Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. The truth has finally come out and articles are popping up all over the news about how addictive it is. They talk about how it fires off the same signals in our brain that cocaine activates and then the reporter jokes about how she can’t give up her Pepsi. They might be gracious enough to give us a solution to kick the habit, but it’s the same lines over and over again, “Get rid of stress. Eat more fruit. Be more active.” And while their intentions are in the right place, there are much deeper issues at play that prevent even some of the savviest of health nuts from kicking sugar cravings to the curb.
Here’s how I finally figured out what my body was telling me and kicked refined sugar out of my life without depriving myself:
1. Add naturally sweet food to every meal.
Chinese medicine believes that we crave sugar to nourish the spleen, and when we don’t eat small amounts of sugar throughout the day, it comes out in a more intense form, like ice cream and cookie dough. With breakfast, ginger tea with a bit of local honey is almost better than coffee.
In the cold months, eat lots of winter squash and sweet potatoes with lunch and dinner. In the summertime, it’s all about bell peppers, cucumbers and summer squash. In the evening, if you’re still craving a sweet dessert, broil a grapefruit with a pinch of sea salt or warm up some lemon honey water.
2. Do a parasite cleanse.
Parasites are pretty much the root of every issue. Cleansing regularly is something that we’ve lost in our modern society, but it doesn’t make us any more immune to the little buggers (a whopping 95% of Americans have parasites. They feed off refined sugars and carbohydrates, therefore making us crave refined sugar and carbohydrates as if it were our last day to live. I highly recommend this cleanse. Your skin will clear up, you’ll have more energy and retain less water, and pretty much everything in your body will feel and look better than ever, not to mention your sugar cravings disappearing.
3. Decongest the liver.
The liver is also at the root of all our ailments. When it is congested and inflamed, it pushes on the spleen, making it empty and leading to sugar cravings. The liver also releases bile to kill parasites, but when the parasites are out of control, they block the ducts that excrete the bile. It’s a nasty cycle that leaves us bloated, acne ridden, and dying to get our hands on the nearest source of sugar.
To decongest this vital organ, we need to get out the parasites, stay away from pesticides and other chemicals that clog the liver, and take herbs and supplements to naturally support cleansing. MSM (a form of sulphur), food grade diatomaceous earth, and liver cleansing herbs and teas, such as dandelion, garlic, and milk thistle, are my go to’s. All of them are easily incorporated into a daily routine.
4. Break habits that involve sugar.
Things like binge watching Netflix, going to a coffee shop, and parties usually have some sort of sugary food included. I realized that I was binge watching Netflix because I was tired or lonely. Once I figured it out, I either took a nap instead or kept myself busy while the TV was on so that I wouldn’t use sugar to occupy that empty space. Write down when and why you are craving sugar to help you come up with a plan to break the cycle.
5. Make yourself accountable.
When I needed that final push, I cut a deal with my boyfriend. For each week that I didn’t eat refined sugar, we both put an extra bit of money into our savings account for a down payment on a house. Even though it wasn’t a lot of money, it gave me the purpose I needed to not fall back into my old ways.
Of course being active, drinking water, eating more clean fat, and all the other usual things we hear about are great — but these are the five things that helped me make the final plunge into a sugar-free life without feeling deprived or like I was missing out.