As with everything in life, too much of anything, isn't good. When we eat a lot of sweet foods, we run the risk of damaging our Spleens. (our Chinese medical Spleen, not our biomedical, physical spleen) The Spleen is in charge of many jobs in our bodies:
- Digestion of food
- Water metabolism
- Aspects of women's menstrual cycles
- Controlling our sense of worry, or being at peace with ourselves
A weak Spleen may result in some of the following symptoms:
- extra weight
- lack of motivation
- lack of appetite
- increased sensitivity to stress
- light or heavy menstrual flows
- irregular menstruation
- vaginal discharge
- and may be a contributing factor in MANY more health complaints!
While I don't always recommend that people go on a no-sugar diet (except those with diabetes), I have found that it can help the Spleen regain health MUCH more quickly if people will cut out the "bad" sugars from their diets. This includes:
- Sodas (yes, even diet! The sweetness is still there and damaging your spleen!)
- Candies & Chocolate
- Pastries of all kinds
- Sugared cereals
- Ice cream
- etc. You know the kinds of things that have sugar in them.
So how does one go about cutting sugar from their diet? Many of us have experienced the regular sugar cravings that can be strong enough to compel us to run to the store to get something sweet! How the HECK do you conquer THOSE?
Here are some tips that have worked for me and many of my patients:
- Stop eating sugar cold-turkey. This is one case where trying to wean yourself off won't work.
- Get rid of all the "bad" sugars in the house. If it's not there, it can't tempt you. You'd actually have to go out of your way to get something sweet to eat. Make sure to not be tempted by sweets at the store. KEEP them out of the house!
- Do not go grocery shopping while hungry. Hunger is often confused with sugar cravings, leading to purchases based on these cravings, not what is nutritionally needed.
- Have fruit around you at all times. Repeat after me, "AT ALL TIMES!" And make sure it's something completely delectable, not a grainy apple or a tasteless orange. It's got to be NUMMY. My favorite right now is a juicy nectarine with that perfect balance between sweet and sour. This "bad" sugar substitute will trick your body into thinking that it's getting the "bad" stuff and make you stop craving the sweet. Eat AS MUCH fruit as it takes to keep you from seeking out a sugary snack.
- If the cravings are still getting to you, put a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in an 8oz. glass of water and drink it down. It'll take about 10 minutes to take effect. I know it sounds strange, but it works! Try it!
- Know what you're going up against. The strong sugar cravings will likely last anywhere from a week to two weeks. Many people aren't aware of the addictive qualities of sugar and don't realize that it will take that long! It does. Trust me.
- Notice the positive changes that happen in your body. Use these as motivation! My patients have noticed that they feel less "foggy" in their heads. Their thinking is clearer. Some may notice changes in their weight (mostly water weight, but an important part of the Spleen becoming stronger). Less sinus congestion as well as a decrease in post-nasal drip. Notice how much CLEANER your body feels when it's not bogged down by a weakened Spleen!
While cutting sugar from your diet can be extremely difficult, the benefits to your health can be very rewarding! It's incredible how differently you feel about sugar when you've broken the addiction cycle. Several of my patients have even said that they no longer even WANTED sweets anymore.
Do any of you have more secrets to help stop the cravings for sugar?