Lack of Sleep Makes Us Go Ga Ga for Junk Food

I just read an article yesterday about a new study showing how sleep loss adds to weight gain because “a sleepy brain appears to not only respond more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in.”

I am a firm believer that there is a strong correlation because I’m a long time sufferer of sleep deprivation. I even woke up this morning after two nights of poor sleep craving caffeine and sugar. Why I’m not sleeping well is still a mystery, but I know it started with stress related to work, which led to my passion of helping others create work + life balance. I also know constant lack of sleep contributed to my weight gain over the last two years. I would be so sleepy that I barely could make it to work on time and rarely did, started drinking coffee and soda to stay awake during the day so I could function, and then was still so tired that I stopped exercising, including rarely practicing yoga (one of the things I love the most!). I know that 5HTP helped me start sleeping again, but getting my sleep back in order has been a real challenge. I’ve been off the 5HTP for a few weeks because it’s not recommended to be on it for extended periods of time, but now I’m having trouble sleeping again. The underlying cause of all this? STRESS. Take care of yourself now!

On another note…here’s a hearty breakfast recipe. It’s easy to make this ahead of time and eat during the week. I ate some this morning with Traders Point Creamery’s new single serve yogurt. They are in stinkin’ cute and reusable/recyclable containers.

Black Bean Vegetable Hash

Serves 4

2 cups diced red potatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced Spanish onion
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mild paprika
¼ cup frozen corn kernels
¼ cup small diced green bell pepper
1 cup medium diced fresh tomato
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place the potatoes in a steamer basket and set in a pot with enough water to reach the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil, cover, and steam until tender, but still maintain their shape, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, and paprika and sauté until spices release their aromas, about 1 minute.

Make sure pan is still over medium heat. Add the potatoes and let brown on all sides. Do not stir continuously but flip potatoes as they brown. Add corn, peppers, tomatoes, and beans and gently stir to combine. Stir in the salt and continue to sauté until vegetables are tender and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

From Kripalu

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