Yep, love really *is* complicated. Hormones, neurotransmitters, sensory neurons, oh my!

Brain FocusA hundred years ago, it must have been easier to focus. Today is a different story- just walk down a city street and your attention can be pulled in 500 directions. Bright LCD billboards, advertisements in every store window, brand names and symbols on every car, t-shirt and pair of shoes all vie for your attention. Not to mention the smartphones that keep silence out of our lives with texts, phone calls, and emails following us literally everywhere we go. We can hardly have a complete conversation with someone face to face without a cell phone interrupting. Want a list of more common distractions? Recently, something in an article about meditation jumped out at me. It said that regular meditation, even for just 2 months, already helps the brain out. It actually makes the memory center of the brain - called the hippocampus - bigger! Chronic stress, on the other hand, actually makes the hippocampus smaller.   Tips to help you focus: Get enough sleep Exercise regularly Take breaks regularly Try meditating Try using airplane mode on your phone for a set amount of time Choose a place where you will not be interrupted Set priorities (what is really the most important?) and manage your time so that you can be 100% present in what you are doing. The most important things will plague your mind  all day, so take care of those first. Communicate to your friends and loved ones when you will be able to respond to their call or texts; you don't have to do it right away (unless it is a work phone and part of your job). Jot down nagging thoughts that won't leave your mind alone & deal with them later.   Have more ideas on how to focus? Please comment below! :)  
Hypothalamus Sweets When people comment that I must have a sweet tooth, I counter with "Actually, they're all sweet." I LOVE sweets. I tried to live almost solely on them my first semester of college.. All-you-can-eat ice cream at the diner, every night?! Didn't work out so well. Hello, freshman fifteen! Why is the call of sweets so powerful?  When was the last time you just had to eat something sweet? For me, it was this morning. Today I realized our hypothalamus has a bunch of answers to the 3 o'clock need (or all-the-time need) for sweet things. It basically  keeps tabs on how much energy you have stored, while also keeping an eye on blood sugar levels. Of course, it's also influenced by personal preferences and experiences with food. This article explains the cycle of eating that first bite of delicious food and whether you reach back for another bite, and what makes you feel full vs. still hungry for more (hint: FRUCTOSE isn't the fairy godmother that you thought it was).

Many of you have written in to suggest making some sort of graphic showing where all the guts and glands live in the body, and I've finally gotten around to creating one. It's even got rollovers so you can learn more about, say, your pineal gland, should you have time to squander. For the purposes of simplicity, we've made the body a hermaphrodite -- she's got a uterus to go with her prostate and testes! We'll call her/him Hermie.