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Finding sweet freedom: How to reignite your motivation

Who’s well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions or habits have somewhat fallen to the wayside?

Maybe you’re thinking – what’s the point, this is too much effort or it’s too hard.

You set out to change your sugar habits, address the blatant emotional eating and stop this on vs. off sugar insanity once and for all.

But things haven’t been working.

Is it even worth it?

I haven’t even noticed much difference.

Who want’s to really eat less sugar anyway? Maybe I am just a special case and things are too entrenched. I’ve got too much else going on at the moment.

Note all the thoughts that will pop up trying to revert you back, initiate the self sabotage and face plant you back into the carrot cake at lightening speed (or whatever your sugar fix of choice current is).

Well, it’s my job to keep you going and I’m here to remind you why.

I’ve broken this into two parts:

1) Your motivation for lower sugar life

2) Your motivation for a feeling of freedom around sugar & food in general

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Let’s start with the first. Lower sugar life. Why bother?

I’m conscious not to just re-splurge all the sugar bashing stuff out there but it’s worth having the upper hand on sweetness for a number of commonly relayed reasons.

When you don’t eat loads of sugar, you can expect improvements to your immune system, disease risk reduction (especially diabetes), steady energy day to day, better cognitive function & potentially a load of physical stuff like improved skin, a shift in belly fat, weight loss etc. You can read a full 141 reasons here if you want.

Obviously everyone is very different here in terms of what benefits they see, but if you know you’re over-consuming on sweet, you’ve without a doubt got things to gain.

But in my opinion, the real benefits to consider are:

1) The internal peace that you feel day to day where you’re confident that you’re no longer abusing sugar to the detriment of your future health

2) The lack of frustration that it doesn’t cut short all your other healthy efforts (like exercise and other healthy meals)

3) No longer feeling crap about yourself (where you feel guilt at eating too much).

At the same time you crave a lot less so you aren’t constantly exerting willpower and resisting. All these things result in a in a day-to-day reduction of internal stress – the stress we create for ourselves.

Low sugar for your close ones

If you have a family or are hoping for one, then transitioning to a lower sugar lifestyle and changing your habits is obviously going to have a ripple effect on those around you too – especially children and parents (although parents are notably harder due to entrenched habits!).

When you learn low sugar preparation, sugar-free snacking/recipes and healthy shopping until it feels natural and effortless – chances are those around you are likely to pick it up too.

For me, gently influencing my parents towards lower sugar lifestyle was, and still is, super important to me because of my interest in their long-term health.

I don’t preach but I can get my Mum excited about avocado on toast (instead of marmalade) and highlight some alternative wine gum options to my Dad. Small things can add up.

Getting suitably low sugar savvy in terms of knowledge (without being judgmental with it) is a worthwhile investment, not just for you but everyone around you that is important in your life.

Ok, so what about Part 2 – the feeling of freedom around sugar & food

I’ve had many people say to me, that they vividly remember their Mum or someone significant in their life restricting foods. They usually can recall an exact memory. Our relationship with food starts young, is heavily shaped by our environment and can be complicated to say the least.

For me, I know ‘dieting’ and restriction was happening early on in my life.

My brother used it to get more chocolate biscuits. It went something like this:

Me: *Reach out to get my favourite Orange Club biscuit 

My loving brother: ‘Laura, I thought you weren’t eating Club bars this week – aren’t you on a diet? You don’t want to get fat do you?! Give them all to ME!!’

Sibling rivalry and pride played it’s part – my response usually took the following format:

Me: ‘Yeah I’m in control Paul and sticking to my diet so THERE. I’m not eating the Club bars – you can have them all – you greedy thing!’ …despite desperately wanting one.

However, an hour later I’d be sneaking off out of his view with the Ginger cake, nearly consuming the whole thing. It was surely my sugar shame habits developing in their infancy.

Just to add, my brother Paul is really a lovely guy, but he was something like 8 years old and taunting me as siblings naturally do. I called him a computer geek that was never going to get a girlfriend EVER so fairs fair.

And he’s now very happily married

And I’m very happily off the diet-restriction bandwagon eating Organe Club bars freely if I want to.

Getting the balance right

The fact of the matter is, you can live low sugar life – get all those benefits listed earlier, but a restriction diet mentality around it can be miserable, unbalanced and unhealthy too.

When you strike your own happy medium between these two camps you become truly free. Free of the negative health benefits of too much sugar, free of the guilt around sugar and free of craving it excessively.

You feel fearless in the face of sugar. You trust yourself. It’s calmer.

What do I like the most about this?

Hands down, it’s the mental capacity and emotional awareness.

These are the true benefits for me around my change.

I have more capacity write, to dream, to plan, to play, to travel. I know myself better that I ever did before. Through addressing emotional eating, I increased my emotional intelligence and I am much better at handling myself than previously. Not perfect mind, but better.

Like many woman, there are days when I think I want to lose weight and feel meh, but despite the urges I’ve resigned to never do it in that restrictive way again that drives the unhealthy thought patterns I used to have.

This has forced me to foster self-confidence separate from my body image – a worthwhile but challenging exercise for sure. Body confidence certainly does play into things. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the future.

Get motivated: What will you learn and how will you change?

I want you to imagine who you will be when you’re relaxed around sugar but calling the shots, when you’re in tune with your emotions so you can deal with them in other ways that don’t involve chocolate (or any food for that matter). You’ll eat more in line with your hunger and settle at the natural weight for your body.

Yet you go to a party and you do have a slice of the homemade cake guilt free. Maybe one night you do fancy chocolate and again you eat it guilt free, knowing your day-to-day habits are healthy and you’ll never eat sugar like you used to.

Picture things when you inspire others around you to be healthier, be the role model to the children in your life and feel more confident in your body, your day-to-day actions and yourself.

THAT is your motivation my friend. The fire that will make your small daily actions and baby steps stick. So don’t lose motivation, take the action. It’s worth it, I promise.

Share the love

Of course share this with someone who needs a little extra motivation if you want.

Take action

Feeling ready to plan your steps? My 4-part video training will teach you how to get started – you can sign up for free here or to really accelerate your change, check out working with me 1-2-1.

 

 

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Changing around sugar: 7 common misconceptions to know about

So I’m frequently introducing myself to new people these days and you’d be interested to know the different responses I get.

Sometimes when I say I help people change their relationship with sugar through coaching, I simply get a confession of all sugar sins right there. This tends to be quite fun.

