• Holiday Sugar Cravings

    Posted on December 24, 2012 by Elaine in Tastes just like..., Thoughts and Musings.

    It is my favorite time of the year… the period between Christmas and New Year’s!

    Family, friends, parties, and FOOD!!!

    The only problem is that there are always SO many cute sweets that I want to eat!   Like these from allyou.com:

     

    It is during the holidays when sugar cravings run rampant.  And it’s no surprise because sugar is addictive.  One cookie here, another cookie there, and before you know it, you fall off the wagon and start craving that sugar high regularly.   Withdrawing from that sugar high, you often feel depressed, tired, and moody.

    Aside from the usual suspects (cookies, cakes, and candy) sugar can be found in cereal, bread, peanut butter, and tomato sauce.   And not everything deemed “healthy” is sugar-free.  For example, a Clif Bar has around 20 grams of sugar, more than a Dunkin’ Donut glazed donut which has 14 grams of sugar!  A 16- ounce Starbucks Frappuccino has 44 grams of sugar!  So make sure you read labels!

    Overconsumption of refined sugar can lead to hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.

    According to the American Heart Association, the following food groups contain the most added-sugars:

    Regular soft drinks

    33.0%

    Sugars and candy

    16.1

    Cakes, cookies, pies

    12.9

    Fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punch)

    9.7

    Dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and sweetened milk)

    8.6

    Other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles)

    5.8

    So I know it’s hard to avoid those cute cookies that your grandmother made for Christmas, but what you can do instead is replace where you can.

    Replace refined white sugar with a natural sweetener like agave nectar or stevia.  And lead by example by making your own naturally sweetened treat for your family and friends to show them that it tastes just as good if not BETTER!

    Here I made gluten-free banana bread muffins sweetened with agave nectar instead of brown sugar.

     

    baking muffins!

     

    gluten-free banana bread muffin with agave nectar

    Another way to beat those holiday sugar cravings is to drink a tall glass of water before heading over to a holiday party.  The water will keep you fuller and help you maintain your will power when you see cute little sweets passed around.  Another little trick is to drink a green juice beforehand.  What I find is that after drinking my green juice (kale, romaine lettuce, celery, apple, and pear with some lemon and ginger), if I eat anything processed or greasy later on that day, it won’t taste as good to me.  My palate ends up being so clean from the green juice that I can taste the grease or refined sugar and it actually makes me feel nauseous.  The more you eat and drink healthier, the more your taste buds will become sensitive to foods that are not good for you.

    Another way to avoid holiday sugar cravings is to make sure your primary foods are met.  That means your relationships are healthy and your spirituality and career outlook is positive.  Some people turn to sugar as an indirect way to satisfy needs that are not being met in other parts of their lives.  If that is you, try to figure out what may be the underlying reasons for wanting to eat sweets.  Are you craving romantic affection?  Is your career causing stress in your life?  Sometimes it’s not actually the sweets we are craving but rather a need for emotional gratification.

    Finally, the best way to help you avoid holiday sugar cravings is to tell your family and friends ahead of time that you are trying to watch your sugar intake.  By doing so, your loved ones will be supportive and not keep cute little sweets laying around to tempt you!

    Hope these tips help you to at least minimize your sugar intake during this holiday season!

    Happy Healthy Holiday!

     

     

     

     

     

     

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