If you are premenstrual, watch out for excessive sugar, because it’s what triggers much of the physical fatigue, mental fog, and emotional imbalance so characteristic of PMS.
Here are ten tips to help you get off that sweet roller coaster, while still enjoying your holiday feasting.
1. Manage your stress level
When we feel stressed, we tend to reach out to the cookie jar. So the first step to curb your sugar cravings is to assess your stress level, and find ways to manage stress on a daily basis. Make sure you get 7–8 hours of sleep every night, exercise, and reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Mind-body exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, qi gong and tai chi are also excellent ways to reduce stress, calm the mind, and curb sugar cravings.
2. Look into your diet
Sometimes when your body craves one thing, it is actually asking for something else. Sugar craving can be a sign that your body lacks certain nutrients it needs. Make sure you have a balanced diet with all of the essential nutrients, including complex carbohydrates, proteins, high quality fats, vitamins and minerals.
3. Have a bowl of MISO SOUP to halt a sugar binge
A bowl of delicious miso soup can stop a sugar binge in its tracks. Be creative, add it to your favorite veggies, such as celery, carrots and sprouts, or keep the classic tofu, onions and seaweed.
4. Add a little SEA SALT to dash sugar cravings
Put a small amount of sea salt in a cup of warm water and drink it down. This should stop your sugar craving immediately.
5. Enjoy some PICKLED FOODS to counter chocolate cravings
Certain pickled or bitter foods can also stop sugar and chocolate cravings. My favorite is pickled Japanese plums. It’s tasty and quite effective in heading off a chocoholic rampage.
6. Have some GINGER for a sugarless lift
Stimulating ginger tea is a great substitute for the emotional lift of chocolate. It also helps cure the fatigue of PMS. In the winter, I like to boil fresh ginger roots with water. Try it out. It will keep your stomach warm and your spirit high.
7. Spice up your dishes
Certain common cooking spices such as dill, oregano, basil, coriander, rosemary, bay, ginger, turmeric, fennel, anise, and cardamom not only aid digestion, but also make your dishes more flavorful and enhance your appetite!
8. Try Peppermint, ginger and chamomile tea
If you have a weak digestion and suffer from symptoms such as bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue, you can take certain common herbs on a regular basis to prevent or relieve digestive problems.
Peppermint has many well-documented properties: it increases healthy gastric secretions, relaxes the intestines, soothes spasms, settles the stomach, and alleviates gas. Ginger, also extensively studied, has been shown to soothe the digestive lining and balance gastric juices. Chamomile is another excellent herb for settling the stomach. You can combine the three herbs, steep them as a tea, and drink it at mealtimes.
9. Improve your digestion with hawthorn berry
Hawthorn berry is traditionally considered a digestive aid for heavy meats and rich foods as well as a potent activator of the circulatory system. It has also been found to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar. So why not make a pot of hawthorn berry tea for your family after the Thanksgiving dinner!
10. Substitute coffee with roasted barley tea
Roasted barley tea is a popular drink in China, Korea and Japan. It’s used for detoxification, to improve digestion, to lose weight, and for urinary tract infections. It is completely caffeine free, while giving you a deep satisfaction with its golden color and a rich, smooth and nutty aroma.
I hope you enjoy the best of both worlds – a fabulous feast and a PMS-free holiday season with these simple tips 😉