Simple Ways to Cope When You Go Sugar Free

Breaking up with sugar doesn’t have to be devastating. It can be like one of those breakups that’s kind of mutual, that feels necessary and totally OK. It all depends on how you approach it. You can make it hard for yourself, or you can make it easy. 

Here are a few of the best ways to reduce sugar cravings and make eliminating sugar a piece of sugar-free cake! 

tea

Licorice tea after meals - Naturally sweet, helps balance blood sugar, and it’s great for digestion. 

Strength in substitutions - Swap bread with slices of roasted sweet potato, pudding with chia and coconut milk, bananas with high fiber berries etc. 

Eat plenty of protein and fat - If your body’s been running off sugar for awhile you need to give it a new fuel source to draw from. High-quality protein and saturated fats like coconut oil and ghee are great for stabilizing blood sugar levels and providing a valuable energy source. 

Embrace fiber - Eat plenty of fiber to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Greens, raw vegetables, berries, hemp seeds, flax seeds etc. are all great sources of healthy fiber. 

Make your water exciting - If you’re used to sugary drinks, try making your water more fun. I like to add sliced cucumber, lemon, orange, grapefruit, strawberry, blueberry, or make a strong tea and drink that over ice.

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all? 

Check out my Sugar Breakup program and get ready to ditch that toxic relationship!

Fight Your Sugar Cravings with These Foods

If you’ve ditched sugar yet you still crave it, there might be a bigger issue trying to get your attention. When your body is starved for nutrients it will crave the very foods that continue to deplete it. Nourishing your body with nutrient dense foods can help your cravings to subside. 

Other times your sugar cravings may be hormonal in nature. If this is the case your body is missing the way sugar creates a flood of feel good hormones, even if it’s only making the problem worse in the long run.

Here are foods to add to your diet to fight those sugar cravings:

Foods High in Chromium

I like to get my chromium from nutrient dense foods. 

Here are the foods with the highest levels of naturally occurring chromium… 

  • Natural grass fed cheese, eggs, and beef
  • Broccoli 
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Sweet potato

Foods High in Magnesium

Magnesium helps to calm the nerves and it’s a very common mineral deficiency. Some sources state that over 90% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Part of the reason for this is because most foods that people regularly consume contain magnesium’s counterpart, calcium. Calcium has the opposite effect of magnesium, it’s constricting. 

Here are some foods that are naturally high in magnesium… 

  • Dark leafy greens 
  • Raw cacao
  • Raw cashew nuts 
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Foods High in Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an important compound, it’s the precursor to serotonin in the body, the hormone that’s responsible for happiness. Foods that are high in tryptophan give you the building blocks you need for balancing your hormones and feeling better sustainably. 

Some of the foods highest in tryptophan are… 

  • Free range turkey
  • Natural grass fed cheeses
  • Organ meats 

What Sugar Does to Your Digestion

Healthy digestion is crucial for looking and feeling your best. It’s an essential part of the detoxification process as well as it ensures your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

When your digestion is not working as it should, your whole body suffers the effects. You’ll end up gaining weight, your face will break out, your belly will be bloated, your joints may be achy.

Sugar is usually the cause of all these unfortunate symptoms.

When I first decided to get healthier, sugar was one of the first ingredients I cut from my diet. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was really hard.

Most of my clients aren’t super interested in the science of what’s going on in their bodies. They want to be thinner. They want clearer skin. They want more energy.

However, when my clients take the time to understand what’s going on their bodies, they are way more likely to make healthier decisions—understanding the severity of what you’re doing to yourself has that effect.

So stay with me on this journey into your gut, your digestion, and the detrimental effects of sugar.

You have little bacteria that live in your gut.

Some of the little bacteria is good. It’s job is to keep your immune system fully functioning so you don’t sick.

Some of the little bacteria is bad. It can result in constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, etc.. This happens because the bad little bacteria prevent you from getting the nutrients you need from you food.

Sugar feeds the bad little bacteria.

Every time you eat a granola bar, or have a couple of Hershey’s kisses, or even add a teaspoon of sugar to your coffee, those bad little bacteria multiply, perpetuating whatever digestive issues you’re having. (And probably perpetuating a bunch of other symptoms you don’t even associate with digestion.)

But what if you starve the bacteria?

When you stop eating sugar, the bad little bacteria die, and the good bacteria can do its job better. This means your gas, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea go away, and it means your immune system will be stronger, making you far less likely to get sick. 

