If you want to do your body, brain and health one favour in 2015 it would be to cut out sugar.
Sugar dictates your mood and behaviour through the powerful effect it exerts on receptors in our brains and by wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, which may result in diabetes. Sugar adds extra calories to our diet causing us to gain weight as the excess sugar is processed by our livers into fat. Excess sugar in the bloodstream damages the tiny arteries and capillaries of our cardiovascular system causing cholesterol to be laid down as our body attempts to repair the damage and this can result in blocked arteries and puts us at risk of a stroke as we age.
The problem we have is that sugar appears everywhere in the grocery store. It is not just in the obvious places like candy, soda, cakes, pastries and the infamous breakfast cereal aisle, but pasta sauces, stir-fry sauce sachets and jars, processed meats, canned soups, condiments and salad dressings and all refined ‘white’ grains metabolize to sugar. Remember, alcohol also metabolizes to glucose in the body and that ‘venti skinny latte’ contains the equivalent of 7 cubes of sugar in lactose (milk sugar) alone!
Step 1. Educate yourself on the effects of sugar in the body.
Try this informative video on the effects of sugar on the brain.
Or this scary video describing the effects of sugar on your liver and the prevalence of fatty liver disease.
Step 2. Set yourself the goal of removing sugar from the diet and get vigilant checking the labels on all the products your buy from the store. Notice at what time of day your body craves sugar and form strategies that will help you. All this information gathering helps to ensure your success.
Step 3. Form a list of targets that will help a mother out! For example: eat a healthy breakfast to ward off morning munchies and carry herbal tea or a baggy containing a sugar free snack, such as a handful of raw nuts, for the mid afternoon energy slump. Get a full 8 hours of sleep as the body craves short bursts of energy from sugar when it is exhausted. The most restful hours of sleep for your body are before midnight so giving up sugar might also mean climbing into bed before 10pm for the first week or two!
I always aim to get more sleep, carry liquorice tea in my handbag for the warm sweetness with out the sugar and I avoid caffeine, as for my brain caffeine = sugar craving, when I am training my body to go without sugar.
Step 4. Help your body out by introducing more plant based nutrient dense foods into your diet. Eat more leafy greens, try to have a salad daily. Add in protein by eating eggs for breakfast or enriching a smoothie with the super food spirulina. Embrace healthy fats. add coconut oil to a morning porridge for or smoothie for satiety, whisk up a salad dressing from scratch using olive, walnut or flax seed oil to add long lasting energy to those leafy greens and make raw nuts rather than candy your snack of choice. Drink plenty of plain water to ease your liver through the changes and be gentle on yourself when your brain and body rebel against your good intentions and a craving kicks in.
Step 5. I will say it again! Be gentle on yourself. This is not an all or nothing last ditch attempt to cut out sugar but an ongoing series of baby steps towards a more healthy lifestyle. Just use 2015 to make it your intention to consume less sugar and then everyday you are successful produces a better day for your health and falling off the wagon with a cronut or coffee crisp does not mean failure. In the words of little orphan Annie, “I love ya tomorrow” because there will always be another day to pick yourself up and give it another shot.
Reducing sugar in the diet is the best break-up story for your health and with a little planning and by being mindful of how sugar is dictating the highs and lows of your day, you too can experience the steady energy and increased calm of a life led by you without sugar.
Legal Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from your family practitioner, specialist or medical doctor. The recipes advice and articles consist of nutritional and lifestyle advice as the sharing of information to support a healthier body.