An Honest Living

Despite everything I believe

“Don’t Eat A Gremlin For Breakfast”

“Don’t Eat A Gremlin For Breakfast”

By: Nate Sauber

As humans we all feel cognizant about our bodyweight at some point. It is an entirely normal and helpful form of thinking to moderately better our health and how we see ourselves. However, many of our approaches do not necessarily help, and in fact, counter and make matters worse. One of the most make-or-break forms of maintaining a proper physical and mental well-being starts at the moment we wake up.

Our mothers, and their mother’s mothers, have always tried to instill that we should begin our day eating a healthy breakfast – but why? Could we not just skip this meal and sleep in a little more? Maybe we think that eating less will take off less around the sides? In actuality, our stomachs grumble for a neurological reason. Suppressing a healthy meal at the beginning of the day could lead to increased weight gain and unhealthy eating decisions. But if you’re not entirely convinced, why not take a look at what science says about the necessity of choosing breakfast.

When our stomachs are empty it releases a hormone called Ghrelin, not to be confused with a gremlin. Ghrelin interacts with our brain linking up with the neurotransmitter NPY that turns on our desire to eat. Yes, that it is correct. Your own body turns you on. Once you satisfy this desire by eating, Ghrelin recedes and thus the hunger subsides. Reciprocally, a different hormone called Leptin releases from the stomach and fat cells after eating and interferes with NPY further turning off the desire to eat which subsequently makes you feel full.

So if this hunger regulation system is naturally in place, why do we ignore it and engorge in an extra helping of Patty’s Farewell Cake?

When you starve yourself your body and brain create intense urges to eat high calorie foods as opposed to healthy options causing stress on your body. However, don’t blame yourself too harshly because this is probably associated with an evolutionary process from thousands of years ago.

Food psychologists theorize that during the early stages of mankind energy rich foods such as those with lots of fats and sugars were difficult to acquire. As hunter-gatherers, the human body needed to capitalize on these meals for survival and as a result they became extremely desirable. However, today we can get a high fat and sugary meal on every corner of every street at any hour. This furthers the problem because the instinct and desires still remain and so we struggle to stop eating these meals. “Bad, Society! Bad!”

Recently it has been discovered that this continual intake of fat and sugar overrides the regulatory system of Ghrelin and Leptin, which ironically is indeed like a gremlin. The signaling pathway is insufficient to control our new diet and so our initial evolutionary desire affects our ability to choose wisely and healthily. It’s sadly cyclical. The more unhealthy foods you eat, the more you crave food.

The tried-and-true “well balanced breakfast” specifically helps to keep hormonal levels at a regular consistency as well as other benefits like regulating blood pressure and giving your metabolism a boost to burn more calories throughout the day. This way you avoid over-compensation, cut inadvertent weight gain and feel less hungry during the day.

——————

 “So what do I eat,” you ask.

Below are options of healthy choices that not only better our bodies but also subconsciously help us rely on healthy eating.

One or two eggs:

Eggs sometimes get a bit chastised because they contribute to our raising cholesterol levels. However, in moderation they provide an excellent source of protein that helps ward off unhealthy snacking later in the day. The yolks are also a great source of Vitamin-B, which promotes eye health and memory.

Bananas:

Bananas are the ultimate snack to snag as you leave the house. Rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, they provide essential nutrients that aren’t necessarily met in a lot of food groups.

Berries:

Think of berries like little soldiers for your body. They are armed with antioxidants and Vitamin-C that combats harmful properties from meddling. They’re the good guys.

Oatmeal:

Whether you like it or not there is no doubting that this breakfast option is packed with dietary fiber. Oatmeal is not only a great choice to keep fuller longer, but it also helps lowering cholesterol. If you’re not a fan, throw some berries and banana on top to sweeten it up.

“Can A Power Nap Make Your Boss More Money?”

“Can A Power Nap Make Your Boss More Money?”

By: Nate Sauber

The Power Nap, a long esteemed formula from Geriatrics and Co., is actually one of the most effective ways to rejuvenate your brain. During our sleep cycle we go through four main stages. The first two are relatively categorized as light sleep while the third brings you into a deep slumber and the fourth known as Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, is where most of your dreams begin. The benefits of napping are tied to the length of time in which you are asleep. Therefore most people who nap 30 minutes only allow time for their brains to enter these first two stages.

