After a hard day at the office, we throw the front door open, barely dropping our keys down as we head for the bedroom to tear off our pants and pull on sweats.
We feel hungry.
We crave something sweet…or salty…or both.
We raid the cupboards for the rest of that “hidden” Halloween candy.
With our teeth, we uncork that half bottle of red wine and head for the couch. The kids are with their dad tonight; let’s party.
And by party, I mean this: sweatpants, chocolate peanut butter cups, and Netflix.
Do you see yourself in any of that?
Those days that tend to get packed with stress seem to come particularly often around this time of year. Stress at work, stress with family, holidays looming, the deadlines screaming.
The list in our heads keep growing to include things that we SHOULD start planning for, stuff that we SHOULD begin shopping for, priorities that we SHOULD be getting straight.
As November barrels towards December, many days I find myself forgetting to just BE. “Kelli, you are a believer in science, a lover of life. You KNOW what to do about feeling out of control with cravings and stress-filled days.”
I do. And so, do each of you.
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all – you know most of my messages focus around this strong, empowering theme- WE HAVE GOT TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES, SISTER-FRIENDS!
So – let’s start with those food cravings.
Food cravings are greatly influenced by our pleasure and reward cycles in the brain. When stress eats up our feel-good dopamine transmitters, we want more, and unfortunately, especially during this time of the year, we often consume the sugary, fatty, greasy snacks that the holidays love to offer us.
Eating this crap gives us a nice, fat spike in our dopamine levels, leaving us feeling all kinds of joy.
Alas, it’s temporary.
Is this sounding familiar? Remember our friend, Dopamine? When we release dopamine with unhealthy food choices, our body slowly becomes numb to the reward effect, so each time we eat that stuff, we find we need more and more to get that good feeling.
The more you give in to the cravings, the more you will crave.
What a bum deal, right?
Set yourself up for success.
What can we do? I recommend that you start taking notice of the times throughout the day when you crave and the foods you are craving.
This information can begin to help you make small changes. For example, if you’re the woman who attacks her refrigerator after everyone is asleep, make sure you stock your kitchen with substitutes for the white sugar and salty food cravings.
A sweet apple, a salted rice cake with peanut butter, sweet, hot cinnamon tea.
The idea isn’t to stop the behavior, but to change what it is you’re consuming.
While you’re sipping that tea, this is also the time to think about your gut.
Did you know that up to 90% of your body’s other feel good brain chemical, called serotonin, can be produced by your digestive tract?
It’s true. When your tummy feels good, you release more serotonin.
For my digestively-challenged friends out there who intimately know the hell that is associated with irritable bowel syndrome, or who suffer from bloating and constipation- you agree that it is a wonderful, magical world when you have a happy belly, right?
I talk about the benefits of probiotics quite a bit. You can get probiotics from many sources.
I love Kevita. I have sung the praises of Kevita before and I’ll sing ‘em again. Basically, Kevita ROCKS.
Go to your grocery store and stock up. Whatever probiotic source you choose, I encourage you to start taking them daily.
Your tummy will thank me for it.
Oh! By the way! My new friend Lily, the editor at Balance Me Beautiful has some really great things to say about probiotics.
NOVEMBER NEW PRODUCT ALERT:
I love my new Ninja! Smoothies at my place are coming out silky as pudding and they are so nummy!
Because of this new tool in my arsenal, I’ve upped my intake of fresh fruits and veggies, a true stress-buster – and it seems so easy with this guy. If you’re considering a gift for yourself, I totally recommend this one!
A holiday gift for yourself, and for your health.
CBD? THC? Marijuana, OMG!
I’ve been working on a brand-new course I’m writing, all about the Cannabis Culture.
Pot? Yep, it’s here to stay, ladies, and I want to talk about it.
In this changing “weed” world, I want to be educated and educate others on what it all means.
I ask and answer questions like:
What’s the difference between medical and recreational marijuana?
What is THC and CBD?
Can pot help me sleep?
Could it possibly help people to feel better?
Could it help with anxiety?
I have learned TONS while researching this interesting, controversial topic and I get to debut my research this month, speaking on it at an upcoming conference and multiple times next year.
(I guess I’m not the only curious one!)
Contact me if you want to know more!
It will help you.
I can’t leave a blog - especially one about eating and stress-relief, without touting the benefits of heart-pumping, sweat-rolling exercise! You know you want to. Get those sneaks on and get out there.
Time for a Gratitude Adjustment! With Thanksgiving coming, it’s the perfect time to polish our gratitude practices.
When we allow ourselves to be grateful for the good things in our lives, it rewires our brain chemistry, raises our dopamine levels, and we start to experience calm and happiness.
I love this simple but profound mantra that I heard at one of my yoga classes:
Be grateful today for who you are, and who you are not.
Be grateful today for what you do, and what you do not.
Be grateful today for where you are, and where you are not.
These powerful words really help me to stay present in the moment. I encourage you to use this mantra, or others that speak to you, so that you have reminders of gratitude and peace in your daily life.
Having notes where you can see them helps to cease those toxic thoughts of striving to be like someone else, jealousy, feelings of deprivation.
Blech – out with all of it! Let’s release the negatives, honoring who you are and where you are.
Take Action: PEACE, SISTER
Sit quietly today and think of all things in your life for which you are grateful.
Write them down, speak them out loud, appreciate the fall leaves, snuggle your pet, your children, your lover.
Find ways to see the positives you have in this life and breathe deeply.
I hear it from everywhere, and I bet you do, too: the simple things continue to be the most powerful ways to rewire our brain chemistry and give us moments of peace.
May you all have a peaceful, gut-healthy November.
Oh! One more thing!
Kelli Jaecks | Verbal Impact is now on Instagram – so be sure and follow us @KelliJaecksVerbalImpact
COMING UP IN DECEMBER ARE YOU HOLI–DAZED?
Next month, let’s talk more about ways to relieve the stress. It really is a killer.
Oh! And learn the latest impending book launch news!
My soon-to-be-released book, Martinis and Menopause, will be a block-busting stress-buster, full of news-you-can-use, martini and mocktini recipes and strategies for living your best self!