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Dr Nicki Steinberger – How to Break Your Sugar Addiction Forever

Content by: Dr Nicki Steinberger

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Dr. Nicki Steinberger to the podcast. Dr. Nicki is a holistic health educator, author, speaker and coach. She teaches people how to prevent and reverse type two diabetes using holistic lifestyle practices. In this episode, we discuss the topic of sugar addiction and dig deep into the strategies and mindset required to recognize and overcome this common issue. Over to Dr. Steinberg.

Audio Version

downloaditunes Questions asked during our conversation:

  • How might we know if we have a problem with sugar consumption?
  • Which everyday ‘health foods’ commonly contain an excess of sugar?
  • What strategies could we consider to reinforce the right mindset?

Get More of Dr. Nicki Steinberger

  • https://drnickisteinberger.com/
  • Dr Nicki’s free checklist: DrNickiSteinberger.com/7sugars
  • Dr Nicki’s Joy, Vitality, & Plenty Community: DrNickiSteinberger.com/community

If you enjoyed this, then we think you’ll enjoy this interview:


Full Transcript

Stu

Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180 nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.

This week, I’m excited to welcome Dr. Nicki Steinberger back to the show. Dr. Nicki is a holistic health educator, author, speaker and coach. She teaches people how to prevent and reverse type two diabetes using holistic lifestyle practices. In this episode, we discuss the topic of sugar addiction and dig deep into the strategies and mindset required to recognize and overcome this common issue. Over to Dr. Steinberg.

Hey guys, this is Stu from one 80 nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Dr. Nicki Steinberger back to the podcast. Dr. Nicki, how are you?

Dr. Nicki

I’m fantastic. Stewart. Thank you for having me back. How fun two years later.

Stu

Absolutely. Well, I think that there’s a whole heap that we need to catch up on, and no doubt we’ve all made some learnings during that time as well. So I’m really keen to dial in, but first up for all of our listeners that may not have heard our previous conversation, I would love it if you’d just tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Nicki

Yeah. So if I go back, oh, about 10 years, I could start there and say that I found myself with some peculiar symptoms, shaking and fatigue and getting very burnt out and went into the doctor and had some tests done. And I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. So 2010, 45 years old, and that’s when I got to work on questioning, what can I do about this? I don’t want to jump into pharmaceuticals. I want to see what I can do with lifestyle. And lo and behold, I tested 12 months later and I had reversed it. So what I was doing was working and that of course felt phenomenal. And I had an aha moment. And then I went on to teach workshops and coach folks and transitioned from going towards psychotherapy into holistic health education, which I had been really studying for most of my life.

I published a book on it in 2019, Wave Goodbye to Type 2 Diabetes. It was endorsed by Dr. Christian Northrup. And then here we are today and talk about I’m opening Ditch the Sugar Academy and working with folks one-on-one and really focusing in on sugar addiction.

Stu

That’s great, amazing story. And it’s fantastic that you’ve been there, you’ve done that, you were faced with options and you had choices to make, and we were just talking before the record button about choices. And so I think we’ll dig into that as well today.

So the topic of sugar is going to be the main one today. And many of us out there might think, well, I don’t have any sugar. I don’t add sugar to any of my drinks. We don’t have sugar in the house. And so I’m really keen to kind of understand from our listeners perspective perhaps, firstly, how we might know if we have a problem with sugar consumption and then let’s dig into the different types and forms of sugar that we may unknowingly be consuming every single day.

Dr. Nicki

I thought this was such a good inquiry. How do we know? And especially with so much information blasting us in so many directions and I break this down in three pieces. So firstly, I would say that the new wave in health care, I call intuitive driven healthcare versus industry driven health care, so first off to simply listen to ourselves. We want to go in, it’s almost like we want to Google, “Am I eating too much sugar or what’s too much?” So I would say the first stop is what is your body telling you? How do you feel? And what is that little voice in the back of your head telling you. Likely most folks know, they have a sense. And if you feel like you’re eating a lot of sugar and you’re wondering, then you probably are consuming too much sugar. So that would be the first stop.

The second stop I would say is to take a look at metabolic syndrome and this is a condition, it’s a cluster of symptoms. It’s not a disease, but it’s a precursor for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So if you have three out of five symptoms, then it’s consistent with metabolic syndrome. And I’ll run by those quickly: high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and excess fat around the belly. So of course some of those you need some blood work, but if you do have three of those and you have metabolic syndrome and you don’t want to be on your way to prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, probably consuming too much sugar, processed carbohydrates.

