4 Survival Strategies To Handle Your Worst Food Cravings
By Tera Warner
We’ve all been through the tortures of cravings. Just thinking about that “forbidden” food can send a wave of urgency pulsing through us that can seem stronger than ourselves. If you’ve ever heard the expression:
“What you resist persists”
…then you know that resistance is futile, and the more you try to avoid what you’re craving, the more it impinges itself upon you.
For anyone trying to implement new lifestyle choices, handling cravings can feel like it requires either superhero strength or some kind of magic. Here are a few solutions that just might do the trick when cravings strike.
Before we even begin to address solutions for stubborn cravings, let’s start by addressing the fact that some foods are ADDICTIVE -- just flat out physiologically addictive. When you’re trying to remove these foods from your diet, it may require a bit more gusto to get through the process.
The most common addictive foods are:
Bread and Grain products (especially wheat)
If these are the foods you’re craving, understand that half the battle is going to be physiological. Take heart! The following suggestions and tips will help you to kick these habit forming foods, but it can be helpful to be aware of the extra challenge that may be involved in breaking free.
Let’s look at the most common cravings and some possible solutions for them!
1- “I’m craving SALT!”
There is nothing quite as irresistible as salt. Who came up with the idea? I’d like to know. It is beyond me that even though every sailor knows that if you drink sea water you’re as good as dead, we’ve decided somewhere along the way, that it would be a great idea to dehydrate sea water and sprinkle the end product all over our food.
I don’t believe salt has any place in a healthy diet, and for some of us, it’s down right addictive.
If you struggle with salt cravings, here are some recommendations:
Snack on celery sticks or succulent tomatoes, both of which are naturally very high in sodium. Try making yourself a satisfying delicious raw soup of blended tomatoes and celery.
Also, be sure that you’re getting enough minerals in your diet. Minerals are best provided in greens. Simply increasing the volume of greens in your diet may be enough to get rid of salty cravings. You can also easily and enjoyably increase your mineral intake by choosing to eat a broad selection of crunchy vegetables.
2 –“I’m craving SWEETS!”
If you’ve got a regular hankering for sugar, then chances are that you’re not getting enough calories in your daily diet. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough calories is to eat fruit. If you’re getting enough fresh fruit, there’s no reason you should be suffering from sugar cravings. Fresh fruits are the best way to meet your caloric needs.
Everyone is responsible for observing the reactions in their body, but as long as you’re getting sufficient greens, and avoiding an excess of fat in your diet, there is no reason to have any fear of fruit or fruit sugars. Nature wouldn’t have made them so gorgeous and tasty if they weren’t meant to be enjoyed.
3 - “I’m craving PROTEIN!”
If it’s protein you’re looking for then your best bet is definitely going to be found in crispy, fresh greens and sprouts. Since sprouts are up to 35% protein and greens like spinach are between 40 and 50% protein, increasing the quantity and quality of greens in your diet will more than adequately meet your ongoing protein needs.
Green smoothies are a recommended way of consuming sufficient greens. Just take your favorite fruit smoothie and add any of the following: kale, chard (take out the stalk part), spinach, lettuce, parsley, mint or celery.
Contrary to popular belief there is absolutely no problem mixing these leafy greens (or celery) with fruit.
4 - “I’m craving FAT!”
If you’re craving fat in the form of nuts, avocado, etc., then chances are that you’ve simply been eating too much of them.
One of the first things that happens to people who overeat fat is more cravings for fat. This can be true for anything to a certain degree, but holds especially true in the case of fats.
To help you kick the fat habit, be sure that you’re getting enough calories, and include more green smoothies in your diet.
Here are a few other reasons that you may be struggling with cravings and what to do about them:
Insufficient Calories and Under-eating
If you’ve been transitioning yourself to eat a more raw food diet, and find yourself running into regular cravings (every few days) then the culprit may simply be that you are not getting enough calories from your raw food diet.
If you have a tendency to under-eat on calories, then you do risk running into cravings for cooked foods simply because your body is looking to refuel from the most efficient source it can get. (Efficient in the sense of high concentration of calories per bite.)
To be sure you’re getting enough calories, try using a free online service such as www.fitday.com.
Are you thirsty?
While it’s true the raw food diet has a much higher quotient of water naturally occurring in its foods, when the cravings strike, grab a glass of water and you may be surprised to see you were actually just thirsty. This can be especially true in the early days of a new raw food regimen when the body is hard at work clearing out the remains of your previous eating habits.
Boredom Breeds Fridge Invasions
If you find yourself spending too much time staring into the fridge between meals, try getting more active and involved in something you love. Get out, get fit, and get productive. When you are actively engaged in life you will feel better and be less attracted to the foods that drain your energy or cause you to feel unwell!
Above all, remember that the spirit with which you enjoy your food affects EVERYTHING. If you do give in to cravings, well, do it with extreme gratitude and appreciation for every bite. Make it a celebration and leave guilt at the door. Making anything a “forbidden” food only increases our attraction to it. Continue to choose the foods that nourish you the most and you’ll be well on your way to greater health and energy.
Writer and online entrepreneur Tera Warner, is co-creator of “The Raw Divas.” She and her co-diva, Amy De Wolfe, have created the sassiest (and the ONLY) online raw food resource for WOMEN! Register today for their FREE 7 Day Diva Detox www.TheRawDivas.com and watch the pounds and toxins melt away. Sign up for their free newsletter: Health In High Heels loaded with inspiration, recipes and support for women passionate about health and LIFE!