The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting food and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will power? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem, but they are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.
The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Is your diet too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients? Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is stressful and your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.
Your body knows best and is always trying to create balance. However, products like refined foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol are confusing; they throw the body off-balance and can create serious cravings. The body tries to get what it needs to restore internal harmony. The more your food is whole and healthy, the easier it is for your body to stay in balance and provide you with a happier, healthier life.
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
- Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
- Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
- What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
- When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.
Food Focus: The Easiest (Fun) Way to Get More Greens
Why Green Smoothies?
See below for many health benefits of blending greens in to a delicious smoothie:
- Use 60% organic fruit and 40% organic greens.
- When blended well, the cells in the greens are “ruptured,” making the nutrients easier for the body to digest. This creates an energy rush!
- As opposed to juices, green smoothies are a complete food because they still have fiber; an important part of our elimination system
- With a 60/40 ratio, the fruit taste dominates the taste. Promise!
- Green smoothies are easy to make and a quick clean up afterwards. Children love them!
- When consuming green smoothies, you’re greatly reducing the consumption of and salt in your diet by replacing it with a healthier alternative
- Regular consumption forms a good habit of eating greens.
- After a few weeks, most clients actually begin to crave and enjoy eating more greens.
My two favorite green smoothie recipes are below. Enjoy!
2 mangos (or one cup, frozen)
1 handful of organic spinach
½ an avocado (healthy fats for glowing skin)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (yummy protein option)
2 cups ice if using fresh mangos, use water if frozen mangos
Blend for 3 minutes until smooth and enjoy! Makes 2 servings
1 cup organic strawberries or mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
1 bunch organic romaine
½ cup of quick cooking oats (raw – this is optional for a healthy carb boost)
2 cups water
Blend as above
Here’s a YouTube video of the Strawberry-Banana-Romaine recipe above in case you need a little motivation to get started. Share with the whole family! Try a green smoothie as a mid-day snack or experiment with starting your day off right at breakfast. You’ll be amazed by the results and find yourself craving them after just one week!
Leslie Edsall is a nutrition, yoga and health education expert who offers nutrition programs to clients, leads yoga classes in the local community and offers local workshops. To learn more about Leslie or to schedule a consultation: www.TrifectaWellness.com