Five Ways to Manage Holiday Sugar Cravings

The holidays tempt us to let down our guard. It's a challenge to say no to homemade goodies. But those darling things can seriously throw you off balance. The sweets hit some harder than others. Be honest with yourself. Can you handle the gingerbread, or is it a trigger food that you should aviod at all costs?

Food is powerful. Know your body and take care of it. For me, it's important to be mindful of my portions and the quality or type of sugar I intake. I try to stay away from the killer combo of refined flour and sugar. I've learned I can get more pleasure without the side effects (bloating, zapped energy, headache, dehydration, weight gain, digestive issues, increased cycles of sugary carb/quick fix cravings, moodiness, dull eyes, and dry skin!) from healthier sugars such as stevia, raw honey, and grade B maple syrup.

Here's some tips that will do anyone some good, regardless of your sweet tooth status....

  1. Stay hydrated. Often times when we feel hungry we are simply thirsty. When you feel an instant need for an energy lift and sugar comes to mind, reach for a tall glass of water instead and then see how you feel after a few minutes. When we are well hydrated our bodies and therefore our cravings are more balanced. Plus our minds are sharper and our digestive system cleaner.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. As cliche as this one sounds, it's true! When your energy is low from lack of sleep, sugar, caffeine, and malnourished carbs are an easy way up...and an easy way down. When you are well rested you will make better food choices, be more in tune with what your body really needs, and you won't be desperate for a quick fix. This becomes especially powerful when you get good sleep on a regular basis.
  3. Eat naturally sweet and grounding foods such as squash, sweet potato, and all bitter or sweet root vegetables (daikon, radish, burdock, ginger, parsnip, turnip, etc). We're made to enjoy all the tastes, and sweet is one of them. When you indulge in naturally sweet foods your body recognizes it and turns it into usable sustainable energy. You end up satisfied and balanced! Root vegetables are also important seasonal allies for the holidays. They're a great natural carb, ground your energy (yes, that's why they're roots!), and help to eliminate sweet tooth cravings. The astringent bitter ones are especially useful in keeping intense sugar cravings at bay.
  4. Use natural sweeteners such as stevia extract which you can find at any health food store, raw (local) honey, grade B maple syrup, palm sugar, and even cinnamon can act as a wonderful sweetener. These sugars are from the earth rather than a factory and the body will assimilate these sweet vibes healthfully. I can pretty much guarantee you that if you bring an awesome gluten free, maple sweetened dessert to your holiday gathering, it will be gobbled up because it tastes great AND it feels great post celebrations. There's a million raw and gluten free recipes online. Enjoy my friend Natalia's amazing recipes!
  5. Eat and drink your Greens! You've heard me say it before and I'm saying it again. Greens are important for pretty much any body-balance need. I recommend fresh pressed green juice. And when you can't get one, eat your greens. Ideally you're doing both! A fresh green juice is one of my all time favorite ways to rebalance my body when I've lost touch, have had too much sugar, am lacking in sleep, feel stressed, or when the holidays are approaching. The high amount of nutrients, enzymes, trace minerals, and alkaline effects of green juice bring peace to your system, hydrate your body, balance out bread/sugar cravings, tonify digestion, brightens eyes and skin, and mentally affirms I've taken care of myself today!

So, there you have it! This is my brief list of ways to balance out unwanted cravings. Feel free to add comments and other great tips for others to view. Happy holidays, good luck, and chew slowly (also a great tip!)!

Gingerbread White House! (Via <a href="http://flavorwire.com/">Flavorwire</a>.)

Warning: Table './sowoblog_live/watchdog' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:367:\"Table &#039;./sowoblog_live/accesslog&#039; is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: INSERT INTO accesslog (title, path, url, hostname, uid, sid, timer, timestamp) values(&#039;Five Ways to Manage Holiday Sugar Cravings&#039;, &#039;node/63448&#039;, &#039;&#039;, &#039;;, 0, &#039;56a75793a0c72551d3fac409f9a35375&#039;, 26093, 1720928303)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/sowoblog/public_html/modules/statistics/statistics.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:63;}', 3, '', 'http://sowoko.com/2010/12/05/five-w in /home/sowoblog/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135