can’t really rationalize, but feel as though the emotion is “coming from the heart” or “I feel it in my guts”, are those feelings actually coming from the heart or gut? Well no. But this doesn’t mean that the heart and gut do not influence our moods, decisions, and behavior. They do, especially the gut. How could the gut possibly influence our minds, and why? First let’s address the question of why. Although we often tend to treat our bodies as just something to walk our minds around, our bodies are important parts of who we are (for an account of what it is like to lose a sense of your body, see “The Disembodied Lady”, by Oliver Sacks, in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat). But the gut is special! That is, if you are any kind of a complex animal, you have to have one. Even tardigrades, the super tough little animals that can survive extreme conditions, like being frozen to -300 …

Mindful Eating, Or- How I lost 35 pounds by enjoying my food more

Like many people, I found myself overweight in middle age. Quite overweight, in fact. With a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30, I was more than overweight. My fasting blood glucose levels were still in the normal range, barely. My mother continued to remind that I have Type 2 diabetes in my family. What to do? As a scientist who has studied obesity and body weight regulation, I knew that dieting was not an option. The starvation response/ diet induced obesity, and all that. So… I decided to take my own advice. Background: There are two kinds of things that influence how much we eat: “Head Factors” and “Gut Factors”. Head Factors are “psychological” things such as how appetizing the food looks and smells. Social cues or influences, emotional situations, habits and conditioning (e.g. always eating a snack at 4 PM) are also powerful influences on what and when we eat. Gut Factors are signals from the gut (and/or liver) that convey the gut’s opinion about how much we should eat, and may also influence …

Curried Roasted Carrots with Yogurt

This dish is easy, tasty, and works well as a side dish or appetizer to bring to parties. I have adapted it from a recipe in Sunset magazine, which has lots of easy and quick recipes for colorful food! Wash and peel 2-3 carrots (depending on size) and slice them diagonally. Peel about half a head of garlic cloves, and cut the bigger ones in half. Toss the carrots and garlic in a bowl with olive oil and spices, about 1 tsp curry powder 1/2 tsp turmeric a pinch of ground cumin a pinch of ground cardamom Let them sit about 10 minutes, stir, and place in a roasting pan. Grind some sea salt over them, and roast at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Spoon a small carton of greek yogurt into a serving dish, and put the carrots and garlics in the middle. Drizzle the olive oil left over from roasting around on the yogurt. Eat with pita chips!