Lovely tea art at A&B Naturals from my Maine trip

Lovely tea art at A&B Naturals from my Maine trip

First, a confession: Oh my god, I love sugar. During finals week in college, not one cup of coffee ever passed my lips (still hasn’t to this day), but oh, how the Swedish Fish and the Butterfingers kept me going. I have about 100 different little things I’ve incorporated into my life to try and subdue my insanely addictive tendencies towards sugar, but let’s start with my top five.

Second, where I stand on sugar now: When I began my health revolution about three years ago, I knew my relationship with sugar was on rocky ground, and over time I’ve slowly eliminated refined sugar from my diet except for special occasions and gluten-free whoopie pies from Twist.

The tips:

1.) Learn to love healthier sweeteners. 

Thanks to reading my way through quite a few Paleo cookbooks, I’ve discovered the easiest, simplest alternative sweeteners to keep in my pantry. They include: honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates and stevia. They don’t spike your blood sugar quite as much as refined sugar. In other words, they’re less likely to give you you a sugar crash and send you running straight for, well, more sugar.

Use them in moderation. Because trust me, I’ve gone a little maple syrup crazy. Sugar is still sugar.

2.) Say yes to coconut.

Coconut is a completely AMAZING natural sweetener! I build my green smoothies every morning with coconut water as the liquid base because it’s a noticeably subtle sweetener and it means I can sneak in more alkaline veggies. I’m also a huge fan of coconut flakes and coconut butter. I toss either one into oatmeal or chia piuddings.

3.) Try mochi

Mochi is my current obsession, and my roommate can take full credit for that! Mochi is made from short-grain brown rice, and you can buy it in frozen packs at WFM in sweet and savory flavors. I love the raisin and cinnamon kind. Simply cut up a few squares, and then pop the mochi in the oven for a few minutes. No cooking! Gluten free and dairy free. Top with a little bit of honey and coconut flakes, and you feel like you are in healthy dessert heaven!

4.) Have a cup of tea instead.

After lunch and dinner every day, I immediately want to reach for something sweet. That craving is right there, every day. It’s usually dark chocolate that I go for, but often I can trick my mind into thinking that a nice cup of tea will do the trick. Follow me on Instagram in the coming week to see which iced teas I’m loving from the shelves of WFM of course.

5.) Hint water.

Sugary drinks are a HUGE part of our nation’s health crisis. One the most crucial things I learned in health coaching school was this, The doctors of the future will ask us, “Do you smoke?” followed by “Do you drink soda?” It’s that big of a deal. So I hate sugary drinks, and generally I avoid anything but coconut water. But hint keeps it classy and healthy. They explain it this way: Hint is simple: Purified water + a splash of natural flavor no sugar, no diet sweeteners, no preservatives, additives or anything else that you can’t pronounce. I recommend the mango and grapefruit flavor.

Bonus: Dried fruit warning: Dried fruit equals cavities, and it’s still loaded with sugar. Raisins and Craisins have taught me this the hard way. Please seriously consider your teeth when you travel the dried fruit route.

Three things:

1.) Tomorrow I am off to Whole Foods Market Nashua to lead some blogger store tours. It’s always fun when my world of personal blogging collides with my job! The Nashua store is opening August 19th.

2.) My best friend is coming to visit on Sunday. I can’t handle my excitement level! Her arrival begins the first full week of vacation that I’m taking off of work since graduating college. Seriously! I always take short trips and it was time to do something about that because my brain needs a legit break so that it can focus on building my business too.

3.) Two quotes that inspired me this week,

Perhaps the simplest, wisest break up quote I’ve read: “We had to break up to breakthrough.” from Ashley Turner.

“We all lose ourselves.  It’s not in spite of this that we succeed; it’s because of it.  We must lose then find ourselves, so we can find everything and everyone.” from OmGal