Raw Vegan Diet Detox Symptoms? Why Dairy Withdrawal May Be the Cause and How to Ease Your Symptoms

dairy withdrawal raw vegan detox symptoms


Are you experiencing raw vegan detox symptoms? It is always important to first make sure the symptoms are not caused by any dietary deficiencies by inputting your new daily menu into an online food tracker and making sure you are hitting all of your nutrient-intake goals. If you are getting all of the nutrients you need and still experiencing negative symptoms, then the cause may be dairy withdrawal. Learn why eliminating dairy from your diet can cause you to feel tired, lethargic, or even experience body aches, and how to help manage the symptoms until they pass.

Why Quitting Dairy Can Cause Flu-like Symptoms

Even if you ate just a little bit of dairy before you began a vegan or raw vegan diet, realize that just a small amount of cheese, milk, or ice cream had a huge effect on your brain. Dairy contains a substance called casein, which is a type of dairy protein. This protein can actually have psychoactive effects, because it is metabolized partially into casomorphins, which cross the blood-brain barrier.

What do these substances do to your brain? They bind to opiate receptors, similar to how heroin and narcotic pain pills do. However, they are not nearly as strong as these strong opiate medications, but they do affect your brain enough that when you stop drinking and eating dairy, you can experience opiate withdrawal-like symptoms.

The good news is that your brain is not “hooked” on dairy for life, no matter how much you used to eat or drink. Just how drug withdrawal symptoms are at their worst when someone first stops using them and gradually diminish over time, your dairy withdrawal symptoms will, too! If you suspect your symptoms are due to dairy withdrawal, the that also means you can take steps to manage them until they are gone for good.

How to Ease Raw Detox Symptoms Caused by Dairy Withdrawal

Since you now know that milk acts like an opiate in brain and body, you can ease your raw detox symptoms due to dairy withdrawal by encouraging your body to create its own natural endorphins.

You can increase natural endorphin levels in your brain and body by:

  • Working out. Exercising often, daily if you can, is the single most effective way to raise endorphin levels to conquer raw detox symptoms caused by milk withdrawal.
  • Eat chocolate. Chocolate also triggers a natural endorphin release, and you can even enjoy chocolate raw by eating raw cacao power or raw cacao nibs.
  • Get some sunshine. The sun is so healthy for you and sun exposure triggers an array of natural feel-good brain chemicals, including endorphins. (read more about the benefits of getting sun exposure here and here).
  • Get enough sleep. Detoxing from dairy can be rough, so get enough sleep and rest. Your body repairs itself when you sleep, and sleeping for 8-9 hours every night during raw diet detox can help your body adjust to your new diet and lifestyle faster.

If you are eating a very low-fat diet, then be sure to rule out dietary fat deficiencies as the cause of your raw diet detox symptoms, as well. Those symptoms will only worsen, unlike dairy withdrawal which will get better over time.

Getting Hit with Spring Pollen Allergies? 3 Natural Allergy Remedies (Including Foods with Natural Antihistamines!)

natural allergy remedies spring pollen


There can be nothing worse than deciding whether to feel miserable all day due to not using medication to control your spring pollen allergies or to feel miserable due to the side effects of a medication you do decide to take. Even non-drowsy allergy medications can make you sleepy all day, not to mention their variety of other side effects. To manage your spring allergies without suffering from medication side effects, try these three natural allergy remedies.

1. A Neti Pot is Your Best Friend During Allergy Season

We talked about how rinsing your sinuses can help get rid of a sinus infection in the past, but it is also very effective at reducing your allergy symptoms. You don’t need any potent recipes, but just simple warm saline water made of one cup distilled water, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Fill a neti pot with this, and pour half the solution into one nostril and out the other, then switch sides and repeat.

This simple practice that you can perform daily, or even twice-daily on bad days, rinses all of those nasty particles of pollen, dander, dust, and any other allergens driving you crazy out of your sinus tract. This can clear up your nose, relieve those itchy eyes, and even reduce the amount of allergens that end up in your lungs that make breathing difficult.

