LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Weekly Message
Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.

Time For A Nap!

It's Thanksgiving week but you'll get no challenge from me to review all you have to be thankful for. Instead, I'm going right for the (typical) main course---that turkey!!

If you get sleepy after your turkey and dressing Thanksgiving dinner there's a medical reason. Turkey is high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (meaning it cannot be manufactured by the body) that reduces anxiety and depression and induces sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, that depress your nervous system, tryptophan works by altering the normal regulators of the sleep response. It is also part of the chemical chain of events that heightens levels of serotonin, the brain neurotransmitter that helps us feel good. Until tryptophan was banned when a contaminated supply from the orient produced a rare blood disease, many people who had trouble falling asleep used supplements of tryptophan to nudge themselves past insomnia.

The rest of your turkey dinner, especially when it includes high carbohydrate foods like dressing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, also support high levels of serotonin by holding back other amino acids eager to get to the brain in favor of tryptophan--the chemical the brain wants to make the serotonin that in addition to producing the "I feel good" feeling, can make you feel full.

There's nothing wrong with a post Thanksgiving nap. But, if you tend to overeat, some advance planning can help you get through the weekend without compromising a healthy diet or encouraging your body to store extra calories as fat.

Taste everything, but exercise portion control. Overeating more will not make the dinner better. Make plans, before you eat, to take a walk with friends and/or family after dinner. It will remind your body that any extra calories--even those that get stored as fat--will eventually be burned as muscle fuel.

If you're preparing turkey this week and have questions about how to cook and stuff it safely, there are some web sites listed below that should make you a pro.

And, please know, when I spend time thinking about what I'm grateful for, your support will be on the list.


Weekly Messages Lifestyles

LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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