3 Tips For Alleviating Sugar Detox Side Effects

Minimizing added sugar in your diet is a big step in the right direction when it comes to improving your health, but while your body adjusts to your new diet; you can experience some unpleasant sugar detox side effects. They may include headaches, body aches, nausea and of course cravings for anything and everything sweet. The key is resist the urge to go running for the vending machine or office candy dish. Instead, try these three tips to help you make it through the relatively short detox period.

Drink Lots of Water

First and foremost make sure you drink plenty of water. Not only will staying hydrated help alleviate many of the detox symptoms, but it will also keep you full.

Feel a headache coming on? Get a glass of water. Want a cookie or donut? Get a glass of water. One of my favorite strategies when I don’t think I can make it without another sweet treat or when the plate of danishes in the breakroom are calling my name is to pour myself a big glass of water, drink it slowly and then make myself wait 15 minutes. By then the craving has usually passed, or at the very least, I’m so full with water that I can pass on the sugary stuff.

Supplement With A Good Multi Vitamin

Vitamin C, B vitamins, and Zinc are all known to help with cravings. Taking a good multi vitamin may be just the thing to help reduce detox side effects and make it through the few not so pleasant days of getting used to consuming a lot less sugar.  In addition, you can talk to your medical care provider about supplementing with a few of these micronutrients in higher doses. Don’t do this without medical supervision or the advice of your doctor though.

Stay Busy

Last but not least, I need you to realize that a lot of the cravings and not feeling well is in your head. The more you focus on negative side effects of detoxing from sugar, the worse they will get. The best way to avoid this is to stay busy. While I don’t recommend doing a sugar detox when you’re at work, particularly during a busy or stressful time, staying busy is a good idea. Make some plans to head out with friends, go for a walk, reorganize your closet, or just settle in for a Netflix marathon. What you do doesn’t matter as long as you stay busy and keep your mind of the sugar detox symptoms.

Before You Detox – Be Prepared For These Sugar Detox Symptoms

When you decide to cut the sugar out of your diet, you may go through quite the withdrawal. Before you jump in cold turkey, let’s take a look at some of the detox symptoms you can expect over the coming days. When you know what’s coming, that it’s normal and most importantly that it will only last for a few days, it is much easier to make it through this tough transition period of detoxing from your sugar habit.

Intense Cravings

The first thing you’ll notice is that you start to crave sugary treats. It starts out with you thinking that a cookie would be nice. Then the cravings get worse until you’re ready to do just about anything for a sweet treat. Your best bet is to get anything sweet out of the house before you start to crave and cave.

Mood Swings and Tiredness

Don’t be surprised to go from “I can do this” to “no way” in a matter of minutes. Mood swings, crankiness and even feelings like all you want to do is nap are not uncommon as your body starts to detox from the sugar.

Distract yourself. Call a friend, watch a movie, or go take nap. Do whatever it takes to make it through these few days of sugar detox. Remember that no matter how crappy you feel, this won’t last long.

Headaches

Sugar has quite the effect on the brain, as does detoxing from it. It’s not uncommon to have a headache as your body gets used to running without the sugar. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some black coffee or an aspirin will help as well.

If you are getting nauseous in addition to having the headache, try drinking some unsweetened peppermint tea.

Joint and Body Aches

Some people experience flu-like symptoms including joint and body aches. It’s your body going through the sugar withdrawal. Try drinking some warm chicken broth or take a hot bath in Epsom salt. The symptoms could be caused by an electrolyte imbalance and both of those will help. Some people swear by drinking some pickle juice to get rid of the aches.

Shakes and Chills

Last but not least you could experiences shakes and chills. It may feel like a fever or you’re coming down with some nasty bug, but again, it’s just sugar withdrawal symptoms. Crawl in the bed and sleep through the worst of it if you can. By the time you wake up you’ll be through most of it.

Above all, don’t let these symptoms scare you away from giving a sugar detox a try. Chances are you won’t experience all of these and many symptoms won’t be very severe. Above all keep in mind that this will only last for a few days and you’ll come out of it without the sugar cravings and with a chance for a much healthier diet and lifestyle.

Looking to “Skinny Up” Your Thanksgiving?

For more years than I care to remember I read articles and Googled recipes and poured through diet blogs in an effort to help me minimize the diet damage that my Thanksgiving fare would wreak on my waistline. And year after year I left my “skinnified” holiday meal feeling like so much was missing.

I felt full and yet so unsatisfied.

That’s because food-centric holiday celebrations are all intertwined with our memories and our expectations, and when the reality falls short of what we believe it SHOULD be, we feel let down and unsatisfied. And, chances are, we will continue to try to fill the subconscious void by eating even more than we would if we had prepared what we actually wanted in the first place.