In stage one slow eye movement begins and if woken you often feel as if you didn’t sleep at all – commonly known as the classroom nods. However as you continue into stage two, your brain begins to inhibit processing and ignores external stimuli that it deems non-dangerous, such as planes flying overhead or the continual chatter from the television set. This in turn happens so our bodies may relax and begin the autonomous stages for deep sleeping. Stage two is vital because it also allows for memory consolidation, or rather information you have learned to process. Waking out of stage two has shown mental benefits such as increased productivity, cognitive function, enhanced memory, a more inspired creativity and most importantly feeling more energized.

Beyond thirty minutes your body likely enters stages three and four and experiences something known as sleep inertia when awakened. While you were off saving petrified kitties stuck in gigantic, entangling trees, your real motor dexterity has now decreased and thus your grogginess and the longing of being the town hero increases. Many people claim that napping is detrimental and unproductive, but the truth is that they simply napped for too long.

As the benefits of napping become more irrefutable, many nap salons have opened up throughout the world. Workers can pay a small price to nap on a daybed to increase alertness at work. Even societies known for their unremitting diligence (e.g., Japan) are beginning to adopt the notion that brief power naps actually perpetuate a stronger and more productive wellbeing, therefore increasing their effectiveness at work. More recently, nap salons have opened up in New York City to help aid anyone who needs a nap in the concrete jungle.

While sleeping on the job may not comply yet with your boss and HR’s policies and standards, it doesn’t hurt to point to 30 minutes of science.

Art in a Timely Tragic Form

*This excerpt is from a larger, twenty page dissertation on the essence of Tragedy within the scope of art. Topics include Aristotle’s Poetics, Brechtian Theater, and Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid.

 

Art in a Timely Tragic Form

By Nate Sauber

 

Art is an intangible influence upon an audience. It tells stories that pervades and transcends units of time in ways that no other entity can replicate, and as an audience, we are both the creator and the created of its meaning. A man’s art can unleash an influence more powerful than from the pen from which he birthed it. For at one moment a single brushstroke can enrapture the emotions of a culture, but a century later it has moved on to other interpretations - sometimes entirely different from the artist’s intentions.

         Art fits within a frame we create. Its contexts and abstractions symbolize but our own reflections on life, love, and tragedy. It is bounded by our boundless questions and serves only to imitate as a ceaseless action. For a picture may show the poise of stoic men, but their representations display actions that only the viewer can interpret - pity in his disposition, fear in his eyes.

         Throughout the conception of literature, tragedy has been a creative, and yet a sorrowful genre that has captivated the darkest of our emotions. As Aristotle says, it is an imitation of action, and this I cannot refute. For this action should evoke fear and pity, purging the audience of their emotions so that they may too believe in the art before them. This is tragedy, but knowing when to purge these emotions, when to cry or sympathize, is a bigger question.

         For almost every criticism on tragedy originates from Aristotle’s Poetics. His principals have set forth a foundation that too have transcended time and are accepted like scientific laws in the literary community; but I argue whether one, who is self-reflexive, should revisit some of these principals. Art and time are like a double helix where each side spirals onward and both are connected by perfectly linked commonalities. They progress together and change together in time.

         And at first we see the physical - the millions of molecules bonded together on what was an empty canvas. As the artist, he began with his foundation, something free from thought, until he impressed upon it his own sentiments. And as observers we feel, but it is not until we meditate, and reflect, that we begin to see the complexities that produce this satiating feeling.

         However, time is the only element that can manipulate our emotions. It has precedence over our being and it is a perception beyond our rudimentary fashions of thinking. In a way it is quite frightful. We fear tragedy because we fear change. When something has been firmly accepted it is difficult to unite together and progress forward with new thinking. But change in itself is the most constant of all principals. It does not exist out of nothing nor settle in its roots; it imitates its intended action and continues to flourish. For Horace said that, “Death claims both us and our works,” and he was right. We must perish, and the works we built will die along with our intentions for them. However, their interpretations are cyclical. With death always comes life, and such is so with time and art.

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

—Sam (Tolkien)