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The Glycemic Index and Migraines

When the first glycemic index was first released, most dieticians, nutritionists, and physicians were shocked by the results.  It flew in the face of theory that all carbs are created equal.  It meant that the food pyramid was also wrong and upside down.  What they had been taught was wrong.  For example, simple sugar like table sugar, also known as sucrose, had a glycemic index of 61 while sugar found in fruits, known as fructose, had a glycemic index of only 19.

So, a white potato (glycemic index of 85) or white bread (glycemic range in the 70’s) making both of these foods spike the blood sugar more readily than table sugar.  Did you know that many of our healthy cereals, I mean that sarcastically, such as corn flakes, brain flakes and Cheerios top out the glycemic index scoring as high as 92!  Has your trusted doctor or medical professional been recommending to you, a patient with type II diabetes or hypoglycemia to eat carbs that can dangerously spike the blood sugar levels?  Something to think about huh?  Did you realize that most medical professionals only receive one hour of nutrition in their entire education process?  That really scares me, how about you?  Most doctors look at symptoms instead of the whole body.

Obviously, it takes time to make a paradigm shift.  Especially, when it comes to a foundational theory that has been the mainstay of diet counseling for the past century.  Our European counterparts are well beyond our nation in this discovery and use labels with the glycemic index printed on them.  We now know that many who suffer from migraines have a greater correlation between glycemic levels and onsets of migraines.  Seek out a holistic health coach (such as myself) or integrative practitioner to help you design a plan for high absorbency supplements, low glycemic food plan and exercise to help reduce the migraines which may be a chemical imbalance.  I have nothing against modern medicine, as it has its place and is needed and necessary, especially in emergency medical situations.

I help people overcome their limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck, broke and unhealthy to create balance, time freedom and healthy thriving lives!  You can reach me @ or via email



Do you have Brain Fog?

Mental confusion; Lack of mental clarity; Difficulty thinking most of the time, in varying degrees. Walk into a room and can’t remember why you are there?  It’s called brain fog.  We are finding out that it can be brought on by various triggers.  Stress is one of those. Chronic stress can over stimulate the brain, so giving your brain a break—and proper vitamins and nutrients—can help quell the damage done to it and its nerve cells. In fact, your brain is fueled by an array of nutrients. Among those are omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, CoQ10, zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C and vitamin E. So, be sure your brain gets the diet it needs to function properly. Adaptogenic herbs, or adaptogens, are a wonderful gift from the plant kingdom. These herbs strengthen our resistance to mental and physical stress.

This next trigger, fatigue and lack of adequate sleep or rest can adversely affect your brain, leading to muddled thinking. On average, an adult requires 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night. Not getting that amount will cost you some brain power.  Sleeping restores the body and brain.

Then there’s gluten. Believe it or not, gluten-ridden foods, including that morning bagel, lunchtime sandwich or pasta dinner can all contribute to brain fog. Gluten, of course, is a protein found in most grains, including wheat, and can disrupt the balance of chemicals and hormones in the brain. Those who have gluten sensitivity often have mal-absorption of nutrients, which can adversely affect mental abilities. What happens is that the body attacks gluten as an invader, which damages the villi lining the intestine, which are there to absorb nutrients as food passes through the small intestine. With damaged villi, however, nutrients are not absorbed properly.  So go gluten free.  For those who are sensitive to gluten, eating any gluten activates the immune system and can damage the gut villi. Symptoms spread from the gut throughout the body, including the brain. Hence, brain fog.

For some women, however, there’s more to the story of brain fog. Surgical menopause at an earlier age can lead to the decline of memory and thinking skills, says a study released and set to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 6th Annual Meeting in San Diego. Surgical menopause occurs with the removal of both ovaries prior to natural menopause onset and typically accompanies a hysterectomy—a procedure one-third of the women in the U.S. will have before they turn 60. However, stats indicate that nearly two-thirds of the hysterectomies are unnecessary.  It’s your body so ask until you understand before surgery.

