Keep Sugar Cravings at Bay!

Removing refined sugary foods from your meals and snacks can revolutionise your energy levels, mood balance, concentration and sleep patterns.  Quitting the white stuff can be tough though.  It is important to look at why you are craving sugar in the first place:

Let’s focus on the top 3 reasons…

1. Skipping breakfast and not eating regularly; this means your body has to produce extra stress hormones in order to mobilise stored sugars and keep your energy up.  Long term, this puts strain on your adrenal glands, pancreas and liver.  Eating a balanced healthy breakfast including good quality protein and natural slow releasing sugars provides a steady supply of fuel to last you till lunchtime.

Good options include:

  • poached eggs, spinach and oatcakes
  • porridge with added seeds, nuts and fresh berries
  • or if you’re pushed for time, a homemade smoothie packed with fruit, ground seeds nut butter and milk.

2. Relying on caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks; sharp spikes in sugar intake give a rush of energy which is always followed by a deep slump where you feel even worse than before! Gradually cut down on caffeinated drinks and replace these with water, herb teas and green tea.  Green tea does still contain caffeine but this stimulative effect is counterbalanced by an amino acid called theanine which has a calming effect on the brain, boosting mental clarity and concentration.  Snack options include fruit and nut mixes, crudités with houmous or bean dips and brown rice cakes with nut butter.  These ideas combine protein with carbohydrates which provides a steady release of sugar into your bloodstream thereby avoiding spikes and slumps.


3. Anxiety, depression, PMT; these types of cravings are associated with low levels of mood hormones such as serotonin.  To make serotonin your brain needs particular proteins which can only get into the brain with the help of insulin. The fastest way to get insulin released is to eat sugary foods so your body craves sugar!  To avoid this effect, include foods rich in the proteins needed for mood hormone formation so your brain has a steady supply; chicken, turkey, lentils, spirulina, cottage cheese, almonds, pumpkin seeds are all good sources.

Once you have established the cause of our cravings plan meals and snacks accordingly so you know in advance what to eat and don’t risk desperately grabbing the nearest sugar fix.

If you need friendly support and guidance with kicking the sugar habit drop me a line at or call on 07910 705272 today!

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Top Tips for Thriving Through Winter

Winter is upon us and whilst snowflakes, mistletoe and bright frosty mornings are full of seasonal beauty, the next few months can play havoc with your moods, energy levels and immune system!

These top tips will help you through till Spring…

  • Low moods & cravings: changes in light levels at this time of year mean your brain can struggle to maintain its uplifting mood hormones.  Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterised by mood swings, depression, fatigue and cravings.  Your brain is craving sugary foods because insulin (released from your pancreas in response to sugar) helps both sugar utilisation and the delivery of an amino acid called tryptophan into your brain.  Tryptophan is converted into serotonin – a crucial mood elevating hormone – and melatonin which regulates sleep.  Aim to eat regular small meals and snacks containing good quality protein such as nuts, turkey, seeds or oily fish and complex carbohydrates (oats, oatcakes, wholemeal pasta, buckwheat) to give your brain both the building blocks of mood hormones and some slow releasing sugars to gently stimulate insulin release.
  • Dry skin: central heating and freezing winds suck the life out of skin and hair in winter.  Top up with plenty of essential fats from nuts, seeds, oily fish, flax seed oil and walnut oil to help your skin retain its natural moisture.  Antioxidant rich kiwi fruits, pomegranates, cherries and berries provide vitamin C for skin healing and repair.
  • Bloating: very common after a big christmas meal!  Take a digestive enzyme supplement or use bitter herbs to stimulate and support your digestive system.
  • Zero energy: dark cold days leave you feeling drained and exhausted.  Whenever possible get out in the natural sunlight for a brisk walk as exercise oxygenates every cell and stimulates serotonin release which lifts your mood.  Stay hydrated with warm water, fresh fruit juices and herb teas as dehydration causes fatigue.
  • Colds & flu: not what you want during your Christmas holiday!  Take a probiotic supplement and extra vitamin D to keep your immune cells working efficiently and  at the first sign of a cold, use a specific immune booster such as echinacea drops, black elderberry extract, manuka honey or propolis.