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Feel Good Friday: It's time to break up with sugar!

Sugar can cause mood swings which will just make our ability to cope with our existing reality that much worse.

Apologies for my long absence. 2019 ended on a pretty high note after a very scary December. My youngest daughter and I were diagnosed with dengue; she had the near death scary hemorrhagic version. Fortunately, we were released from the hospital just in time for Christmas.

But between that experience at the end of last year and starting this year off playing catch-up, I had to take the hiatus.

Anyway, enough of that. I am back here to support you feeling good at an extremely critical time. This COVID-19 ain’t no joking matter and I believe it will be with us for some time in the foreseeable future. I also want you to know that you are not helpless in the situation.

I’m really concerned about your overall health at this time, but I don’t want you to be scared and feel helpless. You can come away from this situation stronger and healthier than ever before.

Let this be the catalyst for you to make the changes you have known for sometime that you need to make. Let us FINALLY be proactive about your health.

For starters, we should all be following guidelines put up by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as it relates to physical distancing and curfews. Mask up people!

What I want to talk to you about though is other stuff that is directly within your control. There are things that we can do to boost our immunity. Things we can do to strengthen our body’s defenses.

A strong immune system does not come from taking thousands of milligrams of vitamin C and zinc. A strong immune system comes from all your body’s systems functioning together optimally. This means your diet, digestive system, sleep cycles, stress levels, inflammation levels, relationships, work situation, home situation. These all play a part in either strengthening or weakening our immune system.

That said, it’s time for that long overdue BREAK-UP. Break up with who you ask? You haven’t seen your friends in months! Well, it’s time to break up with SUGAR!

Sorry, not sorry.

Whyyyyyyy you ask? Here’s why:

  • Sugar heightens the inflammation levels in your body.

  • Sugar negatively impacts your gut microbiome, negatively impacting your digestive system.

  • Sugar can cause mood swings which will just make our ability to cope with our existing reality that much worse.

  • Sugar causes uncontrolled spikes and crashes in your blood sugar. And what we know so far is that people with a compromised metabolism of sugar, whether through Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes, are more at risk from serious complications arising from a COVID-19 infection.

Cutting out sugars is going to go a long way towards improving our health.

But how can you do it? Especially when you've probably been breaking into the snack cupboard more than ever before.

Well, it's really quite simple. And here are my top 4 simple steps to breaking up with sugar this weekend.

  1. Start to read labels of everything you consume, checking for sugars in the ingredients label. Sugars hide under alternate names such as maltose, dextrose, glucose, galactose, lactose, maltodextrin, sucrose, fructose, sucralose, corn syrup solids, dextrin, agave nectar, barley malt, brown rice syrup, black strap molasses, caramel, carob syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup,

  2. Swap out any juices or sodas that you’re still drinking and switch over to water or coconut water.

  3. Stop adding sugars to any of your beverages such as coffee or tea.

  4. Switch from dried fruits to fresh fruits. Dried fruits have up to 10 times more sugar than the same fruit when fresh. No more raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

  5. Do not switch to sugar replacements as those can also cause harm. If you must have something, Monk fruit or Stevia are pretty decent choices.

  6. Please note that Honey is still sugar. So swapping to honey or agave does not make sense.

And yes, I know it's easier said than done. So here are my Top 3 tips for success:

  1. Start your day with a high protein, high fiber meal including some good fats. Try 2 scrambled eggs loaded with veggies like onion, garlic, broccoli, tomato, sweet pepper.

  2. Stay well hydrated all day long.

  3. Read labels…sugar is sneaky and hides in everything from peanut butter to salad dressings.

Drop me a line and let me know how things are going with you. If you need a little extra help mapping out your quit sugar plan, you should know that my coaching sessions are being conducted now via videoconferencing call.

Originally published on Loop Jamaica

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