How to reduce your sugar intake in 3 easy steps

How to reduce your sugar intake in 3 easy steps

Before we look at how to reduce your sugar intake, let’s look at how many products have sugar in them.

Sugar is addictive and not particularly good for us and has become a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing! I just typed ‘sugar’ into the search box of a well known supermarket online grocery store out of curiosity. What appeared were actual bags of sugar, sugar alternatives, sugar-free products and of course a sugar bowl.

The sugar-free products are interesting as the manufacturers obviously know people are on to them and  have come up with sugar-free versions of their products for people who don’t want to consume masses of sugar.

What’s frustrating is how we are led by supermarkets and manufacturers to buy what they want us to buy. Take this online grocery shopping. It is very useful that we can clearly see how much in money each product is by 100g compared to others. And of course price is important, but what about showing the sugar content per 100g? To enable us to make informed decisions without being investigators during our weekly shop.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but most sugary products come in brightly coloured packages. This is another sneaky trick that companies use to play on our minds as colour appeals and distracts. There is an incredible amount of psychology in colours and marketing!

Come out come out, wherever you are

I recently asked on Facebook  what products people thought had a high amount of hidden sugar in them and the replies were well educated. Here are some of them:

  • Ready meals
  • Fruit juice
  • Children’s yoghurt and fromage frais
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Stir fry sauces
  • Cereals
  • Smoothies
  • Breakfast bars
  • Low fat products
  • Coke
  • Soup
  • Pizza

Next time you are thinking of buying something just sneak a look at the sugar content, you might be surprised!

Go sugar-free with Hypnosis

So you probably know that sugar is bad for you and want to cut down your sugar intake or maybe even want to go sugar-free I’m going to give you some insights on how you might do this.

A few years ago, with my Hypnotherapist hat on, it occurred to me that sugar was a lot like other addictions of smoking, food, shopping and gambling. There was the thought process of wanting it and the physical process of craving something addictive. As I treat both these aspects when I help clients give up smoking or lose weight, I applied similar processes and developed a unique ‘go sugar-free’ programme.

I tested this programme myself first and didn’t eat processed sugar for a year. I felt amazing. My energy levels were stable, my sports performance was tip-top and I felt so good. Since then many clients have been through that programme with me face to face in Sussex and on Skype. They have reduced or stopped their sugar intake.

If you just want to reduce your sugar intake yourself, here’s my three top pieces of advice.

1 – Don’t have sugar with sugar with sugar

When you crave sugar you want the sweet taste, the energy rush or maybe a brief escape. So you really don’t need to overdo it. If you are having a chocolate bar, or some sweets, you don’t need a sugary drink with it. Let the one ‘sugar fix’ settle in and see how you feel.

Savour the thing you are having, eat it in small bites or nibbles and take your time. Your taste buds are looking for it, they want it to taste, but this doesn’t mean having 2 or 3.

You can have the pleasure without the need to overdo it, getting high on sugar and beating your insulin up.

2 – Discover the sweetness of nature

punnet of berries

Once to start to have less sugar, you will be amazed how sweet everything is! Nature really did give us enough sweetness in fruit. Now word of caution here as any form of natural sugar including maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, or fruit will impact our blood sugar levels. But when compared to sweets full of E numbers or chocolate and biscuits which also have lots of fat and preservatives, fruit is a better choice.

Rediscover your fruity side with exotic fruit salads, juicy berries and crunch  apples. Pineapple is so delicious too and anti-inflammatory.

If you are really serious and have gone sugar-free and you have a serious craving, a nice dried date can really sort that out!

3 – Keep a sugar diary

Remember earlier I mentioned the thought process of wanting it and the physical process of craving something addictive? Well, many sugar cravings are driven by an emotional need.

What will often trigger eating a sugary snack is something that stirs you emotionally like a stressful situation which you ‘eat your way out of’ as a distraction. Or maybe an unpleasant encounter with someone. A really common one is tiredness. If you keep a diary for one week, noting what you want to eat or do eat and HOW YOU FELT when you ate it (or nearly ate it) you will definitely see some themes! Try to think of strategies to avoid those triggers.

Get Your Free Sugar Diary Worksheet Here:

If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch in the blog comments or on Facebook.

