Hi, I’m Andrea Grayson, and I help people and organizations create sustainable change for their health and well being by creating research-informed coaching and consulting programs.
For the past 4 years, a big focus has been raising awareness about the harms of sugar and processed foods, with individual and group programs and organizational consulting. Over 3,000 people have taken the Breaking Free from Sugar program with over 96% of them reporting that they have reduced their sugar consumption and plan to continue with a sugar-minimal lifestyle.
At almost 60, I’m leaner and stronger than I’ve ever been, maintaining my weight without even trying. And I’ll share with you right now the secret to a life without the burden of worry about your weight or long-term threat of chronic disease:
Take sugar and flour out of your diet.
Yup, that’s it.
Sure, that might not be so easy if you're an emotional eater, or addicted to sugar and refined carbohydrates, that's why a supportive program and maybe therapy can help.
And of course there are other things to do to optimize your health, namely exercising regularly and minimizing alcohol to name two, but if you do just this one thing -- quit sugar and flour -- your health will drastically improve, resulting in better sleep, less brain fog, less joint pain, skin issues, and on and on.
Simple. But not easy.
It took me 2+ years of trying to quit to feel like I had a “safe” relationship with sugar. But I figured it out, and now empower others to take control of their health. And you can do it too.
But it wasn’t always this way…
I didn’t know it at the time, but the day I became a vegetarian at age 13, I became a carb addict. In retrospect, I was a terrible vegetarian: I had a carb-filled diet and just took the meat out. Of course, I thought granola and yogurt and whole wheat bread were healthy (and maybe they are for some people, but not for me), and so spent the next two decades fighting weight gain, gut trouble, mood swings and increasing brain fog.
So much brain space was used negotiating with myself over what I could or should eat, saying things like “you deserve this treat, you’ve been good.” I was constantly trying to figure out what I could get away with (how soon would a binge show up in my waistline), promising to do better next time. It was exhausting. I had so much knowledge about nutrition and health, and even had become a health coach, but still felt like I had to manage what I ate.
Professionally, my background in media and communications was merging with an interest in public health, and I began to examine how we’d reached this crisis of chronic disease through the lens of policy and culture.
Then, in 2016, in the midst of doing research for a book to be called HealthJacked, I had an epiphany in a health food store. I was near the check-out line, and I was scanning the candy display for something to eat on the drive home (something I usually did). But this time, as I was reaching for the dark chocolate peanut butter cups, I heard myself say “You can have that, you worked-out today.” Now, that’s something I’ve said to myself hundreds, if not thousands of times before, but this time I heard it as a voice that was separate from “me,” who had goals around limiting sugar.
I realized instantly that it wasn’t “me,” it was the sugar talking. I did an immediate pivot from focusing on policy and culture to doing a deep dive into the biology of what is happening in the body that sugar could be talking to me.
And so began my 2+ year journey to free myself from the mesmerizing shackles of sugar and simple carbs. It took me a while to figure it all out, but I finally came up with a model that I call The Five Pathways of Sugar Dependency, and created a program to help other people quit.
With the Breaking Free from Sugar program, I give people tools to hack their cravings, knowledge to out-smart the sugar industry, a community of support, and plenty of healthful ideas for moving into a sustainable, sugar-minimal lifestyle. And a lot of it is understanding the mental game; giving people the knowledge and tools for understanding the emotional blocks and self-sabotage standing in the way of creating the vibrant future they desire.
If you need some inspiration to start your journey to sugar freedom, take the free mini-course Rethinking Sugar, to learn what sugar and flour actually do in the body.
In addition to the quit sugar program, I teach and consult about behavior change and behavior change communications, give talks and workshops on sugar and maximizing mindset, and write. When I’m not doing any of those things, I can usually be found walking in the woods, appreciating the variety of shapes, colors and textures in the natural world. I also love to garden, and play in the kitchen. [Alt baking anyone?]
With an undergraduate degree in Art & Aesthetics from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, a Master’s in Media Ecology from New York University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Vermont, I use my creative, analytical, and research skills to help others find their sustainable path to wellness. I am also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and am Brain Gym certified.
Start your journey with me to long-lasting health by quitting sugar. Sign-up for the mailing list to be notified when the next program starts, or visit http://graysoninstitute.thinkific.com.