AHHH! My sweet tooth is getting the best of me!
It has been just over a week since I gave up sugar (the plan is for 40 days). Previously, I would have sugar multiple times per day! Whoops…
Enter: detox. The first few days were not bad. I was really feeling proud of myself and my ability to say no when offered sweets. But, then came my monthy visitor and on top of that, I was feeling stressed with moving to a new city and starting a new job. Boy, did I want some CHOCOLATE. I wanted it bad.
We’ve all had those days, right? The type of day that causes you to plop on the couch at the end of the night with a spoon in one hand and a big bowl (or carton) of icecream with peanut butter and chocolate in the other. I wanted that. No, I NEEDED that.
Or did I? I had conditioned my brain to expect sweets anytime I felt stressed. But in reality, that instant rush of sugar and happiness quickly leaves and I am left with both the stress that started it all and guilt on top of that.
I am not saying that sugar should never be consumed. I am all for having cake or dessert during parties or holidays, or whenever really. But the key is moderation and I was lacking it. I had the unfortunate habit of turning to sugar for happiness when I should have called up a friend to talk , took a few deep breaths, or went for a brisk walk outside.
With this challenge, I did not succumb to the cravings and my mind telling me I needed sugar. Instead, I found some healthy alternatives to obtain that “sweetness”. With combinations of cocoa powder, peanut butter, ripe bananas, pumpkin puree, stevia, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice, I have been able to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Here are some ideas for you to enjoy if you, like me, are struggling with dropping the sugar habit.
1. steamed milk + cocoa powder + cinnamon and/or stevia
2. hot tea/coffee + milk + cinnamon
3. smashed banana + cocoa powder
4. plain yogurt + stevia + cocoa powder
5. banana + peanut butter
6. plain yogurt + cocoa + stevia + peanut butter + banana, blended, and frozen= healthy “ice cream”
5. Healthy dessert recipes: I have only tried one so far, Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Muffins, from www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com. I simply substituted additional applesauce where sugar was called for and they were delicious! I plan on experimenting with more!
To be quite honest, I have really enjoyed being creative with these ingredients and trying to find new “sweets”. And they are much healthier; filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants that help better the body rather than tearing it down like excessive amounts of sugar does.
For example, cocoa is filled with antioxidants and has the ability to improve blood flow and reduces insulin resistance. Bananas with their 21 grams of natural sugar, provide a good dose of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C and are a great pre-workout snack. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and has anti-fungal properties. Pumpkin puree is filled with fiber (5 grams/servings) and Vitamins A, C, and E needed for healthy skin, eyes, hair as well as used to fight off diseases.
With so much natural and healthy alternatives to refined white sugar and corn syrup, I have opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to new, delicious foods.
If you have taken the No Sugar Challenge or are trying to consume less sugar in general, what do make or do to curb the sweet tooth?