How to kick sugar cravings with holistic health coach Jessica Suchan
As an on-and-off vegan for the past few years, as well as someone who lives a very fast-paced lifestyle, snacks like fruit and protein bars always played an important role in my diet. It wasn't until I completed the Whole 30 earlier this year that I realized just how much fruit and sneaky processed sugar I consumed on a daily basis, and just how much it really affected me. So when I heard Holistic Health Coach, Jessica Suchan, on the Almost 30 Podcast touting the benefits of a sugar cleanse, I knew she was someone I wanted to connect with!
Jess (aka Body Bliss by Jess) hails from sunny California and epitomizes what it means to live a healthy and balanced life. With a background in of disordered eating, Jess turned her relationship with food from negative to positive, and specializes in creating realistic courses of actions to boost energy levels, lose weight, and balance your hormones/your life simultaneously.
Image Credit: Body Bliss by Jess
Jess was kind enough to answer a few questions for KB Fitt readers, and her insight is invaluable for anyone struggling with sugar cravings!
Kayla Brandon (KB): What inspired you to create the Sexy Sugar Cleanse?
Jess Suchan (JS): The original idea for my sugar cleanse came to me after I had been working with a client for about four months. She had changed her eating habits and was feeling much better but still had intense sugar cravings that she just couldn’t kick. At around 3pm every day she would be reaching for Oreo cookies and yogurt and couldn’t stop thinking about them until she satisfied the craving. It got me thinking that if your body is biologically addicted to sugar it can be impossible to use “will-power” or “self-control” to overcome a craving and it can throw your hormones completely out of whack leading you down a rabbit hole of constantly feeling unsatisfied by meals, low on energy, bloated, moody, and just generally "off". I decided to customize a sugar detox specifically for this client to give her the jumpstart she needed to banish her cravings and actually be able to focus on her new lifestyle without constantly thinking about sugar.
After just 5 days on the cleanse, I was getting texts saying how amazing she felt having structure that didn’t feel restrictive like most diets and that she hadn’t touched an Oreo cookie the whole week! As the days went on, this client began raving about the cleanse and said it was the first thing that had really made a difference in her cravings, energy levels, sleep satisfaction and even her mood…plus her clothes were looser as an added bonus! This testimonial was all I needed to wake up and realize a sugar cleanse is something that could benefit so many people and not just those suffering from sugar addiction! I did some research and a lot of the cleanses out there were either too long, too short, too restrictive, too loose, too boring or just too scientific and hard to follow!
I decided I wanted to create something that would be written in my voice with an aesthetic that would be visually appealing and easy to follow with information that was short, sweet (pun intended), and interesting! I wanted to include easy to make, delicious recipes and a guideline for eating that didn’t involve a calorie tracking app, food scale or a calculator! I just launched my cleanse in November and my private Facebook support group which is a great place for people to share their experience and post their questions, proud moments, favorite recipes, tips and tricks! The feedback has been SO amazing and most people are saying how truly easy the cleanse has been!
Image Credit: Instagram
KB: For those who might not know, why is cutting certain food/sugar out of your diet so crucial in your program?
JS: My intention for this cleanse was never to eliminate food groups forever, but when you crave sugar, even having a little bit can throw you back into the binge, crash cycle so a short term detox can be hugely beneficial! Recent studies have shown sugar to be more addicting than cocaine but the difference is that our government allows sugar to be added to everything so it's almost impossible to avoid without learning how to read food labels! By removing sugar and foods that turn into sugar in the body, you allow the body to detox and reset so that cravings subside and your taste buds actually change! Even if you don’t consider yourself to have a sweet tooth but you have low energy levels, trouble losing weight, mood swings, acne, bloating, anxiety and/or digestive issues this cleanse can benefit you!
Most of us don’t realize that an excess of grains, potatoes, corn, wheat and other high starch foods also turn to sugar in the body and that when consumed in excess, they can have the same affect as too much sugar. With a successful sugar cleanse full of delicious hormone balancing foods, daily movement and self-care, you will slowly gain back control of your body and start to feel the way you deserve! I’m not asking people to remove healthy carbs all together but I am asking that they learn to make swap outs like zucchini noodles in place of pasta and cauliflower rice in place of white rice so that when they choose to enjoy the real stuff, it feels like something special...and I have a feeling if you try out some of the recipes on my Pinterest board, you'll be hooked!
KB: What results can people expect when they complete the Sexy Sugar Cleanse?
JS: Well, I can tell you that from my own experience and the testimonials I’ve been receiving, the results are pretty incredible! Here are some of the most common:
Reduced or completely subsided sugar cravings
Greater, more stable energy levels and no 3pm slump!
Weight release, smaller pant sizes, looser clothing
Less bloating and digestive issues
Reduced cravings for coffee as an energy source, increased cravings for Matcha ;)
Greater satisfaction between meals, less need for snacking
Much more creativity in the kitchen
Overall, more mindfulness and attention to the body
Free from feelings of deprivation and guilt
Less inflammation in joints and skin
Image Credit: Instagram
KB: What are your top 3 favorite recipes (ideally a breakfast, lunch and dinner!) during Phases 1 & 2?
JS: For breakfast, I’m big into protein shakes that incorporate protein, fat, fiber and greens because they taste like dessert and keep you full for hours! Right now I’m loving my Perfect Fit chocolate protein mixed with Further Food collagen, frozen cauliflower and spinach, almond milk, maca, coconut ice cubes, nut butter and coconut flakes! For lunch, I love to make poke bowls with cauliflower rice sautéed in coconut aminos and topped with salmon sashimi, cucumbers, avocados, sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil. For lunch and dinner I’m a huge fan of zucchini noodles with my basil dip (on my blog), nutritional yeast and some sort of baked fish with lemon juice, olive oil and Himalayan salt. I also just made the best portobello stuffed mushrooms which I baked until soft and then filled with tuna salad mix (canned tuna, primal kitchen mayo, celery and radish) and then layered with Parmela creamery nut cheese, a fried egg and seasonings. O.M.G.
I personally LOVED the Sexy Sugar Cleanse and would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to rewire their taste buds and cravings after the holiday season!
During Phase 1, which lasts 10 days, I immediately felt more energized, required less caffeine to get me through the day, and felt more satisfied after eating than before. Although I'm not a certified Holistic Health Coach like Jess, I credit the elimination of grains and increase in healthy fats to my success throughout Phase 1.
During Phase 2, which also lasts 10 days, I was SO thankful to add sweet potatoes back into my diet! For anyone that leads an active lifestyle, I believe starchy carbs are essential to keep your energy levels up (and they taste pretty dang good). Throughout Phase 2, I saw similar results to Phase 1, but I mentally felt clarity I hadn't experienced in months. I felt like the fog I had from possibly overdoing it on grains, soy, and natural sugars was lifted, and my focus was out of this WORLD.
For breakfast, I would typically have a 1 egg, 2 egg white omelet (or my egg cup recipe!) with spinach, a side of roasted veggies, and top it with 1/4 of an avocado.
Lunch would be some form of a salad, such as grilled chicken (or fermented tempeh, which you can have in moderation on Jess's cleanse!), spinach, sweet potatoes (only during Phase 2), and avocado again.
I'd keep it pretty simple for dinner, opting for grilled salmon, some form of non-starchy veggies (asparagus and broccoli), cooked in olive oil.
For KB Fitt followers wanting to purchase the Sexy Sugar Cleanse, be sure to use the code KAYLA50 for 50% off!
2018 is right around the corner -- no better time to give your body and soul a reset!