Since I am a Holistic Health Coach and Natural Foods Chef, I eat well. As a family, we eat tons of green vegetables, a variety of grains, and organic proteins. In general, our meals would be considered "healthy" and well balanced.
Lately, I have been pretty out of balance. I'm not one to have a crazy sweet tooth. I do enjoy dark chocolate and I can definitely get into a delicious pastry or home made cookie. But I was never a person who ate sweets daily. (I would much rather eat a block of cheese...) However (!) since Phoenix was born, I am constantly craving sugar. It began as something to do. We would leave the house for a walk and I would stop to get a coffee. Cookie? Sure. Maybe a croissant the next day. This became a regular thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about over eating, like a box of Oreo's. No, just the simple fact that I am consuming a sweet daily. And then maybe having a few (read: a lot) dark chocolate covered almonds in the evening. Once you have one, it's a slippery slope friends. I would end the day with a stomach ache and a sugar hang over.
Recently, I became really aware of my sugar addiction when I grabbed some of those delicious almonds before breakfast. This is too much, I thought. I decided to evaluate where this intense craving was coming from. When I examined the whole thing, it was so obvious. I am looking for that sugary buzz. And it makes sense that it correlates with becoming a new mom. I'm always needing that extra little jolt. What's even more interesting is that I try to keep my caffeine intake pretty moderate. I noticed that P doesn't do great when I have too much (neither do I) so I limit it to a cup of tea in the morning and usually a coffee in the afternoon. This way the coffee is also part of our daily walk. It's a little ritual. We walk to the coffee shop and then the park.
So what to do?
Well, I know myself and I am aware that I do not thrive on very restrictive diet plans. I'm not one to eliminate anything in my life. I definitely subscribe to "everything in moderation." Also, I am not eliminating all sugar forming foods such as bread, grains, fruit, etc. There are many levels of sugar elimination. For the sake of my sanity, I am just eliminating actual white sugar at this point. So, I have decided on this plan for myself:
- Increase protein - It's obvious that my body is pleading for more energy. One way to supplement that is to increase my protein. It's easy for me to forget to eat enough meat and we limit our soy intake so I have to make sure I'm eating enough daily. This also includes eggs, grains, beans, dairy, nuts, and vegetables.
- Increase leafy greens - I already eat tons of greens on a daily basis and we always have kale in the fridge. However, since green vegetables have an alkalizing affect on our bodies (sugar is acidifying) I will be trying to combat the damage I have done to my cells over these past few weeks.
- Have fruit on hand - This may seem counterintuitive but it's hard to kick sugar! I love all fruit and it's much healthier to have a whole piece of fruit, with all it's own fiber and vitamins, rather than juice. The more you replace your sugar cravings with naturally sweet foods, they less you will crave white sugar. Really!
- Drink even more water - I already have to drink a ton since I'm nursing but I'm challenging myself to drink even more. When I was pregnant, I would refill my water class whenever I finished one, so it was always there to remind me. I am getting back into that habit.
- Have snacks with me when going out - It's easy to be tempted to buy something at the coffee shop when I'm starving. It's important to have high protein snacks with me to have with my coffee.
So there you have it. I am already on day two of no sugar and it feels good. Last night I had an orange when my late night craving hit and it felt much lighter. Since I am holding myself accountable by posting this online, I will be writing an update as I make progress.
Do any of you have a sugar addiction? Are you thinking of curbing your cravings? Want to join me?!