Good Nutrition SAGs – Sugar and Grease

by | Jul 7, 2007 | Archives

Good nutrition sags when with these two over eaten foods.

SAG stands for This weekend West Jefferson celebrates Christmas in July. This is a big town festival based on commerce because Ashe County is one of the largest Christmas tree producers in the US. (This can be terrible on the environment by the way.) Christmas tree buyers come from around the world to order their trees (yes, it all starts this early). Main street is shut down and the town turned into a carnival, folk, Bluegrass and all types of music create a cacophony of sound. There is entertainment of all sorts.

Stalls offer innumerable home cooked foods, hand made crafts and of course

there is every type of carnival food. The wonders that there is to eat!

Cotton Candy, big sausages, other things I hardly dare mention. The entire center of town is a party!

Merri and I normally shy away, but due to a few chores and foolishness found our selves caught in the maelstrom of fun and foods this year so I had a chance to notice a really fascinating carnival food I believe they call an Elephant Ear. Best I can tell it’s made by combining two of the Western world’s three main food groups, sugar, flour and grease.

Eat many elephant ears and you’ll know why that’s what there are called (has nothing to do with ears).

The point is our society seems to generally connect these type of things to fun! This is one of the really big problems we face in the West. We are indoctrinated, bombarded, surrounded and continually tempted with food that will make us sag, fat, ill and depleted of energy and good.

Then we are stuffed into stress filled lives that give us almost no time to exercise. It is little wonder so many of us age early!

There are three simple things we can do to help overcome this health problem at a personal level.

First do yoga. Scientific research now suggests that yoga can help

increase the GABA in our brain. GABA is neurotransmitter, called

gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is interesting in that it has both inhibitive and stimulating properties. It inhibits some brain activity and is typically relaxing, anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive. GABA on the other hand has been purported to be stimulating in a way that increases the amount of the Human Growth Hormone in the body.

A research group measured the effects of GABA levels created though yoga practice. Two groups were used. The yoga group practiced a meditative technique for an hour, while the non-yoga group simply sat and read.

After the hour was over, their brains were scanned again to measure their GABA levels. Among those who practiced yoga, brain GABA levels had increased by 27 percent-while the levels remained the same for the participants who had only read.

There are a couple ways to practice yoga. One way is to meditate. Merri and

I have never missed meditating twice a day going on twenty years. Ideally

one meditates in a quiet place early morning and again in the afternoon.

What is great is when life is not so kind to allow this, we can meditate in the car hurtling toward the airport or a meeting. We often meditate on an airplane taking off! Meditation is flexible and really can be done once the habit is formed. There are innumerable meditation programs available so learning is also easy.

Another easy form of yoga is called the Sun Salute See

To do fifteen of these salutes a day takes only about seven minutes. I especially like this exercise as it stimulates all the muscle groups in the body. There is an ancient and global support to this idea as well. I have seen this almost identical exercise recommended not only by Indian Yogis but also Andean Shamans and the ancient knightly orders as well!

See more on this at

The third simple thing we can do to improve out help is to walk. Even when busy, I force myself to walk. To go to our mail box from our house is over a mile. Merri and I avoid the temptation to jump into my jeep or six wheel ATV and thus we add a mile or more of walking even on the busiest day.

In airports, we use the stairs and avoid escalators and people movers.

Passing through Atlanta you can even see how many meters you’ll get in going from one terminal to the next. In cities we walk when we can. There are usually two or three times a day when we can choose to walk. We also always try to live in houses with stairs and use them as often as we can.

Of course if you find yourself caught in a place like the West Jefferson festival surrounded by elephant ears, cotton candy and sausage biscuits with gravy, walk fast…away!

Nutrition as well as exercise counts.


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