Food Comas! What Our Bodies Really Do After A Meal! Guest Blogger Today-Patricia Walling-

photo by infinitycat
Today I am excited to share with you a guest blogger! This is a fascinating article that dispels everything I thought about why we get so tired after eating a meal and the what are bodies are really doing after eating that turkey on Thanksgiving!! 

 Why do People Get Food Comas?

Have you ever just wanted to fall straight asleep after a large meal? Do your kids often curl up and fall asleep after meals? Often we call this happenstance a food coma, but the scientific term used in medical coding for it is actually post-prandial somnolence, which pretty much just means “after-meal sleepiness.” Typically, a food coma can send people who have just eaten into a drowsy state that can last from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. People used to think that blood from the brain was sent to the stomach for digestion after eating, and that this decreased blood flow from the brain was the reason for sleepiness after a meal. However, it has been proven that this does not happen at all, and that blood is diverted from muscle tissue to the stomach during digestion. Additionally, the brain is provided with adequate amounts of oxygen and blood flow in a regular fashion during digestion.

What is actually going on basically that in order to produce energy from food, some energy must be expended in order to break that food down in our digestive system. There are two specific things about this process that produces a food coma. First, the nervous system responding to digestion in the stomach will use up some energy in order to try and battle off any incoming germs or bacteria. Secondly, and this is the biggest factor in a food coma, the central nervous system will use energy break down sugars entering the blood, which is why there can be such an intense crash after a sugar high because of the amount of energy spent processing that much sugar. As food arrives in the stomach, the nervous system begins to kick in and activates the breakdown of the foods into usable energy. After eating, the body feels it has achieved its goal of attaining food and no longer must be on point to capture another meal, so some recharging is alright.

Eating foods that are higher up on the glycemic index, i.e. take less time to release sugars into your bloodstream, will cause glucose (sugar) to be metabolized quickly from the intestines into the bloodstream. To keep glucose levels stable, the pancreas delivers insulin to the bloodstream, which is what your body uses to break down sugars into energy. Insulin tells the body to absorb sugars, but it causes the body to stop processing an amino acid called tryptophan. You may have heard about tryptophan as being the reason why everyone falls asleep after large turkey dinners, but it turns out this compound is about as equally present in other meats like beef and chicken too. In any case, since tryptophan levels in the body usually stay pretty constant, the body will have an overabundance of it when insulin is delivered. This causes the brain to convert tryptophan into serotonin, which makes for that feeling of contentment you have after a good meal. Then in turn, serotonin can be converted into melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you sleepy.

If you want to avoid getting food comas, say if you need to do some work after a meal or something, you can try eating more foods that are lower on the glycemic index like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Eating smaller portions can also help prevent food comas as it will allow the stomach to more easily process it into usable energy. You can also alleviate food comas by doing physical activities after eating such as jogging, walking, yoga, or Pilates. These exercises can help move glucose into your muscle without the associated feelings of drowsiness.

About my guest blogger:

Patricia Walling is a web content designer in Washington state for

several websites regarding the field of medicine and careers in health
care. A self professed perpetual student, she finds herself drawn to
researching even the most esoteric information she comes across that
she doesn't already know something about. She likes travel, cats,
dogs, and children, and above all is interested in healthcare, its
history, and its future.

Quick And Natural Way To Fight Bloating! Fennel Tea Will Kick That Stored Water’s Booty!

Bloat, bloat, bloat makes me feel like a big boat. Okay that is a truly not cool rhyme (and probably saying the word “cool” is not cool but I’m no spring chicken and like my old days lingo) but being bloated really does make me feel huge and then the clothes get tight and that sets an entire chain reaction of woe is me. But really, if you are like me and have a little water weight to lose now and then below is a quick and easy fix without any pills.

Drink some fennel tea! To flush approximately 5lbs of water weight in 3 weeks sip 2 cups of fennel tea daily. Our bodies use stored water to keep cool but half of women hold on to too much. This is especially true in the summer-just in time for swimsuit season-ironic isn’t it.

After A While! To My Good Friend Brad!

This is something different for me but I wanted to share a beautiful poem by Veronica Shoffstall . I first read this when I was 15 or 16 and it really made me think. Now after so many life experiences it is invaluable to me. I hope it gives you some comfort as well!!
Love, Heidi
After a While
After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learnTo build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

Arrrribbbba! A Skinny Pina Colada With Don Q Rum Means Lots Of Fun (Even If Your Not In The Sun)! Can You Say Ole'!

Yes, it is true!!!!! The words skinny and colada in the same sentence and even better in the same drink!!  I have always loved Pina Coladas but in the past they were only for those times when I was allowing myself a little caloric luxury as the average Pina Colada has over 600 calories. Sad, sad, sad:(   But now thanks to delicous DonQ Coco rum I can put on my sombrero sit on the deck, close my eyes imagining I'm on a beach and sip a DonQ skinny colada (okay maybe 2 umm well maybe 3-they are hard to resist).

