Relaxation Technique – “Deep Inhale and Sigh”

We all need tools to help us relax and get centred sometimes. I’ve practiced a technique called “Deep Inhale and Sign” for many years. I’ve taught it to many of my patients and they report that it helps them find calm their nerves during the day and helps them to sleep better at night.

For National Relaxation Day, I’ve recorded an instructional video for you to watch so you can learn this powerful technique. May it help you find calm within the storm and live more fully present and content.  

Contact us if you’d like one-on-one stress management coaching as part of your naturopathic medical care. 

Natural Relief from Seasonal Allergies

It is that time of the year.  Flowers are blooming, trees are pollinating, and folks with seasonal allergies are starting to feel the effects.  As of 2017, just less than a third of all Canadians have an allergy of some kind (pollen, food, medicines), with 20-25% of Canadians having seasonal allergies.  Most commonly, seasonal allergies will start when we are younger but they can affect folks of all ages.  Other people can develop them or see their allergies change in adulthood and as elders.

Seasonal allergies can be serious but are mostly a nuisance, leading to disrupted sleep, worsened productivity, and general fatigue.  Reactions to inhaled substances are some of the most common concerns Canadians have, whether seasonally or all year.  That’s right, allergies can occur when the seasons change or for some all year round.  Pollinating trees and flowers are predictable seasonal causes but so are fungal spores, seen more frequently here in our moist west coast climate.

Various factors can make us more susceptible to seasonal allergies.  Addressing these factors and providing symptom relief are what I consider, as a naturopathic doctor, when creating an individualized plan for someone. 

One factor are the foods we eat, which can make us more susceptible or even trigger a reaction.  Foods like milk and egg, wheat, even citrus and pork can be culprits.  Determining which foods may be a trigger for you is key to providing relief for your seasonal allergies.

On top of that, eating more fruits and vegetables generally can lower the risk of seasonal allergies.  This is because they contain various compounds, such as flavonoids and antioxidants, that can help modulate inflammation.  Various green leafy vegetables are best, bitter ones like arugula are even better.  Healthy omega 3 fats found in fish and algae also are anti-inflammatory.

A healthy gut microbiome and the use of probiotics is another factor that can reduce susceptibility to seasonal allergies.  This is because various strains of probiotics (good gut bacteria) can help balance immune cells that are involved in allergic reactions,

Acupuncture can also support relief from seasonal allergies.  We can improve allergy symptoms by using points to stimulate the body to balance the immune system and support the sinuses and lungs.

If you are looking for other options or for a comprehensive plan to tackle your seasonal allergies, naturopathic medicine can help.  Working together with you, naturopathic doctors have multiple tools to help you manage seasonal allergies.


Dr. Shawn Peters, ND is a naturopathic doctor practicing in downtown Courtenay.

Contact Dr. Peters for a free “meet the doctor” visit to see if naturopathic medicine is right for you.

5 Key Supplements for High Stress

5 Key Natural Medicines to Help our Bodies Handle Stress

Temporary moments of stress are a normal part of life.  In fact, our bodies are well equipped as humans to respond appropriately to stressors around us.  It is when stressors are excessive or prolonged over time that we can start to feel the adverse impacts of stress. 

The impacts of stress can affect both of bodies and minds.  Those with mental health concerns may feel more on edge.  Burnout and our ability the perform cognitively can worsen.  Our sleep and energy can become impaired.  Weight gain can increase and inflammatory markers can rise.

Stress affects us all, young and old, whether we are students, families, or elders.  Life as a student can be a very exciting time, though not without challenges.  This is true for any student and especially those in demanding programs or during challenging exam periods. Isolation, loneliness, and anxiety are felt by many of us these days.  This may be particularly true for some of the more vulnerable folks around us, certainly as the pandemic continues to linger.  Many elders may feel particularly isolated, which can be a stressor.  Families may be feeling stress with balancing the demands of work, partners, and children, especially through changing times.

For many of us, here are some of the key considerations to help handle stress:

(As always, before using any herb or nutrient consult with a healthcare professional first).

  • Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are those healthy fats that the body itself cannot produce so we get them from foods or supplements. What makes EFAs so important is their role in both brain and nervous system health. EFAs can be found in fish, chia seed, flaxseed, nuts and seeds, and algae, as well as supplements.
  • B-Complex (particularly B5): B-vitamins play a critical role in many bodily processes, including many energy pathways. B-vitamins also play a role in supporting our ability to deal with stress, particularly vitamin B5 which is thought of as the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin.
  • Vitamin C: This important vitamin is known for its role as an antioxidant. Many free radicals can be produced during times of stress and vitamin C can help to stop free radicals. Vitamin C is used by our bodies to a greater extent under stressful conditions.
  • Ashwaganda: This stress supportive herb is considered a calming adaptogen (calms us while helping us to adapt to stress). Herbs that are adaptogens help the body deal with stress by moderating our responses to stressors.  Ashwaganda also helps to support insomnia caused by stress and can be effective for reducing anxiety.
  • Bacopa: Bacopa is also an adaptogen. Specifically, it helps with short- and long-term memory, as well as assisting general cognitive abilities, such as focus and learning.

To get the most from our bodies and minds, and maintain good health during periods of stress, it is important to work in exercise, proper sleep, and a diet rich in whole foods.  Doing so can pay off not only in our health but in our mental performance.  As a naturopathic doctor, this is true in my own life, and I see the results in my patients.

Contact Dr. Peters for a free “meet the doctor” visit to see if naturopathic medicine is right for you.


  1. Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying healthy with nutrition: The complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine. Berkeley: Celestial Arts.
  2. Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
  3. Marciano, M., Dr. (n.d.). The Naturopathic Herbalist. Retrieved February 20, 2016

Smoothies vs Juicing

What is a smoothie?

A smoothie is a drink mixed of frozen or fresh fruit and/or vegetables blended to a desired consistency.  Anything else can be added to a smoothie to change the flavor or incorporate nutrient-dense foods in a fun and delicious way.

What is a juice?

Essentially a juice is a concentrated version of a smoothie, though often with nothing else added other than fruits and vegetables.  Typically, a juice is made by using a juicer and juicing any fruit or vegetable on their own or in combination.  Meghan Telpner suggests an inventive way to get around not having a juicer by blending the same fruit or vegetable combinations in a blender then straining them through a fine sieve or nut-milk bag (cheese cloth).1

How does a smoothie differ from a juice?

A smoothie is a thicker, blended drink that is larger in volume and often high in the macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) as well as the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and enzymes, etc.  A big distinction is that a smoothie retains all of the fiber.  Much of the protein and fat in a smoothie comes from the added nutrient-dense ingredients, like hemp seeds, nut butter, and protein powder, or flax seeds, chia seeds, and various healthy oils.

A juice, on the other hand, is smaller, less thick, drink that is high in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes2, naturally-occurring sugars, and other phytonutrients.  A juice does not retain any of the fiber and tends to be lower in protein and fat.  Juicing is often very good for producing enzyme-rich juices.

When to use a smoothie or a juice?

A smoothie is a quick and easy way to jam pack nutrition in to an easy and, most importantly, delicious drink.  Because one can add almost any food or powder, such as those containing protein, healthy fats, fiber, and crucial phytonutrients, in to a base of fruits and vegetables, anyone can tailor a smoothie to what they need and like.

A juice (using a juicer, particularly) is more time consuming but concentrates most of the important nutrients and enzymes from fruits and vegetables in to a small volume.  Essentially, juicing is an extremely efficient way to consume more fruits and vegetables in a small serving. 

Concentrated amounts of phytonutrients obtained from juicing different fruits and vegetables is supportive of optimal function for many body organs.3  Also, juicing can be used in conjunction with other treatments for conditions such as arthritis, allergies, and osteoporosis3, as well as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol.2

What it all comes down to is not the difference of smoothies versus juices as if they are a competing pair, but how can one incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods in to one’s diet for optimal health.  Both smoothies and juices are a fantastic way to do this.


Contact Dr. Peters for a free “meet the doctor” visit to see if naturopathic medicine is right for you.



