How sugar affects the brain, not just the body

When we get taught about sugar it always seems to be about what sugar does to your body. The rise in insulin, increased fat storage, dropping energy levels after it’s effect diminishes.
Enter Nicole Avena (website below), a research neuroscientist and an expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. The perfect teacher to give us a lesson about what sugar actually does in the brain. Animated bij STK films (website below) to make it visually stick in your memory.

It’s nice to see a different approach every once in a while and this video, informative as well as interesting, is a perfect example of how infograpics and dry lecture can combine into an effective and entertaining message that might change the way you think. And as you know, that’s what we’re about.

Check it out and let me know.

Let’s begin.

At first glance, people may find me somewhat inconsistent. My behavior can, to say at least, at times seem to be contradictory.On the one hand, I party, drink and basically have a good time without giving much thought to any of the consequences. But on the other hand however, people know me as something of a health freak, concerned with the environment, sustainability and the general future of our planet. Do these two seemingly opposite sides of me even fit together? Am I a slight case of typical borderline?

But, chances are you recognize this kind of behavior, these two different lines of thought. Heck, it’s only logical. TED Blog, the blog of the famous organization TEDx featured a very interesting interview with Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonical, an expert on the science of willpower and author of the book The Willpower Instinct. In the interview, McGonical gives us an insight in the way people miss formulate New Years resolutions and how it’s precisely that, that makes it so hard for us to stick to them. Willpower, McGonical explains, is the ability to align yourself with the brain system that is thinking about long-term goals — that is thinking about big values rather than short-term needs or desires.

And that’s, I think, exactly why I may seem so contradictory, and also why you recognize this behavior. You and I contradict us by having a competition with two sides within you that struggle for satisfaction. The one side being that ‘smart you’ that can think long term about goals, ambitions and whatever you want to be in the future. The other side is the devil on your shoulder, the one that wants to do what feels good right now, the one that seeks instant satisfaction, without thinking of the consequences.So without getting lost in a very boring and endless monologue about why these sides collide, you and I probably both understand that in order to reach our long term goals, we have to make peace with the devil that whispers words of doubt in your ear every time you think about doing the smart, maybe not so fun thing.

But why should we? Why should we make the smart decision? For one thing, we really seem to enjoy those stupid decisions as we go along, regretting only what comes after (life altering consequences or maybe merely a bad hangover). These days, at least in my social environment, it also seems like you’re either a foodie or a fastfoodjunkie, a fitnessfreak or a lazy couch potato, a hipster or an average Joe (you get where I’m going). Why can’t I be both? So much as I seem to have competing slightly bipolar personalities, I don’t see why this should brand me in any way or worse, hold me back on my ambitions.

I like us to change the world. I want to go on a quest with you to shed any faulty behavior that we might be not aware of yet. Let’s inspire people not just to eat healthy, think about developing their qualities or to start working out, but be aware of the opportunities you create by doing so. I feel that to many people see it as a big hassle, they don’t know where to start, how to start and how to fit a new and improved kind of behavior in their lives. To a certain extend, neither do I. But I’ve been researching this for a long time now. I might just know a thing or two. I might just know how to get you inspired.
In any case, this is the journey I’ve beset for myself. And I want you to come along. What will we do? We will begin by realizing that most of the time, we have almost no clue of what we want, what we’re doing or how to start following our dreams. Then, let’s get aware of whats around us, whats we feel passionate about or what merely interests us. Finally, we see how to fit those inspiring new things we’ve found in a new life where we materialize our dreams.

Let’s see if we can change our world, but without making such a big fuss about it.

On a quest..

I feel that it might take a little while for me to get into it. Into the blogging I mean.

I’ve really had this thought about blogging about my life and what I’ve been doing for a while, simply to share and connect with others, but postponed it every time on the basis that it would be too narcissistic (no offense to all you enthused bloggers out there, I’m now one of you).
It just seemed to me that my ideas and experiences posted online would be mostly too trivial and unimportant to anyone reading it, instead I chose of connecting in real life and knowing for sure that who your talking with is actually interested. I was afraid that if blogging, I would be ranting (as I feel I’m doing right now).

But recent strings of thought in my head have ended up to the conclusion that it might just be the best idea after all. In any case I feel that my situation as a curious student and citizen of Amsterdam (yep, that’s where I live) has to resonate at least with a few people out there. What I mean by that is that if you are early twenties like me, studying, working a job to pay rent, dreaming about life after you graduate, thinking of entrepreneurship (like I’ve done before) or working at a big firm (as I’m contemplating right now), partying with friends, being in the first years of your life where you’re on your own, paying your own bills, starting to make adult choices and/or also discovering what you like and dislike, well then, we have something in common.
That’s not to say that you’ll start to religiously follow my blog (which would of course be a great idea for you). I think you’ll agree with my that a blog has to be about just a lot more then superficial things we have in common. And I think in this case, this blog, we will have something in common, or at least something we’ll both care about.
I mean us, you and me. I care about myself. A lot. But I also care about you. How do we develop a lifestyle where both of us have it great, without having to sacrifice. This really keeps me up nights. How do I succeed, but also make the world a better place. How do I help better the economy, but also the environment. What are my daily wastes? What do I spend thats completely unnecessary for anyone (like buying a plastic bag at the supermarket instead of already bringing one. That’s actually a thing in Amsterdam)?

That’s what this blog will be about. (Also thank you for keeping up with me so far. As I said, I anticipated it would take a little for me to get into it.)
This blog will allow you to follow me on my quest. A quest where we might share a few common grounds. I like food, fitness, technology, design, architecture, fashion, health care, politics, all the usual. But I like it sustainable, without getting all to worked up about it. I like organic food, without getting to extreme about everything that you put in your mouth. I like fashion that’s produced for a fair price without any child labour, but I don’t want to get all into activism.

Most of all I’d like to be the best me I can be. I like parties, I like good food, good company and nice wine. I like working out and looking good but I don’t want to send out the vibe that I’m superficial.
But you know what’s most important about all this, I love to do and share everything with friends.

I love my friends and family. I feel like I have a responsibility to them, to be the best I can be and help everybody achieve the same. I want to share knowledge, experience and love. I want all my friends to feel safe and find comfort.
So everything that I do, learn and think that might in some way, how small even, have a positive effect on anybody, should be shared. It should be shared, discussed, viewed in different perspectives and learned from.

So that’s what I’d like you to become. I’d like you to become my friend. So we can share ideas and interests that we can discuss and learn from. I’d like you to follow me on my quest because I hope it will help you as it helps me. And always, whenever you feel like it, let me know how you feel. As I’m doing to you right now.

Now let’s get started

Roger Rosweide