Dear Cia 2.0

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Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:50 am

Alo peoplez!

So recently it was suggested that I revive the Dear Cia thread given how much I loved answering questions from all of you, and I will admit that I had some amazing fun here...

http://bigsister.forumotion.com/t419-dear-cia-column

Sadly I had to close this down for a number of reasons, not least of which was the amount of time this was eating up to write the [typically] HUGE responses I gave, as well as the awful mismanagement of the Cheese system.

So I am happy to review Dear Cia but with a few notable tweaks:


  • No more Cheese points, you ask questions for the sake of asking them.  Smile


  • There is an 800 word limit on my responses, to save time for me and to encourage people to give more specific questions (or ask follow-up questions later).

  • Questions must still be prefaced with "Dear Cia:"; I won't answer any question that doesn't have this preface. Razz


Aside from that, and of course keeping the questions clean and realistic (with few personal details if possible), everything else is fair game!  Have fun!  ^^
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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Haasman29 on Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:20 pm

Dear Cia:

(I missed this thread so much, I am happy to resume asking you questions. xP)

I've noticed that my appetite has increased quite dramatically. I'm eating much more than I normally do and it's not doing me any favors. I'm unsure of what caused this to happen. Do you know anything that I could do to solve this?
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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Ciabatta on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:17 am

Dear Avocado,

Wow! Congratulations on being the first Dear Cia 2.0 poster! Woo!

Anyway, be sure to ask a follow-up question that also describes the kind of foods you're eating on a daily basis, since that will help determine a probable cause. For now I'll cover two broad-stroke reasons why this might be happening...

1) If you consume foods high in appetite stimulants, this will cause a small but consistent rise in hunger despite having eaten a substantial meal. MSG (monosodium-glutonate), HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) and Aspartame (Equal) are recognizable chemical additives that increase appetite, and are thus added to lots of junk food (so as to maximize sales of additional junk food). However, some genetically-modified or genetically-manipulated grains such as modern wheat seem to have the same effect... maybe not to the same degree, but certainly with greater coverage given how much more of them we eat, so it begs the question whether these genetically-manipulated foods are being bred for that trait on purpose. These appetite stimulants are designed to affect biochemical signals in your brain, so this will purposely work against your body's innate energy needs as well as your own personal willpower.

2) If you consume foods very high in total carbohydrates and/or fructose (and/or simultaneously have a weak intestinal gut microbiome that allows the absorption of greater-than-average refined carbohydrates), and consistently maintain this level of consumption throughout the day (as is typical of the standard American diet), this will have three major impacts on your appetite:


  • Because of the near-dangerous elevated blood sugar, your body will secrete a hormone called insulin to try and clear the bloodstream of this toxic-level of blood glucose. In doing so, the excess glucose is either shuttled into your muscles if there's enough room for them, or if not it will shuttle this off to the liver where it will be converted to body fat (a less toxic substance to the body). As this emergency rescue operation is occurring, insulin shuts down ALL fat-burning mechanisms, meaning that no body fat is burned while it is actively inserting additional body fat, and no ingested fat is burned for fuel either (with the exception of MCT's, but that's for another story). Depending on how much excess sugar is ingested, this process could take anywhere from an hour to maybe 6-8 hours, by the time of which you've probably already eaten another high-carbohydrate meal to restart the process all over again. This is why anyone eating a high-carb breakfast full of grain products and refined sugars may exhibit extreme hunger only a few hours later prior to lunch; and due to the energy lockdown mode, they may also feel tired or sluggish as well.  

  • Because of the energy lockdown aspect of the hormone insulin on your body fat, it either intentionally or unintentionally blocks another important hormone called leptin that is produced by your body fat. Leptin is responsible for telling your brain that you're no longer hungry, and in a normal diet is what offers you a sense of satiety. In blocking leptin while insulin sets out to save your life from excess blood sugar, it can essentially give your body the illusion that it's still hungry as your brain never receives the signal to stop eating. If this occurs chronically over the course of many years, the effect will be worse and worse until your body develops what's called “leptin resistance”, at which point it stops listening to leptin altogether, causing chronic hunger and stimulating chronic-overeating.


  • Specifically with too much consumption of fructose, this is never used as energy as it is fully toxic to the body, and an attempt is made by the liver to convert it to a very inflammatory form of body fat. Failing this, any remaining excess fructose is excreted by the kidneys. As a result, there is no pathway to release leptin at all; furthermore, fructose can play a role in disrupting hormones in general, especially in causing insulin resistance. The presence of insulin resistance forces your body to release MORE insulin to combat the body's ever-growing refusal to listen to it, and thus maximizes the last three points.


As far as solving this...

For Point 1:
Reduce consumption of junk foods and sugary beverages. For grains, stick to heritage grains as much as possible, or minimize consumption of standard grains as much as possible. Replacing most wheat products with spelt products is very helpful.

For Point 2:
Along with following Point 1, increase your intake of whole, unprocessed foods, especially those with saturated fats. Take/eat probiotics to help heal your gut. Limit overall carbohydrate intake until you feel your appetite normalize, after which stick to safe sources of carbohydrate low in fructose and/or high in fiber.


Good luck!

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by nothimagain on Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:12 pm

Dear Ciabatta1,

So ill admit.


Im getting lazy.


Not in the diatary biz though, thankfully.


But since im finally online for one whole second, and probably because you cant even guess who I am, i might as well ask a pointless question we would all greatly benefit from in both knowledge and spirit.



Wine preference?


