Sugar – A Silent Addiction

Photo of JellybeansIf you’re like me, you have a sweet tooth that has gotten you into trouble more times than you’d like to admit.

When I was a kid, as soon as I had any money, it was spent on candy. I remember quite a few times in my teen years when I had bought a bunch of candy, ate it until I felt a bit sick, and then gathered up all the candy I had in my possession, marched downstairs with determination and told my mom to hide it because I was quitting sugar once and for all (yes, you read that correctly, I did this multiple times!). As amusing as this story is, it really goes to show the addicting quality of sugar.

Sugar is all around us, and it is really difficult to completely avoid (trust me, I’ve tried). It’s found in so many different foods, even foods you wouldn’t think could possibly include sugar as an ingredient. Sugar also has several names; some of the more common names you’ll find on food labels are sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, and glucose. For a longer list of sugar types, check out Types of Sugar By Name.

I have tended to joke about my sugar addiction, saying “Oh, I really shouldn’t” as I reach for just one more jellybean. In reality, sugar addiction, as with every other addiction, is no laughing matter. Over consumption of sugar has been associated with many different health concerns including diabetes, anxiety/panic attacks, tooth decay, depression and weight gain.

So, since most of us crave the sweet stuff, what are some things we can do to minimize the harmful effects of sugar? Here are three things that I have found helpful (please note that this list is a few things that I have found to be most beneficial in my battle with sugar addiction and are not the only things you can do to combat an unhealthy relationship with sugar):

  1. Drink a glass of water – According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, “most Americans are chronically dehydrated”. So, when you start to feel a sugar craving coming on, drink a glass of water. Most of the time, what I think is a craving for sugar is really my body telling me I’m getting dehydrated.
  2. Eat natural foods that have a sweet content – some naturally sweet foods are: fruit; sweet vegetables like carrots; dark chocolate (the darker the better, but only eat what your taste buds can take, if the chocolate is too bitter for you, it’s not going to help your sweet craving!)
  3. Distract yourself with movement – I find that I crave the most sugar if I’m sitting at the computer or on the couch. Try taking a walk, doing the dishes, vacuum your house or see how many jumping jacks you can do in a row. Do something active that you enjoy, and you may just find that your craving has disappeared.

The more effort you put into thinking about what you’re eating, and the more nutritionally beneficial foods you eat and water you drink, you’ll actually find yourself wanting less sugar. Give it a try, your body will thank you for it.

Want personalized support while learning how to combat your sugar cravings? Schedule your Breakthrough session to get started.

©2012 Katie Langenhoven, Abundawonderful Coaching and Crochet

An Interesting Experiment

Happy 2013 Abundawonderful readers! I hope and pray that you all have had an incredible start to your new year.

This week I have been participating in a 7 day food/lifestyle experiment. I have committed to eating real food, abstaining from foods with added sugars, gluten, dairy, processed foods, caffeine, sugar-substitutes and cutting way back on gluten free grains (I have been eating small amounts of brown rice and quinoa). So, what have I been eating? Lots of greens, other veggies, beans, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and small amounts of fruit.

Eating a regularly scheduled breakfast, as well as purposeful movement/exercise every day has not been something I’ve done well at committing to in the past. That is, until this week. Can I tell you just how amazing I feel? Never in my life have I been completely 100% sugar-free for an extended period of time (my longest was probably a day or two, and that was more than likely sickness driven). This isn’t to say that I haven’t had a few difficulties so far! As a definite sugar addict, it has taken constant effort to say no to sugary things like candy, ice cream, and cookies. I’ve also definitely had my share of exhaustion and slight frustration as I’ve been learning to listen to what my body needs and when it needs it. But, overall (now on day 4 of 7 of the experiment) I can say that I feel great! Honestly, even knowing that I am able to say no to sugary things makes me excited 🙂

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, support is KEY to success! All of these new things I have undertaken this week are made so much easier with the accountability I have to the other women involved in this challenge. When I try to do things on my own, I have great intentions, but very quickly fall back into either harmful habits or habits that just aren’t doing me any favors.

I strongly believe that my body is a temple, given to me by God, and that I am to honor him by keeping it pure, strong and healthy. I’ve had a recurring thought this week while intentionally choosing healthy foods alone – how can I be a faithful caretaker of this body when I don’t eat mindfully or take a few minutes to move/exercise and am constantly filling it with toxic substances?

I hope my experiences in this post will help you to look into your own life and reflect on the following questions. Do I eat mindfully? What is my motivation when I eat? Do I believe my body is special and that it is important to take care of it? If you need support, I highly recommend that you get it! Whether it’s setting your intentions and then asking a friend or family member to keep you accountable or finding a coach to kick you into gear, support is key to your success.

The 12 Days of Christmas Health Coach Style

Merry Christmas, lovely readers!
Merry Christmas and blessings as you begin a new year! 

The 12 Days of Christmas Health Coach Style
By Katie Langenhoven of Abundawonderful

On the first day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
The hope of being really healthy

On the second day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the third day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the fourth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the fifth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the sixth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the seventh day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the eighth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Eight mindset mantras
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the ninth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Nine new foods to try
Eight mindset mantras
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the tenth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Ten cups of quinoa
Nine new foods to try
Eight mindset mantras
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
Eleven great soup recipes
Ten cups of quinoa
Nine new foods to try
Eight mindset mantras
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Health Coach gave to me,
12 lasting friendships
Eleven great soup recipes
Ten cups of quinoa
Nine new foods to try
Eight mindset mantras
Seven bunches of kale
Six self care ideas
FIVE BREATHING EXERCISES
Four yoga sessions
Three tasty smoothies
Two root veggies
And the hope of being really healthy

© 2012