E-spoons E-zine
April 2013
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It’s chocolate season..... and woohoo, chocolate is officially on the ALLOWED LIST for stroke dodges, but you still need to RESIST.  A short walk can flatten that irresistible NEED for chocolate and waiting for the NO voice to surface will help, as does reading those food labels. When you DO hot chocolate, serve it in an orange mug to magnify the pleasure, but watch who you're serving it too - to fit into your clothes, you sometimes need to  forgo fitting in.  And when you are watching your figure, make sure you don't inadvertantly lose your marbles.

NB.  Figure watching is something that starts on day one - catch the video of the presenation I gave during Doula Week.

The E-spoons E-zine is a monthly compilation of stories appearing on 7 Big Spoons™ blog.  The stories are based on the latest science tit bits and will help you become a little healthier, wealthier and wiser by explaining the why.  As a friend of Spoonful of Science you have been included on our mailing list – should you wish to unsubscribe follow the link at the bottom of the E-zine.

Reading on line is exhausting so if you would prefer to read your copy of E-spoons in the loo -  download the pdf here.

Chocolate is officially on the ALLOWED LIST for stroke dodges
Chocolate cleaning up stokeWant to avoid a stroke ?   Then don’t meat, milk, eggs.....  Health  gurus, have a habit of  generating long lists of  “FORBIDDEN FRUITS”.  These lists can be summarized as,  everything that tastes mediocre-to-awful is allowed, while everything that tastes good, is not acceptable.    The list of don’ts can be SO overwhelming, that  it is easy to question whether the “going without”, is worth it.

Researchers from Sweden have come to the rescue. Based on an analysis of the eating habits of 37,103 Swedish men ages 49 to 75, the team have updated the what’s in and what’s out list.

The update has put something that tastes FABULOUS, onto the “what is allowed” list.    Yup, it is official CHOCOLATE IS ALLOWED. The team discovered that men who shunned chocolate, had the highest risk of suffering a stroke. Conversely, those eating the most chocolate had a 17 % - 19 % lower risk of stroke.
Eating chocolate is THE WAY to avoid a stroke. 
Well, maybe not, it probably is a stretch to suggest chocolate prevents strokes, but not such a stretch to suggest eating chocolate has little impact on your risk of suffering a stroke.
If you like it, eat it.   In moderation....  from a calorie perspective, on paper at least,  chocolate is trouble with a capital T.   And eating too much on a regular basis....... is a recipe for obesity.
But chocolate is special,  click here to learn more about why this naughty but nice indulgence manages to make it onto the ALLOWED LIST.  
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Health problem ? 
There is more to health than eating less and exercising more.   Discover how small lifestyle changes can improve your health, so you  create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
To book your body audit, drop me an e-mail at

A short walk flattens that irresistible NEED for chocolate
Walking flattens the chocolateAre you a bit of a chocoholic ?    Want fo find a way to resist this temptation-cum-stress beater ? 

The secret – take a walk.

So if you’re in the habit of reaching for a chocolate fix, more often than you would like – RUN an errand.    When you get back,  you’re less likely to stick your hand in the cookie jar/secret draw.

Aware of the connection between STRESS and the chocolate NEED, a team of researchers from the University of Exeter, set out to find ways to help chocoholics “JUST SAY NO”

The team knew that it would take more than psychology to resist the urge to self-medicate with chocolate, so they experimented with diversion tactics.  The team enlisted the help of 78 certified chocoholics. In the study, chocoholics either took a 15 minute walk or rested before being PUT TO WORK in a simulated office environment which included access to “ a secret draw” – FULL OF CHOCOLATE.  Read more about the study here.

And... as expected the chocoholics tucked in.  But the extent of the chocolate binge differed. Those who had exercised before working, ended up eating around 15 grams of chocolate (an innocent treat). 

Those who had rested before beginning to slave away at work, ate on average double the amount of chocolate, around 28 g. 
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Better Body Chemistry for sugar addicts

Click here to enrol in our free e-course and discover a few unconventional ways to
 “Trick or Treat” your sugar gremlin and get access to the special report,
“Why willpower nevers seems to trump food power”.Do you feel like your scale is delusional at times ?  

The voice left standing wins the should I eat it debate
TemptationYour eye catches sight of a delectable munchie.  And the “I want” order is immediately dispatched. 

Most times, another message also surfaces....... “It’s not good for you, it will make you fat”. 

A battle begins between two very different characters, both of which reside in YOUR HEAD.  It is a slinging match which only you can hear. But it creates an awful din......Researchers from California Institute of Technology have found a way to eaves drop on this heated debate.  Read how they do this....
When the team eaves dropped on these head conversations.............. two areas of the brain lit up like a Christmas tree.  The first region was the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dIPFC for short) which sits behind the temples.  The second region was the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC for short), which sits in the middle of the forehead just above the eyes. The dIPFC region was in charge of the NOs and the vmPFC region was responsible for the GO FOR IT voice 

Which region was firing,  when it came time to decide, shaped the NO/GO FOR it decision.  Nothing surprising here

The revelation............. making the shift from one to the other, took T-I-M-E.  TIME......   nothing more, nothing less.
You have to give your brain enough time to resist,  to tune out the GO voice.   So hang in there !
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A little extra reading can help you be skinnier
Reading the food labelGrocery shopping – one of those things few people love to do, it is a necessary evil. 

Everyone develops their own style and has their own set of rules for what goes into the basket.

The rules include...
it must look good – the sexiest packaging wins out
it must be BRAND X
price rules – it must be the cheapest
it MUST be organic / local / GM free  
what’s in it, is what really counts. 
For some this of life and death importance.

