030915 Brain Function, Nutrition and Obesity

Clarity of mind is a beautiful thing. You have felt it when you have fueled your body with the right food, proper rest, and rigorous exercise (CrossFit of course). Well that clarity, those good feelings are regulated by a tiny portion of your brain called the Hypothalamus. Brain Scientists have studied this vital piece of the endocrine system and have attempted for many years to develop drugs that can help 'steer' the hypothalamus toward one end or the other. Think depression, anxiety and even weight issues. 

Another really cool aspect of this small but important part of our brain is that it has an extension cord of sorts plugged directly into MY FAVORITE part of the endocrine system... you guessed it... The gut! The cord that I am speaking of is called the Vagus Nerve and it sends signals to the brain to let it know what is going on in the body and how to fix it. Amino Acids and Peptides are absorbed through the Gut lining and sent up through the nerve and to other areas of the body. 

Now Here is where we put it all together. Like a simple but elegant sequence we see how the food choices you make will have a direct effect on the hormones released in the brain. First we must eat the cleanest food possible. Anti-inflammatory, whole foods (protein, fat, little carb, no sugar) are processed the best in a healthy GI tract and will ensure that the lining of the Gut remains healthy. Proper uptake of nutrients in the Gut will fuel the signals that the Vagus nerve sends to the brain. 

Looking upstream we now see some of the immediate effects of a properly functioning Hypothalamus. Immediately you will feel satiety from eating clean. Have you ever noticed that you can feel very poor after eating bad foods?; Even still hungry after you have just eaten? This is a tell tale sign that you have not taken in enough nutrients from the food and your hormone release is telling you to look for more!

This is the connection with obesity and malnutrition.

Sometimes you don't have to eat a lot to be obese. If you are consistently eating inflammatory foods ( processed grains, sugars) then the uptake in the gut  is dramatically diminished and you will see weight gain as fat stores increase and hormone levels are out of whack! Conversely, obesity as we classically see it in overeating is simply the brain telling the body to not stop eating until the right amount of nutrients are absorbed in the GUT!

To summarize, it all begins with what you stuff in your mouth! If you eat clean and avoid sugar, your Gut will remain healthy and nutrients are available for uptake to the vagus nerve. When properly taken in, those nutrients feed the brain in the Hypothalamus which releases hormones that provide health and happiness. 

So do drug companies need to dump millions into 'feel good' drugs? Mother nature has lots of them just waiting to be picked, harvested, prepared and enjoyed. Obesity can be reversed if you have this information. Please share, educate and change the way we are going!!!


5 Mins of Lacrosse ball Mobility
-Tspine/ Lat/ Deltoids

PVC Pass Thru
Up Back Overs
Wall Press
Push Up
Iron Cross
Berry Pickers
Hip Swivel Kicks
Jump Squat
2ct. Alternating Knee To Elbow
Sit Ups
V Ups

Partner WOD:

Teams of 2. One partner working at a time.

20 Strict Press 95/65
20 Push Press 115/75
20 Jerk 135/ 95
20 KB Snatch 53/35
20 Burpee Over Partner

* P1 Completes all reps before P2 can begin. Both partners must complete 20 reps before moving on.  P1 can load bar or get equipment in place while partner is working.