So you and a friend go out to eat and when it comes time to explore the dessert menu, your friend turns to you and says, “No thanks, I’ve given up sugar.” A slew of questions immediately runs through your head, “How has she been doing it? Does she feel different? Should I give up sugar too?”

As these thoughts run through your head you contemplate how much you love the chocolate lava cake from you favorite restaurant and you figure you’ll never be able to do it. Then you ask yourself well, what if I gave up all sugar except for that piece of cake from dinners out on Fridays?

When it comes to giving up sugar, a major question that comes up is, “Do I have to give up all sugar completely?” The answer to this is a very straight forward, “It depends”.

It completely depends on the state of your health, the consequence of NOT giving up sugar, the level of your addiction to sugar and also the reason behind your desire to give up sugar.

If you’re someone who is pre-diabetic, diabetic, or highly addicted to sugar, it is probably in your best interest to give it up completely as the alternative to not giving it up could be a dire health issue.

If you’re someone who thinks your life may just be better without sugar pulling you down but you’re not ready to go completely cold turkey, it would be beneficial to only use natural forms of sugar such as dates, maple syrup and sustainably sourced coconut sugar (It is essential when you limit yourself to these types of sugar to not go crazy simply because they are the least processed and natural forms).

Keep in mind the amount of work it would take to harvest all of those food products if you were in nature. By keeping the consumption concept in mind when you’re indulging in a treat, you are being mindful of the work that goes into getting all of those ingredients together to make the beautiful creation that sits in front of you.

So what do we mean we’re talking about the consumption concept? Say you had a broccoli seed in one hand and an apple seed in the other and you’re really hungry – which one do you plant first?

The broccoli seed will take root and sprout in a matter of weeks or months whereas the apple seed will take years to bear fruit and even when it bears fruit, it only does so during a certain time of year. This is nature’s way of telling us to eat all of this highly nutritive stuff from the ground now and often and then enjoy dessert after (the in season apple up high in the tree).

It is so important to take this concept into account when you are on your journey to healing any level of sugar addiction because exploring that side of the sugary treat you are eating can actually help you to slow down and examine what went into providing you with what is in front of you.

If you’re not sure where you are on the sugar addiction scale and therefore, don’t know how to proceed, then get quiet. When you’re starting to crave sugar, take a moment to be quiet with yourself and observe your own craving. What kind of effect is that craving having on you? Be real and be honest with yourself about the effects that sugar is having on you.

Your next step is to determine if your life would be better without sugar. If you’re grounded and connecting honestly with yourself, the decision will be clear for you in that moment. There is no “right” way to give up sugar but there is most definitely a downside to ignoring the negative impact sugar is having on your life. So the decision now lies in your hands and your hands only… where will your Sweet Freedom journey take YOU?