Isn’t that ridiculous? 

But think about your family’s traditional holiday table… I’m willing to bet that there are certain foods that you associate with your Thanksgiving memories, right? I mean, beyond the turkey. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s stuffing recipe… or your aunt’s pecan pie… or your sister’s mashed potatoes… Without those foods Thanksgiving just isn’t the same. I remember my sister’s first year in California and her calling home on Thanksgiving crying because the meal was just so foreign to her – even though turkey, stuffing, bread, vegetables, and pie were served. Because her reality conflicted with her memories.

So, here’s my advice when it comes to Thanksgiving. Eat the food!  Life is too darned short to eat mashed potatoes made with skim milk or pie with fat-free whipped cream or whatever other “skinny” version of traditional holiday treats you may be tempted to try. Just eat the food, enjoy your family and move on. 

Get up on Friday morning and jump back on whatever diet horse you choose to ride, but for the love of all that is good and holy, enjoy your holiday! I promise, it won’t make any difference in the long run – and it might just help!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

10 Hacks for Creating a Healthier Kitchen

[Image Credit: 123RF.com #82516319]

It’s a scene that plays out in kitchens across the country (heck, probably across the world) every day. Someone opens up the fridge, pantry, or cupboard with the intention of pulling together a healthy meal for their family, but chaos stares back at them. They either don’t have the time or the heart to wade through the disorganized stacks of bottles, boxes, bags, cans, and jars, so they grab a box of mac & cheese and call it a day.

What if there were a better way?

What if there were a way to clear the clutter and the chaos in the kitchen and create a mealtime haven that made pulling together healthy dishes for your family a no-brainer?

Well, the great news is that with some simple tweaks and the will to do it, an organized kitchen can be yours!

Having just gone through this particular exercise in my own home, I present to you my Top 10 Hacks for Creating a Healthier Kitchen!

Hack #1: Pull It All Out and PURGE!

Look, I get it! When I first attempted to organize my kitchen I was sure I could just move things around and I’d be all good. It didn’t work! The only way to clear the chaos is to remove EVERYTHING and touch each and every item, deciding what stays and what goes. Check expiration dates. Toss whatever has expired. Be ruthless about each item. Are you really ever going to eat that jar of artichoke hearts you bought 3 years ago for some recipe you never ended up making? Do you have 3 open bags of chia seeds like I did? Consolidate them into one container and toss the empties. Don’t get overwhelmed!  You can do this a cupboard/pantry/fridge/freezer at a time. Heck, you can even do it a shelf at a time if you want. Just start. I found that just breaking the inertia made me want to keep going. Then, once you have made the big purge and either trashed or donated all the stuff you’re never going to use, it’s time to get busy!

Hack #2: Alphabetize Your Spices

I know it sounds incredibly OCD, but I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to just reach for the spices I need instead of taking out every single jar until I find the cumin! Try it!  I promise you’ll like it!

Hack #3: Use Mason Jars

Hey, I grew up in the South and honestly, I thought the only use for mason jars was to can green beans and tomatoes from my Gramma’s garden and make jellies and jams. Boy, have I been missing out. I’ll tell you a secret… I have actually successfully completed TWO projects that I saw on Pinterest.  The first was Minion cupcakes for my son’s 11th birthday. The other was to use mason jars to store my grains and bulk items. Talk about a tidy pantry! Chia seeds, rice, dried beans, bulk spices, coconut flakes, goji berries, cacao nibs, etc. They look so pretty in their jars! Plus they are airtight so things stay fresh and bug-free! 😮

Hack #4: Use a Fruit Bowl

Pull out one of the large, pretty bowls that lives in the recesses of your dining room buffet or go buy a nice bowl (mine is aqua and has sea turtles on it) and fill it with fruit and display it on your counter. Not only is fruit beautiful but if you can see it you are more likely to actually EAT it!

Hack #5: Hide the Free Day Food

Ideally, I like to buy just enough free day food so that I run out at the end of the day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen and there are leftovers. So, I hide them. We have a basket in our pantry that we hide all the junk food in, but you could also put it up in a high cabinet (preferably one that you need a step stool to reach). Out of sight, out of mind!

Hack #6: Consolidate Like A Boss

Go through your plasticware and your pots and pans and get rid of the stuff that is all scratched up, stained, lidless, etc. Keep the items that you use often, but get rid of the extra stuff you either never use or that is past its prime.

Hack #7: Get (and Use) An Instant Pot – STAT!

