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Dinner Diva: Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

Breaking news! Sugar is not good for us! Bet you didn’t know that! ;-)

I’m kidding of course. Everyone knows sugar is the pits. 60 Minutes recently did a big story on just how bad it is and how it even disrupts brain function!

For some folks, this isn’t enough information. Some people are just plain hooked on the stuff. Did you know that sugar is as highly addictive as heroin? Maybe even more so?

So if you’re hooked, feel hopeless and need a little help, don’t worry, I’ve got a few ideas on how to rid yourself of this sugary demon.

1) Drink Up. Increasing your water intake will help flush out those sugary toxins. Not only that, but water helps you feel full, and if you aren’t dealing with hunger pangs  you’re much less likely to turn to sugar.

2) Stop It. Quit adding sugar to food and stop buying sweetened versions of things. Sugar is hiding everywhere; you need to be label reader cum laude and know what on earth is lurking in your food. Better still, a good first step is to just stop buying all packaged crap. Buy plain yogurt instead of flavored (you can always add a scant amount of natural honey to help your taste buds with the transition—honey is much better for you than processed sugar). Buy unsweetened coconut or almond milk rather than the sweetened varieties. Your taste buds will adjust. Trust. Me. They will.

3) Walk It Out. Sometimes the best thing to do to get over the craving is go for a walk or get busy with an enjoyable project to keep your mind off it for a bit.  Call a friend on the phone for a chat and talk about non-food things. The craving will go away if you occupy your mind with other things.

But let’s face some facts; we’re human, we’re programmed to love sweet from the beginning (breast milk is very sweet, by the way!). No need for deprivation, here are some simple and delicious ways to get your sweet on without obliterating your health:

*Eat dark chocolate. Buy the good stuff (organic, 85% dark) and really enjoy it.

•Throw chunks of frozen banana in the blender with some fresh berries and Greek yogurt for a delicious, healthy smoothie (brownie points if you add spinach and chia seeds).

*Mix Greek yogurt with a bit of honey and dip blueberries in it. Freeze the yogurt-covered blueberries on cookie sheets and take them out when you need something sweet.

• Eat a piece of fruit. You wouldn’t believe how often a craving for a chocolate bar can be sated with a juicy apple. Give it a try!

More from Dinner Diva Leanne Ely at

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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