Sugar Series Part II: Crowding Out

I mentioned in Part I that the best way to address your sugar demons is to set yourself up for success. This is about adding in good things rather than focusing on deprivation. Think of all that you will gain if you can tough out the sugar monster! You’ll make mistakes, you’ll slip up, and that’s ok. The best thing is to forgive yourself, not berate yourself, and try better next time. This isn’t about being perfect, it’s about creating sustainable habits.

Crowding out is the strategy that exemplifies the ideas I mentioned above. Add lots of fresh fruit, veggies, fish, quality sources of meat, and other healthy whole foods to your diet first. You’ll find that simply adding in these nutrient-dense foods means that your body will get the nourishment it needs and stop signaling so frantically. Eating nutrient-poor foods, like sugar, is akin to starvation in your body. My headaches lessened in intensity & frequency once I quit eating so much dry, fake, packaged food. My energy also significantly increased, which made it easier to get up early and prepare better food choices for myself throughout the day.

Since I’m currently in Okinawa, the land of healthy centegenarians and my beloved purple sweet potato, I have to mention the best whole food that I rely on to satisfy my sweet carb-craving tooth/entire being. Sweet potatoes of course! They are much more nutrient dense than any kind of sugar, and their natural sweetness is heartily satisfying and satiating. Sweet potatoes also are low on the glycemic index, so they keep my blood sugar levels steady and my psyche happy. Balanced and calm, happy and satiated on all levels – what is not to love? Check out Ashley Tudor’s book, Sweet Potato Power! for  tons of recipes, from pasta to breakfast to dessert to even energy drinks! Sweet potatoes are so versatile, and I love using them as a base for desserts. Sweet Potato Puddin’ Spread has got to be one of my favorite recipes of all time, and Fudgy Sweet Potato Truffles are a new favorite! Perfect little orbs of happy belly goodness. Most of the time, I eat a roasted sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon for dessert.

Please, for your emotional health as much as your physical health – at least consider lowering your dependence on sugar. Trade risk of diabetes for a healthy, energetic body. Ditch increased risk of cancer for a happy mindset. Prioritize stress-free living in place of soda. Choose calm, collected, energetic moods over frazzled, wired, cyclical crash and burns. It is a choice – and you can do it. Work with your body and it will tell you what to do, if only you get your analytical, panicky, addicted self out of the way. It’s not about having the discipline to do it – it’s about knowing what’s on the other side, and that YOU DESERVE IT. Don’t let some little devil get in the way of that.