2. Eat These Foods That Contain Natural Antihistamines

Just like what you eat can affect virtually every other illness, there are foods that can help get rid of your allergy symptoms due to the natural antihistamines in them. Here is a great list of 21 foods and spices that contain natural antihistamines.

Some ideas to include them in your daily diet:

  • Add watercress, fresh moringa and/or pea sprouts to a morning green smoothie.
  • Make homemade raw pesto sauce that includes garlic and fresh holy basil and use as a spread on sandwiches, to top pasta, or just mix with a bowl of veggies.
  • Make a tea with fresh chamomile and peppermint before bed and a nettle/peppermint tea mid-day.

3. Shower, Wash Your Hair, and Change Your Clothing Frequently

These are simple, natural allergy-control techniques that are often overlooked in the midst of a busy life. If you typically shower only in the morning or every other day, then taking a nightly full shower to wash all those allergens off your skin and hair can do wonders for how you sleep at night.

If you have long hair, then it is especially important to begin washing it every day, even if you typically don’t. Allergens cling to hair very easily, and after just a couple of days, that hair can be covered in pollen without looking any different. If your hair becomes too dry with a full daily shampoo, then look into the co-washing technique where you massage your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo, then rinse. This massaging and rinsing will remove that pollen without drying out your delicate strands.

If you find your allergies acting up mid-day badly, then it can also help to change your clothing (or at least your shirt) to make sure any pollen it attracted during the day is not contributing to your symptoms.

Try these three natural allergy remedies to help keep that spring pollen from driving you crazy. You can then forget about those allergy medications that leave you feeling just as bad as the allergies themselves!

2 Amazing and Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Ice Cream Recipes

vegan sweet potato ice cream recipes


If you or your children cannot pass an ice cream stand in the summer without getting a craving for the sweet treat, then it is important to arm yourself for the summer with healthy, homemade ice cream recipes. Banana ice cream is very popular, but if you or your children don’t like bananas, sweet potato ice cream is a healthy, delicious alternative! It may sound strange at first, but sweet potatoes have a creamy texture when cooked and a mild taste that makes them a great healthy ice cream base that won’t compete with the flavors you add. Here are two fun, tasty sweet potato ice cream recipes that your family can have fun making and eating with no guilt!

1. Peanut Butter Flavored Low-sugar, Low-fat Vegan Sweet Potato Ice Cream

This is a low-calorie recipe for adults who are watching their weights, but the kids are also likely to love it too!


1 cup mashed sweet potato (cut sweet potato into slices, boil just until tender, then remove skins and mash up with a potato masher)

2 cups nut milk of choice

½ cup honey

½ cups no-calorie sweetener (monk fruit extract or stevia are best)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup peanut butter

Instructions: Combine all ingredients  your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then, either freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker until smooth OR just place the entire bowl in the freezer and stir about every 30 minutes until frozen.

This recipe is very tweak-able, and if you want to omit the sugar substitute and use one cup of honey (or other sweetener syrup of choice), then go for it. Don’t mind a little more healthy fat? Switch from nut milk to cashew cream and/or double the peanut butter! Yum!

2. Vegan Creamy Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Cream (Paleo Diet Friendly)

If you or your children usually choose chocolate ice cream, then this recipe will satisfy that chocolate ice cream craving with no guilt. Other than seasonings, the only ingredients required are sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and dairy-free chocolate chips. All you have to do is follow the instructions for this amazing recipe here.

However, I also decided to share a way to tweak it a bit so the special chocolate chips are not needed, in case you have difficulty finding them or decide they are out of your budget.

To make it without the chips, follow the basic instructions, but switch from light coconut milk to the full-fat version and add one-cup sugar and ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Want chocolate peanut butter ice cream? Add ½ cup peanut butter to the recipe! Love coconut? Add ¼ cup (or more) of shredded coconut meat.

This is a decadent recipe that is still a bit high fat and is high calorie, but it is free from all animal products and is great for a special treat!

Keep these healthy sweet potato ice cream recipes and supplies to make them handy this summer, so when you and/or your children pass those ice cream stands and get an ice cream craving, you know how to satisfy it in a healthy way at home!