Want to starve the bad little bacteria with us? Check out the Sugar Breakup. We start next week.

How to Eat Healthy Without Spending Too Much Time in the Kitchen

Are you eating real, whole food as much as you’d like?

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

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It saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP

I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes and meals for the upcoming week. I create a list based on what I will have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I use a weekly shopping list as my guide and then I’m off to the store!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD

When I get home from the store I keep out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. I pull up my meal plans and get to washing and cooking!

I generally prepare big batches of veggies.  I start with washing the greens, then set aside to dry and move onto slicing, dicing, and dividing veggies into containers for use in cooking and salads. 

When a recipe calls for sautéed chicken or lean protein, I cook it in big batches in my biggest pan or InstantPot! That way, I am only prepping chicken and/or lean meat once for all the recipes!

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STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES

To keep it simple, I make a large salad in advance and then add the extras when I’m ready to eat it.  If I’m taking it to go, I divide it into containers or use as leftovers.

For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week. 

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY! 

After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge! That way, I have delicious, fresh, whole foods for all meals during the week in minutes. 

STEP 5: HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE PROCESS!

Meal prep can feel overwhelming when you first get started, but as you get into your routine it will get easier! Have fun with it and you'll love having your healthy food ready and at your finger tips during the week.

The Shocking Side Effects Of Ditching Sugar

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What if I told you there’s one little thing in your diet that’s causing BIG problems?

It’s true and it’s sugar.

Shocked?

Read on for 5 Shocking Side Effects of Ditching Sugar:

1. You slow the ageing process

That’s right, you can stop dropping mad cash on skincare treatments and make the switch to a sugar-free lifestyle. Glycation is a process which occurs in our bodies causing sugar to attach to collagen (the stuff that makes your skin appear smooth and tight). This causes inflammation and reduced effectiveness from the collagen and elastin which causes the skin to appear dull and wrinkles to appear more pronounced. 

2. You sleep better

It makes sense that less sugar would help with sleep since blood sugar irregularities are the second leading cause of insomnia. When you reduce or eliminate sugar you’ll also ensure that you get all the beauty sleep you need and wake up feeling excited instead of exhausted. 

3. You lose weight

Studies show reducing sugar is a much more effective way to lose weight than reducing fat. The best part is that you don’t have to cut calories or feel deprived with this system. It’s a sustainable and easy way to shed some pounds and increase your overall health.  

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4. Your immune system gets stronger

Sugar weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to foreign invaders and illness. When you ditch sugar, you’ll notice you get sick much less often and you’ll feel more energized. 

5. You'll have more brain power

You’ll find that when you get rid of sugar it’s much easier to focus and get your work done. Brain fog clears and you’re left feeling clear and confident. 

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all? 

Check out my Sugar Breakup program.

How Sugar Affects Your Hormones

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If you feel absolutely terrible before your period. If your mood is all over the place and your sleep is disturbed, you can bet that the amount of sugar in your diet is having an effect on your hormones which cause these symptoms to manifest. 

Insulin and Hormones

The most powerful hormone in the body is, you guessed it, insulin. Insulin and sugar are intimately linked as sugar causes insulin to spike. According to Dr. Sarika Arora, “this can lead to lower levels of an important protein known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds excess estrogen and testosterone in the blood, but when it’s low, these hormone levels increase. Insulin also increases the production of testosterone, which is then converted into even more estrogen by fat tissue in the belly.

These effects mean the ratio of estrogen to progesterone (known for keeping us calm and happy) is way too high, leading to irritability, anxiety, insomnia and more.”

Adrenal Health

Adrenal fatigue is the most common hormonal imbalance in women, probably because we do so much and are often under chronic stress. Adrenal health is pivotal for ensuring your hormones are working as they should. Sugar robs the adrenal glands of the nourishment they needs and creates even more stress in the body. 

When you ditch the sugar you’ll soon realize not only does your body feel better but your mood will improve and dreadful PMS will subside. 

If you could use some help ditching sugar, check out my Sugar Breakup.