If you want to go sugar-free, it only takes 4 sessions of Hypnotherapy so get in touch for your appointment in person in Sussex or Worldwide on Skype.

Healthy eating – Day 24 -Lucy Pook makes raw chocolate!

Lucy Pook is a naturopath from Brighton. And owns Lucy’s luscious raw chocolate which is handmade in Brighton.

Lucy Pook

I am still inspired after 20 years

I have been a naturopath for nearly 20 years now and I am still inspired by my diet and healthy lifestyle. I don’t get bored of food and feel that I eat like a king even though I am not eating so called “normal” foods and have had to cut out a lot of my favourite foods due to allergies and intolerances.

I begin my day with a pint of warm water either in the form of a mint tea or just lemon and water. When I trained with Barbara Wren in the 90,s we didn’t talk about food till the fourth month. The main focus was on hydration as nothing will be absorbed without water.

We lose 4 pints of water a day and so we need to replace that same amount…..having my water first thing makes it easier to keep up with the quota….plus we all wake up dehydrated, your urine is dark and the first thing the body needs is water…..not food.  If I am working from home that day I will have another pint of water before my breakfast or rather brunch. This means I am pretty hydrated to start my day.

Using seasonal fruit in my smoothies

Sometimes I will have a smoothie depending on the season..in the spring and summer it’s a smoothie every morning but in the winter it’s either porridge or my brunch. My smoothies for the last month have been rich in blackberries, Britain’s very own super food rich in anthocyanins which attach to cancer cells and destroy them.

Because I am intolerant to bananas as well as coconut oil..annoying..I use either a pear or nectarine to blend with my freshly picked blackberries and mint. I add soaked linseed water to increase hydration plus a pinch of seaweed for iodine, some milk thistle for liver support and my favourite super food at the moment a teaspoon baobab powder rich in vitamin C. Plus some raw activated almond milk. In the spring I will have green smoothies to help clear out the liver with spinach mixed with seasonal fruits.

This keeps me going for an hour whilst I am writing and photographing my raw chocolate recipes or making my chocolate. If I am seeing a client I will wait until after our session to eat my brunch.

Rye bread is ok for wheat intolerance

I have had 2 kinesiology tests these last couple of years one with a Vega master machine and one with a friend and they confirmed what I already knew, I am intolerant to wheat and I am lactose intolerant. But I am fine with rye..yippee and so I now live on rye sourdough where it is fermented to make the grain more absorbable. It’s how bread used to be made.

I don’t have butter but I toast the bread and make a salad rich in olive oil dressing and raw vinegar with tons of watercress with avocado celery and red onion. Then I boil an egg. The dressing saturates the bread, it’s so delicious. I have another piece of toast with almond butter and sugar free apricot jam with a cup of hot chocolate made with raw cacao powder, sweetener, water topped up with almond milk.

I will have a large spoonful of deep sea fish oil in the winter months or krill in the summer as we need less omega 3 when it is warm, this keeps me going for hours.

I shop daily

I am usually out in the afternoon shopping or delivering chocolate. I shop daily. It’s how the hunter gathers would have gathered their food. As fresh as possible and choosing, feeling and smelling your food. The idea of shopping for a week is alien to me. I drink more water before I leave home but if out too long I may buy a kombucha drink from my lovely local health shop.

When I get home after all that walking I am usually hungry and will normally have sweet mashed potato with olive oil, another green salad with sauerkraut and some fish. Or I may have quinoa cooked in a teaspoon of turmeric or make my quinoa bake. See my facebook or website.

Some raw chocolate or a gluten free cake that I made might be my pudding but sometimes I just have a hot chicory drink with almond milk.

My food is 90% organic. I use very little salt. I have also found out recently I am intolerant to the nightshade family so no more potatoes, but sweet potatoes are OK.

Basically I live on salads. I have two a day even in the winter. Our closest living relatives the apes live on greens 45% of their diet in fact. What I have learnt is that if you can live on greens which provide us with every nutrient we need we are half way there.

For more info please look at my website

A note from Honey

Thank you Lucy for sharing your attitude to food and eating with us and I will have to come and try some of your chocolate!

