Sugar, we're breaking up!
It's not you, its me. You just don't fill me with that rush of love we had when we first started out together. Now, I'm just always tired, cranky- not in the mood. My hair is dry, my skin is breaking out, my mind is going crazy! It's an unhealthy relationship. I think it would be better to end it.
This is THE convo we should be having with sugar. As I taught my workshop on Breaking up with Sugar last weekend, we all shared the imbalances we had noticed, and the symptoms that just wouldn't go away. A lot of them included the ones listed above.
But who can blame us for being addicted? I mean, they put it in everything, in all kinds of hidden forms (anything ending in 'ose') and code names. Ketchup, salsas, "healthy breakfast cereals", breads, granola bars, salad dressings, juice, yogurt- everything. The average Canadian consumes just under 1 cup of sugar a day- NUTS! If someone gave you a cup of white sugar and said I want you to eat this and finish it all by the time you go to bed, you would never do it. But we consume it in hidden forms, and sometimes straight up, because sweets make us feel good. They stimulate the release of dopamine, our reward/feel good neurotransmitter, making us want and need more to keep feeling that high. This addiction is exactly why some of us experience withdrawal symptoms when going off of it cold turkey, just like breaking a drug addiction. In the 1900's we consumed about 5 lbs sugar a year, and now- well, we are between 150-180 lbs a year. THATS. INSANE. The daily sugar allowance for women is 6 tsp, men 9tsp, and kids 2-3tsp. We are consuming 3-4times that a day, with kids averaging 25-32 tsp/day, it's no wonder issues of focus, concentration, academic performance, obesity and behavioural issues are rampant.
a few ways that sugar can mess with your beautiful self:
- impaired glucose and insulin function, which can lead to diabetes // its estimated that 6 million Canadians have diabetes but only 2.5 million have been diagnosed.
- liver dysfunction // leading to a host of allergies, skin issues, daily detox problems
- chronic fatigue // from the constant blood sugar yo-yoing
- decreased immunity // sugar suppresses your immune system for up to 4 hrs, and lowers your infection fighting ability of white blood cells
- causes pre-mature aging through process of glycation // sugar literally makes your blood sticky
- creates a very acid body // thus a magnet for disease, zaps our antioxidant stores, leaches mineral from our bones, and wreaks havoc on our blood sugar
- slows digestion, impairs assimilation of nutrients and increases constipation
- feeds all those picky bad critter bacteria that create a system of evil systemic symptoms
- lowers your libido, can make you moody, angry, forgetful, and lead to decreased metal function
One of the best ways to avoid those cravings is to work on balancing your blood sugar from the time you rise to the time you hit the hay. Mastering your blood sugar will give you lasting energy, your cravings will subside, your weight will be controlled, your mood will stabilize, and your hormones will better balance. Mark these down!
- Protein with each meal and snack // allows your to feel fuller and more satisfied for longer // chia & hemp seeds, organic plain yogurt, nuts and seeds, quinoa, any legume + grain = complete protein, nut butters, legumes, eggs, fish, tempeh, plant-based protein powder.
- fat source with each meal and snack // avocado, coconut oil, hemp or flax oil, nuts and seeds, fish/seafood, ghee
- combine a carb with a fat and protein // sugars are released slower, creating a slower rise in blood sugar
- eat foods lower on the glycemic index // these foods release energy slowly into blood stream
- eat breakfast // to avoid your blood sugar dropping so low that your body starts screaming for instant energy, and your grab for that sugary snack
- use cinnamon // this spice is amazing at controlling blood sugar, put that s#&* on everything!
- avoid sweets, sodas, refined carbs, and preservatives // these will all inevitably lead to hormonal balance and a blood sugar spike
- avoid artificial sweeteners // these signal to your body that food is coming in, when you trick your body and don't actually eat the nutrients its expecting, it will just tug at your tummy again and again, (until your give it real food) leading to weight gain.
- reduce stimulants // caffeine, nicotine and even alcohol all cause our blood sugar to rise due to a spike in cortisol and adrenaline
Tids and tads to keep cravings in check:
- become aware & read labels
- naturally sweeten food with local, raw, unpasteurized honey, pure maple syrup, pure stevia, cinnamon, unsweetened coconut flakes, organic fruits, dates and even applesauce
- ditch refined/processed foods, juice, pop, etc. // Kombucha is a great pop substitute if you are trying to make the transition, its carbonated and fizzy!
- eat more greens // these are super alkalizing, full of fibre, vitamins and minerals, thus helping to balance blood sugar, and give you a bit of a detox along the way
- chromium picolonate // this essential mineral helps your cells use insulin, if you don't have enough its like having a full tank in your car but not enough oil. Essential for controlling cravings // brewers yeast, mushrooms, potatoes with skin, whole grains, oysters, peas
- eat satisfying meals and snacks all day long from each of the macronutrient groups (this may take a bit of planning and prepping)
- start your day with alkalinity, like warm water with lemon
- keep stress to a minimum // stress spikes your blood sugar and leads to cravings
Remember that natural sugars are ok, and our body needs them. Naturally sweet whole foods also come with a basket full of fibre, antioxidants, cancer fighting vitamins, and beauty minerals. Here is a great way to start your morning off, I use this recipe each day!
Alkaline Morning Tea
- 3 cups warm water / Juice of 1 lemon / 1tsp raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar / 1 tsp aloe vera (inner fillet) / 1 tsp raw local honey
- While water is boiling, put all of the ingredients in a mug. Add water, stir, refill, be awesome.
The benefits of decreasing or quitting sugar completely are outrageous! Increased energy, glowing skin, sweet hair and nails, super mental clarity, permanent weight loss, healthier cell- gah! So many!
If you are someone that finds their cravings off the charts, try the above suggestions or book in for a consultation to see if we can work on things together.
Peace + love + lettuce turnip the beat