Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

Dinner Diva
Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

By: Leanne Ely

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!


Want to join in on the fun? Click here to get started Losing it With Leanne!

Confession time, folks. We are all addicts!

Food For Thought
Confession time, folks. We are all addicts!

By: Leanne Ely

My name is Leanne and I am a chocolate addict.

My relationship with my drug of choice goes back to when I was a little girl craving more attention from my father. He once brought back a bar of Cadbury chocolate from a trip to England, and we sat down together and ate the whole darn thing in one sitting. That time shared together felt so good that an instant connection was formed in my brain between eating chocolate and feeling happy.

Throughout my entire adult life, whenever I’ve been sad or lonely or longing for something, I would turn to my old faithful friend in a foil wrapper.

When I figured out what I was doing—when I became mindful of my addiction—I realized that I can’t be a moderate user of chocolate. I don’t have a switch inside that allows me to turn off the addiction at will. Chocolate is a powerful addiction and a destructive food for me, and I simply can’t have it around, nor can I take a small bite of a chocolate bar without eating every last bite.

It’s no different than any other drug. Most alcoholics love the taste of a good stiff drink, but we wouldn’t think of offering a recovering addict a martini, would we? Then why do we think it’s okay to indulge in our food addictions?

Food is medicine. We can either self-medicate our problems the wrong way—by overindulging in foods that we know aren’t good for us (like I did with chocolate)—, or we can eat enough of the right kinds of foods to keep ourselves healthy. The right foods can also help us overcome our food addictions; stuffing fattening foods down our throats without thinking about what we’re doing is not benefiting anything or anyone.

Truth is we’re all addicts in some way, shape or form. Maybe for you, it’s that daily glass of red wine with dinner. Perhaps it’s the bowl of chips before bed, or the piece of chocolate at 2pm.

Many of us are muddling through an addiction to sugar and/or carbs, and as far as I’m concerned, sugar is about as addictive as heroin or nicotine. Maybe even more so. It’s a lot easier to get your hands on a bit of sugar than it is to get yourself some heroin.

The thought of parting with that tasty friend is like how it must feel for a four year old being forced to give up a beloved binkie.

We all have the power to overcome these addictions. It all starts with feeding our bodies properly, so that our brains are getting all the right carbs, fats and proteins. I talked to Dr. Hyla Cass about this very topic in a webinar that you are more than welcome to listen to. Dr. Cass happens to be a nationally acclaimed expert in integrative medicine, psychiatry and addiction recovery.

There are some changes you can make in your diet to make sure that you’re living up to your full brain power potential. You can use nutrition as an ally in your battle against addiction. Dr. Cass talks about how amino acids and certain vitamins can be our weapons as we wage war against an addiction, so this should be an exciting webinar! You can listen to the replay here:

It’s easy, really. Ask yourself if you would panic if someone told you that you would have to give up ________ (insert your favorite food here). If you’re afraid of changing the way you eat for fear of having to give up that one item, then you know you’re dealing with a an addiction.


Want to join in on the fun? Click here to get started Losing it With Leanne!

Are You a Food Addict?

Food For Thought:
Are You a Food Addict?

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C

From February 4, 2011

We all crave food at one time or another but food addicts typically crave specific foods and they crave them more often. Some of the common foods addicts crave are foods high in sugar, salt, or flour.

Contrary to common opinion self-control is not the issue. In fact, most food addicts have more self-control than the average person. Food addicts are often obese but not always. Some food addicts compensate for their over eating with excessive exercise, purging, and other extreme measures.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are a food addict:

* Do you think you cannot control your intake of food, especially junk food or high sugar foods?
* Have you tried different diets or weight loss programs, but none has worked permanently?
* Do you find yourself feeling depressed, hopeless, sad or ashamed about your eating or your weight?
* Do you find yourself eating when you are upset or reward yourself with food when you do something good?
* Have you ever noticed after eating sugar, flour, or wheat that you become more irritable?

There is hope. If you think you might be a food addict you are not alone. For most addicts the answer is simple – avoid what you are addicted to. If it’s drugs and/or alcohol, you can stop them. However you cannot “stop” food. You still need food to eat. So what can you do?