Now back to surgical menopause and brain fog. . . Researchers found that women who had surgical menopause had a faster decline in long-term memory related to concepts and ideas, in memory that relates to time and places, and in overall thinking abilities. What’s more is that the researchers also found a significant association between age at surgical menopause and the plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Is that scary or what?  Those who underwent surgical menopause at younger ages had significantly more of the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s than those of women who had the procedure later in life.  Interestingly, no such correlations were seen between cognitive decline and the onset of natural menopause.  It’s not unusual; however, for women to report short-term brain fog after menopause—both surgical and natural—but researchers believe that this results from a sudden drop in the levels of estrogen, which plays a significant role in cognitive and memory. With natural menopause, however, cognitive changes are temporary and aren’t linked to the risk of dementia.  The changes with surgical menopause, however, appear to be more long-term, leading to continuous negative effects to the brain.

I help people overcome their limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck, broke, and unhealthy to create balance, time freedom and healthy thriving lives! You can reach me @ or via email at


Blood Sugar and Why It’s Important in Menopause

The body operates on blood sugar, especially the brain. In other words, our brain needs sugar to work. Therefore, the body is very concerned about trying to control the level of blood sugar. If the blood sugar gets too high—greater than 200 mg/dl—a patient can begin spilling sugar into the urine, and simply not feel well. If it gets too low—less than 40 mg/dl—a patient can become confused, lethargic, have a seizure, and even go into a coma.

Insulin – Our Storage Hormone

Insulin is a hormone, which is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas. The beta cells of the pancreas release stored insulin (first phase release) and produces more insulin (second phase) if it is needed. Even the smallest rise in blood sugar following a meal stimulates the release of insulin from our pancreas. However, if our blood sugar rises rapidly, the amount of insulin that our pancreas releases is tremendous. Again, remember the body needs to control blood sugar in a very tight range. It is also known that the release of insulin is stimulated by protein in our diet but not by fat.

Insulin’s primary duty is to control this rising blood sugar by facilitating the transport of blood sugar from the blood stream into the cells that are responsive to insulin’s actions.  These are primarily the muscle, liver, and fat cells.  It is interesting to note that the brain does not need insulin to get the glucose it needs, since glucose readily passes into the brain on its own. Insulin attaches itself to specific receptor sites on the surface of the muscle, fat, and liver cells.  Insulin then attracts glucose-transporting proteins (i.e. GLUT 4) which literally takes the glucose and transports it to the area of the cell where glucose is needed and used.  In muscle, glucose may be used for glycogen production (stored as a quick source of sugar) or may be used directly for fuel.  In the liver, insulin shuts down the liver’s production of sugar.  In fat cells, insulin enhances the conversion of glucose into fat (lipogenesis).  This becomes a very important fact when it comes to learning why you can’t lose weight.  Especially when you realize another action of insulin is to shut down the breakdown of fat (lipolysis).  In other words, these higher insulin levels create an environment that not only readily changes sugar to fat but it also holds on to that stored fat like a sponge holds on to water.  Remember, the body thinks and lives on blood sugar and the level of sugar in our blood stream must be maintained in a very narrow range.

Glucagon – The Fat Releasing Hormone 

There are always two sides to every regulatory system.  The opposite of insulin is glucagon. Glucagon is produced and secreted from the alpha cells of the pancreas. Secretion of glucagon is stimulated by the intake of protein in our diet and suppressed by the intake of carbohydrates.  Therefore, when we eat a lot of high-glycemic carbohydrates in a meal, insulin levels begin to rise very rapidly and glucagon levels are suppressed.  If you eat a balance of protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates in a meal, insulin levels will drop and glucagon levels will rise, which allows these two hormones to remain in balance. Fat does not have a stimulatory affect on either insulin or glucagon.

The major affect of glucagon is on the liver where it stimulates the release of glucose. However, it also stimulates the release of fat (lipolysis) so that it can be used as fuel—it is your fat-releasinghormone.  You will become familiar with the terms high-glycemic and low-glycemic carbohydrates.  Remember, foods like white bread, white flour, rice, and potatoes are absorbed into our blood stream very rapidly and cause our blood sugar to spike faster than if we were slapping table sugar onto our tongue. These carbohydrates are referred to as high-glycemic. Foods like beans, legumes, apples, and cauliflower release their sugars very slowly and therefore are referred to as low-glycemic carbohydrates. We now need to look at what happens following a meal that is primarily made up of high-glycemic carbohydrates. 