For example, a few Friday’s ago I met a guy who entertained a few of us into hysterics through his triple Magnum Ice Cream-a-day confession and even when into detail about how the Thai shop attendant now knew his favourite flavours and sometimes shook her head on him.

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On other occasions I get people telling me everything they know about sugar or emotional eating and this is were I’ve started to spot patterns in common misconceptions. I’m really not a know-it-all in social situations type of person and by listening I learn a lot about how people think and perceive sugar.

So here are the 7 most common ones I hear. Be warned, you might spot them too in conversations from now on!

Note: I much prefer light-hearted Magnum banter to ego-based I know this and that type conversations anyway, don’t you?!

Misconception 1: That white bread is ‘full of sugar’

This one is very common. I will try to explain as succinctly as possible. Brown bread is full of sugar. Brown rice is full of sugar. Broccoli is full of sugar.

The sugar? Glucose. Yes, the sugar of life i.e. what gives us energy and keeps us going.

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The issue with white refined glucose like a white bagel is that it’s quick releasing glucose that spikes your blood sugar levels, causes excess insulin release (which can lead to metabolic diseases overtime) and leaves your energy levels in tatters.

 

Alternatively, Fructose is a whole different type of sugar and the issues with it are quite different.

It metabolises in your body very differently to glucose and it’s unique in how it plays into your cravings and desire for sweet. Personally, when I refer to sugar, I tend to refer to fructose rather than glucose, thus for the record I don’t class white rice as being ‘full of sugar’ but I understand why some do.

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Misconception 2: All natural sugar is healthy

For a start, ‘natural sugar’ can mean different things to different people. Some people would regard honey, stevia or maple syrup as natural but by the time it gets to you on supermarket shelves it’s usually processed to heck, so its ‘natural’ quality is somewhat debatable.

honey-natural-sugar

Also, anything consumed in excess isn’t healthy, so really it’s the quantity that counts. Natural sugars like fruit still contain fructose. An excess of fructose can still be dangerous, even if it’s from 10 bananas. I’m definitely not anti-fruit by any means but an unlimited natural sugar way of thinking can really catch people out.

I’ve written more fully about my thoughts on to fruit or not to fruit before here and also whether dried fruits like dates are a sugar bomb.

Misconception 3: It’s about how much sugar you eat

Holistically health speaking there are people out there who eat more sugar month to month who are far healthier in mind and body than a nearby zero gram sugar-free queen. Really.

No you don’t want to be consuming large amounts of sugar in your diet consistently (or randomly with binges), but when you get down to smaller amounts and your consumption is balanced in line with your values and lifestyle, it’s more about WHY you’re eating sugar in whatever form that’s important and it’s this that is ultimately the measure of your success.

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Misconception 4: Sugar is evil (or the devil)

I do understand the use of this term, as it’s understandably evil in people’s eyes when they don’t feel they can control it or have had a close one suffer from the adverse effects of too much sugar. It really can be horrible when sugar’s wholly got the one up on you in this sense.

However sugar is just a substance – we are more intelligent humans with consciousness and knowledge of how sugar impacts on our brains which means we can do stuff about it.

We can turn the tables and take charge if we want to and re-learn how to live moderately with sugar in our lives. The whole sugar is evil thing comes from the ‘addictive’ messages which sometimes do more harm than good from a mindset perspective. I recently wrote this on why you need to stop calling yourself a sugar addict. Worth a read.

Misconception 5: All emotional eating of sugar is bad

I know emotional eating is a real stickler with sugar. A real stickler that I am still not fully immune to.

However, often people think banishing emotional eating outright is the answer to all their food, sugar or overeating problems.

For a start, I refrain from ‘good’ and ‘bad’ classes of behaviour, as we are all human after all and this tends to re-enforce an unhealthy black or white mentality.

Start playing with the notion that not all emotional eating is bad, you just need to avoid it becoming your default or norm and be conscious enough to spot recurring habits from emerging. For example, some harmless emotional eating would be consuming your birthday cake once a year (when obviously not physically hungry for it).

Misconception 6: It’s definitively an all or nothing substance

This is one of the trickiest parts with sugar I admit.

I know myself that when I have piece of my Grandma’s soft golden syrup dosed homemade parkin, I’m very likely going to want three more.

This is normal because, yes sugar does have an impact on your dopamine receptors in your brain that make you want more and yes this is hard to control when you’ve developed a tolerance and habit for it.

However, look around at the people you know who do manage to stop at one (my Mum comes into this group).

Does everyone you see have the all or nothing with sugar? No they don’t. If sugar was definitively ‘all or nothing’ then surely with the amount around, the whole human species would have succumbed and everyone would be ‘addicted’.

Ponder that one and consider sugar as ‘all or nothing’ not so definitive.

Misconception 7: You can just go on a sugar detox or read a book and be done with it

A sugar detox plan can shift your taste buds and do great things, but it can have its drawbacks being a ‘diet’ and can work differently for different types of people depending on their history of eating habits.

When I used to run Mentor Me Off Sugar – the sugar detox programme I ran for 6 rounds over a few years, I had a whole section at the start on perfection where I educated participants on just how dangerous sticking to this too rigidly could be. I also actively encouraged participants NOT to stick to my meal plans (& develop their own variations instead).

I basically tried to make it as non-diet like as I possibly could – and there were materials in abundance on emotional eating and mindset.

Most that did the programme properly did exceptionally well, but I still saw others struggle and particularly after the end a few weeks later.

This pained me and is actually why I stopped running it officially. I need to change a few things about the program, likely even re-brand it and re-structure it before it’s re-released.

On the other hand my 1-2-1 coaching clients progressed in leaps and bounds, not just on a sugar front but they grew significantly in terms of how much self awareness they had, their confidence, their thinking and wider health.

If sugar is deeply entrenched in your lifestyle, your emotional processing and physical cravings are in abundance, then it’s a full behavioural and personal development change that’s needed, and a sugar detox might not cut the mustard as so to say!

With the Internet, it’s not hard to get information, what matters how consistently you act and reflect on it.

Finally, if we meet…

I’m hoping if you’ve read this article and we ever meet in person you won’t be relaying any of the common misconceptions that I’ve heard many times over. Instead you’ll be laughing and de-shaming around your funniest eat-too-much sugar moment instead – because everyone’s got them I’ll let too easily let some guy off his Magnums if he’s made me laugh.

P.S the Magnum guy is sat next to me here in the office and he’s oblivious that his story has made it online until I tell him in a moment 😉

Who needs this?