THE SKINNY ON FATS

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For years, health experts preached that a low-fat diet was the gateway to health. They proclaimed fats as the enemy, linking them to cardiovascular and other diseases. The food industry jumped on this “theory” and bombarded us with fat-free and low-fat “food” options. A walk down the supermarket aisle confirms our obsession with fat-free foods. To ensure that flavor was not compromised, sugars were added in increasing amounts. So, while our low-fat options exploded, so did obesity rates, as well as other related illnesses. Clearly, low-fat did not deliver the promised results. We now know that healthy fats DO NOT make us fat. In fact, they are one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and protein, that your body NEEDS to function at optimal levels.  And, truth be told, fats help us stay slim!! 

THE WHY

So, why do we need fats in our diets, how much is enough, and what kind of fats should we incorporate into a balanced eating plan? 

Fats provide essential fatty acids, protect your heart, keep your skin and hair healthy, lubricate your joints, protect your nervous system, and protect cell membranes from inflammation. Fats deliver vitamins A, D, E, and K to your cells and are also are a great source of energizing fuel. 

THE WHAT

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of fats. The SAD diet (Standard American Diet) consists mainly of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. Why? Because they taste so good and are widely available in our food supply. Fats, together with sodium and sugars, enhance the flavors of foods and keep you coming back for more.

Most of us have heard about bad saturated fats. Usually solid at room temperature, these are found in animal products such as meat and diary. New research, however, shows that some saturated fats, such as coconut oil, can be metabolized by the body faster than others, hence they are rarely stored as fat. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been altered though the process of hydrogenation to extend their shelf life. These should be avoided at all costs, as they are associated with heart disease and related illnesses (think: packaged cookies, pastries, muffins, candy bars, and cakes). 

avocado

Healthy unsaturated fats play a huge role in your overall health and well-being. They are either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats and are considered good fats because they help lower cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Polyunsaturated fats provide us with essential fatty acids, essential meaning we must get them from our diet as our body does not manufacture them. These fatty acids keep your brain functioning well and aid in the healthy growth and development of your body. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, are central to reducing inflammation and heart disease. It’s always best to get your omega-3s from food, but supplement if you need to. Most people get too many omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and margarine. Yikes! Monounsaturated fats are found in peanut butter, nuts, olive oil, sesame oil, and avocado. 

For good health and a balanced diet, it is important to get fats from both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources. Keep in mind, though, that even the good fats should be eaten in moderation. All fats are calorie dense at 9 calories a gram, so expert guidelines suggest that 20-35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, with no more that 10 percent coming from saturated fats. And remember, the next time you are in the supermarket and spot a fat-free or low-fat label on a food item, take that as a red flag and your cue to run as fast as you can to the fresh produce section!

Foods to Balance Blood Sugar

Balanced blood sugar levels are crucial to a healthy life. Balanced blood sugar levels prevent disruption of your body’s functions and help your overall health. Here are a few foods to add to your diet to help balance your blood sugar:

Greens:

You can never eat too many greens. For the best blood sugar benefits, go for nutrient-dense, low-carb greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli. These greens are also very rich in protein and calcium, which help your body in multiple areas. You can toss these greens in salads with olive oil and chunks of salmon. Studies have shown that these three vegetables contribute to dramatic improvement in patients who are constantly battling with their blood sugar.

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Low fructose fruits:

Fruit is always a must, but for blood sugar-specific management, choose fruits that are low fructose, such as cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, and blackberries. You can snack on them throughout the day, or toss them in your salad, smoothies, or acai bowls.

 

Protein:

Protein is essential for slowing down glucose absorption in your body, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Add foods to your diet that are packed with protein, like wild salmon and other types of fish, beef and other types of lean meat, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and eggs. Make your diet interesting; try snack ideas like celery sticks dipped in almond butter. This snack is rich in protein and only contains the good kind of fat. Remember everything in moderation, however. Too much protein actually can become sugar in your blood, creating a condition called gluconeogenesis.

Herbs and Spices:

Herbs and spices are natural supplements for balancing your blood sugar levels. They not only add flavor to your dishes but they may also help your hormone’s lower your blood sugar. Some spices, like turmeric, contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help in balancing out your sugar.

Gluten-Free Grains:

Whole grain foods that are also rich in protein, like millet and quinoa, provide and store energy without causing spikes in your blood sugar levels.

Beans:

Beans are a good source of protein, low carb, and rich in fiber, all important factors in balancing your blood sugar. Hummus, lentils and garbanzo beans are good examples and great dietary choices. Remember to soak them the night before to promote easier digestion.

Nuts:

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Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain healthy amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and are a low carb snack idea. Try balancing your blood sugar the natural way by changing the way you eat. You’ll be amazed at the difference!