Events Following a High Glycemic Meal

Following the ingestion of a meal primarily made up of high-glycemic carbohydrates, our blood sugar begins to rise very rapidly.  This rapid rise in blood sugar, as you have already learned, stimulates the release of a large amount of insulin and in turn significantly suppresses our glucagon level.  The high levels of insulin now drive the sugar into the muscle, liver, and fat to be utilized, stored as glycogen, or stored as fat.  It is important to realize that it does not take much glucose to completely fill up our glycogen stores in the liver and muscle.  This means that almost all of the glucose following a meal is stored as fat.  Insulin also causes the liver to quit making glucose, since our blood sugars are already too high, and causes the fat cells to quit breaking down fat (lipolysis).  The blood sugar begins to fall almost as rapidly as it increased.  In fact, it will usually fall well below the fasting blood sugar level into what is known as a hypoglycemic range (low blood sugar).

The body then panics because it must get the blood sugar up to protect against the consequences of very low blood sugars.  Because of the rapid rise in blood sugar our body simply overproduced insulin and now has over shot its mark and the blood sugars have actually become too low.  This triggers the release of what are known as counter-regulatory hormones. There is a release of glucagon, epinephrine (adrenaline), growth hormone, and cortisol.  This is known as a counter-regulatory response and its primary purpose is to get the blood sugar back up to acceptable levels.  These hormones stimulate the release of glucose by the liver and breakdown of fats from the adipose (fat) cells.  However, even though the blood sugar eventually returns to normal and most of the time even higher; our body simply craves more and more food (hyperphagia).  This entire cycle actually produces an “uncontrollable” hunger.  This state of hyperphagia or desire to eat more food is actually very prolonged following an episode of hypoglycemia.  Usually these people crave another high-glycemic meal and this vicious cycle starts all over again.

The rapid absorption of glucose following the consumption of a high-glycemic meal challenges the normal hormonal responses, complicating in effect, the body’s transition from a fasting state to a post-absorptive (post-meal) state.  The resultant high insulin-to-glucagon ratio exaggerates the insulin action and significantly more glucose is stored as fat.  If this is not bad enough, when these individuals then become hypoglycemic, their hunger is literally out of control and studies have shown that they eat 80% more calories during the rest of the day when compared to individuals who have eaten a normal, low-glycemic meal.  This is the main reason that sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates are so addictive, which I refer to as “The Carbohydrate Addiction”.  Your body desires to control blood sugars and when they get too low (hypoglycemia), your brain sends out these counter-regulatory hormones, which slowly bring up the blood sugar. However, at the same time, these hormones create an overwhelming urge to eat more and more food (hyperphagia).

This is not a very pretty picture.  Not only does eating the typical American diet cause us to store more fat but it also causes us to eat more and more calories than we should.  You can easily imagine that you may feel good for 20 to 30 minutes as your blood sugar is peaking but it comes down again so quickly.  Since our brain thinks on blood sugar, it is going to do everything it can to get you to eat more so you can raise this blood sugar again.  This is the main reason so many people fail when they try to diet. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet will spike your blood sugar, which results in your blood sugars rising quickly and then falling rapidly into these hypoglycemic ranges.  You are trying to eat less and less food to lower your caloric intake only to find that you have this tremendous craving for more and more food.  You quickly become discouraged because you simply feel that your will power is not strong enough.  In reality, you are just being set up for failure because of the body’s natural response to this type of diet.