Know of someone who won’t stop banging on about the amount of sugar in white rice, eats three Magnum Ice Creams a day or thinks the latest sugar detox will solve all issues? Share this article with them and we’ll both be grateful.

Learn A LOT more from me (if you want)

If you’re not already signed up to Happy Sugar Habits, join 1000’s of others on my mailing list to get notified of my new weekly blog…AND get my free video training… AND munch your way through my free low sugar snack ebook (or just look at it and eat your chocolate instead ha!).

Simply click here or fill in the form below.

low-sugar-shopping-list-laura-thomas

A low sugar shopping list guide when you have no time

It’s that time of the year when you’re keen to make some new healthy habits and it’s certainly a great time to do so. Your motivation is high, others are likely on a health kick and there are loads of helpful recipes being shared around on social media.

Although I don’t subscribe to the harsh overly restrictive all or nothing detoxes and diets these days, I do believe you are able to ramp up the number of habit changes in January and really capitalise on the healthy buzz that’s around.

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But where to start?

Healthy shopping, meal planning and getting into a rhythm with healthy cooking where you are a bit more prepared is a very good idea and investment of your effort.

Now, I appreciate this can counter the intuitive eating camp of thinking (eating when you’re hungry what you fancy) but there is a balance to find here between planning and going with the flow. This article is for you if you know you’re on the unprepared side of things or you want some shopping inspiration.

Watch this video where I explain intuitively eating sugar here.

Only through trying and testing yourself with things can you work out your balance and work out your optimum healthy habits.

If you can kick off the New Year with a few new habits around what you do day to day with your healthy routine, things will fall into place more easily.

This will support a healthy lower sugar lifestyle much more long term than drastically changing everything in January only to revert back to old ways in a few weeks when you get fed up or depending on some strict diet meal plans to guide you.

Low sugar shopping list

I had the idea to share the regular healthy shopping list that I used to live by in London a while ago but never got around to it so here it is.

As I write this, I’ve just moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand and I’m excited because I am going to start cooking my own food again. Whilst living in Bali I was eating out a lot because it’s so cheap so I didn’t cook at all and I really missed it. I realised I found a real joy in buying a weekly shop and making it work for a week to 10 days in super efficient fashion by finding new ways to use up leftovers and feeling smug in in being super healthy without spending a fortune. But I lived in Bali, so I’m not complaining!

Healthy shopping with no planning or time

To show you how easy it can be wherever you are, I’m literally going to reel off the stuff I would buy if I was to walk into a supermarket right now with no meal planning done.

Normally I would plan out a few recipes and get ingredients to match but sometimes I wouldn’t have time and so I’d just grab these essentials knowing I could do good stuff with them. In a way I taught myself to eat healthy without having to rely too much on following recipes to the ‘T ‘which was very helpful and flexible.

I’ll also talk you through the thought process I used to go through to make healthy low sugar living really easy, quick & convenient.

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The shopping list and notes

Note: This is for one person but you can easily double for more or quadruple for a family. 

First up, I’d spend most of the time in the vegetables section. I’d briefly think about my week ahead. Am I going to be out most of it or am I at home? Do I want to be making packed lunch salads everyday or have I got events where I’ll get lunch? I wouldn’t get exact about it but just roughly take a mental note of my week ahead.

Salad stuff

  • Spinach (for my base salads & very versatile to use left up)
  • Maybe watercress & rocket too (if it was a 5-day-salad week and I know I’d use it up)
  • Cherry tomatoes plus 1-2 regular tomatoes
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Celery
  • Pre-cut carrot battons (great snack fodder)
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado (mixture of ripe and to be ripened to last the week)
  • Spring onions
  • Fresh parsley and coriander (salads, main dishes and even smoothies!)
  • Lemon and a lime

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Greens to go with mains (or in salads too)

  • Kale
  • Broccoli

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Things that last a while and I’ll use somewhere in something

  • Red & white onions or shallots (1-2)
  • Sweet potato
  • Butternut squash

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Dairy

  • A large pot of plain 4% fat yoghurt or Total Greek Yoghurt
  • Organic semi-skimmed milk (occasionally I’d try out almond but unlike many, I seem to be ok with dairy and like it in my diet)
  • 1-2 cheeses of choice (usually goats cheese, cottage cheese or haloumi)

Protein

I’d think about what I have in the freezer and if I need/want to use anything up. If not I’d grab some of the following depending on how much I was around:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Chicken breasts
  • Eggs (at least 12)
  • Lamb mince

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As I write this, I’ve noticed recently that I eat a lot more vegetarian, so I might add more cheese or go for extra beans if I was feeling more vegetarian inclined that week.

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Do I need to re-stock?

These are things I just liked to have around:

  • Nut butter (snacks, on apple for breakfast, in smoothies etc.)
  • Chickpeas (cans – great for making hummus or bulking up a dish)
  • Desiccated coconut (great for homemade muesli and on yoghurt)
  • Cacao nibs (nice on yoghurt again). Watch this video for 5 ways to use them.
  • Rye bread that I keep in the freezer (I didn’t eat bread that often but liked to have it if I fancied and I could toast this straight from the freezer)
  • Nuts or seeds of any kind e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds (for homemade muesli and snacking)
  • Any particular herbs or spices that I use regularly e.g. black pepper or cinnamon are two I used a lot
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (grass fed Kerrygold brand)
  • Quinoa
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Frozen berries (for smoothies and with yoghurt as a dessert). Watch this video on how to make smoothies low sugar.
  • Bananas (I keep a few of these chopped and in the freezer for smoothies)
  • Chia seeds, cacao powder, cacao nibs and other specialised health foods like Wheatgrass powder (for smoothies and health additions)

Random unplanned treats/exciting things

I’d like to pick something up as a random treat. I think this helps bring excitement to your shopping and psychologically stops you from buying sweet treats. I think this is a super important thing that is more important than you might think so go splash out on something that you wouldn’t normally buy:

  • An unusual new herbal tea
  • Try an almond or coconut milk for a change
  • Tahini (I LOVED tahini!)
  • A new variety of dark chocolate (at least 72%)
  • A new nut butter or variety of nuts I don’t usually buy e.g. macadamia or pecans
  • A quinoa or grain mix in one of those instant microwavable bags that I haven’t tried before (great for salads and quick meal fixes)
  • Coconut cream (to make something like my sweet potato coconut balls)
  • A random (ideally seasonal) vegetable or fruit to try and cook differently e.g. fennel, asparagus or dragonfruit which is my current favourite!
  • Something new and shiny that the supermarket is perhaps promoting that is still pretty healthy and looks fun. It might have a little natural sugar but I’d like to give it a try e.g. the Rebel Kitchen Mylks – yum!

mylk-courgette-porridge

There you have it! This isn’t a shopping list to copy exactly – you will have personal preferences no doubt.

