Here’s habit 11 for 2022!!
How are your healthy habits going? I am hearing from so many of you that you are incorporating these into your life. My dream is that all of us are — because these habits are game changers for our health and wellness and living our highest and best self.
Remember, we all fall off the “healthy wagon.” It’s these habits and the Badass Healthy Women Method that makes it easy for us to get back on!
Let’s get going with Habit # 11: which takes us back to nourishing — and specifically how we can tame the “sugar monster!”
Did you grow up with sugary and carb treats like I did; a hostess cupcake drawer, McDonalds, and a nana that visited from Ireland with a suitcase of sweets!?
Not only are sugary treats everywhere but sugar sneaks into condiments, processed foods, and even some “healthy” drinks.
Cravings can make you feel really out-of-control. And — they fuel fire to or anxiety and stress. But really, they’re a message worth listening to. Here are the top reasons for food cravings, especially sugar, carbs, or fatty/salty food:
👉You’re tired and your body and brain are looking for energy.
👉Your blood sugar is low and your body and brain are looking for energy.
👉You have gut dysbiosis and those pesky little ‘bad bugs’ are making you crave sugar or carbs.
👉Your body is missing nutrients that lead to cravings (e.g. low magnesium makes you crave chocolate).
👉You’re experiencing emotional cravings due to stress, boredom, frustration, anger or sadness.
👉You’re just plain addicted to sugar or carbs because that’s how most of us were raised and you haven’t kicked the habit yet.
👉Your adrenal stress response needs some TLC – when it’s in overdrive or under-drive, your body craves sweets, carbs, fats, or salt – or all of the above – to sustain your stress response.
Food cravings are one of the easiest codes to crack. The following steps can get you there in less than a week. I’ve seen this SO many times and while it may seem daunting to take on your cravings at first, you’ll be amazed at how effective these tips are. And if a craving comes up and you cave, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a dose of self-love and just pick back up on your path to the “Healthy Wagon”. There’s no blame and no shame. Nobody’s perfect and that’s not even the goal. Life is a journey and the goal is to live the life you love and feel really good about it.
✅Know and manage your relationship with sugar
Did you grow up with sugar making you feel good?
Were you deprived of it?
Shamed by it?
✅Keep a daily meditation practice
- • Use this mantra: “I am — At Peace.”
✅Be aware of addiction and make it a healthy one.
Lots of times we give up an addiction (sugar) only to add another one. Crowd out the unhealthy additive foods (more on that — keep reading!).
✅Keep Your Blood Sugar Steady: Drink More Fluids. My top tips for kicking the cravings and overcoming sugar addiction below correspond with the causes above: Eat something with protein and fat if you’re craving sugar, for example, some almond butter on a slice of apple, a GF cracker, or a stalk of celery (add a pinch of sea salt to the latter for a yummy satisfying snack). Hit up the snack list. And DON’T GO HUNGRY!
Blood sugar balancing is a key to alleviating food cravings. Eat a healthy breakfast with good-quality protein every day. Eat only nutrient-rich foods, emphasizing proteins, high quality fats and vegetables. Sugar sends your body on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. The lows (hypoglycemia) trigger your brain, which depends on sugar for energy, to think you are in a state of emergency and causes your stress response to get activated full tilt boogie. Stable blood sugar = stable stress hormones, smoother emotions, less inflammation, no cravings, better sleep, and healthier weight.
✅Drink plenty of water to help you feel less tired and irritable when you’re coming off the sugar. This will make the process easier, and helps quell headaches and cravings. If you’re anxious and craving sugar, drink a cup of Sleepy Time or other relaxing herbal tea with chamomile in it.
✅Supplement Wisely Don’t Overly Restrict If you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, you will crave more and more food as your body tries to get the nutrition you are really craving. Taking a multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement can also provide missing ingredients for optimal health. Overly restricting foods and setting too many food rules actually makes your brain want to rebel and is more likely to make you crave and binge on the things you’re trying to avoid. Instead, try this: Reward and pamper yourself with two ounces of dark chocolate (72% or darker) if you’re really having a hard time. Don’t tolerate chocolate? Make a delicious smoothie.
✅Get Enough Sleep We need at least 7 hours each night which is essential for wellness. We can’t do without it. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to heal your gut – or anything else – without getting enough refreshing sleep, nightly. Why? For one, poor sleep upsets your cortisol rhythm, and leads to chronic inflammation, which affects your microbiome and gut lining health. It also makes you fatigued, so you have less control over your food choices, and it makes you crave sugar and starchy foods for energy, but these also damage the gut.
I know it’s easy to push ourselves to stay up late, even when we still have to get up early, sometimes even just to get some downtime to ourselves, but for the next few weeks, I am going to ask you to nurture your relationship with healthy sleep, and find healthy ways to carve out some downtime for yourself. Your entire being needs to know that you are not at a four-alarm fire!
Even 3 minutes of mindfulness meditation twice daily can calm your nervous system, help your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) return to normal, and transform your life.
✅Relax – REST: Take a 5 minute siesta or shavasana. Get a crystal heated pad and make a resting space for you
✅Find ways to feel full other than food. Feelings of emptiness, sadness, loneliness or boredom can activate our stress response and trigger hormones and chemicals in our brains that stimulate cravings — a need to fill ourselves. Also, sugar-laden and carbohydrate-rich foods can give us the same feeling of calm that certain drugs can ” us when we are in a stress response, calming the anxiety that arises when we feel fight-or-flight feelings, or depression, these are what we tend to crave when we feel empty emotionally.
Tending and mending the broken parts of us is a step toward becoming whole and healthy. Herbal medicines called adaptogens, like ashwagandha, holy basil, and reishi mushrooms are especially helpful for restoring adrenal health, healing burn out, regulating blood sugar, and nourishing the immune system. They can also help with “brain fog” and memory problems that also accompany stress, fatigue, and sugar cravings, and they boost mood naturally. They are safe except if you are pregnant, on SSRI antidepressants, or medications for your immune system.
✅CROWD OUT the sugary foods with foods and drinks that are delicious and nourishing to your mind and body. Here’s some of my favorites — reach out to me because I have LOTs more:
👉Balanced meals and snacks
👉Water — flavored too
👉Rituals — new ones; meditations, yoga stretches, morning tea….
Believe me — if I can tame the “Sugar Monster” than anyone can!!!
If you want more on how you can detox from sug 5 Day Sugar Detox, reach out!