Tag Archives: cravings

Sweet Tooth Snacking

Sweet Tooth?! We attract who we are and I most certainly have a big sweet tooth… SO it’s not wonder one of the questions I get asked about most often is how to tackle a sweet tooth when you have health and fitness GOALS.

Do I think you should give sweets up forever?! Absolutely not. In fact, I learned the more I tell myself I CAN’T have something the more I want it. Instead I CHOOSE to be smart about my cravings.

Some of my favorites… 
➡️Greek Yogurt (go for plain and sweeten with stevia, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or fruit), top with fruit or freeze dried fruit for a crunch.
➡️Tea. I always ask myself if I’m hungry OR just wanting something sweet. If I am absolutely not hungry, I will try my best to avoid an extra snack. Instead I have something like cinnamon or peppermint tea, Kombucha, OR a seltzer water (like la croix or even zevia). This will keep me occupied and out of the kitchen.
➡️Sweet Potatoes. Whenever I want something carby and filling, I always go to sweet potatoes. They’re packed with fiber and nutrients so I know they’ll keep me fuller than something like a gluten free bread. You can even top with with cinnamon, coconut or almond butter for even more of a treat.
➡️Frozen Grapes. Just try it! They’re so good and take a while to eat because they’re frozen. Just be mindful of portion control with these. Sugar is still sugar and it can be easy to overdo.
➡️Craving Ice Cream? There are so many ways to create a healthier choice that won’t totally derail you from your goals. My favorite… make Nice Cream! Blend frozen bananas to an ice cream consistency. Give it a little extra staying powder by blending in a scoop of protein or topping with almond butter (the protein and healthy fat will help slow down digestion).
➡️Dark Chocolate. If you really want chocolate, have chocolate. But be smart about it. There are so many options now that are dark chocolate or Stevia sweetened (I like Lily’s Chocolate) so you won’t get as big of a sugar spike. It’s still sugar, but keep it to a serving and satisfy your craving.

What about you?! Do you have a sweet tooth or salty tooth?! What are you favorite ways to crush the cravings?

 

swet

A Food Craving vs. a Feeling Craving

I promise I’m not going crazy on you. I know the post title is a bit whacky but it’s all going to make sense. Everyday we crave feelings. You know those moments when you just crave comfort, happiness, enjoyment, or energy?  Never had those? Maybe it’s because you’re too busy cravings things like cookies, or chips, or ice cream. One of the biggest things I learned the hard way was I tend to misunderstand my cravings for feelings. I’ll give you an example. Back in my super restrictive dieter days I would always get cravings for food, pretty much any food would do, I was hungry. Instead I would go for a walk. But lets be real my body was tired I had no energy. I really was craving food and a nap. But the magazines told me to walk and my hunger would go away. I’ll let you guess whether it worked or not.

sneakers
Here’s another example. I lived in New York for a couple months after college and hated it. I craved comfort, I wanted to see my family, I wanted to be in a familiar place, but I thought I needed to be tough and stick it out. This led me to crave comfort foods like cookies or pasta or just about any home cooking. Since all of these foods were “off limits” at the time, I would again get out of my apartment, keep myself busy, and usually go for a walk. But that wasn’t what I needed. And let me tell you something, there is nothing comforting about walking through a crowd of tourists in the middle of Times Square. This meant I would head back to my apartment, lonely, and likely eat a little too much dry cereal or whatever health food I had on hand because my craving was left unsatisfied.

cerealcomfort
Now let’s look at this proactively instead. When that thought of “I really want a cookie” came up I could have asked myself if I was legitimately hungry. If the answer was no I should have curled up on my couch in my coziest of sweatpants and called my mom. Now that would be comforting. Instead I resorted to all kinds of things that were far from comforting and ended up being miserable because of it.