It’s just a bit of a brain dump on how I used to think when quickly on the spot and I wanted eat healthy without thinking or planning too much. Many of my recipes can be made from the things in this list.

Even if you just read this and pick up 1-2 tips then I’m happy. Writing this has made me miss my big Tesco a bit ha!

Please share

If you’ve found this helpful or you know someone else will, I would truly LOVE it if you could share this post with them or people who will be interested (maybe in a FB group or something).

For a start I have some snazzy new sharing buttons on the left hand side or below (if you’re reading mobile) and I don’t want them to go to waste. But seriously, I know this kind of practical information can really help when people are feeling a bit overwhelmed or stuck where to start with healthy lower sugar living so share the love.

Over to you

How does it compare to your healthy shopping habits? Anything you do in a similar way or do you have other healthy tips to share?

Comment below and someone else could pick up on your magic :)

 

 

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Want to moderate sugar? Then stop saying this

You sit there looking at the empty wrappers of all the chocolates you just ate; or the empty box or limp packet (in my case it was usually ginger nut biscuits).

This is not normal. I really have a problem with sugar.

I’m addicted. I think I’ve been a true sugar addict all my life.

I can never just have one and stop. I’m different and always take it too far. 

Have you ever called yourself a sugar addict like this? Have you referred to yourself as a one to others? Have you used the term in your own self talk or read something about it and thought Yes that’s me!? 

If this is the case, it might be that your sugar addict self imposed status is reinforcing you actually acting like one. Know that if do want to learn to moderate sugar, you could help yourself by paying close attention to this.

Was I a sugar addict?

When I first started Happy Sugar Habits and was trying to communicate the dangers of sugar, I sometimes referred to myself as a ‘sugar addict’ because I felt it was the term that helped people understand my story and my dilemma. And for a while, I believed it myself – I could not be trusted around certain foods.

Note: there are possibly still some references in some older articles to sugar addiction as I used it to communicate.  

Well, let me put it out there, hold my hands up and say I unintentionally miscommunicated and misunderstood this for a while:

I wasn’t actually a real sugar addict.

True sugar addicts can exist but they are not common. Full on addiction of any form is a serious disease. If you suspect you have a food or sugar addiction, you should be seeking professional help as you read this because addiction is chronic and progressive and should be dealt with immediately. It’s not one to sit on.

What I had going on was a very strong historically developed sweet preference which was combined with a restriction based way of eating that triggered binge behaviour; and a load of emotional coping mechanisms and set in stone habits that centred around sweetness and anything with a decent amount of fructose in it.

I had a very unhealthy way of using, consuming and thinking about the sugar in my life. I wasn’t addicted.

So what has the ‘sugar addict’ label got to do with moderation?

Know this…

When you call yourself a sugar addict, you assign blame. Blame to sugar for your behavior. You relinquish the control. You become more of the victim.

Whilst in some cases it might be somewhat the sugar, acknowledging this doesn’t help your learning to be able to moderate sugar.

The problem these days is ‘addiction’ is a commonly used phrase in our modern day language. Anyone can make reference to being an Instagram, jellybean or poodle addict in such a light hearted fashion.

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The difference is when you start calling yourself a sugar addict not for social interaction purposes, but because you really believe it explains the way you are behaving.

Also note the following quote:

“Dumbing down addiction to apply to any bad behaviour, gives anyone a free pass. The more this is done, the label loses its meaning and real addicts lose credibility as people with a disease” (adapted from Urban Antonio)

If you are truly an addict, as we know with alcohol and drugs, abstinence is the most recommended cure. If you apply that to your ways with sugar, it means potential life long distance all forms of sugar with no room for an ice cream on holiday or the odd slice of birthday cake. Poses a checkpoint to ask what your ideal lower sugar lifestyle looks like for you?

If you are more like I was, then you ARE able to control, re-learn moderation, change the way you think so that you can enjoy a little sugar here or there without feeling like it’s completely charge. It’s tricky, confusing and scary, but it is possible.

However to do this, it really starts with what you’re thinking. You need to stop re-enforcing your belief that sugar is calling all the shots where you are ‘completely addicted’.

But what about everything that says sugar is ‘addictive’?

I could write a lot here on this as there is science behind some of the claims, but I’ll keep simple and practical because I’m guessing, you want to change sooner rather than later right?

Know that I fully acknowledge the following:

YES, sugar does cause specific dopamine based chemical reactions in your brain which gives you a hormone high and as a result makes you seek more sugar. The more you have, the more you want.

BUT we can be pro-active in our behaviour and over time seek other ways to get our dopamine high that don’t rely on sugar as much. Thus we gradually crowd out our dopamine dependence on sweet with other things.

YES fructose does affect our bodies in ways that makes us want to gorge on it, which in turn makes us crave sweetness more and drives sugary habits to increase overtime.

BUT we can take control and tweak what we eat and change our palate overtime to naturally crave sweetness less.

YES some people have more of a predisposition to become food or sugar addicts than others due to genetics.

BUT even if you are one of these people, 50% is down to your your genetics and the other 50% you can still control with your mental, diet and lifestyle choices. So you can still have a degree of power, even if it’s harder.

As these points highlight, sugar is very powerful in what it does to us. I am as passionate as many about it’s physical and emotional dangers having worked with people and seen the struggles first hand.

However, I am here to offer a solution and to keep this practical. In terms of moving you forward, the best thing you can do is start taking the power back i.e. stop attributing all your sweet habits behaviour to being a ‘sugar addict’.

How to do this?

  1. Acknowledge sugar is a bit of a special substance because it’s impact on your brain and your palate preference, but know that you don’t want to assign all your sugar behaviour to those reasons alone.
  1. Stop saying to yourself that you are a ‘sugar addict’ to start your belief change process. Out loud is the first place to stop, then internally. Even at first you still believe it, just stop saying it as an effort to stop the self-fulfilling prophecy where you develop sugar-addict-like habits.

Remember this quote by Gandhi

Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

  1. Notice how you reacted to this article. If you found yourself a little defensive reading some parts, tune into it. It could be that you like using the ‘sugar addict’ term because it helps you explain things. Without it, it can cause some confusion as to what’s really going on and it can sometimes present some harder things to face.

