Kicking the Sugar Habit November 30 2013

 

Have a sweet tooth?  You're not alone!  Tis the season for temptation and sweet treats are all around in the form of chocolate, pies, cookies and cocktails...   The holiday season is a time to celebrate & enjoy, and that means a little bit of indulging!   But don't let dietary indulgences wreck your health and immune system - enjoy in moderation, control your sugar intake, and sail through the season healthy and feeling great.

Why is sugar  - in particular - so hard on the body??   Read on!

1/ Sugar suppresses the immune system, making us less able to fight off cold and flu bugs

2/ Sugar stresses the adrenals, making us feel tired and lethargic

3/ Sugar can trigger headaches

4/ Sugar can worsen the symptoms of PMS, anxiety and depression

5/ Sugar contributes to mood swings and blood sugar & energetic instability

6/ Sugar exacerbates auto-immune conditions like arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

During the holidays - a time of heightened stress for many - don't stress your body even more by overloading it with sugar...  Here's a short list of either/ors to help you limit the most-damaging sweet stuff and replace it with the healthier choices.

- Choose a glass of bubbly or red wine over sugar-laden cocktails

- Choose mixed nuts over chocolates, candies and cookies at holiday events and parties

- Craving something warm & sweet while out shopping?  Skip the whipped cream-syrupy mocha-frappe-whatevers at Starbucks and choose herbal tea.  Need a caffeine kick with a bit of sweetness?  Try chai or earl grey tea with a teaspoon of stevia, a plant-based natural sugar substitute

- Choose a dense fruit such as apples or pears drizzled with a bit of honey over frosted cake or cupcakes

- Start the day off right and stabilize blood sugar with a breakfast of figs, raisins or dried apricots with granola, oatmeal or yogurt instead of packaged cereal products, pastries or sweet rolls.  Sate your sweet tooth with fresh-squeezed orange juice or half a grapefruit.

- Need a midday pick-me-up?  Trade the sugar-laden coffee drink or candy bar for some lean protein and healthy fat... a hard-boiled egg, half an avocado on a slice of toast, or almond butter on apple slices.

It's natural to indulge a bit more around the holidays, and a little bit won't derail your health or well-being.  Just practice moderation and balance your diet whenever you can.  If you're craving that pie for dessert, then skip the bread basket with dinner.  Indulge in an oven-fresh cinnamon roll for breakfast?  Enjoy a big leafy green salad with plenty of veggies for lunch....   Balance is the key to happy - and healthy! - holidays.