Five Reasons to Eat MORE Sugar

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You’ve already read all the reasons to eat less sugar, right?  Today, I’m giving you five awesome reasons to eat MORE sugar each day!

(Warning: article may involve sarcasm.. a lot of it)

1. You really like feeling tired all the time

Yupp, excessive sugar consumption is strongly linked to poor energy and fatigue.  The link between the two is partly due to fluctuating blood sugar levels, and often your energy levels can follow your blood sugar levels throughout the day.  If you particularly enjoy feeling tired in the afternoon, start eating more sugar-y foods!

2. You like having uncontrollable sugar cravings

You know that 3pm sugar craving that you just can’t ignore?  It can be caused by imbalanced blood sugar, which comes (in part) from eating high-sugar foods earlier in the day.  That sugar-laden breakfast cereal you eat every day?  It’s really increasing you sugar cravings for the rest of the day.  That banana you had as a snack?  Also increasing your sugar cravings later on in the day.  But by all means, if you love those uncontrollable cravings, why not switch to Fruit Loops for breakfast and really get those cravings going.

3.  You want to gain weight

For too long, fat content in foods was blamed for causing the increasing weight and obesity problems in our society.  In the past 10 years, however, research and anecdotal evidence has proven sugar to be the enemy when it comes to our waistlines.  So if you’d like to gain weight, particularly around your stomach area, eating more refined sugar would be a great idea for you.  According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased dramatically in the past decades, in parallel with increasing prevalences of overweight and obesity in the United States.

4.  You love having mood swings

Do you really enjoy having severe mood swings?  The people closest to you must really enjoy them too!  Your ability to cope with carbohydrate and sugar intake impacts how susceptible you are to sugar-induced mood swings, but for a lot of people the link is really strong.  Often, your mood will follow your blood sugar levels, so as your blood sugar goes up and down and up and down, it causes your mood to go up and down and all over the place as well.

5. You’re hoping to develop a chronic disease in the future

Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and more.  Hoping to develop one or more of these serious chronic diseases?  Load up your plate with a whole lot more sugar, girl.

 

Bottom line:  There’s lots of ways you can protect your health through daily choices, and minimising your intake of refined sugar is a great place to start.

 

 

 

References:

Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fa5c/06bde9e258feda4c472416da985132bf962b.pdf

A Psychosomatic Study of Hypoglycaemic Fatigue: http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Citation/1944/07000/A_Psychosomatic_Study_of_Hypoglycaemic_Fatigue.1.aspx

Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/2/274.full.pdf+html

Carbohydrate ingestion, blood glucose and mood: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763402000040

 

 

How is a naturopath different to a dietician?

danni-archer-naturopath

Do you know what a naturopath is, or how a naturopath can help you lose weight?  A couple of weeks ago, I had a huge shock.  I surveyed almost 100 gorgeous women who want to lose weight, and asked them if they knew what a naturopath was.  OVER 50% of these women had no idea what a naturopath is, or does! So I’ve decided to write this blog post today to clarify what I do as a naturopath, particularly when it comes to helping you lose weight, and also how my approach might differ from a dietician or nutritionist.

So first of all, what is a naturopath?
As a naturopath, my focus is on helping you lose weight and keep it off.  My training in naturopathy was based on utilising natural health principles to bring my clients to better health – this includes assessing your diet, lifestyle and genetic factors.  The main thing you should know about naturopaths (well, good ones anyway!) is that we work holistically.  This means that when I’m working with a client for weight loss, not only am I helping that client make simple dietary and lifestyle changes, I’m also looking at their emotional health, their mindset, their physical wellbeing, and addressing ALL aspects of their wellness.