1.     Meghan Telpner Inc. (2013). Smoothie on up, juice it on down [Brochure]. Author. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from

2.     Cichoke, A. J. (1999). Maximizing enzymes in your diet. In The complete book of enzyme therapy (p. 30). Garden City Park, NY: Avery Pub.

3.     Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006). Detoxification and cleansing programs. In Staying healthy with nutrition: The complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine (pp. 779-780). Berkeley: Celestial Arts.

Long COVID and the Brain

Most people who get COVID, especially if they are vaccinated, will recover without residual symptoms. But for some people, COVID infection can result in long-term health issues. So-called “long COVID” sufferers can experience many symptoms including crushing fatigue, dizziness upon standing up or standing too long, exercise intolerance, anxiety, headaches, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, brain fog, and more. Similar post-viral syndromes can result from other viruses too, and a very similar phenomenon can happen after concussions. The common thread is that when the brain suffers a blow, either literally or via the inflammation associated with a virus, the nervous system that runs almost every process in the body can be knocked off its axis. Across Canada, researchers and physicians are scrambling to try to understand how to help this new wave of people afflicted with a condition that is untestable and for which there are no simple drug solutions. Patients often feel frustrated and isolated. A greater understanding of what’s going on can help us target solutions for symptoms and speed the healing of the brain and nervous system. 

A patient I’ll call Emily had previously been in good health, so when she contracted COVID as an unvaccinated person ten months ago, she thought she would recover well. She did get over the acute symptoms of cough and congestion but was left with a mysterious assortment of symptoms that derailed her life. She has profound fatigue, dizziness when she stands up or stands for more than ten minutes in one place, and daily headaches; in addition, her mental processing and memory are impaired. When she tries to exercise, she crashes and is exhausted for two days. She has nausea and IBS. Her fingers go white when she gets cold, and her skin can be blotchy. Her periods are irregular for the first time. Anxiety seems to hit randomly, day or night, and depression is creeping in. 

Emily’s symptoms indicate that the nerves in her brain have been damaged. The brain governs the autonomic nervous system, which runs all the automatic processes in the body such as blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, balance, energy production, hormones, adrenalin release, sleep cycles, digestion, and more. When this critical system isn’t working right, we refer to this disorder as dysautonomia.  As a naturopathic physician, I treat people with complex, chronic conditions every day, so I have seen similar symptoms before triggered by both viruses and concussions. 

There are strategies to manage symptoms, such as wearing compression stockings to prevent blood from pooling in the legs while standing. Since the nervous system is intimately involved in digestive processes, such as motility of the intestines and secretion of digestive juices, in people with dysautonomia, we often see irritable bowel syndrome symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Without proper motility, food ferments in the small intestine, causing an overgrowth of bacteria where it shouldn’t be. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can cause bloating, constipation or loose stools, as well as brain fog. There are excellent ways to test and treat SIBO through a naturopathic physician trained in this area. 

Brain healing requires a more comprehensive approach because the brain is highly sensitive to what is happening in the rest of the body. Emily started naturopathic medical protocols for dysautonomia include addressing the gut-brain connection through avoiding inflammatory foods, enhancing nutrition, and balancing the microbiome. She took natural medicines to target the mechanisms needed to heal the brain, including enhancing energy production (mitochondrial health), reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, promoting nerve healing, and helping the brain filter toxins. After three months she is feeling much better. Programs can also include hormone balance, stress-reduction training, physical therapy, and visual therapy can all also help address dysautonomia. 

Like most viruses, most people who get COVID make a full recovery. But for those whose lives have been turned upside down after this infection, it’s important for them to understand that there are strategies that can help.

Energy for Peak Performance

Many of us feel an extra boost of energy in the summer. We spend more time outside, soaking up the sun and getting fresh air. Many folks play more sports, go camping or boating, and BBQ in the backyard.  We often have more leisure time to explore the things we love doing.

All of this sun, fresh air, and activity can improve our physical and mental energy.

As we head back to work and kids head back to school, how can we maintain this energy?  With increased demands on our time, how can we optimize our physical and mental performance?

Utilizing preventative strategies, we can support a few main systems in the body that help to keep our energy stable and consistent throughout the day and days.

