Can we all stop and appreciate the fact that Meghan is holding an apple core in this picture? That's her idea of sweetness. When she saw this giant Jelly Belly in front of Starbucks on a recent trip to Vancouver, she passed on the samples and instead got an ironic photo.
We all get them from time to time. They creep up on us and it's all we can think about for the rest of the day. We get a bit cranky and feel like taking a snooze. We may even resort to digging deep in our pantries to see what we can come up with. I'm talking sugar cravings. We all know that when we get them they're super beastly and relentless. We often find ourselves giving in just to stop that "need" we feel.
It's okay to admit you give in. It's not the end of the world, it just means we need to take a look at why they're happening and what emotions we're experiencing and nutrients we're missing out on that are the driving factors. When we get down to it, stress is often the real culprit here. As Meghan has outlined this week, stress is a huge problem we face in our day-to-day lives. It seems to be especially prominent this time of year when our routines are changing, kids are off to school, and we have a million things on our to-do lists.
Where does the sugar craving part come in? Well, quite simply, when we're feeling stressed this drains our body's energy reserves. We instinctively crave a quick source of energy, glucose, or what we typically know as sugar. This serves as a pick-me-up in a pinch but it's followed by a terrible crash. Oh ya, and we end up storing the excess stuff as junk in the trunk.
What can we do about this? Well, there is a school of thought out there that supports giving into the need for sweetness without the calories. I'm talking about artifical sweetners. The horrible, yucky, bitter little packets of poisonous Splenda that sit on deli-counters nationwide. Have I said EW yet in this post? Well EW EW EW. We may as well be licking the residue out of ashtrays. This stuff is not good news and should not (I repeat should not) be looked to as an alternative to sugar. You can read more about this here and here.
As if it's not bad enough that this stuff is pure chemically garbage as it is, the Splenda peeps have actually gone out of their way to further healthwash their product. Their new line, "Splenda Essentials" totes the tagline "The Taste You Love. The Nutrients You Need" and contains 3 products. One contains fibre, another contains B-vitamins, and the third contains antioxidants. So basically, it's the same nasty Splenda with a smattering of synthetic nutrients and a gram of fibre. Now, let me ask, if a stick of lit dynamite had a pretty red rose attached to it would you approach it to pick that flower?
So if turning to sugar is not good for us, and going the sugar-free substitute route isn't working, what does the trick? The truth is, there is no trick! We just need to calm ourselves down and deal with our stressors head on. This means thinking about what we can do to cope with any tough stuff we're facing, and making the right lifestyle and nutritional choices to support us through it. Of course, we need all the good stuff more than ever: fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and maybe even the super powered goods. We need ample rest, some relaxation time, and a dose of moderate exercise. Let's all take a deep breathe and remember not to take life too seriously. It's supposed to be fun right?! Laugh a little!
Question Of The Day: Do you ever experience sugar cravings? How do you deal with them?