WHAT are beige foods?
These are the first set of foods we look at when cutting back sugar from our daily intake of food. We’re talking about cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, crisps, puddings, ice-creams etc. Foods that are high in added / refined sugars and are often mixed with fat which gives you pleasure when you eat them and makes then irresistible as they trigger an unnatural flood of dopamine in the brain.
And people say to me, ‘I have to give up ALL of them?’ I mean many people recommend cutting down, using an 80/20 rule whereby 80% of the time you eat healthy food and so its okay to eat crap for the remaining 20% of your intake.
But…that’s not how food addiction works. If you could keep to an 80/20 rule you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?
One piece of cake and you crave more. One piece of chocolate and the whole bar is gone and you’re looking for what’s next. Dinner is waiting and you’re at the fastfood outlet.
Why do I say ‘Not my food,’ to ALL of it? Why should you?
Think about what is essential for your survival. If you’re anything like me, then cake, chocolate, sweets and the occasional bottle of wine felt absolutely, totally essential.
But there’s a very simple way to separate what else is essential from what is not.
Look at the food from the point of view of your BODY and not your mind.
If your body had a voice and it could place an order with you for what it wanted to eat, would it say: ‘my cells, my skin, my organs, my blood need the nutrition that a chocolate, cake, ice cream and alcohol offers in order to function?’
Hell no! Of course it wouldn’t. Because all sugar laden food does is to immediately trigger your pancreas to produce tons of insulin to deal with the sugar, your liver works overtime to try to excrete the toxins and the sugar is turned into fat which is stored around your organs and cause disease. These food have nothing of substance to offer you; aside from the dopamine hit.
And its powerful, no denying that. Heroin addicts, cocaine addicts will tell you that. So will sugar and flour addicts. You know how powerful it is. You experience it every time you have a craving.
Again, thinking as your body, does a huge flood of dopamine in response to you eating sugar do anything to help your body survive well, to fend off illness, to be strong? Does it nourish your blood, skin, bones, nails?
What then are the foods our bodies crave? What are the essentials that keep us well nourished, that keep every part of functioning well, delivering all the nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, fats and fibre that we need.
You already know the answer to that question too.
Listen to your body. Because it’s talking to you, your body is speaking directly to you as your skin stretches to accommodate the extra fat, as your joints groan at the extra strain, as you become out of breath after little exertion.
Your body speaks to you all the time, it’s speaking as your skin looks tired and doesn’t replenish well, as your hair thins and loses its bounce and shine and as you become more susceptible to illness, feeling fatigued, lethargic, generally unwell and out of sorts.
How many of us relate all of our bodies discomfort to the simple fact that we are eating for pleasure and not nourishment?
Sugar drives us. It compels and demands that we keep eating it and eating more and more of it just to stay feeling ‘normal’ in our brains. Even as we feel far from normal in our bodies.
Our subconscious mind is hooked to the dopamine. Our body doesn’t want it. It’s suffering. And our conscious self doesn’t want it, we’d like to have control and feel good about ourselves for having that control.
We’d like to make better decisions around what we eat. We’d like to feel in control of our thoughts, feelings and actions. But whilst we are eating these HIGHLY addictive sugar and fat mixed foods as part of our lives, they going to scream louder than the greens.
We have to re-educate our mind, we have to allow our minds to heal from the damage that’s been done by eating these toxic foodstuffs. We know and have always known that we need something very different in order to live well and thrive.
Stop eating sugar and flour. Tell yourself, ‘That is not my food. I don’t eat that.’ And repeat it over and over til it becomes not just a thought but your behaviour. Repetition can train your mind. Use your mantra to stay strong.
You can do this. You must do this, as an act of love and care for your body and mind, for you and your family.