If you are like me there are times when your cravings get the best of you! I used to feel like crap when I ‘fell off the wagon’ and gave in to my cravings. That was before I knew that the cravings actually meant something! It turns out that our bodies have cravings in order to let us know that we require certain vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are very sophisticated and reliable organisms. What we need to demystify is the meaning behind our cravings.
So here’s what we need to know about our cravings!
Human beings naturally crave sweet flavors. Craving sweets means that our bodies need energy. Sugars are carbohydrates and these can be simple or complex. Simple carbs are turned into sugar rather quickly in our bodies while complex carbs are released slower. Sugar (or glucose) is fuel for your body’s cells. The way to keep this craving from ruining your weight loss goals and your health, in the long run, is to reduce processed foods and increase your grains and vegetables. **Extra sugar is stored as fat which is why complex carbs are the way to go! The grains and veggies will give your body the energy it needs to take you through your day! If you’re still craving candy bars etc, eat these instead:
Rice cakes and rice syrup
Fruits - berries, apples, pineapples
I love chocolate! I love chocolate!! I’m sure some of you share my feeling. The thing with chocolate is that most of what passes for chocolate is super high in sugar and chemical additives and low in quality. It is no longer real chocolate. When your body is craving chocolate it is telling you it needs Magnesium. Instead of reaching for that Snickers, eat these:
High quality, organic chocolate bars (60% cacao or higher). A brand I enjoy is Dagoba.
Add raw cacao powder (which is real, unprocessed chocolate) to your morning yogurt or smoothie.
Raw nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits will also give your body the magnesium it needs.
Craving Oily, Fatty Foods??
A common craving especially after a night out when I’ve been enjoying some champagne with friends! Your body is telling you it needs some high quality essential fatty acids and calcium. I find myself enjoying some of these foods:
Avocados - I love these!! They are tasty and have quality, healthy fats and amino acids.
Mustard & turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese and sesame seeds - I am partial to kale and broccoli. These greens are great sources of calcium. I usually make a nice smoothie with spinach, kale, blueberries, strawberries and organic coconut oil.
Craving Salty Foods??
Another common craving! When we are craving salty snacks or foods our bodies are trying to tell us that it is lacking minerals. Most people’s diets are lacking in minerals because most of the foods we eat are highly processed and loaded with chemicals. Instead of reach for a salty snack, eat these first:
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens - these are very high in the vitamins and minerals your body is craving.
Use a high quality sea salt like celtic sea salt or himalayan sea salt - these contain many trace minerals that your body needs.
Add some sea vegetables to your beans - this will add some savoriness to your dish and will increase the mineral content.
There are other cravings but these are some of the most common and therefore useful for our day to day. Our bodies are wonderful, complex systems that know exactly what they need to look great and give us the energy we need to conquer our tasks! It is up to us to get to know our bodies and learn its language. When we understand what our bodies are telling us we will enjoy better health, abundant energy and age subtly and gracefully! Next time you having a craving ask yourself what is it that you really need. Treat your body like the temple it is and honor your divine self!
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