Breakfast is the place to begin.  As is true for many of us in Canada, breakfast contains primarily carbohydrates.  Breads, bagels, cereals and the like are all high in carbs which can wreak havoc on our energy.  This is because carbs are easily absorbed causing both a spike in our blood sugar and our energy but a resulting crash afterwards.  This leads to grabbing a mid-morning snack or extra coffee to keep our energy up.  The key is to balance breakfast carbohydrates with healthy protein and fats.  This helps to delay the absorption of sugar in to our blood resulting in a steady energy increase over time.

Throughout the day, managing stress is the key to consistent energy and a sharp mind.  Many of the folks I see have increased levels of stress on a day-to-day basis.  Over time, the consistent and prolonged elevation in our cortisol levels (our stress hormone) can lead to difficulty concentrating, irritability, energy crashes, and impaired sleep.  Elevated cortisol further imbalances our blood sugar causing us to reach for that afternoon doughnut and coffee.  And the cycle continues.

As a naturopathic doctor, managing stress is key to optimizing physical and mental performance.  The secret to success is offering a treatment that is individualized to each person.  That may include promoting stress-reduction techniques like meditation and a walk in the park or using specific herbal medicines and supplements.  The key is that each person is different and requires an individualized approach.

Testing cortisol levels and ordering other lab tests can help me determine if stress is impacting one’s sleep.  Promoting a restful sleep, improving insomnia, and reducing elevated nighttime cortisol levels can all improve energy the next day and keep you performing at your best.

As a naturopathic doctor, many of the folks I see have concerns of fatigue, disturbed sleep, and increased stress.  These three factors are often linked together and can lead to a reduction in physical and mental performance.  Improvement in all of these areas together is key to success.

Contact Dr. Peters for a free “meet the doctor” visit to see if naturopathic medicine is right for you.

Why am I so tired? Thyroid Issue May be the Cause

Every week people arrive at my clinic wondering if their thyroid is okay. They’ve often had their conventional doctor check their thyroid, and are told that everything is fine. However, they aren’t convinced. They feel tired, cold, achy, and gain weight easily. They have headaches, depression or constipation, all symptoms that may reflect low thyroid function. Experience has taught me that evaluating the thyroid is complex. Low thyroid function can be caused by the immune system itself and by the dysfunction of other hormone glands in the body. It can be also affected by stress, toxins, and nutritional deficiencies. Evaluation of the thyroid is so much more than just running one test. 

The thyroid gland is a small gland in the front of the neck that produces the hormone that sets the metabolic rate of every cell in the body. These hormones tell your body how fast to burn calories, influence stomach acid production, determines moisture levels in the skin and so much more. The thyroid gland is also the most common site of autoimmune disease in the body. The immune system can sometimes attacks the thyroid gland and interferes with its ability to provide the hormones needed for normal tissue function and repair. I had a patient who had gained 47 pounds in one year, despite good diet and regular exercise. Her doctor insisted that her thyroid was functioning properly, according to the one test, the TSH level, that he can run. We ran further tests which showed that she did indeed have antibodies to her own thyroid that were blocking her thyroid from making the hormones she needed to burn calories normally. Once that deficiency was corrected, she had to work hard to lose weight, but it was possible for her to do so.

Another patient came to the clinic already taking thyroid replacement medication but reported feeling as tired and achy as she had when she was first diagnosed as hypothyroid years ago. Again, her TSH test was normal. We dug a little deeper and ran a reverse T3 test. This test determines if her thyroid hormone was being converted to active T3 or a dud version called reverse T3. Elevations of reverse T3 are important if you are sick and need to conserve energy and rest. However, there are other conditions that can trigger this downstream activation of reverse T3. High stress levels, low iron levels, and chronic inflammatory states can all drive up reverse T3 and make you feel unnecessarily tired. In this case, the patient had experienced chronic stress and had an elevated reverse T3. We changed her thyroid medication slightly and gave her additional natural medicines to balance all her thyroid hormones, thus giving her back the vitality she was missing.