And the third stop I would say is if you feel out of control with sugar, if it is calling your name every minute, if you feel like you’re making a beeline in the middle of the night to the freezer to get into the ice cream and you feel bad about yourself and it’s just taking control of your life or it feels like it is. So that’s kind of how I would break down, and there’s a lot in there to explore to answer that question if you’re consuming too much sugar.

Stu

Yeah, no, totally. And it’s funny because many of us could wake up and ravenously hungry or even still hungry when we’ve had a big meal because we’re beholden to cravings. And oftentimes, I don’t know whether you’ve experimented with intimate and fasting things like that, and you do have just the most ravenous appetite that just suddenly slips away, and we wonder, well, how hungry are we really? What is our body craving?

But so let’s dig into sugar then in terms of the forms of sugar, because we mentioned before that many of us perhaps won’t have table sugar in the house and don’t stir table sugar into our coffee or tea or hot drinks, but we can be getting that in so many different forms. So I’m really keen to hear your take on that.

Dr. Nicki

Yeah. I mean not all sugars are created equal. Certainly if we compare a candy bar to an apple, we’re going to find that in the apple there’s fiber and there’s vitamins and there’s nutrients and that’s all good. And we have to say, well, where are we on that spectrum of metabolic syndrome, and even in that apple, we’re going to consume 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. So for some people that’s just fine, that’s just A okay. And for other people that might be their full carbohydrate load in a day or half a carbohydrate load in a day. And so you have to be mindful because carbohydrates are simply units of sugar. So there’s no one size fits all.

Stu

No, absolutely right. And I think carbohydrates are also units of energy and that energy, it has to go somewhere. You’ve created this. It’s almost like putting fuel in your car. You put excess fuel in your car and it has to go somewhere.

Dr. Nicki

Right. If you’re insulin resistant, then that so-called energy isn’t being converted to energy, that sugar, that glucose, the cells are saying, no, go away, go away, gets backed up into the blood and so you don’t get that energy.

Stu

Yeah, absolutely right. And we touched on fruit there and many people might think, well, it’s not sugar. I’m just eating an apple or a banana. What other everyday health foods, and I’ll put that in inverted quotes because that’s a really innocuous term, health foods, contain or commonly contain excess amounts of sugar?

Dr. Nicki

So one of my favorites to talk about is oatmeal, because people love to eat oatmeal and it can be quite delicious I understand. However, a cup of dry oats is about 60 grams of carbohydrates. So you imagine if you start your day that way with sugar, you’re going to stay being a sugar burner, which we can talk more about, but your body’s just going to keep asking for more. And it’s a pretty high amount of sugar. If you’re on the spectrum, you’re trying to, let’s say, prevent pre-diabetes or diabetes, that’s going to be a big hit. It’s still going to spike blood sugar.

Another one would be all of these energy drinks. Lots of drinks on the market. I mean, I go through looking at hundreds of drinks and there’s maybe two that have very low sugar or no sugar. I mean they’re just loaded it up. And the third one is dark chocolate, but specifically, if it is lower than, let’s say 80% cacao because the lower you go … I have friends that will say, “Oh, I’m going to go get some dark chocolate.” And it might be a Milky Way that now they have a dark chocolate version. And you just really have to look at the ingredients because the lower it is in raw cacao, the higher it is in sugar.

Stu

Totally. It’s funny that you touched on the dark chocolate as well, because I had a family member the Christmas before last that bought me over a bar of a hundred percent dark, dark chocolate. And boy that was about as bitter as it can be. It almost tasted like chewing ground coffee beans. It was insane.

I know that we talk a lot about sugar as well across our audience. And sometimes what I like to try and share is the picture of those little sugar sachets in the cafe that you can go in, they’re little sugar sticks, which are typically a serve four grams of sugar. And then you think, well, okay. Well,

But one of those little sachets is four grams, but I’m going to have my freshly squeezed orange juice in a bottle that maybe has 40 grams of sugar. So I wonder how many of us would open and consume 10 of those sugar sticks, just put that in water and stir it around.