The counters can be seen holding the jar in the light, trying to make out the names and numbers.

Are they just wasting their time ?

Analysis of data collected by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has found – counting up those food labels counts for something.   A food label reading habit, helps keep a couple of kilos or 1.49 points off your BMI.

So start today -  before you add an item to your shopping cart, take a moment to peruse the food label.

Just realizing that the tiny bite size snack has as many calories as a plateful of dinner  or grasping  just how processed that snack really is, when you discover you only recognize one of the ingredients in the list,  can help you put it back, even if you know it WILL BE DELICIOUS. 

The snacks left behind in the grocery store – never have an opportunity to make their way to your hips. 
So get out those glasses and read the food labels – it is the smart thing to do.
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Want to lose weight permanently ?

To really enjoy that mug of steaming hot chocolate go orange
Winning hot chocolateIf you’re going to indulge – do it “right”.   This applies to all things in life, but particularly to food. 

So how do you do indulge “right” ? 

A couple of hot chocolate loving researchers, headed for the lab, to explore how to maximize the dopamine delivery, of their favourite beverage

Along the way, they discovered when it comes to sipping hot chocolate – doing it right, starts with choosing the cup from which to indulge.  And RED is not hot chocolate friendly.  Hot chocolate tastes best, when sipped from  an orange or cream cup.

So are you drinking your hot chocolate out of an orange or cream cup ?   Do you even have an orange or cream cup ?

Put it on the grocery list – an orange mug or two.  You want to make sure you  pamper yourself -  optimally.
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To fit in your clothes, forgo FITTING IN at the dinner table
The dinner raceYou LOVE to belong.... this is the reason behind

  • that photo of you with bright pink hair, squished into those hideous  leather pants and
  • how you got hooked on that less than healthful nicotine habit   

You desperately wanted to FIT IN.....

Our brain’s are wired to FIT IN.   And we’re always adjusting our behaviours, in little ways, to do just that, FIT IN.

One place we do FITTING IN is at the dinner table.

Eating at the dinner table is an orchestrated event.  The forks are being raised in a subtle rhythm.    Click here to read more about this subtle eating rhythm.

BUT,  the harmonisation of bites has consequences – you can easily end up eating  at the pace of the person who eats the fastest.   But, eating FAST, is not good for the waist line...

The troble arises because there is a time delay between filling up and FEELING FULL. 

When you’re FULL – appropriate signals buzz around your body, signalling it is time to put the fork down and STOP EATING.  If there is a delay in this message getting through, you’re more likely  to experience an OVERFEED i.e. more calories in than you really need. And more calories in, tends to mean more layers on your hips etc. 

Dinner racing is common practice.  And there is always a pace setter in the race.  It is good to know who this is !
Probably in an ideal world, you should not invite LIGHTENING EATERS round for dinner.  But, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.

So....  just be aware.  You might want to forgo the FITTING IN at the dinner table, so that you can FIT IN to your pants. 
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Watching your figure could make you lose your marbles
Losing your marblesYou’re watching your weight, so you’re always looking for ways to cut calories, without cramping your style.  One way to do this – is to substitute the sugar loaded beverages, with a diet equivalent.  Avoiding the enormous sugar dump, is a good health practice. 
But, you might want to think twice, if you’re using the diet cold drink, as a drink mixer.  You’re avoiding the sugar, but amplifying the alcohol dump. 
And an alcohol dump can leave you whoozie and in all kinds of trouble.
Read how diet drinks can push you above can lead you to be drunk and disorderly ...
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Avoiding raising a heffa-lump begins on day one
Watch the video to discover why heffa-lumptitis and other health horribles often begin on day 1 and what you can do to protect your little one from a lifetime of weight troubles.

This is one of the presentations I gave as part of Doula Week 2013, as part of the programme I put together a series of TIPS to help Expectant Moms create Better Body Chemistry.  If you are an expectant Mom or know someone that is – invite them to subscribe so they can create Better Body Chemistry during their pregnancy and raise a HAPPY HEALTHY little one.

Better Body Chemistry for Expectant Moms  

  Click here to subscribe

Other posts appearing on the blog in March 

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Thank you for taking the time to read the e-zine. I love hearing from readers, so drop me an e-mail to let me know which story you enjoyed the most,  did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective. 

Did you catch this month’s Neurotechnology Tips  ?
Neurotechnology tips provides tit bits of science to  help you buzz up your brain performance.  Click here to have a Neurotechnology Tip delivered directly to you in box next week.
Neurotechnology Tip

Putting together the pieces to maths mastery Catch more memories with a little omega-3 Going to the movies can boost your academic performance


Thank you for taking the time to read the e-zine. I love hearing from readers, so drop me an e-mail to let me know which story you enjoyed the most,  did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective. 

Next month we will GOING BIG.  Sorry the E-zine is a day late this month, we have experienced some serious technically difficulities, but the May edition of E-spoons should arrive  in your inbox on 1 May (the first Wednesday of the month). 

Yours scientifically

Dr Sandy
Phone :       +27 (0)11 452 2207
Cell :           083 262 5023

E-mail :       drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com

The cartoons were drawn by Guy Alain Ngangob – drop him an e-mail if you need a cartoon or two. If you want to access the science articles used to compile the newsletter, visit the relevant pages on the blog and follow the link.     
Copyright © 2013 by Sandra Evans.  YOU ARE WELCOME TO COPY the e-Zine's contents for use in your own  newsletter, company or club publication, BLOG or website.  Please give proper credit and a link back to http://www.7bigspoons.com.
Disclaimer : The e-zine is provided as a service.  Dr Sandy’s reports and opinions are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe.  For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.


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