Sugar Cleanse :: What to do when cravings hit?

Greetings!

Yesterday’s healthy homework assignment is one my favorites – you were to make a list of sugar free treats to call upon when your life gets unbalanced and out of whack. In case you had a hard time finding ideas, use these healthy treats as inspiration!

tea-1090672_1280*Have a cup of luxurious herbal tea
*Eat a piece of fruit
*Have a glass of kombucha tea (make sure it has no added sugars)
*Have a green juice
*Eat a snack that includes healthy fats, like hummus and carrot sticks or an avocado sprinkled with sea salt
*Go for a short walk outside
*Hug a tree or just be in nature
*Watch a funny movie
*Do something creative – draw, knit, or even draw in an adult coloring book
*Meditate
*Do a quick yoga routine (there are tons on YouTube or come yoga with me)
*Drink a delicious smoothie
*Cuddle with your dog or cat

Homework for you:

Make a list of what you’re going to do when cravings hit. Yours might be completely different from mine, and that’s completely okay. Write the list down and hang it on your refrigerator for reference.

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Sugar Cleanse :: Decode your cravings

woman-2827304_1280I hope you’re feeling inspired to take on more healthy habits today!

What positive changes have you made so far? I’d love to hear about them.

Today, I’d like you to think about what drives your sugar cravings.

When I ask my clients this, top culprits include the hectic morning rush hour and looming afternoon deadlines, prompting sugary coffee drinks and spiraling blood sugar levels. Sugar has a temporary mood lifting effect on the brain, leading to a serious crash soon after. Not exactly the best situation when you’re stressed.

What else causes you to crave?

Aside from daily stress that spurs sugar cravings, I encourage you to consider how other components of your life may be affecting what you eat.

Think back to a time when you had just fell in love with someone. Your partner’s affection replaced sugar, making you feel satisfied and appreciated. Many people crave sweets when they are lacking supportive relationships. Take a look at the people you surround yourself with – is it time for a change?

I regularly tell my clients that while what is on their plate is important, healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your real hunger for life. When these areas of your life – your primary foods – are balanced, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Healthy you homework:

The next time you find yourself with a craving for sweets, focus on the root of these urges.

Look at these primary foods:
*Relationships
*Career
*Physical Activity
*Spirituality

Give each one a rating from 1-10 as you see them in your life right now (10 being satisfied and 1 being dissatisfied).

Be honest with yourself. It’s okay to be dissatisfied some some or all of your primary foods – you are now one step closer to deconstructing your cravings once and for all.

Now that you’ve taken some steps toward achieving life balance, consider other ways you can reward yourself. Make a list of sugar-free treats to call upon when your primary foods get unbalanced. We’ll be discussing this more tomorrow.


Sugar Cleanse :: More veggies please!

vegetables-1666632_1280Today’s topic is one of my favorites!

Vegetables are the most neglected foods in standard diets. When I ask my clients why that is, they usually recall memories of being forced to eat all of their mushy broccoli before being excused from dinner.

The truth is, vegetables are delicious and pack a serious number of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Best of all, naturally sweet vegetables can help you fight the urge for refined sugar. The natural sugars these vegetables contain stabilize blood sugar and reduce the need for added sweeteners.

Some of my favorite naturally sweet, delicious, nutrient-dense options are:

*Beets
*Sweet Potatoes
*Onions
*Carrots
*Winter squash (butternut, acorn, delicata, etc.)
*Turnips

Homework for your health:

Try to incorporate at least one sweet vegetable above into your diet every day. Sweet potatoes are my all time favorite sweet veggie. I have many sweet potato recipes on my web site.

Or, you can simply chop a bunch of sweet veggies in any combination you like, toss with some coconut oil and sea salt, and roast at 425 degrees into tender. Make a big batch of this on the weekend to snack on and incorporate into meals all week long!

Let me know what your favorite veggie is and how you like to cook it!


Sugar Cleanse :: Sleep, sleep, sleep

cat-1551783_1280Everyone knows that eating right and exercising are top priorities. Few people know that getting enough rest is just as important as meeting your vegetable requirement or hitting the gym or going to yoga.

Are you guilty of not dedicating enough time to relaxation?

I always talk with my clients that just as your body needs proper food and exercise, it also needs adequate time to rest and reboot. Consistent periods of rejuvenation help reduce long-term stress. When we’re not stress, we don’t crave sugary snacks.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Treat your body right and won’t have to battle cravings and an expanding waistline. The good news is your don’t have to give up your evening activities to squeeze in a few extra hours of refreshing shut eye. Focus on quality, not quantity.

