First, it’s really like Day 3 of INSANITY since I did a double workout yesterday.
Second, two days of INSANITY in a row is HARD. Really hard. But Jessica (the instructor) was awesome and put the World Cup game on during the workout since we were in overtime.
Third, I also swam this morning (900 meters in 28 minutes 34 seconds–I timed myself so I have goals to work toward. I’m an economist. I’m quantitative.) and ran two miles with the girls. Envy ran 1.3 miles with me! The farthest she has gone! I was so proud of her. She is like a freight train (but I have another blog post on that coming later).
So, needless to say I’m sore. I’m going to have to rally for sprints tomorrow with Shawn, Tanisha and Kyle. My legs certainly aren’t feeling it right now.
Anywho, enough about that. On to endocannabinoids!
Endorphins get a lot of attention.
But did you know that your body also pumps out endocannabinoids? These are a naturally synthesized version of THS (the chemical that is responsible for the buzz that marijuana produces). Endorphins can be created only by specialized neurons, but pretty much any cell in the body is capable of making endocannabinoids which means they have the potential to make a bigger impact on your brain.
Endocannabinoid production is believed to react more strongly in response to stress as opposed to pain (the stronger endorphin activator). Differentiating between physical stress and discomfort during a run is nearly impossible. Which means the same mechanism that triggers endorphins can also trigger endocannabinoids: a challenging (but not killer) workout.
Running at 70 to 85 percent of your age-adjusted maximum heart rate is optimal in spiking the primary stress hormone cortisol, and producing endocannabinoids.
Cecilia J. Hillard, Ph.D., director of the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has found that people need 8 hours of sleep a night for optimal endocannabinoid production. That’s not a good sign for me! I have averaged about 5 hours a solid sleep a night (or maybe a little less) since moving to NC! (According to my Fitbit.) Her research also shows that endocannabinoid levels are three times greater first thing in the morning compared with when you go to sleep at night. Although there is no scientific proof, this could suggest that a morning run is more likely to produce a high than an afternoon or evening run.
Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I get that high tomorrow!
Food for Thought: Red Wine. The skin of red-wine grapes contains resveratrol, a polyphenol linked to many well-known benefits, such as a decreased risk of heart disease. But resveratrol has also been shown to reduce the production of stress hormones that compel your body to store fat. Drink that red wine!
Quote of the Day:
“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and at some point you will.” -Venus Williams
This is my last recipe from when I was in Wisconsin!! I made it for my GOTR girls and you would have thought I gave them the moon–they were sooo ecstatic about these treats! I’m not going to lie, they were pretty darn good. But they were super sweet and very appreciative! And let’s be honest, who has ever heard of a Brookie before??
For Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- 1 cup plus two tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour muffin tin.
Make cookie dough: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg. Beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you make the brownie batter.
Make brownie batter: Combine butter and chocolate in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat just until melted (about 2 20-second intervals, stirring in between). Let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine melted butter mixture and sugar and whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, followed by flour and salt.
To assemble: Drop brownie batter by the rounded teaspoon if using a standard muffin tin, or divide equally between cups (about 1/2 teaspoon each) if using mini muffin tins.
Top each with a teaspoon of chocolate chip dough (you might have some left over.)
Place tin in oven and bake at 350°F until cookies are golden, about 20 minutes (check at 15 for mini muffin size). Let cool.
Courtesy of Serious Eats