Here’s yet another example I’m pretty sure you can relate to. Boredom eating. Ever done it? If the answer is no I want to meet you because I’m impressed. We’ve all been there. That moment when you’re bored at home and have nothing else to do so why not eat something? Well truth of the matter is boredom is a feeling. When we feel bored we need to do something so instead of making something eating next time, why not go do something you’ll enjoy. When I’m bored, taking a walk or chewing some gum doesn’t do it for me. I need to get out of my house, maybe go shopping, get a manicure, or do something else I know I will enjoy. Bottom line: next time you get a craving for a feeling or are feeling an not so great emotion don’t mistake it for a food craving. Here’s my foolproof list for what to do instead:

What to do instead of emotional eating

You tell me: What feelings cravings come up most often for you?? How do you cope with them?

Craving.

Let’s talk about Cravings. Not the chocolate cravings you might be thinking of or those cravings for popcorn at the movies. I’m talking cravings for spinach. Or when you can’t wait to eat chicken. Or a craving for a big ice cold green juice.  Never had that craving? Here’s why…

Our cravings for food work in a funny way. The more we eat something the more we want it. Let me ask you this: if you have never eaten a brussel sprout before do you really think you will want them for dinner one night? Or if all you ever eat for breakfast is a bagel do you think the morning you start your juice cleanse you will wake up craving green juice?…Not a chance.

I’m not trying to discourage you though. I want you to crave these foods because they are good for us. Eat them enough and you too will find them delicious. Now you know I’m not perfect. I crave cereal and chocolate and all those good things you do too. In fact my inspiration to write this post, came when I got myself out of a cereal rut so let me give you my firsthand experience with cravings:

I was having a crappy week. We all have them. I didn’t feel like cooking, didn’t prep my meals as good as I should have, didn’t buy enough groceries. I fell into my own trap. Cereal became my best friend. Dinner for three nights in a row was cereal. I was eating brown rice tortillas. Apples. Smoothies. Bars. But just about zero veggies and very little protein. Let’s talk about how I was feeling. Tired. Lazy. A bit grouchy. But yet I was craving these foods that were making me more tired. Did I really want another bowl of cereal for dinner? Yes I kind of did.

cereal

My new best friend.

Sunday came and grocery time happened. I diverted myself from the cereal aisle and loaded up on fruits and veggies. I spent a long time staring at the greens trying to figure out what exactly I wanted. I bought beef and turkey and chicken. I’ll be honest with you Monday morning I was exactly “craving” veggies, but I knew my body needed them. I needed the energy. I needed the push. So veggies I had. I ate my turkey and spaghetti squash for lunch wishing it was a bowl of cereal.  I sucked it up and had more veggies and meat for dinner. Tuesday I had snap peas, baby carrots, and lean ground meat for lunch. Not the best. But here’s where the change happened. I felt better. My energy went up. I felt good about myself. By Friday as I thought about what I wanted for lunch I was looking forward to turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash for lunch…Um excuse me but this is the meal I dreaded on Monday. Cereal seemed so far superior and now look at me.

mealprep15

This needed to happen! 

Why am I telling you this long drawn out story? Because nutritionists aren’t perfect. I have my weeks when cereal is all I want and how do I get out of it? By eating something other than cereal. There is a big difference between what our mind “wants” (we’ll call this cravings for cereal) and what our body “needs” (we’ll call this cravings for veggies). Feed it junk and it craves more junk but consistently feed it delicious whole foods and it’s going to crave whole foods. So next time you think about that dinner of cereal for the 4th night in a row, try something different. Cook some veggies, have a salad, make a green smoothie. Do it again the next night. By the end of the week I’m sure you’ll be craving veggies in no time.

roasted vegetables
Fun Fact: It can take a child 10-15 exposures of a new food for them to accept and like it. The same may be true for you. Try a need food at least 2 or 3 times before deciding whether or not you like it. You may actually love kale, maybe you just haven’t tried it enough.

Good luck solving your cravings. Any questions, send me an email at [email protected]

Always here,

Signature