If you would like to learn more and get support in balancing your blood sugar, check out my Sugar Breakup Program Here.

The Natural Sweetener That Isn’t Actually Healthy

I might upset a few people with this post but the truth needs to be spoken. When you start getting healthy and conscious of the type of sugar you’re putting in your body, this pseudo-health food is bound to come up. It’s a sneaky one, because the way it’s branded often makes it seem like a good alternative to plain old sugar, but that’s simply not the case. 

Enter… agave syrup. Agave sounds great in theory because it’s derived from the agave cactus, they make it out to be like the maple syrup of the south. Unfortunately, agave syrup has a few major faults that make it best to stay away from. 

Agave is closer to HFCS than it is to natural sugar

Agave is promoted as a low-glycemic sweetener, which is true, but what it lacks in glucose it makes up for in fructose. Agave is 85% fructose and like high fructose corn syrup causes problems in the human body. Fructose overloads the liver and adds to insulin resistance. Fructose isn’t a problem when consumed in actual fruit, because fruit has fiber, but by itself fructose is a no go. 

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Agave is a highly processed product

The sugary liquid extracted from the agave plant isn’t all that bad, it still contains enzymes and compounds called fructans which actually have beneficial effects on insulin. But that liquid is taken and boiled to become a thick syrup, destroying all the beneficial fructans and enzymes, making it a highly refined and processed sweetener. 

There are lots of much healthier sweeteners out there

Truly natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and dates are a much better option than agave.

3 things you can do to improve your health ...

Can I tell you something?

There’s something that I didn’t realize when I first started working one-on-one with people who want to make their health and wellness a priority, people who are sick of feeling less than amazing, and people who are confused about who to listen to for advice.

Here it is:  Most of us already know what we need to be doing to improve our health!

There is a lot of information (and mis-information) when it comes to the foods we eat. Just look at the variety of books in the ‘diet’ or ‘health’ section of your local bookstore. But when it comes down to it, we still know the basic things we should be doing to improve our health.

In fact, when I ask my clients “What are three things you think you could be doing, to improve your health?” I get similar answers each time:

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1. Be more active

2. Stop eating _______ or stop drinking ________ (or stop smoking!)

3. Eat more vegetables.

 

 

We intuitively know how to make ourselves well. But when it comes to following through? That’s where we fall apart. I know!! I have done it, too. I still do it. I might be a health coach, but I’m still human! I eat chips, I drink wine, and sometimes I don’t eat as well as I know I can.

For the next week, I’d like you to think about the obstacles that are stopping you from living your healthiest life. Think about it, journal about it, reflect on it.

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What obstacles are standing in your way? Maybe you work long hours and cooking a healthy meal seems too time-consuming, or maybe you feel that the price of healthy food is too high. Perhaps you will discover that you aren’t sure if you really deserve to feel amazing.

Your job for the next week is to simply think, reflect, and journal on these obstacles. Knowing your obstacles, habits, and patterns will help you figure out how to work around them!

I would love to hear your comments below. Tell me what is stopping you! Let’s work it out together!

How to Know if Your Blood Sugar is Stable

Maintaining your blood sugar is very important for your overall health. A stable blood sugar level helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces your risk of diabetes, regulates your glucose levels, and can help increase your physical activity. Here are some noticeable signs that you have healthy, stable blood sugar.

You do not suffer from any sort of inflammation.

Your blood sugar often spikes in response to the excess release of cortisol by your body and excess cortisol can cause inflammation. Excess sugar equals inflammation. If you do not suffer from any kind of body inflammation, your blood sugar level is probably stable.

Your skin is clear.

Acne is a form of inflammation. When your body suffers from an injury or illness, it tries to protect itself; the same is true when your diet is not healthy. If you consume a lot of sugar, your body will react in the form of inflammation. Acne is an inflammatory response to poor microbiome health, which is often a result of unstable blood sugar.

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You feel energized and are physically active.

Excess sugar releases cortisol in your body that can lead to increased fatigue. When your blood sugar is not stable, you may feel lazy and sluggish. If you are enjoying high levels of energy and are not easily tired by physical activity, you most likely have a healthy blood sugar level.

You do not crave sugar all the time.

Insatiable sugar cravings are a sign of an unstable blood sugar level. Occasional cravings are normal; everyone feels like scarfing up a whole tub of ice cream at some point or another. But, if satisfying that initial craving keeps you consuming sugar, there is a good chance your blood sugar is not stable.

