The Low Down On Sugar: Understanding Your Cravings – Part 2

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By Christie Korth, CHC AADP

Continued from Part 1 of this article…..

fruitswhiteAs far as sugar is concerned, you can easily take matters into your own hands by choosing sugars which are considered complex carbohydrates vs. refined or simple carbs. Complex carbs, like fruits, veggies, beans and grains provide long lasting energy by releasing the sugars into the body slowly. Table sugar and “white foods” are refined carbohydrates which cause the blood sugar to spike due to its rapid release in the body. Refined or simple carbs pack on the pounds and contribute to diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, arthritis; and more. While that peanut butter and banana sandwich my look amazing for lunch, consider eating only one slice of bread and subbing the rest of the meal with an apple. Notice if you have more or less energy when you eat this way. You are certainly getting more vitamins and allowing room for more whole foods, thus preventing disease and lowering your sugar intake.

Consider checking out more natural resources for sugar…

Maple Syrup: This product consists of brown rice that has been ground and cooked, converting the starches to maltose. Brown rice syrup tastes like moderately sweet butterscotch and is quite delicious. In recipes, you may have to use up to 50% more brown rice syrup than sugar, and reduce the amount of other liquids.

Agave Nectar: A natural liquid sweetener made from the juice of the agave cactus. It is 1.4 times sweeter than refined sugar, but does not create a “sugar rush,” and is much less disturbing to the body’s blood sugar levels than white sugar.

Molasses: Organic molasses is probably the most nutritious sweetener derived from sugar cane or sugar beet, and is made by a process of clarifying and blending the extracted juices. The longer the juice is boiled, the less sweet, more nutritious, and darker the product is. Molasses imparts a very distinct flavor to food. Blackstrap molasses, the most nutritious variety, is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Dates: Dates are like natures candy and can be used to mimic caramel in snack bars when mixed with fried fruit and nuts. Dates can also be used can be used in salads, to sweeten baked goods, etc. Dates are high in minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

Dates are like natures candy and can be used to mimic caramel in snack bars when mixed with fried fruit and nuts.

Try using one of these natural sweeteners to swap out white sugar in your next holiday or dessert recipe. All three liquid sweeteners work very well in batters, cakes, smoothies, cereals, granola, and puddings. The dates work best in cakes, smoothies and bars. Natural sweeteners allow for the best way to enjoy sweets -without the guilt! If you can simply start by trying these recipes at home, you will be surprised how quickly and easily you can be healthier and happier by eating less refined sugar. To your health!

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.

The Low Down On Sugar: Understanding Your Cravings – Part 1

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By Christie Korth, CHC AADP

junkfoodIt’s 3pm and you are sitting at your desk at work, trying to silently nudge the time along so you can clock out. You’re tired, and the candy machine in the lounge is calling your name. A war begins in your head- with one side trying to fight the urge to but in the end, the other wins and you convince yourself you need a pick me up. Suddenly- the apple on your desk looks less appealing. Before you know it, you are looking at the empty peanut chocolate bar wrapper on your desk. Almost as fast as you ate the bar, you feel guilty. Why does this happen?

Sugar stimulates the feel-good, stimulating hormone dopamine- which; for some can be chronically low and lead to sugar cravings. Other times, a more simplistic reason is to blame- dehydration. Your body sends signals to the brain for water, and the cravings can be misinterpreted for a sugar craving. Next time you are out to lunch and want dessert, check to see if you have consumed any water. If not, you may be surprised to see your craving disappears after a cool glass of water.

Here are some other reasons for craving sugar:

1: Emotional Eating: Do you ever eat when you are bored, or upset? We eat when we are happy at a celebration and when we are struck by a craving. Consider if what you are really craving is food, or if you are sad for example- if you really just need to talk or a hug. Paying attention to your physical and emotional needs and being in tune with what your body is really asking for is key.

2: Yin/Yang theory: Consider eating one food can cause you to crave another. For example, foods which are considered Yin foods are expansive foods like sugar, alcohol, white foods, milk, and foods like meat, cheese, eggs and salt are considered Yang foods, which are contractive. Eating these foods can cause a craving for another. Ever want something salty after you eat something sweet? Consider eating more neutral foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, poultry, fish, beans, and the like.

saladplate3: Seasonal Eating: Sometimes we crave foods because of the season. Up until the past couple 100 years, we ate seasonally. For example, if you lived in New York, odds are- you didn’t have pineapple in December like we have access to today. Consider we should eat more warming foods in the fall and winter like meats, squashes, and root vegetables, more greens in the spring and cooling, refreshing fruits like watermelon, peaches and plums in the summer. Eating according to Mother Nature’s unique schedule is not only cheaper, but tastier and better for your bodies overall needs.

Even if you think you don’t consume a lot of sugar, please evaluate your dietary intake carefully. In my book, The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: Using Whole Foods to Relieve Crohn’s Disease and Colitis, I reveal that the average American eats 142 lbs of sugar, per person, per year. That is someone’s entire body weight in sugar, or 70 lb boxes per person! Or put into daily perspective- the average American consumes about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.

If you’re not sure how this is possible, consider we are accustomed to drinking our calories in coffee, juice, soda and sports beverages. We consume doughnuts for breakfast, rolls with processed meat for lunch, cake for dessert, the list goes on and on. Think about this is impacting our society. The fuel we put into our bodies surely plays a role in the auto immune disease pandemic we are seeing today. We have more and more people succumbing to preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer than ever before. Most people today are not fortunate enough to report not knowing someone with any of these diseases. How can we stop the increase in these diseases? The answer is simple: eat less sugar, refined fats and meat and consume more whole, unprocessed foods.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article…..

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.

Tips to Embrace Midlife Cravings for Change – The Truths of Midlife Transformation

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By Diane Lang

seniorcoupleexercisesmallYes, it’s true — I’m midlife, which has its ups and downs. Yes, I like myself better. I feel more confident. I’m more authentic (still working on that) and feel overall more optimistic.

On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of wrinkles, gray hair and all the new body aches and pain that comes with age.

I truly believe that midlife is a transformation. It’s a time you start searching for more and have cravings for change. You start questioning your everyday life.

– Is this all there is?

– What’s my true identity and my purpose for being here?

– What happens when I die? (this is a time for questioning of mortality as well as our life)

So, yes, you will go through some big changes during midlife. Is that bad?

Absolutely not. When we hit midlife, we start looking forward to changes. Actually, I will go a step further and be really truthful. We want change and we look forward to making them. Fear loses some of its grip. We stop caring what others think and care more about our own feelings.

We lose patience with drama and start searching for friends that fit our new interests and goals. We realize our friends mirror who we are as people. So, if you’re not sure who you are? Just look around at your closest friends/family and you can get a clear picture of who you are.

Finally, we realize that self care is important. Unfortunately, we had to wait untill we had those aches, pains and body changes but no matter what, we wake up to self-care.

familywalkHere are some tips to achieve positive, midlife change that you may be craving:

– For this April make yourself a priority and set up a to-do list of all the self-care activities you want to do.

– Do an emotional detox and lose the “toxic” people which will allow room for more positive people.

– Set up a long term goal and the short term goals that will get you there. Keep the goals and time frame realistic and attainable. Set up a positive reinforcement schedule also. If you accomplish a goal of course, you should praise and reward yourself!

– Realize and accept you’re in midlife and change is near. Make changes that are true to who you are deep inside. Changes that fit your personality. Changes that make you feel good and are in-line with your intentions.

Diane Lang is a Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University.