Holistic Healing Expert: Carol Lee
It’s almost 4 years since I dropped the white and beige food; sugar and processed carbohydrate.
What I have realized is that sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean you have sugar-freedom… you can be sugar-free but feel you are still strapped into sugar cravings and an emotional rollercoaster. So let’s pick this apart a little…
Sugar-Free Eating – Often The First Step Towards Sugar-Freedom:
And for most people it means…
“You can be sugar-free but feel you are still strapped into sugar cravings..”
- Avoiding products with the obvious added sugar; cake, biscuits, candy/sweets
- Replacing refined sugar with artificial sweeteners or fruit/plant-based sweeteners such as agave, sweet freedom, date syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup or honey in your baking and day-to-day eating.
- Snacking on dried fruit-based products such as Naked bars or simply eating dried fruit
- Swapping sweet snacks for savory snacks; so crisps/chips, crackers, flour-based food instead of candy and cake.
This is absolutely a step in the right direction but for many (I would say most) people who feel they are addicted to sugar – sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean sugar-freedom.
Firstly What Do I Mean By Sugar-Freedom…
- A mind free of food chatter; instead of obsessing over meals, your next snack, secret eating, overeating (oh I’ve done them all!)
- A body free to choose its source of fuel rather then relying on the next meal or snack. This means it will feel easy to miss meals occasionally, that our energy levels do not crash and burn if we don’t eat, that brain fog doesn’t descend if we are half an hour late with lunch.
- Our emotional inner self can feel a high vibe, excited by life, motivated to shine our unique self into the world. Rather than feeling dampened down and shrouded by the effects of sugar.
- A sense of connection to our intuition and inner knowing of what feels good for us to eat and do.
The Missing Connector To Take Us From Sugar-Free To Sugar-Freedom:
The key is understanding that sugar to our body isn’t simply the white stuff we put in our cup of tea or make cakes and cookies with. Sugar is also a wide range of processed foods that break down into glucose, sucrose, and fructose in the body.
Once we understand that in terms of a body and brain response, our body does not discriminate between dates and chewy candy; orange juice and orange-flavored chocolate; wholegrain breakfast cereals and coco pops; cheesy crackers and chocolate hob-knob cookies; we have taken the first step towards sugar-freedom.
Processed carbohydrates, processed fructose (fruit sugars), artificial sweeteners, dried fruit, all those options create the same sugar-full response.
- Our blood sugar rises rapidly setting off a hormonal cascade in the body as it tries to find balance again
- The pleasure center in our brain lights up like a Christmas tree and we produce the feel-good hormone dopamine. This makes us feel snug and cozy and we naturally want to keep feeling ‘loved up’. The trouble is, in response to this dopamine flood, our body wisely cuts back on the receptors on the cell membrane. This means next time, (and there’s always a next time) we have to eat even more sugar-full food to feels blissed-out… hence why the one cookie, one candy bar, one bowl of cereal is never anywhere near enough.
Sugar-Freedom Means Avoiding Food That Creates This Chaotic, Exhausting, Energy-Wasting Response In Our Body And Brain:
“When we take these steps we bring our brain, as well as our body, into the sugar-free game.”
- Avoiding food that dampens down our energy; processed carbohydrates such as flour products, processed potato products and choosing whole grains instead; jumbo oats, brown rice, quinoa and pot barley
- Avoiding artificial sweeteners and processed fruit sugars which will continue to light up the pleasure center in the brain keeping us craving more
- Minimizing/avoiding alcohol, which is processed in a very similar way to processed fruit sugar and can also act as a ‘Gateway drug’ to the sugar and processed carb ‘munchies’. That is why Sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean Sugar-freedom.
When we take these steps we bring our brain, as well as our body, into the sugar-free game. That pleasure center in our brain that can so easily be lit up like the Blackpool lights will start to dim down and eventually switch off altogether, the neural pathways of sugar addiction in the brain will stop…. THIS is freedom!
When this happens our innate body wisdom can start making its voice heard. Our intuitive ability to choose what we’d like to eat switches on and we can make wise uninterrupted, clear choices for our health and wellbeing.
This is sugar-freedom; a life not dominated by food but rather enriched by delicious, nutritious, life-enhancing, high-vibe making food!
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.