There are many books available today to help us get off sugar. They mostly offer diets to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings in that way, which does matter... but what if you need to make some non-nutritional changes to get off sugar? Here's 13 simple tips to getting off sugar that are not a diet:
1. Exercise - exercise oxygenates our body and distributes prana, which can be very calming. Every one of your cells requires oxygen and prana to live. Exercise also lowers insulin response - the net result can be a reduction in cravings and overeating in general. Exercise can become become a new, more positive addiction that replaces false energizers like sugar. Just be sure to not overdo it, and to drink enough water.
2. Connection - Having enough love (real sweetness) in our life can protect us from a lot things - including cravings for false sweetness, ie: sugar. Volunteering, selflessly giving in that way, can also be sweet.
3. Liquids - many herbs are naturally sweet, and make a great tea or beverage: Liquorice is very sweet, benefits the adrenals and supports healing a leaky gut. Rooibos chai is non-stimulating (no caffeine) but has a mild sweetness from cinnamon, lots of antioxidants, and all the benefits of ginger, pepper, clove and cardamom. Lemonade is high in alkalizing minerals from lemon juice, and if sweetened with stevia, will have very little effect on blood sugar (use only a little as its much sweeter than sugar). Honourable mention must also go to 'Golden milk', which is turmeric and pepper, usually in nut milk, served warm and with a natural sweetener.
4. Sleep - Sleep better and you'll naturally feel better the next day and eat better. I suggest trying various pre-sleep rituals. It could be a hot water bottle in bed with you (not too hot), a cup of herbal tea before bed, a little meditation or some yin yoga. Taking some Rescue Remedy Sleep is also a great choice. Worth mentioning as well is that any food that creates digestive distress or inflammation may also keep you up.
5. Eliminate major stressors - What are the main stressors in your life right now? Do you have a lot on your plate? How can you eliminate one or outsource it to someone else to do? Craving follow stress like night follows day - the key is to meet them naturally, with real, healthy, nourishing foods, or even better, to eliminate or mitigate the main sources of stress in our life. These are sometimes so obvious that we overlook them (that's why their are personal coaches). So I say, start with what's obvious.
6. Green drinks - the easiest way is to buy a greens powder, like Greens+. Greens neutralize acidity in the body and most greens blends are stevia or liquorice sweetened and contain some protein from spirulina, also a great way to beat sugar cravings.
7. Intermittent Fasting - a day or 3/4 of a day without eating can be a very powerful way to reset things in the body, and give the body a chance to rest. Alternatively, we can fast from technology, from flour, or from any number of things. Another variation on this is to do a broth fast.
8. Intuition - which meal to choose, whether to eat or fast, intuition always knows best. It's always wise to go with our intuition...which is very different from following someone else's diet plan. The regular practice of meditation can make intuition more much clear. In my opinion, developing intuition is one of the most valuable things a person can do.
9. Light - Sugar is stimulating. And so is light. I crave light some days. And then in the evening I crave no-light. Seriously. So I believe it when the studies say we should get 20 min of bright light in the morning and then no screens one hour before bed. Balance your need for light by giving yourself enough light in the day and enough dark in the evenings, and see what happens to sugar cravings. (And start by getting f.lux on your computer).
10. Colour - is also energizing, like sugar. Both of them can literally balance us or unbalance us. Especially if you are very sensitive then you will want to choose with care the colors you live in. What colors are you drawn to? For ex: yellow is good for a creative work space, but green or violet is probably a better choice for a bedroom.
11. Raw food - more raw per day can be energizing too, and give us much needed enzymes. Increasing green and sweet veggies especially can help crowd out sugar cravings. Sweet veggies include carrots, beets, sweet peppers, cooked onions and others.
12. Vegetable juice - can be a great source of nourishing sweetness. Try a mix of kale, spinach, parsley, carrots, beets, and/or lemon juice. I know one person who likes to do organic carrot juice with spirulina, at 3pm, when many people are having an energy dip.
13. Natural Sweeteners - Stevia and xylitol come to mind. I like stevia in unsweetened chocolate almond mylk. But watch this one, as it can be addictive. Another way to use natural sweeteners is to make a healthy version of what you like: like a date square made with real dates (many date squares are made with 'date spread', which is full of sugar).
So there ya go! I recommend taking note of which of these tips stood out for you, and maybe try those ones. People may demonize sugar, but the truth is it is natural to desire sweetness and energy.
Feel free to leave a comment or any requests for future posts!