Let’s look at the reactions when using drugs:
- Artificial highs
- Mood swings
- Energy crashes
- Withdrawal symptoms like headaches, brain fog & anxiety
Interestingly enough these are the same reactions we experience with sugar. It makes sense why many people are calling refined sugar a drug. Nearly everyone experiences a craving for sugar- you’re not alone! Most people are frustrated and annoyed by this craving.
The true meaning behind this craving is actually the body’s way of asking for energy, and that isn’t a bad thing.
How Cravings Begin
When sugar is digested it becomes glucose. Glucose is the fuel for our body’s cells. Depending on the type of sugar we eat, it will enter the blood stream and be converted at different rates.
Processed foods, which come across many of our plates, are simple carbohydrates that usually contain refined sugar. This type of sugar bursts into the bloodstream very quickly which causes a rapid rise in glucose, AKA a sugar rush, which is always followed by a crash.
Our bodies are smart and want to remain balanced at all times. After you eat a sweet treat, you’ll find yourself hungry and low on energy again pretty quickly because blood sugar drops after it gets a quick burst of energy from having processed something very sweet. Once your energy dips low, then the sugar craving begins again because your body thinks it needs more energy. A vicious little cycle!
How Our Ancestors’ Dealt with a Sweet Tooth
As human beings, we have been craving sweet-tasting food for millions of years. Back in the day we satisfied our need for sweet with what was available: squash, tubers, roots, grains and fruits. Our ancestors simply ate whole foods they found in nature during each harvest season. Now we’re onto something! We weren’t meant to be eating lots of highly processed, sugary foods like many of us do today. Read this article for more ideas on how seasonal eating with whole foods can prepare your body for fall and help it to be in harmony with nature’s cycles.
Kick Your Habit!
If you’re ready to kick your habit to the curb, here are my top tips to eliminate sugar cravings and end the battle for good:
- Incorporate fermented food & beverages daily: I love organic, unpasteurized, raw sauerkraut for lunch every day. The sour taste instantly decreases sugar cravings. Additionally, foods such as live fermented kefir, kim-chi, kombucha tea, and coconut kefir are amazing for your digestion and skin. Learn how to make your own fermented foods on this video.
- Introducing the amazing Stevia!: An all-natural sweetener, has zero calories, does not raise blood sugar levels and is 300 times sweeter than sugar…stevia is great to sweeten lemon water, smoothies, teas and baked goods. The liquid brands tend not to have a bitter after taste and come in flavors like chocolate and vanilla for lots of safe sweetening options.
- Give your sugar-filled beverages a healthy makeover: Are you a daily chai latte, sugar-filled coffee, soda or fruit juice drinker? Here’s a great reason to make the switch to healthier drinks: Sugar wreaks havoc on collagen and directly effects the fibers in the skin thereby causing wrinkles! So yes, the chai latte you order from that cozy cafe’ may be giving you more wrinkles because almost all of them are made with a highly sweetened concentrate. That’s pretty motivating right?
Making the switch:
- Chai Latte: Ask for a chai tea bag to be steamed/warmed hemp or coconut milk for creaminess, then sweeten with stevia.
- Coffee: If you are used to dumping lots of sugar in your coffee, replace it with just a touch of stevia.
- Soda: Make a natural version without the sugar concentrates or scary chemicals by mixing seltzer, unsweetened cranberry juice and several drops of stevia in with lemon or vanilla extract. You can also try the refreshing spritzer recipe I made just for Green Beauty Team.
- Juice: Surprisingly juice is often way too overdosed with sugar. Depending on the brand it could be spiked with extra added sugar too! Instead drink juices with mostly greens and sweeten with carrots or beets.
- Drink that water: If you want beautiful glowing skin on top of dropping your sugar habit, drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. If you need some help with that goal, find a water buddy at work and refill each other’s cups throughout the day. Add stevia and fresh squeezed lemon, raspberries or cucumber and mint to increase water excitement.
- Get your greens on: Filled with vitamins, nutrients and minerals, leafy greens are your best friend when it comes to keeping cravings under control. If your body has green goodness flowing through via green smoothies, green juices and raw or lightly steamed veggies dishes, the cravings will no longer have a place in your life.
- Boost you serotonin: This is your “happiness” hormone and we love when this is surging through our bodies. Increase it with a natural low glycemic diet, daily exercise and restful sleep of 7.5-9 hours and watch the sugar cravings decrease.
Incorporate these tips to stabilize your sugar cravings and reveal a much healthier and glowing version of yourself.