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Ice Cream for Breakfast: Ramblings of a Sugar Addict

Some days I eat ice cream for breakfast. It is definitely not the healthiest habit that I have, but I have so much love for ice cream. The entire purpose of this blog is to be real with myself about my health, fitness, and spiritual/mental well-being and my ice cream habits are related to all of those. How so? 

I genuinely enjoy ice cream. The coldness, the creaminess, the sweetness. I like desserts, period. It is hard not to. I love them so much that I’d even consider myself a sugar addict who has been battling the habit for years. I have gone on sugar fasts for several days in the past to see how I’d respond and if I could detox myself. Doing that drove me crazy. It would overwhelm my thoughts, trying to decide whether I’d make that trip to the grocery stores for a pint of ice cream or to Starbucks for a Frappuccino 



There are times when I feel I have a good handle over my habit. For instance, last year, after learning from some fitness trainer friends of mine that I needed to eat more protein, I did so and noticed the sugar cravings were manageable. As a matter of fact, I could go a day or two without a dessert. Also, as I became more active, I became more aware of how eating certain foods affected my performance during my workouts. Cutting back became less of an issue because I wanted to perform well and overall have more energy during the day. 

Fast forward to earlier this year. I started my online fitness trainer endeavors and things were going well enough while I was learning how to coach, however, I can’t say the same for my life outside of the dance studio and the makeshift gym I created in my closet. What tends to pull me away from my writing/blogging efforts are financial responsibilities/struggles. More time is put into activities that will earn me money immediately, though not the most effectively. It becomes a situation where I’m apologizing to myself because that hour or two or three that I could have spent doing something I enjoy that could potentially earn a living for my family indefinitely as well as give me a feeling of accomplishment and personal satisfaction–blogging, marketing my online coaching services, writing poetry, doing yoga, pole dancing, reading books, anything other than driving my car into ground or being someplace I don’t want to be for a few dollars an hour—is an hour or two or three more that I can spend at work where I make a few dollars to help me survive the present moment and ideally save a few cents for later. Then there’s that sense of failure and “What am I doing with my life?” because I don’t have as much time for my actual child, let alone my literary and entrepreneurial babies.  

It finally occurred to me earlier this year that I am an emotional eater. I still work out three to four days a week. I try my hardest to get to the dance studio at least twice a week –though I can’t say the same for the spin studio. I mostly hit my water goals daily and I still try to monitor the times of day when I eat, however, when I’m stressed, all I can think about is the pleasure of a nice cold frappe or bowl of ice cream. I’ll deviate occasionally and have cake or cookies or pie, but ice cream and frappes are my drugs of choice. 



Speaking of drugs, I also learned that the human brain hooked on sugar behaves much like the brain hooked on cocaine1. Crazy, huh? On top of that, all of the information that I have learned from the fitness instructor training courses and nutrition courses and podcasts and YouTube channels have made me painfully aware of numerous negative effects of sugar on the body aside from weight gain and type 2 diabetes. 

So, how do I gain control over my sugar habits? Recognizing that there is a problem is almost always the first step. Reflecting on the things that worked for me in the past also helps. For me, it was consuming closer to the proper amount of nutrients for my body that helped decrease some of the cravings. A multivitamin and protein supplement works wonders for me. Exercise also helps because it is a stress reliever for me. Less stress equals fewer sugar cravings. Exercise has many other physical benefits, but that is a post for another day. Green tea has a cleansing effect and I feel pretty good when I drink it. That’s also another post for another day. 

Let us not forget that sugar is added to the majority of packaged foods like cereal, oatmeal, bread, fruit cups, fruit juices, etc. which makes life a little bit more difficult for me because I practically live in my car for work and try to cut back on eating out by having snacks in my car. My current living arrangement can also make healthier eating a bit tricky at times because I tend to reach for shelf-stable foods for the purpose of storage rather than health. When I am more forward-thinking, I’ll grab frozen vegetables and pray that I’ll remember to eat them before they get freezer burn. The past five years, specifically the last three years and to be even more specific, the last year and a half, have reminded me in countless ways how often conveniences such as a personal refrigerator and a budget larger than $10 are such luxuries that can make or break your healthy ambitions. There are workarounds for most challenges. Creativity is a must. 

I don't want to give up the joy of simply eating a single slice of cheesecake or a small bowl of ice cream. I just don't want it to control my life. However, sometimes you just get tired and succumb to the ease of picking up a disposable spoon and a pint of ice cream no matter how many certifications or how much knowledge you have that says that you know better. 

What are some of your vices and how do you control them? 


To recap some of my tricks to control sugar cravings:
  • Taking in an appropriate amount of protein and vitamins for my body - Consult with a doctor or nutritionist or just do your own research to figure out what that amount is.
  • Green tea - Aside from caffeine and antioxidants than energize and cleanse, green tea also has properties that can help regulate blood sugar.
  • Exercise 
  • Drinking an appropriate amount of water for my size


References:
"Sugar Swap: Human Brain Converts Fructose to Glucose" https://www.livescience.com/57997-fructose-produced-in-brain.html
"Why Sugar is as Bad as Alcohol (Fructose, The Liver Toxin)" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_4Q9Iv7_Ao
"5 Ways Sugar Affects Your Brain" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DntVsOibTA
"15 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally" https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar

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