For the love of all that is good and holy, I resisted the Instant Pot craze forever. I’m not a fan of uni-taskers in my kitchen and I thought the Instant Pot was just that. However, I inherited a brand new one from my mom when she passed away earlier this year. Honestly, I was scared of it. I remembered all too well the pressure cooker explosions in my Gramma’s kitchen when I was a kid and feared that maybe I had a little PTSD from the experiences. But let me tell you, this ain’t your Gramma’s pressure cooker! It took me a few weeks to actually try the slow cooker setting and a few more weeks before I worked up the courage and used the pressure cooker setting. But dang y’all, shredded chicken from freezer to table in less than 30 minutes?  I was sold! If you’re a busy mom who is running in 10 different directions at any given time, go get one!  You won’t regret it!

Hack #8: Use a Garbage Bowl

I learned this trick from Rachael Ray. When you’re preparing your meals have a large bowl on hand to collect the trash – the bags, the ends of the carrots, the twigs that are leftover after you pull the rosemary off, the potato peels, etc. Then, you only have to make one trip to the trash can and the counter stays so much cleaner and more organized!

Hack #9: Keep a Go To Meal On Hand

Keep all the ingredients on hand for an emergency meal – you know, the times when you come home from work and everyone is screaming that they are STARVING and you need to whip something up in a jiffy. For us it’s a box of pasta, a jar of Rao’s Marinara Sauce, ground beef, and chopped veggies. I can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes.

Hack #10: Plan Your Menu and Prep in Advance

I plan my menu on Thursday, shop on Friday, and do meal prep on Sunday. This has become even more important while Deb is on a consulting assignment across the state. I fix her meals in advance so that all she has to do is heat and eat. It works really well for Josh and me too. It’s so great to know exactly what we’re eating in advance. Cooking everything in advance has given me a ton of time back in my days. I really love it!

What are your favorite kitchen hacks to save time, eat healthier, and stay organized? I’m always learning and evolving so I’d love to hear what works for you!

Recipe Share: Crack Slaw

Have you ever had “crack slaw?” Oh my! It is so amazingly delicious and addictive (hence it’s name, I suppose) and EASY. I’ve tried a number of different recipes and some are better than others. I’ve tried versions that incorporate brown rice and others that just use plain old shredded cole slaw mix. This recipe is my own and it has been crowned by my teenage son as his new favorite meal, surpassing his previous fave, honey-soy salmon. I left out the brown rice and replaced the cole slaw mix with broccoli slaw. I’ll warn you though, if you make this, whip up a double batch! 😉

Angie’s Crack Slaw

Ingredients

4 Tbsp sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. ginger root, grated
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 lbs. organic, pastured ground beef
2 12-oz bags of shredded broccoli slaw
4 Tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
salt/pepper to taste
black sesame seeds
chili oil (optional to add some heat)

Instructions

Heat sesame oil in a large wok or skillet. Stirfry garlic, onion, and ginger root for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent being attentive so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add ground beef and break apart with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add cilantro and brown ground beef for 5-10 minutes until no pink remains.

Add broccoli slaw and stirfry with beef mixture for another 5 minutes.

Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and green onions. Stir to combine.

Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for another 3-5 minutes – broccoli slaw should be cooked to the desired tenderness.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls, sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a small amount of chili oil (a little goes a long way) if you want it a little spicier.

Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!

Hypocrite No More!!

Courtesy of 123RF.com

Have you ever been in a space where you gave advice that you had a really hard time following yourself?

That’s where I found myself A LOT over the past 8 years when it came to drinking enough water.

Sometimes I would do better… Once in a while, I would actually get on a roll and do great… But eventually, something would happen to knock me out of my routine and my fledgling habit would wither on the vine. And I would feel like an incredible hypocrite!

Over the Christmas holidays I decided that I was REALLY going to make a PERMANENT change! I mean, I KNOW the importance of drinking the right amount of water and staying well hydrated. However, KNOWING doesn’t always translate to DOING, does it?

I was recovering from broken bones and couldn’t do much else during the holidays, plus we weren’t working so I could really focus on my water intake.

I Googled “water apps” and found a suggested list of apps that could help me track my daily water intake. Some worked better than others, but in the end, I uninstalled them. What ended up working for me was getting a 64 oz. glass container, filling it up each morning, and then using  my Pomodoro Technique breaks to go drink between 8 and 16 oz of water.

I also took a 30-day break from coffee in January and replaced my caffeinated coffee and tea habit with hot water with lemon for those 30 days. It turns out that I REALLY like hot water with lemon, so I kept it up after January was over. So, not only was I able to count the volume that I normally drank in the form of coffee or tea (about 32-48 oz per day) as actual water consumed, but I also didn’t have to replace that volume with more water as I would have to do when I was drinking caffeinated beverages. It was like a double bonus!