In summary

Don’t get too caught up if sugar addiction exists or not, just start believing you don’t have it and stop saying it to yourself if your long term goal is to live in harmony with sugar around and enjoy it in a small sensible fashion.

This is your path to being able to enjoy that occasional sugar treat in your life guilt and fear free. It’s the path to enjoying Christmas treats happily, trying a dessert at a special restaurant whilst ditching the regular sugar habits that blatantly aren’t serving you.

Time to change…

Has this resonated with you?

Are you feeling truly ready to change around sugar in 2016? Maybe try something different to the traditional sugar detox diets that perpetuate the same on and off cycle that gets tiring.

If you’re ready tackle the deep rooted tough stuff that really holds you back and open your mind up to huge life change, then check out my 1-2-1 coaching 12 week Sweet Mindset Transformation programme.

I’ve got 4 client spots available this January for 4 very special people. Read more here and apply if you feel you’re ready.

Over to you?

I’d love to know what you think on this whole ‘sugar addiction’ topic. Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said? Have you ever called yourself a sugar addict? I welcome all thoughts and comments.

Laura xx

 

 

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The ONE thing to do every time you eat sugar

Note: I say from start to beginning. I obviously mean from start to end! Always one articulation boo boo in these videos!

Not sure where to start low sugar after Christmas? My free 4-part video course would be a great place to start if you haven’t watched it already. Sign up HERE.

Please comment below and share…What healthy things have you done for yourself this year that you can remind yourself of when you notice that sugar slapping self talk come up?

 

 

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How well do you know your overeating triggers?

Thanks for watching!

  • Before you book just make sure you have your overeating incident to hand so you can describe it.
  • Sessions are done via Skype so please leave your address.
  • You CAN do one of these if you have previously done a discovery or clarity session – I would relish the chance to check in with you again :)
  • Be prepared to take action over a two week period to make the change stick.
  • Only one session per person and once 30 are booked I will close off all slots so get in there right now!

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Can you related to that preventative eating trigger I was talking about? Do you know clearly what your own overeating triggers really are?

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How much do you fear sugar at Christmas? (& tips to fear it less)

You’ve done quite well in patches of the year. You’ve learnt about sugar, where it’s hidden and have had periods where you’ve been really ‘good’.

However, with the sugar season upon you (Christmas & New Year), there’s a little fear inside.

In fact, because you have started lower sugar life and been somewhat successful in places, you’re even more scared with it coming up to Christmas…

Are things going to take 5 steps back?

How am I going to handle all the sweet temptations? Will I eat too many mince pies? Should I try to avoid all the buffet deserts at the Christmas party?

If only I had a bit more control, a bit more discipline. Maybe I should pre-plan and make some more rules for when I attend this function/dinner party/Santa gathering!

So here’s something to consider around Christmas sugar fear…

The holy grail of changing your relationship with sugar, and potentially with food in general, is being able to eat anything you want, when you want without any fear. This includes sugar.

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So that means having no

  • Fear that you won’t revert back to old ways
  • Fear that you will undo all the ‘good’ times.
  • Fear that you will badly binge
  • Fear that cravings will come back and you won’t be able to keep a handle on them.
  • Fear that you’ll fall off the sugar wagon and be dragged back through the trials and tribulations of trying to quit again.

 

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This might sound mission impossible to you right now. It would have to me a while ago.

I didn’t realise this until I didn’t feel it because it was just normal to me. Basically since I was at uni I realised, I went through every Christmas a little anxious at how much I would ‘let myself go’ around sweet food (before I knew about sugar in detail in 2012, it was just any ‘unhealthy’ food).

How much would I have to make up for things in January? Would I be craving more sweetness again? Would I have to go on a mini ‘detox’ and big exercise regime? How extreme?

Overeating sugar this time of year is completely normal. Most people do it. But then there’s overeating sugar to excess. Think 2 mince pies verses a whole box of 6. A large slice of panettone verses nearly the whole thing (been there). 1-2 slices of Christmas cake versus a slab which is eaten by going back for more like five times over an hour (also been there).

If you’ve impinged sugar restrictions onto yourself this year you are at risk of being in the latter category and you’re probably are full aware of it. Share your own experiences if you dare!

Hence the fear…

The fear of how you’ll behave when you have free reign at Christmas sweet foods that you have a history with.

There is another way

You might not believe me completely but you can feel fearless of sugar at Christmas. You can develop to have a trust in yourself to eat a more appropriate amount. You can repeat improved habits and change the beliefs about why you behave around like you do. And from my personal experience, it’s pretty awesome and liberating when you do this.

How? How? How?

I believe there is a need for a simultaneous approach that combines sweet tastebud recalibration and lower sugar habit change ALONGSIDE education on intuitive eating, mindset and the danger of restriction. You need both and it’s not always easy to navigate the line between them – but it can be done.

 

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So what to do this Christmas?

Be mindful that I can’t give blanket advice easily here because you’re unique, however I will say a few things:

  • Eat quality sweet (special occasions, expensive chocolate, favourite treats). Don’t eat cheap advent calendar chocolate or a cheap mince pie just because they are free (read ‘Are you a sucker for free sugar‘)
  • Reduce unnecessary sugar with clever tips and new ideas. This embarrassing video I did two years ago has some suggestions. You can also try some healthy versions of festive favourites. I Quit SugarMadeleine Shaw and Deliciously Ella have some genius recipes that are fun to try.
  • Say no to some things when you feel indifferent about eating them or don’t feel like they are filling a strong hunger or enjoyment need. Say yes to others and really empower your choices – enjoy them!!
  • Pretend you CAN’T redeem your sins in January with anything extreme. Does anything change with this frame of mind?
  • Keep an eye out for over restriction or excessive obsessing
  • Focus on other forms of nourishment – gatherings, gift giving, crafts, work Christmas parties. The last are my favourite and I don’t have one this year… boo!

What’s going on with you?

Fearing sugar around Christmas is an important indicator of your relationship with it much more so than the actual sugar grams you eat.

If you do one thing from this article, just check in with yourself deeply and honestly to work out how much fear your really feeling as you enter into tricker seasonal territories.

Want more help to overcome the fear?

I have LOADS to share on this topic, much too much for a single blog post – loads of strategies, loads of tips and practical mindset ‘experiments’ that you can start doing during December to improve your relationship and self trust around sugar.

I’m going to be announcing something soon that is super special (and FREE!) and will help you take charge of sugar at Christmas like no other year.

Please make sure you are signed up here to get my e-mail notifications on it and look out in your inbox over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait then you can also book in for a free discovery session before I close this option at the end of November.

