Updated: May 25, 2021
My husband and I went to dinner with friends last week and I shared the betterhealthbybeth website with them. As they read the blog and talked about how I had given up sugar to heal my immune system they looked at me as if I had grown another head. "But you still eat cake, right?" . Nope. "What do you do about Ice Cream?" Don't eat it. So what do you do eat then?
That got me thinking about our culture. If you choose to eat a whole food diet, mostly plant based and stay away from processed sugars and foods, most people think you have joined a cult or something. And to be honest, not too long ago I was of the same mindset. You change your thoughts really quickly when your health and wellbeing are at stake.
Full disclosure, I do on occasion give in to temptation and have some ice cream, or a highly processed peanut butter cup. I ALWAYS feel horrible afterward and regret it. I realize every single time that I consume processed sugar how bad it is for me. I feel bloated, have increased mucous, and my joints ache. Sugar causes inflammation . It's that simple. And the majority of people in our world today are completely addicted to highly processed sugars and don't even realize that it is the root cause of many of their issues. Do you get tired in the middle of the day, have aching joints, digestion issues, skin issues? All of these things are a direct result of the inflammation caused by processed foods in general, and especially sugar.
Does this feel familiar to you at all? If so, I will share a few tips blow that helped me kick the addiction and a few tricks when I get that sweet craving. If you are of the mindset that everything in moderation is ok, then I applaud you, and I agree with you. For myself however, as I stated every time I use that approach I feel terrible afterward, so the times I choose to indulge are few.
Things you can do to ditch the sugar habit, reduce inflammation and feel better:
Eat lots and lots of vegetables. I know it sounds crazy, but being full makes it less likely for you to be tempted. Vegetables have a lot of bulk and take up a lot of room in your stomach. And they have amazing anti-inflammatory benefits.
It sounds cliché but, drink water like it is your job.
Get rid of anything sweet in your house. If it is in the house you will give in to temptation.
Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats. These will keep you full. Hunger is the enemy.
Ditch the artificial sweeteners , they are even worse! (Don't get me started)
Make the choice to stick with it. Nobody is going to hold you down and put sweets in your mouth. If you cave, it is a choice you made.
I've talked to several friends about my ditching the sweet stuff. Here are some of the responses I've gotten: I'm not strong enough to do that. There are too many temptations at work. I could never give up my flavored creamer in my coffee. And all of these things are true, if you choose to make them true. It is also true that if you make the choice to make a change and a commitment that you are going to do it for your overall wellness, you can overcome every obstacle . You are an amazing, strong, magical being and you can do anything! If you don't think you can do it alone, go to my main page and send me an e-mail or go to Instagram and DM me @betterhealthbybeth. I am ready to be your biggest cheerleader!
As I said, I'm human and I cave to the sweets monster sometimes. We all want a little treat every now and then. My two favorite all natural sweeteners are honey and pure maple syrup. While still a form of sugar they are both unprocessed and less likely to cause inflammation. Here are a few of my favorite craving busters.
Hot tea with honey
Dark organic chocolate. Splurge here, you want super dark, high quality chocolate. Remember this is a treat not an everyday thing, so spend the $4 on the good candy bar.
Melt dark organic chocolate and stir in with all natural peanut butter (only ingredient should be peanuts) and a little maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Spread it on some wax paper and chill. It makes the most amazing fudge.
Fresh fruit (when you are off the sugar fresh fruit tastes so sweet)
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