First, recognizing you may need help is a good start . Find a friend, family member, or other person who can support you as you work to overcome your addiction.

Second, plan your meals . If you do not buy it you cannot eat it right? Having a shopping list and buying only from that list is a good start.

Finally, keep a food journal . By recording what you eat and how much you eat you can make a conscious decision to control your intake.

Recovery may require more . There are support groups and doctors who specialize in food addiction. You can typically find these by doing a search on the internet for your local area.


Want to join in on the fun? Click here to get started Losing it With Leanne!

HF – Sugar Addiction

Simple Steps to Breaking a Sugar Addiction

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
From October 22, 2010

Oh how sweet it is! Or so you may think but what if you’re addicted to the sweet stuff? You’re not alone. Many people are addicted to sugar in some form or another, and it can be one of the hardest habits to break. The fact is it’s hard to give up (or at least cut down) on sugar in your diet because it tastes good. Plus it makes us feel good. Sugar actually has a temporary uplifting effect on your mood and energy level. But the truth is too much sugar in your diet can be considered an addiction. This addiction can block your efforts to lose weight, cut triglyceride levels, contribute to obesity, and even lead to adult onset diabetes.

There is hope. In spite of all these things you can successfully break a sugar addiction by following these simple steps:?

1. Babysteps.

Cut down on your sugar intake gradually. It’s easier on you than going “cold turkey.” The World Health Organization suggests your daily intake of sugar should be less than ten percent of your total calories. This means if you eat 2,000 calories daily, you need less than twelve teaspoons of sugar. Cut down week by week. Add less sugar to your tea or coffee one week. The next week, drink bottled water instead of a soda. Eat whole grain bread rather than white bread the next week. Soon, you’ll find that sugar just doesn’t taste as good as it once did.

2. Substitute.

Keep plenty of healthy snacks handy so the first thing you go for when you’re cravings kick in isn’t your favorite candy bar.
Sugar in organic fruits such as an apple, a hand full of grapes, or an orange can be a great snack that will satisfy your sweet
tooth. You can also try some alternative sweeteners such as xylitol or stevia. Avoid chemically laden artificial sweeteners like Splenda.

3. Read.

Try to avoid foods that are high in sugar by reading labels. You might be shocked to find out what you’re eating that has hidden sugars. By eliminating hidden sugars you will go far in killing the cravings. If it’s not in your house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. Sugary cereals, white breads, soda, juices with high fructose corn syrup and even fat free sour cream all have sweeteners that should be avoided and can trigger addictive behaviors. Watch for words ending in -ose (fructose) in the ingredients. Ose equals sugar.

4. Moderation.

When you make something taboo it may only tempt you more. Instead focus on using sugar for special occasions and holidays. Focus on cutting down the amount in recipes and you may find that you enjoy them even more. For instance, Grandma’s Banana Bread Recipe: Try cutting the sugar by 1/4th, then 1/2 to see how it turns out. You might be surprised. Try substituting some of the sugar with honey or molasses for both a sweet effect and a nutrition boost.

5. Plan.

Put your focus on planning well balanced and nutritious meals rather than never eating sugar again. You’ll slowly stop craving sugar in a way that’s more natural than if you swear off of it altogether. We all have a right to enjoy birthday cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and the sweet things in life. Just make them special, not every day.

Learn more about breaking your sugar addiction with our Break Free From Sugar Addiction Bundle and our 28 Day Break Free Plan Volume 2 click here for details.

DD – Fat, Sugar, & Salt

Dinner Diva

Fat, Sugar, & Salt

By Leanne Ely, CNC

From December 9, 2010

Fat, sugar and salt; the triple threat found in fast food, restaurant food, packaged food, frozen food, and even some foods we prepare ourselves. Our taste buds are so accustomed to the taste and feel of this combo, that we forget what real food is supposed to taste like. So with the New Year hovering just around the corner, how about some retraining of the old taste buds? Sounds good? Great!

Here are a few key points to get you started.