Foods and Spices That Lower Blood Pressure Naturally (Part 2)

foods and spices that lower blood pressure


We recently discussed spices that can help lower your blood pressure, one that can lower your blood pressure immediately. Since you don’t eat spices alone, is time to find out what foods to put them on! Add these foods to your daily diet, and you can begin looking forward to that next health check-up when you will find out if your blood pressure has improved since your last visit instead of dreading it!

1. Beet Greens or Swiss Chard

Number one is a tie, because both foods are greens and have similar blood-pressure lowering powers. Beet greens are contain more potassium than an other food in the world! When you begin eating plenty of potassium daily, you can naturally flush excess sodium out of your body. Potassium also relaxes your artery walls, so they don’t squeeze so tightly around your flowing blood.

Studies have shown that just adding plenty of potassium to your daily diet can lead to lower blood pressure quickly.

But that’s not all! Beet greens also contain a hefty dose of calcium, which is another nutrient that helps keep your arteries relaxed to promote healthy blood flow.

Swiss chard is also high in both of these important nutrients that lower blood pressure and also contains magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium.

Which should you choose? Try them both and see which you like the taste of best!

2. Edamame, Soy Milk or Tofu

All three of these foods are good sources of soy, which packs a one-two-three punch of being high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium AND containing isoflavones that boost enzymes that help relax your arteries. Check those soy milk or tofu packages before you buy them and be sure to choose one without added sodium, and don’t load that edamame with salt before you eat it!

Note: Soybeans have earned an undeserved bad reputation in recent years, mainly due to the fact that many are grown with GMO seeds and soy was suspected to have undesired hormonal effects on the body. However, you can always purchase organic or Non-GMO project certified soy products, and more recent studies have shown that the hormone-mimicking concerns of soy were a false alarm.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a super-healthy food for anyone, but they are an especially great addition to a blood-pressure lowering diet. Sweet potatoes are filled with calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and if your high blood pressure is caused by being a little overweight, can help you lose a few pounds.

Why? Sweet potatoes are rated as one of the “most satiating” foods you can eat, which means they make you feel very full after eating just a small portion. While white potatoes are also very satiating, sweet potatoes are packed with more blood pressure lowering nutrients that white ones.

Add one or all three of these foods to your daily diet while making healthy lifestyle changes, and you may be surprised how quickly you can lower your high blood pressure naturally!

2 Small Commitments You Can Make to Celebrate Earth Day and Improve Your Health

Celebrate Earth Day


Just as many people take an “all or nothing” attitude toward healthy eating, many also take the same approach to caring for the earth. Just like taking small steps to improve your diet, even though you don’t have to eat a “perfect diet” all of the time, can have a great impact on your health, small steps you take to help the environment can have a great impact on the Earth. Here are two small steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint that will improve the health of the earth and your health, even if you can’t be “perfect” all the time!

1. Can’t Walk or Ride Your Bike Every Day, Everywhere? Commit to Walking or Biking when Possible

While it would be ideal to get rid of your car and the toxic emissions it produces and start biking, walking, or taking public transportation everywhere, this is an unrealistic goal for many people. You may have a job you drive 50 miles to get to every day and a lack of public transportation. Or, you may live in a very cold area where walking or biking during the winter would put your health at risk.

If you can commit to walking or biking everywhere, then that is great! If you can’t, then don’t think that committing to walking or biking only during the summer or to every place you go other than work is pointless if you use your car sometimes. It isn’t! If you use your car half of the year and lose it the other half, you are still reducing your personal vehicle emissions by half!

Healthy Bonus: You may be amazed how much weight you lose and how much you can improve your health otherwise just by walking instead of driving a few months out of the year or a few times a week.

2. Don’t Have Access to Filtered Water All the Time? Use a Water Filter at Home

If you avoid drinking tap water, like many health-conscious people do today, then you may rely on bottled water. Realize that even when you recycle those bottles, they still take a toll on the environment.

Recycling is the last step in “reduce, reuse, recycle” for a reason, and that is because recycling plants rely on a lot of energy and produce toxic emissions. Never think that just because something can be recycled and you do put it in the recycling bin that it is just as “green” as not producing the waste in the first place.