Events Following a Low-Glycemic Meal

It is very important to compare what transpires when an individual eats a meal that consists of low-glycemic carbohydrates, instead of a high-glycemic meal.  Again, this would be eating things like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with some good protein and good fat. Well, the blood sugar rises slowly stimulating the release of insulin and glucagon in a much more normal physiological manner.  Following a meal, 85% to 90% of the glucose is taken up by the muscle and the rest by the adipose (fat) cells and liver.  Because the blood insulin levels do not rise too fast or too high, there is no abnormal storing of the fat. The insulin-to-glucagon ratio is in balance, so therefore, fat is still being broken down as much or more than is being made.  The blood sugar slowly returns back to baseline (fasting blood sugar level) and does not drop into the hypoglycemic range.  This does not set off the counter-regulatory hormonal response.  Your appetite and hunger response is normal.

You are much more satisfied after a meal like this.  You do not have the unusual cravings for high-glycemic foods and you actually do not even feel hungry for hours after a low-glycemic meal.  Obviously, you are going to eat fewer calories naturally because your body is not craving food.

I help people overcome their limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck, broke, and unhealthy to create balance, time freedom and healthy lives.  You can find me at or via email at


Time Management is all about relieving stress!

healthy lifestyle conceptWe face time stress when we have too much to do, when we don’t have enough time for the important things, when we fail to do what we hoped because we ran out of time, when we are late, and when we hurt other’s feelings with no time for them. We get up stressed in the morning because our day already has defeated us before we ever begin.We already know the only outcome is failure. On those days, we also make it worse by picking a fight with a family member, being crabby, fussing, screaming, and becoming negative.

This adds more stress and takes more time during the day because we certainly didn’t schedule in the time it takes to be grouchy and at odds with others. At night, we go to bed seeing in our minds the huge list of what we really needed or wanted to do that didn’t get touched! Yes, usually on that list are the things necessary for hitting our goals and working towards our freedom. Does any of this sound familiar? Is this your life? Do you want to make some changes?
As you are working on your schedule, consider the following. I am not a big fan of time blocks now that I am not working in a J.O.B. With that said, I can also see the importance of using time blocks for short periods to get things accomplished. But you have to find out what works for you and then apply. So try a time block or other time management systems until you find the one that speaks to you.

Schedule IN the critical. Everything you allow IN must be a priority or a matter of high importance! There is a competition for the hours in your schedule so think protectively over your time.

  • God
  • Spouse and Children
  • Showering/Brushing Teeth
  • Taking me time
  • Sleep
  • Meals
  • Exercise
  • Your business or JOB

Schedule OUT the time wasters. The minute you identify a time waster, eliminate it as quickly as possible. Nothing is worse than a time waster sucking your energy out!

  • Conflict (What a huge waste of time and energy! This is of the enemy so pray on this if consistent)
  • Unnecessary computer or TV time (a little goes a long way, add up how many hours you waste)
  • Game playing on phone or technology devices (Add up hours each day then week)
  • Gossip
  • Clubs & groups that have nothing to do with your Purpose or Goals (unless you joined them to enlarge your network or increase your influence or to explore new things to add to your life or family.)
  • Over – sleeping or under – sleeping (both are detrimental to your health)
  • “Hanging out” habit (the habit of doing nothing for hours with others or by yourself)

Delegation – Whenever possible, team up on chores, management, administrative, errands, etc. Spend time with your spouse, family, friends, or team and design a plan that will allow everyone to use synergy to dig out extra hours for building a Live Free life. This can also be a family building time exercise.

Multi-Task – Look at the times during your day where multi-tasking would be possible and valuable. If you are working at a J.O.B. and you have a lunch 30 minutes or 60 minutes, this is a perfect opportunity for multi-tasking. You can take a nutritional shake (hand blenders work well in the office) to work and make calls while you sit outside in the sun and have your lunch. It’s a power lunch full of energy, fresh air, and sunshine. Maybe you need this time to talk with your spouse everyday for connection in the marriage.

Make it Count – Enjoy and be “in the moment”! Do NOT think about the millions of other things you should be doing or where you should be at that time. If it was important enough to find a place in your schedule, then it’s important enough for your undivided attention. This is huge for say date night or family time. Be present and make it count for the other person/people to know how important this is.

I help others overcome their limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck, broke, and unhealthy to create balance, time freedom and healthy lives. You can find me at or via email