Right now, I’m working on kicking the sugar habit with the help of Dr. Scott Olson. Dr. Olson is a naturopath who has written what I think is the seminal work on sugar addiction – Sugarettes . Dr. Olson is currently leading a group of people – myself included – on a special 30 Day no sugar plan.
Although I am not 100% sugar-free yet, I am working the program to get there. I have greatly reduced my sugar and will be going mostly raw in the next week as it naturally lends itself to sugar-free eating sans both agave nectar and honey.
As Olson mentioned to those of us in the program, “Agave is a sweetener made from the same plant that tequila is made from, it has been proposed lately as a good alternative to sugar because it is low on the glycemic index. Agave is not high in glucose because it is mostly fructose and, so, appears to be a low-sugar food when you look at the glycemic index, but don’t be fooled.” He mentions more on the topic on his web site with his complete guide to sugars
I’m not sure I can live my life without agave, but I can sure do it for a month at least.
Basically, Dr. Olson is one of the first people to put together all the information regarding sugar addiction. Yes, he, like I, knows that sugar is an addiction. I can eat a whole box of cookies without stopping or being full which is why I’ve struggled all my life with weight issues. I am a sugar-aholic.
He likens the danagers of sugar eating to those associated with cigarettes which we can all understand. This is where he gets the name of his book, Sugarettes. Sugar is ‘just as hazardous to our health as smoking…maybe even more so.’
I’d suggest that you check it out and when you do crave the ‘sweet stuff’, follow Dr. Olson’s tips:
- **** Eat often: This not only helps balance your blood sugar level, but it also lessens the number of cravings you will have. While you may feel silly eating lunch at ten o’clock in the morning and having another lunch around noon, and yet another meal at two o’clock, having three small lunches is a great way to balance your blood sugar level.
- Eat dried fruit: Many people crave sweet foods after they eat. Eating something like fruit or a dried fruit following a meal can help. Don’t overdo it, though.
- Salad greens: Many grocery stores stock mixed salad greens. Eating these before a meal tends to fill people up; they are also loaded with vitamins and other nutrients so it’s a great two-for-one filler-upper!
- Exercise: If you feel that craving-monster beginning to creep up on you, go for a walk. Exercise not only gets you out of the kitchen and onto the street and away from your temptations, it has also been shown to reduce cravings.
- Brush your teeth: Brushing gives you a sweet taste and many people don’t feel like eating once their mouths have been cleaned.
- Drink water: Sometimes cravings get mixed up in your brain and what your body really needs is water and not sugar. Try drinking a glass of water when your cravings begin.
As he says, “it’s only a craving.” It will go away! I sure hope so, but I’m going to do my best to be sugar-free not just for January but beyond. My health depends on it.