Hehe. God im giddy today.
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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Ciabatta on Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:23 pm

Dear Not Luigi,

Lol, well thankfully you're not being dietary-lazy, that sets my heart at ease.  You can be any other lazy, you've earned that right. You definitely sound all happy for sure. ^^

Regarding wine preference, I usually drink Port or Merlot at my neighbors, but any dry wine is best... I don't like them overly sweet. Smile

Hope you're doing well!  ^.^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by HannahChi on Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:16 pm

Dear Cia:

Since I know you've watched a few animes in the past before, I was wondering what your favourite ones are and what you would recommend to others? I'm trying to expand my watch list for when I go back to school so I have more things to occupy myself with. xP

So glad to see this thread back up! ;D

Hannah

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by HannahChi on Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:23 pm

Dear Cia:

I have another question too! (If you don't mind) Razz
Please could you tell us about how we can boost our serotonin levels? Since I guess this is part of what I need to learn for psypsychologyy, it would be cool to have some thought from one of the best nutritionist I know. Very Happy (Hint: begins with C)

Hannah



Last edited by HannahChi on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:22 am

Dear Hannah Katakana,

Thank you, I wonder where I got the idea to reopen Dear Cia.  Razz

I haven't watched anime in ages, but I remember it fondly since it was a source of great inspiration for art and thought-provoking introspection back in the day.  While it's hard to pick favourites, given the huge genre of anime series out there, I will generally lean towards anime series that are produced with reasonably-decent quality for their time period, are well-acted with decent humour, have wonderful, creative and original stories, enjoyable characters, and lack gratuitous violence, innuendo, otaku-culture references and perversions.  That being said, here are a few that I can recommend off the bat, noting that some of these are very SLOW:

- Angel Beats
- Azumanga Daioh
- CardCaptor Sakura
- Chobits
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
- Crest of the Stars
- Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex 
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Gurren Lagann
- Haibane Renmei
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Kanon
- Kino's Journey
- Lovely Complex
- Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- Piano No Mori
- Porco Rosso
- Princess Arete
- Princess Mononoke
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Read or Die
- Saber Marionette J
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Slayers
- Slayers NEXT
- Slayers TRY
- Spice and Wolf
- Spirited Away
- The Cat Returns
- The Vision of Escaflowne
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Wings of Honneamise


--Cia


Last edited by Ciabatta on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:36 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:56 am

Dear Hannah,

Yay! Serotonin question, I'll take it!  ^^

Believe it or not, most psychology courses will probably poo on the idea of directly influencing serotonin through means other than heavy medications... it's just not in their DNA.  I would still recommend you learn this anyway, if at least to have a leg up over your other psych colleagues who trip over themselves trying to treat mental issues as completely separate from biological and hormonal ones.  What do I mean by that?  Well, if you need to know, our emotions aren't just ephemeral, invisible spiritual notions -- they are, in fact, biochemical signals heavily triggered by hormones.  Stress isn't just a state of mind, it is actual cortisol released into your body to control fight or flight.  Love isn't just a feel-good notion, it's oxytocin which, ironically, is mostly produced in the heart! Serotonin is just one of these many emotion-controlling hormones, this one designed for calmness and relaxation, and which is also closely related to melatonin which controls sleep.

Once we understand that, it becomes clearer why things like food, drink, sleep and activities can all influence serotonin levels since hormones are made by the body, and build them just like any other part of the body.  Low serotonin levels in today's world can be the direct result of a number of biological factors including:

- Poor intake of ingredients with which to make serotonin.
- Over production of cortisol through stress (including stress from chronic inflammation), which diverts resources away from other hormones including serotonin and melatonin.

In this context, medication isn't a cure so much as a mask to hide the real problem: that your average doctor or psychologist may know very little about nutrition or health, or in fact may be willingly ignoring it to benefit financially from bad advice offered.  

So with that out of the way, how do we naturally increase serotonin levels?

Let's get the hardest out of the way... first, avoid exposing yourself to things that actively deplete serotonin:

- Things that can irrate the gut, such as grains, soy, sludge oils and fructose.  Because the gut is the "second brain", damaging the cut will transmit significantly more stress and anxiety on your mental state than damage to any other part of the body.

- Caffeine... too much caffeine artificially stimulates production of cortisol, diverting resources away from serotonin.

- Excess Omega-6... if you consume too much inflammatory omega-6 and no [or hardly any] omega-3 to balance this out, then the resulting inflammation will create more stress on the body [and again, divert resources to cortisol].

- Overall stress... don't let life stressors get to you, learn to relax and deal with them in stride, otherwise they WILL cause bodily harm.

Once you put a stop to the stressors, now you can work on actively healing your serotonin production:

- Don't be afraid of saturated fat, it's what your brain is mostly consisted of, and your body NEEDS this fat to make all hormones.

- Don't be afraid of dietary cholesterol, it's your body's natural antioxidant... the more you eat, the less your body has to make its own.

- Eat anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats, to help balance out your Omega-6.

- Eat L-Tryptophan-rich foods, such as meats, poultry, eggs, fish, and pumpkin seeds.

- Consume probiotics or probiotic-rich foods (like kefir or yoghurt) to help heal your gut.

- Make sure you intake Vitamin D and Magnesium, and also zinc if needed (zinc-carnosine is great). 

- Exercise, meditate, sing, dance, laugh, spend time with friends, have a good time, do good deeds, and just in general engage in any physical or social activities as these produce endorphin, another [much stronger] feel-good which naturally increase the level of serotonin too.  

To end, I should summarize the four hormones that we know can influence your happiness:

Dopamine - improves motivation, and reduce procrastination, self-doubt and boredom.

Serotonin - enhances feeling of significance and importance, and combats loneliness and depression.

Endorphin - alleviates anxiety and offers feeling of exhilaration and euphoria.

Oxytocin - enhances intimacy and trust, and strengthens personal relationships.


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia 2.0

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