If you’ve been battling a sweet tooth or tend to reach for the baked goods and sweet treats when you’re tired and famished, this info may help get you on track.
Sugar/carbs are usually the first things you reach for when you are tired or hangry (super hungry + angry = hangry) They can be irresistible when you’re over tired, or have a drop in blood sugar. If you feel like this sounds like you, you’re not alone. The fatigue and stress are causing your body to scream “I need a pick me up stat!” Sugar is the fastest way for the body/brain to get the energy it needs to keep going. So naturally, when you are in a time crunch and don’t have snacks on hand, you go with what you can eat quickly and what will make you feel good (until you crash) and oh yum baked goods, chocolate, candy, soda, juice who can resist?!? You may be able to resist with the right preparation and easy recipes.
Here are a few points about the negative effects of sugar;
– Can be hard on your liver – fructose processes in the liver like alcohol.
– Affect insulin levels in the body – may lead to a risk of diabetes.
– Affect weight, metabolism, blood pressure.
– Sugar is addicting.
– Can cause inflammation in the body – may come out as skin issues.
– Over consumption may cause an imbalance of gut flora.
If you are overly stressed and fatigued, you may be reaching for sugar as a quick pick me up. Here are a few other effects of stress on the body.
– Irritability, anxiety, depression.
– Body aches, tension.
– Affect the immune system.
– May cause inflammation in the body.
– Overeating, loss of appetite.
You can see how stress and sugar/carb cravings are closely linked together. This endless cycle of reaching for the quick fix of sugar can lead to more cravings as well as peaks and crashes of energy. Overeating or not eating enough are also some issues of stress and too much sugar intake. If this seems all too familiar to you, it could be time for some changes.
I know most of you already know that sugar and empty carbs (carbs with no nutritional value) are not good for you. What I’m hearing most from clients is HOW? How can you start making changes, how do you avoid them? I wish there were an easy answer or a magic pill that will magically make everything super simple. What I can say is starting small will make your efforts much more successful. Incorporating one small change a week and sticking to it. Committing to yourself or with a friend or two. Committing that you will do it for one month (once you reach that month, commit to one more week, then another week after that). Planning out on a sheet of paper what you will implement each week will also set you up for success. Along with preparing healthy snacks, are you getting enough exercise? having some fun? clearing your head? Here’s an example of a simple weekly plan.
Sunday – Prep energy bites – portion and freeze
Monday – Make a big batch of veggie stew, portion out and freeze (optional, this could be a task for next week along with energy bites)
Tuesday – Go for a brisk walk, prep lunch for Wednesday
Wednesday – Rest day
Thursday – Go for a walk after meal break
Friday– Morning journaling – write nonstop for 10 minutes, set a timer, let the thoughts flow, don’t think. Getting the swirling thoughts out of your head and on paper will help get you thinking more clearly.
Saturday – Hike in the woods.
Through my experience with myself and working with clients, energy bites are a perfect place to start when it comes to healthy snacks. They are dead easy to make, batch prep and super delicious. The best part is they are full of healthier carbs, fats, and proteins that the body will benefit from using. It makes sense right?!? Why choose foods that may be causing harm when we can support our bodies with fuel by eating nutrient dense foods. Energy bites definitely have the taste you’re craving while satisfying that sweet tooth in a much healthier way.
Now before you think, OMG, I’ll never have a cupcake again!!!! Yes, you will and you can. I’ve said this before and many times, please do enjoy your treats and baked goods! Here is the catch, enjoy the best quality treat you can find, from your favourite bakery or cafe, sit, eat it slowly, enjoy every bite. Treats only once or twice a week. That’s your reward for being awesome for the rest of the week.
Here are two fabulous recipes that I have used many times! One is mine and the other I can’t take credit for. There are many talented food makers out there! These recipes take about 15-20 minutes to make a batch and roll…Simps!
Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites
Author: Amanda Gangoso
Makes about 12 bites
2 tbsp – Maple syrup OR raw honey
1.5 tbsp- Coconut oil
2/3 cup – Natural, peanut butter, crunchy or smooth – room temperature
1 cup – Whole gluten free oats
1/2 cup- Dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips, if you need sugar-free chips, there are some stevia sweetened chips available. Try raisins if you’re not into choco-chips.
1/4 cup – Flax seeds, ground
Pinch of sea salt
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon, if the mixture is a little soft, pop it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Once chilled a bit, take about a tablespoon portion and roll into bite size balls. If the mixture is sticking to your hands, try adding a couple dabs of water on the palm of your hands, then roll. Store in the fridge or freezer for later.
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Makes 12 bites
1 cup – raw cashews
1/2 cup – old-fashioned rolled oats (if you’re gluten-free, make sure you’re using gluten-free oats)
1/4 – teaspoon salt
1/2 – teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons – maple syrup
1 tablespoon – vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips (if you’re vegan, make sure you’re using vegan chips, or substitute carob chips or cacao nibs)
Line a plate or container with parchment paper and set it aside. Combine the cashews, oats, salt and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse together until a fine meal forms. Be careful not to over-proccess and end up with cashew butter.
Add the maple syrup and the vanilla extract to the cashew-oat mixture. Pulse again until the mixture comes together in a ball of raw dough.
Remove the ball of dough from the food processor and place it in a small bowl. Don’t forget to scrape the sides and the blade of your food processor to get all the extra bits. Gently fold in the chocolate chips so they are incorporated throughout the dough mixture.
Using a cookie baller or a couple of spoons, portion out the dough into twelve even balls. Use clean hands to roll the portions of dough into perfect little spheres. Place your completed bites onto a parchment lined plate or container. You can eat them right away, or store them in the freezer for later.
If chocolate chips aren’t your thing, feel free to mix it up! Maybe you’d like to try them with raisins, dried cranberries or white chocolate chips?
I hope you enjoy these as much my clients have! Comment below about how they turned our for you or any delicious modifications you’d like to share. Still need guidance with doing some snack prep? I can put together a meal plan for you, contact me to find out more here.