The Holiday Sugar Beast and Perimenopause

holiday sugar beast

Do you struggle with the ill effects of sugar on your sanity and health – especially during the holidays?

I did a couple of posts in the past about keeping holiday weight gain at bay and getting back in the saddle after a sugar binge.

But now, as I make my way through perimenopause, I’m finding a new twist to the cruel beast known as sugar. It’s more than the crash and burn, or excess weight gain that sugar consumption can cause.

As someone who is going through hormonal changes as well as having Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, the need to perimemopause womanmaintain balanced blood sugar levels has become extremely important for me –  for the sake of mental clarity, emotional balance, well being and the health of my intimacies.

Just the other day, at the end of a very stressful work week, I just couldn’t resist the white chocolate and peppermint crunch that was left out for employees in the break room at work. I was also experiencing PMS within a week of a previous period (which finally came after 4 months of no period!). So I was feeling like a big, raw nerve  and on edge! I ended up getting into an argument with someone that was totally unnecessary if I’d not eaten the sugar and had just taken a bath when I got home instead.

Blood sugar levels can be extremely volatile during perimenopause, aggravated by the effects of already fluctuating hormones, depleted adrenals and burn out. You may be experiencing longer, more extreme PMS while waiting for a delayed or possibly final period.Stress or insomnia creates a deficit in our adrenal, nervous systems and neurotransmitter balance and you find yourself oversensitive, grumpy and suffering extreme mood swings.

It’s at these times that we tend to crave sugar the most! But it is when the beast has the worst effects on our behavior and health!

What is blood sugar and what are healthy blood sugar levels?
Blood sugar, simply stated is the amount of sugar present in the blood.

Normal blood glucose level when tested while fasting for non-diabetics, should be between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Blood sugar levels for those without diabetes and who are not fasting should be below 125 mg/dL.

When our blood sugar levels are forced into states of hyperglycemia (over 125) and hypoglycemia (below 70), this is where the roller coaster begins (along with the potential for various types of disease…which I’ll cover in another post).

When we eat sugar, our blood sugar levels goes up, which causes the body to respond by producing insulin, which then drives our blood sugar down.

In extremes it will drive our blood sugar down too low, into the state of hypoglycemia. This is when we start to see the mood swings and brain fog that is all too familiar!

Eating more sugar is usually the body’s natural reaction to this drop in blood sugar but it just swings us back up in the cycle, only to come down again.

How to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
For many of us, maintaining balanced and even blood sugar levels becomes extremely important for our daily functioning, health and for the sake of those around us.

The first, best thing would be to cut sugar completely from our diet. And becoming aware of what foods we purchase that have sugar as an added ingredient.

But most of us, particularly during the Holidays, aren’t going to be disciplined enough to do this unless we are so desperate to regain our balance! So here are a few things to help minimize the effects and regain balance once we’ve eaten sugar…a sort of weaning from the sugar extremes.

1. A friend told me the other day that  just smelling the sweet, cake or candy — really inhaling  the aroma for a time, renders a reaction to the smell where she doesn’t feel the urge to eat it anymore.

You can also recollect the last time you went on a sugar swing and how horrible you felt!

2. Eat small, savory or protein filled snacks every 3 hours. Don’t let yourself get ravenously hungry!

3. Eat lots more protein, healthy fats and vegetables..savory foods that nurture and fill you. Soups, flesh foods if you eat them or beans.

4. If  you must have something sweet, eat a piece of fruit, or dates rolled in coconut, or trail mix. Eat whole foods that include their fiber and fat.

5. If you find yourself rolling on the blood sugar roller coaster, drink a very strong cup of licorice tea. Licorice tea  licorice teasupports the re-balancing of your blood sugar and tastes sweet as well. (Note: If you have issues with high blood pressure you should be careful to not overdo licorice tea.)

6. If you are going through a period of stress or another hormonal shift, make sure to get real down time, nurture yourself and get plenty of sleep. This is KEY to curbing sugar cravings and blood sugar imbalances!!

 

Some other herbs and supplements that can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels:

GlucoActive

glucoactive

* Cinnulin PF – Natural Water-Extracted Cinnamon Helps Potentiate Healthy Insulin
*ActivityActiVin – Provides Improved Glucose Levels from Natural Procyanidins
* Proprietary “Glucose Support” Compound with Chromium that Supports Glucose Management

 

NOW True BalanceNOW True Balance

* Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Already within the Normal Range
* Supports Carbohydrate Metabolism
* Recommended by Julia Ross, M.A. Author of The Diet Cure

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Dorothy

BrightyBodyFitness.com provides tips and information for staying fit and happy naturally during perimenopause and beyond, using the T-Tapp workout and more.

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