Using a home water filter is much better for the environment than drinking bottled water. Commit to installing one on your kitchen tap at home (you can find very affordable ones). Then, try to carry a stainless steel bottle filled with water or your other favorite beverage to drink on the go. If you are out and about on a sunny day and the only way to quench your thirst is to purchase a bottle of water, then do it if needed and recycle the bottle. Just commit to drinking your home filtered water any time it is humanly possible.

Health bonus: Water in plastic bottles is not only bad for the environment, but all plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can easily leach the liquids and foods in them. Reducing the number of foods and beverages you consume that come in plastic containers can be a great step to better health and even weight loss.

Realize that taking small steps to do your part for the environment are always better than taking no steps. Commit to doing what you can, when you can, and you can still feel good about helping to preserve the planet for future generations!

Are Sugar Alternatives Really a Healthier Option? 3 Natural Sweeteners Compared to White Sugar

are sugar alternatives really a healthier option?


We discussed the healthiest no-calorie sweeteners in a past post, but you may wonder if those popular natural sugar alternatives really are better for you than the white sugar you can buy at any grocery store, even though they are all forms of sugar. Read on to learn the health concerns of white sugar and how three natural sugar alternatives compare.

What is Wrong with Basic White Sugar?

Both white cane and beet sugar are highly processed (you can read about how they process it here), and unnecessarily stripped of any nutrient content, often with strong chemicals involved. In this highly processed form, white sugar has a glycemic index of about 60, which results in huge blood sugar spikes when you consume it without fat or protein, like in your morning coffee or glass of iced tea.

Also, while not everyone avoids GMOs, many people today do. While white sugar can be made from sugar beets or sugar cane, much of the sugar sold in the US is made from sugar beets, which are GMO crops approved by the FDA. Unless that white sugar you buy is labeled as organic or Non-GMO Project Certified, you don’t really know what you are consuming.

Is it beet sugar? Is it cane sugar? Manufacturers are not required to list the source of processed white sugar on the packaging! Who wants to take a gamble with what they are putting in their body?!

3 Natural Sugar Alternatives and How they Compare to White Sugar

1. Coconut Palm Sugar: Affordable, Natural, Healthy and Available Raw

Coconut palm sugar has become popular recently, although you may have heard it referred to as simply coconut sugar. It has a lower GI index (35) than cane sugar, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as high when you consume it. It contains antioxidants, calcium, iron, and zinc. Yes, sugar can really contain nutrients when they are not stripped out by manufacturers!

How is it made? It is the sap of the coconut palm tree, so it is naturally extracted from the tree, and then the moisture is boiled off. That’s it! Raw coconut sugar is made by carefully heating the sap to just over 100-degrees F to remove moisture.

2. Yacon Syrup: Best Sugar for Weight Loss

Yacon syrup first became famous when featured on an episode of Dr. Oz. It is a thick, brown syrup (Brown sweeteners are good! White usually = highly processed) extracted from the root of a plant called Yacon. It not only has a low GI, but it is also believed to help prevent diabetes. Much of the natural sugar in the syrup is unable to be broken down by your body, so it tastes sweet, yet doesn’t have many digestible calories.

Yacon syrup is also prebiotic, so once the indigestible carbohydrates arrive in your intestines, they feed the good bacteria that keep you healthy. It is also a good source of potassium and antioxidants, and was shown in a study to help people lose weight when it was consumed daily. Yes, a natural sugar that can actually help you lose weight!

3. Agave Syrup: Pros and Cons But Better Than White Sugar (Also Raw)

Agave syrup has been popular for years, especially among raw food eaters. It is only heated to about 118 degrees during production, so it is considered raw. It is derived from the Agave plant that has a similar structure to an aloe vera plant. Sap is extracted from a part of the plant called the Pina, and then heated slightly to break down the carbohydrates in it to form a sweet syrup.

While the syrup is natural, raw, and has a lower glycemic index than sugar, it is mainly fructose, which when consumed outside of fruit (when in fruit it is absorbed much more slowly) is believed to contribute to insulin resistance that is the main cause of diabetes. However, if you are generally healthy and use agave syrup sparingly (which is easy, because it is super-sweet), it is still more natural and better for your body than table sugar. You just don’t want to pour a ton into a glass of tea or cup of coffee. Instead, include it in recipes only. The other ingredients help it absorb more slowly, similar to how it is absorbed into your body from fruit.

