Like most Americans, I used to be addicted to sugar. I was tired all of the time, and needed that afternoon pick-me-up or that quick sugary fix to keep me going. And despite the jolt of energy most of us experience after eating a sugary treat, the reality is that sugar is terrible for one’s health. And with the holidays behind us now, it’s time to get the sugar cravings under control.
Many people don’t understand how detrimental sugar can be. It’s more addicting than most drugs, one of the major toxins, and leads to inflammation, weight gain, depleted adrenals, and other serious health problems.
Put simply – sugar burdens your body. It makes it harder for you to feel at peace; to reach a state of bliss.
What’s worse, is that it’s hidden in most of the foods you’ll find at your local grocery store. I challenge you to grab a few items out of your pantry and read the labels. You will be shocked at what you find. Your favorite store-bought granola bar or cereal that claims to be filled with vitamins and minerals, is most likely made with mostly sugar.
But what about the “sugar-free” alternatives? The truth is, most “sugar-free” options are often packed with artificial sweeteners and these are even worse for your body than sugar. They slow down the metabolism and mess with endocrine disruptors, among other unwanted side effects.
If you get those cravings when you are at a party, or find yourself eating your child’s graham crackers, or grabbing a diet soda out of the cooler at the store, you are probably experiencing some level of sugar addiction. Experience headaches, fatigue and exhaustion when you don’t indulge in sweets? That’s your body urging you to satisfy the craving. If you want to move on from this cycle, it is possible!
Here are 7 Steps to ditch the sugar habit:
Start your day with protein. I like to add a protein powder to my morning smoothie because the amino acids balance and stabilize blood sugar, which reduces sugar cravings. Organic eggs, nut-butter toast, and greek yogurt are also great options.
Start your day with affirmations and one-minute of meditation. I realized I was jumping out of bed and pushing my adrenals to the max right away. Don’t do that. Instead, make time in the morning to create a space for yourself – even 5 minutes will change your day.
If you are craving something sweet, have a sweet healthy treat like a protein ball and add some raw cacao nibs for a dose of magnesium.
Hydrate daily. Often the body craves sugar when it is dehydrated.
Drink four ounces of coconut water when the urge strikes, and add a squeeze of lemon.
De-stress and do something nice for yourself such as get a massage, take a walk with a friend, draw a bath, or light a candle and read a book.
Stevia is a great all-natural sweetener that does not elevate blood sugar. Other natural sources of sugar are coconut sugar, coconut nectar, or honey.
Want some recipes to kick the sugar cravings?
RAW AVOCADO PUDDING
½ cup almond, coconut, or hemp milk
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons raw honey or 5 drops of stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 drops mint extract (optional)
BLEND. Using a food processor or high speed blender, combine all ingredients until smooth. Put in refrigerator until it is cold, and then enjoy
WARMED APPLE WITH COCONUT
1 fresh apple, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
WARM your apple in a non-stick skillet, or under a broiler. Simply place your sliced apple rings onto the heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. When it’s warm, transfer to a plate, and top with shredded coconut.