Balance Your Blood Sugar to Beat Cravings, Boost Your Metabolism, Energy and Mood

Having unbalanced blood sugar can lead to poor health because —- it’s so dang stressful on the body.

When you’re, day-in-day-out, eating meals that are “unbalanced” – this causes high blood sugar which eventually crashes, known as low blood sugar, and leads your body to try and boost it back up as quickly as it can.

And guess what foods your body craves?
Sugars and simple carbohydrates because they boost energy levels up quickly.

The great news is that you can get off the “blood sugar roller coaster” and boost your metabolism and energy levels, beat cravings and banish those bad moods.

Beat Blood Sugar Crashes in three easy steps

Blood sugar (glucose) is the fuel for every single cell in your body. Eating balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day is the most important thing we can do to keep our fuel supply stable. In order to know how to balance a meal, it is necessary to understand how different foods burn. I like to use a simple campfire analogy to explain this concept. Food burns a lot like a nice campfire.

Quality FATS…

are like the big log in the fire that burns for a long time. Fats are slow-burning fuels that help to stabilize blood sugar and allow you to go between meals without feeling so hungry. Fats also send a signal to your brain to tell you when you’re satisfied, so you know when to stop eating. This explains why people on low-fat diets are so hungry all the time. Eating fats at every meal helps to control your appetite. Good fats should be included with every meal.

Quality PROTEIN…

is like the teepee, which provides the support and structure for the campfire. Protein is the building block for every single cell in the body. It’s what the body uses to heal and repair. Protein also supplies the body with amino acids, which help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings for carbohydrates.


are quick burning fuels, which are like the kindling in the campfire. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains burn a little slower, like little twigs. Carbohydrates like white bread, sugared cereals, candy, cakes, cookies, crackers, pasta, and bagels burn up more quickly, like leaves and paper.

What would happen if you threw a bunch of twigs, leaves, and paper in a pile and lit them on fire? You’d get a huge blaze and then it would burn out quickly. The same thing happens when you eat a meal of nothing but carbohydrates, even the quality natural ones like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

To keep your blood sugar stable, build a campfire at each meal.

  1. Start with your protein “teepee.”
  2. Add some carbohydrate (fiber) “kindling.”
  3. And include your fat “log” to keep your fire burning long and strong!

Here are four examples to get your started:

  • Breakfast: Steel cut oats with raw almonds, chia, flax and hemp seeds (to boost protein and fat) with berries and cinnamon.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich (protein) on whole grain bread or mixed greens + veggies (carbohydrates) + avocado (fat).
  • Dinner: Salmon (protein), baked sweet potato + steamed broccoli (carbohydrates) topped with butter (fat).
  • Snack: Raw nuts with Apple (protein and fat in nuts, apple for carbohydrate).

Of course, it’s important to remember, there’s no need for perfection as healthy eating isn’t perfect eating. Instead ask yourself – am I building balanced meals for the most part? If so, I bet you’ll notice feeling like your energy lasts throughout the day!

If you need help creating campfires out of your favorite meals and snacks, reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

To your happiness and health,

  • Tanya

You are more than what you eat + [what you think and feel about it matters more]

Metabolism and the Mind

The satiated man and the hungry man do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.

  • The great poet Rumi

It’s true. We all come to the table with different perspectives and life stories. I like to think of this as a direct reflection of how everybody’s metabolism functions differently. No two people will metabolize a slice of pizza in the same way. One person may see the pizza as a delicious treat while another who struggles with how she feels about food and her body may look at it with fear and guilt. The former will metabolize the food completely while the latter’s body will struggle to process it.

The brain doesn’t distinguish between a real stressor or an imagined one…Any guilt about food, shame about the body, or judgment about health are considered stressors by the brain and are immediately transduced into their electrochemical equivalents in the body. You could eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you’re thinking toxic thoughts the digestion of your food goes down. Likewise, you could be eating a nutritionally challenged meal, but if your head and heart are in the right place, the nutritive power of your food will be increased.”

