How it works: Gardening is shown to reduce depression, uplift mood, and improve memory. Some of this may be related to the effects of being outside in the sunshine, and fresh air, as well as enjoying the benefits of moving and getting exercise. There is also research that shows that being exposed to soil microbes actually has a similar effect on the brain and nervous system as some anti-depressants.
If you want to cut down on added sugar in your diet, the first step is to cut down on highly processed foods. The second step is to start reading labels. Start by checking out the nutrition facts panel on the label to see how much sugar is in a serving size of that food.
Pay special attention to the amount of sugar in each serving size. If you have two serving sizes, you have to multiply the sugar grams by two. This can add up to a lot of sugar!
Next, you want to scan the ingredients to identify hidden sugars. There are lots of names for hidden sugar. Here are some names that are sugar:
- corn syrup
- malt syrup
- crystalline fructose
- crystal dextrose
- fruit nectar
- maple syrup
- high-fructose corn syrup
- barley malt
The healthiest sources of sugars, if used in moderation, that have some nutritional value are:
- raw, organic honey
- blackstrap molasses
- pure maple syrup
- coconut sugar
- monk fruit
- date sugar
- unsweetened apple sauce
Let’s say you start off with something sweet like a bagel with jam and butter, sweetened yogurt, cereal, fruit bar, etc. This high -sugar meal rapidly breaks down to glucose and causes what we call a sugar spike followed by a blood sugar crash due to the pancreas secreting a hormone called insulin. Our body responds to them by telling you “give me more sugar” so what do we do…grab more sugar. The more this happens the more profound the sugar spike in the more insulin is required to clean up the mess. Eventually, our cells become resistant to insulin’s efforts, and the sugar is no longer efficiently burned for energy but stored for fat instead. The fat lands right on our once flat belly. This process is at the root of all inflammatory and chronic health issues.
We typically love sugar because it stimulates the brain with secrete serotonin. The “feel good” sensations take over for a short time and cause us to eat more sugar. These cravings create bad habits that are hard to break. Sugar is like an addictive drug. People even have withdrawal symptoms if they don’t wean off it over a longer period.
Our brain needs sugar though it actually uses half of all the glucose in our body to function efficiently. The foods we choose greatly affects brain function. Too much sugar can be a bad thing. Studies have shown the excess sugar consumption to accelerated aging of brain cells affecting memory and cognitive deficiencies. Moderation is key.
- Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
- Take a daily “Thank You Walk.” You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. Feel blessed and you won’t be stressed.
- Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and fewer foods manufactured in plants.
- Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears, and doubts, talk to yourself with words of truth and encouragement.
- Post a sign that says “No Energy Vampires Allowed.” Gandhi said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet,” and neither should you!
- Be a Positive Team Member. Being positive doesn’t just make you better, it makes everyone around you better.
- Don’t chase success. Decide to make a difference and success will find you.
- Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.
- Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control.
- Look for opportunities to love, serve, and care. You don’t have to be great to serve but you have to serve to be great.
- Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.
- Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success.
- Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
- Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you’re not leading.
- Read more books than you did in 2019. I happen to know of a few good ones. 🙂
- Don’t seek happiness. Instead, live with love, passion, and purpose and happiness will find you.
It is important to distinguish between refined and processed sugars and unprocessed sugars that are naturally found in foods like vegetables, dairy, and fruits. The difference is the food that contains unprocessed natural sugars also contain health-promoting nutrients like water, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients, and bread down to sugar at a slower rate. Foods that contain refined and processed sugars such as candy and commercial baked goods do not have health benefits and break down sugars at a faster rate is NOT GOOD. Eating in balance with other healthy food, and foods that contain natural sugars are health-promoting. Foods that contain refined and processed sugars as always health depleting and are empty-calorie foods. The devoid of all key nutrients which rob essential nutrients such as B vitamins, chromium, zinc, magnesium that we need.
Look at this situation as a bank account. If you withdraw money from your bank account and never replenish the money. You become financially broke. This is the same thing that happens in regards to our health when we eat too many processed sugars.
Bottom line: Processed sugars are horrible for your body…natural sugars have health-promoting nutrients.
Hello, let’s talk about Joy, one of my favorite oils. Joy is a beautiful blend that creates an energy that brings joy to the heart, uplifts the soul, and inspires romance. It is the perfect blend to diffuse or apply topically when you are needing that extra mood booster.
I am continuing to hear about all the bad things on what sugar does to the body. I have decided to do some research into this favorite delightful tasty treat and see what is so bad about it. Here is what I am finding…
Sugar is a natural ingredient that has been in our diets for thousands of years. It is a simple carbohydrate and when broken down it provides energy to the body. How fast or slow it’s broken down is the key and makes all the difference in how our bodies respond to it. Anything thing that ends in “ose” is sugar. The most common sugars are:
Sucrose: table sugar which is made of glucose and fructose. It is extracted from sugarcane and is found in fruits and veggies.
Fructose and glucose: are found in fruits, honey, and veggies.
Lactose is called milk sugar because it is found in milk and dairy products.
Maltose is known as malt sugar and is found in malted drinks and beer.
There is a difference between refined and processed sugars such as table sugar and unprocessed sugars that are naturally found in fruits and veggies. Unprocessed sugars contain help promoting nutrients that break down at a slower rate. While refined sugars such as candy and baked goods do not have health benefits and break down at a faster rated which is not good.
Natural sugars, when eaten in balance with other healthy foods, are more health-promoting. This can make natural sugars nutrient-dense food. Eating processed sugars are always health-depleting and are empty-calorie foods. Processed sugars also rob the body of essential nutrients and can leave the body nutrient-deficit. They have no B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc or other minerals that the body needs to digest and metabolize.
I have craved sugar for some time now, and I am just starting to really realize that refined sugar can destroy the body. There is much more information to come…stay tuned as I continue to figure out the sugar craze.