Holistic Healing Thought Leader: Carol Lee
So many of us are cripplingly aware of how completely addicted to sugar we feel.
An even greater amount of people are completely unaware of how sugar is governing their food choices and negatively affecting their health. My mission, as a sugar-freedom coach, is to share the information people need to know to make healthier choices.
“If you feel addicted this is where I suggest you start your journey.”
Five Signs You May Be Addicted To Sugar:
- You always need to eat something sweet after a meal or in the evening.
- Once you start eating something sweet you find it hard, or even impossible, to stop, one slice/biscuit, square of chocolate is never enough.
- You think about eating all day long and sometimes make up reasons to go to the shop or to the cookie jar to top up your sugar levels.
- When you try to stop or eat less, your mind goes into hyperdrive.
- You use sweet food to soothe and dampen emotionally charged situations.
How To Start Sugar-Free Eating:
If you feel addicted this is where I suggest you start your journey; take out food that switches on the pleasure center in the brain. This is like ‘clearing the decks’, allowing those chocolate full rivers in our brain, those addictive neural pathways, to dry out.
During this phase, I suggest you keep strictly away from all sugars including processed fruit sugar, dried fruit, processed carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread, chips/crisps, flour products, all syrups including honey.
“It may even feel a bit like a diet to start with, but honestly, it will be worth it”
This phase may feel restrictive and bland as your taste buds take time to reset, this is the phase when you are finding a new way of eating that works for you. It may even feel a bit like a diet to start with, but honestly, it will be worth it. I promise, very quickly your energy levels will go up, aches and pains will reduce, you will sleep better and sugar cravings will subside.
This is where the swapping comes in, taking the meals you ordinarily like to eat and making them sugar-free ‘friendly’. Here for example are some sugar-free lunch options that can help break the cycle if you are addicted to sugar.
Easy Lunchtime Swaps:
- Sandwiches for dinner leftovers, brown rice salads with tinned fish, boiled eggs, humus, avocados.
- White or wheat bread for rye bread. Rye is lower on the glycemic index and for most people, although delicious, isn’t ‘more-ish’.
- An ‘on the side’ salad for a large multi-coloured salad with delicious extras; beans, olives, pesto, humus. Make it definitely not ‘on the side’.
- Crackers for sliced apples, peppers or pears and top with cheese, humus, avocado, nut butters, smoked salmon or full fat cottage/cream cheese.
- Crisps for plain nuts and seeds, occasionally the salted version.
- Chocolate bars, granola bars or cake for whole fruit or a slice of the cake below.
- Sweetened yogurt for natural full fat yogurt with chopped whole fruit and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.
“Your taste buds will quickly reset and you’ll discover the delicious pleasure of natural sweetness.”
Swapping, adding in, and experimenting are keys in this early phase. It’s a time to explore what meals work for you and what your body loves. Your taste buds will quickly reset and you’ll discover the delicious pleasure of natural sweetness.
I was in this phase and very strict for about a year, I perhaps didn’t need that amount of time to no longer be addicted to sugar, but I really wanted to find my own unique sugar-free groove… and then this led me to sugar-freedom.
What Is Sugar-Freedom?
I always say that being sugar-free is not necessarily the same as sugar-freedom. Sugar-freedom brings an often new feeling of neutrality around food and sugar in particular.
When you have sugar-freedom you don’t feel deprived and you feel you have an abundance of delicious and naturally sweet foods to choose from. With sugar-freedom comes an objective overview of your food choices, and occasionally this may include sugar or processed carbohydrates.
Edges Or Boundaries:
With the slate wiped clean (no longer addicted to sugar), you can begin to test out sugar-full foods and notice how they make you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally; this is when you find your sugar-freedom ‘edges’ or boundaries.
“Finding your sugar-freedom groove gives you options..”
For me, this means I continue to avoid all types of sugar; chocolate, potato chips, cookies, cake, honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit. It means occasionally I can have wheat bread, nan bread with curry, or a scone with a cuppa while out with friends.
Favourite Of Mine:
Finding your sugar-freedom groove gives you options, supports you to live in the ‘real world’ alongside sugar-full eaters without it becoming an issue.
Part of my journey has been experimenting with traditional recipes and making them sugar-free. Here is a favourite of mine I created… delicious spread with butter and served with a cup of tea!
Banana, Cinnamon and Walnut Oat Bread Recipe:
- 200g of jumbo/rolled oats
- 1 large egg or 2 small
- 4 very ripe bananas
- 250ml of whole milk yogurt
- 2 tsp. of bicarb of soda
- 2 tsp.cinnamon
- Add 2 handfuls chopped walnuts
- Handful sunflower seeds
- Mash bananas thoroughly
- Add in yogurt and egg and again mix together well
- Add the bicarb and the cinnamon to the oats
- Mix the oats mixture with the banana mixture
- Add in nuts and seeds
- Grease and line a loaf tin and pour mixture in
- I sometimes add an extra banana, cut is down the middle and lay across the top.
- Bake for about an hour (sometimes it needs 90 mins so bear in mind) at 180c or until the middle is cooked, use a knife to check, I would check at 45 mins. I had to cover the top with foil as it was looking very brown but was not cooked
Once out the oven leave to cool completely so it is easy to cut
Delicious with butter!
About the Author:
Carol Lee is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, Sugar-freedom coach, Creative Kinesiologist, Teacher and Author from the U.K. She has been working in Complementary Health for over 25 years. Her holistic approach to healing and transformation is about listening to, witnessing and working with the body’s ‘knowing’. Carol believes this is where we hold our wisdom, experience and capacity for change, especially as mid-life women. She works with women wanting to kick the sugar habit, those who are navigating health challenges, or who are wanting to up-level their life in some way; helping them to clear the blocks to success and wellbeing. She is currently enjoying her empty nest, and the freedom it brings, with her partner Jon. She loves the coast and walking the wild landscape of South West UK, snuggling her sweet rescue cat Stevie, gardening and eating delicious, nutritious food.