Let’s face it. The Sugar Season has officially started and wherever you are, after Halloween last night, you’ve probably got a bowl of candy staring you down.
It likely took a lot of your willpower to not eat your kiddo’s Halloween stash or the Reese’s Cups, Kit Kat and Butterfingers you had left in your bowl after the final Trick-or-Treater stepped off your porch or to be able to walk right past the bowl with the candy one of your co-workers decided to bring to the office this morning to avoid eating it herself!
We get it. As recovering sugar addicts who pretty much had a constant supply of sugar in one form or another, we know it’s tough to break the addiction. And often it is an addiction. Sugar actually lights up the same part in the brain in scans that cocaine lights up. It really does give you a ‘high’ and keep you reaching for more so don't be too hard on yourself if you find that you struggle with sugar. You are not alone.
So what’s a gal to do?
First things first. NOTICE if sugar is an issue for you; NAME it for what it is - a challenge, a struggle, an addiction; and then DECIDE if you want to be more intentional about how much sugar you consume.
You may be thinking, ‘Well, that’s all fine and good for you because sugar’s not a challenge for you anymore.’
I’ll give you the inside scoop: It’s still hard some days.
While Jill and I have made the decision to be more intentional about not going crazy eating sugar, some days we have to be more conscientious than other days and it doesn’t always go like we wanted it to.
So is it easy for us? No, but it has gotten easier over the years because of the choices we’ve been making and continue to make about how to nourish ourselves both on our plates and in our lives.
The good news is we no longer sit down and eat spoonsful of sugar right out of a sugar bowl! (Just another thing we found we had in common when we learned more about each other’s stories!)
If you’re really serious about calming your sugar cravings and (re)learning a different way of nourishing yourself, join us in our 14-Day Winter Reset that begins on January 13. You’ll be amazed by how quickly your cravings will lessen and even disappear when you follow the beautiful self-care plan we’ve strategically designed for you.
For today though, here are a few simple tips for navigating the Sugar Season more intentionally:
Drink water. Lots of water - at least 1/2 your ideal body weight in ounces each day and drink it from a glass or water bottle you really love. If you already do this and you want to take it up a notch, add in about 1/8 of a teaspoon (or a good-sized-sprinkle) of unrefined sea salt to each glass or bottle once a day. Your body will love the trace minerals and over time they can help with sugar cravings.
Create space. Either move the bowl of candy or move yourself. It’s proven that we have a limited amount of willpower each day and we chip away at it every time we need to tap into it. Don’t put yourself in an impossible situation just to prove something to yourself or to anyone else…or to not make others feel bad about their choices. No judgment. You take care of yourself. That may mean tossing the candy after a few pieces have been enjoyed or taking a different route to your desk to avoid the cookies each day.
Eat in a rhythm. If you’ve been in the Reset you’ve already experienced how eating in a rhythm of 3 meals each day makes a huge difference when it comes to sugar cravings. Instead of skipping meals to save up calories for later or to make-up for eating so much candy corn, eat a healthy breakfast, lunch an dinner. Weight loss is not about calories as much as it’s about creating what we call Hormonal Harmony and one way to do that is to keep your blood sugar and insulin steady by eating three nourishing meals a day.
Eat more fat. Friendly Fat that is. Avocados and avocado oil. Olives and olive oil. Coconut oil. Raw nuts and seeds. Grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry and wild fish. Full-fat dairy. Yes, eat more butter. There we said it. Not only will you lose weight if that’s a goal, you’ll be less anxious, have fewer cravings and experience better energy. There are more benefits, but those are a good start, don’t you think? Jill and I eat lots and lots of Friendly Fat with every meal and it’s made a world of difference in our sugar cravings. Plus it’s fun to see women’s faces when they see us eating so much healthy fat.
Play more. Doing fun things in your life amps up the sweetness of your life. While sugar cravings and addiction are fueled by four different causes that we teach about in our programs, one thing that’s often true is that when you are craving sugar in your life, it’s often because you’re not allowing yourself to experience enough pleasure - both with food and in other ways. And what’s really cool is that there’s actually psychology + science to support the power of pleasure in our lives when it comes to our health.
Sleep a little more. Okay, you probably need to sleep a lot more. When you don’t get enough sleep - like 7-8+ hours, especially between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. - you will crave the quick-burning fuel of sugar and you will have much less willpower because you didn’t sleep enough to ‘restock and restore’. Again, there’s science behind this. It can be challenging but start by backing up your bedtime by 15 minutes each week until you’re snoozing by about 10 p.m.
Take one day at a time. Our brains don't really like all-or-nothing decisions to do or not do something. You can however trick (and treat!) your brain by saying, “Today I’m going to skip the candy.” or “Tonight I’m going to drink tea instead of wine.” or “This morning I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast.” Take one day - or sometimes in the beginning of change - one minute or one hour at a time. Your brain can do that which means you can do that. No grand forever-and-always commitments necessary.
There’s always more to share about how to be in charge of your sugar intake instead of having the sugar cravings control you, but honestly, starting with any of these tips above will be helpful if you’re consistent about it. Promise.
And, because we too like to enjoy some sweet treats, we’re sharing one of our faves with you here. Do yourself a favor though. Use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford and when you go to eat one, put it on a pretty plate. Sit down and take a deep breath. Notice the color and the texture and the scent. Savor it. Let the whole experience be a sweet one for you. xo Angelle
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tin with liners.
Combine all the ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.
Pour or scoop batter into muffin tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is firm.
Top with lots of grass-fed butter and savor.