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How to Stop Snacking (or Any Other Food Habit)

How to Stop Snacking (or Any Other Food Habit)

It's 9 p.m. and the house is finally quiet. You were "so good" all day but now you're tired and craving chocolate. You go rooting through the cabinets and before you know it an entire bag of chocolate-covered pretzels is gone. You go to bed wired and wake up overtired and annoyed with yourself.

Or maybe you find yourself mindlessly eating your kids' leftovers when you're not even hungry. And they don't even taste that good.

Or perhaps you consistently "overdo it" on the weekends and feel awful and uncomfortable afterwards.

If any of these situations sound familiar, the good news is there is hope! These are simply patterns that we've developed. Somewhere along the line we had an emotional response (feeling tired, anxious, lonely, bored, etc.) and used food to solve it. By repeating the behavior over and over again, we've taught our brains that this is what we do. When we encounter feeling x (ex. exhaustion), we do y (ex. search out sugar).

 

The Three Steps to Stop Snacking

The key to stop snacking is working with our brains, not against them. We simply need to (1) become aware of the behavior, (2) allow ourselves to feel our feelings and release the urge, (3) rinse and repeat. Over time this will become automatic and your brain will stop seeing food as the solution to your emotions.

 

Step 1: What is the emotion driving your behavior?

What is the emotional state you're in right before the behavior tends to happen? Maybe you are feeling anxious and unsettled at night, so you reach for chips? Or maybe when you're at a party and feeling lonely or nervous you turn to the appetizer table. 

If you're having a difficult time figuring out the emotion, then really pay attention the next time you're in this situation, and be curious. We mostly think of sadness (like a heartbreak) driving us to an ice cream binge, but honestly, for many of us we may even use food when we're excited or happy. We simply haven't been taught how to feel our emotions.

 

Step 2: Allow Yourself to Feel the Emotion

When the emotion hits and your urge strikes, take a deep breath, let your shoulders lower, and really tune into your body. How does the emotion feel in your body? Where in your body is it? Use neutral, non-scary or frantic words. Start to remind your body that this is what x emotion feels like, and it's not a problem to be solved with food. (And if you have trouble believing this, flash forward to feeling stuffed, frustrated, and uncomfortable. Definitely not what you are looking for.)

Acknowledge the emotion, and then, let it pass. Don't try to distract yourself. If you'd like, journal about it. 

 

Step 3: Rinse and Repeat

Think about how long you've been doing this behavior. Sometimes it's been years or decades, making it a well-worn path for your brain. So while it will take some time to undo, it is absolutely possible. Over time your brain will learn a new response to any emotion that you've been using food to cope with.

 

Will you give this a try? 

Does Plant-based Collagen Exist?

Does Plant-based Collagen Exist?

You may already be aware that collagen powder comes from animals, and is therefore not vegan. Collagen is sourced from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of cattle, pigs, horses, rabbits, or fish. But does plant-based collagen exist? And should you be supplementing with collagen powder?

 

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

First, let's start with what collagen is and why we need it. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It's one of the major building blocks of our bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It also helps with skin elasticity and that plump, youthful appearance. 

As we age, we naturally produce less collagen. After the age of 20, it's about one percent less each year. However, we can preserve the collagen we have by avoiding too much sugar or sunlight and not smoking.

 

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT?

We can also choose supplement our diet. Collagen powders have become an increasingly popular choice, but come with their own set of issues: they are not plant-based (and many are turned-off by the thought of consuming the leftovers from slaughterhouses), they are unregulated by the FDA, and the research is still early in deciding how effective they actually are

Collagen is not naturally occurring in plants, and although scientists have developed a plant-based collagen from genetically modified bacteria and yeast, it is not yet widely available.

Regardless, studies seem to agree that the safest alternative seems to be working to preserve your existing collagen and find ways to naturally boost your body's own ability to produce it.

 

HOW TO NATURALLY BOOST COLLAGEN

We love a good secret weapon. We created Beauty Protein because we wanted a plant-based alternative to collagen that was safer. It is USDA Certified Organic because we believe in third-party testing and validation. 

It packs a powerful combo of collagen-boosting ingredients (40% of your daily Vitamin C needs, mushroom-sourced Vitamin D, and superfood Organic Baobab) along with gut-healing ones (organic prebiotic fiber and two of the most well-researched strains of probiotics) so it truly covers all of your bases.

Beauty Protein is designed to boost collagen production, increase cell renewal, and protect against oxidative damage—which can lead to signs of premature aging. It's the perfect plant-based alternative to collagen.

 

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Two of the biggest factors contributing to premature skin aging (wrinkles, sagging, and loss of radiance) are consuming sugar and UV rays. 

Sugar damages your skin through a natural process called glycation. The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to produce harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (appropriately called AGEs). As AGEs accumulate (the more sugar you eat, the more susceptible you are) they damage the proteins around them, giving way to the "sugar sag" effect. 

The proteins in the skin most prone to glycation are the same ones that give your skin that youthful glow, collagen and elastin. When glycation occurs it shows up on your skin as wrinkles, sagging, and dullness.

The presence of AGEs also makes the skin more vulnerable to the aging effects of the sun. 

So, what can we do about it? First and foremost, do your best to avoid the big culprits on a regular basis: white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and simple carbohydrates. Favor whole grains, complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, fruit, and natural sweeteners like monkfruit and stevia instead.

And, as a bonus: consume green tea. Green tea has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while also stimulating collagen production. Just one of the many reasons we love superstar ingredient Matcha. Looking for ways to incorporate more green tea? It's a key ingredient in our Greens Ritual daily super powder. 

Need some help breaking up with sugar? Try our gentle 10-Day Sugar Detox. It's enjoyable, it's easy, and you'll feel amazing.