Alright….deep breath here.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people laughingly tell me about their ‘Covid-15, Covid-20, Covid-13’ these past several months. And they’re not referring to the virus. They’re referring to the poundage they’ve gained since the onset of this pandemic.
…and now, we’ve come through the holidays where cookies, pies, chocolates, and cakes abound, not to mention the binging on eggnog, over-eating and emotional eating that’s prevalant these days.
While I see the benefit of emotional eating as a way to get through a bad day or a bad week, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. At some point, one must pull up one’s bootstraps and make the choice to change. This pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and wallowing in misery with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s everyday isn’t going to make you feel any better.
And believe me, we’ve got chocolate stashed in just about every drawer in our house, along with coffee and a box of cookies ready for the taking. I’ve made several rules for myself (that aren’t really working) about how I can have one sugary treat a day (does eating multiple sugar treats at one sitting count?) or how I have to sit down and eat it, rather than standing at the kitchen sink, to eat that piece of chocolate….or how I won’t eat any sugar after 2pm (also not working).
So, I decided, 2 days ago, that I’m going to start my ‘no-sugar-challenge’ early this year. Like, really early. Like, next week early. I typically wait until after Valentine’s Day so that I can get myself through the January blues with some good chai and chocolate. But this year, I need to stop it all cold turkey, NOW.
My impetus for this? I know that one of the best ways to boost my immune system, my mood, and to decrease my inflammation level, is to eat foods that give me life and feed my cells. I know that what I put into my body will heal, nourish and uplift me, when I’m eating the right things.
And like I’ve been doing these last few years, I thought, why not invite you to join me? It’s more fun doing things together, and I thought you might like to start a new, healthy habit with me and this community.
These are the rules:
1. Make your own rules. I’ll share what I’m doing, and then you can decide what works best for you.
2. No refined sugar, honey, or maple syrup. I’ll enjoy stevia, dates and fruit sugar. The idea with this is to keep blood sugars more in balance without those big spikes that come with sugar, honey and maple syrup. Additionally, sugar wreaks havoc on the immune and nervous systems and leads to a lot of pain and inflammation.
3. No gluten. I won’t go into the detriments of gluten, but if you’d like to read more, I’ve got a few blog posts on this that you can read and why it’s soooo not good for immune system, auto-immune diseases and a myriad of other health issues.
4. No dairy. Cow milk, which we’re accustumed to here in the west, is hard for most people to digest. It ends up resulting in mucous and inflammation for a lot of people. And right now, especially, with a rampant virus, you may want to stay away from items that increase mucous production.
5. No caffeine. You can read my article about coffee and caffeine and how it negatively affects the immune and nervous systems. This is a time when you need to be your tip-top best and to have a strong immune and nervous system. Caffeine runs down the adrenals, thereby affecting your ability to better handle stressors. I’ve gotten into the habit of having a very tiny bit of half-caff-half-decaff with my chai or some black tea in my chai. Taking a break from that.
This is it, my friend.
Every year I do this, I have people email with all kinds of questions, so here’s a few of the FAQ’s:
Why 40 days? It takes 40 days to break a habit and to start a new one. I noticed that, the last time I was strict about the no-sugar, I honestly broke the cravings that I had for it, and it really hasn’t come back as strongly as it was a few years ago, before I started this.
Do you have to eliminate caffeine, sugar, dairy AND gluten? No way. Do what’s comfortable and do-able for you. I want to encourage you to feel successful. Eliminating all of this at one time may just put you over the top. Maybe start with just sugar for now, or whatever you feel may be best for you.
For me, I’ve done all of this before and I know it works really well for me. I made a tremendous leap in my health, one that nothing else could do for me. If you’re really hurting and you’ve tried everything else, maybe this is something you want to try. Just give it a shot…what do you have to lose? Maybe some emotional support that you might get from those cookies and baguettes, but health? That’s something that I’ll take any day of the week in exchange for a tortilla.
Can I have fruit? It’s totally up to you! For someone who has Candida, you may want to completely eliminate all forms of sugar. However, this is really, really hard for people to do. I personally, need some fruit, and I generally do ok with it. But, if you’re wanting to go all in to see what the result is, I encourage you to go for it!
Does this challenge cost anything to join? Nope. Just enjoy it, spread the word, get your friends and family to join you for support. I love doing this and love knowing others are doing it, too…..keeps me accountable.
How does it work? Soooo many people ask me how to do this. I’m a pretty ‘grass roots’ kind of woman. I don’t have some fancy plan to share with you or regularly scheduled emails that will go out to guide you. If you’d like extra support, you’re welcome to join my Create Your Roadmap to Health course, where I’ve laid out, in detail, a step-by-step plan for food elimination and how to integrate new ways of eating. Just do what feels right for you! I WILL be sending out weekly emails, over the next 5 weeks, to share information and tips on what to stay away from and what to include.
….and I’m offering my 5 week course ‘Create Your Roadmap to Health’ to you to help inspire you along this journey. It includes:
We have flexible tuition
Even if you’re not up for a challenge right now, keep some of these thoughts in mind as your navigating your food choices. Remember that you are what you eat. Everything you put into your mouth becomes your cellular structure.
I wish you the most beautiful of New Years. May you feel your own presence. May you find strength within yourself to meet and face these challenging times with grace and grit.
Sending love and hugs, Dr. Arjan