My sister is getting married. With nuptials come celebrations. 🎉
Today was her bridal shower and it was lovely. Family & friends together at a popular local downtown restaurant that has taken care of us for almost 10 years now with familial parties.
Celebrations inherently include sweets. Brownies, cookies, sometimes cake, and even drinks like lemonade are made with sugar. I think we like sweets at celebrations because sugar adds to the dopamine effect of positive interactions.
The effect of sugar on the brain is similar to that of alcohol or nicotine.
Sugar is being recognized as one of the most common types of drugs available today, even to children. But hear me here, this is not a post to vilify sugar. There are times where the celebration is worthy of the occasion and therefore worthy of a treat.
If you're like me, sugar is a slippery slope. One cookie turns to two cookies and before I know it the container is crumbs and I'm wondering where the other 20 of them went. Anyone with me?
There are 3 things you can do to keep your sugar intake at bay and even simply get back on track if you've overdone it.
1. Enjoy the celebration.
We are meant to celebrate. We are people of relationship, it is how we're built. When people we know or love triumph, celebration is a wonderful thing. Enter into the celebration with your whole self, show up for the people you love.
2. Enter with mindfulness.
As you fully enter a celebratory occasion, acknowledge and be mindful of why you are choosing to eat the things you are.
In a Ted Talk titled, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” Dr. Judson Brewer describes mindfulness as “seeing clearly what we get when we get caught up in our behaviors, becoming disenchanted on a visceral level and from this disenchanted stance, naturally letting go.”
Am I eating cake because I enjoy it? Am I eating two pieces because I'm bored? Have I also had water? Without overdoing boundaries, set yourself up for success by being aware of why and also of how you may feel when you return home after the event. How do I feel after two pieces of cake? Will four cups of coffee keep me up later? Studies have connected mindful eating with both lower rates of obesity and lessened regular blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes.
3. Leave with intention.
Some events we've all over-indulged: with food, alcohol, or simply lack of sleep. Leave shame at the door. Dwelling inhibits progress. Focus on how you'll move forward, and create a plan of small steps in your mind that get you back to where you want to be. If you've had too much sugar, reduce your sugar intake for a week following and increase your water intake (do the same if you've had too much alcohol).
Events are some of the most exciting times in life, and they deserve our attention. Enjoy them! Enter into them with mindfulness. Leave the celebration with intention.
As you reduce your sugar intake, grab a couple of these sweet recipes that are low sugar to help you ride out that brain-binge with ease:
- Ombre Fruit Cups (left)
- No Bake Vegan Brownies (middle)
Want help planning your meals around what you need? Perhaps a virtual grocery cart loaded for you weekly? That's what I'm here for: