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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food Cravings

"If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."– Michelangelo Buonarroti
We all know that exercise and proper food intake are related and necessary for health and well-being. Also, as far as nutrition goes all of us have to deal with some type of food craving. I like sugar and chocolate.  Research has demonstrated that there are differences between food cravings for males and females. Further, research is exploring the dynamics behind cravings as to whether it is the taste, associations it brings, knowing you shouldn’t have it, or fighting the various urges. Of course obesity seems to be associated with snacking behavior, binge eating and bulimia.
As far as chocolate goes, it is craved by 40% of women and about 15% of men in this culture which makes it the number one most craved food. Second chocolate contains mood altering chemicals which include phenyl ethylamine  that actually rises naturally when people are in love. It also has a mild stimulant called theobromine, tyramine and tryptophan which are antidepressant precursors that create a sense of calm.
Salty snacks on the other hand are craved by 8% of women in 3% of men. We crave salt during times of stress; and when used with alcohol or in social situations it actually lowers resistance to cravings. Supposedly crunching textures may provide an outlet for anger.
Pizza is craved by 7% of women and 14% of men. Beware ,as cheese and salami contain even more feel-good chemicals than chocolate.
Ice cream like chocolate is a highly tasty food that activates brain’s reward circuits and is craved in 6% of women in 2% of men. Don’t forget that  fat provides comfort and sugar provides the energy boost.
Bread and pasta are craved by 3% of women and 2% of men .Eating starch can boost the carb craver’s mood in about 20 minutes.
The desire for a steak is more likely to do to the salt, fat, smoke and other savory flavors. Further, the rich mouth feel of meat is created by receptors for L. glutamate on the tongue and craved by 3% of women and 5% of men.
Japanese women are more likely to crave sushi and about 1% of young Egyptian men and 6% of young Egyptian women reported having a craving for chocolate according to the 2003 survey. Incidentally many languages don’t even have a word for craving. However, it is part of our language here in North America.
Notice that few people, if any, crave vitamin rich green leafy vegetables and that I don’t know of  any obese vegetarians; do you?  If you have any of these cravings I’ll post what you can do about it on a later blog.
This information was found in the September 18, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal. More information about cravings to follow.


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