The Power Belongs to Our Minds

In my studies to become an Eating PsychologyCoach, I learned about a fascinating medical study that took place in 1983 to test a new chemotherapy treatment. One group of cancer patients were given the actual drug while another group was given a placebo, a standard way to test whether a drug is effective or not.

About 75% of the patients lost their hair. This wasn’t a big surprise to the researchers. What WAS a big surprise was the fact that 31% of the patients who received a placebo ALSO lost their hair. Why? Because they expected to lose their hair. Like many, they associated chemotherapy with hair loss.

So, how healthy is your mindset? Are you empowering your metabolism or putting strain on it?

The New Metabolism:

the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body, _plus the sum total of all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences

Toss aside that old saying “you are what you eat”.

My work as an eating psychology coach emphasizes exploring your unique thoughts, feelings and beliefs about food and your body. Often we need to re-train our brains to have a happy and healthy relationship with food. And when we make a commitment to improve this relationship, we can feel relaxed around food and our bodies and re-purpose this energy to give our unique gifts to the world!

It’s liberating.

I’d love to hear about your unique beliefs about food and body and how they’ve impacted your life.

  • Tanya

Are you getting enough Vitamin P?

Vitamin P. Pleasure.

We need it. Without it our lives just aren’t complete. And neither is our metabolic potential.

Pleasure, a Study

Let me share a scientific example with you. Scientists conducted a study around the relationship of iron absorption and pleasure. Their test subjects included a group of women from Sweden and another group of women from Thailand. Each group was given a typical Thai meal.

The study showed that the Thai women absorbed more iron from the exact same meal than the Swedes did. Why? Because they actually enjoyed the meal. On the other hand, when both groups were served a typical Swedish meal containing the same amount of iron, the Thai women absorbed significantly less iron than their Swedish counterparts! Incredible, isn’t it!?

Vitamin P helps optimize your nutrition! Eating food that we don’t find pleasurable can trigger the sympathetic nervous response which decreases absorption and assimilation of nutrients.

The Nutrition of Pleasure

If you deny yourself enjoyment in eating through restrictive and pleasureless eating, your body will respond accordingly by triggering the release of a chemical called Neuropeptide Y. This chemical tells us to seek food (or more food!) when we lack satisfaction. This is why restrictive diets usually backfire. Restrictive diets can cause us to crave a “forbidden” food or they may even cause us to over consume it because we don’t know when we’ll be “allowed” to have it again.

Most people think that pleasure is completely separate from the nutritional process and serves no metabolic function.

Another way we may not be tapping into the pleasure of food and eating is when we eat fast and/or distracted. Without awareness and deriving pleasure from our nourishment, we may “over-eat.” Our brain will seek more food until it feels mentally satisfied. We must be awake at the plate and be aware of the taste, texture, aroma of food and the pleasure of eating. This is called the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response (CPDR) or the brain/digestive system connection.

Notice, is your eating experience pleasurable?

Remember, there is a place for all foods on your plate. Yes, of course we want to prioritize healthy, good quality food most of the time. But good nutrition is more than what you eat. It also includes how and why you eat.

And speaking of why you eat, notice if eating and your eating choices are based purely on pleasure. In this case, we must look deeper and explore what kind of emotional need, such as pleasure, we’re trying to fulfill through food. The solution is to find other ways to fulfill this need other than through food or drink.

Ask yourself, are you prioritizing your own pleasure?

Deriving pleasure from eating isn’t the only way to ensure your metabolic engine is revved. We can place a lot of expectations on our food to bring us pleasure. For many of us, food is our main source of daily pleasure. This is why we must pause and take a moment to think about what brings us pleasure (other than food).

So, let’s do a little exercise, shall we?

Create a list of everything – person, place, activity etc. – that brings you pleasure, past or present. Notice how often you are experiencing these pleasures on a day-to-day basis. Is there anything on this list that you haven’t done recently? I challenge you to take action by making it a priority to add one of these pleasures back into your life this week. It matters.

Allow yourself to experience pleasure from food and life. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

To your happiness and health,

  • Tanya