Your healthy homework…

Your sleep requirements are as individual as your food requirements – depending on your day-to-day schedule you may need more or less.

Whether you require seven, eight or nine hours of sleep, these tips will help you maximize that precious time:
*Watching TV and surfing the web right before bed will leave you overstimulated and restless – so turn off your electronics at least one hour before and listen to soft music or meditate instead.
*Turn the lights, noise and heat down as you get ready to sleep. Light candles, turn off any noisy electronics and try to keep your room at a comfortable temperature.
*Late-night snacking (especially on junk foods) and caffeine before bed will keep you counting sheep into the early hours, so plan your last meal in advance. However, don’t go to bed on an empty stomach either – balance is key.

Remember – sleep well to be well!

I hope you’re enjoying the cleanse so far! Remember, I’m here for support – just contact me.


Sugar Cleanse :: Crowding out

Today is about making smarter choices about what you eat. Have you been successful so far in eliminating sugar? Let’s get to the root of your cravings for the sweet stuff.

Ask yourself these questions:
*Why do I always finish a meal with a sweet dessert?
*Why do I always put sugar in my coffee?

Many people list cravings, stress and hormones as the reason they carve sugar. What if you’re just hungry for more real food? Your body is designed to recognize and receive nourishment from things that grow in nature.

It may sound crazy, but in the time you’ll find that by incorporating more real, whole foods into your diet, you’ll automatically crowd out the need for sugar and other disease culprits – no deprivation here.

breakfast-1663295_1280Homework for your health:

Do you rush out of the house without breakfast and grab coffee on the go? Your body is hungry and expects fuel to start the day. Wake up 10-20 minutes earlier to prepare a balanced and nutritious breakfast.

Try these energy rich options:
*Oatmeal with chopped walnuts and sliced banana
*Chia pudding with fresh berries
*Sprouted wheat toast with avocado sprinkled with sea salt
*Smoothie with banana, frozen mango and spinach

At lunch and dinner:
*Order or prepare an extra portion of brightly colored vegetables with your meal
*Chew slowly and consciously, making sure to stop when you feel full and satisfied
*Still want that dessert? Sip on herbal tea to satisfy a sweet craving, or try a piece of fresh fruit.

Remember the concept of crowding out as you move forward. By simply eating more whole foods, you naturally reduce that amount of sugar-laden unhealthy items. I’ll be checking in with you on how your breakfast routine is going in a few days!


Sugar Cleanse :: Sugar clean out!

Time to get rid of sugary traps in your kitchen. A simple yet effective exercise is to clean out your kitchen pantry, fridge and freezer – starting today!

Go through all of your food, and toss or donate everything that contains sugar. Pay special attention to canned goods and packaged items, which are the worst offenders.

If you’re not sure it’s sugar, use this list of names to identify this elusive and addicting ingredient. It’s referred to in many different ways, but at the end of the day, it’s still sugar.

Sucrose
Cane sugar
Corn syrup
HFCS
Maltose
Raw Sugar
Turbinado Sugar
Brown Sugar
Confectioner’s Sugar

shelf-1285186_1280

Above: pantry of my dreams!

When I share this list with clients after doing a pantry clean out, I’m often asked “what’s left to eat?” The answer, is plenty. Next time you’re at the grocery store, choose whole, unprocessed foods free of lengthy nutrition labels. When was the last night you saw an ingredient list on a stalk of broccoli?

Go for these naturally sugar-free, delicious options:
fruits
vegetables
whole grains
nuts
seeds
beans

Remember, whole foods are what belong in your body. Keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with colorful, fresh, healthy food is a great beginning step. Set yourself up for success!


Sugar Cleanse :: Don’t be fake

supermarket-shelf-1094815_1280Ok, time for our lesson on artificial sweeteners such as NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet’n Low and Splenda. These artificial sweeteners have been approved by the FDA. And, according to the National Cancer Institute, there is no evidence that artificial sweetener on the market in the US are related to cancer risk in humans. However, numerous studies performed on laboratory rates have linked aspartame and saccharin to cancer.

There are the 5 major categories of artificial sweeteners that are approved by the FDA:
1. Aspartame – sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal
2. Saccharin – sold under the brand name Sweet’n Low
3. Sucralose – sold under the brand name Splenda
4. Acesulfame K – widely used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceutical products around the world
5. Neotame – used in diet soft drinks and low-calorie foods

The Center for Science and Public Interest cautions everyone to avoid aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame K because they are unsafe when consumed in large amount or are very poorly tested and not worth the risk. The CSPI lists neotame and sucralose as safe.

