With the amount of sugar I used to consume and what I believe now, I’m really lucky I didn’t die from my choices. An average day could consist of three Starbucks drinks (with extra sugar and often caramel), an entire box of Gushers, cherry Poptarts and Mountain Dew for breakfast, then sometimes even skipping full meals and heading straight to dessert…
I used to use sugar to calm my emotions and deal with daily stressers. Because I’m naturally very small-framed with a high metabolism, I never gained weight, so I never knew there was a problem…until autoimmune problems kicked in.
Desperate to find something to curb the cravings and get myself unhooked, I began “The Candida Diet/cleanse/detox” While I’m still not sure if I believe the validity of the health claims, I did not use it for the purpose it was intended for. I actually used it, because it is made up of food and drinks that don’t contain sugar, so I figured it might help get my sugar consumption under control (if I went cold turkey).
Well, it really did get my sugar consumption back to a normal level. However, not without my body going into shock/withdrawal/utterly denying me for days (please note that most people do not have anywhere near this bad of a reaction, but I was VERY addicted to sugar and out-of-control). After I made it through a few days of pure hell (my body was in such shock that I shook & threw up for about 10 straight hours), I finally stopped having extreme withdrawal symptoms and had only minor sugar cravings left.
Since The Candida Diet essentially eliminates all forms of sugar, including natural forms (in the initial stages) I wasn’t sure what I could do to help curb some of the remaining sugar cravings I was having. As a result, I looked around to see if I could find something that would be allowed to eat or drink that may help. The program approved most herbal teas. So, eventually, I decide to try steeping hibiscus. Hibiscus has a rather tart flavor and took several brews to get used to the flavor of this tea without sugar, however, eventually I began to enjoy it. Its tart, yet fruity flavor felt like a great substitute for fruit juice as it still gave a fruity flavor reminiscent of something that would contain sugar (almost like it tricked me into thinking I was having something sugary). It can also be batch brewed ahead of time and consumed for days. Especially refreshing iced in the summertime, try this herbal tea to see if it works for you…
**Please note that in the recipe below, I included an option for sweetening hibiscus tea, for the people who wanted it, however if using for sugar cravings then leave out any sweetener or cinnamon.**
Hopefully you can get your sugar cravings under control, it’s so worth it for your health! Here’s to regaining our sparkle together,
- 6 cups filtered water
- 4 TBS organic hibiscus flower pieces
- Optional: 2 cinnamon sticks
- Optional: ¼ cup sugar or simple syrup (sugar if you hot brew, simple syrup if you cold brew)
- Bring water to a boil. Add hibiscus and optional cinnamon and steep for 10-20 minutes (depending on how strong you want the hibiscus flavor; I do 20 minutes). Strain. Mix in sugar if desired. Allow to cool. Serve over ice.
- Add water, hibiscus, and cinnamon sticks (optional) into a pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Strain. Mix in simple syrup if desired before serving.
- *Store tea in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- *If you are using hibiscus tea to help with sugar cravings, do not add the cinnamon or sugar/simple syrup.
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