Craving sweets? Sit down and ask yourself- what sweetness is missing from my life?
Take if from me, emotional voids will never be filled with food.
Why is sugar so bad? Sugar is highly addictive- it can produce a massive release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain- which is much more than we would be exposed to in nature. Excess sugar has unique fat-promoting effects, it affects hormones and the brain, overloads your liver and reduces immune function. This is a BIG deal! In fact, there are studies that show eating sugar reduces your immune system function within 20 minutes of digesting it. Which means, we are more susceptible to colds and flus throughout the day.
Sugar can create and worsen autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, thyroid dysfunction, digestive issues, diabetes, ADHD and PMS symptoms. 1 in 3 people will have diabetes in the next 10 years! In addition, when we drink caffeine or abuse sugar, we force our adrenals to output cortisol we wouldn’t naturally produce. When we do this, it is like stealing from the piggy bank, we end up depleted and exhausted.
Some tips to get off sugar include reducing caffeine (I steer completely clear of caffeine), drink plenty of clean water, make sure you have a healthy ratio of fat-protein-carbs on your plate at each meal, seed grains such as quinoa and millet help balance blood sugar, get 8-10 hours of sleep a night, exercise to the point of energy- not exhaustion, be conscious and present at each snack or meal and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables!
Keep in mind, there are health reasons we may be drawn to caffeine and sweets- like blood sugar imbalances, adrenal dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, depression, pathogens and other chronic stress related conditions. There are MANY ways to get a sweet bite naturally while actually boosting your health:
Probably the most well-researched botanical product for blood sugar health is cinnamon. Cinnamon, whether in powder or oil form, seems to offer benefits for blood sugar health. As an essential oil, you have to use caution as it can be an irritant, but it can be used 1-2 drops in a capsule per day for blood sugar balance. In recipes, it can trick the taste buds into thinking a food is sweet! Tip: try mixing cinnamon with applesauce when you crave a sweet bite, or baked sweet potato with cinnamon and ghee.
Licorice has been proven to support the adrenals, improve headaches, anxiety, moodiness AND blood sugar control. Licorice drops can be found as a supplement in any health food store, or you can try a licorice tea. Tip: Licorice is not to be used for people with high blood pressure. Always follow the directions on the bottle for consumption.
If you are going to eat fruit, berries are a delicious low-glycemic option. I love eating berries raw, or drinking fruit infused water to feel satisfied- with mint leaves, lime leaves, lemon, lime, strawberry and berries frozen in ice cubes.
unsweetened coconut yogurt-
Fermented food can cure a sweet tooth, with healthy probiotics and a sour taste. Tip: I love making coconut yogurt at home, add some cinnamon and seed-granola on top, sugar-free and yummy!
Healthy fats keep us feeling full and satisfied. Coconut oil, coconut butter, avocado, eggs, ghee, nuts and seeds. Tip: Try adding avocado to your meals or when the sweet tooth hits, eat a few macadamia nuts with goji berries and watch the craving disappear.
I love organic caffeine-free herbal teas- licorice, chai, peppermint, chamomile, jasmine- on and on. Tea easily replaces unhealthy sugar-laden teas and lattes at the local coffee shop. Try a caffeine-free Organic Chai variety with a tablespoon of coconut oil, cinnamon and dash of coconut milk, sit down and relax.
Stevia is a ZERO on the glycemic index, while white processed sugar is 100 on the glycemic index. We want to avoid glycemic ups and downs and severe dips that steel our cortisol reserves and leave us exhausted, moody and desperate for more sugar. Steer toward sweet leaf- dark leafy stevia form, not processed! Visit Donna Gates website bodyecology.com for some tips on a healthy microbiome and organic stevia supplements.
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