3 Ways To Cut Back On Sugar This Fall
Hi sweet friends! Saturday was the first day of fall, and I am so excited. It's hands down my favorite season.. I like to say it's because of how pretty the leaves are and the slightly cooler weather, but really, let's be honest- I love buying school supplies. Ha! I'm not even that organized of a person, but I love them anyway.
Because I have to justify my love of shopping for office and school supplies to myself, I find that fall becomes the time of year when I do a lot of organizing and planning ahead to make any changes that I know I need to make.
Our schedules often change with school in session again, so this is the perfect time to try out some new lifestyle habits you've been thinking of.
Let's talk food today! Specifically sugar.
Because we are starting to gather our energy in preparation for the holidays and winter, we want to reflect that need to ground ourselves in our food. We tend to move from lots of raw food (cold salads, salsas, guacamole, etc.) to more cooked and baked comfort foods... especially traditional fall treats. Hello, pumpkin bread!
Pumpkin spiced drinks and foods are everywhere. We're going to tailgates or football watch parties, and there's so many yummy, comfort foods right under our noses. Unfortunately, sugar is so detrimental to our bodies, and the synthetic sweeteners are even worse. Even alternative sweeteners like honey, agave, or coconut sugar can bring about symptoms.
Sugar increases inflammation and can create achier joints, contribute to increased pelvic pain, or cause autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's to flare. We may notice more tummy troubles as sugar feeds bad bacteria and fungi in our microbiome causing bloating or gas. The body's response to sugar can also impact adrenal function leading to decreased progesterone and testosterone production putting some of us in an estrogen dominant state. Blood sugar levels spike and then crash causing us to feel groggy and grouchy and impacting other hormonal processes that amplify the impact.
It's tough being a human, right?!
So, here's some tips to help you cut back on the sugar and help you eat in a way that will support your system, improve your gut function, and facilitate hormonal balance.
If eliminating sugar is too far of a reach for you, try baby steps. Start with one day a week without refined sugars.. No candy, no traditional baked goods, no fancy coffee creamer, etc. Find your success and build on that!
Be intentional about allowing yourself the fun, festive fall coffee drinks. Instead of your usual one PSL from Starbucks per week, maybe only allow yourself one or two all season.
If you're a bit more committed to the cause, but still struggle with your sweet tooth, maybe explore Pinterest for a good Paleo swap for your favorite pumpkin bread throwing in some milled flax seed or chia for some additional fiber and nutrients.
For my overachievers, maybe you already have the sugar habit contained, but you still struggle finding the right foods. Perhaps take a look at the Glycemic Index chart and start eliminating foods with a rating over 50. This approach starts to fine tune our ability to handle all types of carbohydrates, since things like grains can cause blood sugar spikes similar to those created by the tasty sugary treats.
I know you can do it! And you'll be so glad you did after your skinny jeans button easier, the bloating dissipates, and you notice you're not snapping at your loved ones quite so easily.
Comment below and tell me your favorite strategies to cut back on the sugar in your life!