Cravings. We all get them. Sometimes, they are inexplicable (pickles) and sometimes, they make perfect sense (you just saw an IHOP commercial and now want a steaming stack). There’s a theory that cravings are your body’s intuitive needs speaking to you, but that’s only really if you’re deficient in a vitamin (let me help you decide!) or quite malnourished. For the rest of us, it’s intensely psychological-physiological; our bodies and minds playing funky tricks on us. The problem is that succumbing to cravings for foods that can mar your Essence Nutrition plan can lead to bad news bears. Here’s how to cope with The Crave:
- Do something non-food related. Remove yourself from the kitchen. Our environment is a very very powerful cue. Stuck at your desk? Your craving could be stress/anxiety/frustration/boredom manifesting as a craving. Go outside for ten short minutes and either sit or walk. Bonus points for including a dog in this activity.
- Have a cup of tea. Studies show that the soothing, warm, flight flavor of teas can rewire and settle craving signals. Any tea is fine, but for the caffeine sensitive, stick to herbal. Personal favorites: apple cinnamon spice, ginger twist, green, white oolong, and anything lavender. Don’t add anything to your tea; any milk or even nut mylks can bind to tea’s antioxidants. Sip it like a queen.
- In the same breadth, have a glass of water. Oftentimes, our brains confuse hunger for thirst. And you’re probably dehydrated, anyway.
- Identify and Substitute. Is your craving for something sweet? Salty? Chewy? Pudding-like? Crunchy? Chocolatey? Cinnamony? Hone in and decide on a suitable substitute that is more nutritious and healthier. For example, if you’re craving…
- Chocolate → Dark chocolate roasted Blue Diamond almonds or Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle or freeze a banana rolled in melted 88% vegan chocolate (I like Theo’s, Hu Kitchen, or Endangered Species brands)
- Salty – any organic popcorn, unflavored, and add your own herbs/spices in a plastic bag with some coconut oil
- Cheesy – add nutritional yeast to any dip for a cheesy flavor. You can also have either an organic cheese stick or a modest amount (1-2 oz) of gourmet cheese (as in, the expensive kind) with some raw veggies or grapes or an apple. Sprinkle some anti-inflammatory cinnamon on there
- Crunchy – bake your own kale/beet/carrot/zucchini chips. You can legit eat the whole tray and use your own spices for anti-inflammatory flavor.
- Cereal – use ½ cup of muesli you made yourself (see Essence recipes) or ½ cup of Purely Elizabeth granola. Add in 6 oz of 2 % plain greek yogurt, some organic honey, some berries, some hemp, some chia, and you’ll be full for hours.
- Ice cream – portion is key, here. Yasso Greek Frozen yogurt bars are super satiating and at least have some probiotics up in there (why probiotics? Read the Essence blog HERE)
- Chips and Dip – Portion yourself 1 oz (or read the label for exactly how many chips that is) of Lentil chips/Beanitos/Mary’s Gone Crackers and make your own hummus using chickpeas/lentils/white beans/peas, etc + tahini + salt OR your own Greek yogurt dip using 2% plain yogurt, spices, salt, and a touch of chia.
Your intellectual self will thank you after you’ve chosen a more #essenceapproved option to satisfy the Crave. Trust me.