52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tame that Sugar beast!

Cookies, muffins, dark chocolate...mmmm....ask my husband, I love to bake. And I love to eat what I bake. Lately, I've been making scones (like these ones here..http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/638411-Raspberry-Spelt-Scones...I like to add some walnuts in too...or do dates instead of raspberries), they're so yummy in the afternoon with a cup of tea!

But, every 6 months or so I feel the need to tame my sugar cravings. How many of you finish a meal and feel the need for something sweet? Or need something sweet to get you through the day? Yep, time to tame the sugar beast! It's easy to become addicted to sugar, because of all the processed foods on the market that are full of it. Did you know that the average person eats more than 115lbs of sugar a year?? Salad dressing, cereal, condiments...read your labels, it's in everything! (check out this site; http://www.sugarstacks.com/) The good news is, the longer you go without it, the less intense the cravings are and the easier it becomes to just say no.

Anytime you do a cleanse, your success really depends on being prepared. It's no different when you give up sugar. Since I already avoid processed foods, giving up sugar is relatively easy for me, but, if you normally consume a lot of processed/packaged foods, it may be a little harder. You really need to become good at reading labels, because sugar will disguise itself under many different names....but, if it ends in "-ose", there's a good chance it's sugar!

Follow these tips to beat your addiction:
  • eat foods in their most natural form
  • eat protein with every meal; and don't forget breakfast!
  • eat 6 small meals a day; this will keep your blood sugar stable and reduce cravings
  • opt for brown rice and WHOLE wheat breads (if it says enriched whole wheat, it's not whole!); they provide the benefits of carbohydrates without unbalancing your blood sugar
  • don't starve yourself; make sure you have lots of tasty, fresh food on hand for snacking (I rely on nuts and fruit, when I cut out sugar)
  • stay busy, get outside, be active!
  • learn how to bake sugar free; I like to avoid all sweet stuff for the first 5 days or so, then I will make something (like the energy balls posted below) to have as dessert.
  • drink lots of water
  • Prepare your meals ahead of time, plan for the week and shop for the week (which is a good idea anytime), so you don't find yourself stuck and grabbing something you shouldn't be eating.
  • and lastly, if you slip up; don't get down on yourself. Just keep moving forward from there. Remember, moderation is always the key, if you are having a really hard time getting away from sugar, maybe you need to ease into it rather than going cold turkey!

3 main reasons for cutting sugar out of your diet:
  1. Sugar increases fat storing.
  2. Sugar disrupts normal brain functioning.
  3. Sugar decreases your overall health and makes you age quicker.

So, give it a try....let me know how you feel! I'm a week in and I feel great!

In Good Health,

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