Okay so this may not be directly related to nap time, but I've found it is in those down times that the sugar cravings come on the most fierce. Am I right? I'm here to help you out and give you some practical tips to steer clear of sugar when you finally get a second to breathe and relax. Anyways, I’ve mentioned my food sensitivities before, but I never flat out said what it was. I have a fructose intolerance. Out of all things out there...fructose. Isn’t that crazy? It took me DECADES to nail down what it was. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in fruit but it is also added into lots of processed foods. Table sugar (sucrose) and honey actually contain fructose too. This makes eating anything with sugar a bit tricky for me. Fortunately I can have straight glucose without issue, but that is difficult to find pre-made anywhere. Given all of this information I have had to drastically cut back on my sugar intake. Below are 5 ways that I have found help me eat less sugar!
1. Stay Hydrated!
This is something I say a lot as a mother every time my kids tell me they are still hungry right after they eat something. “DRINK SOME WATER”. Many times your brain can confuse thirst for hunger...especially when it comes to sugary cravings. Make sure you are drinking your water and staying hydrated.
2. Drinking Hot (plain) Beverages
I am a BIG coffee drinker. I’m all for drinking coffee, decaf coffee, and teas! Something about drinking hot beverages curbs the sugar craving. Granted nobody wants to drink a hot beverage when it is hot outside, but for those cold days….drink up!
3. Buy Unsweetened Everything
Sugar sneaks into EVERYTHING. Sometimes in places you don’t even expect. Sugar is in your ketchup, your almond milk, your bread, your peanut butter, your granola bars...I’ve even found it in my tater tots, it’s hard to get away from it. If your favorite prepackaged food comes unsweetened, then buy it. Be careful though...make sure you check labels. Sometimes it will say “sugar free” but it is loaded with fake sugar. No no no. We want NO sweetness. Replacing things you already consume with its unsweetened counterpart will help train your taste buds to get used to unsweet things.
My staples: Unsweetened Almond Milk, Sourdough bread, Plain Quick Oatmeal, Bare Almond Butter, Plain Pita Crackers (sugar is in the ingredients, but it is negligible)
4. Start your day with no sugar.
Breakfast is a great way to set the tone for the day with your body. If you begin the day with sugar your body is going to 100% crave more of it throughout the day. Try having a savory breakfast with an unsweetened drink.
5. Eat Lots of Veggies
As you read earlier, I can’t eat most fruits. This means I eat lots of vegetables. I think just the practice of eating more veggies than fruits helps to curb the sugar cravings (personal opinion here). I love snacking on the tiny little cucumbers.
Example Day of Eating in the life of Amanda:
Hot Black Coffee & Sourdough Toast with Bare Almond Butter
Iced Coffee with Unsweetened Almond Milk
Leftover chicken and vegetables
Plain Unsweetened Oatmeal
Lentil Fritters with Baked Veggies
Plain Pita Crackers with Hummus