I received 3 e-mails over the weekend that went something like this:
“I ate too much of my kids’ Halloween candy and now I don’t feel well. Plus, I have a lot of sugar cravings now. How can I detox the sugar from my body?”
Here we are…many of us in the middle of the fall season, with our clocks turned back and less daylight. This already reduces the amount of serotonin (happiness, calm hormone) in our brains. A lack of serotonin can sometimes create cravings for sugary carbs because it’s the starchy foods that send serotonin to the brain.
And, The Holidays are Approaching…
On top of this, we have the holidays coming. For many, this means an abundance of stress (preparation, time with family, travel, parties) and an abundance of sugary foods. Madison Avenue takes advantage of this with scare tactics of the weight gain that will surely come during the holiday season (officially, Halloween through New Year’s and interestingly, the darkest times of the year with the least serotonin!).
So I decided it would be great to do a 10-Day Sugar Detox on Facebook. For 10 days, I share tips on how to detox sugar from your mind, body and spirit. This will include natural kitchen remedies and easy practices you can do on your own or with friends. And because I know so many of you in this community are smart and experienced, I will be inviting you to share your tips and techniques so we can all learn from each other!
And if we’re really having fun, once we complete the sugar detox, we can do a “Thrive through the Holidays” together on Facebook. What do you think?
Let’s Get Started!
For today’s tips, let’s talk about soothing your body out of sugar cravings, along with some gentle detox tips.
Consider eating a high tryptophan protein breakfast and lunch (tryptophan is an amino acid that is broken down from protein foods and is the precursor to serotonin), while having a serotonin-boosting snack at 10:00 am-ish and either 3:00 pm or at dinner. If you are 5-6 pm snacker, a 3 pm serotonin-boosting snack would be ideal. If you are a night snacker, a dinner would be ideal.
Examples of High Tryptophan Foods
- Pumpkin seeds (recommended: soaking overnight in water first – see instructions)
- Walnuts (recommended: Soak first)
- Sunflower seeds (recommended: soak first)
- Fish – tuna (yellow fin), halibut (chinook), salmon (sockeye) and snapper tend to be higher in tryptophan.
Some Starches That Help Boost Serotonin
- Red skinned potatoes
- Butternut squash and other winter squashes
- Gluten-free seed/grains – quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, rice
If a Sugar Craving Strikes, Drink Lemon Water
- Consider a glass of water with some squeezed fresh lemon (1/2 fresh lemon) with 1/4 tsp sea salt and if you need a little sweet taste (some do, others don’t — find out what your body needs!), a few drops of stevia or a teaspoon of honey.
- Drink this anytime a craving strikes. If you have many of them during the day, make sure to use the sea salt in only 2 of the drinks per day.
- In this lemon water drink, the water is hydrating, the sea salt adds minerals and aids hydration (plus adds a nice boost for the adrenals) and the lemon can help cleanse your liver. The sour taste (if unsweetened) is one antidote to sweet cravings and may work for some people. For others who really need the sweet taste, the stevia or honey can satisfy that need.
What are YOUR Tips and Questions?
I’d love to hear from you, let’s get the discussion going and share our ideas!
This article started from a conversation we had on Facebook! The link below takes you to Day 2 on Facebook:
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Need to lose 60 lbs .OUCH
Hi George, I have found that eliminating sugar is very helpful for weight loss. Eating sugar sends blood sugar on a roller coaster ride and it’s actually blood sugar levels that determine your willpower! Removing sugar and focusing on whole foods and whole food sweeteners (dates, fruit, honey, molasses, maple syrup) can help to keep your blood sugar more stable (especially if you make desserts with protein fats, like nuts or nut butter, instead of grains and flour). All of the recipes on my website are designed to help keep your blood sugar stable. Take it one step at a time and be gentle with your body.