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Helps for the Recovering Sugar Addict

temptedThis is part three of a three part article. Be sure to read the other two parts.
Part One: Breaking the Addiction to Sugar
Part Two: Kicking the Sugar Habit

I gave up refined sugar using a lot of will-power.  I really wanted to get well.  Fortunately, I've had a lot of experience in helping other people reduce or eliminate refined sugar in their diet since the days I went “cold-turkey.”  So, I know some tricks that make giving up the sugar addiction easier.

Suggestion #1: Eat a Good Breakfast

First, what you eat in the morning helps set your metabolism for the rest of the day.  If you start the day with refined carbohydrates or even whole grains you start your body on a carbohydrate burning cycle that will make you crave carbohydrates throughout the day.  So, start your day with some high quality fat and protein. I'm talking about eggs, nut butters, avocados, protein powder smoothies (as long as they don't contain refined sugar), "super food" powders and/or meat.

Your hydrochloric acid levels are highest in the morning, suggesting that morning is the best time to consume heavy proteins.  So, think outside the box a little here.  If you like steak, you're actually better off eating it for breakfast and not dinner.  I've eaten left-over Mexican food or Indian curries for breakfast.  You can even have beans (why not?).  The main point is that breakfast should be the meal that has the most protein and fat, while dinner should be lighter with more complex carbohydrates as carbohydrates help increase serotonin levels in the brain to promote sleep.

You can also eat a spoonful of coconut oil first thing in the morning.  The fat will help kick your body into fat-burning, rather than carbohydrate-burning mode.  Coconut oil has the added benefit that the medium chain fatty acids it contains also help your immune system and combat intestinal yeast.

Suggestion #2: Supplements Can Reduce Cravings

Second, there are some great supplements you can take which help reduce sugar cravings.  My favorite is licorice root.  I have people take two at breakfast, two at lunch and two more about 3:00 in the afternoon when they have an energy slump. If they have high blood pressure, however, they shouldn't take licorice root. Super Algae from Nature's Sunshine is another great supplement for reducing sugar cravings.  Take it the same way as the licorice root.  The two work great together.

Where a person craves sugar and caffeine (sodas, coffee or black tea) I have found the combination of licorice root (taken as directed above) and Nature's Sunshine's Target Endurance to be very helpful in building energy levels and reducing these cravings.  Take 2 capsules of Target Endurance with 2 capsules of licorice root. An Adrenal Tonic formula or an Adaptagenic Formula may also be helpful if they are suffer from fatigue and/or insomnia.

Suggestion #3: Replace Refined Sugar with Natural Sugars

honeyThird, substitute natural sugars for refined sugars.  Use raw honey, fresh or canned fruits (without refined sugar of course), freeze-dried sugar cane juice (Sucanat), dark brown organic sugar, barley malt, molasses and xylitol as substitutes for refined sugar in baking, drinks, etc.  These unrefined sugars still have nutrients that help your body process the sugar.  Once you start eating “goodies” made with natural sugars, whole grain flour and other healthy ingredients you'll never want to go back to those blah “whites” again. 

I've posted articles on this website for making healthier versions of cookies and ice cream on this website and plan to post more articles of this nature in the future because being able to make something that satisfies that sweet tooth with a more wholesome treat is an absolutely necessary step to getting away from sugar. 

People who craved sweets and refined sugar and started eating some of my homemade treats with whole grains and natural sugars, find the other stuff doesn't even appeal to them anymore. This is typical of what happens when you make the switch. Your body starts getting the nutrients it needs to process the sugars and your energy improves, you feel better and your cravings gradually diminish.

Xylitol can be very helpful in this process, too.  Xylitol is a refined sugar, but it has a different chemical mack-up than table sugar (sucrose).  It can be used exactly like sugar (except it won't make bread rise because it kills yeast and it won't crystalize for making candy).  It is a low glycemic carbohydrate, so it doesn't spike blood sugar levels.  It kills yeast and the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, too.  But, one of the best properties of xylitol is that it also reduces cravings for sugar.

The only problem with xylitol is that it causes diarrhea in some people.  This is probably due to the fact that it alters the intestinal flora by killing off yeast and harmful bacteria.  If you start introducing it into your diet gradually, you shouldn't have a problem with it as these intestinal changes will take place more gradually.

Suggestion #4: Find Other Ways to Make Your Life Sweet

My final tip for getting rid of the sugar habit involves the psychological addiction to sugar.  Craving sugar can be a sign for craving “sweetness” in one's life.  It involves the energy of the pancreas which is tied up with the desire to experience pleasure.  If you crave sugar, you may also be craving pleasure and joy in your life.  You are trying to “feed” this need with food, which doesn't work. 

One of the simplest things you can do to satisfy this need for pleasure is to slow down and savor what you eat.  Even if you're eating something with refined sugar, slow down and take time to experience the flavor, texture, color, etc. of each bite.  You may find that this alone creates a feeling of satisfaction that causes you to eat less sugar.

You can also find other ways to create pleasure for yourself every day.  Take a walk. Get a massage. Listen to some beautiful music. Make love. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts and 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oils. Smell the flowers.  Enjoy the sunset.  Find ways to experience beauty and pleasure in your life and this will feed the inner need better than sugar.

zinniaThere are some flower essences I've found helpful here, too.  Zinnia is one of my favorites for this issue.  It helps a person reconnect with the joy of childhood—to find delight and pleasure in the world again.  Honeysuckle is another helpful remedy.  It overcomes nostalgia and a longing for the “good old days.”  It helps a person find joy in their present life. Nasturtium is another useful remedy for people who are overly dry and intellectual and lack a good sense of humor.

In fact. humor, by itself, will help reduce sugar cravings.  Listen to something funny.  Do something silly.  Laugh at yourself.  This will bring more sweetness into your life so you don't need to use sugar as a substitute.

It's not easy to get over the addiction to refined sugar, and even after you've done it, it's very easy to let it creep back into your diet.  However, it's worth it.  You will think more clearly, have more energy and feel better overall if you do.  Probably half your health problems will disappear in the process, too.  Don't continue to feel bad.  Kick the sugar habit today!