Flu, I Mean, Sugar Season
It usually starts October 1, but this year, I actually saw Halloween candy in Target in September.
Somehow, waayyy before the trick-or-treaters have even decided on their costumes, those bags of candy make it into our homes. And somehow, they get opened, placed in a bowl on the kitchen table and consumed waaayyy before Halloween night. It just happens. It's only once a year, right? This is the start of what I refer to as "sugar season," or more commonly known as flu season.
The holiday season kickoff we call Halloween actually starts about a month before the actual day, and our "once a year" treats actually last through to January 1st, once we get through the Thanksgiving festivities, the December holiday parties, sweets and specialties. By New Year's, many of us have been regularly using refined sugar, with good excuses, for a full three months of the year.
Is it a coincidence that this massive intake of sugar, which lowers our immune systems for about four hours after consumption, is combined with the time of year that we all move indoors, close the windows, turn up the heat, breathe all over each other, and seem to get sick? Is it just because the flu is "in season?" We may need to re-think our plan of defense.
Staying healthy is a full-time commitment to nourishing ourselves, regardless of the holiday. The truth is, there is a good excuse to abuse ourselves with junk food all year long, with birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, parties, Arbor Day...the list is endless! We must be able to stay healthy consistently, rather than waiting for January 1st to turn over a clean slate and start "being good." (Besides, how long does that usually last?)
It is what you do on an everyday basis that really counts, so commit to one healthy habit at a time until they become your new normal. Maybe you add in a smoothie, a new plant-based dinner recipe, or a salad for lunch. Whatever it is, just add it in and stay focused on how good it feels to do something good for yourself.
Sugar cravings are deep. They usually indicate either an imbalance in your diet (too much meat, cheese, salt), or in your life (too much tension, tightness and stress). When you understand the root cause of your cravings, you can deal with them on a much more effective level. You can add in what is missing (foods like fruits, leafy vegetables, nuts/seeds, plus non-foods like relaxing, deep breathing, massage, walking, stretching, mediation, yoga, etc.) and correct the imbalance without will power or deprivation. It can be as easy as adding in a smoothie or a smile. Give it a try and see what happens. You have nothing to lose (except the flu, extra weight, maybe a few cavities...)
If sugar is a real issue for you, I suggest you listen to my Breaking the Sugar Cycle class for FYL.com members. There, you can get to the root of the issue and end the roller coaster once and for all. As always, the strategy is about adding in, so don't try to lock up the candy and will power your way through sugar season; add in some real sweetness and you will find that you feel differently about that bowl of empty promises.