How to kick your Sugar Addiction to the Curb: 8 tips you can start using now

Eat a big breakfast: You’ve probably heard this a million times, and I’m going to say it again – DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST! This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. In order to “break the fast” and get your metabolism going, you must start the day by eating a healthy, hearty meal. Breakfast should not include refined grains or refined sugars. Instead, try my healthy green protein smoothie recipe with afinal product piece of 100% whole grain toast. This fills your body with the nutrients it needs and limits sugar cravings.

Avoid skipping meals– Skipping meals encourages binges (especially refined sugar binges) later in the day. If you know you have a busy day ahead of you, pack high protein snacks somewhere where you can easily access them throughout the day.

Eat enough nutrients– Whenever someone tells me they are always hungry – I first ask them what they have eaten that day. You may be eating all three of your meals, and getting plenty (if not too many) calories but still feel hungry. Refined grains or white carbs (white bread, most cereal, pasta, crackers, chips, candy etc.), tend to be low in nutrients and high in calories. If your diet is high in refined carbs, low in unrefined carbs and protein, your body may be nutritionally starved and will continue to tell you it’s hungry as it is seeking all of the nutrients that it is lacking. This tends to lead to sugar binges. Looking for nutritious recipes? Try this low-calorie spaghetti squash lasagna or chicken tortilla soup.

Drink more water – Up your intake of water to the correct amount and limit your consumption of soda and juices. Water also helps you feel full and allows your body to absorb nutrients. To figure out how many ounces of water you should drink each day, take your weight divided by two. Adjust your intake according to how active you are.

Indulge in moderation – There’s no harm in indulging every once in a while, just limit how often you indulge and always consume in moderation. Some will suggest to go cold turkey but I believe in creating a realistic diet that you can stick with for the rest of your life. Some may succeed with going cold turkey, while many others will rebel and binge after so much restriction. You will always be faced with temptation, so learning how to cope with those temptations are key. If you are craving sugar, try eating some fruit with some Ready-Whip Cream sprayed over the top. If that doesn’t curb the craving, eat a serving of the sweet and call it good.

stawberries

Don’t dwell on your mistakes – If you mess up and have a big sugar binge – don’t dwell on it! We all do it! The ones who have success are those who shake it off and try again. Go to sleep, wake up and start over. Don’t think you have to make-up for your binge by starving yourself the next day, instead continue with a normal, healthy routine.

Do not keep sweets in the house – Never have sweets at your disposure, instead, make them hard to access. Generally, you’ll start craving sweets in the late evenings while you’re sitting on the couch vegging out. Nobody wants to drive to the grocery store at that time. If you do have to have sweets in your house, distribute them into one serving containers…nothing makes you feel guiltier than sitting on the couch with four empty serving bags of sweets.

Get up and move – Sweets is one of the most overly abused “drugs” that arguably attributes to many depression cases while exercise is one of the most underused anti-depressant. Just going for a walk outside will lift your mood and help limit those cravings.

7 Insane (but true) things about Coffee

Did you have your cup of joe this morning? I sure did, and studies show that most of you probably did too. Coffee is the leading worldwide beverage after water. In fact, its trade is over $10 billion worldwide!!

For years, coffee has been blamed for many negative health risks – from stunting your growth to heart disease and even cancer. Current research is telling us much different. So, what’s the deal? Is this a healthy beverage choice? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Take a look at the research…

Note: My facts come from credible, peer-reviewed, sources. Don’t believe me? See my citations at the bottom of this blog.

coffee

7 things about coffee that you should know:

  1. Coffee may decrease overall mortality rates
  2. Coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease/cancer
  3. Coffee improves cognitive function and decreases the risk of depression
  4. Coffee consumption has been seen to increase work productivity
  5. High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) was associated with slightly higher levels of cholesterol.
  6. Some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. If you are someone who is greatly affected by caffeine and cannot sleep even after hours of drinking it, limit your coffee consumption!
  7. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee contain acids that can make heartburn worse

Other things to consider – what are you adding to your coffee? Many creamers and sweeteners are full of artificial ingredients and fats that are not beneficial to your diet. As always, consume in moderation.

Keep in mind that this research merely suggests that there are more benefits than risks with coffee. However, it has yet to prove that coffee is for sure the underlying factor for both the risks and benefits.

References

Butt, M. S., & Sultan, M. T. (2011). Coffee and its Consumption: Benefits and Risks. Critical Reviews In Food Science & Nutrition, 51(4), 363-373. oi:10.1080/10408390903586412

Clinical digest. People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may benefit from drinking more coffee. (2012). Nursing Standard, 26(30), 14-15.

Hensrud, Donald. (2014). Is Coffee Good or Bad for Me. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coffee-and-health/faq-20058339.

What’s Your Identity?

side crossIdentity has always been a touchy subject for me. Who am I? Where do I fit in? Am I loved? Do people like me for who I am? Why am I not more like this? Or why can’t I be more like that? These are just a few of the questions that haunted me regularly. I have always been a bit shy and reserved. Sharing my emotions or even just understanding my emotions has been very challenging. I grew up in a house where trust was broken. Masking your feelings, failures, and weaknesses were practiced daily. I believed that toughing out your problems on your own, made you strong and independent. I didn’t understand the beauty in weakness and vulnerability. I never let anybody in, but deep down, I longed for someone to show an interest in me, my pain, my struggles, and my needs. I so greatly desired to be pursued and emotionally attended to. I needed acceptance, not rejection. Have you ever felt this way? Are you feeling this way now? Here’s a little something that helped me…

bible verse“Identity is defined as who you are. It’s what makes you who you are; it’s what makes you unique.” I have lost my identity and I have been so desperately searching for one that I could place my happiness and self-worth in. During this time of confusion and desperation, I began basing my self-worth on the amount of friends I had, whether or not I felt people liked me. I also placed my self-worth on how successful I was in athletics, relationships, work, school, and life. My successes in life felt like nothing compared to my failures. I would never feel like I had enough friends, like I was truly liked by others. I would fail in athletics, I would fail in work, I would fail in school, I would fail in EVERYTHING. Yikes!!! But here’s the reality, I’m a failure. WE are failures. And that’s OK! Why? Because our identity does not rely on our successes and failures. Our identity is not found in earthly things. Our identity is not dependent on what people think or say about us. People may call you nerdy or weird, they may also call you pretty and athletic. You may be bullied, you may be admired and praised. But guess what, THAT DOESN’T MATTER! God says, these things are not who we are, it does not define our identity. The only One who gives us an identity and can tell us who we are, is God. He is our identity. We were made in HIS image. And He made us perfect in His eyes. Each part about you was so carefully and uniquely constructed, and with PURPOSE. There’s a reason why you were made the way you are. Embrace it, love it, and rejoice in it. You are LOVED. You are ACCEPTED. Praise God for making you in His image and sending His Son to save YOU so that in Him we can be new and we can have a TRUE identity, an identity that can never fail. We may fail, but God will not. Fix your eyes on God and you will find your true identity. Do not be afraid to face rejections on this earth, do not be afraid to let people in, and do not be afraid to fail. In our failures and in our rejections, we are reminded of our Creator and the success and acceptance we can find in Him. Take chances, go out, make friends, enjoy the many blessings God has given you, use your talents, love and be loved. When you face rejection and failure, turn to God. Be reminded of His grace and love. Be reminded that He created you in His image. He created you with purpose. He accepts you. You are loved.

bible

1 John 4:4-6

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

John 15: 4-5

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”