Thoughts?

Relate? Can’t stop with panettone? Wish mince pies didn’t come in boxes of six? Comment below and say what you think!

 

 

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How to overcome all or nothing thinking with sugar

The all or nothing mindset.

Go hard or go home.

Get clean or eat dirtier than ever before.

Zero grams of sugar one day to dessert, three cookies and a bar of chocolate the next.

Stick to the programme diet perfectly or do completely what they tell you not to do in full blown rebellion (which is three times worse than if you’d never tried in the first place!)

Know what I’m on about?

If you relate to the above and know a lot about where sugar is etc., this thinking is possibly one of THE biggest blockers in you maintaining a long-term low sugar lifestyle.

It will be the barrier between you and a peaceful relationship with food that is going to drain your mental energy or make you feel like you suck more than you deserve to (which ideally should be never!).

You can go sugar-free or low sugar for so long, but if you don’t address this mindset, it will come and bite you right in the bum trust me.

Sometimes helpful, most of the time not

This black and white way of thinking can apply to many aspects of life, general self-growth, habit change and of course eating less sugar. Sometimes it’s beneficial where it can drive you through a challenge with extra stamina or it can make you aim high.

However, most of the time it’s not so great.

So it’s worth recognising when this perfectionist mindset is doing you more harm than good. If you’re finding yourself going ‘on’ and ‘off’ with low sugar living where you feel increasingly frustrated, then it’s likely the case that a black and white frame of mind has a hold on you.

More sugar knowledge or restriction or will power isn’t going to help, discovering and growing comfortable in your own shades of grey is what you need to put your attention to.

How I learnt to love grey

When you’ve been living in black and white for so many years (as I did with food), learning to embrace different shades of grey is completely liberating and quite life changing.

But it’s also scary as hell at first. It feels uncomfortable and pulls your fears right up to the surface – I’ll get fat, I’ll eat loads of sugar and will never stop, I’ll lose even more control, this is how I operate and another way won’t work for me.

I said all of these things. I’d always seen things as ‘healthy’ or ‘not healthy’. A ‘good day’ or a ‘bad day’ which was usually a total right off day. Finding my grey shades that worked for me took time, effort and yes, a bit of risk, but it was worth it.

It’s really ditching the diet mentality for good (you don’t have to go on diets to have one of these) and it’s freeing. When I help people do it through coaching, I see it like setting an animal that’s been raised in captivity free on it’s own. Wobbly and dangerous at first after low sugar shifting but then true freedom follows.

The more you know, the worst it can be

This way of thinking is even more heightened when you’ve got more knowledge on how to eat lower sugar or super healthy – the increased knowledge can be even more crippling as your expectations get higher.

Let me tell you something: Just because you know stuff, doesn’t mean you have to action it all the time. It’s impossible to. Remember that.

I action my low sugar knowledge 80% of time, then 20% of the time I let it slide. I don’t work on days. I don’t work on meals. I tend to work on how something will make me feel afterwards.

Yes sugar drives cravings and cravings aren’t good, but cravings can be managed and handled MUCH easier when there aren’t crazy extreme mindsets bounding about like this.

Black or white. Win or lose. Let’s get practical.

For example, you know you want to eat your pre-planned carrot sticks and hummus instead of those biscuits that are presented to you – that it’s the ‘healthy low sugar choice’ right?

However, if you don’t eat the carrot snack that you planned, it’s a failure right?

The error in this calculation thinking is that because the full sugar-free version is ‘correct’, anything that doesn’t fit that, is a failure. So you may as well fail royally and enjoy the biscuits to the max (even to the point of not enjoying them).

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Now what if there’s a Nakd bar option around, that might just work, or maybe a piece of fruit, or dried fruit and nuts. Healthier sugar and better. No not perfect but OK.

Yeah yeah but Laura what about that post you wrote on Nakd bars and dried fruit – they are high in sugar? Yes they are, that was for awareness so you don’t eat 3 a day thinking they are a low sugar saint.

It won’t do your cravings good eating Nakd bars like there was no tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used strategically in your low sugar lifestyle efforts and finding your own ‘grey days’.

Your thinking in this case is more the enemy than sweetness is.

Remember these two main benefits of just doing a little bit or ‘going grey’:

Benefit #1 Small tweaks can add up over time.

If you cut down to ½ a teaspoon of your sugar that you put in your hot drink each time, it might feel relatively insignificant, but actually with three drinks a day over a month, you’ve just reduced your intake by 45 teaspoons barely trying.

Benefit #2 It’s more likely to stick.

Ok so you don’t manage to go completely sugar free after a meal but you’re eating a few squares of dark chocolate over half a slab of Dairy milk. You still get your fix and the new habit forms. Then you can look to tweak down later on if you want.

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So in a nutshell, notice if this mindset is damaging your low sugar efforts, you eating habits in general. If so, start to change your strategy from ‘All or nothing’ to ‘A little bit better option or nothing’

Want to live differently in 2016?

If you’d like to get help with overcoming this unhealthy though pattern once and for all whilst being mindful of the sugar, then I’m freeing up a number of slots for Free 30minute discovery chats in the run up to Christmas so get yourself booked in.

Over to you

Do you experience this mentality and what tends to happen? What would a ‘grey’ day look like for you?

Laura xx

 

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It’s not really the sugar, it’s the habit

If you could just stick to the sugar detox programme and see it through.

This will be it, I’ll shift the cravings, I’ll stop munching on highly unnecessary food in the evening and I’ll lose weight, feel great and relish being finally in control.

Sound familiar? Well, it might not really be the sugar after all and you might not even need to detox off it.

Get to the core craving

I’ve been coaching with a few clients recently who have been completing Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 Week Programme.

One super self-aware lady recognised when she would struggle the most and booked a one off clarity strategy session with me at her predicted hurdle 3 weeks in advance.

We had quite a breakthrough to say the least.

Why?

It turned out she didn’t actually need to focus on recalibrating her tastebuds as much as she had thought (one of the primary aims of Sarah Wilson’s programme is to do this).

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Yes, the large box of Malteasers whilst watching the Great British Bake Off isn’t probably how Sarah Wilson would behave these days. However, it turned out that the box of Malteasers could also be crisps, or popcorn, or anything that lasted a long time from a snack point of view.

My ears pricked up with this.

