Mar 11 2011

Christine Avanti explains food addiction and how you can get help

Celebrity Chef and nutritionist, Christine Avanti was our guest today and explained food to recognize the signs in yourself or someone you know and how you can get help.

Are you addicted to food?  


Dr. Nora Volkow’s research on drug and food addiction may shed some light on this complex subject.  


According to Volkow, with drug addition, the addict’s dopamine receptors in the brain which give off “reward” signals also known as a “high” are triggered by food and drugs.  When an individual takes drugs often enough the dopamine receptors can decrease in number or become less sensitive to dopamine.  At this point the brain needs more of the “drug” in order to produce that same feeling of “reward.”  This is how the addition grows and Dr. Volkow has noticed it with people who are addicted to food as well and drugs.  


In regards to food addiction Volkow says, “as a person eats a gallon of ice cream, they are not even realizing the taste of the food any longer, the behavior is automatic because the drive to have more and more is fueled by dopamine.”  It’s almost like becoming a robot.  


Volkow also noted in her research that obese people have fewer dopamine receptors need more food to produce the same “reward” response as a thinner person eating the same thing.  She says many drug addicts have the same low amount of dopamine receptors- also associated with low self control parts of the brain.  


Breaking the curse

Dr. Volkow says that fifty percent of food addiction vulnerability is related to genetics and the rest is environment.  If you feel like you have a food addition, you must keep your environment free of trigger foods and eat a balanced diet.  Here are a few tips on how to get your food addiction under control.


*anticipate moments of weakness

*keep your meals simple with only a few ingredients

*ban eating in the car or on the couch

*get enough sleep

*distress- keep your cool


For information on weight loss and healthy recipes check out



Yale University has created a Yale Food Addiction Scale to determine whether some is really addicted to food.  




Got a question about food for Christine? Maybe a recipe you love that you want her to "swap out" and make healthy? Feel free to share it here or email us at

If you missed Christine's visit this week, you can listen here.


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Mar 11 2011

Pray for Japan!

Many of us woke up to the devastating news of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan this morning. Heartbreaking. Thank you for praying for our friends in Japan, Hawaii, and the West Coast who have been hit by this horrbile tragedy. Feel free to share your prayers here.

"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord who has compassion on you." --Isaiah 54:12


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Mar 10 2011

Ellie Kay on high fuel prices and budgeting for groceries

Ellie Kay is America's Family Financial Expert and she is here to answer your questions. Today, she answered questions about affording the high gas prices we are dealing with, budgeting wisely for groceries and entertainment and the best use of a large chunk of cash. Got a question about your money? Feel free to ask it here or email

Here's the site Ellie mentioned that could save money on gas prices:

Ellie Kay's got some other great resources to help you out here:

You can listen to Ellie's advice here: Part 1 and Part 2

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