How does a naturopath differ from a dietician or nutritionist?
I think the easiest way to explain this is with the following examples:

Scenario 1: You visit a dietician with the goal of losing 10kg
You go to a dietician, and you’re given a meal plan diet to stick to.  You’re also told to drink more water and exercise 5 days per week.  You have your next appointment booked for 4 weeks time so that the dietician can check on your progress and weigh you, measure you, etc.  After four days on your new diet, your intense food craving for chocolate takes hold and you eat a family sized block in one sitting.  The next morning, you just can’t find the energy to get out of bed and get to the gym.  So you don’t.  Two weeks into the diet plan, you haven’t exercised for over a week and your diet has been up and down – some days it’s just impossible to stick with it and other days you feel super motivated.  What happens when it comes time for your 4-week check up?  You cancel the appointment.  You couldn’t possibly face the dietician and tell him/her that you had failed, so you give up completely.  Maybe in the new year you can try again, but for now it just feels way too hard.

Scenario 2: You visit a naturopath with the goal of losing 10kg
You make an appointment to see a naturopath, and you have an hour long appointment.  You chat about your diet, and what you’re struggling with food wise.  I ask you what foods you like and what foods you don’t like.  We discuss your food cravings and delve a bit deeper into what is actually causing them.  I ask you about your energy levels, your sleep, your current stresses.  We chat about exercise – what you enjoy and what you don’t.  I get an insight into your health history, your medical history, your family history.  I even ask you about fun stuff like your bowel movements and your periods, because all that stuff gives me insight into your current health.  I explain everything to you as we go – THIS is why you have sugar cravings at 3pm everyday, and here’s how you can get rid of the cravings completely.  THIS explains why you haven’t been able to shift those last 10kg, and why diets have failed in the past.  THIS is why you have low energy, or constipation, or daily headaches.  And then we take a baby step forward.  Usually, it begins with getting rid of your food cravings so that you feel more in control of your food choices.  I don’t like strict meal plans, but instead I help you create healthy changes in your current diet.  Your next appointment is scheduled for 2 weeks time, and you come back excited, motivated, and ready to take the next baby step towards your weight loss goal.  And within 3 months, you’ve lost 10kg and you’ve gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for your amazing body and all that it can do.

In scenario 1, you’re relying on mere willpower to get you through.  You try to fight your food cravings, and you try to force yourself to exercise consistently.  And when that fails, you’re off the band wagon and you’ve given up completely.

In scenario 2, you’ve discovered why you have food cravings and you’ve eliminated them completely.  I’ve explained why you have low energy, and we’ll work on improving that energy before I ask you to exercise consistently.  All of a sudden, we’re working with your body instead of against it.  Wow, what a sense of freedom that is!  There’s no sense of failure here, because we’re taking baby steps and working from the foundation up to ensure your success, rather than relying on willpower to get you through.

So, what’s the point?
I’m not here to tell you that naturopathy is the only solution for every one looking to lose weight.  What I am saying is that if you’ve tried diets in the past and given up, and you’re struggling to keep the consistency with your diet and exercise regime, maybe it’s time to look a little more holistically at what is going on.  My holistic approach to weight loss is the very reason my clients are so successful at not only losing weight but also keeping it off, and doing so in a way that feels easy and sustainable.

 

If you’d like more information on how you can work with me, visit this page or contact me here.

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How I Overcame My Fad Diet Habit

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My name is Danni, and I’m a weight loss and food cravings expert, qualified naturopath and self-love coach.  Quite a title, right?

My passion is helping women to understand their bodies, improve their health, lose weight in a way that is sustainable and keep it off for good. I help women understand why they have food cravings so that they can eliminate them completely. And I help women reconnect with their bodies and learn to love themselves again.  And the reason I am so passionate about all this is because I’ve been there.  I’ve been exactly where my clients are, and I know how hard the struggle is.

Throughout my teens and into my early 20s, my weight went up and down like a yo-yo. Seriously, I was as low as 58kg and as high as 71kg. I had a terrible relationship with food and with my body, and I tried every fad diet you could possibly think of. Through my studies and other life experiences, I learnt a different approach to health and weight loss and I finally managed to get to a healthy weight and stay there. And I’ve never been happier.

