The Truth about Tryptophan

Live Turkey

After stuffing yourself silly of mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread, wine, beer, and of course, turkey, it’s no wonder why your belly’s bloated and you’re ready for a good nap. The blame of needing a nap is never referenced to two or three plate full’s of grandma’s home cooking, but is instead blamed on the turkey’s tryptophan. But how much truth is there in all of this?

Tryptophan is actually a chemical that’s important to our health. Our body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, which is a chemical that helps to regulate sleep. Although turkeys do contain tryptophan, so does a lot of other meats- even cheddar cheese. And while different meats and cheeses contain the chemical, you don’t hear a connection to feeling sleepy after eating chicken or a grilled cheese sandwich, do you?

In essence, eating big meals with anything containing the chemical can make you sleepy. Adding the carb-heavy potatoes, veggies, bread and pie to the tryptophan…yeah, you would be pretty sleepy. And like many people, we starve ourselves to make sure we have enough room for the yummy dinner- tryptophan’s effect on serotonin is heightened when ingested on an empty stomach.

So, in all, turkey’s sleeping effects does have some truth to it, but over time, it has become largely over exaggerated. If you don’t want to be in a turkey and carb-induced coma after dinner tonight, don’t stuff yourself silly.

Happy gobble-gobble day!!

Ready For Black Friday?

One of the biggest purchasing days of the year is upon us once again. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the best and worst days of the year to buy Christmas gifts. It’s one of the best days to shop because stores everywhere drastically lower their prices for anyone who can get to the actual store early enough to snatch up a limited amount of whatever it is they’ve discounted. I’ve seen some awesome deals before, like last year, when Circuit City had a nice $250 laptop. Now that’s cheap!

Black Friday is also one of the worst days of the year to shop too. Why? Because everyone in the entire world is trying to get their hands on that $250 laptop. I was one of those people last year. I woke up at about 4:30am and went to Circuit City with my brother. There was a line all the way around the building already and it was freezing outside. We got in around 7am and by the time we made our way to the counter in the computer section, all of the laptops were gone and 2 more hours had passed. It was 9 in the morning and I had nothing to show for it. I decided to go to the Best Buy across the street and see what they had. They actually had a lot of good deals on DVD gift packages, so I purchased quite a few of those for Christmas presents.

So that’s why I love and hate Black Friday. Every year, I tell myself that there’s no way I’m going out and trying to get those deals, but every year I find myself waiting in a long line in the cold. Do you know why? Because those deals are just too crazy to pass up. This is what this article is really about. Where do you find these deals? The website I’ve been using for years is BFAds.net, because they post just about every major retailers Black Friday ads before they are supposed to be released. I don’t know where they get it, I’m betting it employees, but the ads are almost always accurate.

Check out the website, hit their forums and write out the items that you want to pick up for your family. If you dedicate the entire day to shopping for gifts, I can guarantee that you’ll have gifts for almost everyone on your list and for much cheaper than you had planned. You’ll probably have bags of stuff for yourself too.

If you’re looking for some more places to shop, but online, I’d also recommend checking out Steep and Cheap, Woot and Amazon’s Gold Box Deals page. Happy shopping!