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See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

Healthy eating – Day 23 -Love the skin you are in says Fiona Crichton

Love the skin you are in and the body within

Fiona Crichton is a kettlebells and pilates instructor from Edinburgh. Here she talks about loving your body and some great top tips for healthy eating. Over to Fiona….

Fiona looking glam

If you are anything like me then you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, to love yourself for the person you are and the body you have. Wouldn’t life be much easier that way?

Ideally I want to look good, feel good and be able to eat what I want. Thankfully in my late 30s I have found what works for me. I’m generally happy with my size, how I look and I have no health issues. You may think I’m lucky but it wasn’t always this way.

I became a yo-yo dieter

Fiona feeling lousy

In my 20s the health issues I had were caused by a hormone imbalance resulting in digestion problems, spotty skin and very irregular or no period. At the time I was not happy with my heavier weight and felt pretty lousy.

Going to the Doctor I found they only treated the symptoms instead of the cause. I started my own research going on my own journey of self-discovery. I learned a great deal about health, exercise and what causes disease.

I tried diets, which of course never worked. The deprivation made me crave fat and sugar and I became obsessed and a classic yo-yo dieter.

It all started with Jane Fonda!

With the exploration into the world of healthy eating I came across some inspiring people like Tom Venuto; A clean eating body builder, blogger and author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. I learned feeding your body with good food is the key to optimal health. However, having an 80/20 rule with food choices will help to prevent cravings and the deprived feeling.

Doing exercise from a young age has been a great benefit. I would jump around the living room to my mum’s Jane Fonda video while feeling the burn.

Now I teach my own Kettlebell Classes called Kettlercise and also Pilates. These have made a huge difference to my body and my health. It is great having lean muscle that burns more calories enabling me to eat more and I love helping others achieve their fitness goals.

I was too thin

After my first child was born I felt too thin, but now with two children my body is in great shape. What has changed in my health since then is integrating plant based vegan foods into my diet.

I eat a daily smoothie with pea rice and cranberry protein powder, a complete protein with amino acids vital for brain health and feeding lean muscle. It doesn’t cause digestion problems like soya or whey protein can.

My son enjoying a smoothie

I include greens balance, a rainbow of fruit and vegetables in one scoop. I add half an avocado with its essential fatty acids as I love what it does for my skin plus it makes the smoothie nice and creamy.. yum. Sometimes I have to share it with my kids!

Lunch and dinner mostly consist of egg and toast, soup and salad or a sandwich. Dinner is mostly meat, veg and rice or potatoes.

My top tips for healthy eating that work for me:

  1. Eat every 4 – 5 hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady
  2. Have portion control – excess carbs will not be burned causing excess sugar in your body
  3. Good fats like coconut oil, flaxseed, avocado and fish oil are essential for optimal health
  4. Going for low fat alternatives is seriously bad for your health as well as being less tasty. Sugar is added to make the low fat foods taste better.
  5. Fibre is essential for good digestion and you can lose as much as 9lb in one year just by increasing your fibre intake.
  6. Gut health is paramount. Studies now show we have brain cells in our gut. The gut feeling is our gut sending messages to our brain. There may even be a link to brain degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease (remember the ice bucket challenge) among others which affect over 45 million people worldwide. Our gut health is being affected by processed food, our over use of antibiotics and exposure to environmental toxins. David Permutter MD states “It has become clear that the lining of the gut plays a fundamental role in determining the degree of inflammation that the human body experiences.”
  7. Since all of our systems in the body are connected; none of our systems are independent of each other. Therefore, gut health can affect your digestion, cause food sensitivity, change your mood, cause skin problems, diabetes, poor memory and ADHD and autoimmune disease. A solution is to temporarily remove inflammatory foods such as dairy, gluten and alcohol. Replace with good bacteria, probiotics and digestive enzymes.
  8. Ditch the diets. Start by loving your body the way it is then focus on making small changes every day to create the daily habits that will make a massive change over time.

 

Fiona helps others to look and feel their best, have more energy and to improve their eating habits on her Healthy Living Programme. Contact fionacrichton@outlook.com for more information or to join. Or find more information on her kettlebell classes here.

A note from Honey

Thanks Fiona for that insight into your diet and your top tips.

Why sign up for my newsletter?

