I recently dove headfirst into a personal experiment, a first-hand endeavor to research nutritional balance.
I LET GO OF THE SWEET STUFF FOR A MONTH.
ALL the sweet stuff, including the sweeter vegetables, grains and legumes and the hidden ones like the lactose in dairy and the sugars in alcoholic beverages. You may ask why? What drove me, someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, someone who kind of cringes at sugary sweets, why go through this inner quest?
MY CLIENTS. MY CLIENTS LOVE SUGAR.
Everyone from the stay at home moms, to the recovering alcoholics, to the struggling alcoholics, to the college students, to the high stressed folks in the business world and what seems like everyone in between. They all LOVE sugar, deeply.
And just to clarify, I am not the nutritionist that pushes cleansing, eliminating and detoxifying, I am the nutritionist that asks you to eat more… of the good stuff. I just craved to understand the craving. I wanted to understand what creates craving and what is the clutch that shifts these addictions. I also wanted to help my clients from a place of integrity, a place within myself that could understand the economics, the freak outs, the temptations and the ever tricky how-to’s of the grocery store and the kitchen conundrums that come along with dietary shifts.
My quest was grounded in a hunch that this whole sugar thing is way bigger than our mind or our hand-to-mouth control. It’s deeper than that. Our own internal armies are teeming with trillions of microbes, keeping us healthy and protected from disease and are screaming to be fed.
Everyone has heard the old adage “we are what we eat” and I am known for saying “we are what we are able to efficiently absorb” but after this month off the sweet stuff, I have something more to add:
WE ARE WHAT WE TRAIN OUR BODY TO EXPECT.
We are the cycles of bacterial swings. Our bacterial make up is no joke, they are crying out for what they know and love, and it may just take some tough love to change their tune.
Remember, EVERYTHING is practice, especially how and what we eat. Our gut flora is paying close attention to what we repeatedly eat.
I set out to see if I could quiet the sugar loving microbes. And not only could I quiet the sugar lovers, but could I wake up the beneficial bacterias that may be getting pushed to the back of the line? Could I wake up a conversation with the deep inner workings of my gut that would allow me to change the inner dialogue from sugar craving to something more useful?
So what happened? By week 2, I started feeling a shift, kind of like getting over a hump. I remained well fed throughout the day, to avoid blood sugar crashes. Overall, my cravings definitely changed. One side note, I do think that this would be really difficult for a vegetarian as my meat intake did increase without legumes and grains.
MY BODY FELT MORE EFFICIENT, LIKE IT KNEW HOW TO USE ALL OF THE INPUTS WITHOUT A LOT OF EXCESS FILLERS.
Afterwards, I noticed some new cravings creeping in, affirming my original hunch. It was as if I had turned a switch, feeding the sugar lovers and waking them up from a sleep. But luckily, I can use the things I learned during the month to turn those cravings in a new direction, which is the best part! I started a conversation that I can continue by making sure I have a diet high in complete proteins and fermented foods – two of the key elements to balancing sugar cravings.
HERE ARE A FEW TRICKS THAT HELPED ME TO CURB THE SUGAR CRAVINGS:
- Every time I craved a sugar based food, I ate a fermented food. I let the beneficial bacteria make their way to the front of the line. I let the pungent flavors of the ferments, steer my taste buds in a different direction.
- I ate towards the middle of the road, not too salty or too sweet (obviously). I discovered that eating salty foods, made me crave the opposite not too much later.
- Seeds were my friend (well they still are, but I got to know them really well!) These are great helpers for brain performance and energy production – two things that we often mix up as a reason to go for the sugars!
I hope these tricks help you harmonize the ecology of your inner world. I can honestly say, that this month helped me reconnect with my inner compass and has reinvigorated my inner conversation with why and what I am eating … or craving. I am grateful for the perspective I gained from my time off the sweet stuff. I hope this insight is helpful for your own retuning and recalibrating!
WANT TO MAKE THIS SUMMER THE SEASON OF KICKING THE SWEET STUFF?
Ready to make the shift? Join me for a 3 visit package for just $200 to find out why your cravings keep getting the best of you and how to take charge and make the shift!