If you have always wondered if natural sugar alternatives are really a healthier option than white table sugar, then now you know about three of them and their pros and cons. They all contain calories and carbohydrates, but natural sugars provide nutrients and health benefits white processed sugar doesn’t, and many are better for warding off diabetes or managing it.

4 Effective Natural Acne Remedies for Adult and Teenage Acne

natural acne remedies


In a past post, we discussed the dangers of two common acne medications and briefly discussed how to control acne by controlling body inflammation. Today, we are going to discuss some additional natural acne remedies for more stubborn acne. Before you head to the drugstore to pick up that dangerous benzoyl peroxide or to the dermatologist for an RX that may do you (or your child) more harm than good, try these natural acne remedies that work just as well as the prescriptions without the hazardous side effects.

4 Natural Acne Remedies for Adult and Teenage Acne

Before we discuss the remedies, realize that you may have to try a couple before you find one that works well for you. Why? There are many types of acne. Acne can be caused by hormones, bacteria, fungus, or a combination of these factors. So, the first natural acne remedy you try may only help your acne a little, but the next may eradicate it. The good news is that with a little trial and error, you will find a remedy that you can rely on to keep your acne away for good. You can also combine any, or even all, of the following natural acne remedies, because you don’t have to worry about interactions!

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial oil. Neem oil does have a potent smell, so it is best to apply to your face at night. Rub just a few drops into the areas of your skin that are acne-prone and call it a night.

Or, you can try another method: Before you use your typical face cleanser at night, first rub just enough neem oil into your face to saturate your skin. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then massage your face gently for about a minute. Next, take a just slightly moistened cotton pad and remove the residue. Finally, cleanse with your usual skin cleanser. This technique can help you reap the power of neem without dealing with the smell for too long!

(Like anything else you put on your skin, it is important to patch test it first to make sure you don’t have an allergy.)

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a very common natural acne remedy, and for a good reason. Like neem, tea tree oil is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. However, you don’t want to use it straight, because it is very powerful. (Straight tea tree oil can burn your skin, so please always dilute it and patch test!)

You can add just a drop into your normal cleanser before you cleanse your face or add a drop to any moisturizer or toner you use before you apply it to your face. You can also add two drops to your neem oil before you massage your face with it for an acne-fighting one-two punch!

3. Green Tea Inside Your Body and on Your Skin

Many people find that their acne improves greatly when they drink a few glasses of green tea throughout the day. It is healthy for your body and skin due to the very potent antioxidants in it that reduce inflammation.

You can also apply it to your skin topically twice a day with a cotton square, similar to how you would apply a face toner. To do this, brew a very strong cup of green tea, then place it in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. You can then use it for about three days before you need to brew a new cup. However, antioxidant power diminishes the older the tea is, so if you drink it daily, applying it fresh-brewed is best. You can even just lightly rub the tea bag onto your skin after you brew your morning tea!

4. Diet Modifications

Dairy is a huge acne-causing food group, especially when you eat and drink non-organic dairy filled with hormones. Some people find that their acne becomes much better when they stop drinking and eating dairy, and it is no surprise, because even organic dairy messes with your body’s natural hormone balance.

Also, studies have shown that some people experience great acne relief when they reduce their sugar intake and take steps to keep their blood sugar from spiking (even non-diabetics). To do this, simply avoid eating foods with a high glycemic load without accompanying them with some fat. This keeps them from being digested so quickly and raising your blood sugar (check out this list to find high GL foods).

When you notice your past acne flaring back up or new acne, it can be all-to-easy to panic and run to the store or a dermatologist to ask for the strongest acne medication they have. However, some have very hazardous side effects, and there are so many effective natural acne remedies you can try first!