The core craving: long lasting snack satisfaction (with sugar an obvious, but not necessary preference)

You can get this same satisfaction with lots of things that aren’t sugar, and some can even be pretty healthy. We went for a long hot drink to substitute (read more swap ideas here)

Remember it’s about habits

Sometimes, with all the anti-sugar stuff going around, we think that’s sweetness the root of all unhealthy problems. Yes, I completely agree that fructose is something we can get hooked, on, however, sometimes is just 1-2 big old habits, that if changed would make a huge difference to your health and sugar cravings.

Could you pinpoint yours right now?

Take this lady as an example – she got healthy eating, she knew where sugar was hidden and largely avoided it. It was just this frequent long-lasting-snacking-with-TV habit that was de-railing her.

You could even go as far to say that 80% of her sugar consumption came from this one habit.

So if she changed this, happy days!

Remember: Your focus energy is to be valued

Habits, particularly long standing, comfort inducing, sugary ones like this example; require upfront will power to change. Read more about how much discipline do you really need to change your sugar habits.

If you’re doing a whole sugar detox or health kick programme, there’s a lot to focus on – getting the right breakfast, eating this when it says, sticking to the snack quota’s etc etc.

Thus your focus is spread quite thinly across loads of habits.

Imagine putting all of that energy and focus into just changing the ONE most powerful habits instead?

I know I bang on about this but it’s because IT WORKS! Prioritising and saying no to other things is golden to change.

If you want to stop feeling frustrated at yourself, move away from diets or restriction, then pick that one habit with the highest % of your sugar consumption and set out to shift it over the next two weeks with the best of your effort.

Share the love!

Know someone who’s got a BIG habit but is lacking the focus? Please do share and help them.

Want some clarity around your key habits and a two week strategy to set you off?

Book in for a one off strategy & clarity session with me and lets get talking!

Over to you

What is the one habit that would be most powerful for you to work on right now? Do you find you try and change to much which slows everything down? Comment below and put down your stake!

 

 

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Juice detoxing and sugar: what’s the deal?

Ah juice detoxing, one of the most hotly debated topics on the interweb and in health circles. It seems that one of the most fashionable health accessories these days is a posh bottle of green juice that you can Instagram yourself with to look like the perfect vision of health.

In London right now juice bars are certainly giving Starbucks a run for it’s money – there’s one popping up on every other street corner. With all the hype, you can’t help but be somewhat intrigued and a bit curious?

But what’s the deal with sugar and fructose concentration when super juicing? Will they mess up your sweet cravings? Are juice detoxes really worth it or just another ploy for your pennies?

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You’re confused right? I’m not surprised. I was too.

In this article I will shed some light on the topic with my own experience and help you get a balanced view so you can make your own decision.

This article is long so here’s a quick summary then you can decide if you want to read my more detailed (& somwhat entertaining account!).

To juice or not to juice

  • I would be suspect of trying to use a juice cleanse if your primary motivation is trying to quickly lose weight or redeem an unhealthy diet. Being an unsustainable practice you are likely to put the weight back on and the ‘quick fix’ approach detracts from the fact you need to be focusing on healthy long term healthy habit change.
  • Juice ‘detoxes’ and ‘cleanse’ programmes can be a bit overpriced and so be mindful that you’re paying for convenience and novelty over proven nutrition science.
  • People do juice cleanses or fasts for multiple reasons and some are noteworthy. I did mine for spiritual reasons, to challenge a limiting belief I had and to have some real experience for this post (you can read more below). Others feel they need to give their digestive system a break or just want to take focus off food for a few days to see what happens. Understand your reasons clearly if you are considering.
  • Sugar concentration from the fruit and lack of fibre can be a problem in these programmes and they may not align well if you’re trying to recalibrate your tastebuds to sweet. Many programmes I found in reasearching just had too much sweetness going on if you’re trying to get control.
  • Remember our bodies are designed to detox themselves.
  • A juice cleanse or fast can reveal a lot of learning to you around your emotional eating urges and habits which you can then use to change your habits long term e.g. if you successfully found another way to deal with an emotion.
  • In addition to my account below, I recommend you read this on Examine.com and this on Precision Nutrition. Two of the better and more balanced views on juice detoxes I found in my research.

In the name of research: my story

So I decided to do a ‘juice cleanse’ whilst in Bali. However before you pass judgement, let me explain clearly why.

My primary reason in the end was personal challenge, curiosity and let’s call it ‘spiritual exploration’ – the chance to focus on other things (meditation, journaling) away from food.

It was in fact a conversation with someone I met who relayed their experience of a 10 day water cleanse that piqued my curiously. A WHAT? Yes that was my reaction too. However, I have an open mind and was interested in the personal challenge and achievement benefits of it this person described.

I could hear the voice in my head reeling out health reasons and assumptions why I didn’t think a juice cleanse was healthy (no fibre, too much sugar, need protein, your body detoxes itself fine) or that it was just an expensive fad, but really deep down I was a bit scared of the prospect of not eating all day (or for a few days).

I didn’t think I could be strong enough to have the discipline required to complete something like that. Err hello limiting belief.

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I think my fear was part rooted in my history of having a strong emotional dependence on food. Whilst I overcame my unhealthy relationship with sugar, I’m still aware that emotional eating comes back to haunt me at times as this played big in my unhealthy sugar ways. Likewise so did mindless eating. For many years, food and decisions around food (mainly sugar) dominated me on a daily basis. What would happen if all food decisions were out of the picture completely?

So this was a challenge for me, quite a big one that made me nervous.

I’ll also add that I was in Bali and it was cheap so it felt like now or never. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to pay the fortunes in London that juicing requires or endure the hassle of making them. I also hate the waste side of things. Anyway, I decided quite spontaneously on a Thursday evening at 9pm that I was going to try this the next day and be done with my curiosity around it.

What about sugar?

I am strong in my opinion that many green juices out there are glorified sugar and fructose bombs with some spinach chucked in. The Green Godesss in the UK Pret as a perfect example (read more about what I’ve got to say about Pret snacks and juices here). The best green juice I’ve found in the UK was one at Crush. Having them to occasionally supplement a diet to get more green in is absolutely a healthy move, especially if you know you’re not getting enough vegetables at any one point.

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However, when you juice, you remove the fibre. Fibre in fruit really helps slow down the absorption of the sugar (fructose) and lessens the impact on your liver, hence why whole fruit consumed in moderation is a healthy dose of fructose that our bodies can deal with. Juice detoxes can very quickly overload you with fructose and if you’re in a period of sweetness recalibration trying to get control over your chocolate habits, this is far from ideal. Read about the difference between juices and smoothies here.

