Addiction and Exercise: Treatment Center or Fitness Center?

This is an updated version of my original post on the topic of addiction and exercise.  Exercise is a cost effective, health promoting, sustainable treatment component of an effective recovery plan.  Here are a few facts and some pointers to keep in mind if you are looking to recovery from an addiction or maintain recovery in the long run.

Are you trying to quit smoking or stop drinking alcohol?  Are you recovering from a drug addiction?  Do you struggle with prescription drug abuse or a gambling problem?  The best approach to addiction recovery may have been right under our noses all along:  exercise.  What you don’t know about this topic might just surprise you. Continue reading “Addiction and Exercise: Treatment Center or Fitness Center?” »

Alcoholism vs. Sugar Addiction | Is Sugar Really the Problem?

I have written quite a bit on this blog, and much of it is lost in the archives from years ago.  I am reposting this article because alcohol abuse is a common problem, and many people don’t understand the connection between alcohol abuse and sugar addiction……so here you go.  Eat your heart out, Google Panda.

All of us know those moms who like to throw a few back.  Some of them openly have a few libations and the closet drinkers carry their own sippy cups around town.  Motherhood can certainly drive us to irrational behaviors, but it’s not the best idea to abuse alcohol.  Before you have your next 12 noon happy hour, take a look at this information.

Recent research has conveyed that sugar may be just as addictive as heroine. If you consider yourself a recovering alcoholic, a functional alcoholic, or just a heavy drinker who has always struggled with occasional alcohol abuse, you may want to look at the possibility that you may actually be addicted to sugar.

Most people don’t realize that alcohol is actually the quickest acting sugar on the brain. In short, a “buzz” is actually a sugar high. The first research on sugar addiction in 2001 was conducted at Princeton University, and scientists have come so far since then that research is now focusing on how to address the problem (not whether or not it exists).

Sugar tends to affect the same part of the brain that heroine, cocaine, and other hard drugs do when a person uses them. The two main neurotransmitters involved with sugar addiction are serotonin and beta endorphins. We think of serotonin as the depression hormone, but it’s also responsible for concentration, attention, and impulse control. When your serotonin levels are lower, you may become less able to say “no.” Beta endorphins are that feel good chemical that is released after exercise, but this neurotransmitter is also associated with self esteem. Those with lower levels of beta endorphins who have excellent insight and are well accomplished might still have great difficulty with self esteem.

Sugar tends to increase both of these important neurotransmitters, thereby altering the brain’s biochemistry and correcting the deficiencies that may have been there. In other words, there are many people who are self medicating for specific deficiencies with sugar, and they are likely addicted to sugary foods for this reason. Even sugar replacements such as Splenda tend to trigger cravings for sweet foods, thereby feeding the sugar addiction.

An excellent 7 step program for changing the brain’s biochemistry and effectively treating sugar addiction is the book, Potatoes, Not Prozaac. In this book, the author outlines and describes these seven steps, which have been highly effective in helping people considered “treatment resistant” in other treatment centers. I would recommend referring to this book as an excellent resource if you believe any of this information applies to you. You may find that all along, your problem was actually sugar addiction, not alcohol abuse and depression.

A Page Full of Mommy Awesomeness

I was in total awe when I found this page of amazing pregnant women who have stayed committed to Crossfit throughout pregnancy.  It’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words, and that’s why I don’t have to say much more about this.  Check out these inspiring women who aren’t afraid to to live like lions.  Thanks to the Face of Fitness for capturing the essence of true warriors with these amazing photos.

Amazing Fit Pregnancy Photos

The Top 7 Fitness Apps You Should Have on Your SmartPhone

Here is a great post on the best 7 fitness apps you should have on your smart phone.  I like this list because these are highly usable, very useful apps that serve a real purpose instead of being redundant, copy cat, semi-useful crap sitting on your phone.  No reason to rewrite the goods here-this list is well outlined here:

Best 7 Fitness Apps for your Smartphone from I AM NOW.  I AM NOW is a cutting edge fitness apparel line that rocks, and you’ll probably agree when you see their new Crossfit tanks, t-shirts, board shorts, and burnout styles.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.