Just a reminder, I’m currently on my HONEYMOON! Living it up in Charleston! Today, you guys get to meet from one of my best friends. Kristen is a new healthy living blogger over at Parsley & Lace. Such a fun name, right?
We met back in college, when we were freshman, over 8 long years ago. If she looks a bit familiar, it’s because she is, in fact, a Thug. [Might as well get the embarrassing picture out of the way right away. Yes, that is my real hair. Allll of it.]
Kristen and I have had our fair share of crazy health issues. She is one of my go-to girls when I have a health question or just want to vent things. Plus, we just love talking healthy living. One day, mark my words, we will have a nutrition coaching/consulting business. You read it here first.
You all know I’ve done a few different sugar detox, including a couple to deal with candida issues. Kristen’s done a few as well and noticed such a difference when cutting it out. Cutting the sugar can be tough, so check out her tips below to slay the sugar dragon!
It’s everywhere. It’s in almost everything.
And it’s so, so bad for you.
I’m referring specifically to refined cane sugars (and even the artificial ones!), of course, not the natural sugars found in fruit. The other day, I went to Starbucks with a friend and considered getting an Oprah Chai Tea Latte. I’ve gotten them before and assumed it was probably a little healthier to get a tea than a frappucino. I asked the barista if she knew how much sugar was in it.
She scanned the mixture box, but it didn’t contain any information.I decided to pass on getting it. I looked it up online later that day, and it has 30 grams of sugar! I could hardly believe it. A drink that should largely consist of tea had more sugar than most candy bars!
And that’s only the beginning. When you journey down what I like to call the “sugar awareness” trail, you can’t help but be convinced that sugar is added to everything, likely for no other reason than its addictive qualities to get us to come back and buy more. Blood sugar spikes, insulin resistance, organ inflammation, obesity—the list goes on for the many diseases and health issues that excess amounts of refined sugar can contribute to.
Whether it’s a “normal” food with added sugar, or a sugary treat, you should be able to pass it up most of the time for the sake of your health. What I’ve discovered recently is that there are specific situations that trigger my sugar desire, and very easy ways to avoid these situations entirely.
So here are 4 ways to slay the sugar dragon:
1) Don’t use sugar to make yourself feel better.
This is by far the biggest reason I cave and eat a chocolate bar. When you are feeling emotionally unstable (or even hormonal!), your body starts to crave sugar. Sugar is an easy way to get a temporary “high” during a period of high stress, but the problem is that it really doesn’t do anything about the stress. It’s like throwing a bandaid over a broken finger. Sure, it might look like it’s all better, but you didn’t do anything to actually address the problem.
Emotional eating is a very difficult habit to break, but you have to start by telling yourself that everything is absolutely going to be okay in the end, and maybe follow that up with taking a long walk, chatting with a helpful friend, or treating yourself to a fun activity that doesn’t involve sugar. Recognize when you are stressed and take the reins from your emotions as quickly as possible.
2) Stay away from cookie isles, ice cream shops, bakeries, and more.
I can go days without eating sugar simply because it’s not even an option for me. If I don’t see it, then I’m not tempted to eat it. Of course, you have to master #1 first and not seek it out in your emotional state, but just try to minimize the situations in which you will have to confront sugar and deny it. The less you have to face temptation, the better.
3) Tell your friends and family (and coworkers!) that you don’t want to eat sugar.
What are you going to do when your supervisor brings in cookies? Or when everyone is celebrating a birthday and there’s a cake? Are you going to cave to the pressure, or are you going politely decline?
Take it from me – the worst example of caving to peer pressure in the world – and bring 2 or 3 healthy snacks to work every day. Bring a bunch of strawberries with a tiny bit of whip cream on top and eat that while everyone else eats the cake. And tell everyone ahead of time that you are restricting your dessert intake, and you simply will not be partaking in any cake eating from now on. Make them hold you accountable. I promise you that you’ll feel better when you stick to your goals, and you will feel compelled to stick to them once everyone knows what they are.
4) Define the terms under which you can eat sugar.
When you tell yourself that you can’t have something, you are much more likely to eat it. However, when you tell yourself you don’t want something in specific situations, you are far more likely to stick to your guns.
For instance, instead of saying I can’t eat sugar ever again, tell yourself (and everyone else) I don’t eat sugar at social functions, or I don’t eat sugar during the week, or I don’t eat more than one sugary treat a day. Define what your limits are, and let that define who you are. Take it one step further: I am not a person who eats sugar. Take ownership of your choice, whatever it may be, and don’t let it pass off as a passive/aggressive argument with yourself about not being able to do something.
I know these steps have helped me cut down my sugar intake by almost 75%, and I hope that they help you slay the sugar dragon in your life!
Have a beautiful existence,
Kristen, Parsley & Lace
Kristen Miller is an Instructional Designer by day, obsessive health advocate by…the rest of the hours in the day! After years of researching the food industry and health advice, Kristen decided to start her own blog, Parsley and Lace, where she shares what she’s learned in her own journey to health.
When she’s not working or writing, you can find her watching British television, reading mystery novels and young adult fiction, and hanging out with her husband, Jon, and two cats, Henry and Lucy.
Have you had success with slaying the sugar dragon? What are your tips and tricks?