I just celebrated 1 year off of sugar! Pretty unreal, right? To be clear, I didn’t make this commitment out of vanity or to obsess over some new fad diet. My motivation for kicking sugar came from a deep desire to feel vibrant, healthy and energized. You see, the more I expand my inner awareness and spiritual faith the more conscious I am of how I feel. And as I grow more aware of my physical well-being, it becomes harder to indulge in bad habits.
With my deep desire to feel healthier, I set out on a wellness quest. In August (through doctor supervision) I committed to treat candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive system that causes inflammation and myriad symptoms. One out of three people suffer from candida. (To learn more about candida and its effect on your health, read The Candida Cure by Ann Boroch.) One important way to treat candida is to remove sugar, including fruit, coconut palm sugar, agave, artificial sweeteners, barley malt, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, etc. Pretty much anything that has sugar or turns into sugar is a no-no on the candida diet.
At first, I thought living sugar free would be easy — considering how clean my diet already was. I was mistaken.
To make this commitment work for me I’ve had to lean on my spiritual faith and truly surrender.
My spiritual surrender has been the key to my success in quitting sugar. Therefore, rather than give you five recipes for sugar-free desserts I’ve decided to share five spiritual steps to quit sugar. If you’re not interested in quitting sugar, you can use these steps for releasing any other habit you’d like to let go of. Use these tools and fully turn your will over to the care of your inner guide. Expect miracles.
1. Get psyched to let it go!
Quitting sugar isn’t for dabblers. In order to really release the cravings and addiction, you must desire something else even more. In my case, the desire to feel healthy and energized far outweighed my raw chocolate cravings. Because I was so psyched about feeling healthy I was able to go into the sugar detox with enthusiasm and commitment.
If you’re not sure that you’re truly ready to let go of sugar (or any other habit that’s not serving you), wait it out. There’s nothing wrong with not being ready. I’d rather see you continue to indulge in the habit and simply stay willing to receive greater guidance than force yourself to change.
2. Know that quitting sugar is a spiritual practice
My first week off sugar I felt a severe sense of withdrawal. This is crazy considering how little sugar I had in my diet to begin with. The detox symptoms reminded me of when I got sober eight years ago. I felt sick, tired and even depressed. I turned to spirit for help in dealing with these emotions and symptoms. I prayed for guidance. Five minutes later, I found myself guided to check my Twitter feed. As the angels would have it, the first post in my feed was from Doreen Virtue:
I smiled at the wink from the Universe and accepted this tweet as the answer to my prayer. I’ve been using Doreen’s sugar prayer ever since. Here it is:
Post this prayer on your refrigerator, desk or even by your bedside. Use it in the morning and throughout the day whenever you feel overwhelmed by your sugar cravings. The angels have your back!
3. Practice the meditation for addiction
To quote my doctor and friend, Dr. Frank Lipman, “Sugar is like crack.” I couldn’t agree more. Sugar is a drug that keeps us wanting more to the point of addiction. When we’re addicted there is an imbalance in the pineal gland (also called the the third eye). The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. When the pineal gland is imbalanced, bad habits turn into addictions. The imbalance in the pineal gland affects the pituitary gland, which regulates the rest of the glandular system. When the pituitary gland is affected the entire body and mind go out of balance.
A major tool in my process of healing my addiction to sugar has been the Kundalini meditation for healing addiction. Follow this video for guidance.
Another great tool is my Body Love Meditation. This meditation will help you create a healthy spiritual relationship to food and yourself. Check it out here.
4. Find a sugar-free running buddy
While I visited London I spent some special time with my friend Lou Lou aka Louniverse. Lou Lou has been on the candida diet for many years. Her commitment to a sugar-free lifestyle inspired me greatly. She turned me on to amazing books and recipes and had fun eating berries with me for dessert. It’s important to find a sugar-free running buddy when you embark on this path.
5. Get down in the kitchen!
One of the most meditative times of my day is when I’m cooking. Getting off sugar has given me even more reason to rev up my culinary skills. When you kick the sugar you can feel a little sad. One great way to combat this grief is to have a lot of fun making sugar-free recipes! A fantastic resource is Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. I’ve been using the I Quit Sugar: The Chocolate Edition for all of my dessert cravings. I’ve also enjoyed the I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook for awesome support and recipes.
Get down in the kitchen and cook up inspiration and excitement!
Oh, and I’m not going to leave you hanging: Here’s my (delicious) sugar-free brownie recipe that I made up. Please keep in mind that I am pretty intuitive in the Kitchen. I rarely use measuring devices or use a recipe. Below is my intuitive recipe for sugar free brownies. Please feel free to adjust the measurements if something feels off to you. Use your own intuition in this spiritual baking process:)
1 cup almond flour
1 Tbsp. organic baking powder
1 Tbsp. hemp milk (or almond milk)
1 Tbsp. of hemp seeds
1 Tbsp. of chia seeds
10 drops sweet leaf vanilla stevia (or more if you want it sweeter, but be careful with stevia — it’s strong!)
½ cup organic coconut flakes
2 Tbsp. raw organic almond butter (with no added sugar)
1 egg (If you’re vegan you can try this recipe without the egg)
1½ Tbsp. organic coconut oil
Dash of salt
½ cup organic cacao powder (you can add more if you want extra chocolate)
Handful crushed walnuts (optional)
1. Grease a small (8×8 or 9×9) brownie pan with coconut oil or organic butter.
2. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir completely while listening to this mantra. Remember that this is a meditative process.
3. Once the ingredients are completely mixed, pour the mix into the greased brownie pan.
4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Practice the art of patience.
6. Tweet it before you eat it! Tag me at @GabbyBernstein on Instagram & Twitter with your photos. I will regram the pics that make my mouth water!
7. Share them with your sugar-free running buddy!
Join me for Finally Full: A Workshop on Spirituality and Food. You can participate in this 100% online course from anywhere via HD video or audio download. In the course, I talk about food addiction and body image issues and guide you to create a healthy spiritual relationship to food. I also share the wisdom I gained from my own spiritual recovery around food addiction.