You can lose weight easily.

When your blood sugar level is stable, it is a lot easier to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. An unstable blood sugar level makes it nearly impossible.

You do not feel the need to urinate frequently.

A well-functioning bladder is a sign that your blood sugar level is normal. People with unstable blood sugar levels often suffer from a weak bladder and may feel the need to urinate more frequently than normal.

You can easily quench your thirst.

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People with stable blood sugar levels are able to easily quench their thirst after drinking water. Many people who have unstable blood sugar levels feel thirsty all the time and are not able to quench their thirst even after drinking water.

You don’t experience a sudden brain fog.

Another symptom of unstable blood sugar is brain fog, when your brain suddenly becomes fatigued and it becomes hard for you to focus or concentrate. Healthy blood sugar levels can help promote sharp and extended periods of focus.

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms and could use some help removing sugar from your diet, I have a group starting next week. Click here to check out the details.

Sugar and Inflammation: Two Peas in a Pod

The average American consumes around 19 teaspoons of added sugar on a daily basis. This much sugar has been linked to increased incidence of heart disease and inflammation among other things. 

Sugar causes excess-acidity.

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Sugar throws off the acid-alkaline balance in the body and thus creates an environment that’s not in balance.

Sore achy joints, brain fog, low energy, and poor digestive health are just a few of the effects that too much acidity can cause. 

According to Dr.Weil, an expert on inflammation, “research has linked added sugar to the development of high blood pressure, increased triglycerides, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and fatty liver problems. It also makes insulin less effective in lowering blood sugar.”

The reality of the situation is that human beings never evolved to eat this much sugar. Our ancestors thrived on a diet high in protein, fat, and plant foods and rarely was there any sugar in the picture. When we start to derive a high percentage of calories from sugar alone (which is nutritionally void) we’re setting ourselves up for disaster. 

If you want to balance your body, reduce soreness and stiffness in your joints, improve your digestion, your mood, and enhance your immune system’s ability to protect you, the best thing you can do is take a hint from our ancestors and stop eating so much sugar. Your body and brain will thank you. 

If you're ready to breakup with sugar, we have a group forming to start soon!

Check out the details here.

Sneaky Names for Sugar and How to Avoid an Accidental Blood Sugar Crash

There are so many names for sugar these daysit’s hard to believe. When you don’t know some of the common industry terms for sugar you might quickly read an ingredient label and assume it’s okay, when it’s really loaded with high fructose corn syrup. 

The sugar Industry is always trying to remain elusive to modern health trends. Now that it’s popular knowledge that sugar is bad for you, companies are doing what they can to hide the fact that their product contains sugar. 

Here’s a list of names for sugar that you might miss if you don’t know what to look for… 

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  • Agave nectar
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn-syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Golden syrup
  • Gum syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Simple syrup
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Sucrose
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado
  • Xylitol

When you know to avoid anything with these ingredients listed you can feel empowered in knowing that your food choices will support you on your journey towards amazing health. Get in the habit of reading every label and you’ll never be the victim of a surprise sugar crash again.

Would you like some guidance and accountability to break your sugar habit? We've got a group forming now and we start together on May 7th. Check out the details here.

8 Snacks to Get You Through the 4pm Slump

It's 4pm, and you're already yawning and feeling exhausted.

Put that double expresso and muffin down - they aren’t going to get you through!

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Who hasn't experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon, when making it through the day seems impossible? According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are challenged. One of the most common reasons for afternoon fatigue is fluctuating blood sugar levels. If too much sugar is released into the body at once, by either waiting too long to eat between meals or high carbohydrate or fatty foods, too much insulin is released to balance the sugar levels. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, leading to a quick burst of energy followed by a deep crash. And therein lays the afternoon energy slump... yawn!!!

Enter SNACKS. So, why are they such an important part of your day? They bridge the gap between meals and stop that rumbling stomach when lunch and dinner are hours away. They keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger in check so that you are not grabbing a candy bar from the nearest vending machine or gorging everything in sight at your next meal. Snacks will fuel your AM workout if there is no time for a proper meal and will replenish your glycogen stores after you have finished that run and strength session. Snacks are also a great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct nutrients for the day. 

It’s important to pick the right snack at the right time, to keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time. 