If I had a dollar for every time I said “I’m starting my diet tomorrow”, I reckon I’d be pretty bloody rich by now.  I would frequently sit down and write out meal plans for my next diet, the one that was going to work, the one I was going to stick to for real, the one that would get me to my goal weight.  So I would have my ‘last supper’ meal the night before my diet started – usually consisting of some kind of takeaway food like KFC or pizza, followed by copious amounts of chocolate or ice cream or cake or maybe all three.  It saddens me to say that some nights, I actually tried to make myself eat to the point of feeling ill, in the hope that it would ‘turn me off eating junk food forever’.  I’d convince myself, every single time, that it was the very last time I’d binge eat.  And I was always convinced that the next day was the day I would start my super successful diet.

Needless to say, most of my diets consisted of starving myself, and four days was probably my record of sticking with it, before I gave in and found myself bingeing once again.

All that training that I’ve done, all those experiences and everything I learnt along my own journey with weight loss is what I’m here to share with you. It’s so much more than just what you eat and how often you exercise. There’s emotional factors, stress, physical problems such as thyroid function, hormonal levels and liver health. There’s food cravings and self-image problems and unhealthy patterns that you’ve developed around food and eating. And the biggest thing that I have learnt through everything is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss.

You are unique. Your body is unique. Your story is unique. Your dietary needs are unique. What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you, and that’s why I’m so passionate about working 1-on-1 with women to help them understand their individuality and work with it, rather than trying the diet that their neighbour’s mum’s cousin did and then failing miserably.

So I work with women online via video call as well as in my Hove clinic. And I help them achieve the very same things I have achieved myself.

Freedom. Empowerment. Happiness. And of course, a healthy, sustainable weight.

Food cravings? Willpower is not the answer.

food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer
food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer

It’s Monday.  You’ve just started a brand new health kick, and you’re convinced that THIS TIME you’ll stick with it.  You have an event coming up in three months and you want to lose 10kg in that time.  You’ve removed all the junk food from your house, and you got pizza for dinner last night as a kind of last supper – just to prove to yourself that it was the last time you were going to eat food like that for at least 3 months.  You’ve got this.  Motivation is at an all time high, and nothing is going to stop you this time.

It’s Thursday.  You skipped the gym this morning because you snoozed your alarm too many times.  You were running late to work and didn’t have time to eat breakfast or make a healthy lunch, so by the time 11am comes around you are starving.  Sushi is the healthiest choice around, so you grab a couple of rolls and basically inhale them without thinking.  But it’s okay, you’re still on track, you haven’t given up yet!  Back to your strict diet tomorrow, for sure.

It’s Sunday.  It’s now been 4 days since you went to the gym, or exercised at all.  You’re feeling like a bit of a failure.  Your diet hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been very good either.  And now you’re sitting on the couch thinking about the packet of potato chips sitting in the cupboard.  You rationalise; “I haven’t really stuck to my diet this week anyway, so I might as well just start again tomorrow”.  Before you know it, the packet is empty and you’re hit with guilt, regret and shame.  Why did you do it?  Why did you give in so easily?  Why couldn’t you just be a bit stronger and ignore your cravings?  You didn’t even enjoy the chips in the end, you were just eating them to punish yourself! Why, why, WHY do you always do this to yourself?

Gosh, that cycle is exhausting.  Trust me, I’ve been there!  And the reason I’m sharing this with you is because I know what it’s like to struggle through with nothing but willpower and CONSTANTLY feel like a failure.  

You feel like you’ll never lose weight.  

You feel like there is something wrong with you because you just can’t stick to a diet.  

You feel worthless because you’ll never fit into those size 9 jeans sitting in your cupboard that you bought 4 years ago as “motivation to lose weight”.  

It’s a really horrible place to be, all that guilt and shame and failure.

