How to Slay Your Sugar Monster

If you want to curb your sugar and carbohydrate cravings, there are really only two steps to stopping the sugar cycle. The first is to quit eating sugar!

This is actually more difficult than it sounds (even for those of you who cannot imagine going a week without the sweet white powder). The reason is, sugar is found in darn near everything. From canned foods and salad dressings to breads, baked goods, soups and sauces, sugar can be found in some form.

So, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all your sugar containing foods! Go through your cupboards and throw out anything containing honey, agave nectar, white sugar, raw sugar, dehydrated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, grain sugar, barley malt, maple syrup, or any other form of sugar you might find lurking in your ingredients.

When in doubt, throw it out! Bonus: if itʼs a chemical containing food, toss it even if it doesnʼt contain sugar (highly doubtful as most chemically processed foods have to be sweetened to mask the weird taste).

Things like canned soups, Spaghetti-Oʼs, packaged mac and cheese, etc, are all out. Toss them! Theyʼre not whole, nutritious foods.

Okay, once youʼve taken the plunge and purged your cupboards, itʼs time to rebuild your intestinal flora.

These little guys clean up yeast overgrowth – known as candida – and keep your body in balance. They literally keep you alive!

The bacteria in your stomach and intestine are the same ones found in yogurt and kefir, but before you rush off to the store to stock up on dairy products, you should know that most yogurt produced today is flash cultured and full of sugar itself. Normally, the sugar is consumed during the fermentation process, but when you force it, the sugar stays.

So, you have two options. The first is to take a probiotic capsule, available at supplement stores in their refrigerator section. This is good, but not the best option because the lactobacilli are living critters. If they are exposed to heat, they die. You donʼt really know where those pills came from or if they were transported in a hot truck. You just canʼt be certain theyʼre as potent as they say they are, and tests have shown that the actual bacteria count is usually far less than what the manufacturers claim on the package.

Your best bet for repopulating the beneficial bacteria of your gut is to consume cultured vegetables, also known as sauerkraut or kimchi. But, buyer beware! Most sauerkraut and kimchi sold in stores these days is pasteurized (heated) or cured with vinegar, meaning itʼs dead. There are no healthy bacteria in it.

There are raw brands available at some health food stores, but theyʼre very expensive. Itʼs much easier to make your own.

Hereʼs how to make raw sauerkraut at home:

Take 2-3 heads of cabbage and shred them in a food processor. Pack them tightly into a large glass jar with a rubber sealed lid, leaving about 2 inches of space at the top. Mix 1 liter of clean, filtered water with 2 tablespoons of Celtic sea salt. Dissolve the salt completely and then pour over the packed cabbage until the cabbage is covered. Roll some whole cabbage leaves into tight “logs” and pack them on top of the brew, filling up the air pocket above the kraut.

Seal the jar and let it sit on the counter for 3 to 10 days. Place a towel under the jar to absorb any drips or leaks and open the jar once a day to release gasses that are produced during fermentation. The longer you let your jar sit, the tangier your kraut will be.

Special note: Make sure your home is at least 70 degrees. If itʼs cooler, you may wish to put your kraut in a dehydrator on very low heat or wrap the jar in a towel and place it in a thermal container for warmth. If itʼs too cold, no fermentation will occur.

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