Along with the emphasis in baking cookies and goodies for Christmas has been this major shift in our household sugar intake. Already this season I am finding myself really wanting to get back to what we usually eat. We normally are very careful with our refined sugar (even organic, unbleached, fair trade refined sugar) intake. It just plain isn't good for you. The highs and lows alone can make you feel horrible! I have started to see some changes in my kids that come from more than just cabin fever... so the other day, with the last delivery of neighborly cookies now out the door, I decided I would send the last of the cookies and baked goods with Don to work and get all the sugar out of the house.
However, it has been a whole month of this stuff available WAY more often than normal, and so I have been doing a few little things to keep the switch more gentle for my kids. Esp for my sugar eater and my least likely to understand, 3 yr old Logan.
Many of these things just trade complex natural sugars for simple refined sugars. But even that can drastically change what your body can do with these starches and makes the highs and lows much less dramatic than when white sugar is eaten. Also, they give your body that sugary flavor with none of the roller coaster side effects and addictive qualities that come along with a high refined sugar diet. Making them easier to NOT eat... once the sugar cravings have passed.
These are some things I will do until the sugar monsters have passed:
- I have bought dried dates, crasins, and dried apricots. Those will pass as sugary snacks in the days to come.
- I have refilled the jelly bean machine with organic juice-sweetened jelly beans (on sale at Trader Joes right now). The kids get a penny of them after a meal once a day (which is usually 5 or 6).
- I have made sure to up every ones protein intake. The chickens have helped in that. Free range, organic eggs for breakfast each morning really helps with the cravings and the mood swings that come with sugar highs and lows. When that isn't on the menu, we have creamy farina or oatmeal with dried fruit.
- I have started baking bread again. I was on a baking kick anyhow... so I figured it was a small jump from gingerbread cookies to Artisan WW/Spelt flour bread. A slice of hardy homemade bread and a little honey and you have a sweet snack that will actually keep you going.
- Trail mix (which in our house, is mostly raw almonds and lightly salted cashew bits) with dark chocolate chips and dried fruit is a hit, and works very well for adding some protein along with complex sugars, and also making the kids not feel deprived.
- Making sure everyone gets their vitamins is essential this time of year. It is SO dark and wet here right now that it is easy to feel depressed just looking outside. Vitamins give us that much needed boost that we don't get from foraging from the garden.
What are somethings you do to get over the Christmas sugar blues?