If you remember my last blog post, the one about my secret addiction to chocolates, especially my crazy chocolate raspberry truffle episodes, you can only imagine the sugar let down that hit me!
I thought sugar was a good source of energy. Now I know it’s a temporary “fix” and the crash leaves you more tired. I’ve experienced the same with coffee – immediate pick up and then a let-down…that’s how I once used to drink a pot of coffee a day. Once I went through the “downers” and the headaches of withdrawal, I felt better. It wasn’t until I started detoxing and learned how to eat for long-term energy that I truly got my “energizer bunny” status back.
Cravings and fatigue can be caused by dehydration. Our body often misinterprets the sensation of thirst as hunger. So, next time when you feel your cravings coming on, drink a big glass of pure water, wait 15 minutes, and see if you are still hungry. Very often that craving goes away!
Sometimes our energy is lower than usual and we really do want a quick fix. My first recommendation is to take a brisk walk outside for 15 minutes, inhaling deeply and slowly exhaling through the nose. It’s amazing how energizing a breath of fresh air is!
Quick Food Fix
Cravings for sugar or refined carbohydrates do also happen when our body needs an energy fix due to low blood sugar. Our body can extract energy from sugar very quickly, and is therefore the “food of choice” when it needs a pick-me-up. Choosing fresh fruits, carrots, freshly juiced vegetables over processed sugar adds so much more value to the health equation. Keeping healthier snack foods like trail mix and energy bars, apples, bananas and veggie sticks with a hummus dip on hand, helps support us with healthy choices that are easy to reach for instead of inhaling the first chocolate bar, cookie or donut we see.
Often sugar cravings are a direct result of an overgrowth of candida (yeast) in the digestive tract. Candida feeds on sugar. Serious cases require medical attention. However, a good detox program coupled with an elimination diet, can root out candida and take care of cravings!
Eat for Sustain Energy
In any event, to avoid the need for an energy quick fix, eat for sustained energy. Choose meals that have a low glycemic load – whole unprocessed foods such as whole grains (like rice and oats), vegetables, nuts and seeds, and beans and lentils are great choices. They are high in fiber, which moderates the speed at which the sugar is absorbed by the body. Be sure to also include a moderate amount of good fat and lean protein, plant or animal protein, to slow down the process of food leaving the stomach and increase satiety.
To support your body’s energy production, increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin Bs – they are vital in our body’s energy production cycle. A few good choices are whole grains, avocado, eggs, spinach, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast.