Beating the Sugar Blues


Today’s post is intended to raise awareness regarding the impact of excessive sugar consumption on our health and relationships.

It will also provide some healthy tips for managing your energy level.

Virtually every aspect of your life can benefit form what I share in this post.

YOU may be wondering why a Love and Relationship coach would choose to write a blog on healthy nutrition.

The simple answer: our dietary choices have a profound impact on our mood, energy level, and interactions with others.

I have been a “student of nutrition and health” since my early days in college (over 40 years).   I have taken many classes, workshops, and have done extensive reading on the topic.

In addition to being a highly gifted early child educator, the love of my life is also a Certified Nutritional Educator, so I get the benefit of having a wife who really understands health and nutrition!

I try my best to “walk my talk”.

There is simply so much unnecessary suffering around basic health issues that I will, from time to time, just feel compelled to share information on the topic of health and nutrition with my tribe.

As a mental health counselor I developed an acclaimed and highly attended community college course called Adaptive Living Skills, that focused on information and practices that support healthy, fulfilling, sustainable living.

In other words I am “holistic” in my approach to promoting conscious, mutually empowering, loving relationships.

Our physical health contributes to our emotional and mental health and a healthy vibrant you will attract a healthy vibrant partner.

Still here?

We have all heard the saying. “You are what you eat”.

But how does what we eat and drink impact our mood, behavior, and interactions with others?

The Sugar blues

Many people are suffering from what I call the Sugar Blues.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying an occasional “sweet”.   In fact it is one of the simple pleasures of life.

Excessive sugar consumption is another matter.

It can lead to all kinds of easily preventable physical symptoms that, if left unchecked, can put our health at serious risk and really “strain” our precious relationships with those closest to us.

Recognizing the symptoms of excessive sugar consumption:

  • Mood imbalances
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Problems with concentration
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling tired and worn out a lot of the time

Please note:

If you are in the habit of consuming a lot of sugary foods and beverages and are currently suffering with any of the above symptoms, I recommend that you make an appointment with your primary care physician.

Ask him or her to give you a thorough “work up” and have the appropriate lab work done to determine your blood sugar level.

Be brave and set up your appointment as soon as possible.

Mutually empowering and fulfilling relationships simply require us to be at our best most of the time.

It should be obvious that none of the above noted symptoms of excessive sugar consumption contribute to “harmonious” relationships.

Excessive sugar consumption is also linked to the rapid rise of diabetes and obesity, among other serious health problems.

The major villain in this dietary nightmare is the high fructose corn syrup found in sodas, most processed foods, salad dressings, barbeque sauces, ketchup, many baked goods, and so on.

The physical and emotional “roller coaster ride” caused by regular excessive sugar consumption:

All of us have experienced the rush of energy following the consumption of foods containing processed sugar.

Many folks even seek out this “energy rush” when feeling tired or depleted.

Unfortunately, most of us have also experienced just how tired and depleted we feel after the temporary energizing effects of sugary foods wear off.

A case in point:

It’s 3 PM and you’re dead tired form crunching numbers all day so you take a quick break and try to revitalize yourself with a candy bar.

The processed sugar in the candy bar does its job and for a short while you have the energy that you need to get through your day.

Then you crash and burn.

The sugar has been absorbed, processed, and has provided you with some instant energy that now gives way to feeling even more tired and depleted than before you consumed the candy bar to recharge your batteries.

So what causes this cycle?

Simply put the simple sugars found in candy bars, sodas, most breakfast cereals, and most processed foods are a two edged sword.

Yes, they provide quick energy but a very high physical and emotional cost.

When your pancreas senses a sudden increase in blood sugar levels it releases insulin to help the cells absorb and process the sugar.  The sugar is quickly absorbed and processed giving you that quick burst of energy.

Once the sugar is gone from your system, you feel even more tired and depleted than before you consumed your “pick-me-up snack”.

This is because your body basically had to work “over time” to get the sugar out of you blood stream.  Sugar in high concentration is actually seen by your body as a toxin, so it works very hard and very fast to process it.

Some better choices

Choose a healthy “pick-me-up snack”

Instead of grabbing a candy bar at 3 Pm why not set the intention to develop the habit of consuming a healthy “pick-me-up snack” today!  Here are some healthy choices:

  • Some roasted, unsalted nuts, my personal favorite is cashews
  • A bowl of cottage cheese with pineapple chunks and sliced banana
  • A banana with a teaspoon of natural peanut butter (no sugar added), one of my wife’s favorites!
  • An apple with some high quality chees, another one of my favorites
  • A cup of good quality granola with whole milk
  • A slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter and natural fruit preserves
  • A good quality protein bar, just make sure that most of the calories come from protein and not sugars

All of the above examples contain naturally occurring sugars that will give you energy and protein that will sustain you and help balance your energy.

Start YOUR day with a balanced healthy breakfast that is high in protein and has carbohydrates that come from whole grains, seeds, and dairy products.

Mother always said that you should eat  a healthy breakfast.

From a “balanced energy” perspective breakfast is simply the most important meal of the day.  In fact we burn 70% of all of our daily calories before noon.

After resting all night we need fuel to get going.

Do your self a favor and replace that morning cup of joe and a pastry bought at Starbucks on the way to work with a healthy balanced, breakfast that contains protein, complex carbohydrates, some fresh fruit and some food rich in probiotics (live bacteria) like yogurt.

Some examples of healthy breakfasts

  • Vegie omelets with whole grain toast and a small bowl of yogurt with some fresh fruit
  • A bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, and sunflower seeds and ½ of a banana
  • A smoothie made from unsweetened vanilla hemp milk, 1 table spoon of ground up flax seeds, ½ banana, some high quality protein powder, a table spoon of peanut butter, and some whole milk yogurt
  • Two slices of whole grain bread, toasted, with peanut butter, a little honey, and sliced banana

You get the idea!

Take a short brisk walk

If you have been sitting at a desk all day, perhaps a bit of fresh air, sunshine, and a nice 10-minute walk is just the ticket to get your motor going again.

A growing body of research shows that taking a five minute walk, once an hour helps folks at sedentary office jobs to maintain metabolic levels that prevent the all too common weight gain associated with “desk jobs”.

Power naps

If you are feeling overly tired, perhaps a quick power nap is the ticket.

JFK used to take 10 to 20 minute power naps regularly.   This is how he stayed on call and alert during the Cuban Missile Crises.

One more thing:

Food and drink are investments that are absolutely guaranteed to pay dividends.

What sort of health and relationship dividends do you want to collect?

I sincerely hope that you found my little “rant” on replacing sugary foods with healthy snacks and a hearty breakfast helpful.

Remember to take your time and that many small life-style changes have a powerful, cumulative impact on the overall quality of your life.

Empowered living simply requires loving self-discipline.

If you want to attract a committed partner who truly loves you for who you are I encourage you to begin by taking loving care of yourself.

If you are already in a committed relationship, then take the steps to take good care of yourself so that you can be there for your partner.

The life you save, may be your own!

Best wishes with your chosen course of action.

Live, Connect, Love and Prosper

See YOU next week!

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  • Identify the most powerful actions that will move you toward the relationship of your dreams.
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1 Comment »

Comment by stephen light
May 29, 2013 @ 2:27 am

Hi Ron

I have been investigating Low GI diets for the family to manage energy levels so this article came at the right time.

Thank you

Love & Courage
Stephen Light

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