 

All the structured juice cleanses and diets that I found and researched just had too high of a fruit % going on for me. I really can’t hack sugary fruity juices that much these days because my palate has shifted, let alone a whole day of them.

Also, due to my spiritual reasoning, I was really doing a fasting challenge, just with the help of some juices and nut milks. So I made up my own rules:

  • Freshly made 80-90% vegetable juices with maybe some apple to sweeten the really green ones (Thank you to Wayan’s Coconut Juice Bar for providing me with these as required)
  • Beetroot and carrot juices OK for these three days to give me variety to green (those who are sugar detoxing I don’t recommend these as when juiced and concentrated they are quite sweet)
  • The odd cashew milk and coconut water during the day (coconut water is a source of a little fructose but it’s not significant and is extremely hydrating)
  • Aim to drink something approximately every two hours to stop getting too hungry
  • Stop gym and intensive yoga for three days (stick to yin and restorative only). Ecstatic dance twice during the weekend the exception because I LOVE IT!
  • Meditate, take it easy and let myself off from trying to achieve masses with work i.e. be much kinder to myself than I usually am

 

So what happened?

 

 

Day 1 – Woke and noticed the instant urge to eat breakfast. Wasn’t even hungry but had the urge. Interesting. Managed ok on juices. Nice green ginger number first thing. Yum. A purple beetroot fennel one was also really nice. Then I over did it with this hardcore green that I supercharged with every superfood they offered to put in it (spirulina, maca etc.). Went to ecstatic dance and treated myself to a cashew milk beforehand which gave me the energy to dance. I found coconut water really took the edge of any hunger and was nicer than the juice a lot of the time. I was quite busy with friends and tasks this day so I was nicely occupied.

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Day 2 – Went to the office to get some work done. Had to force the green juice down a bit. Started to feel a bit agitated. Wanted distraction from work. Could feel myself wanting to turn to food. MEGA interesting. Urges were frequent but I was determined at this point. Slight headache. Felt fed up. Please no more of that green juice. Went to the café and asked if they had no sugar watermelon juice. Nice lady made me one especially. Oh my gosh it was the best thing I’d ever tasted – the delicate sweetness was appreciated. Nice lady thought I was a bit mad how much I enjoyed this juice right in front of her but we bonded. Made me appreciate and feel so much gratitude for a) her b) this moment of being alive and c) this precious glass of pink juice.

 

Day 2 PM – My friend Lydia convinced me to do a colonic treatment to aid the detox process. Really not sure. Last time (4 years ago) I didn’t feel well afterwards, even if the repercussions saw my life changing awareness of sugar and the start of this blog!

Despite knowing the science isn’t there with colonic hydrotherapy, curiosity got the better of me so I tried one last time. Had coconut oil, a spirulina drink and probiotic afterwards. Juice and nut milk for dinner. Felt emotional in the evening. Felt urge for food to comfort but I was not giving in now. Resisted and felt proud. Savoured every mouthful of the nut milk like it was the last thing on earth (a mindful eating reminder at it’s best).

 

Day 3 – Woke up super energised and awesome. Not hungry atall. Didn’t fancy any of the juices so just decided to just drink water. Drank some coconut pro-biotic. Feel GREAT! Went to escatic dance. So much energy, such awesome music. Danced around like a nutter. Smiling, happy, proud that I got this far and have quashed my limiting beleifs around this. I can do anything!

Coconut-pro-biotic

 

1 hour after dance. Don’t feel so great. Went home. Got into bed. Started to shiver. Felt sick, very sick. The next 10-12 hours were a bed-ridden blur. The worst 5 hangovers I’ve had in my life combined into one. Felt like an idiot for doing this to my own body. Never again. The only thing that got me through was the thought that I could share the experience and have an entertaining story to tell. Did I say I felt like an idiot?

 

Day 4 – Woke up weak. No energy. Went and had some plain black rice pudding with coconut milk. Felt good. Ate another portion (it was small). Felt amazing. Became human again. Promised myself I would be really kind to my body over the next week to apologise for my silly curious experiment.

Afterwards – Generally felt good with energy the following week, alert and happy. Was conscious to eat really clean so mostly vegetarian and vegan salads the next few days.

The end!

 

Benefits and learnings

 

To be honest, physically, I don’t know what happened to me. I know many will have opinions and theories. Because I did both a juice detox and colonic simultaneously it’s hard to attribute to each one (scientific failing!). My suspicion is that me and colonics do not work. Some people swear by them, others say they’re a load of crap (literally). There is no strong science to support them and so I’ve made up my own mind. I can safely say I will not have one ever again.

Likewise physically on the juice detox. After research I’m not convinced our bodies need this but I do see there could be benefits. If someone’s been neglecting green intake and eating loads of not so healthy food (e.g. sugar, junk), obviously a juice cleanse is going to be an upgrade and they are likely to feel benefit.

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As I said earlier, the two best articles that I think lay things out in a sensible and balanced fashion are here on Precision Nutrition and Examine.com. Read them both and make your own decision.

 

What I do want to highlight is the benefit on a mental level which in someway makes those torturous 10 hours on the Sunday worth it.

I became super aware around my urges to eat that were obviously emotional or habitual.

The first one was breakfast on the first day when I wasn’t hungry. It’s like I knew I couldn’t have breakfast so I wanted it. Breakfast is usually where my early morning thoughts go. Was I going to be able to start my day without it? Concentrate? Well, yes I did. Life went on. The urge passed and I got on with going to the office and doing bits.

The second was on the sat night. Again I was seeking comfort and I was on my own with no company. I just had to write in my journal and actually this really helped me deal with my feelings. I now know I can use this as a strategy next time. The juice cleanse kind of forced me into proving it.

Identifying the frequency of these urges and proving to myself that they were just that, was very powerful for my self belief system.

And of course, I smashed a limiting belief about something I wasn’t sure I could ever do. This had a profound impact on my self esteem, confidence and beliefs over the next few weeks. The value in my ‘juice detox’ experiment was psychological much more than it was physical I feel.

So there you have it – my full, honest juice cleanse and detox account. I’m open to your thoughts and opinions. I only share to help if you’ve been wondering about this topic. I think it’s a very personal thing to do and everyone can react differently.

If you’re really in the thick of battling sugar, I suggest staying away from juicing and just focus on getting those cravings down as a priority. Crowding out, changing habits and shifting your sweet lifestyle towards a more savoury based one.

What have your experiences been of juice detoxing or fasting? Any sugar craving changes? I really hope you didn’t end up like I did…