Ever wish you were the kid picked to visit the chocolate factory in the Willy Wonka stories? Ever make up ridiculous fantasies in your mind about larger-than-life candylands? Yeah…me neither…. 😉 But if you did, or still do, this post is for you. First, a video titled “I want candy”
So, basically, this post is the summation of my whole blogging purpose. GET OFF SUGAR. Do it now! Don’t wait until you have diabetes, arthritis, obesity, depression. Of course, if it were easy, I wouldn’t have a blog, a job, or half of the life experiences I have been blessed with. I suppose being human means that some things are not easy.
I’ll be honest. I am not 100% off white, but I am about 90% off white sugar, 100% off white flour (90% off wheat altogether) and 100% off milk, cheese and yogurt. I feel a lot better, have less sugar craving, and I poop regularly. Seriously, being chronically constipated and ‘full’ all the time was a MAJOR side effect of eating too much sugar and dairy.
So, if you want to get off sugar, here’s what I suggest:
1. Find your willingness. Before you do anything with your diet or lifestyle, you have to find that strong desire for something different. What are you willing to change about your diet? Are you willing to stop drinking soda altogether? Are you willing to have fruits or pass altogether on dessert? Are you willing to spend 3-4x as much for unrefined grains/flours/sweeteners so that you can feel better.
No question is more important than the question of your willingness. On a 1-10 scale, how willing are you to do what it takes to get off sugar. Don’t be upset if its not a 10. Rarely is a sugar addict stoked about this process. But, look for what you ARE an 10 on. For instance, I was a “10” in a willingness scale to give up all candy on Feb 28, 2004 (first day of lent – I quit candy and never looked back), but about a 3-4 to give up hot chocolate. So, now I just make healthier hot chocolate and that helps. You have to start where you are and continue checking in with that willingness.
Let’s say you’re willing and ready. Next steps;
- Give yourself a 3-7 day detox period. If you want to do a colon cleanse, that can go on for longer, but clean up your diet for a few days. For me, this means none of the following: wheat, corn, dairy, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, sugar, fake fats, artificial sweeteners. You will be instead eating TONS of veggies, fruits, lean meats, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, whole grains like brown rice, etc.
- After your detox phase you might crave sugar a lot less already. This is good. Start drinking lots of water. Flush out all the “junk” and cell “memory” of wanting sugar. Your body remembers what you’ve always done and its used to it. If you drank a lot of sugar in soda or beverages, replace the habit with water. Just do your best. Get support if you need it (or start a blog to blab about it, like I do!)
- Eat protein at every meal. Vegetarians won’t like me much because I advocate more meat consumption for those kicking sugar than some people might be comfortable with. The reason is that lean protein, esp animal protein, helps stabalize blood sugar, which is KEY in kicking sugar. Also, if you use high quality meats, then you are getting B vitamins, healthy fats, iron, as well as protein. You can certainly eat things like beans, tofu, lentils and nuts, but I find carb-based proteins to “confusing” for my body at first.
- Balance that carnage with a boatload of green veggies. You just can’t have too many. Eat 1-3 cups of green veggies/day, cooked or uncooked. Suggestions are: mixed green salads, adding spinach to omelets, steamed asparagus, soups with zucchini, leeks, bell peppers, collards/kale, snap peas, etc.
- Express your feelings. So much of our desire for sugar is to taste the “sweetness” of life. What are you really craving? Write about it, talk about it, go for a walk or jog to blow off steam. Whatever you do, get your voice and your ideas heard.
- Get rid of all the white stuff in the house. Its a conflict to your mind when you are saying “no” and you still have white sugar/flour. Maybe for a while you keep none in the house. If you must bake or cook with sugar/flour, use sucanat, agave nectar, molasses or stevia. Use whole wheat flour (less ideal, but okay), spelt flour, oat flour, or get to know gluten-free flours. check out www.glutenfreegirl.com if you want some good gluten-free baking recipes.
- Cleanse your liver. Start a practice of hot water with lemon in the morning. This will help “lube the tube” as well as detox the liver. If you have a long history of processed foods, your liver needs a break. Other liver cleansers include: stinging nettle tea, green culinary herbs, asparagus and milk thistle. Bitter veggies also cleanse the liver.
- Educate yourself about reading labels and finding healthier alternatives to the foods you used to eat. Some things can be modified to have less sugar, such as baked goods and cereals. Other things, like marshmallows or store-bought cookies, are pretty much not and option if you want kick sugar. You might have to pick and choose what its important to you and then let the rest go.
- Find out if you have any food allergies. My sugar obsession was made worse by my dairy/soy allergy. I had no idea until I was tested. I think I mentioned this before, but check out Diagnostech if you want to do some testing.
- Take it day by day. Progress, not perfection will help you move toward freedom from the white stuff. You can do it. I believe in you. I don’t even know you, and I believe in you because I was the toughest sugar junkie ever and I’ve made it to the other side…..or at least to where sugar is the exception and not the rule in my life anymore.