But that’s kind of what’s happening. And so it’s good. I think from an awareness perspective, just to try and visualize, well, what do those numbers actually mean?

Dr. Nicki

Yeah, absolutely. And then you add up the course of the day, that could be one meal, or one drink and part of a meal and then what’s on the plate. And it’s not religion, it’s just, do you want to be ahead of the game and not fall into chronic illnesses with needless suffering. And do you want to be your best and be creative and heed your calling and … Because it can really catch up with you.

Stu

Yeah. No, I think so. I think so. So we’ve decided that, “You know what, I’m going to kick this sugar habit.” How do we start? How long does it take?

Dr. Nicki

Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

And it’s really a matter of getting underneath, because the behaviors are what’s happening on the surface. The eating is what’s happening on the surface, so it’s so different for everyone. I mean, some people respond immediately to certain practices and other people have a harder time. When I work with my clients, one-on-one we start off with a four month program.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

And that seems to be a pretty good average amount of time where it’s not like, “Okay, let’s transform this in three weeks.” But no, we don’t necessarily have to wait a year. So I’ve experimented with some different times, and that’s really setting the foundation. That’s not saying, “Okay, you’re a hundred percent out of the woods,” but it’s creating a platform from which to pivot.

Stu

Yeah. Okay. And on the other end of the scale, many of us might say, “Right, sugar’s done. I’m going cold turkey, I’m never touching it again.” And jump in almost to the other end of the spectrum and embrace something like the keto diet, embrace high-fat, moderate protein, almost minimal carbs. Which has become quite popular, or initially became very popular, but then started to get more naysayers in terms of questioning the implications of following a keto diet long-term.

Where do you sit on that spectrum of just, “You know what, cut it all out and just jump into something,” which could be seen as quite extreme.

Dr. Nicki

Well, first of all, I would remind all of us that we have taste buds, and sweet is one of them. I don’t think we’re supposed to kill it altogether.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

We have sweet, we have sour, we have salty, umami, a bit pungent. I don’t know, there’s five of those.

Stu

Yeah.

Dr. Nicki

And sweet is one. So I think, we want to create something that we can sustain, and it’s not about which diet. People have a lot of success with keto, or high-fat, low carb. They’re similar. I think what you laid out in terms of high-fat, moderate protein, low carb, I think that’s a pretty healthy food plan for most people. Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all.

And when we look at the number of carbohydrates, the net grams per day, it really depends again where you are on that spectrum.

Stu

Sure.

Dr. Nicki

How much exercise you do, how sensitive your cells are to insulin or how resistant. So I would say, try it on. Try it on, but it should be a healthier version of any kind of diet that you choose.

Because I was vegetarian for 38 years. And the early part of that, it was veggie burgers, which was like a gluten bomb inside of a gluten bun bomb, and French fries with trans fats and omega-6 inflammatory oils, and soda or whatever. So we could name any diet plan and still eat low quality, so choose wisely.

Stu

Yeah, you make a good point. And I think the whole food route always seems to win in the longterm because we know what we’re eating, our body knows what it’s eating. We haven’t got to dodge any crazy frankenfoods with all of the packaging inserts that come with it, who knows what’s going to happen.

Mindset Now, some people do really well from a mindset perspective and can just dial into a task, and just avoid the roadblocks because they have that mindset. Whereas other people waiver and falter, just because of the way we are different. How important do you think that mindset is when we’re tackling something like a food addiction, sugar addiction?

Dr. Nicki

I think it’s a hundred percent critical.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

I think it’s the main piece, because if we enter a health program or healing or we want transformation, and we go in simply via behaviors or practices, then we are missing part of the big picture. It ends up being more like a diet.

Stu

Yeah.

Dr. Nicki

And diets aren’t sustainable, diets don’t work long-term. So if we want long-term success with our health and getting to the other side of sugar addiction, then mindset has to be a key player.

Stu

Okay. And if we are aware perhaps then individually, that we’re not that strong from a mindset perspective and we do falter, where could we start to try and reinforce the right mindset?

Dr. Nicki

Well, here’s where I think clarification comes in handy.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

A lot of us have not done so well with mindset because we’re working with mindset concepts.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

And what I mean by this is something like, for example, think positive.

Stu

Yes.