So, back to that 4pm slump. It’s the time of day when another cup of coffee or quick sugary snack seems like the perfect way to carry you to the end of the day. Hold that thought! With this snack list in hand, and a little planning, you can easily push through and run to the finish line. Don’t let that 4pm slump take control of you; you have the power to take control of it! Below is a list of my top eight snacks to beat that slump, so arm yourself with the ingredients and knowledge that you have the power to keep your hunger and energy in check all day!

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EIGHT TOP SNACKS TO PREVENT THE AFTERNOON SLUMP

  1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix – the protein, fiber, and fat is a perfect snack combination
  2. 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, etc.
  3. Hardboiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast
  4. ½ cup organic Greek yogurt (or a lactose-free option) with 1 tbsp nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple, sliced, OR Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp mixed nuts, seeds, and berries
  5. Smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice 
  6. 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp nut butter
  7. Chopped fruit salad with fresh mint and some almonds 
  8. Nori seaweed, canned salmon/tuna, avocado, spinach, and cucumber wrap

What Sugar Does to Your Brain

CAUTION: Only read this blog post if you are truly ready to end your relationship with sugar. Once you know this, you can’t go back.

Have you ever been in one of those mid-day slumps where you can’t seem to think straight?

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And in a daze you reach for the sugar-laden latte or a donut?

Well, what if I told you that the way your brain experiences those stimulants lights up the exact same areas as cocaine? Crazy, right?!

New research is coming out every day on just how bad sugar is for the brain. It’s as bad for your brain as being in an extremely stressful or abusive situation 24/7.

Sugar addiction can actually impair the function of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and coping with stress.

But there’s hope!

When you go off sugar your brain starts to repair itself. The brain fog you deal with everyday disappears and you feel clear and focused like never before. When sugar is your primary fuel source, not only is it damaging you on a physiological level but it’s also impairing your higher mental function.

Using sugar or refined carbohydrates as a pick-me-up creates a vicious cycle ... the effects of the sugar wear off quickly and the low energy returns with a vengeance. When you cut sugar out of your diet you transform this cycle and create stable, sustainable energy that allows you to actually focus and feel mentally clear. Just one of the many benefits of eliminating sugar from your life.

BUT—yes, there’s always a but—breaking up with sugar isn’t necessarily easy.

The first couple of days after you quit sugar, you’ll be high on pride. You’ll be pumped about this new endeavor and that excitement will be enough to get you though.

But around day 3 or 4, the excitement wears off, and the reality sets in.

When you eat sugar it gives you immediate gratification, which makes you happy. When you first start to detox from it, you don’t have access to this instant shot of dopamine, and much like a drug addict, it puts you in a desperate and terrible mood. And also much like a drug addict, the effect is just a physiological as it is psychological.

This physiological and psychological battle going on, is going to temporarily outweigh the benefits of quitting sugar. You probably won’t notice that you’re thinking with newfound clarity focus, because the only thing you’ll be thinking about is a cupcake.

Which is why, if you’re committed to really getting the positive, healthy effects of breaking up with sugar, you’re going to need a plan for this little rough patch I like to call the withdrawal period.

Here’s how I got through my own withdrawal period, and how I encourage my clients to get through theirs.

I got educated

The first step is knowing. Understanding the negative impact sugar had on so many aspects of my life–my mood, my sleep, bloating, brain fog, skin irritations, joint pain, PMS—was a powerful motivator to eliminate it.

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I got in community

In a culture that is super addicted to sugar, adhering to an all natural and all sugar free diet can be very isolating. I did my detox with a group of other people who were also choosing to prioritize their health by making this change. Instead of being surrounded by sugar addicts, I was surrounded by people who understood exactly what I was doing, why I was doing it and what a challenge it was for me.

I eased myself into it

With anything - it’s hard to go cold turkey. I eased my way into it by first cutting obvious sugars and as time went by, eliminating the sneakier sugars that most people aren’t even aware are sugar.

I took good care of myself

On Day 3 of my sugar detox, I was crabbier and more exhausted than I had been in a long time. It would have been the perfect excuse to give up. But, because I was educated and in community, I was prepared to give myself grace by stepping away from my to-do list in favor of a warm bath and some extra sleep.

Ready to breakup with sugar? We've got a group forming now and we start together on April 16th. Check out the details here.

