Happy Thanksgiving and “Does eating Turkey make you sleepy?”

By Rich Maloof for MSN Health & Fitness
Reality Check

Tired? Don’t blame the turkey.

There can be many reasons to drift off on Thanksgiving Day, but eating turkey isn’t really one of them. The amino acid L-tryptophan in turkey is popularly cited as a kind of dietary sedative, but nutritionist Samantha Heller lays bare the urban myth.

“L-tryptophan is the chemical precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, a calming agent in the brain,” says Heller. “Eating foods that contain tryptophan therefore can increase serotonin and, in some instances, make you sleepy. But tryptophan only has a noticeable ‘sleepy’ effect if it is taken on an empty stomach [unlikely at Thanksgiving!] with no other protein in the meal. Post-dinner lethargy is more likely due to too much food, alcohol or Uncle George’s 400th telling of the time he almost fell in a sink hole.”

L-tryptophan is also found in eggs, milk, bananas and yogurt—and you don’t see people eating healthy breakfasts and then passing out in a Barcalounger.

Reality Check

Drinking and overeating are more likely to make you sleepy.

Heller notes that knocking back an extra glass of wine can make people feel tired, though alcohol ultimately disturbs various phases of sleep; you might nod off early, but you’re more likely to be sleepless later in the night.

It’s the type of food we eat at Thanksgiving—and the sheer volume of it—that finds us struggling to stay awake for pumpkin pie. “It takes a great deal of energy to digest a large meal,” explains Sari Greaves, a registered dietician with New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “When your stomach is full, blood is directed away from other organ systems to your digestive system. Since you have less blood flow elsewhere, you will feel the need to snooze after any big meal, particularly if it is high in fat.

“Secondly,” she continues, “a traditional Thanksgiving meal is heavy and high in carbohydrates, from the mashed potatoes to the bread stuffing and pie. A carbohydrate-rich [as opposed to protein-rich] meal increases production of the sleep-promoting chemical serotonin in the brain.”

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Julia’s word of he week (ii)

Julia’s word of the week is “red”. Naming the color of the ball- she is NOT declaring herself a McCain supporter.

Also, Julia used her walker and a ball ramp to score a 79 for her first game in Bowling. She beat her dad as well as bowling a strike and a spare!

One Response to “Julia’s Word of the week (ii)”

  1. Go Julia!! You are already a better bowler than I am -) 79 is a great score. I love to get strikes, but my ball usually goes way too far to the side for that. I hope you get another strike soon!

ABM in the workplace (ii) – Chad Estes writes…

Hello, my name is Chad Estes.  Many of you have already heard from my partner, John Robson.  We have formed a company called ETM Consultants, and are bringing this amazing work into the working world.

Allow me to use a recent study to illustrate why this work is needed in the workplace.
According to this study involving 15,000 employees at four companies, “full cost” measures—which include costs related to lost productivity because of health issues, as well as medical costs—_were four times greater than medical spending alone. (Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2007)
In the study, the ten most expensive health conditions for companies included musculoskeletal conditions, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, sleeping problems, high cholesterol, arthritis, hypertension, obesity and anxiety.  This work is uniquely positioned to be able to address a majority of these.
At the core of the majority of musculoskeletal disorders are poor movement patterns. We have to LEARN everything it is that we do in order to become self-sufficient. In terms of movement, we don’t have any “programs” in our brains from birth that inform us how most efficiently to: sit, stand, lift, walk, etc. – all of these are learned motor patterns. What we do learn, more often than not, isn’t the most efficient method of doing something.  The great news is that the Anat Baniel Method has the capacity to reinvigorate that movement based learning process that will allow workers the ability to move away from pain and limitation towards greater comfort and ease.  And we all know that a comfortable employee is a more productive employee.

Companies and organizations are beginning to wake up to these ideas.  In fact, I recently presented to the St. Louis chapter of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) on the benefits of improving human movement within their organizations.  The presentation was very well received, and after the audience participated in a short movement lesson, the possibilities that this work offers began to open up to them.
As we continue to move forward, I will pass along success stories from those companies that have implemented our solutions.

Yours in good health,

Chad Estes

Santa Rosa Free Children’s Clinic This Saturday, 11/9 – Lessons still available