Friday, July 01, 2016

Why Do I Overeat? OR Why do Prescribed Diets Piss Me Off?

The answer is quite simple, and yet I had no clue! 

And probably you don't either. 

How often has this happened: You get all excited to start a new exercise and eating plan and within a day or 5 you're hiding in the pantry scarfing a bag of Oreos while punching the walls, and people in the next room are whispering fury-inducing words like "hangry" and "mentally unstable" about you?


Well, I'm here to tell you there is a very good reason those prescribed diets are pissing you off.
The answer?
Serotonin.
Or more accurately: Serotonin deficiency.
 I have been doing a lot of research about serotonin levels and their effects on not only mood and mental illness but also on weight management. Two books you HAVE to read if you struggle with hangry or depression or eating binges (they usually go hand-in-hand, don't they?) are The Serotonin Power Diet and Secrets of Serotonin. (if you click on these links and buy I will get a kickback from Amazon. If you don't like that, go to Amazon and search the books.)


I am currently a guinea pig in my own experiment. I'm keeping track of what I'm eating in an app so I have an easy reference for protein, carb, and fat consumption without having to count that stuff outright. I'm also keeping a journal of my day including exercise duration, kind of exercise, mood shifts, and energy levels. And of course, weight. This is to start. Might add other things along the way.
Why am I doing this? I'm convinced that the secret to long-term weight and health maintenance is to KNOW MYSELF, and that means understanding how MY body and mind react to any given exercise or eating routine or lack thereof.
Every time I've tried a prescribed dieting plan, I want to punch the walls...or someone's face. It's always frustrating and I think to myself "Why? Am I such a petulant child that I can't pull up my big girl panties and deal?"
Well, part of the problem is that serotonin cannot be created in my brain without tryptophan making its way across the blood-brain barrier. I've known this for years, but what I didn't know is tryptophan cannot cross the brain barrier when I've consumed a lot of protein. 

Holy cow! (pun intended)

So what that has meant is when I try to eat high protein, low carb, I'm an anxious, depressed, or pissed off momma. Not good.
I used to think I needed to eat protein when my mood shifted to the negative (hangry, anyone?) but with only a few days of experimenting I'm realizing I need a carb snack. Not only that, I have to time it right. If I've had protein at breakfast, then my carb snack needs to be eaten 3 hours later and 1 hour before a meal that contains protein.
If I time the snack right, as well as the general nutrition, my mood lifts, cravings diminish, and I easily eat reasonable portions at meals.
Holy hell.
And there's a lot more, but I will share more later. This is a long-ass post but I'm really excited over what I'm discovering.
Know this: if it's killing you to eat low carb, then don't. Honestly, all that "weight" you lose so fast at the beginning of the Atkins or South Beach diet is mostly water. You need carbs to maintain adequate hydration (if you doubt this, eat a bunch of sugary snacks and watch yourself bloat like a pork sausage). That's also why as soon as you eat one fucking piece of bread you put all that weight back on. Just saying.

If your high-protein low-carb diets piss you off, you may need to support serotonin production and the quickest way to do that is to try a carb snack 3 hours after a meal containing protein and 1 hour before a meal containing protein. In other words, make sure your stomach is NOT trying to digest both at the same time.

This doesn't mean your meals have to be protein high and low or no carb. It just means to get the best serotonin boost, you need a carb snack that doesn't' have to compete with protein. See, there are these "gateways" between your bloodstream and the brain and they only allow so many amino acids and such through at any one time. 
If your bloodstream is flooded with protein amino acids, the tryptophan gets pushed to the back of the line. If you wait at least 3 hours and then eat carbs, it's like the others have either passed through the gate or get turned away and tryptophan moves to the front of the line. 
For more on the science, read the books I suggested above or consult an expert on the subject.
Here are your carb snack guidelines:
1. If you have 15 lbs or more you want to lose, the snack must be between 30 and 40 grams of carbs, no more than 5 grams protein (less is better), and no more than 3 grams fat. Of course, give yourself some wiggle room. This is just a guide. If you have 15 lbs or less to lose, carbs change to no more than 30 grams.
2. Consume your carb snack within 10 minutes. Do NOT graze on it over an extended time. Expect the serotonin boost with 30 minutes. After you lose about 10 pounds, the surge will happen within 20 minutes. 3. Consume your carb snack 1 hour before a meal containing protein, and at least 3 hours after a meal containing protein.
And if you're craving something crunchy or sweet after dinner, consider making your dinner a carbs and veggies one. This will maximize serotonin production in the evenings, easing cravings and setting you up for a good night's sleep.
HoWEVER, if you still have a sweet/carb craving in the evening, have another carb snack in the evening, 2-3 hours after dinner.

Learning means sharing, so please let me know how this works for you. We can all gain knowledge from each other's experiences so comment away!

Peace out. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

New Website and Ch-ch-ch-changes...