The Easiest Way to Get More Energy

Do you feel tired often? Is getting out of bed in the morning a daily struggle? Does your energy dip every afternoon and the only thing that can bring you back to life is a candy bar or bottle of pop? 

The secret to more energy isn’t a brand new magic pill or super shake. In fact, it’s much more simple than you might think. 

If you’re ready to increase your energy levels naturally there’s ONE thing you must do: eliminate sugar from your diet in all forms. This might sound dramatic but hear me out. Sugar has ZERO nutritional value yet it still takes a ton of energy to process. It actually TAKES from your body instead of giving to it (like food is supposed to do). 

If you’re ready to not feel like you’re completely drained at 2pm. If you want to wake up feeling refreshed. If you’re dying to have the energy to play with your kids or go for a work out when the day is done, then it’s time to give up sugar. 

Here are 3 easy ways you can reduce your sugar intake starting NOW … 

  1. Stop drinking soda or juice, stick to water flavored with slices of citrus, cucumber or brewed herbal tea over ice.
  2. Eliminate white flour from your diet. No more bread, pasta, or baked goods that spike your insulin levels like nothing else. 
  3. Skip dessert and opt for a nourishing herbal tea with licorice root as a naturally sweet addition that also helps curb cravings. 
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Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all? 

Check out my new 2-week Sugar Breakup program details here.

What Not To Do When You Go Off Sugar

If you think going off sugar is a good idea, you’re definitely on the track towards vital and vibrant health. Removing sugar from your diet is a smart way to lose weight, increase your energy levels and improve your mood, but only if you do it the right way. 

So often people get rid of sugar without really knowing what to do. Here are my top tips for making sure you get the results you’re after when you eliminate sugar. 

What Not to Do

1. Don’t get rid of sugar and fat at the same time

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Maybe you think you’ll kill two birds with one stone and cut fat at the same time as sugar. First of all, fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Even if you eat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in one sitting, you’ll STILL lose weight if you cut sugar. Fat is essential for stabilizing for blood sugar levels and curbing your sugar cravings, so make sure you get plenty of healthy fat at every meal. 

2. Don’t drink or eat “diet” anything

Aspartame is NOT healthy and will make it so much harder for you to lose weight. It’s totally toxic and was originally invented as a type of rat poison. Practically everything labelled diet or sugar free has aspartame so stay away from anything with these labels. 

3. Don’t load up on natural sugar like dried fruit and bananas

Some natural sugar is okay is there’s enough fiber to counter the insulin spike. Bananas and dried fruits like dates are notoriously high in sugar and will make it all the more difficult to eliminate cravings. 

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4. Don’t keep eating bread and refined carbohydrates

Bread and refined carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes and white rice, don’t look like they contain sugar, but these foods break down into sugar once digested. If you keep eating them, you’ll keep craving sugar, and you’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong. 

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up

Everyone slips up now and again. Be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake or have a weak moment and vow to keep trying. Don’t let one slip up start you on an outright binge.

Are You Addicted to Sugar? Find Out Now.

You’ve probably noticed that sugar detox programs are all the rage lately. Maybe you’ve questioned whether or not YOU have a problem with sugar. I invite you to keep reading and discover the truth for yourself … 

If you agree to any of these clues, you might have a problem with sugar consumption. Sugar is highly addictive; if you do have a few of these signs, don’t worry, you can turn the situation around. 

You crave sugary foods or refined carbs at least once a day

You love having a big donut or muffin with an afternoon coffee. Or maybe you’re more of a savory type of person and you enjoy a croissant loaded with cheese or a bag of chips. In the end it all turns into sugar. 

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You often keep eating even if your full

When you get your hands on a big piece of chocolate cake you can’t stop yourself from finishing it ... even if you’re totally full. 

You eat sugary foods or junk food even when you know you don’t need to

You had a nice healthy supper an hour ago, yet you want to snack on some jelly beans, chocolate or a bag of chips even though you KNOW that it’s not nutritionally necessary, nor are you truly even hungry.

You make excuses to eat sugar

You buy organic sugar or honey so that you can make excuses and claim that it’s healthier. In truth, sugar is still sugar, and you know this yet you can’t stop yourself from indulging. 

You make special trips to the store or restaurant to get your fix

Uh oh, your ice cream stash is empty, there are no more chips in the cupboard. Time to run to the store and stock up, or go for a treat at your local cafe just because you can. 

