Sugar Hangovers – They do exist!

As a recovering alcoholic of over 27 years, I know more than most how debilitating hangovers can be.  Not just physically, but emotionally as well.  It feels now as though I awoke, almost every week, of every month of every year for 27 years with a pounding headache, swollen eyes, parched dry mouth, dehydrated yet profusely sweating, unrefreshed as well as with no energy or zest for the day ahead. Now though, just over 2 gloriously, easy years of sobriety, which is not dependant on any interventions, support or therapies, I wake almost every morning refreshed, with a clear brain and eyes, fresh skinned and raring to go.  Not so great for my son, who is not a morning person, but perfect for my puppy, Gorby, who is!

In short, my life has changed completely and I feel amazing. Until recently. Since I started to research sugar and its affects on our weight and physical and emotional health, I have made an astounding discovery.  If I eat too much sugar regularly, I wake up with almost the exact same symptoms as a vodka binge! I am experiencing sugar hangovers.  This is incredible to me.

I started my nutrition and weight loss practice, YOUtrition, after realizing that making simple, easy and straightforward changes to the foods I ate made a huge difference on every level to my health (at the beginning this was as a rear-guard action to counter balance the damage caused by my drinking), as well as my weight. And whilst this has now become a way of life that keeps me slim and in tip top physical shape, I have also noticed a huge shift in my emotional wellbeing.

Then of course, the better I feel, the better able I am to make the best food/lifestyle choices, as I love the way I feel now and I am thriving on every level.  So, sugar has been relegated to a small corner of my nutritional intake, a small slice of birthday cake or slice of occasional pizza – I am very  sociable.  Becoming sugar free was not even a conscious decision, it just came about because the wholefoods I choose to eat and love, don’t come with any pre-packed, processed nasties.

That is all well and good, but to write about sugar and its affects, I needed to actually eat the stuff, so I made a deliberate decision to include in my daily diet, for just one week, some of the food products I rarely eat.  Bread, shop bought cakes with my coffee on dates with friends, refined pasta, shop bought sauces etc.  I didn’t over eat, I just can’t, my body knows when to stop and sends very clear signals, which I cannot ignore, but still I ate differently and my God, the change I felt was almost immediate.

I am bloated (though no extra weight yet), my waist is thicker, my skin is duller, my hair (never anyone’s idea of a crowning glory), lifeless, my eyes are puffy in the morning, I feel sluggish and dehydrated and worst of all, I have no energy, little enthusiasm and my mood is lower. In short,  I have woken every day this week sufffering from sugar hangovers and the only thing that shifts them is either a huge jolt of caffeine, or a “sugar hair of the dog” in the form of a sugary breakfast that then starts the depressing and depressive cyle all over again.

I am only aware of this change because this is not my natural way of living/eating. And  I know I can’t live like this. My body is under siege from the assault of rubbish it now has to process and get rid of –  this stuff has literally nowhere to go, or has any use in my poor body so can only be stored as fat, mainly around my waistline (just where I want it most!). Plus, and by far the worst aspect for me, my emotional wellbeing is struggling too.  This then is a complete no brainer, I eat rubbish, I feel like rubbish.  End of experiment.  End of the sugar hangovers.

One week later, back to my normal eating habits, I feel amazing again.  Fresh, relaxed, my humour intact again and raring to go. Up and ready for my early morning puppy walk – let’s do this Gorby.

Give yourself just five days of eliminating processed foods – and they are all sugar/salt drenched, they have to be for longevity on the shelves and to compensate for the taste that’s lost through processing, and you will see and feel an amazing difference.  Don’t just trust me, trust our body, it will literally change a gear and whiz you towards where you want to be with your weight and health.

If you need any help or support in ditching your sugar hangovers and living an easy sugar free life – and it is easy as well as much less expensive, contact me.  I want you to feel the way I do every single day. I deserve to feel this way and so do you!


FROZEN YOGURT – A healthier, Delicious & Versatile Alternative to Ice Cream

Frozen yogurt, along with my banana ice creams have taken the place of my favourite full fat, dairy summer time treats.  Now, I did not see that coming.  From when I was a little girl, I have always loved an ice cream.  I remember with such fondness the ice cream van coming to our street what seemed like every day of the year, but surely can only have been in the summer.  The blare of tinny, jangly music to announce its arrival and its gooey, sweet, synthetic offerings covered in either chocolate, or strawberry sauce, nuts and a flake if I had a few extra pennies.  Ah, delish!  But it was not ice cream and definitely had no real chocolate or strawberries in the sauce.  In fact, because of my knowledge now, I shudder to think what ingredients were in those garishly bright coloured sauces.  Anyway, I digress.

