Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Coping Strategies for Cutting out Sugar

So first of all, these were the best gluten free cupcakes I've ever had. I'm a huge sucker for buttercream frosting number one. And secondly, the chocolate cake didn't have that traditional, chalky gluten free aftertaste. But, they are really sugary and two things happened. I could feel the sugar rush immediately after eating them and then later a sugar crash. And then I started craving them with every meal. Literally- I wanted one at breakfast the next day so badly I thought I might cry if I didn't eat it.

This may not happen to everyone, but it happens to me EVERY TIME  I indulge in a really sugary dessert. I can handle a piece of dark chocolate or about half of a mini cupcake- but that's my limit. Otherwise I feel poorly, out of balance and my sugar cravings intensify ten fold. This really bums me out because as previously mentioned, I just love buttercream frosting so much and one of my favorite things in this world is that perfect bite of chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. However I don't love all the other side effects and I hate how quickly eating lots of sugar negates all the other hard work I do to eat well and feel balanced.

I had a lot of work to do when I first started cutting out sugar years ago when I began the SCD and GAPS diets. I was really used to eating sugary snacks and I loved my desserts. It was really hard to change those habits and to deal with the physical sugar cravings and effects. But I learned that once I conquered that initial intense craving I could get past it pretty easily. I still struggle sometimes- as you can see from last weekend's cupcake episode- but I'm much better now at coming off of sugar and then finding healthy alternatives. Hence, my coping strategies. Check out this article too for support of a low glycemic diet.

Coping Strategies for Cutting out Sugar

I replace sugar in my tea and baked goods with honey and now I'm going to try xylitol

No sodas but if I want to indulge I drink just a few sips of a classic Coke or all natural brand soda. Generally I say no to soda because otherwise I'll just want it all the time.

For a sweet drink I drink grape juice, orange juice and apple cider. I know these are still high in fruit sugars but at first it was kind of impossible to not drink any sweet things and now I just love a little glass here and there.

I buy pasta sauce, stocks and condiments without sugar. Condiments are really hard to find without sugar so sometimes I just give in and buy them made with less processed cane sugar.

Everytime I crave something, I stop and think about if I'm hungry or thirsty and what it is i'm really craving.
Then I force myself to think of a healthy, sugar free alternative that will fill that need. I'm usually just a little hungry and a little snack of almonds and raisins is all I need.

I eat a little dark chocolate here and there. My favorites are Trader Joe's dark chocolate with almonds, their dark chocolate and caramel sea salt bar and their bag of dark chocolate mint candies.

And since I still can't resist buttercream frosting I'm going to attempt a recipe made with xylitol and see if it does the trick. I'll keep you posted!


Kay said...

Swerve sweetener has confectioners sugar and it is the closest thing I have found to "real" sugar in my 3 years of using Stevia based sugars. It's spendy, but worth the health benefits :)

Rachel Albert said...

The blog healthy indulgences has some great recipes using stevia and xylitol or erythritol with or without a little bit of honey. I made her chocolate silk pie and chocolate peanut butter pie (using almond butter instead of PB) twice, a few years ago for a friend's birthday and for 4th of July. They were fantastic. She has cupcakes, frosting and more. You could get some ideas there!

I have since made other desserts with a combination of those sweeteners. Xylitol alone can leave a cold/metalic taste. Using a wee bit of sugar softens the flavor and gets rid of that funny aftertaste. Erythritol alone can give a funny taste and some people get gassy from it.

Many brands of xylitol are made from genetically modified corn. Ones made from birth bark are better, and more traditional. Here is a brand I recommend:

I am working on a cookbook that will contain low-carb, sugar=free ketogenic desserts for people who are following the diet for cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, depression, autoimmune disorders, candida, and other conditions. I would love to have your email to contact you and send you a review copy when it is out. It will initially be an e-book and later a hard copy book.

Chef Rachel
ChefRachel At The Garden Of Eating Diet dot com

I look forward to hearing from you! I enjoy reading and following your blog. Maybe you'll want to subscribe to mine to see when I post recipes from the new book ;-)

Mollie Mahon said...

Thanks Kay- I actually just bought a bag of Swerve, good to know it has a good review!

Mollie Mahon said...

Hi Rachel,

I would love to take a look at your new book when it comes out- your site is so informative! Please contact me again and let me know how I can help.