Thursday, July 2, 2009

Did Somebody Say Chocolate?

Everyone loves chocolate!! I am not sure I have ever met a woman who does not at least like chocolate. Many of us love chocolate to the point of not being able to go a day without at least a little taste. Some of us only really crave it once a month.

Ever wonder why women have an intense craving for chocolate around the time of their menstural cycle? There has not been alot of research on this but what I did learn was:

Chocolate is very high in magnesium. A Magnesium deficiency can exacerbate PMS. PMS for most women start 7-14 days prior to their period. It is not really known what exactly causes PMS but there is much known about helping to control the symptoms of PMS. Some of those include staying away from caffeine, taking B6, calcium and magnesium supplements, among other things.

Here is how it relates to chocolate. Before menstruation the levels of the hormone progesterone are high. This promotes fat storage preventing its use as fuel. This in turn may cause a craving for fatty foods. One study stated that 91% of chocolate cravings that were associated with the menstrual cycle occured between the time of ovulation and the actual start of menstruation. These cravings were most intense in the late afternoon and early evening.

This timing made sense to me because if it is a craving for those fatty foods, those are the times when your body would be needing more energy to get through the rest of the day.

Chocolate also generally makes us feel good. Especially if you are a "chocolate person" to begin with. You crave chocolate when you are depressed, lonely, feeling blue, etc. The sugar in chocolate causes a release of serotonin. The brain uses serotonin to reduce depressive or anxious feelings. Chocolate also causes a release of several other chemicals (tryptophan, anandamide, phenylethylamine) in the brain that can give a person a mental boost, increase the heart rate, stimulate the nervous system and produce feelings of euphoria. These chemicals effect serotonin as well as dopamine in the brain. Both serotonin and dopamine are used in antidepressants and antianxiety medications that help make us feel "happy" and/or "relaxed".

So, now you know! When you are feeling blue. . . take the plunge. Eat a piece of chocolate maybe eat two. But remember, all things are good in moderation!! Don't overindulge, you will be more blue later if you do. Especially after you step on the scale and see that extra pound or two because you ate a whole box of chocolates!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Payback's a . . . what?

I bet you are still wondering about the payback from yesterday aren't you???

Well here it is. I was really smart on this and waited and plotted with some other day shift girls for a couple of weeks. I wanted to make sure that the thoughts of payback were gone from my friends mind. There were two girls under the bed that grabbed my ankles, and I only went after the one that came up with the idea.

I had worked day shift this particular day. I went home took a quick nap, met my friend for a late dinner and then we were going back to work for the night shift. I had already had it worked out with the girls that were going to coming off shift when we got there. They were almost more excited about this than I was.

While we were at dinner, I told this friend of a new resident who was admitted that afternoon. He was very angry. His family pretty much brought him in and left him. He didn't want to be there and was yelling alot. He pretty much wanted to be left alone. I warned her that if she went into his room to approach him carefully as he had been combative earlier when the other girls had tried to bathe him and such. I also told how he liked to lay in bed with his head covered up, like Mr. Lambert does down the hall. She knew exactly who I was talking about, another gentleman that slept that way. I told her, don't pull back the covers without talking to him, it made him real mad and he took a swing at Jackie today.

She fell for the story hook, line and sinker. I was so suprised. I didn't think she would really believe all that mess. However, we had several combative residents, so this was not all that uncommon.

We came on for our shift at 10pm, got our assignments, listened to report and I told her I would catch up with her to start passing our ice water in minute. I was going to the bathroom before we got started. She thought all the evening shift people had left. I went around the corner "toward" the bathroom but never went there.

A call light went off and she went to see who it was. It was "him", the new gentleman. She went into the room, and sure enough his head was all covered up. She gently touched his arm, which was also under the covers, and asked him if he needed something. She was so sweet when she talked to him. He didn't respond. He didn't move, didn't say anything. So she shook his arm a little and spoke to him again. Again. . . nothing. She then gently started to pull back the covers. Just as she did that. . . .

the "new resident" stood straight up in the bed and made a funny/scary noise at her. She yelled and ran out of the room.

It was the funniest thing I had seen in a long long time. I was watching from the bathroom in the residents room. I knew that I would never be able to pull this off by myself. Had I been the person in the bed, I would have laughed and ruined the whole thing. Jackie was great. She was my "new resident".

Payback was complete. We were even! And we laughed about it all night!