Proton Pump Inhibitors Now Linked to Kidney Failure: How to Stop Taking PPIs Without Rebound Heartburn

how to stop taking PPIs without rebound heartburn


Proton Pump Inhibitors are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, and they are also sold over the counter. That means that when a new danger of these medications, like Prilosec and Nexium, is announced, it affects a very large number of people. Among the many dangers of PPIS that have been discussed previously, these medications have now been proven to double a person’s risk of kidney failure when taken long-term.

3 Steps to Stop Taking PPIs Without Rebound Heartburn

If you have been taking PPIs and want to stop, then you may have tried and experienced rebound heartburn that led to you taking the medication again. You can stop taking a PPI without rebound heartburn that is worse than when you began taking them when you do it carefully. Follow these steps if you want to kick the PPI habit for good.

Note: First Speak to Your Doctor if Your Medication is Prescribed

Advice given here will be aimed at people taking the over-the-counter version of the medications for heartburn. If your doctor prescribe daily PPI inhibitors to you to manage another health problem, then it is best to voice your concerns to him or her over the new health risks discovered and see what he or she has to say. In the end, you are in control of everything you put in your body, but your doctor can advise you about whether your benefits from taking the medication outweigh the health risks.

If you are on a high dosage of a PPI, then your doctor will have to lower your dosage gradually. Over-the-counter PPIs are typically the lowest strength of the pill available, and prescriptions can be up to triple the dosage of the OTC versions.

1. Start Alternating Your OTC PPI with a Less Dangerous OTC H2 Blocker

If you are taking an OTC PPI, then you are taking the lowest dosage made and the pills cannot be split in half. Doctors recommend alternating your PPI with an H2 Blocker (Tagamet is a popular brand) for a couple of weeks. Since the H2 blocker can typically be taken a couple of times a day, you can take one dose in the morning when you typically take your PPI and take another dose before dinner if you feel you need it.

2. After Two Weeks Start Taking Only the H2 Blocker

Once you notice that your heartburn does act up on the days you are off the PPI, it is then time to stop taking it and start taking the H2 blocker only. Like when you first added it in your life every other day, take it in the morning and then later in the day only if you feel you need the extra dose.

It is important to also limit your foods that contain acid, like tomato sauce, peppers, and any of your other personal heartburn triggers during this period. This is very important, because you don’t want to take more medication than you need to.

3. Finally Taper off the H2 Blocker

Your goal is to be heartburn medication-free, so don’t keep taking that H2 blocker every day like you did the PPI! While these medications have been around for many years and don’t seem to have as many negative side effects as PPIs, it is best to manage your heartburn naturally. Unlike PPIs that are time-released, H2 blockers can typically be split, if needed.

Gradually lower your dosage while integrating natural heartburn remedies into your daily routine, and you can then finally be free from heartburn medications!

HCLF (High-Carb Low-Fat) Diet Side Effects: 2 Signs You Need to Increase Your Fat Intake

HCLF Diet Side Effects low fat


The HCLF diet has reached extreme popularity, and it is especially popular in the raw vegan community. However, a very low fat diet is not for everyone. You may be thinking – but, but it works for so-and-so and this book says it is great – but remember that every single human body is different. If you are limiting your fat intake to 5 or 10 percent of your daily caloric intake and you notice these very low fat or HCLF diet side effects, it is important to increase your daily fat intake.

1. Your Depression is Returning or You Are Having New Bouts of Depression

If you have depression or had it in the past (especially if you currently manage it with SSRIs or natural mood-boosting techniques), then it is very important to pay attention to how you feel on a very low fat diet. If you feel your depression returning or are feeling depressed for the first time ever, then you need to increase your fat intake for the sake of your mental health.

Why? Fatty acids play a huge role in brain health and help your body create those important “feel good” chemicals. When your diet is too low in these fatty acids, it can get in the way of your brain’s ability to create natural mood-boosting chemicals, especially serotonin. If you are on an SSRI, then realize that this the very brain chemical your medication is trying to make more active in your brain to keep you feeling well, and your diet may be counteracting the benefits it once gave you.

2. You Have Body Aches and Flu-like Symptoms on a HCLF Diet

It is very common to get body aches and feel like you have the flu after you get through the first few days on a very low fat diet. This usually doesn’t happen immediately, but over the course of a few days of very limited fat intake. Don’t ignore it and think it will pass. Widespread body pain will likely only get worse until you increase your fat intake.