Sugar becomes your reward

Oh I’ll just clean the kitchen and then I’ll deserve to have a slice of cheesecake. I had a rough day, I deserve to eat chips and drink pop for dinner. 

You’ve got a secret stash and when nobody’s around you dig in

This is a big one, if you have a stockpile of unhealthy snacks that you hide from your loved ones, it’s time to open your eyes and put down the candy. 

You’ve tried to stop eating sugar and you just can’t

No matter what you do it seems impossible to stop. You’ve tried to quit sugar but only end up feeling horrible and finally you cave in to the urge. 

It doesn’t have to be this way, with the right strategies, delicious healthy recipes, and guidance from a qualified professional you can ditch your sugar woes and feel amazing. 

CHECK OUT MY SUGAR BREAKUP PROGRAM NOW.

Healthy Paleo Collagen Holiday Loaf

The classic holiday loaf recipe is taken to new heights with this healthy, collagen-infused version. It's sure to keep you warm all winter long!

If you haven't tried Vital Proteins' new delicious Collagen Creamers, you need to. They can be incorporated into any recipe your heart desires, so naturally a holiday loaf needed to be created.

Gingerbread cookies and loaves are a time-honored tradition for many cultures, including here in America, where the soft-baked loaves are more popular than the stiff variety used to make gingerbread houses. Ginger root was considered by many ancient civilizations as a valuable commodity, as it helped disguise the flavor of preserved food. It has been used in different forms and various tonics to help support digestion and the immune system.

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Healthy Paleo Collagen Holiday Loaf

Ingredients
1 c cashew butter
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c maple syrup
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 t fresh grated ginger root
1/2 c cassava flour
1 t baking powder
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, Coconut
1/4 t salt
1 T lemon juice
Gingerbread spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice) to taste

Glaze
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, Coconut
2 T coconut milk
2 T raw honey
1 t arrowroot starch

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a standard loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add in cashew butter, applesauce, maple syrup, egg, vanilla extract and fresh grated ginger root. Mix until well-combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together cassava flour, baking powder, Coconut Collagen Creamer, salt, and spices.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well-incorporated.
5. Add in the lemon juice and whisk again.
6. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
7. For the glaze: add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high. Let the glaze sit for a few minutes to thicken. Best served on the holiday loaf when it has cooled slightly.
8. Serve immediately.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

What I LOVED in August ...

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I fell in love with some amazing products last month and these are at the top of the list:

Pulp Story Wellness Blasts: I'm LOVING these for a quick boost of energy and nutrients. These blasts come in four flavors and have a base of turmeric, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory root. It helps your body fight free radicals that lead to aging and inflammation. And, it's cold-pressed immediately to retain all of its vital nutrients! YES! In cold-pressed form, turmeric is extremely bioavailable, meaning your body can put it to use boosting your immune system and energizing you right away, rather than using a lot of resources to process it. As cold season approaches-I'll be stocking my fridge them!

Beautycounter Tint Skin: I've never been a foundation wearer. Foundation always felt like a mask to me ... and if I'm going to wear a mask, it better be Halloween. I've been pretty lucky in life to have fairly clear skin - but as the clock ticks on and the years go by, I've begun to develop age spots, so I like a bit of coverage to even things out. This hydrating foundation does just the trick. It blends in to my skin really nicely, so it doesn't look or feel like I'm wearing anything, but it helps cover imperfections and even my skin tone. And I love that it contains sodium hyaluronate, which is a natural moisture magnet that reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Can't beat that!

Primally Pure Everything Spray: Who doesn't want a spray that does everything?! I've been loving this spray as a facial toner, but it's also good to spray after shaving to prevent ingrown hairs or as a quick refresh under your arms if there is no deodorant in sight! It only has 9 ingredients, which can all be recognized and pronounced. Ingredients are the first thing I look at when buying anything - whether it's food, body or home products. Each ingredient packs a good punch, but my favorite is magnesium - because over 80% of us (including myself) are deficient and magnesium supports over 300 reactions in the body.

Daily Harvest Smoothies: Life has been busy and Daily Harvest smoothies have been SO helpful because all I have to do is add almond milk to a cup full of healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients and blend. They have a ton of different smoothie flavors and I haven’t tried one that I didn’t like, but my favorites are Acai+Cherry, Cold Brew+Almond and Apple+Greens. I will often add a scoop or two of Further Food Collagen to the blender to boost the protein and I’m off and running!