The most simplest of sugars, glucose - is in fact the second most important ingredient to surviving other than oxygen. When we consume carbohydrates; our body works quickly to break them down to the simplest form; glucose. Once in this form, glucose can be combined with oxygen to create energy for the chemical processes occurring in our body. This process called cellular respiration; is the very reason that we are able to move our bodies, think, sleep, talk - just simply be human. Without getting too much off topic, this is exactly why athletes adhere to a high-carb diet; and is also why some have been known to illegally enhance oxygen consumption through blood doping because ultimately they are trying to increase the rate at which their body can create energy.
But we should focus on the average joe. An individual needs to consume a certain amount of carbohydrates to ensure that our bodies can function at optimal levels. The problem however lies with the form in which it is consumed. Natural sugars found in fruits, nuts and other unprocessed foods are made up of complex carbohydrates along with vitamins and minerals. When consumed by the body; it takes time to break them down fully, which therefore provides us with 'longer lasting energy'. Added sugars, are usually quite simple in their form which means the body immediately processes them and provides us with that 'sugar high'. Scientifically it has been identified that rats experience the same level of addiction to sugar, as they do cocaine and drugs. Furthermore, it is also scientifically confirmed that sugar activates the 'pleasure centre' of the human brain - which is ultimately why it becomes an addiction and we experience cravings. So if you are one of the many with a sugar addiction and your asking 'so what' read on.
A diet high in sugar can have far-reaching effects, that depending on how long you have been addicted can be difficult to notice if you have simply become accustomed to them. Read below and identify whether you experience any of the following:
Last of all, good luck and try your best. It will take time and it won't be easy, but nothing ever is that's worth something.
I couldn’t understand why I felt so flat all weekend. I had done almost everything possible to make myself feel good. Went for a long walk. Had a great night out with my boyfriend. Went to the gym twice. Cooked and prepared lunches for the week. Made banana muffins. Watched the latest Game of Thrones episode. What was their to be upset about? Life was good.
It then dawned on me, as it had so many times before. I was still paying for that deliciously sweet, pink, mouth-watering cosmopolitan. I was still paying for that bottle of red wine that I proceeded with afterwards. And just so we have data to play with, I was still paying for the 7 glasses of alcohol I had on Friday; at 9pm on Sunday. How?
Alcohol by nature, is a natural depressant. I’m not expecting jaws dropping, you already knew that – or at least you should have. Before I go on, lets just appreciate human nature. Isn’t it funny that society chooses a substance for consumption, generally on special occasions; that we accept is a natural Debbie downer?
Furthermore, alcohol has been scientifically proven to cause mental and physical health problems. Whether it was an association study between humans with mental/physical conditions and their alcohol intake; or some ethically inappropriate study on rats and the behaviour of neurotransmitters in their brain. Either way, you cannot dispute the correlation.
Humans are interesting creatures. We accept the dangers anyway. Whether it is to save face in the moment of what is indicative of a good time or just simply because we lack the self discipline (eg. me).
Alcohol affects people in different ways. That’s no surprise. The instructions which made us each who we are, are all unique. Therefore how alcohol affects our mind and body will be entirely different from one person to the next. For this reason, you might be lucky to either a; be completely unaffected by how alcohol can affect you or b; be completely oblivious to its effects. Regardless, it is important you understand when to recognise it has had its way with you.
My rant on this topic, is not about eradicating alcohol from your life. It is about being aware of its effect on your body. I’ve searched my mind today for the variety of reasons I could be feeling so down. Am I unhappy? Am I disappointed with my current place in life? I went through these questions in my mind, to realise I am searching way too hard for something to be wrong. It led me to think, there must be something else going on here. I realised then, as I have before, drinking doesn’t always agree with me. Yes, at the time I enjoy myself. I am unrivalled with the effects of what liquid courage does for me. However, I do need to weigh up whether its worth it?
I’ve spent my day searching for issues in my life, because I couldn’t recognise myself and had to understand why. I couldn’t see happiness in myself today and that upset me more than the enjoyment I gained from my night of fun. I am unfortunately getting dark with this post and it was not my original intention, but it may be somewhat timely.
What am I grateful for? Understanding what has happened. Something isn’t wrong in my life, I am simply victim to substance running through my brain. It will be gone tomorrow (or else) and I’ll be ordering another pinot soon enough. But this time, a little more educated, with a better memory of what the aftermath felt like. Who knows, maybe eventually I’ll give it up altogether.
If your anything like me, or most of this generation you can be caught on your phone just before you go to bed. It seems logical that this isn’t great for us, and it’s made so much worse when I remember what I was doing on my phone in the first place. Scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn, looking for a new pair of shoes, eyeing a sale on TheIconic, filtering through my work emails – all useless and lacking in importance. If I remind myself that this habit I have developed is hindering the fantastic benefits of sleep – I now must move to reconsider.
A Harvard Medical School study found that using a tablet e-reader not only affects how long it takes you to fall asleep, but leads to poor-quality sleep that costs you alertness the next morning.(1)
For five consecutive nights, 12 healthy young adults read for four hours on an iPad before going to bed. On a different five nights, they read a print book before going to bed. Researchers also reversed the order for different participants.
When participants read the e-book devices, they reported feeling drowsy the next day, it took them 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and they felt less sleepy one hour before bedtime. Furthermore, their levels of melatonin (the good stuff that helps us sleep – which we obtain from protein rich foods) was considerably low. The e-reader users complained that they took “hours longer to fully wake up” the next day and attain their normal level of alertness… Even if they had achieved a full eight hours of sleep.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and participants used Apple iPad tablets. But researchers say other light-emitting devices have the same negative effects. These include Kindles and other e-readers, cellphones, and computers.
The main ideas:
Ever get to that point in the day where your reaching for a quick snack? Of course you do. If your anything like me, your in need of a quick fix and fast. Nine times out of ten, there’s nothing available. What that means is, I grab $2 out of my desk drawer and walk into the staffroom to purchase a choc bars (usually a flake or twirl). At the time, it naturally feels good but within twenty minutes; I realise I am still hungry and regretting my original choice. Here is a recipe that takes under 8 minutes to make; under 30 minutes to cook and is enjoyable to eat!
2-3 ripe bananas smashed
3 free range organic eggs
2 tbs raw honey or golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
half teaspoon ground cinnamon
half teaspoon of mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup of chopped dates
1/4 cup of crushed walnuts/slivered almonds
1/4 cup of organic oats
1 cup almond meal + 1 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup chia seeds
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees.
Whisk eggs with the golden syrup/honey.
Add smashed banana, coconut oil, cinnamon, mixed spice, vanilla, bicarb, dates + lemon.
Add the almond meal, coconut flour, oats, nuts, chia seeds.
Very lightly mix until just combined. You do not want to over mix as the muffins will be tough.
Pour into muffin tuns/cases. Fill up to top (as they won’t rise a whole lot).
Throw some oats on top so they look pretty when them come out.
Bake for 30 minutes (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
You should be treating Sunday as the first day of the week. Why?
Often we spend our weekend laying low, letting off steam and celebrating the fact we do not have to be at work. Whilst they all serve an important purpose, putting aside some time on Sunday to organise your week ahead; will be incredibly beneficial. I promise.
What should you be doing on Sunday?
'Be Remarkable' has developed through one's own individual journey of becoming the best version of themselves, and still is. Through BR, she has been able to grow closer to the 'true' version of who she wants to become. Whilst it is not an easy process, change takes time and is without doubt challenging. It certainly is an exhilarating process, one she wants to share with others, and help others to choose.