This summer has been a sweet one so far. I’ve been settling into a sweet new community, studying with my teacher, spending time with wonderful friends, old and new. Oh yeah, I also got married to the love of my life! (Read to the bottom to see one of my wedding pictures, from my lovely friend Rebekah Boatrite!) I hope there are always causes for celebration in your life, and often times these celebratory events are invitations for cake, ice cream, sugary drinks and hangovers. I have a some ideas on why we crave sugar and what we can do to break through our sugar addictions and still enjoy life, which is just sweet enough, already.
#1. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Cravings almost always have a psychological component. By figuring out the underlying reason you’re reaching for an afternoon sugary snack, you can find balance and take charge of your health. When life itself becomes sweet, excess sugar isn’t needed! Spend time with good people. Cuddle with your dog. Tell your partner you love them. Call your mom. Check in and notice, do you still really want that second cookie?
#2 Try out different spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food and reduce cravings. Plus, it’ll deepen the flavors of your food and make cooking (and eating) way more fun.
#3. Eat more fat! We’ve been tricked for YEARS, thinking that “low fat” or “reduced fat” packaged snack foods would make us healthier. We now know the contrary. To make up for the lack of flavor and taste in these foods, they’re loaded with sugar. This will send you spiraling with sugar highs and lows, making your crave more. Instead, eat whole, non processed, tasty foods, that will keep you fuller, longer.
#4. Eat naturally sweet vegetables and fruit to crowd out your sugar cravings. I’m a huge fan of Nice Cream! All you have to do is blend frozen bananas in your favorite high powered blender. Add in a spoonful of almond butter and some cocao nibs and you’ve got yourself something way better than store bought ice cream, in my opinion.
#5. Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, like sugar, are the most readily-available source of energy for an exhausted body and mind. Many of us live in a chronic state of stress or sleep deprivation and your body will crave the quickest form of energy available. so, set yourself up in a restorative yoga pose, go to bed earlier, and don’t over book your schedule.
#6. Make sure you’re feeling fulfilled in all areas of your life. As I mentioned before, it’s not just the foods that we eat that make up our health, and positive relationships aren’t the only way to feel kindness and cheerfulness in your life. Check in with how you feel about your career, home environment, amount of physical activity your getting, education you’re receiving and even how you relate to spirituality. Filling your cup in all of these areas, can make your life sweeter and fuller.
And now….that photo I promised you.