Hello to all the peaceful warriors and truth seekers who have been loyal followers of my blog. It's been over two months since I posted anything on this blog and that's way too long.

It's not because I don't have anything to say or that I'm done with this blog. It's because I am renovating this blogger site, as well as finalizing my official Author Melissa Lummis website. When you're done reading this, go check it out. I'll put a link at the end of this post.

While I was getting my official Author site up and running, I was trying to figure out if I wanted to keep this space going as something separatee or go ahead and blog on the new Wordpress site. For now, I've decided to blog over here, although I will be posting things over on the offical website as well.

Here's where I have a loyal following and here is where I shall continue to pontificate, at least for the now. If or when I decided to take all this blathering over to the new site, I promise I will send you a notice and have a way for you to subscribe to the new blog. I want to make that kind of transition seamless for you, and since I'm not ready to do that right now, I'll hold off.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for future posts. I have many things I've been contemplating and can't wait to share. I'll also be doing some renovations and repairs here, especially repairing permalinks to the series I was working on so you can find them, again.

Please excuse the mess, the dead links, and dust as I do some repairs and clean up this joint.

Oh, and as promised, here's my new Author website. www.melissalummis.com 

Namaste y'all!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Music #9 in the Little Flame Series

release music 3


Buy on Amazon

I've done things I'm ashamed of. I've stolen. I've lied. I've even taken a life or two. But what I have to do next makes that all look like random acts of kindness.

Finding Dee's murderer trumps all, no matter what the cost, even bonding myself Hross until death do us part.

Give up Max? Check.
Break his heart? Yeah, that too.

But putting Max's life in danger was never, ever part of the plan.

I have this one chance to make everything right, once and for all. And I better get it right the first time because what I'm about to do requires the ultimate sacrifice: my life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another Weight Loss Book? Ugh

Everyone it seems is writing a book about weight loss these days. I mean everyone. They make over the top statements about changing their lives and transforming yours in 8 weeks. 

Something bothers me about this. I think it's my own experience. I'm trying to come at this with a positive attitude. 

Here's the bottom line: you can count calories all you want and exercise til your knee gives out, but you must change the thoughts, the beliefs, the habits, the self-doubt, the negative thinking, the hard wiring, your life situations, and the programming that led to weight gain in the first place. 

This is a life long journey. It can't be done in 8 weeks. 

You CANT fix yourself in 8 weeks because you're NOT broken. I dislike that implication. It's cruel. And don't get me started on the warped version of "healthy" we have been sold, quite literally by every marketing campaign ever. 

Your weight? Is a symptom of your life. It is not the end all be all of existence. But it is intimately tied to every facet of your life. 

Btw: the people who don't have weight issues have other problems. Trust me on this. They just handle their crazy differently. 

You can gorge yourself on veggies and organic this and locally grown that and you will see results. 

You can run, lift weights, and practice yoga consistency and you will see results. 

But what happens when the next real stressful crisis hits? 

When the winter brings on the depression or your mother gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's? What do you do? Your knee jerk reaction to life's hardest moments reveals the root of our weight issues. Or whatever issues you might have. 

Honestly? It's key to the root of all our problems. 

And THIS is where the real work happens. And it's not sexy or flowery or a simple 3 step plan. 

It happens in the everyday moments. And it's so much more than food and exercise, although learning about a healthy lifestyle is important. 

It's a life long journey of self-awareness, doing the hard stuff that brings about gradual awareness until we see clearly our personal fears, one at a time.

Then we have to address that fear. 

And then we have to do that whole thing all over again. 

And again.

And again.

And again.

Until we die. 

I guess that's why nobody has written that book. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

As You Were - Installment 17

You have been thoroughly warned. 
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.


I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not.  It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.

Namaste.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Chapter 6



I rested a hand on his chest and he turned to look at me in surprise. “Despite my exceedingly bad behavior, I’m glad you came.” I struggled not to cry, swallowing the tears with determination, despite the way the deck seemed to rock beneath. “I’m glad you told me.”

Erik’s face faltered between a smile and something painful. He lifted his hand to cover mine, and I was surprised to feel it tremble. “I mean it, Anne. I’ve always loved you. I was just too stupid to understand what I was feeling. After my mom left,” he cleared his throat, “I thought I’d stopped feeling, anything, but that wasn’t true. I can’t explain it because I really don’t understand it, but I somehow disengaged, distanced myself.”

“Kind of like how some people deal with pain,” I murmured.

We stared at each other for a long moment. The ceaseless crash of waves and the jingle and buzz of the far away boardwalk filling the silence. There were times in the past when Erik and I hadn’t talked for days, times when I wondered if I’d said or done something he didn’t like, but we’d never gone an entire year before. This past year had been full of confusing things: Jack’s betrayal, my own insecurities, how I’d turned my back on Gena. But the most confusing of all was why, after the initial phone call post-Gena incident, I hadn’t picked up the phone to call Erik. Or why he hadn’t called me.

“So what now?” I asked.

