5 Ways to Overcome Your Sugar Cravings

Getting in control of your sugar cravings will lead to plenty of improvements to your health during this holiday season. Overcoming your sugar cravings will:

  • strengthen your immune system
  • boost your energy
  • improve your mood
  • enhance your sleep quality
  • help clear up skin irritations (acne, breakouts, eczema, psoriasis)

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The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is hands down, the most challenging to resist sugar temptations. It only takes on bite to trigger your sweet tooth and then it is a downhill slope from there.  Next, we begin to make the excuse ” I will get back on track in January.” Sound familiar?

So how can you get your sugar cravings back in control?

1. Eat a protein-based breakfast- starting your day with a carbohydrate based breakfast (Cereal, toast, bagels, juice) is going to trigger your sweet tooth. You are also depriving your body and your mind much needed nutrients to stabilize your energy. Here is a video of a great protein-based breakfast (good for both men and women, just adjust quantities): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuH71rDeMB0

2. Set a Goal- if you are trying to change an unfavorable habit, it is essential to set goals. An affective goal should be challenging and quantitative. For example: “My goal is to eliminate sugar from my diet for 14 days.” Write your goal down in places that you will see it every day. Share your goal with at least 2 people.

3. Clean out your home– When there are candy bars, chocolate, ice cream or cookies in your home, it becomes much more difficult to resist. Remember that the choices you make in the grocery store affect how you eat at home. Don’t wait until your chocolate stash is finished, go ahead and toss it out now!

4. Sugar replacements– If you still want a sweet taste without the addictive qualities of sugar, choose a natural sugar alternative like Stevia or Xylitol. These sweeteners come from natural sources, they do not affect the blood sugar, and have no carcinogenic effects.

5. Pack a snack– Make sure to always have a snack handy. Waiting more than 4 hours to eat is a poor decision if you tend to have sugar cravings. When we wait too long to eat, our blood sugar levels drop and we crave sugar to get it back up.  Eating a quality snack will help stabilize the blood sugar as opposed to causing a blood sugar spike.                     Click here for examples of quality snack options 

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Spaghetti Squash With Garlic and Butter Sauce

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite winter dishes. It is a great gluten-free alternative to regular or whole wheat pasta. Unlike pasta, spaghetti squash is considered a “whole food,” that means that it is unprocessed, more easily digested, and still has all of it’s nutrients.  One other benefit to spaghetti squash is that it is significantly lower in carbohydrates than pasta.

Here is a simple spaghetti squash recipe for you to try. There are some additional suggestions for recipe variations below.

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash
  • 1.5 Tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)

Directions for Roasted Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half (long-way from top to bottom) and scrape out the seeds.
  3. In a large glass baking dish, pour enough water to cover the bottom of the dish until there as ¼ or ½ inch of water.
  4. Place spaghetti squash halves face down in the dish and cover with tin foil.
  5. Bake in the over for 35-45 minutes– until the squash is easy to grate with a fork.
  6. Run a fork down the squash to create “spaghetti-like” strings.

Saute

  1. In a medium pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add roasted spaghetti squash to the pan and mix until well-incorporated and heated through. Season with salt and pepper (and optional chili flakes)

Serves 2-3

Chef recommendations

  • Plate the spaghetti squash sauté and add a piece of Wild Tilapia or Grilled chicken
  • Option to add Italian spices like oregano, basil and/or thyme
  • Add a homemade pesto or tomato sauce to the Spaghetti squash

6 Simple Detox Tools To Incorporate Everyday

When the body is alkaline, it is capable of eliminating toxins and your cells can absorb all the nutrients that you intake through a healthy diet. On the contrary, when the body is acidic, it becomes inflamed and your cells become malnourished.  Here are some tools to create a more alkaline environment in your body so that you can detox effectively.

Lemon slice

1. Water with lemon juice– first thing in the morning, squeeze the juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon into 6 oz of filtered water.

2. Incorporate leafy greens into at least 2 meals each day.

3. Deep breathing– Stress is acidic and causes inflammation in the body. Whether you are at your desk or in your car, there is always time to take some deep breaths. Set an alarm to remind you to take 5 deep-belly breaths at least twice per day.

4. Moderate exercise- Sweating is essential for detox. However, if you are feeling run down and tired, high intensity workouts can be stressful on the body. Choose exercise that is appropriate for your energy levels. A 30- minute walk may be better than a 30 minute run if your body is already run down.

5. Positive Self-Talk- thoughts can be toxic or they can be healing. Imagine how you feel when you are really angry and what that does to the body. Now imagine what happens when you are feeling loved and cared for. Negative self-talk is counter-productive when it comes to alkalinizing and detoxing the body. Become aware of your self talk. Find a way to turn the negative into positive.

6. Chew your food! If our food is not digested properly, acid waste particles enter the blood stream. The body perceives these acid waste particles as invaders and starts to attack. Our body starts to produce more cortisol, cholesterol and thyroid hormones to get rid of the “invader.” Chew at least 10 times per bite (the ideal is 30 but that is a little unrealistic).

Your ideal alkaline-acid balance is 75% alkaline and 25% acidic. We want to be consuming more alkaline food than acidic foods. Remember that nutrition is only one portion of health. Our minds are just as powerful as the food that we put into our body. Focusing on food and exercise are only 2 pieces of the puzzle.

If you live in San Diego and would like to find out more about how to alkalinize/ detoxify your body. Please contact me for a nutrition consultation.