But wait for it…. *drum roll please*….. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!  While the dieting industry would love you to believe that will power is your only option when it comes to losing weight, I’m here to smash that myth.  Let’s be cynical for a second: if all those dieting pills and weight loss shakes actually worked, wouldn’t the dieting industry be out of work?  Wouldn’t they lose customers every time someone actually succeeded in their programs?  Wouldn’t they make A LOT MORE MONEY if they actually set you up to fail in the first place?  By convincing you that your willpower is not strong enough, and then convincing you to try again, use a different product, start again next week or in the new year, the dieting industry is making you into a lifelong customer.  And that’s a win for them and their wallets.

So what’s the alternative to willpower?

Willpower works against your body.  It tells you to ignore food cravings, push through your low energy, ignore your stress and stick to your diet plan no matter what.  So the alternative to using willpower is to work with your body.  Listen to your body, get in touch with you and your individuality, and work from the foundations up.  

When you work with your body, you delve deeper into your food cravings and figure out what is causing them, so that you can eliminate them completely.  Not having food cravings in the first place is a lot easier than fighting those cravings will willpower.  (This is what I teach in my online program Overcome Food Cravings).

When you work with your body, you figure out what is causing your low energy and you fix that first, rather than forcing yourself to “smash it out” at the gym when your body is screaming out for rest.  It might require increasing your iron intake, or improving your quality of sleep, or a number of things.  But whatever is contributing to your poor energy, that needs to be addressed before you can expect to stick to a consistent exercise regime.

How do I work with my body?  I don’t know where to start.

This is exactly what I do with clients in my 1-on-1 GROG sessions.  And no, we don’t sit around drinking wine together (although that sounds like fun too!).  GROG stands for Get Rid Of Guilt.  In an hour session, via video call or in my Hove clinic, I will help you understand what is going on at a foundational level so that we can get you to a place where eating healthy foods and exercising regularly feels easy.  No battling willpower, no feelings of guilt or failure, just a really down-to-earth and simple approach to getting you on the fast track to success in your weight loss goals.

I’ll help you get rid of your food cravings altogether.  I’ll help you improve your energy levels, get your digestion working properly, and give you coping strategies for stressful and emotional situations.  Whatever obstacle you need to remove before you can start living a healthy, happy life – I can help you out.

For more information on my 1-on-1 GROG sessions, send me an email or comment below.

I struggled against my body and blamed my lack of willpower for way too long, and I don’t want you to do the same.  Book a session with me and together we’ll get to the root of your issue, so that you can find freedom with food and healthy living.

If you want to book a GROG session now, click here.  And feel free to bring wine! 😉

My ‘Day on a Plate’

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danni-archer-naturopath

Inspired by too many “what a nutritionist eats in a day’ articles that are completely unreasonable for the average person (I’m looking at you, Lola Berry), I decided to share my own ‘day on a plate’ to give you an insight into my average daily diet.

I am a qualified naturopath, and my biggest passion is helping women lose weight and get their food cravings under control.  I help my clients improve their eating habits, reduce their cravings, understand their bodies and approach themselves and their bodies with just a little more kindness.  I help my clients find exercise that they enjoy, and create a healthy lifestyle that is simple, sustainable and enjoyable.

But I also help my clients find balance, and encourage them to enjoy their life in amongst all the healthy eating and exercise.  There is no point restricting your diet to the point that you’re miserable and can’t go out and have fun with friends.  There is no point setting unrealistic goals and expecting to have a perfect, clean diet 100% of the time.  I’m a realist, and I know from experience that expectations of perfection and unsustainable dietary restriction is only going to cause cravings and a negative mindset and possibly even binge eating.

So please, don’t compare your current daily diet to mine or anyone else’s.  We’re all at different stages and what works for me might not work for you.

