Last month I wrote about noisy foods and the impact they have on your body and mind.  As I read through all the comments, I was struck by how many of us struggle with feeling addicted to sugar.

I certainly don’t take a hard line on sugar and feel it should never pass your lips…  but I do believe we should feel in control over when and how much sugar we eat. If you know a certain food is not serving you well, but feel unable to stop eating it, it just may be time to dig a little deeper to really see what’s going on.

So, in light of this issue that many of us face,  I put together a 19-page workbook on How to Break the Sugar Habit, and I want to offer it to you for free. Head here If you’re interested, and I’ll send it to you right away.

When Food Never Satisfies

Many of us struggle with using the food we eat as a substitute for filling a hunger we have in another part of our lives.

We need nourishment in many forms.  We all have real needs for love, friendship, laughter, movement, creativity, purpose, spirituality, meaningful work, relaxation, and beauty in our lives.

We must feed our whole beings or we will end up full of food but never really satisfied.

I know people who eat an extremely “healthy” diet, but are unhappy, anxious and depressed. Clearly, eating well is not the only part of being well.

You can eat a whole lot of kale and never get close to the healing effect a loving embrace, deep belly laugh, or sweat-soaked hike in the woods can offer.

Photo byAnnso

Feeding the True Need

So, how do we care for our whole selves when, as mothers, we lead busy, other-focused lives?

We start, little by little, weaving true sweetness into our days.  We choose to honor all the parts of ourselves with small tokens of acknowledgment. And the fantastic thing is, when we start filling up one part of ourselves, so often it naturally spills over and fills other parts of ourselves…  They are all connected.

Write a personal “Sweet Stuff” menu.

List all the things that make you happy, fulfilled, loved, joyful, and recharged. Things you find beautiful and meaningful.  Keep the list growing.  Keep it posted so you see it everyday to remind yourself of these things.

In the course of our days, many of us have little snippets of time here and there that we can fill with the true “sweet stuff” of life.  But all too often, we don’t think to do it.

Maybe we just become bored, disengaged, or default into some task oriented thing.   How many times have you reached for something to eat, because you were bored? I know this happens to me way too often.

So here is a list of 20 ways you can bring sweetness into your life, without ever touching a gram of sugar.

20 ways to sweeten your life

Use this list as a springboard for your own Sweet Stuff menu, and start feeding the parts of you that have been too long neglected.

1.  Give someone a big, long bear hug.

2.  Pop some popcorn and watch a favorite movie.

3.  Open your children’s finger paints and dabble a little.

4.  Spend some time lingering with your partner in a kiss.

5.  Get a massage, or give yourself a quick shoulder rub.

6.  Take a long, warm bath with candles.

7.  Breathe in some beautiful smelling essential oils.

Photo by Josh Semans

8.  Open the window and let in the fresh air.

9.  Get involved in your community or online with a group that is doing something you find meaningful.

10.  Write a letter (by hand) to a dear friend.

11.  Bring fresh flowers into your home.

12.  Join a class (kickboxing, yoga, pottery, book club) with your partner.

13.  Soak  your feet in epsom salts and warm water.

14.  Brew a favorite cup of tea with honey and sit near a window, sipping and staring.

Photo by Patrick George

15.  Get in comfy clothes and stretch.

16.  Meet a friend for a walk in the park.

17.  Slow down and take a few deep breaths.

18.  Put on some great music and dance (or simply just enjoy).

19.  Write in a journal.

20.  Smile at someone.

Once you get going, you’ll be amazed how fun and easy it is to add ideas to your list.  But, perhaps more importantly, you’ll be amazed at what this small exercise does for your health and well-being.

Just a quick reminder: don’t forget about the e-workbook, How To Break the Sugar Habit.

What is something you would add to your “Sweet Stuff” list?