  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording
  • You will be first to hear about special offers and other exciting things

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

Healthy eating – Day 22 -Health Coach Hannah March from Shorebeing

Health coaching from a health coach

Health coach Hannah March owns ShoreBeing a health and fitness company hosting wellbeing retreats alongside holistic health coaching, personal training, boot camps and running courses across West Sussex.

Separate the nutrition to stay focused

Juggling all the different areas of ShoreBeing alongside my degree and being a mum to a five year old means that life is always busy! I find that separating the nutrition from the fitness side of my business helps me to keep focused so I dedicate specific days to certain jobs.

I’ve set aside today to work on the wellbeing retreats as I have a day retreat on Saturday at The Artisan Bakehouse, I’m also finalising my 2017 residential retreat schedule.

A good breakfast starts the day right

healthy breakfast

I’m an early riser so my day starts at 6am, if I don’t have any personal training clients I’ll do a morning meditation to mentally prepare me for the day ahead. I always eat a good breakfast, today I had banana porridge topped with stewed apples, coconut yogurt, almond butter, flaxseeds, blueberries and dried raspberries.

Preparing for a lovely retreat on Saturday 24th September

I will check my emails at 8am as I provide online support to my weight loss clients but work tends to start properly at 9am once I’ve dropped Sonny to school. This morning is dedicated to Saturday’s day retreat, which I’m really excited about, The Artisan Bakehouse is a beautiful venue and it’s such a lovely atmosphere. The retreat includes a Pilates class, a mindfulness session and a nutrition workshop then we break for a two course lunch so there’s quite a bit to prepare!

Each retreat has a different focus, this week we’ll be looking at how to start the morning for a positive and happy day ahead. The nutrition workshop is about healthy breakfasts, I develop recipes that follow the same ethos as my online cook club – they have to be suitable for the whole family, reasonably priced and simple to make. Now that I’ve finalised the demonstration recipes I can make a start on the shopping list!

The only thing left to do for the day retreat is plan the two course lunch, I tend to use recipes from my blog so that people can recreate the dishes at home. This weekend we’ll be having soup with an autumnal salad followed by a sugar-free, gluten-free dessert – raw chocolate brownies are always a favourite!

Lunch with leftovers

I eat lunch early, I tend to make life a little easier by having leftovers. Dinner is the meal we spend most time preparing and is usually contains most vegetables, saving some for lunch not only cuts down on further cooking, it will also be nutrient-rich and help to control portion sizes.

I post a new recipe to my blog every Monday and always give it one last run through on the day to make sure the recipe is right so today’s leftovers are Vegan Thai Yellow Curry!

This afternoon I’m working on 2017’s residential retreats – I’ve recently secured an amazing new venue so next year will see the introduction of my Yoga & Mindfullness weekend retreats in Arundel. I’m going to be exhibiting at The Om Yoga show for the first time so I need to furnish my stand, design and arrange printing of the promotional material, arrange travel for the retreats team and finally arrange childcare! There’s a lot to be done and is seems a little daunting so I’m breaking each job down into bitesize chunks to make it more manageable.

Work life balance

I stop work temporarily at 2.30pm to spend the afternoon with Sonny, it’s not always possible to switch off completely but I try to keep away from my computer during these hours.

I start preparing dinner at 4pm, I usually have to cook while playing Top Trumps Dinosaurs! Tonight I’m making Caponata, an aubergine antipasti that tastes great hot or cold so it’s perfect to set aside for tomorrow’s lunch. I eat dinner early as I work three evenings per week.

Personal training time

I have two personal training sessions scheduled for tonight, I’m very lucky in that I attract lovely clients so work never actually seems like work! I arrive back home at 8.30pm and start my night routine; a shower followed by a relaxing cup of herbal tea.

I put together my clothes for the next day to avoid panic in the morning and check my diary to visual the day ahead. I’m prone to bouts of insomnia so I always mediate before bed to clear my mind, if it’s a good night I’m asleep by the end of the recording!

 

A note from Honey

Thanks Hannah for that insight into your day and I wish I was free on Saturday to come to your retreat!

Why sign up for my newsletter?

  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording
  • You will be first to hear about special offers and other exciting things

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

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