Dr. Nicki

Think positive. That’s helpful. Okay, thinking positive is wonderful, but that’s not a practice per se, because it’s not a practice that allows us to raise awareness. So if you don’t want to just jump to solution, we don’t want to jump to the fix. By thinking that, “Okay, think positive. Okay. Have discipline, okay. Have willpower. Okay. Eat healthy today, eat healthy today, eat healthy today,” and say it a hundred times a day, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

But again, we don’t learn, it doesn’t raise awareness of where we’re coming from and how do we get to where we want to go. So we need an effective mindset method to use as a practice. And many people will need guidance on this because we don’t know, we’re not taught this.

Stu

Yeah. No, I think a lot of the “think positive” slogans probably work better on t-shirts than they do in reality.

Dr. Nicki

That’s right, that’s right.

Stu

Because it’s one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to understand it and actually be driven to the core on that.

Now, I’m aware that you have really dived deep into mindset and created a framework around this. And so I’d love it if you could just tell us a little bit … Now Shadow & Light Framework. Am I correct, is that-

Dr. Nicki

Yes.

Stu

So tell us what that is, because I think that if we’re able to unlock the nuances of mindset, and able to understand perhaps that you haven’t failed if you’ve had the sneaky treat here and there, and it’s all part of the journey. Then I think people might be a little bit more successful in achieving and sustaining goals over a longterm.

So tell us a little bit more about the Shadow & Light Framework, and how and how we might actually dial that in and understand how it relates to ourselves.

Dr. Nicki

Yeah. So it’s a step-by-step sequence. And it’s a practice, so much like we would practice meditation or exercise. If we decided to meditate or exercise once a month, it’s not going to have very powerful, positive effects.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

Mindset is the same way. So if we don’t program our minds, our minds program us. And this isn’t something that we learn early on, it’s like this human trickery thing. And when we speak, when we think, when we talk, there’s a tendency to think we’re reporting the news. We’re just saying what’s true, we’re just saying what we see in front of us, what our experience is, when really we’re charting our course.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

Charting our course. So it’s a sequence that helps us connect the dots between our thoughts and beliefs and the outcomes in our lives. So there’s a connection between our thoughts and beliefs and the outcomes in our lives. But again, it’s not just, “Oh yeah. Well, if I think positive, everything will be better.” Why? Why? How does it work? So we’re going to look at the situation. And the first idea is that all situations are neutral.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

And sometimes it takes a while to wrap our brains around this idea. And I’ve had clients on the phone, practically yelling at me. They weren’t mad at me, but really letting me know that, “This situation is not neutral. It is bad. It is definitely bad. There’s no way this situation is neutral.” And that’s okay, that’s part of the investigation.

And what it really means, the situation being neutral, is that we get to decide how we want to be in relationship to it. And we also know that situations are neutral because if you asked a hundred people about one situation, you’re going to get a variety of responses.

Stu

Yes.

Dr. Nicki

So it’s not really universal and it’s not even about true or false, it’s about how do your thoughts support you. And then of course, between the thought and the outcome,

… we have emotion, which is often skipped over in think positively, and we have our practices, AKA behaviors, actions. So when you see the visual, it’s easier to see how to run through the shadow and light framework. The shadow side is not bad, it’s simply knee-jerk. It’s unintentional, it’s those old patterns, those old stories that we hold. When we go through it and we really get it, and this is what I tell people, you don’t rush to the light, you got to be with it. When you really get, “Oh yeah, I see how that thought created that emotion,” let’s say of anxiety, “that makes sense. Oh, and I see how from a place of anxiety, I might compulsively eat, I might feel irritable, I might act angry towards people, I might isolate.”

Then of course the outcome would be it’s consistent with the thought, of course the outcome makes sense. When you get it and you don’t rush over, and then you can say, “Now, let me look at that situation and let me try on some new thoughts.” I literally try them on. I often do this on my walk, I’ll try on a new thought and see how it fits. Is that how I want to feel? Sometimes it takes a few minutes to play around with some thoughts to create a new trajectory. As we practice, it becomes more and more integrated into our lives.

Stu

Now when you say try on new thoughts, give me an example. I’m keen to understand that. Because I’m aware that oftentimes if we tell ourselves something and it may not be the truth, enough times it becomes the truth to ourselves. So, I’m kind of keen to understand the nuances of maybe creating new pathways in your brain through thought and repetition. So when you say truth, give us an example.

