Sugar free life: consider your menstrual cycle

I'm back on the wagon, after a "cheat day" which turned into a "cheat week" which turned into a PMS eat-all-the-things disaster.  I felt bad about myself, felt angry and upset- why can't I just stick with it? I had such crazy hormonal shifts, and felt like only chocolate could make it all better.  Is this normal?  Do I have to go through this, month after month, so good at refraining from sugar for 2-3 weeks and then have it all come crashing down?

For this particular scenario, I'm on a Whole 30 support group on Facebook.  It's just a small group of friends who all made the commitment at the turn of the year to stay on the Whole 30 and see each other through.  The fascinating thing is, we made it to the end and then we all hit PMS time.  Each and every one of us "cheated", needing or wanting wine or sugar or carbs in some way.  We all had terrible things going on- mood swings, cramps, cravings, you name it.  We each then guiltily admitted to falling off the wagon, and having a hell of a time getting back on.

Someone then suggested a book, 28 Days Lighter Diet, which is written specifically for women.  I can't say enough good things about this book!  They address how our cycles work, they get into cravings and mood swings and pain, and why it happens.  They show you how to take control, by knowing when to exercise hard, what kinds of foods to go for, and when to retreat from the world and relax.  I think a big part of the craving cycle is, at least for me, a cry out for a break or a "treat" to soothe me when I'm overbooked, overworked and overstimulated.  They advocate avoiding gluten and minimizing sugar so they are in line with what I'm hoping to achieve.

I'm determined that this will help me to stay on the wagon the way I want to.  I also read a great article recently of a woman who has been sugar free for 3 years, found here, because she relies on coconut oil for her craving fixes.  Switch fat for sugar and viola.  I certainly have been leaning on the fat more and have found that the sugar craving is absolutely reduced.  Ha ha- until it isn't…

If you have cravings, find you're missing chocolate, try this on for size:
unsweetened chocolate fudge
This recipe has been saving my butt.

Cheers to a better, saner month!

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