Danger, Danger – sugar for the over 40’s

Danger, Danger – sugar for the over 40’s

In women, the risk of heart disease increases after age 55. In men, the risk increases after age 45. People who have diabetes, the risk increases after age 40. * US Department of Health and Human Services

This shows the more refined sugar we eat over the age of 40 the more likely we are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke.  So how do we keep the sugars in check and still enjoy all the wonderful food that life has to offer?  For thousands of years Chinese Medicine has had solutions. Here I share a few tips.

In Chinese Medicine, each of the organs links to an element, a season, a time of day, an emotion, a flavour and much more.  The 5 element system is a great way to understand the body as a whole, to address symptoms and stop sweet cravings.

The flavour for a healthy Stomach/Spleen in Traditional Chinese Medicine is sweet, BUT too much of a good thing can weaken these organs.

The matches Western Medicine as it is the spleen (pancreas) that is responsible for insulin production which enables the absorption of glucose (sugars) into the cells of the body.

Too much sugar means either the spleen cannot produce enough insulin or insulin that works (diabetes type 1) or the body becomes insulin resistant (diabetes type 2) Glucose that is unprocessed by insulin remains in the bloodstream damaging arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease.

High glucose levels also inhibit the digestion of fats and triglyceride levels within the blood rise. Triglycerides don’t dissolve in the blood they move around the arteries where they can cause hardening, increasing the risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

Refined carbohydrates such as cakes, biscuits, white bread and pasta give quick sugar hits but they are missing the fiber and minerals of whole-grains, which slow down the breakdown of foods into sugars.  Eating low fiber carbohydrates will cause blood sugars to spike, flooding the body with insulin and beginning an addictive cycle of sugar highs and lows.

So what can you do?

In Chinese Medicine to keep the Stomach/Spleen and Sugar levels healthy we would use whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa and starchy vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips. Perhaps you think these foods are boring, that they won’t meet the needs of your sweet tooth? but healthy food doesn’t mean boring food – with my recipes it means the opposite – it means delicious, sexy scrumptiousness – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself.

Tip 1. from Chinese Medicine is to CHEW CHEW CHEW your food. By chewing the sugars are released into the mouth, broken down by the teeth and saliva, sending signals to the brain that this is sweet, tasty food.  I will be sharing liquorice sticks with you, at my retreat in September, which are fantastic for chewing on, whilst at the same time, triggering hormones from the stomach to say “we are eating and we are full.”

Tip 2. If there is too much insulin in the blood stream it will be more difficult for Vitamin C to enter cells and help with repair. This will also impair the immune system and make us more vulnerable to viruses.
If you comfort eat or find it hard to feel satisfied try including more orange brown foods in your diet like carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, turmeric, brown rice, millet and quinoa.  Orange foods tend to be packed with Vitamin C thereby helping the body repair and repel incoming virus’s.
In Chinese Medicine these orange foods supports the Spleen and help regulate blood sugars in the 5element system of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Tip 3.  Emotionally the Spleen and Stomach respond to touch.  Make sure to massage and touch your own body.  Use oil when you come out of the shower, give yourself a foot massage.  Learn an acupressure routine to soothe the body and mind reducing your cravings for the sweet stuff.
Tip 4. Practice Qigong; Exercise is essential to keep the spleen healthy which in turn helps clear anxiety, nervousness and general stress. When both your spleen and stomach are balanced, the calmer your heart, mind and spirit. Qi Gong is a fantastic, gentle, effective exercise to maintain muscle mass, transforming sugar cravings and bad moods.  Free class sign up below or find lots of routines on my YouTube channel.

If you want more ways to lower your sugars, your risk of diabetes and your blood pressure, come and learn with me at my in-person retreat and watch me prepare delicious dishes full of healthy ingredients that help to tone and heal the Spleen, balancing blood sugars and stopping the addictive cravings that refined sugars bring.  We will learn an acupressure routine full of nourishing, soothing, energising acupressure points plus Qi Gong movements to move and flow a body that might feel stuck and painful.

Here’s some of the dishes I will be teaching.  The rest of the food will be prepared by the super talented Chef Claire from the Happy Pear and Cornucopia (Dublins leading Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants) Full Schedule

  • Red Date and Cinnamon Tea (building blood and energy levels)
  • Sugar free millet muffins ( a sweet no sugar treat)
  • Roasted Chickpeas (relieving swelling and pain)
  • Sweet orange and tarragon dressing (adding sweetness to your bitter green veg)
  • Raw Chocolate, date and seed bombs (guilt free sweet treat)

By finding healthy alternatives, to refined sweet foods such as pasta, bread and chocolate, that taste REALLY GOOD we are more likely to make a change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life.

As we progress through life and our bodies repair system takes a little longer it is especially important to make sure we are helping ourselves and receiving nourishing support, physically and emotionally.  So join me on this fabulous, unique retreat to be sugar smart, keep your blood sugars healthy, blood pressure down and your heart pumping strongly, loving life.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE RETREAT HERE: I keep numbers small so I can give individual connection and guidance


sign up for the free class at the end of the month


Chi Flow with Jo Waitlist