The other thing I like about this colada is it is quick and easy to make (with no pre-mixes) because when I'm in the mood for a sombrero night of fun easy and delicious are a must!  So without further ado I give you the Skinny Colada recipe! Enjoy!

DonQ Skinny Colada

2 oz DonQ Coco Rum
1 oz Unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 oz Coconut milk

Mix all ingredients with ice in a blender at high speed.
Serve in a stemmed glass

Garnish with pineapple slice and cherry
Sombrero hat and mariachi band optional (just kidding)

ONLY 152 calories 
(see now you can have 5 of these instead of one of the old school Pina Coladas-Ok just kidding but calorie wise that is true)

If you go to the DONQ rum website at they have all kinds of delicious recipes that are simple to create and delicious to taste.  They have a Coquitos, Coco Splash, Coco Bongo (I love that name) , DonQ Lazy Mojito, and many, many more!!!  

Arrrrribbbbaaaaa ! I see a skinny colada with my name on it so I'm out of here for now!  Enjoy!

Go UnDiet! Grab This Book! 50 Small Actions For Lasting Weight Loss!

I cannot tell you over the course of my life how many diets I have been on and tried. Actually I don’t remember the last time that I didn’t try a new diet or join in on the latest Hollywood weight loss craze (remember Jennifer Aniston and the baby food diet, or the Dukan Diet or the Master Cleanse that Beyonce supposedly did). Yes, I have tried them all with some success but only to gain weight once I hit the Cheetos and chocolate again. There is nothing worse than eating baby food all day (and I didn’t like it even when I was a baby) or drinking lemon water with molasses or whatever that was and gazing over while everyone else had a burrito just so I could somehow be miraculously perfectly thin overnight.

What I finally learned is that in order to maintain and lose weight I have to exercise (I LOVE running) and I have to eat healthy foods in the right way. I thought I pretty much had the eating healthy and weight loss all down (yes I know eating a family size bag of Cheetos and 20 mini fun size Snickers with some wine is not healthy) but I could not imagine that there was still so much to learn so when I was given a copy of Gloria Tsang’s book, Go UnDiet to review I was more than pleasantly surprised at all the small changes I could make for lasting health and yes of course being thin. Thank goodness the ideas and suggestions in this book are simple, easy and delicious and they sure beat eating only pineapple and papayas or boiled eggs for a week in another one of my crazy attempts at dieting.

Thinnity For Infininty Or Following the 50 Small Actions For Lasting Weight Loss in the book Go UnDiet

There are so many things about this book that I loved that I am not sure where to start! Gloria writes this book like she is in the room having a conversation with you and makes this an easy read without all the complicated mumbo jumbo that a lot of books have that makes readers like me want to toss the book in the river. As hard as it is to condense this book down (because as I said there are so many helpful lifetime actions) I picked out a few actions that are my favorites!
Just a Few of Heidi’s Favorite tips from the Go Undiet

-Bring on the beans-Gloria tells us that beans ARE vegetables and don’t have to be lumped in another food group and used as substitutes for meats or nuts! They are a great source of fiber and protein and the best part is they really make you feel full which will help you to skip the banana cream pie!

-Add color and carbs to your plate-All fruits and veggies are considered carbs. Carb foods actually have fewer calories by volume than any protein foods and one cup of veggies on your plate has at least five times fewer calories than an equal volume of meat. Add a variety of colorful fruits and veggies and eat a variety from different color groups for optimal health benefits! Focus on eating fruits and vegetables from three different color groups at every meal!

-Un-complicate your breakfast cereal-Stock a basic grain cereal (choose one that lists whole grain flour as the first ingredient and contains less than four grams of sugar and five grams of fiber per serving) and mix with others that your love!  So you are really getting the best of both worlds here!

-30 snacks under 200 calories-Takes the thinking out of healthy snacking-1/2 cup carrot sticks, 3 tablespoons hummus and a 4 inch pita one of my flavor favs!  So many more great ideas with all the calorie info!

-Top 60 super foods- Blueberries, chickpeas, mushrooms, edamame, green tea and tomatoes just to name a few and these are foods you can put in your daily meals (sorry no chocolate or martinis on the list).

This book really is a way to learn how to live a healthy life without dieting and how to do it simplified for life! Gloria Tsang also has a website where she compares popular foods and gives even more great tips! I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read and learn from this book… no more diets for me because I am now the Undiet girl!!  Grab this book oh and let's not tell Gloria I'm eating a chocolate chip cookie right now... but hey now that I know how to eat better I can sneak in a treat or two right?! Sigh...

Gloria Tsang-Author of Go Undiet

Fat, Fat I Ain't Down With That! Easy Tips To Revive Your Metabolism!

 I get a little lazy in winter since generally the swimsuit is many months away however this year I am determined to not let the holidays an...