With the holidays behind and in front of us, I’m sure we have thrown our willpower to the wind on one occasion or the other. Whether it was Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduations, Memorial Day, or the upcoming Father’s Day, most of us have succumbed to evil spell of sugar. If you eat clean the majority of the time and can have one cheat treat and get back on the wagon, then this message is most likely not as crucial as it is for the occasional binge eater – you know the type: where one sweet treat opens the floodgates to a cascade of tempting truffles.
So whether you are planning to have your cake and eat it too or already blew it and scarfed that pan of brownies that you swore you wouldn’t touch – you need a game plan. Your body is battling a war on the inside from the onslaught of sugar and you need to do damage control to ensure that you don’t suffer a sugar hangover for a day – or even a week – later.
Rule #1: Drink water – and lots of it! This is vital to do before, during, and especially after consuming sugar to help take the burden off of your organs (such as your liver). The more water you drink, the more it helps to move the sweet stuff out of the body and fight inflammation.
Rule #2: Take your probiotics! I cannot stress this enough; ideally, you should already be taking them regularly and/or eating fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut or tempeh to name a couple. This will beef up the good guys with enough “muscle” to beat down the nasty bacteria that thrive off of sugar.
Rule #3: Make sure to eat your protein. It’s always great to have sufficient protein intake – period – but pairing it with sugar, or ingesting it before (or even after) will help with the inevitable sugar crash (and shakes for some people). Sugar is the wild roller coaster ride and protein is the good friend who lets you lean on them after you get off of it.
Rule #4: Enzymes – get on them. If your diet is mainly cooked foods or processed foods, you should be taking enzymes anyways. If you eat super clean with minimal sugar and a high raw/living foods diet, then you’re probably in the clear. Enzymes help you to digest your food more efficiently so that your body doesn’t have to pull from its stores (or break itself down in order to do so) causing you to feel tired, or worse, set yourself up for disease later on in life from being deficient in vitamins and minerals. They take the burden off of your lovely pancreas who is working overtime to deal with the assault of sugar.
Rule #5: Don’t forget coconut oil! Remember my article about all the wonderful uses for coconut oil? Here’s another: anti-fungal. So by consuming a tablespoon (or more) per day, you’re helping to combat nasty fungal growth from sugar and once again help out that hard-working pancreas with the beneficial healthy fats that coconut oil is a known superstar for.
Rule #6: Alkalize; try to restore your body to its natural pH state by resorting back to an alkaline diet or by taking an alkaline supplement to prevent discomfort from inflammation associated with excess sugar consumption (like stiffness and joint pain).
There are other tried and true remedies as well, but these are the ones I most commonly implement to help combat any potential damage if my body feels less than its best. I find I’m super sensitive to sugar; even if I eat too much healthy items like dark chocolate, fruit or even grains.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to balance; you should enjoy a treat now and then but not to the degree that you suffer miserably from it. Remember, it is meant to be enjoyed after all. If you do have a moment of weakness, don’t beat yourself up and get back on the wagon your very next meal.
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email [email protected] She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.