One of the goals for this Detox Challenge is to reduce the use of sugar and sweeteners. Sugar cravings are one of the hardest things to get under control. The bacteria and yeast in the gut feed upon sugar and undigested carbohydrates. I call them sugar craving yeastie beasties. They are formidable when it comes to taming their siren call. However, it has been done by many and it can be done by you. I’ll show you how.
In my clinical experience, people who harbor yeast overgrowth tend to have difficulty controlling sugar cravings. The candida yeast borrow through the intestinal mucosa and create openings that contribute to leaky gut syndrome. This sets off the immune system and can also lead to hormonal imbalances. Constipation goes hand in hand with this clinical picture. The goal is to starve out the yeastie beasties.
Drink bone broth throughout the day
This will provide easy to digest nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will not feed the yeast but will feed you. It practically needs no digestion. This allows your digestive tract to rest and yet still be fed. Many times, a sugar craving will come when you are tired or need a nutrient boost. The bone broths will give you that and will keep you hydrated.
Fat is a neutral factor in blood sugar regulation. There are no spikes and drops in blood sugar when you eat fat. If you get a sugar or carb craving, have something fatty. I admit, sometimes I eat a small pat of butter right off the spoon! You could eat some vegetables smothered in butter and/or extra virgin olive oil. You could have a small handful of crispy nuts; pecans, walnuts or macadamias have the highest fat content. You could take a spoonful of homemade nut butter. You could mix coconut oil into a smoothie.
Each meal should have fat in it. Cook with good saturated fats from grassfed animals such as lard, tallow, duck fat and chicken fat. There is a lot of beneficial CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) in grassfed beef. Eat the cartilage and gristle off the bones of your beef and chicken meals.
Eat fermented foods
This will start a restoration process that will favor the beneficial bacteria. As time goes on and you add more and more of these foods to your every day diet, the pathogenic bacteria and yeast will slowly start to die off.
Take a spoonful of homemade sauerkraut if you have a sugar craving. The sour taste will stop that craving in its tracks. Have a homemade pickle or any other small amount of a fermented food. Generally this would include fermented dairy, but for the GAPS Intro, dairy is not allowed. Save that idea for when you are through the Intro stages.
Drink fermented juices. I think fermented juices are high in nutrient value.
Make and drink fresh vegetable juice
Just the process of making fresh vegetable juice will distract you from the sugar craving. Of course, you must plan ahead in order to have the vegetables on hand to juice. The more inconvenient a food is to make, the more you appreciate its value towards your goal of beating the yeastie beasties. There are many recipes for making fresh juice. Any combination will do. Just add half an apple, as this gives a little sweetness and the pectin helps digestion.
The less sweet foods you eat the easier it is to stop
I find that as soon as I can get over 2 -3 days of not eating any sweet things, the cravings become much less. However, the minute I eat something sweet, the cravings come back. After two weeks of not eating sweet things I do not feel any cravings at all and I am able to have something sweet without falling off the wagon so to speak.
How are you doing without sweets? Leave a comment and let me know!