So, this morning I woke up to a slightly more quiet house than expected since the kids are home for Easter break and have no school today (yay for no snow days this year)!
And it suddenly occurred to me that we did an entire Easter weekend without candy and without complaints! I started wondering about how many other people this year opted for a candy-free Easter holiday, or how many moms filled the Easter basket with t-shirts and devotionals instead of chocolate bunnies.
Now – don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the thrill of Easter egg hunts and all the pastels, and I have a weak spot for Cadbury Bunny eggs, truth be told. Also, my kids still received candy from grandparents and friends at school. I just kinda wanted to see if Donald and I brought them to church, played some games, and left the baskets in the closet, if the kids would miss it (they are getting older *tears*). Honestly, I think I wanted the Easter Egg hunt more than anyone this year! Our youngest even scrunched her nose and shrugged her shoulders!! What?! Too big for an egg hunt? *sigh* What she wanted more than anything else this weekend was just to spend time together as a family. Her words.
Anyway! Here’s the thing. Even in Easters past, I would buy a basket, fill it with colorful grass and a chocolate bunny, maybe some peeps and a Cadbury egg or Starburst Jelly Beans – but just enough individual treats for a day or two, then I would stuff it full with a spring shirt and maybe a hair accessory, a game or a new trinket or markers and a craft. And I wouldn’t purchase it all until just a few days before Easter weekend, hide it all packed and closed up in the back of our closet. And… I would make sure Donald and I wouldn’t get a dozen candies left over just for us LOL. All candy purchased is for the kids – and just enough for a day or two.
My kids know that candy isn’t bought except for holidays, and even then in moderation. So you may be thinking I am a horrible mom for “depriving” my kids of sugar. The fact is I believe they get plenty of it handed to them at school and elsewhere, that at home we focus on feeding them and their tastebuds real food again more than just sugar-filled ones, otherwise sweetened, processed foods are all they will crave and reach for when hungry. I know first hand how addictive sugar is. The more you eat it, the more the body craves it. Instead of keeping candy in the house where I constantly have to say NO – we instead stock the house with foods we love to say YES to. In fact, with foods the kids don’t HAVE to ask for – because we WANT them to eat it as much as possible. We keep large bowls of fruit on the breakfast nook table and the kitchen island, as well as berries in the fridge for the picking.
If you keep Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Eggs in the house, you’re more likely to snack on it each day without thinking… right?? Or you make excuses of why you “deserve” a little treat and/or how “just a little won’t make a difference”. Nevermind that we know we dip our hands in the bag 3 times a day – which adds up!
Does it help us feel better – once we have gobbled it up and are left with a sugar spike before an energy crash? No, it doesn’t. Not for me, anyway. It makes me feel powerless over my eating. Not in control of my own body. Like I am feeding an invisible sugar monster living in my gut and making all food decisions for me. I do not enjoy living that way, do you?
It doesn’t matter how long we eat clean, how much we don’t crave it daily anymore, or how healthy we live 90% of the time. When we add sugar into our eating on one day – we are inviting the cravings to start all over again. One day perhaps doesn’t bother us that much. But go a week with a sugary treat every day and see how your body feels after you take it away. What do you think it will crave once a day? The sugary treat it got accustomed to receiving every day! LOL So, I’ve saved myself the trouble and decided we just don’t buy sodas or chocolate pb cups for the house 365 days a year 😉 For my own sanity.
Well, you’re probably thinking… GOOD for YOU, Angel – that’s great that you survived this Easter without candy… but what about if we already splurged and find ourselves feeding the gut sugar monster already?? How do we get back on track??
I HEAR YOU and I GET IT! I have been there many times – and, because I am a flawed human being and mama of 3, I am certain I am not perfect and have these moments myself ! I splurge at holidays like Christmas and birthdays (the cake!)! So, I am definitely not immune. But, I do have a few things I do to help myself get over the sugar cravings and back in control of my eating, before all the progress I work for throughout the rest of the year goes to waste or seems too hard to get back on the right track.
Here are my top tips for personally slashing the sugar bug in my gut for good – so I can quickly get back on track and feeling good, too:
1. I get rid of the candy. I throw it out. I don’t keep it. Not even a small private stash. I accept the fact that I am not “wasting” it. WE DO NOT NEED IT. That is the reality, for sure. We had our time to indulge, and I don’t want it to become a new negative habit by sticking around for a week or more! Before I know it, we will all expect it to be there unless I get it out now.
- I stock the kitchen with tons of fruits and veggies, nuts, healthy grab and go snacks such as cheese sticks and no-sugar-added protein bars or we make our own energy balls with Shakeology. This is for me as much as for our kids. Having our two large bowls of fruit always at their reach is a HUGE help! Plus two large drawers in the fridge! Everybody in the family knows we can grab apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, berries, bell peppers, baby carrots – ANY TIME WE WANT! We also have pickles, nitrate-free deli meat, cheese sticks, nut butter, olives, pumpkin seeds or pistachios, pecans or almonds, and yogurt.
- I eat a very large salad every day after the sugar treats are gone ;-). There is always a big bin of fresh spinach for making a salad when I KNOW it’s what my body NEEDS to help it recover and reset itself after a sugar splurge! This one small discipline helps my tongue and my gut crave greens and living foods again – which also help reduce the negative effects that sugar wrecked inside my body (think inflammation, digestion, bloating. Etc). I want things running smoothly again (wink , wink) and also to slim back down where it was before! Not to mention, I want my body’s energy back in balance and restored to full function.
- WATER – I INCREASE IT! Anything I can do to help flush it out! Normally I drink half my bodyweight in ounces. When I am purposely restoring balance, I add a squeeze of half a lemon and increase my consumption another 25% or so. When the sugar and bread isn’t the first thing I want on my tongue, I know I’m well on my way to getting my healthy tastebuds back in order, and can return to normal.
5. I never skip my daily Shakeology. AND I use it to help me through the sweet tooth moments as I detox, and to have all the good stuff going into my body as I am flushing out the bad. With no sugar or additives, nothing artificial and knowing it is whole food nutrition with the probiotics and wheat grass to clean out my gut and restore balance in my body, I’m all for it! Especially in a moment of a Reeses peanut butter cup withdrawal when I can whip up a chocolate vegan shake with a spoonful of no sugar added almond butter and power through without a guilty conscience.
6. I increase healthy fats and protein, and decrease carb-y foods like bread and pasta. These foods FEED the sugar bug growing in my gut, so I instead want foods that give me healthy and sustainable energy, without giving the cravings for sugar and carbs more power than necessary.
7. Last but not least — If I know I am having a tough time ditching the sugar bug on my own , and my home methods aren’t working as quickly as I like… I reach for a 3 Day Refresh. Sometimes we keep one for each of us in the pantry for a tune-up and/or detox about 3-4 times a year. Just 3 days, and we erased so much of the sugar bug monster’s damage! We can quickly get back on track and often drop the extra 5lbs or more (plus inches) of regret! We always come out feeling refreshed and renewed – without a sugar craving in sight!
Do you think these tips would be helpful for you? Share one of the images from this post on your Facebook or Pinterest page, and tag my Angel Ballance – Life Fit Mama page, I’d love to hear your tips and methods for getting back on track after a weekend or holiday splurge like Easter!
If you’re interested in an After-Easter 3 Day Refresh or Detox, Spring into Fitness with me!! Fill out the form HERE and I’ll contact you with more information.