Erik dropped his chin to his chest. “I don’t know.”

I half-laughed, and then covered my mouth and swallowed a burp. “Ugh. I drank a lot.”

Erik brushed a stray strand of hair out of my eye. “Yeah. Let’s get you the Erik Hangover Miracle Cure and then tuck you in bed.”

I grabbed his hand, woozy panic filling my belly. “You’re not going to leave, are you? I’m sorry I was a jerk. I guess I’m still drunk but that’s not an excuse, although it makes sense…the crying…the laughing, the freakin’ mood swings from hell.”

I heard myself babbling but I couldn’t stop. Despite the rollercoaster of emotions, or maybe because of them, Erik’s presence was a comfort. Didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t make sense to me often. Erik being here had opened up a lot of old baggage, and I’d certainly thrown our past around in my head and heart, made quite a mess.

“I’m not sure…“ Erik looked pain. He glanced toward the doorway, running his hand over his crew cut. “Uh,” he chuckled. “It’s not a good idea.”

I held out my hand. “The 7-11 is two blocks away, on the corner.” I didn’t think it was a good idea either, but the thought of him leaving and maybe never seeing him again made my stomach flip.

Erik nodded, took my hand, and led me through the suite and out of the house. We walked in silence, the first block dark, dotted with moonlight and the occasional light from a balcony. Laughter and music drifted with the wind blowing through the tree tops. For the 4th of July, there weren’t a lot of parties going on, but then again, Sylvie’s grandparents probably picked a quieter neighborhood.

I squinted at the bright street lights over the main road. If Erik left now, would I see him tomorrow? Or later today. I fished for my cell phone, but it wasn’t in any of my pockets. I huffed. Who cared what time it was? What did it matter? Erik was leaving and—

He squeezed my hand. “Hey. Earth to Annie. What’s going on in that head of yours?

“Anne!” a female voice yelled. Sylvia dashed across the street and fell into with a drunken giggle. 
“You’re not going to believe what Meredith did!”

End of Chapter 6

Continued in Installment 18...

Monday, March 21, 2016

As You Were - Installment 16

You have been thoroughly warned. 
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.


I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not.  It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.

Namaste.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Chapter 6




Holy hell. I sank back on my heels between his legs and pushed the hair out of my eyes, my fingers trembling. And I slapped him across the face. He nodded, a tear trickling over the faint stubble on his cheek, over the red finger marks.

“Don’t you dare blame me for your emptiness. Females have also been just a plaything for you and that’s not my fault!” My voice rose, a little hysterical. “That’s all on you, bub. I was always a good friend to you, tried to talk some sense into you because I saw what it was really about.” I sprung up off the chair, picked up my empty soda can, and flung it at him.

He didn’t dodge it. The can bounced off his forehead and clattered onto the deck. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

I spun around, my back to Erik, my rage sputtering out as I realized what I’d done. Oh God. What was wrong with me? I hid my face in my hands and took quieting breaths. I heard the chair creak and felt Erik close behind me. He didn’t touch me and I didn’t blame him.

“I know what I am, Anne. I know what I’ve done. I don’t blame you. I’ve wanted to slap some sense into me for a long time.”

I dropped my hands, fighting the quiver in my chin. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” I took a deep breath and blew it out. “I shouldn’t have hit you or thrown that can at you. It was a pissy thing to do and I’m sorry.”

Erik tentatively touched my shoulder. I flinched and he immediately pulled his hand away. “I know I’m not relationship material and God knows my timing couldn’t be shittier, but I had to tell you. I still love you, Anne. And I’m not blaming my lack of morals with women on you. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m not saying I couldn’t have a relationship with anyone because I was in love with you. I didn’t know I was in love with you, okay? I just realized it over the past year.”

I stood there, the endless ocean in front of me, a definitive past behind me. A long car ride with Erik one summer when I was touring colleges played out in my mind. He was DJing with his new iPod while I set the cruise control.

Two hours,” I’d said. “If we don’t hit any traffic.”
“You know what I like best about road trips?” Erik had asked.
“What?”
“It’s like you’re in between things, like everything else doesn’t exist. Your past, your future, your problems. Poof. Gone. At least while you’re on the road.”

I turned to face Erik in our present, at the beach. “So you came here to tell me you loved me?”
Erik looked away, his lips drawn into a thin line. He shoved his hands in his pockets. “I know how this all seems. It’s selfish, right? But I.” His words caught in his throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed. “I can’t stop thinking I’ll never see you again. I can’t…die…and not have told you, Anne. I don’t want to blow up or bleed out in a foreign desert and never have said the words to your face.”


I rubbed my forehead with a shaky hand. “You’re not going to die,” I whispered in a hoarse voice. 

But I didn’t believe my own words. He could. Die. I gazed up at his face with the five o’clock shadow, the too bright eyes, the muscle in his jaw flexing as he fought to control his emotions.

Contined in Installment 17...