Naturopathic physicians prefer a full panel of thyroid hormones to accurately diagnose thyroid problems. This panel includes the relatively stable pituitary hormone TSH, free T4 (inactive thyroid hormone), free T3 (active thyroid hormone), reverse T3 and a thyroid antibody called TPO. Often we are able to unveil issues in the complex dance of the thyroid hormones, which can then be treated in a variety of ways, both holistic and pharmaceutical.

Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician practicing in downtown Courtenay. 250 897-0235 or

Mitochondrial Function Key to Health

Have you ever wondered why the body ages or why you seem to have less energy as you age? It turns out the answer lies deep within the cells in a tiny organelle called the mitochondria. They are the energy producers of the body. They turn our food into the fundamental fuel that drives cellular activity. It is in the mitochondria that carbohydrates, protein, and fat are metabolized, producing cellular energy called ATP. The ATP provide the energy to allow cells to do what they do; it keeps the brain working, fires muscles, repairs tissues, and more.

The more energy a certain tissue requires, the more mitochondria those cells contain. The brain and heart have the highest concentration of mitochondria because they require large amounts of oxygen and energy. The heart muscle is packed with mitochondria. Any dysfunction on the level of the mitochondria has a significant impact on the functioning of these organs especially.
As we age, our mitochondria produce about 40% less ATP and therefore our organs feel the effects of decreased energy production. Mitochondria get damaged over time. The rate of their decline can be influenced by a number of lifestyle factors.

Malfunctioning at the level of the mitochondria has now been shown to be at the heart of a host of degenerative diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease; neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, as well as cancer. Mitochondria dysfunction has also been shown to be related to chronic fatigue syndrome and has implications for affecting athletic performance. Interventions to stabilize mitochondrial function and enhance ATP production will be the new medicine of the future.

The formation of ATP is dependent upon proper intake of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and plant based nutrients. Deficiencies of these nutrients can alter mitochondrial function. Antioxidants like Vitamins C, E and A protect the mitochondria. Other nutrients like resveratrol from grape skins, green tea EGCG and curcumin from tumeric also have strong protective effects.
Exercise protects the mitochondria as well. A well-trained athlete has more than twice the muscle mitochondria than a sedentary person. Exercise stimulates the production of more mitochondria in the cells thus providing an anti-aging effect, especially where we need it most: the brain and heart.

However, those protective mechanisms can be overwhelmed by additional sources of bodily stress, leaving the mitochondria susceptible to damage. A diet high in processed food and high in fat as well as excess alcohol can all damage the mitochondria. Exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, and some pharmaceuticals, like statin drugs for cholesterol, can damage mitochondria.
The heart has to produce 13 to 35 pounds of ATP per day to sustain its approximately 86,000 daily beats. There has been extensive research to find ways to enhance mitochondrial function to maintain the ATP critical to heart function. In addition to exercise and high plant-based diets, natural medicines have been shown to help. CoEnzyme Q10 is a nutrient that fuels the pathway that makes ATP. In 2013, the European Society of Cardiology stated that it is the first “drug” to significantly improve heart failure in over a decade. This statement was based on research showing that there were very significant reductions in mortality in people with advanced heart failure who took CoEnzyme Q10. Magnesium and l-carnitine have also been shown to reduce death after heart attacks and more. In a recent Mayo Clinic review, acute heart patients who took L-Carnitine had a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality, a 65% reduction in arrhythmias, and a 40% reduction in angina symptoms.

Naturopathic physicians seek to understand the underlying cause of disease and use treatments that target those mechanisms. In the case of neurological disease, cancer, heart disease and more, interventions that repair mitochondrial function can help give the body the fuel it needs to promote healthy tissue function. There is so much more to health than managing symptoms with drugs. Take charge of your health with a great lifestyle and natural medicines.

Eight Important Lab Tests You Should Know About

Many of us go to the doctor and just get the basic blood work they recommend.  We may or may not hear back from the doctor regarding the results.  I recommend that patients take a more active role in their health by learning about blood tests and getting copies of their results.  (Locally, Lifelabs offers patients online access to most blood work.)  It is helpful to understand which tests to request from your conventional or naturopathic physician and optimal levels you should be aiming for.

