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Sugar Blues

elizabeth_greig_05012013_225pxThe Blues are only fun if you’re listening to them in a cool jazz club. The Sugar Blues, on the other hand, are not fun anywhere you happen to be!

You get that kind of Blues when you eat too much sugar: your blood sugar skyrockets from the spike of insulin that the body’s cortisol alarm system turned on in response. And about 30-minutes later comes crashing down. As you bottom out and feel woozy or light-headed, you turn to something else to eat for a quick energy hit. This does temporarily make you feel better as your blood sugar starts to rise, but then it’s followed by the same drastic fall once again. You can spend your day reeling from one sugar fix to the next, riding the peeks and valleys of blood sugar and insulin until you finally drop, exhausted, into bed.

So how do you get off the sugar roller coaster?

Go three days without any sugar; anything that tastes like sugar, including sugar-free substitutes; and anything that acts like sugar in your body, like pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread.

To get you through any withdrawal, try having protein snacks every 2-3 hours – things like nuts, avocados, flaked unsweetened coconut, bean dips with veggies. These foods will give you a more constant blood sugar level so your energy remains steadier while you wean your taste buds off the addictive flavor of “sweet”.

If you haven’t kicked the sugar habit in awhile, give it a try before the winter holidays. See if your energy improves, your mood becomes lighter, your waistline stops increasing. If you find that you feel better off sugar than on, it will make it easier to say no to all of the sugar-loaded holiday foods. You can still enjoy sharing the love of friends and family in this beautiful holiday season, and you may find you have more energy to do it!

Wishing you and your family a healthy, joyful, and sweet holiday season!