Shifting hormones have led to some sleep disruption this past year that I am not jiggy with. Sorry if you’ve always been a bad sleeper, but I’ve always managed a solid 8-hours my whole life. Now I have this thing where I’m wide awake between 4:30 and 5:15a most mornings, and I have a lot of trouble getting back to sleep. As any busy mom will attest, getting up at 4:30am and then still being functional for the 3-9pm afterschool/bedtime crunch is no pleasure. And as any insomniac will attest, the more you stress and worry about not sleeping, the less you sleep. [Read more…]
I’ve been hearing a lot about raw cacao and recently bought some. Taken straight, I find it horrible! Chewy and bitter, so gross. I did find some good recipes online that actually make it taste good, but there is quite a lot of controversy about its health benefits, and some claim it is toxic.
From the research I’ve done, it seems to be a good source of antioxidants and magnesium, though nothing that you can’t get in other foods. It has some caffeine and can improve your energy level and mood, but people who have overused it report heart palpitations and arrhythmia. I suspect that like any supplement, it is not a miracle food, but it does have health benefits if eaten in moderation as part of a healthy whole-foods diet. That said, here’s a good low-calorie cacao smoothie I whipped up today. [Read more…]
I read with alarm in the NY Times this weekend about the growing number of children who are dependent on laxatives, in particular Miralax, which pediatricians widely recommend for longterm use in kids. Miralax increases water content in the colon by means of the drug polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG. Many children have been on the stuff for years, despite the lack of testing of PEG in young children and despite the label’s recommendation that the drug be used for ages 17+ and for up to only 7 days. I have no idea what the eventual health implications of longterm PEG use might be, but it’s uncontroversial that when we mess with the body’s natural urge to eliminate, we screw up the signaling and movement patterns in the colon. Hence the companion article in the NY Times containing advice about how to “retrain” your kid’s bowels. Incredible. [Read more…]