Dr. Nicki

So, if I am on the shadow side and let’s say the situation is a relationship and by unintentional or knee-jerk or unconscious thought is that person stresses me out, right? He’s stressing me out. From that place, maybe I’m going to feel angry. That anger is going to lead to different practices, the practices to an outcome, okay? Now, the outcome circles back around to the thought. So if my thought was, he’s stressing me out, my outcome is I’m going to feel stressed, I’m going to be in a place of stress.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

Now if I really get it and I say, “I’m choosing this thought he’s stressing me out,” because I could choose 100 thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether that’s true or false. How is it serving me?

Stu

Yeah, okay.

Dr. Nicki

Right? If I’m focused on my healing and I’m not clinging to this is the truth, he’s stressing me out, he’s stressing me out, right, then I might say, “Okay, let me move over into the light when I really get it, situation is this relationship. What thought might I try on? What can I believe at least 50%?”

Stu

Right, okay.

Dr. Nicki

“What’s another thought I could try?” So, it might be something like, I know he or she cares about me. Yeah, I think I can believe that, let me see how that feels.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

You actually identify the emotion. Wow, I’m starting to feel calm.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

I’m not faking it. Yeah, I can believe at least 50% this person cares about me, right? It’s choosing how to be in relationship with the situation.

Stu

Yeah.

Dr. Nicki

So now I’m feeling calm and from a place of calm, I might try a new recipe today, I might take a walk. I might say to this person, “Can we have a plan to talk about this sitting out at the beach or under a tree?”

Stu

Sure, yeah.

Dr. Nicki

Right? Then the outcome is going to feel that I’m cared about and I’m taking care of myself, always back to the thought.

Stu

Yeah. Okay, I like it. Absolutely. So, would you connect that then in direct relation with the thoughts that you have around foods that are perhaps your trigger foods?

Dr. Nicki

Yeah, absolutely. If you put let’s say eating ice cream in the middle of the night, and see you can plug it in to anywhere in the framework. So if you put that into the practices line and the acronym is STEPO, situation, thought, emotion, practice, outcome, you can go backwards and say, well, what emotion came before that action?

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

Then what thought came before that? And what situation are we even talking about? I don’t know about you and your listeners, but I found myself many times feeling anxious or angry or sad and not even exactly knowing why. We’ve failed to investigate, and that’s what the opportunity is for real transformation, the long-term kind, the big kind.

Stu

Yeah. No, absolutely. I like that, because essentially you’re getting to the root cause and we’re not just masking the problems.

Dr. Nicki

Exactly.

Stu

Yeah, and oftentimes addictions are multifaceted in why they’re occurring, where they started and what we need to do to try and address them as well. Interesting, okay. This shadow and light framework, you said typically it’s around four months to make long-lasting or ingrained changes?

Dr. Nicki

If you practice it.

Stu

Yeah, right. Okay, if you practice it. Yeah, of course.

Dr. Nicki

If you practice it. Yeah, and it could be sooner and it can be later. Again, you must practice like you would meditation or exercise.

Stu

So with that in mind, because I’m aware that meditation is hugely powerful, I am globally useless at it. Just don’t like, can’t do it, like monkey chatter. So, I kind of do stuff that pushes me more into a flow state. I’ll get in the ocean, go surfing, whatever it is, lift some heavy weights, and so I kind of switch off that monkey mind and that makes me feel better. How long might we need to spend each day on whatever tasks you’ve outlaid to do this? Because I know that some people might go, “Oh, you know what? I just don’t have any time, but I can happily watch Netflix for an hour and a half.”

Dr. Nicki

Oh yeah, right. I can meditate for 10 minutes and lower my blood pressure by 10 points-

Stu

Wow.

Dr. Nicki

High and low. Now, that is very interesting that we can affect our cardiovascular system with 10 minutes of quieting down, letting those stress hormones lower, right, so we lower our blood pressure and our blood sugar. 10 minutes goes a long way.

Stu

Yeah. Well, we’ve all got 10 minutes for sure. I’d probably do the opposite if I think about meditation, because I just can’t get it right. It infuriates me, so I’d probably send my blood pressure skyrocketing. So as part of the framework, are there any non-mindset related tasks that we might expect in terms of maybe changing certain foods in the house, hydrating, exercising, exposing ourselves to nature, things like that that would help us?