Aspartame is of major concern because it contains 3 well-recognized neurotoxins: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. The following symptoms have been associated with aspartame:
headaches
hearing loss
blurred vision
memory loss
anxiety
skin lesions
fatigue
chest pain
nausea
tinnitus
eye problems
hyperactivity
gastrointestinal disorders
muscle cramps
PMS
dizziness
insomnia
hallucinations
mild to suicidal depression
mood changes
seizures
joint pain
heart arrhythmia

Fortunately, most of the above symptoms are alleviates once aspartame is removed from your diet. These days, stevia-based sweeteners such as Truvia and PureVia have been showing up in sweetened products. Although stevia has not given officially approved by the FDA, it is allowed to be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement.

The use of artificial sweeteners is controversial, and the research can be conflicting. Here is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind with any kind of food additive – if your grandparents wouldn’t recognize it, it’s a harmful additive.

Homework for Health:

Go through your kitchen and find anything that is labeled “diet”, “low calorie” or “fat free.” See if you find any artificial sweeteners in those products.


Sugar Cleanse :: Let’s get sugar savvy

cereal-1444495_1280When you buy something that comes in a box, wrapper or any other kind of packaging, it most likely has sugar hidden in there somewhere. We’re now gonna figure out how to know what foods have sugar, and how much sugar those foods have. Yes, you’re going to turn into a label reader:)

If the first ingredient listed on a food product is sugar, beware! Put that item down, because that means that the product has more sugar in it than any other ingredient.

You know what would be simple? If you only had to contend with looking for one ingredient called “sugar.” But, sugar and sweeteners have many other names. Here is a list of the most common forms of sugars – the most refined are at the top of the list, the least processed are at the bottom.

High-fructose corn syrup
Dextrose
Glucose
Fructose
Stevia (not a sugar, but an herb)
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Sucrose
Molasses
Evaporated cane juice
Date sugar
Agave syrup
Brown rice syrup
Honey
*Rule of thumb – if an ingredient ends in “ose”, it’s a type of sugar.

Sugar is sugar, regardless of its form. Let’s try to limit our intake of sugar overall, and consider items with sugar as a treat. This does not include sugar from whole fruits! If you do choose to purchased packaged foods, choose ones with the least number of sugar ingredients and look for the most natural sources of sugar possible (honey, dates or maple syrup). These forms of sugars contain vitamins and minerals that help our bodies process them more effectively.

How do you know how much sugar is in your food?
Did you know that one teaspoon of sugar weights 4 grams? For example, if a soda contains 44 grams of sugar, its got 11 teaspoons of sugar. Still in the mood for that soda?

Homework for health:

Start reading labels to calculate the amount of sugar included. Give extra attention to so-called “healthy foods” like packaged yogurt, salad dressing and bottled drinks.


Sugar Cleanse :: How sugar affects your body and mind

Welcome to day 1 of your cleanse!

Yesterday, you set an intention for your own health, and I want to appreciate you for taking that first step.

Now, let’s talk about sugar. Sugar is an important fuel for your body. Unfortunately, too much sugar can be a problem, and may even be toxic. It’s related to diseases that dominate our today’s health crises such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. What most people don’t realize is that you can reverse those diseases through a change in diet.

sugar-1514247_640It’s important to be aware of added sugars and where they hide in food – this is something we’ll review in detail over the next few days. Eating excess sugar can lead to weight gain as our body store’s that extra sugar, and converts some of it to fat. Sugar has also been associated with concentration issues, brain fog, headaches and energy swings.

Finally, eating sugar releases chemicals in our brains that make us feel happy. However, once our body has processed the sugar, we’ll crave it again. If not kept in check, this can lead to overeating and binge eating. We’ll be tackling sugar cravings over the coming days.

Homework for health:

Do you have sugar cravings? When do you have them? What do you crave?


Sugar Cleanse :: Welcome!

Welcome to the sugar cleanse!

IMG_0068I’m so proud of you taking control of your health by committing to this sugar cleanse!

Get ready for a transformation of mind and body. Congratulations on giving yourself the gift of physical and mental clarity. I cannot wait for you to start tomorrow!

Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

1 – Please close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. Become aware of how your body feels in this moment. Visualize how you’ll feel after 10 days of cleanse eating. See yourself feeling lighter, brighter and ready to take on new challenges!

2 – Now write down your intentions for this cleanse. Refer to them frequently to remind yourself why you decided to reboot.

3 – Keep an open mind, remain conscious, and let this cleanse reveal your very best you!

Over the next 21 days, I’ll be bloggin daily with cleansing tips and a recommended plan for the day – read them thoroughly! I’m here to support you 100% along the way.

See you tomorrow!