Sugar cravings? Oh, the yin of it!

Okay, time to fess up!

Do you keep a stash of your candy hidden so the kids aren’t tempted to get into it? And then do you eat it on the sly so no one sees you? 

It’s okay! Admit it. I used to do that too! I mean it was just easier keeping that big heart box of expensive dark chocolate raspberry truffles from my husband out of sight  – so the kids weren’t tempted to get into it.  At least that’s what I told myself.  Do you do the same?  I mean after all, it yours and the kids got their own little hearts.

After all, too much candy just isn’t good for them!  Of course, I was not addicted to sugar!  Not me! I didn’t put sugar in my coffee or tea, eat bags of cookies.  But I sure could never stop at just a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia – nope put a pint in freezer and it would end up being gone in one sitting.  Just give a spoon – no bowl needed. Nor, could I  handle just a few Jelly Bellies..those disappeared by the handful – after they were sorted by flavor, of course.

Well, one year, reality hit. It was the surprised, horrified look on my husband’s face. Remember the dark chocolate raspberry truffles in the big heart box I told you about?  Well, the year that reality hit, it was a two-pound box of raspberry truffles. Two days after Valentine’s Day my husband happened to open the box hidden inside the walnut wall unit in our living room.

There were none left! 

He asked if the kids had found them.  Nope, I fessed up.  I had demolished nearly two pounds of candy in less than 48 hours.  I couldn’t help myself. I knew then that I was addicted to sugar – I had no will power at all if it was in the house. No self discipline.  I told my husband rigt then and there to NEVER, EVER buy me another box of candy, especially dark chocolate raspberry truffles, as a gift.   

Years later I learned that 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.  When I look back, I’m sure it was a combination of feeding emotions and very much likely candida.

What I will do in the next few blog posts is to help you understand why we get uncontrollable cravings and what we can do to reduce them naturally and gradually over time. When we understand the reason(s) behind 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. 

In Chinese medicine, patients are taught to eat foods that support their yin/yang needs.  In Macrobiotics we also see the principles of opposites – there are two poles, yin (expansion) and yang (contraction). These two poles are b0th complementary and antagnostic (in disagreement with or resistant to).  Let’s talk about the four factors that determine if a food is yin or yang:

  • Where the food was grown (for example, was it grown in northern or southern climates
  • How the food grows (including speed and direction)
  • The sodium – potassium content
  • The effect the food has on the body. Yin foods are cooling/moistening, while yang foods have warming/heating effects.

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. All of our foods fit somewhere 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.  If we follow the yin-yang principle, we eat cooling foods when it is hot and then when it’s cold, we eat warming foods. It seems rather logical doesn’t it?  Likewise when the body is in a “heated cycle,” as when women go through menopause, especially if they’re experiencing hot flashes, they’ll feel better to stay away from foods that heat, like peppers and spices.  The hot flashes are a sign of diminishing yin and is a signal it needs cooling, moistening foods.

When we eat too much Yang foods – such as red meat, salt and egg, or too many roots vegetables during the summer, our body will crave Yin foods and we’ll turn to sugar (or alcohol).  Better choices of Yin foods, to cool the body would be cucumber, salads and melons.

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, fish, sea vegetables, beans, root vegetables, and winter squash.

There’s more to learn about the yin and yang of foods as it is just about food groups. And, candida is another underlying cause that just will no be ignored. In fact, it absolutely needs to be addressed as to ignore it can be detrimental to your health. But these are both another lesson. 

When we learn to eat with the seasons, we create harmony within the body. This is why I created my seasonal detox programs. There are lots of cleanse programs and detox regimens. Are they effective? Yes.  But, detoxing with seasonal foods and learning through an elimination diet which foods support your bio-individuality gives you a leg up on restoring balance, rebooting your system and rejuvenating you.  

Check out my seasonal, whole food detox programs and reignite your metabolism, boost your immune system,  shed toxic waste and have a show down with candida, if that’s the case for you. Oh, and did I forget to mention it probable, not just possbile, that you’ll release 3-11 pounds in just 11 days?  Come detox with me and look and feel fabulous!

 

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