Breaking the Sugar Habit
|August 21, 2013||Filled under health, shaklee, Shaklee 180|
Do you need to break the sugar habit? Let me preface this post by raising my hand and saying YES! I am FAR from perfect when it comes to my eating habits, but I have made a lot of changes over the last couple of years and in my mind every small step is still a step in the right direction.
Here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have cravings for sweets, breads, baked good and snacks?
- Do you have mid-morning and/or afternoon slumps?
- Are you tired and irritable before lunch and/or dinner – especially if they are delayed?
- Are you frequently hungry between meals?
- Is there any diabetes in your family?
- Do you weigh more than you would like?
- Do you have frequent mood swings?
If you answered yes to any of the above – you could very well have a sugar addiction.
Here’s some interesting facts about sugar.
In 1900, we consumed about 10 pounds of sugar per capita per year.
In 1985, it was all the way up to 124 pounds per year.
And in 2000, it was 160 pounds per year!
Here are some of the dangers of sugar:
- Immune Dysfunction – sugar depletes vitamins and minerals essential for the immune system, slows white blood cells, and feeds Candida yeast (side note: did you know 80% of your immune system is in the gut?)
- Damaging effects on the brain – creates blood sugar swings resulting in fatigue, poor focus, poor attention span, irritability, and mood swings
- Aggravates Inflammation
- High insulin levels cause cancer cells to grow
- Dental decay
- Excessive weight gain
So, what can you do to help?
One of the biggest challenges of eating healthy is removing simple carbs, sugars and empty-calorie snacks from our diet. Chips, pasta, potatoes, rice, crackers….they are everywhere!
These foods are high-glycemic, which means they spike your blood sugar. Then, you crash an hour or so later creating cravings.
These cravings are not about will power!! They are all about metabolic imbalance that creates cravings for sugar and carbohydrate-laden snacks.
Now, I am not a medical professional. :) However, here are some ways that many people have successfully kicked that sugar habit and enjoyed healthy food again.
The ideal diet emphasizes fresh raw vegetables, some fresh fruit, fish and poultry.
Here are some great ideas of what a day could look like:
Breakfast – Include high protein foods
- Eggs, turkey sausage, Swiss oatmeal (rolled oats softened overnight in milk or plain yogurt, combined with fresh fruit like blueberries or strawberries, and almonds)
- or a protein shake (I love these and usually have one a day)
- or a protein meal bar (these are my favorite and have 10 grams of protein and are low-glycemic)
- Fresh fruit (avoid high glycemic fruits such as pineapple, bananas or grapes)
Lunch – A great time for a main dish salad
- Be sure to include lots of vegetables whether in a salad or with a plate of fresh veggies, maybe with a dip
- Ideas for salads – try a variety of at least 6 different ingredients to create color, crunch and flavor
*Lightly steamed green beans or asparagus, a variety of greens (except iceberg lettuce…no nutritional value there!), sprouts, red cabbage, green cabbage, peas, shredded carrots, chopped broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, baby bok choy, spinach, etc.
*Add a little sweetness occasionally with dried cranberries or dried cherries, 1 fresh orange (rind removed and chopped), sliced apples (or pear), grapes
*Add crunch with sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
*Add flavor with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs (watercress, parsley, cilantro) or pesto
*For protein, chopped cooked chicken, turkey, tuna, Garbanzo beans, chopped hard-boiled eggs, etc.
- or a protein shake
Dinner – avoid high glycemic starches like potatoes, rice and pasta. Avoid fried foods. Include LOTS of fresh or lightly steamed vegetables, meat, poultry or fish.
Evening Snack – avoid popcorn (it’s a high glycemic carb). Try nuts, veggies and dip, Shaklee 180 Snack Crisps
Beverages – filtered water in a pitcher with fresh mint, lemon or lime slices, cinnamon sticks, etc. for flavor
Supplementation is important, since it helps stops cravings for sweets and carbs
- Vita-Lea – Because, let’s be honest, most of us do not get all the nutrients we need from diet alone AND the American Medical Association recommends every adult take a multimineral/multivitamin supplements daily to prevent chronic diseases
- B-Complex - Because B vitamins support immune and brain health and help us fight food cravings AND most of us to do get enough B vitamins in our diet
- Probiotic – To get the harmful bacteria and yeast out of our intestines
- Metabolic Boost - Helps you retain normal blood sugar levels, which in turn helps keep your energy up and your metabolism going strong
To Detoxify Even Further
- Switch out your toxic cleaning products for ones that are safe. I recommend these kits to EVERYONE, because I use the products myself, it saves me money, and it works!
- Switch to a safer skin care line. I only the Enfuselle skin care system and it’s amazing!
Beyond anything else, be kind to yourself! These changes can’t all happen overnight. Take one step at a time and make a commitment to get yourself on the right path, so you can reclaim your energy and your health!