Everyone loves. A little sweetness in their lives and yogis are no different. So how can you support your health, maximise your nutritional input and enjoy life?
Healthy eating improves immune functioning, gives a range and balance of nutrients and micro nutrients required, maintains a good weight and helps your teeth. Reducing sugar can help you stabilise your blood sugar, reduce addictive eating, reduce weight, improve gut bacteria to help everything from your digestion to your skin. There is alink between your micro biome and your emotional health – so reducing sugar, once past the challenging phase can leave you feeling better in yourself as well.
One of the tenants of yoga is pure and energyful. A sattvic diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy, whole grains and nuts. Some foods are too rajasic: stimulating, meaning they make the body too excited and prone to anger like coffee, garlic, fizzy drinks, spicy and fried food. Tamasic foods are sedatives, they dull and defocus: stale or reheated food, sugar, alcohol, meat, fish, mushrooms and blue cheese. Here are some easy ways to increase your saatva.
How to reduce sugar easily
- Go Savoury: Reduce sugar by indulging in the stuff you love: oatcakes and cheese, seaweed thins and crisps
- Watch Your Dopamine: The kick of excitement your get is of imagining the treat rather than actually eating it… so if you are decisive you can get the same kick for ½ a donut to a whole one.
- Half it: If you want chocolate brownie eat half a serving
- Rule of thumb: Use the rule of thumb to decide on the size of treat to have each day. That will help limit the damage.
- Buy in small packets: Biscuits like Biscoff, come in small packets which can help you enjoy a small treat without the temptation to keep going.
- Small tins: Buy mini tins of coke or fizzy drinks to limit the amount you have.
- Eat enough real food: Make sure you eat enough complex carbohydrates so that you are not hungry and drink enough water so you remain hydrated.
- Honey: Use ½ to 2/3 of honey instead of sugar in recipes. Another option is to 1 cup of honey = ½ to 2/3 cup of honey, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and reduce liquids in the recipe by ¼ of a cup. Reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Honey reduces allergies and has anti inflammatory properties.
- Agave: Not unlike honey but plant based so great for vegan and low impact planet friendly folk.
- Stevia: A plant based white sweet powder that adds sweetness but not much volume.
- Artificial sweeteners: Avoid artificial sweeteners. They seem like a ‘free lunch’ but contribute to weight gain even with ‘no calories’ and increase toxic load in the body.
Highly nutritious and low sugar
- Lotus fruit: Pick your favourite plate and spend time enjoying making a beautiful plate of prepared fruit. Or serve a bowl of fruit and nuts with knives and candied almonds asa healthy makeshift pudding.
- Fruited scones: Scones, jam and cream are delightful. Use a chia seed compote in place of the jam.
- Lemon crepes: Make crepes and serve with loads of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
- Melon with cointreau: a family favourite, simple and delightful.
- Fruit jelly;
- Love Pots: Grated apple, oats, fruit juice, nuts and dried fruit, left to steep overnight in small pots in the fridge, delicious! Maybe add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and some pureed apple.
- Fruit Crumble: add apple juice rather than sugar and use a granola cereal for the topping)
- Yogurt Knickerbocker Glory: use plain yoghurt, layers of rolled oats and mixed berries with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to top it off.
- Honeyed fruit: Stew fruit in water and later add honey just enough to melt the honey in and to keep its full benefits.
- Fruit purees: Add fruit juice to stew your fruit in and then purree down, lovely with flaked almonds. Use as a sauce or swirl two together for fun.
- Fruit lollies: Swirl yoghurt with a little glycerine (to make it less hard) and frozen fruit to create marbled lollies.
- Baked apples: Core your apple and stuff with rainsins, bake in the nven and serves with custard.
- Try Om Bar: Delightful raw chocolate without sugar : )
Digestives with thinly sliced and a sprinkle of cinnamon
Dried fruit: try a little espresso cup as a way to serve
Potato scones or crumpets with butter
Toast & marmite
|Your normal amount||
Eat a portion the size of your thumb
Water infused with lemon or cucumber
Herbal tea: try ginger root and lemon cooked up
Tiny tins of tonic
An espresso cup of fruit juice
Gin and fizzy water, lovely!
Homemade mango and cardamom sorbet
Frozen vanilla yogurt or gelato
Plain live yoghurt, plain, honest you’ll grow to love it eventually
Apples stuffed with raisins and baked
Cook frozen fruit with chia seeds
Pureed fruit with lemon juice
|Sugar||Honey, Agave or Stevia|
Going without sugar is a great option as a reboot to the system. It might take a week, a month, a year or a decade – it depends on your system and how much it is needing a rest.
- Sugar free: Have a period of 4 or 5 days completely sugar free each week for a month. If you notice some benefit try a whole month.
- Sweet free: Have a period of 4 or 5 days completely sugar and sweet things free (including fruit, honey, agave, dried fruit. If you notice some benefit try a whole month.
Keep it Real!
I’m a great fan of having strong rules and also breaking them. This is the know your standards and aims and expect them, and also give space for real life. Whether it’s sugar, yoga practice or finances, Id encourage you to have a clear plan, and then give yourself moments of childlike freedom and joy to do what feels good. Too much of this and you’ll likely end up with a massive credit card bill and matching belly, but not enough and you just get a bit uptight and unhappy. So find your balance.