Can Your Brain Find Happiness Without Sugar + MBSR Begins May 19th

Start your mndfulness practice with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program begins Thursday, May 19th and runs to July 8th from 4 to 6 pm.

I have four spaces left at $87!!!

Find out about the course sessions and practice here

The program promotes positive health behaviors, psychological and emotional resilience, and supporting the health of wellbeing into your daily life. At each session meditation practices are combined with hatha yoga and mindfulness concepts that show the  “how” to apply the practice into every day activities.

The science of mindfulness has been studied for the past thirty plus years demonstrating its ability to relieve stress and pain. In this article, The Science of Mindfulness, explains the evolution of mindfulness in the west and the research and science on its benefits for anxiety and depression, improving immune function, mental clarity and function, ageing, sleep and endless concerns we experience.

MIndfulness will not cure your problem but does provide a method for retraining the mind to create new neuropathways, redirecting negative habits, thoughts and sensations into a more compassionate and kinder mindset for a peaceful mind and body.

I’ll be leading the sessions using Zoom each week.

I’m looking forward to leading this program for my community who have been receiving my blog posts for that past 6 years. This will be an ongoing program.

Contact me if you have any questions at wellness@raniglick.com.

Can your brain find happiness without sugar?

In an earlier blog post I asked you to think about Who is the Boss of Me, the Body or the Mind? What did you discover about yourself?

Brain health includes all your other body systems, hormones, neurotransmitters and internal functions because everything is connected! You can’t look at the brain in isolation.

Mindfulness is one way to support brain health, getting that perspective by zooming out from a stressful situation and noticing the pain points that occur. It’s often not one thing but many influences that may cause the problems or symptoms.

Being the boss of your mind and body is also tightly linked to the foods we eat and especially with sugar!

In past blogs, I’ve referred to how refined sugars overstimulate the body increasing high insulin levels that causes inflammation. It can lead to insulin resistance and yeast overgrowth (candidiasis which many people have and goes undiagnosed). These disparities contribute to the many chronic health challenges people experience today.

Another way to think about the physical reactions you feel from the “high” of sugar is knowing there are natural neurochemicals (brain chemicals) that your body produces that makes you feel happy, relieves stress and nurtures relaxation.

There are three main brain chemicals:

– Serotonin is the feel-good chemical that helps quiet the brain and creates a relaxing feeling.

– Beta-endorphins are the brains natural painkiller when increased are associated with good self-esteem and general coping mechanisms. Lower levels of beta-endorphins can make you feel inadequate or being stuck.

– Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure, alertness, concentration, euphoria and motivation. The amino acid tyrosine synthesizes dopamine in the brain.

These are some reasons why we crave sugar because the effect of eating sugar increases our serotonin, beta-endorphic and dopamine levels. Sugar or a sweet taste on the tongue or mouth will increase the release of opiates in the brain and this releases dopamine. It feels like a reward. We become so conditioned to it that it becomes a habit.

What are some ways you increase these feel good brain chemicals without eating sugar?

1)    Eat low glycemic sugars (coconut sugar or stevia)

2)    Eat low glycemic foods such as blueberries, pomegranates, apples.

3) Savour each bite as part of the pleasure seeking experience. (See blog post Are Food and Love Connected)

3)    Increase dopamine levels by eating foods with tyrosine such as almonds, avocados, bananas, lima beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

4)    Vitamins A and D work together to support the production of dopamine such as high quality of cod liver oil delivers the perfect blend

5)   Just a taste of sweetness (without eating gobs of it) on your tongue stimulates the release of opiates in the brain which increases dopamine so we feel good after eating sugar and carb foods.

6) You can increase serotonin by including tryptophan foods in your diet such as turkey, shrimp, tamari, mushrooms, fish, mustard greens, spinach, chicken, lamb, liver and pumpkin seeds. Magnesium and B6 also helps to convert tryptophan to serotonin. also found in fish, seeds spinach and bananas.

When you think about it, there are so many ways to FINDING HAPPINESS without triggering your body into a sugar high and still get the nutrition benefits of feel really good!

My best in health,

Rani Glick is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner, a MBSR trainer and Mindful Eating coach. Interested in knowing more about nutrition, mindfulness or mindful eating,  book a call with me!

Leave a Comment