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Dear Leftover Halloween Candy Bowl…

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The candy bowls are EVERYWHERE. Full of sweets, chocolates, all those temptations.  AND to make things worse, people bring leftover trick-o-treat candy to work.  You eat one piece, then another, and pretty soon you have eaten half the bowl.  Is it possible to have a leftover candy  hangover?  The next thing you know you are having three pieces of bread at lunch, craving more caffeine, munching on chips and pretzels. The holiday season binge has officially begun.

Should we run away to a deserted island and stay away until January 1st?  Absolutely not! We can have a happy and healthy season after all.

First we need to understand that sugar issues are not our fault.  Sugar is addictive…very addictive.  It is one of the four most addictive foods along with cheese, chocolate, and caffeine.  In fact, some of my clients cannot stop eating sugar for at least four days, even after a minor treat of one candy bar or a scoop of ice cream. It is a drug.

If you are a sugar addict or perhaps get a little out of control around it (especially during the holidays), here are five suggestions for breaking the pattern at the physical level. For the emotional pattern, we will have to wait for another article…

1.  Drink water! I know, here I am again with the water thing.  BUT drinking water can bring your body back into balance. When    your body is out of balance, it searches for the easiest form of comfort which for most of us is in the form of sugar.

2.  Give your body more sweet starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash.  Perfect foods to prepare at this time of year.  Try having half a sweet potato in the morning with a serving of protein like eggs or chicken-sausage.  By giving your body a dose of complex carbs in the morning, you can fight off the cravings for sugar later on.  This is amazing. My clients are always surprised at this one.

3.  Eat more protein with your snack.  Try this in the morning.  Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels.  Roller coaster blood sugar levels can cause you to crave sugar even when you are trying hard to resist it.  By starting the day with some protein, you can create balanced blood sugar levels. In turn, you will be able to make healthy lunch choices.

4.  Eat less protein and more vegetables. I know…I am totally contradicting myself here.  But some people (and this is much more rare) are having so much protein at every meal that their bodies are acidic and find relief with sugar.  So you may need to cut down on protein and increase leafy green vegetables to balance yourself out.

5.  Use natural sweeteners instead of processed sugars with  more natural alternatives like brown rice syrup, agave nectar, and honey.  Try replacing processed sugar with more natural alternatives in your recipes.  You will find that the natural sweeteners are less addictive and more satisfying.

This should give you a start. As I mentioned, it is just the beginning on how to find relief from the sugar blues.  Good luck…I can see you cruising by that candy bowl as I write this. You can do it…walk away. I mean, really, who needs another KitKat anyways?:)

For more information on dealing with cravings, you are invited to attend my workshop at Whole Foods Annapolis:  Addicted to the Leftover Halloween Candy?  Tips to Reduce That Sweet Tooth .  You can register for the class HERE .

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