OK, so you had a little too much fun with the fun sized candy over Halloween? You are definitely not alone today. Maybe you're even experiencing the dreaded "sugar hangover": a headache, cloudy thinking, detox symptoms, digestive issues, lack of energy, or generally feeling just...bla.
While it's important to relax once in a while and just enjoy life, it's important to get back on track so the once-in-a-while indulgence doesn't turn into patterns or habits that will have negative impacts on your overall health. Indulging in too much sugar can be particularly tricky since the glycemic impact of certain foods can last well into the next day - meaning while you resolve to get back on track the day after - your blood sugar is still trying to recalibrate after a crazy roller coaster ride, making you crave your next hit.
If you're currently on the sugar detox struggle bus today, here are a few tips (and a delicious, fortifying raw juice recipe) we hope you find helpful!
1. Get Juicy in the Kitchen
One of the best ways to combat both the after-effects of eating too much sugar, and any follow-up cravings, is to flood the body with nutrients, specifically trace minerals. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, manganese, vanadium, and copper help to stabilize blood sugar levels. In fact, it has even been shown that chronic sugar cravings are often a symptom of deficiencies in these key minerals. New to juicing? Get creative in the kitchen! Use what you enjoy, what's in season, and play with ratios to find something that suits your palate. Base your juices around greens and low-sugar, water-rich vegetables like celery and cucumber, adding in the sweeter stuff only to balance the flavor. Too much fruit juice can make sugar cravings worse - so be mindful.
Drooling over that ruby-red juice pictured above? Find the recipe below!
Keep scrolling for one of our favorite sugar craving-busting, nutrient-dense juice recipes for fall.
2. Move Your Body
Those refined sugar treats can leave you tricked. First comes the sugar rush - a flood of energy that can feel downright euphoric. But then there's the crash. The insulin in your system gets used up...and it's all downhill from there. Blood sugar highs and lows will leave most of us feeling pretty tired and un-inspired. Instead of lounging around, get outside for a power walk, practice some yoga, or put on your favorite music and dance. Get your lymphatic system pumping, your metabolism kicking, those endorphins flowing, and your cells breathing in that fresh oxygen. Yep, even if being active sounds like the worst idea ever. You'll be grateful you did.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Have you heard the saying "The solution to pollution is dilution"? Refined sugar, processed candy, and the metabolic after-effects of having to digest it, can be toxic to the body. And while the human body is incredible in its ability to filter, detox, and expel toxins, we need water, and lots of it, in order for these processes to work at their peak. Extra water will help your digestive system eliminate waste, help the kidneys flush out toxins, will give your skin a boost of moisture from within, and will help ensure you feel back to your normal, energetic self as quickly as possible. So drink up!
4. Eat Complex Carbs
Time to embrace your roots - or should we say your root (root vegetables that is...). Root veggies like beets, carrots, and sweet potato/yams - as well as winter squashes like kabocha and butternut - help satisfy a sweet tooth, while providing the body with a flood of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbs for longer lasting, more sustained energy. For a delicious seasonal treat try incorporating steamed or baked yams into your breakfasts by adding them to bowls with (sugar-free) coconut yogurt, raw nut butter, granola, and low-glycemic fruit.
5. Increase Protein and Fats
This one may be a no brainer for many, but it's worth including. One of the best ways to curb sugar cravings, on both a short term and long term basis, is to make sure you're consuming enough protein and healthy fats. Fats and proteins help slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream for more stable blood sugar levels. We recommend plant based sources, but do what works best for your body, lifestyle and constitution. Load up on raw nuts and seeds (especially hemp and chia which offer all essential amino acids!), raw organic nut butters, coconut oil and butter, plant based protein powders, organic tempeh, legumes, sprouts, dark greens, spirulina and chlorella, avocados, etc.
6. Take Extra Magnesium
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the human body, and research has shown that the majority of Americans aren't getting enough. While magnesium is absolutely critical for our bone strength, digestive well being, and cardiovascular health, it also helps moderate blood glucose levels, making it a critical piece of the blood sugar balancing act. You can easily increase your intake with a high quality, bioavailable, additive-free supplement, and also by consuming magnesium rich superfoods like cacao and dark green leafy vegetables.
7. Bonus Superfood Support
Need a little extra support in kicking sugar cravings or getting back to your normal vibrant self? Look no further than the plant kingdom. Sugar can be highly inflammatory, so give extra attention to foods and herbs that have inflammation-busting properties like pure Hemp CBD extract, turmeric root, ginger, greens, sprouts, darkly pigmented berries, etc. Sugar can also whack out your microbiome by encouraging the wrong types of bacteria, funguses, and yeasts (candida, we're looking at you...) to have a hay day in your GI tract. Counter this by taking additional probiotics with prebiotics, which also have a huge side benefit of helping regulate elimination (if things have gotten a little "out of whack" so to speak). Add extra cinnamon to your meals. This spice is a great source of mineral chromium, and has been shown to help balance blood sugar.
Root Balance Autumn Juice
Make 1, 10-12 oz juice
1 medium red beet
1 medium green apple
1 medium garnet or jewel yam
1 cucumber, peeled, or 3 stalks of celery
1/3 large lemon
2 stalks of kale
2 beet greens
1/2" knob of ginger root
1/2" knob of turmeric root
Optional anti-inflammatory superfood booster: several droppers of Veggimins Organic Hemp Oil with Hemp CBD Extract - add it right to your juice!
1. Prep your fruits and veggies by washing them thoroughly.
2. Run your ingredients through a juicer, and enjoy!
Drink immediately after juicing for best results. Juice will start to oxidize and loose some of its nutritional potency and enzymatic activity as it sits. Can be stored in the fridge in a sealed jar for a few days.