Dr. Nicki

Absolutely. So you wouldn’t necessarily want to work with mindset let’s say for a year, but not be putting your practices in place at the same time.

Stu

Yeah.

Dr. Nicki

So what I say that we need a plan, support and accountability.

Stu

Right.

Dr. Nicki

The plan includes a plan of eating, a plan of exercise and a plan of stress reduction.

Stu

Okay.

Dr. Nicki

So if we think of that like our train and you’re moving through perfectly imperfect, and when resistance arises, which we want it to, then we hit it with mindset with the shadow and light framework. So they come in tandem, they come in tandem together, right?

Stu

Okay, excellent. So I’m sitting at home and I love what I’m listening to and it all makes perfect sense, and I think, “Right. Well, this is great, I’m going to get on board.” But in the meantime I think, “Oh boy, I’m really hungry and I’m going to watch a bit of TV. I might just grab some cookies or something that just makes me feel good.” Do you have any strategies or tips, tools, techniques to help us out in those times of temptation where perhaps we’re in the early days of trying to get on top of our mindset, but we’ve still got these crazy cravings?

Dr. Nicki

Yeah, I mean, of course mindset alone is not going to get rid of cravings, because we also have to explore physiology.

Stu

Yes.

Dr. Nicki

If we’re a sugar burner and we’re using sugar and glucose only for fuel, the body is going to keep asking for it.

Stu

Yeah.

Dr. Nicki

So that’s part of the benefit of when we’re talking about high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrates, we can transition from being sugar burners to fat burners and effectively decreasing our sugar and carbohydrate cravings. You mentioned hydration, very important to decrease cravings, because when we’re dehydrated, that glucose is not being accessed effectively and we have more cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. So the scenario you painted, you’re going to watch some TV and grab some cookies and you’re hungry. The whole scenario, first of all, no cookies in the house.

Stu

Yep, yep.

Dr. Nicki

Really if we’re talking about we want to move into optimal health, we really want to live at our highest potential, and I know sometimes it can seem daunting if we’re starting in the beginning, but really if there’s something that you’re really addicted to and having a little bit doesn’t work, I mean, first of all, create an environment where you live that you’re not opening up the cupboard to all of this processed foods.

Stu

Yep.

Dr. Nicki

There’s enough out there in the world, but our homes, et cetera, and exercise is very important too.

Stu

Yeah, totally. I’ve got three young girls and of course they’re being raised in a world that is just surrounded

… and they’d buy roadblocks, should I say. So with sugar, sweetened beverages and sweets, and now social media and this fast paced world that never switches off. And just trying to educate them, probably just in the fundamentals of nutrition, like girls, if we’re going to have a good breakfast in the morning, let’s get some fat and protein and carbohydrates. Let’s just make sure we give our car everything it needs to run effectively throughout the entire day. Let’s not just start the day with fuel in the tank. We’re going to need everything else. We need the engine oil and we need the transmission fluid, and we need everything to keep this car running properly.

And oftentimes it can be that we are just craving nutrients and our body is just, I think, receiving mixed messages and thinking, “Well, I just need food. I just need food.” And it’s quite likely that these nutrient devoid snack and convenience foods, they do service our appetite, but they do nothing for the body, which is why we can overeat these as well. Not to mention that they have been engineered perfectly to hit that bliss point and trigger those dopamine releases in our brain to say, “Boy, this is the best thing you’ve ever eaten, now I want more, don’t stop.” But certainly, yeah, I love what you’re saying. Makes perfect sense.

Dr. Nicki

Yeah, absolutely. And to remember that we are talking about a drug.

Stu

Yes.

Dr. Nicki

We’re talking about a drug. We’re not really talking about food. If we’re looking at all the processed foods and the refined carbohydrates and the inflammatory oils. We’re talking about drugs that our body is not meant to digest, assimilate, process. It’s creating a long-term chronic illness, and I think, and you talk about your girls. One of the best things we can do is model. We can’t force people. We can’t change people, but however we can help ourselves and others get over this hump of excess sugar consumption, puts us ahead of the game and gives us that mental clarity and more joy and better connection to our bodies, just to get rid of that inflammation.