Thyroid:  For patients dealing with fatigue or depression, I often recommend a full thyroid panel.  The thyroid governs metabolism, affecting energy and weight loss. Typically just a TSH test is run, but sometimes imbalances in the thyroid can be picked up by testing free T4, free T3 and thyroid antibodies.  If the thyroid hormones levels are borderline, I recommend supporting the thyroid non-pharmaceutically.

Ferritin:  Another important test for fatigue and depression is ferritin.  This test measures iron stores.  Lack of iron can cause anemia, which can cause fatigue.  It can also lower dopamine levels in the brain, which affects mood, motivation and food cravings.  Too much ferritin can be a sign of excess iron storage which can damage the cardiovascular system and many organs.

Insulin:  For patients with weight issues, dementia and some hormonal imbalances, checking fasting insulin is an excellent tool to understanding how the body is dealing with blood sugar.  Adult onset diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance at the cellular level.  Therefore, it takes a lot of insulin to help carry sugars from the blood to the cells.  Even before elevated blood sugar is detected, this high insulin can be a sign of insulin resistance.  High insulin levels promote fat storage and are hard on the circulation.  Programs that reverse insulin resistance can accelerate the process of weight loss, protect the cardiovascular system and more.

Homocysteine:  Patients who have a personal or family history of cardiovascular disease or dementia  / Alzheimer’s are wise to have their homocysteine levels checked.  This amino acid, if elevated, is a risk for increased strokes and Alzheimer’s. The “normal” range is stated as being under 11 umol/L, but studies show that the risk of Alzheimer’s is increased in people whose homocysteine is over 7 umol/L.

Vitamin D3:  The rate of vitamin D3 deficiency in Canada is staggering. Gerry Schwalfenberg, an assistant clinical professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta, said testing showing that “the fact that 60 to 70 per cent [of Canadians] have inadequate levels [is] not good,” given that vitamin D insufficiency is being linked to so many chronic diseases.  Vitamin D is an important preventer of autoimmune disease, viral illness, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, MS and more.  Having your levels checked is therefore wise.  The optimal level of vitamin D is over 125 nanomoles/litre.

C Reactive Protein (CRP):  Inflammation is an important risk factor for cardiovascular events, like strokes and heart attacks, and it creates an environment that supports cancer growth.  It is a symptom of autoimmune disease, obesity, diabetes and other important health conditions.  The C Reactive Protein in our blood is a reflection of general inflammation levels.  While the normal range is under 5.0, the optimal range is under .8 for men and under 1.5 for women.  Breast cancer survivors are wise to monitor CRP since elevations are associated with higher reoccurrence rates.

Vitamin B12:  The levels of this important nutrient can diminish with age as absorption becomes more difficult.  Vitamin B12 can be depleted by many medications, such as metformin (diabetes), birth control pills, and antibiotics.  I am most concerned about acid blocking medications that many of my patients use for long term management of acid reflux.  I much prefer to treat the cause of this problem than to manage it with a medication that impairs the digestion and absorption of a number of important nutrients.  Acid blockers also can set up a more alkaline pH that promotes the growth of a weakened, dysfunctional set of intestinal bacteria.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Testing (SIBO):  SIBO is a condition in which the wrong bacteria are growing in the small intestine, creating abnormal fermentation of carbohydrates into methane and hydrogen.  SIBO patients suffer from gas, bloating, digestive concerns and many other health conditions.  When indicated, I test patients through a university laboratory in PortlandOregon.
Be proactive with your health care by getting the blood work you need to understand your health and take steps to prevent illness.

Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician who has practiced medicine in downtown Courtenay for 17 years. For more information, contact The Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine at 250 897-0235 or via

How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings

Are all calories created equal? A new study suggests that in at least one important way, they may not be.  The New York Times reported on research showing that sugary foods and drinks, bread, and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar appear to stimulate parts of the brain involved in hunger, cravings and reward. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shed new light on why eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates like sweet, bread, pasta, crackers etc. are associated with weight gain.  The more you eat, the more you want.

A much more satisfying nutrition plan is to eat healthy, lean protein at every meal, vegetables at almost every meal, and enjoy some fruit and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.  You’ll stay full on fewer calories, making it easier to shrink your waist line.