Handle Sugar Cravings + Recipes

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When transitioning to a clean eating approach most people I work with report that they are scared of not knowing how to handle sugar cravings. Today, I’ve prepared my best tips for halting and handling sugar cravings. I provided these to the ladies who are doing the Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch 60 Day Lifestyle Challenge that starts Monday. In addition, I prepared these Hemp Heart Bites for the gathering, which were a hit. I love introducing new foods that are delicious and healthy!

Rather than telling clients that they can’t have sugar, we look at upgraded choices to start. We don’t want to get into the diet mentality which causes most people to binge once they give in. One of my best tips is being prepared with healthy, homemade snacks like these!

Hemp Heart Bites (GF, DF, Paleo friendly)

1 T. raw & unfiltered honey (from Costco)

1/2 T. raw almond butter (creamy, I used Nutzo for my most recent batch-from Costco)

couple dashes of sea salt

1/2 t. vanilla

1/3 c. hemp hearts (you an also get at Costco)

1/4 c. coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1 t. cacao nibs (optional)

Directions: Add honey, almond butter, and vanilla to small mixing bowl and stir well. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine well. Use a half tablespoon or tablespoon to scoop bites onto parchment paper or plate. Chill in freezer for about five-ten minutes. Makes about 4-8 bites depending on size preference.

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Alright, ready for more tips…here you go!

Generally, we all have some sort of trigger for a sugar craving – think about what your trigger is?

  • Hungry?
  • Low blood sugar?
  • Tired or low energy?
  • Hormones related to menstrual cycle?
  • Bored?
  • Routine? Movies, tv shows in the evening?
  • Stress…related to relationships/job/etc.?
  • Lack of connection/relationships?
  • Feeling disorganized/cluttered?

Once you’ve identified your trigger it will allow you to be more aware and build new habits around it. It’s not necessarily you, but what is the pattern?

Next, set realistic expectations:

  • If you’re used to having dessert everyday, it’s probably not super reasonable to expect yourself to go cold turkey especially if you turn to food for emotional reasons and who doesn’t really?
  • Become aware of time/situation when craving hitsdon’t judge just notice, again we are building your mindfulness, starting to notice the pattern
  • Set reasonable expectations…it’s not about perfection, it’s about the practice, it’s a lifestyle change for goodness sakes, it’s going to take time!
    • What is reasonable? Upgraded choices, switching from artificial sweeteners to honey and stevia, having a treat once a week, a few times a week. Only you can answer this for sure, but it often helps when you have some support to get clarity. Sign up for the Vibrant Connections Telegroup for support on creating reasonable expectations, details here!

Here we go, getting real here. Create a I LUV ME replacement list – a list that you can go to when you’re craving and choose something to replace food with in order to satisfy that craving. Often times we use food as comfort, pleasure, love, safety, etc. and while that is normal to a certain extent, we don’t want to just rely solely on food. We want other natural pleasures in our life. What are yours?

  • Walk…nature…mother Earth…get grounded…feel connected
  • Workout…hello yoga, barre, Pilates…be with people (this is my FAVORITE studio)
  • Bath…bubbles and candles are nice accessories
  • Candle...make your space feel warm & welcoming
  • Connection…friend from college that you’ve been playing phone tag with
  • Read a book…get your tea & blanket
  • Go to a movie…by yourself or with a friend
  • Clear clutter for 15 mins but that’s it, no longer, ahh…relax

In regards to food options, have a cup of tea (here is a link to some of my favorites plus I like this Cranberry Vanilla one right now) or  some water and wait 15-20 minutes and see if the craving subsides once you’re more mindful of the situation at hand (yes, you that first step is very helpful). Here are some other refreshing beverage options: Kombucha-look for the gram of sugar and serving size – no more than 4 grams per bottle in my book; Homemade Detox Lemonade drink that is refreshing (you’ll see it on my Facebook page). Next, have healthy, homemade snacks/treats prepared is a MUST!

Other miscellaneous ideas include:

  • Brush teeth after meal
  • Identify i you have trigger foods – if you start eating chips does that lead you to want to eat brownies
  • Get your rest
  • Eat breakfast and preferable some protein with breakfast
  • Eat when sitting down
  • Take 3 deep breaths before you eat

Think about adding in healthy fats, quality protein, and make sure you’re getting enough water and fiber. It’s going to take some time but it will be totally worth it! In any case, homemade is best and try to stay way from conventional processed packaged foods that are filled with additives which cause all sorts of imbalances within one’s body.

Finally, the food itself is only half of the equation, you must be intentional and mindful. You must notice and release negative self-talk and find something positive and pleasurable about your food and your relationship with it.

I’d love to know what your favorite healthy recipes are or even ones that you’d want to be modified…creating healthy recipes is a favorite of mine! Not sure what your pattern is around food or cravings or find that you’d like a little more support? Consider registering for the FREE Vital Connections Telegroup here that starts February 9th! Reply below or on Facebook or Twitter with comments or questions.

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