Stu

Totally, absolutely. So we’re slowly coming up on time. So I’m really keen then to have a few take homes perhaps that our listeners could ponder on after they’ve listened to our conversation. In terms of maybe takeaway tips, and I’m just wondering if you could share three top tips that you think could make the biggest impact on our overall health, with everything that you know about mindset, food, nutrition, and all of the above, what might they be?

Dr. Nicki

Number one, I would say have a sacred morning practice ritual, right? We’re starting the day, I know you’re getting in the ocean and you want to get in the driver’s seat of your health and your life, first thing in the morning, want to set the tone for the day. And it’s also a great way to batch some of our practices, like maybe some exercise, journaling, meditation, working the shadow and light framework, or a mindset method. I mean, gratitude, affirmations. There’s so much that we can do to start our day because each day is our life, and failing to do that, and I know not everyone is a morning… They’re not morning people and we say, “We don’t have time.” But how many times do we say we’re going to fit something in later in the day only to have that time disappear. So, that’s my number one.

And number two is again, working with an effective mindset practice. Make sure that that practice allows you to raise your awareness and that you are learning a process. If you think you’re working with mindset, but you’re not sure how you’re raising awareness or you’re not sure how it’s working, then something is missing in the process, okay? And number three is getting over the hump of excess sugar consumption. And if that takes support, guidance, you want to make sure you have that plan, support and accountability. So really get rid of the junk food in the house.

And if you are living with other people, or if you’re sharing food or sharing a kitchen and you can’t get rid of stuff someone else is eating, you can designate areas for yourself, literally, whatever it takes. This is my cupboard, I’m putting my name on it with a piece of painter’s tape, that’s not going to pull the paint off, whatever it takes, even another small refrigerator. I mean, really this is serious stuff. I hate seeing people suffer needlessly and struggle needlessly and feel so bad about themselves and be afraid that they’re going to be on pharmaceuticals the rest of their life, or they’re going to have to get on it and live in this denial and this fear. So really whatever it takes, step up and get support.

Stu

Yeah, no, that’s great. I love it. One little tip that works for me is I like to do lists and at the end of the day, I write a to do list for the next day, and I prioritize, what are the things I absolutely have to do next? What is the most important? Write that one at the top. And then I can just go through and tick. And if I’m ever finding myself derailed, which of course everyone is these days because we have so many distractions coming from the internet and crazy fast paced world. I just zone in on my to-do list, again think, “Of course, got to do that.”, Tick done that. And I have a little app on my mobile phone as well, that pops up every hour and it says, “Drink water. Drink water.” And of course, again, we get sucked into this rabbit hole of distraction.

And we forget to do all these things. And before we know it, we’re dehydrated, and then that might be misconstrued as hunger when actually you’re only thirsty. So I like all these little kind of tips and tricks that just help me stay on that path. But I love what you’re saying, I’d definitely like to find out more about the shadow and light framework. So for anybody like me that really wants to dig in deeper and understand at a deeper level exactly what we’ve been talking about today, where can we send them to find out more?

Dr. Nicki

Yeah. So a couple of things I have, one is I have a helpful checklist for your listeners that will take the guesswork out of, which sugars do I keep, which ones do I let go of? And you can get this at drnickisteinberger.com/7sugars. And you’re welcome to join me in my community where I do Dish the Sugar lives weekly and talk about the shadow and light framework and everything that’s connected to that. And that is at drnickisteinberger.com/community. And in a matter of weeks, I’m opening Ditch the Sugar Academy, and of course the shadow and light framework is going to be a major component. This is a membership I’m really excited about and I’m working on the back end. So any way that you’re in touch with me, you will hear about that. And I’ll also be starting a podcast later in the year.

Stu

Fantastic. Well, that sounds like a wealth of resource, which will be so valuable for anybody and everybody that is experiencing some form of roadblock, I guess, with their nutrition and their health, which these days is most of us. So all of the information that we’ve spoken about today in terms of the links and all of the resources, we’ll put in the show notes. But Dr. Nicki, it’s been fantastic to talk again and really look forward to following the journey and getting stuck into the new programs.

Dr. Nicki

Thank you Stu, I appreciate it.

Stu

Well you take care, we’ll speak soon.

Dr. Nicki

You too.

 

Dr Nicki Steinberger

This podcast features Dr. Steinberger who is a holistic health educator, author, speaker and coach. She teaches people how to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes using holistic lifestyle practices.
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