Have you ever suffered from a food craving? Found yourself at the refrigerator door eating with the door open? I certainly have. Food cravings can seriously take control of your life until you feed the craving.
When you think about food cravings, typically the first thing that comes to mind would be some type of junk food. Something that is high in calories, low in nutrients, processed and quite unhealthy. Is that what you tend to crave when a craving kicks in? That would be me- give me sugar, give me chocolate. What is your go-to craving -- chocolate chip cookies? A big bowl of ice cream? I would go right for the chocolate bar(s).
I'll be honest with you -- I believe in a balanced life. I'm not saying to never enjoy a sweet treat again. The issue with ingesting processed foods and the chemicals that come along with them on an ongoing basis is the danger of addiction. We absolutely don't want that, as it can disrupt the way our bodies function and wreak havoc in more ways than you can imagine.
So, if you feel like you may be addicted to sugar and/or processed foods, there is something you can do to help break the addiction. There are many foods you can add into your diet to balance your microbiome (gut bacteria) and get your good bacteria back to a healthy place. These foods are generally fermented foods that are filled with the good bacteria that your body needs to balance itself again and rid you of those cravings.
These fermented foods can include kimchi, Kombucha (look at the sugar content as they can get very sweet), sauerkraut, fermented beets, fermented carrots and coconut kefir to name a few. I'd love for you to choose at least one of these to add into your diet this week and get the good bacteria back into your body. Some doctors recommend taking a probiotic on a daily basis to help balance your bacteria, but after years of study, I believe that probiotics are great as you start getting your gut back into shape but you don’t want to rely on them. One they are expensive and secondly, the store bought probiotics might not carry the healthy probiotics stains your body needs to thrive. Eating fermented foods is the best and healthiest choice for you precious microbiome.
Do you have other cravings? Salt, something fizzy or creamy? Keep reading for help.
Exchange popular food cravings with these genius swaps…my favorite way of combating cravings is to trade out unhealthy foods with beneficial ones.
If you're wanting to put your hands in the potato chip bag... Try some raw carrot or celery sticks instead for that crunch. Dip the veggie sticks in hummus for a filling snack.
If you're craving fizzy sodas... Try some sparkling water such as Perrier or Pellegrino. There are so many flavors to choose from; you're bound to find one you love -- and you can finally ditch that soda! Add a little Pomegranate juice to the sparkly and enjoy a virgin cocktail.
If you're hungry for a milkshake... Try a green smoothie instead to quench your desire for something cold and sweet. Adding chocolate, vanilla, or any other flavored protein powder will give you the milkshake taste you love without the sugar and bad fat while filling you up with protein.
Another helpful tip that I implement is to indulge mindfully. When you do decide to have a treat, enjoy a smaller portion than you’d even like to have. Teaching yourself restraint and how to indulge mindfully is an incredibly useful tool that you will always carry with you. I always have dark chocolate every day but just two squares. I get what I want to eat, it’s a healthier option instead of store-bought candy bars or cookies with trans fat and I don’t feel deprived at all. I feel extremely satisfied.
Let me know how you have won the war of food cravings by leaving a comment below.