“Mama, since I went so well, can we get an icecream?’ sweetly asked my seven year old when she got her A+ piano exam results.
Songs have been written about it, dentists are quietly grateful for it, teachers of fidgety children curse it and it’s the guest of honour for most celebrations.
It’s also considered by many health professionals to be one of the most addictive drugs of our times.
The cost of sugar to your health and our heaving health system are only just beginning to make themselves known.
The thing is: sugar is like battery acid.
It leaches minerals from your blood and bones, tightens up your joints and makes your organs (and skin) expand and become loose.
Not very attractive, heh?
When minerals are leached from blood and bones, your iron and calcium stores are heavily depleted.
This affects your energy levels, your thinking capacity and your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food.
You may have joined the anti-sugar crusade– or even want to quit it for good.
And for more sugar bashing, check out some previous blogs here.
Perhaps you’re just thinking about it as you sit in the corner peacefully sipping your 2pm cup of tea and nibbling your Tim Tam, weighing up whether the benefits of quitting are really worth the sacrifice of your afternoon reprieve.
The tricky thing about sugar is that it’s just ….so….good……
And your body has a hard time saying goodbye.
There might even be that little voice in your head that says: but it’s my only pleasure….!
However, cut down sugar and your energy and health will leap forward.
Your iron levels will be maintained and your calcium won’t be depleted.
And then the iron and calcium and all of the other amazing nutrients you get from your food will nourish your mind and body, and keep it strong.
Ready for the good news?
It only takes three days for sugar to leave your body.
The bad news?
While you have sugar in your system, your body will crave it.
Which means as you attempt to quit you may experience detox symptoms like mood swings, headaches, energy crashes, stomach cramps etc.
The addiction is real.
But – more good news- if you can trick your body for just three days, your sugar cravings will be more manageable.
And after Day 3 it’s clear, sugar-free sailing.
If you’re ready to give it a try, here are 6 hacks to reduce sugar cravings and finally quit sugar the Japanese Yoga Way:
1. Eat brown rice
Start with 1 cooked cup of brown rice per day (organic if you can). Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means it’s a sugar. Your body will recognise it as a sugar and when it’s a complex sugar, it strengthens your body instead of weakening it, like a simple sugar does. When your body has had her fill of complex sugars, her craving for simple, ‘quick-fix’ sugars will lessen (chocolates, lollies etc). You can add your cooked brown rice to soups, stir fries, casseroles, or make a summertime rice salad with tomato, avocado, coriander and lemon juice. Lots of options!
2. Chew your food
When you chew your food properly (at least 35 times but up to 50 or 80 or more times) you are breaking down more and more nutrients and sugars that can then be absorbed into the blood stream. The benefit of this is that you feel satisfied as you’re able to receive the nutrition you put into your body. If your body is satisfied, it doesn’t crave things.
3. Nourish the spleen
Eat lots of yellow vegetables and vegetables that are’ round and ground’. This includes pumpkin, carrots and onions. It’s what your body recognises as sweet!! Forget about what your mind wants (for now).
When cooking pumpkin and carrots, leave the skin on (especially if it’s organic)and make sure you wash them well. Cook them in a little bit of water and add sea salt to the end of the cooking process. This will enable your body to absorb the nutrients and the sweetness out of the food. If you add the salt at the beginning, the vegetables will contract and it’s harder for your body to absorb what it needs.
These vegetables can also be sautéed in cold-pressed, unrefined sesame oil, which will give them an extra sweet flavour!!
4. Watch your salt quality (and intake)
We need good quality sea salt in order for the body to function. It’s the building block of our bones and our blood, as it provides us with minerals and other trace elements. When we have too much salt or commercial type salts (ie iodised salt), we usually start to crave sugar in order to balance it out. Notice the next time you have a salty meal: you’ll probably crave sugar to balance yourself out.
5. Trick your body
When you do have a sugar craving (and you will!), try and have a piece of fruit instead. If you can, make the fruit an apple or a pear and stay away from the tropical type fruits as they cause too much of an imbalance in your body (and create acid in your system). If the fruit doesn’t satisfy you, you may need to have a small amount of what you are craving. Make sure though, that it’s a tiny, tiny bit of good quality chocolate. If you deprive yourself of something, the craving usually gets stronger. You’ll need to be the judge of this and not simply have the chocolate as an excuse. Hold out until you are sure there’s no other way!
6. Quick Fix:
When you have your sugar craving and feel like you must give in to it, quickly grab some Doterra Fennel essential oil and put 3 drops under the tongue. It’s a circuit breaker for sugar cravings and a quick way to get through the moment.
Don’t have this oil- click here to get some.