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How To Satisfy A Sweet Tooth Without Eating Sweets

Posted Apr 30 2010 8:32am

ayurveda empty sweetWhat if I told you that there was a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without actually eating anything sweet?  By changing what you think of as sweet, you can really accomplish this.  Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine both emphasize the need to include all six tastes in your daily diet, so we still want to acknowledge the importance of the sweet flavor, just not sugar itself.  Here's a revolutionary way for you honor your sweet cravings without feeding the desire for sugar.

Traditional Chinese Medicine makes a beautiful and radical distinction between empty sweets and full sweets.  Empty sweets are treats containing any sweetener.  I'm talking raw sugar, honey, maply syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup.  You get the picture.  While some sweeteners are certainly healthier than others, the point is that they are still empty sweets.  They are called "empty" because while they momentarily satisfy a sweet craving, they do nothing to nourish our digestion, so we are left wanting it more and more.

Full sweets, on the other hand, are whole grains and vegetables that are naturally sweet.  Brown rice, wheat berries, oat groats, millet, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots are all full sweets.  They nourish the Earth element which in turn strengthens our digestion.  They are "full" of vitality and nutrients, and they "fully" satisfy our need for sweet.

ayurvedic congeeAs babies, whether we are breastfed or given formula, the first flavor we taste is sweet.  It is grounding, nourishing, building and strengthening.

We can begin each day with full sweets in order to satisfy the need for sweet so that we don't crave it throughout the day.  Those of you who have been around Bodhimed awhile know that I am a huge fan of starting your day with a bowl of congee .  Congee is a whole grain porridge cooked slowly overnight.  You've got to try this to see for yourself how effective this is.  Your earth element will be so content after a bowl of congee, you won't find yourself needing a little something sugary later in the day.

Go ahead and give it a shot.  Eat more full sweets and tell us how it goes!


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