PLAN – You know I love to start with a plan. Menu planning has been my life’s work for many years now and I cannot tell you how many emails, letters, and phone calls I get from people telling me what a difference menu planning has made in their lives. But remember, planning is only part of the key. I can plan menus all day long, but it is you who does the shopping and the cooking. You are the one feeding your family. When you plan your menus, you plan to cook and you have the opportunity to teach your children to eat real food. The act of cooking real food will benefit your children for years to come.

PORTION CONTROL – Practice serving actual true portion sizes of the foods that you make. Did you know dinner plates have grown by 25% since the 1970’s? Consequentially so have our our serving sizes and our stomachs. When we first get serious with portion control, we may have a problem adjusting (there’s not enough food!), but I’ll bet you’ll be surprise on how little it actually takes to satisfy your body when you eat nutrition-packed foods. In the meantime, try using smaller plates to trick the eye and the stomach into feeling satisfied with smaller serving amounts. If you’ve developed a super-sized view of a serving size, use a measuring cup to keep track for a while until you have retrained your eye.

ADD DON’T SUBTRACT – Instead of feeling like you are depriving yourself, add in healthy foods that you like and eat them before you eat the other foods. You’ll find that you eat less of the unhealthy foods and over time you will prefer eating only the healthy foods. A study was done awhile ago adding in only an apple per meal to participants’ diets. Not only did they eat less, they lost weight! So much so, a new diet was born! Who knew?

REPLACE – Another good thing to do is to replace unhealthy foods with their healthy counterparts. For instance you can stop buying unhealthy fats and use healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil in cooking. You can purchase sea salt instead of table salt. You can replace sugar or sugar substitutes with raw, natural, organic honey, Xylitol, or Stevia, a safe, all natural sweetener.

No one is perfect all the time, but by creating a plan and doing your best each day, you will find before long that you and your family are healthier, happier, and don’t miss the fat, sugar, or salt that used to sneak into your foods.

HF – Juice’s Dirty Little Secret

Healthy Foods

Juice’s Dirty Little Secret

by Leanne Ely, CNC

From December 17, 2010

Unfortunately, obesity is an epidemic among our youth. Sugary drinks play a substantial role. Soda, juice, and energy drinks are among the top offenders. Despite the deceiving labels, the “100 percent juice” and “no sugar” juices contribute to the generational weight gain.

One source for this unforeseen problem is how juice is made. Juice from concentrate is often heated at high temperatures. In doing so, natural vitamins and minerals are destroyed. Distributing companies will then go back and add the vitamins and minerals themselves.

Another issue is fiber. The amount of fiber found in juice is insignificant when compared that found in the raw fruit. For example, having a glass of apple juice from concentrate does your body no more good than flavored sugar water. The added sugar climbs in calorie count. And more calories, means more unwanted weight. Sometimes serving your kids juice instead of soda is just as bad.

Though this may raise worries, there are solutions. One of which is making your own juice. Because you’re liquefying the fruit, it’s easy to consume more fruit than you normally would. Therefore you should still be cautious of calories because there will always be the natural sugar found in fruit. When making juice you still need to be aware of the calorie count from the naturally occurring sugars.

The combination of fruit and veggies can result in healthy drinks that are surprisingly tasty. You can use homemade juice in your smoothies to add flavor and nutrition.

Here are a few juice recipes for you to try out! I’d love your feedback, especially to know how your family enjoys them! Please come back to the website to share your comments and experiences!

Apple Carrot Juice

1/2 apple

3 carrots

2 stalks of celery

1/2 cucumber

1 cup spinach

Push everything through the juicer in the order above rolling the spinach into tight balls before putting into the juicer. Wash everything before juicing. You can keep the peels on if using organic fruits and veggies.

Pumpkin Smoothie

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 ripe banana

3/4 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon raw local Honey

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 cup crushed ice

Put all the ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. You can use frozen freshly juiced orange juice in place of the plain ice for a fresh taste and a punch of vitamin C. If you are not opposed to eating organic raw egg, throw in an egg for added protein.