Now at 53, my tastes have evolved.  I do still like my sweet, icy desserts, but now I prefer the fresh taste of the fruit melting on my tongue and the quality of the ice cream sliding down my throat is of paramount enjoyment to me. Sadly though I can no longer scoff an ice cream every day without it hugging my waistline for the rest of the summer.

So, what to do? I am absolutely not prepared to give up frozen treats, so have experimented and the results are fabulous.  Frozen yogurt, like my banana ice creams are so easy to make, only three basic ingredients, delicious and refreshing to eat and so much lower in saturated fat (that’s the one we should be checking out on food labels).

For ice cream to be labelled ice cream, it must contain at least 10 percent milkfat and this is usually met through the addition of cream. Top quality, premium ice creams can contain as much as 16 percent milkfat. Frozen yogurt is not made with cream and does not have a fat requirement.  Without the added cream, frozen yogurt is much lower in fat. In one cup of ice cream the fat content is 15g fat, 9g saturated fat.  Frozen yogurt comes in at, per cup, 6g of fat, 4g of saturated fat.  A huge difference.

However, whilst frozen yogurt is much healthier, you do need to keep an eye on portion sizing, especially if you go for some of the higher fat additions.

So, how to make.  Frozen yogurt is so simple. For a basic, but still delicious one, grab, Greek yogurt (higher in protein), honey, and fruit (packed with fibre and nutrients). That’s it.  Literally, that’s it! You can serve in a bowl, cone or pop a lolly stick in before you freeze and you have gorgeous “ice lollies” for the kids.

  • 1 x cup plain Greek Yogurt.
  •  4 x cups frozen, fresh fruit or drained tinned fruit
  • 2 x 3 tbsp honey.

Blitz until the consistency you like, either creamy for approx. 5 mins, or if with “bits” in for 3 – this is entirely up to your taste.Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, depending on how much you make.You can add to your frozen yogurt any fruit you like. Below are some other suggestions. Obviously, some are healthier than others, but you know that right!

  • Add cinnamon, allspice, peanut butter or Nutella in to the blitz
  • Caco powder & mint essence
  • Add crushed nuts as a topping
  • Add more fruit as a topping

So, make some today, keep in the fridge and be ready for a sunny afternoons delicious and nutritious treat.


Banana Ice Cream – No Fat, No Sugar!

We all want to look and feel our best, especially in the summer months.  We can slather on the fake tan and get those little tops and shorts out, yes at 53 I am still (attempting) to rock my 23 year old self, and get our bodies out there soaking up those life giving, feel good rays and vital vitamin D.

There are fabulous healthy summer salads everywhere, and long cool drinks, that if we chose wisely – and I don’t mean that ice cold Rose every day – that help us on our way to looking and feeling amazing (Obviously I think one of the best ways to that end is for you to join my 6 Week Youtrition Group Program on my website.  Just saying…..)

However, healthy eating does not have to mean no sweet treats. Even though we know they really need to be small and occasional, the word “treat” is the clue and treat does not mean every day. Still, most of us would feel that is a little cruel. We want to enjoy our ice creams with the kids, or just by ourselves, but the shop bought ones, even the creamiest ones labelled “healthy” are packed with sugar and fat.

Have no fear though, I have the perfect answer and only one ingredient! Banana ice creams! You don’t even have to like the taste of bananas, with the toppings you don’t even need to taste them.  They are amazingly versatile, packed with nutrients, no saturated fat, loads of fibre to fill you up and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed my ice creams.  This recipe is taken from my 6 Weeks to Looking & Feeling Amazing Program and is the easiest ever recipe.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana ice cream is a fabulous, fat free alternative and one of my fav desserts. So quick and easy to make and so many variations

2 x chopped bananas, frozen –  that’s it!

Add frozen bananas to food processor/blender and blend for 3 minutes.  Keep stopping to scrape from the sides into the mixture.

Place in bowl and your done! Either eat immediately or return to freezer for a firmer ice cream.

Mix it Up, try

3 x chopped strawberries

1 x tsp honey

1 x tsp honey & 1x tsp pistachio nuts

1 x tbsp. caco powder

1 x tbsp caco & ¼ tsp peppermint essence (mint choc ice cream)

1 x tsp cinnamon

Small chunks of any fruit you like!

Serves 2, Cals 65, Carbs 13.6g, Protein 0.9g, Fat 0.2g

Give it a go, add some of your fav fruit and let me know how it goes!