Why? A large part of your nerves are covered in a lining called a myelin sheath. These linings are mainly made of fat, and without enough fat in your diet, they can slowly deteriorate, causing your nerves to act erratically. Nerves are involved in many important body functions, but a very important job is sensing and transmitting pain signals. Put in more simple terms, when this very important part of your nervous system is starved of the very fat they are made of, your nerves start acting crazy and causing you to feel pain for no reason!

Also, just how serotonin plays a role in your mood, it many other roles in your body, including pain. Many people who suffer from widespread pain from fibromyalgia experience relief from medications that boost body serotonin levels. As mentioned above, your body’s serotonin levels drop when you are not eating enough fat, and this can be another cause of body pain.

What You Can Do to Relieve Your Symptoms

If you are experiencing one or both of the above HCLF diet side effects, then it is a good idea to increase your fat intake to about 30 percent of your daily diet for just a couple of days. This will help your body rebuild those nerve linings and begin generating enough serotonin and other important “feel good” chemicals again.

Once you are feeling better, re-plan your diet and increase your fat intake to about 15 percent. Not feeling great? Increase it to 20 or 25 percent, and so on. You, of course, shouldn’t begin eating a high-fat diet, but you need to find your fat “sweet spot” where you feel good physically and mentally.

Why Are Proccessed Foods Addicting? The Science Behind It Can Help You Stop Overeating

why processed foods addicting


It’s a common scenario. You buy that processed food you love and promise yourself that you are going to just eat a small portion of it a few times a week. Then, before you know it, you realize that you have finished the whole bag or container in just one sitting. You then likely blame yourself for your lack of self-control and then feel horrible.

The truth is that you shouldn’t blame yourself, because food manufacturers design packaged foods carefully to make them addicting! Read on to learn the most common technique used by food manufacturers to keep people like you from sticking to eating just the small portions you plan to eat, and you can then use this knowledge to help you stop over-eating!

The Most Common Trick Used to Make Processed Foods Addicting

Packaged peanut butter is the perfect example of a food that can be extremely easy to overeat in its processed form.

Ever notice how every big-name peanut butter on the market contains both sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup or another sweetener) and salt? Many companies even add additional oil to the already high-fat food. They do this because human taste buds are “programmed” to seek out fatty, sweet, and salty foods for survival. When a food contains just salt, just sugar, or only fat, it is not nearly as addicting as foods that contain all three. Even sweet soda contains sodium, and if the manufacturers could sneak in fat, they likely would!

The urge to seek out these tastes was important for human survival many years ago when obtaining food wasn’t as simple as hitting the local grocery store. If our tongues weren’t originally “designed” to enjoy the tastes of fat, sugar, and salt, we likely would not have survived as a species. It was important to indulge in fatty or sweet foods when encountered, because we didn’t always have easy access to them. While not high calorie, salt is an important electrolyte our bodies simply cannot live without, which is why we also crave salty foods.

Food manufacturers know this, and whenever they can include salt, sugar, and fat in one food without making it taste bad, they do! They know that when a food contains all three, consumers are more likely to overindulge in it, which leads to more profits for them.

How to Use This Knowledge to Stop Over-Eating

The best way to avoid foods engineered to make you eat more than you want to is to only purchase whole foods and make your own meals at home. You can then avoid all the tricks food manufacturers use to keep you eating more than you plan to!

You don’t have to avoid adding any fat, sugar, or salt to your recipes, since your body still does need them all. However, if you find a recipe that calls for all three or two of these types of ingredients, only add one. For example, if a homemade healthy cookie recipe calls for salt along with sugar (or a naturally sugary fruit), then leave the salt out. You likely won’t even notice a difference in taste, but the result will be a batch of cookies that you won’t be so tempted to eat too many of.

In fact, many people switching to a whole foods diet from one filled with packaged foods lose weight naturally without calorie counting or even intentionally limiting portions. When you eat whole foods that are not engineered by food scientists to keep you eating and eating, it is much easier to listen to your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals!