OMG! It’s almost jelly bean and “Peeps” time….you know those little yellow, sugar-dusted, chick-shaped foamy marshmallow novelty candies? The ones that also come in bunny shapes and are also available in a rainbow of colors: pink, blue, green and now purple! These little candies have been around nearly 60 years and they have surely displaced jelly beans as the official spring or Easter candy. Peeps are usually in the stores at Valentines day before the heart shaped boxes of chocolates are even cleared off the shelves.
My mother-in-law loved Peeps! They were her favorite spring candies – she’d buy boxes and boxes of them “to have on hand” for the kiddies (grandchildren). Problem is once she broke open the first box, they disappeared faster than you can imagine. She craved those little Peeps and were the first thing she’d ask for when they arrived at our house for Easter dinner. Of course, mom wasn’t the only person who was addicted to them…I had to hide them well so I didn’t get started on them or hubby would find them or we’d be making multiple trips to the store for more Peeps before it was time to hide the baskets. Did the Easter Bunny eat some too? Yes…too many!
Unfortunately, when we feeling like we’re chillin’ with candy, we’re actually getting a craving fix! Bottom line is that sugar is addicting. And, simply put, Peeps are addicting little balls of sugar! One serving of Peeps, according to the package is five pieces, each containing 28 calories. Now that might not seems like much but almost all those calories are from the 6.8 grams of sugar in each Peep resulting from a nutrition label of ingredients that reads: sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, yellow #5 (color changes with pink and blue peeps or bunnies), potassium sorbate (a preservative), natural flavors and carnauba wax.
When it comes to sugar, it is not simply that we don’t have the willpower or discipline to control our cravings – there are some deeper, physiological and biological reasons behind our urge. Foods – especially sugar – affects our moods and how we feel, our moods and how we feel can affect what we choose eat.
What I will do in this and the next couple of newsletters is to help you understand why you have those uncontrollable cravings, and what we can do to reduce them naturally and gradually over time. When we understand the reason behind those cravings, we have a much better chance to outsmart them and curb them using ways other than sugar.
First, let’s look at the concept of Yin/Yang balance.
Eating foods that throw our body out of balance can create food cravings. It is very helpful to look at this idea under the lens of Yin/Yang balance. We can put all our foods along the Yin/Yang spectrum. Yin foods are the ones that are cool and expanding in nature, while Yang foods are ones that are warm and contracting in nature.
When we eat too much Yang foods – such as red meat, salt and egg, our body will want some Yin foods to restore balance. Sugar and alcohol are extreme Yin foods that our body would usually crave.
Armed with this knowledge, you can reduce your sugar cravings by eating less extreme yang foods and instead, choose foods that are more neutral on the Yin/Yang spectrum. Examples are whole grains (and I encourage gluten-free grains!), fish, sea vegetables, beans, root vegetables, and winter squash.
If you haven’t yet downloaded my new free ebook, “Are You Feeding Your Emotions Instead of Nourishing Your Body,” you’ll see where you can sign up for it on the homepage of this webite!
In my next issue, I’ll give you tips on energy quick fixes!