Editor’s note: This post was updated in 2018 for clarity and additional resources.
I just celebrated 1 year off sugar!
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. 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 partake in anything that makes me feel bad.
How I quit sugar the Spirit Junkie way
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. I was mistaken. Sugar is a tricky ingredient that shows up in just about everything!
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. So instead of giving you my favorite recipes for sugar-free desserts (you can actually find that post here), 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 when you quit sugar the Spirit Junkie way!
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 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. Stay willing to receive greater guidance instead of forcing 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 11 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 Twitter. As the angels would have it, the first post in my feed was a prayer to detox from sugar, from Doreen Virtue:
Dearest God and angels, I’m ready to release sugar. I know that now is the perfect time to detox from this substance. I trust in your guidance and your love. I know that you’ll help me through this and lead me away from temptation. I ask for your Heavenly presence to surround me. Sugar is so readily available, so I need your support. Keep me strong and healthy. I don’t want to feel the negative effects that sugar produces, so I willingly choose to release it now. Thank you.
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.
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 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 out of balance, 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:
4. Find a sugar-free running buddy
While I visited London I spent some special time with my friend Lou Lou. 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.
One great way to find sugar-free running buddies is in my Miracle Membership! We have an amazing Facebook group exclusively for Miracle Members. Connect with fellow Spirit Junkies who are living sugar free!
There are tons of other benefits to joining the Miracle Membership as well. Every month I share a new guided meditation, new podcast, a monthly mantra, one of my Greatest Hits talks and much more. Click here to get all the details.
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 great 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!
I am going to share one awesome recipe here! This is my recipe for sugar-free brownies. Please keep in mind that I am pretty intuitive in the kitchen. I rarely use measuring devices or follow 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!
Gabby’s Sugar-Free Brownies
1 cup almond flour
1 Tbsp. organic baking powder
1 Tbsp. hemp milk (or almond milk)
1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
1 Tbsp. 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 make a flax egg by combining 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal with 2.5 Tbsp. water, or use part of a mashed banana)
1½ Tbsp. organic coconut oil
Dash of salt
½ cup organic cacao powder (you can add more if you want extra chocolate)
Handful of 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° F 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 and Twitter with your photos.
7. Share them with your sugar-free running buddy!
In my digital course called Finally Full, I talk about food addiction and body image issues. I guide you to create a healthy spiritual relationship to food and share the wisdom I gained from my own spiritual recovery around food addiction.
The course also includes guided Kundalini meditations that even complete beginners can do easily! Get on the path to a beautiful and healthy relationship to food.