Here’s my average daily routine:

6.30am  Breakfast:          1x espresso coffee with soy milk

8.30-9am                             Protein shake – either Medi-Restore or a combination of Vital Protein powder and Vital Greens powder, in 50-50 water and almond milk

1pm                                       Mountain rice wrap with roasted chicken breast and salad (baby spinach, leafy green lettuce, rocket, carrot, beetroot, cucumber, tomato all tossed in a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice) with hummus

3pm                                       Homemade banana bread, if I haven’t already had some for breakfast

                                OR          1 banana with Justin’s Almond Butter (soooo yum!)

7pm                                       Dinner is almost always some kind of protein with a variety of veggies.  Curries and stirfries are popular in our house, so is pasta, veggie bakes, homemade pies.. I try to mix it up to keep things interesting.  Some weeks I’ll do a big cook-up on Sunday for the week, and other days I’ll cook simpler meals each night.  Being just the two of us at home, meals will usually last us at least 2 nights, or we might have leftovers for the lunch the next day.

So that’s my average day on a plate!

But I’m human just like you.

Some days I’ll have a second coffee (my fiancé has turned me into a coffee lover!)

Some days I don’t take enough food to work and come home absolutely starving.

Some days I feel like chocolate, and although I always tune in to figure out why I’m actually craving it, there are days when I’ll eat something else instead and days when I’ll have the chocolate I’m craving.

Wherever you are right now in your health journey, it’s totally okay.

I used to eat hot chips almost daily, and craved chocolate like crazy.  I had a phase when I was 18 years old when I ate nothing but BBQ Shapes and salami and drank energy drinks every day.  Even just a couple of months ago I was having a rough patch emotionally, and my eating habits were completely reflective of that – I had no motivation to prepare food and was eating packaged convenience foods or nothing at all.

I’ve got a complex relationship with food, and even though my eating habits can fluctuate, I am connected to my body and always feel in control of the decisions that I make.  And if I’m having a rough patch, I know that it’s not forever, and I just do the best I can to get myself through.

So sure, I can give you my average “day on a plate”, but it doesn’t always look like this.  And that’s totally okay.  

Cause I’m human.  And I’m not perfect – but I am healthy and happy, and that’s the most important thing to me.

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

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Ingredients

Makes 10 muffins

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 16-18 minutes

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 heaped tsp almond meal
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw or coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk (you can use a plant-based milk to make these muffins dairy-free!)
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and grease or line a muffin tray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract, milk and coconut oil) except for the blueberries. Make sure the coconut oil is soft enough to mix but not hot, as it may cook the egg if it is too hot.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold gently to combine.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and cook for 16-18 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow muffins to cool completely before removing them from the tray.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 6 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp italian dried herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cut all tomatoes in half. Peel garlic cloves.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and evenly spread olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper and sugar. Place the tomatoes skin-side-up on the baking tray, and put in the preheated oven, cooking for 45-55 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Blend on low speed for 1 minute until roughly blended but not 100% smooth.
  5. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Banana Bread

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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups SR flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a rectangular cake tin.
  2. Combine dry ingredients – flours, cinnamon, raw sugar in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix rice malt syrup, eggs, milk and olive oil. Add to dry mixture and combine well.  Fold through mashed bananas until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until skewer comes out clean.

Banana Muffin Treats

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Ingredients

  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 5 cups GF SR flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly softened (not liquid)
  • 1/3 rice malt syrup
  • 3 tsp chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tray with patty lines.
  2. Combine flour, oats and baking powder in a large bowl. Add milk, coconut oil, rice malt syrup and combine.
  3. Fold through bananas and chia seeds until just combined. Pour mixture into patty liners and bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Banana and Fig Gluten Free Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 5 cups GF flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 5tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced dried figs
  • 1 banana, mashed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-muffin tray or line with patty liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and coconut sugar
  3. In a small bowl, combine honey, egg, buttermilk, olive oil, vanilla extract
  4. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and combine with dry ingredients. Add figs and banana, fold through mixture until just combined.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between muffin tray or patty liners. Bake for 25-30mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes after cooking before removing from pan.