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Saturday, June 7, 2014


We’re Biologically Programmed to Love the Taste of Sweet

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has five tastes: sweet, salty, sour, pungent and bitter. The “sweet” taste corresponds to the energy of the earth, which is “nurturing and maternal” – and helps explain why a bad day invites ice cream and other desserts – humans are looking for comfort and what “feels good”. 
Fruit (nature's candy) was a crucial part of our ancestors' diet.  They ate a lot of fruit when it was available in the summer and fall, since they were about to enter a period of famine during the winter.

 “Sweet” is nature’s way of signaling that the taste is safe.  It also tells you that the food contains energy.  Mother’s milk is sweet and many of the safe herbs are sweet - such as:  stevia, basil, tarragon, astragalus, wild yam, ginseng, licorice, etc.  
Sugar isn’t only sweet, it’s a Narcotic
If you are battling ongoing sugar cravings, there is something else going on.  It’s not as simple as “I don’t have enough willpower” or “I need to stick to a certain diet.”  If you’ve been fighting a losing battle with the highly addictive “white powder” (sugar) you will need to recognize that it once was a plant (sugar beet or sugar cane) - - which was processed into a white powder.  This processing made sugar becomes as addictive as cocaine (which also came from a green plant and was turned into a white powder). 
Physiological Causes of Sugar Cravings
Refined sugar (and refined flour) create a dangerous blood-sugar cycles and problematic reactions in the body: (1) blood sugar goes erratic, resulting in false hunger pangs, (2) the pancreas notices the higher blood sugar and secretes insulin in order to create homeostasis, (3) it sets off an alarm in the body to re-stabilize the blood sugar, (4) which turns on an appetite, which is an unhealthy pattern, (5) a quick fix is refined carbohydrates because to help our body raise our blood sugar quickly - - but these refined carbs go in too quickly, which re-creates a hypoglycemic cycle and keeps turning on hunger.  Horrible! 
Sugar makes our bodies release dopamine and opioids – neurotransmitters that bliss us out (just like drugs).  Our prefrontal cortex (where we reason) is diminished in its ability to help us, and we become addicts.  It’s a lifetime struggle.
Candida is passed in utero to children from their mothers – or it can be created from diets high in sugar and yeast.  Fungal overgrowth in the digestive tract (Candida albicans) can trigger sugar cravings.  Candida (yeast) is fed from sugar and grows throughout the body, causing many physical and emotional problems, such as:  yeast infections, emotional imbalances, adrenal exhaustion, etc.  The fungi feed on sugar and give you the sense that your body is in need – because they must have some!  They are running the brain, and it’s time to take control again!  Candida overgrowth and other medical conditions can be diagnosed by a qualified naturopathic doctor. 
Some herbs and essential oils that help to kill candida are:  Pau d’ arco, Oregano, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lemon and Rosemary.  Redmond Clay and DE (diatomaceous earth) are also very helpful.
Nutritional Causes of Sugar Cravings
Most people who crave sugar really are needing protein.  Their bodies would do best with regular meals (3 hours apart to prevent low blood sugar), with sufficient fat, water and real foods (not processed).  Protein can be obtained in plants – such as avocados, nuts, beans, legumes, eggs, or they can be found in seafood, chicken, turkey, pork and beef.
Water detoxes our cells and prevents dehydration, irritability, sluggishness and cravings.  It is easy to mistake dehydration for hunger!   Food cravings are often a sign of nutrient deficiency so munching on carrots, celery, cucumbers, apples, bananas, and other REAL foods will provide minerals and vitamins that will give the body-signals of satisfaction and satiety.
For a Nutritional Bio Scan that will show you deficiencies in minerals, vitamins, protein, amino acids, digestive weakness and much more – email me at mywellnessaz@gmail.com    www.millenialwellness.com
Lifestyle Reasons for Sugar Cravings
The three major lifestyle reasons for sugar cravings are lack of sleep, lack of exercise and stress.  All three insufficiencies create blood sugar roller coasters which are notorious for awakening sugar demons.  Chronic stress and lack of sleep both cause an increase in cortisol (the fight-or-flight hormone).  When cortisol rises, so does blood sugar.  High cortisol often results in a jittery, anxious sensation, and in that state it’s all too easy to grab cookies, ice cream or some chocolate to medicate. Whether or not you do that, a crash inevitably follows a blood sugar spike, prompting you to reach for a “treat” to get your energy back. It’s a vicious cycle!
Emotional Reasons for Sugar Cravings
People often use sugar to cope with difficult emotions or unmet needs that they may not have even been aware of.  Becoming aware of your emotions and needs is a key first step in ending emotional eating.  Feelings aren’t something you can reason your way out of or simply deny—they need direct attention and compassion.  When we ignore our emotions, they get louder and louder, forcing us to resort to more and more extreme measures to silence them.
If you have an out-of-control sugar demon and you’ve ruled out medical conditions, the only explanation is an emotional reason or habit for eating sugar.  We don’t eat in a compulsive way if everything in our lives is okay!  So if you have found that, despite repeatedly trying various tactics, you continue to return to sugar, consider how your emotions may be impacting the way you eat.
An excellent way to address emotional eating is with an EVOX session.  Email me at mywellnessaz@gmail.com for a one-hour appointment.  See www.millenialwellness.com
Kick It to the Curb Tips
• Don't think you can just say, “I’m never going to have sweets anymore”, because it leads to feeling deprived, which is likely to set off even more sugar intake.  Instead, stop using refined white sugar and experimenting with natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey or maple syrup. Natural sweeteners don’t create the intense physiological reactions and often come packed with minerals and enzymes that support the body’s cellular processes.
• Eat small protein meals throughout the day including meats, vegetables, grains and fruits. 
Also learn to cook nutrient-dense traditional foods such as bone broth, fermented veggies and organ meats.  Make sure each meal includes protein and fat, and keep water close by. Contrary to popular opinion, eight glasses a day is not for everyone. Instead, divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces.  Caffeine also deregulates blood sugar, which can create cravings – so avoid caffeine.
• If your lifestyle needs an overhaul, start by setting small, manageable goals so you can have success. Then build from there.  Go to sleep at 10 pm each night – for starters.  Then add 3 days of 15 minute exercise per week.  Walking can reduce stress, as you breathe deeply and evenly – focusing on breathing.
• Try meditation.  Sit in a quiet place, take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose, and close your eyes.  As you continue breathing, bring your awareness to any physical sensations that may be occurring in your body. Observe them without judging and without trying to “fix” them.  Spend some time with these sensations, and track them as they shift and change, or as they dissipate, or even increase.
As you keep breathing, now notice any emotions that may be associated with those sensations. Again, just observe with compassion, without trying to figure out, “Why am I feeling this way?” or, “What do I do about it?”  This isn’t about thinking—it’s about feeling.  Spend some time with these emotions. Notice any memories or images that might arise, or whether the emotion shifts and changes.
Putting an essential oil on your toes or by your nostrils will help you associate “feeling good” and bring peaceful and satisfying emotions to replace cravings.  Whenever you are “craving”, reach for your favorite essential oil.  My favorites are:  Bergamot, Geranium, Ylang ylang, Frankincense, Pink Grapefruit, Balsam Fir or blends that contain multiple uplifting essential oils.
An EVOX session (or several sessions) may be just the answer that you are looking for, if you find that your sweet tooth stems from emotional issues or unmet needs.  Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVj2fKWCZkY 

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