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4-Steps to honor your cravings in a healthier way (this really works!)

October 18th, 2018 | no comments

Plus:

  • Mel’s weekly product pick: 
    Jackson’s Honest Coconut Oil Chips
  • Mel’s weekly recipe pick: 
    Simple Homemade Trail Mix

When someone tells me they never have food cravings, I’m always tempted to check their pulse.

Listen, if you are a living, breathing human being, you most definitely have food cravings. And if you follow a relatively healthy lifestyle, these cravings are probably for healthier foods. Remember…what you feed your body most, it will crave.

With this in mind, every once in awhile you will naturally get a craving for, say, a peanut butter, hot-fudge sundae with salted pecans and whipped cream (OK, maybe that’s just me).

It’s how we are wired. In fact, we were born to be perfectly imperfect. I believe this to my core, which is why I dedicated an entire section to it in my new book Missing Peace. Missing Peace #7 is Imperfection IS Perfection

I discovered a way to successfully honor my cravings in a healthier way and I think you will find it works for you too! Keep in mind, sometimes you have to just say “what the hell!” and go for the peanut butter hot-fudge sundae thing. But it doesn’t have to be as often as you think.

The next time you experience an intense food craving for a food that may not be exactly supportive of good health, rather than hit the panic button, try my four-step process for honoring your cravings in a healthier way:

Step 1: Describe your craving

First, ask yourself: What is my body really craving right now? Describe your cravings using adjectives versus nouns, or specific foods. The reason for this is that 99.9% of the time, a craving can be satisfied by a healthier food offering the exact same properties you are craving, without perpetuating continued eating. It cures the craving and nourishes the body all at the same time.

For example, are you in the mood for something:

  • Creamy?
  • Crunchy?
  • Fizzy?
  • Salty?
  • Spicy?
  • Sweet?

Step 2: Grant permission

Next, even though I’ve just prompted you to describe your cravings with adjectives, you may still have a specific food in mind that you want to eat. In this step, I want you to give yourself full permission to eat the food you are craving, whether it’s a doughnut, potato chips, or an ice cream sundae. This mental clearing puts you in control and releases the sex appeal of your trigger food.

An important point to note here is this— if what you are craving is your kryptonite food and you can’t control yourself around it, it is best not to have it in your house at all.

Step 3: Honor your craving

After giving yourself full permission to eat the food you are craving, it’s time to feed your body what it really desires- fat, crunch, fizz, salt, spice or sweet. It matters not, the package in which these cravings are delivered, so why not aim for a choice that will honor your beautiful body?

The key to success in step three, is to make sure your kitchen is stocked with healthier alternatives. Let’s get real here … we both know if you are on a serious mission for salt and crunch and the only food in your kitchen to deliver those qualities is a bag of chips, no matter how pure your intentions, you will not get in your car and drive to the store for hummus and carrots. You just won’t.

Here are some foods to help you bust through your cravings in a healthier, more peaceful way:

Creamy

  • Mashed avocado on sprouted bread
  • One tablespoon of fresh ground almond butter, peanut butter or cashew butter
  • Guacamole with raw veggies

Crunchy/Salty

  • Handful of raw, salted pumpkin seeds or pistachios
  • Hummus with celery sticks, red pepper strips, or baby carrots
  • Spoonful or two of fermented vegetables (kimchi or sauerkraut)
  • Homemade trail mix (see this week’s recipe for Simple Homemade Trail Mix!)
  • Jackson’s Honest Coconut Oil Chips

Fizzy

  • Club soda or sparkling water with a twist of lemon (Add one ounce of fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice for more flavor)
  • Kombucha

Spicy

  • A spoonful or two of kimchi
  • Roasted chickpeas seasoned with cayenne pepper

Sweet

  • A square or two of dark chocolate (72% cacao or higher)
  • 2-3 pitted dates
  • Homemade trail mix (see this week’s recipe for Simple Homemade Trail Mix)

Step 4: Evaluate your craving

Now it’s time to evaluate whether or not your craving was satisfied. The good news is, 99% of time the healthier alternative will do the trick. But what happens when it doesn’t? Then go ahead and give yourself full, guilt-free, non-judgmental permission to drive to the store and settle your craving once and for all! This is the beauty of being a perfectly imperfect human being.

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Jackson’s Honest Coconut Oil Chips

Sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt. That’s it! Three, pronounceable, recognizable ingredients.

Although these chips aren’t a certified “health food”, they are a snack you can feel good about indulging in. No fake, inflammatory ingredients here!

So many snack foods on the market today are loaded with inflammatory, highly refined oils such as canola, corn, and safflower oils. Jackson’s Honest gives the other guys a run for their money by using a healthier, albeit more costly oil. And those of us who care about the ingredients we put in our bodies, will gladly pay a few extra pennies. Check out all of their varieties HERE!

A note of caution: These chips are amazing, but they are also addicting! Be a smart little cookie and portion a serving into a small bowl or soufflé cup (worth the small investment), that way you won’t be tempted to polish off the entire bag. 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Simple Homemade Trail Mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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