Jean’s Word of the Week: Sugar
Learn Some Easy Ways To Get a Boost of Energy - Naturally
Jean Edelman: It is great to be here this week. This week my topic is sugar.
Today I want to talk about sugar, and I want to talk about our health and don't roll your eyes. I know this is a tough topic. I know I talk a lot about our health and our food habits, and I know they are what they are, but it's about creating balance. And when we can eat a little healthier, we bring balance into our life and our health. The key to balance and the key to good health is just awareness. And so our ability to occasionally make better food choices will make a substantial difference down the road.
So I thought today we could talk about an ingredient that I think is making a lot of people not feel well. And so it is sugar. And I have some tips of how we can approach this topic of sugar. So the first key is that we need to eat three meals at regular times during the day because it's really about keeping our blood sugars even. And when we eat three meals plus a good, healthy snack during the day, we help our body, and we help our blood sugar stay normal and level throughout the day. It's in the morning when we reach for the sugary coffee and the doughnuts or the sweet carbs - that's when we spike our sugars. And so we need to eat a nice, substantial breakfast.
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And so what is that? Well, it's a whole foods approach. Whole fruits, whole grains, whole vegetables. And variety is the key. And so if we are going to eat a healthy breakfast, how about an omelet with lots of vegetables and some cheese and avocado and some nice whole grain bread? Or what about some oatmeal and some walnuts and some fresh fruit? That type of a start to our day will help us keep our blood sugars more normal so that we're not going to go reach for the sweet stuff in the afternoon.
The key is to really educate ourselves and to stop and read ingredient labels when we do have to reach for a packaged product. And so that will be one of our action items that we're going to work on. The second thing is to eat a good lunch. So a great lunch is lots of vegetables, a protein, avocado. Avocado is a great healthy fat that will help our meal digest over a longer period of time, helping us possibly not reach for the sweets at 3PM or 4PM. The other tip is to have a nice dinner with whole grain, a protein, lots of vegetables. So we're trying to put food into our bellies that taste good. It's nourishing and it takes a longer time to digest. And that's the whole foods, the whole fruits, the whole vegetables. Another thing that we can do is add some spices, some coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Lots of wonderful herbs are in our gardens this year. They are super when we're cooking.
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Another tip is how we cook our food can make it sweeter. So if we steam our vegetables or we blanch them in some water very quickly, the natural sweetness will come out. Another good thing is that we need to move. So exercise, yoga, biking, tennis, pickleball are all good because we're moving our bodies. Get outside, walk. And if we're craving something, maybe if we go for a walk instead of grabbing the doughnut or the chocolate bar, that might be a good step of changing a habit. Getting enough sleep is another key factor to helping our blood sugar stay normal throughout the day. Because when we're tired, we go for the sugar. We're looking for it to give us a boost, and that's not the way to go.
And then our emotions. So this is a big one because when we're reaching for that food, if we can take a moment and stop and say, Wow, what am I feeling? Am I angry? Am I depressed? Am I frustrated? Am I stressed out? What's the emotion that's contributing to reaching for that sugary snack? Maybe once we're in touch with that, we could stop, take some breaths, tune in, come back into our body, remind ourselves that we are moving in the direction of good health. As long as we're moving in that direction, it's all good.
And you know what? Another key factor to be craving sweets is? We're thirsty. We are not hydrated. And that thirst is we think we need the sweet, but we really need some water. So before we go for whatever it is that we think is going to make us feel better because it's got some sugar in it, have a glass of water, have a glass of room temperature water. Because ice is really not our friend either. But that's another discussion.
This is a great time of year for fresh fruit. There's so many fresh berries and melons. So have some nice fresh fruit in the afternoon. If we're feeling like we want something to eat that's sweet and light and refreshing. It's all about just making small choices, moving in that right direction of good health, eating whole grains, eating our different grains, our whole wheat, our fresh vegetables, our fruit.
And the other piece of advice is when we do reach for that box, to read the label, because there are hidden sugars in there and they have to list it. So if we read it, we see it, put it back on the shelf. This life, this is a great journey. And the small changes that we make over time make a huge difference. And it's all about the small moments. It's about each meal, it's about each bite. We're not going to change it overnight. But again, just moving in the right direction. Don't be in love with sugar because it's never going to love us back. It's only going to hurt us and hurt our long-term health.
So my word of the week is SUGAR.
The S is for satisfy.
We crave to feel full and fulfilled and the way that we do that is with our career, our work. But a big piece of it is the food. And so if we can look at each meal and just make small tweaks to make it a little bit healthier, we'll be on the right track. Take some time to learn some recipes. It's summertime, get out there and grill. There's lots of great protein to grill in the summertime.
The U is for unique
because we are one of a kind. There is only one of us and we only have this one body. We have to take care of it. And so sugar is not our friend.
G is to grow;
grow from our life's experiences. We're not meant to stay in one place. We have to learn and evolve. And so one day at a time, we can make the changes that will make us feel better and be healthier. And one bite at a time.
The A is for abundance.
We are so spoiled with the variety of food and our food stores take advantage of that. Enjoy creating colorful, beautiful meals with fruits and vegetables from our local farmer's markets and stores. Look for the color to bring healthy, satisfying meals together.
And R is for rejoice.
Take pleasure in something. We love our food and so kick the sugar, read the labels, make the smaller choices and rejoice in our better health.
I'll bet if you can kick sugar out for one week, you will feel a difference. We can do this. We can make ourselves feel better. We can make better choices. Have a great week.