I found that I was suddenly and quite effortlessly drinking between 96 and 128 oz of water each and every day!

My energy skyrocketed… My weight loss rebooted… My skin looked better…

It was incredible!

I’m now moving to the three month point of this new baby habit. Sometimes I miss, but most of the time I am very well hydrated. My body will tell me when I’m not drinking enough water (or when I’m drinking too much coffee – yes, I do drink coffee again, but only a fraction of the amount I used to drink).

So, for anyone looking to level up their hydration game, here are my tips:

  1. Buy a large glass container (64 oz is a good size) and fill it up with filtered water each morning.
  2. Try hot water with lemon as a replacement for some of the caffeinated beverages you may be drinking currently.
  3. Get an app or set a timer to go off every 30 minutes. Drink 8 oz of water each time the alarm goes off. Note: If you do this between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, you will drink A GALLON of water during the day. You may or may not need this much, but it’s a painless way to get the water down!

How much water should you be drinking?  Here is the rule of thumb that I follow:  Your current weight/2 + 24 oz from every hour of exercise + equal volume for any caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

So, if I weigh 140 pounds, I exercised for an hour this morning, and I drank a 16 oz cup of coffee, I would need 110 oz of water today:  (140/2) +24 +16 = 110.

So, drink up!  Your body will thank you for it!

________________________________________

Proper hydration is one of the fundamental pillars of my new health and wellness program, UnREALogical Health.

 

I’ve Been Up To Something…

… And it’s AWESOME!!

For the past six months I’ve been working on a project that I’ve kept on the down-low with everyone except those people who have been involved. But now I’m ready to dish about it to the world!

Why so super secret?

Well, to be quite honest, I wanted to make sure it didn’t turn out to be a complete and utter disaster first. When I started this experiment back in mid-August, I honestly had no idea how it was going to go… It had the potential to be wonderful… It also had the potential to be a nightmare and go south in a big way.

So, there’s the backstory…

Last May I started a health coaching certification program. The program started out a little bit slow and I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick it out or not because – well, it was EXPENSIVE and I wasn’t sure I was going to get the ROI I expected. But, after several months, the lectures got very interesting so I stuck with it. I’m glad I did. The program is like the intersection between personal development and nutrition, so it really is kind of my jam!

Then, at the end of June, we held our amazing Breakthrough Summit at The Shores event here in Daytona Beach and during the retreat I had client after client come to me asking for advice on their nutrition – how to get better sleep, how to lose weight, how to just FEEL GOOD. So, at the end of the weekend, we were all sitting around and someone asked when I was going to create a health coaching program. I told them all that I had JUST STARTED the certification program. They persisted, so I asked them if I put together a group program would they all join it?  They all said “Yes,” so I committed to launching something in August.

But I was crystal clear with them all, I had NO IDEA what would happen or how it would all unfold. I told them I couldn’t promise them ANYTHING – they were my guinea pigs. Strangely, they all seemed to like that idea.

Deb and I had been playing with our own dietary philosophies for a while and we had finally hit upon a formula that seemed to work… It seemed to work regardless of whether we ate high carb, low carb, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous, etc. And, unlike so many other programs we had tried, it was simple, sustainable, and didn’t stop working as time went by.

In July, I contacted my guinea pigs and told them we would start on August 14th and that they needed some nominal skin in the game, so they each paid me a stupidly small amount of money and, voila, they were members of my “pilot program.”

Week-by-week, I wrote lessons on nutrition, based on what I already knew and what I was learning…

We sent mindset lessons from Deb…

There were recipes…

Exercise suggestions…

Videos…

Q&A…

It was a BLAST!

His insulin dosages have steadily been reduced since August – TWELVE times!!

But more than that, people started sending me messages that they were feeling better…

Their clothes were getting looser…

Health conditions were turning around…

They were sleeping better…

I was floored!  And humbled! And THRILLED!!

When the pilot program ended, most of the participants wanted to continue on. It was a decision point.

Deb and I knew we were on to something, so we decided to create two new programs:

  1. A 30-day Fundamentals program that focuses on 4 pillars of health and wellness as well as key mindset issues related to weight and illness,  and
  2. An ongoing month-to-month Advanced program that builds on the fundamentals program.

Our Advanced program is going strong and our first Fundamentals program finished up in mid-February. Again, it was terrific!

Now, our next round of UnREALogical Health Fundamentals is kicking off on March 12th and I’m inviting everyone to check it out.

It’s better than I ever imagined and I’m really very proud of it.