When the clock strikes three, the cravings set in. Found out how to get a feel-good pick me up without the sugar-high comedown (or guilt).
Health coach Fiona Caddies, founder of White Zebra shows us how to get your natural highs and satisfy food craving with a few simple food alternatives:
1. Probiotic & Water Fuel
Wake up to a glass of water with lemon & a probiotic, which sets up the digestive tract for balance throughout the day. A major cause of sugar addiction today is bacterial overgrowth in the body, or an excess proliferation of harmful yeasts and bacterial strains that literally feed on sugar. Eliminating this bacterial overgrowth and balancing your gut flora is key to overcoming not only your sensory sugar craving, but also your body’s apparent dependence on sugar. One of the best ways you can re-balance your inner ecosystem and kick the sugar habit is to consume more probiotic-rich foods like cultured vegetables, and yogurt which will enter your small intestine, their presence will help kill off the microbes and yeasts that fuel your sugar cravings.
2. Fruit is clean fuel for the body
Our sweet tooth often becomes present when we’re in an energy slump. Substituting a piece of fruit for that bar of chocolate will not only save you from consuming refined carbohydrates and excess calories, but will provide you with an easy way to increase your fibre intake and give you an energy boost until your next meal. Berry Botox- Berries are a high-fibre powerhouse high in antioxidants. Boasting a berry- a concentration of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and bone-building vitamin K, berries will take the edge off the sugar craving and provide you with berry beneficial delights for digestion. The darker the berry, the greater it’s phytochemical content and the more likely its reputed health benefits.
3. Make a Smoothie
Superfoods are super powered and can be adjusted to everybody’s taste and dietary requirements; a beverage that contain as little or many nutrients and calories that your body requires. Adding a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup can really help to kick those sweet cravings at any time of the day.
For a delicious craving-kicking snack, combine in a blender ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk, a banana, handful of raspberries and a teaspoon of each LSA mix and your choice of sweetener (dairy/gluten/FODMAP friendly) in place of your regular ‘treat’ snack. Enjoy.
4. Protein Power Breakfast
Change your daily habit and replace your bowl of sugar-laden muesli with something packing some protein punch. Protein-rich foods like meat, nuts, and beans, on the other hand, provide a steady and balanced source of energy for your body, which can help eliminate cravings for empty sweets. Eating a protein-rich breakfast composed of foods like eggs and pasture-based meats rather than cereal or toast, for instance, is a great way to get your body primed for stabilized and steady energy release throughout the day
A good breakfast consists of a protein and fat source (i.e. eggs & avocado or meat & nuts). This will set you up for the day, feeling motivated and focused whilst maintaining satiety right through to lunch. Whilst it’s optional to add some vegies to boost your vitamin and minerals in to your mix, the main focus for brekky is to keep your carbohydrate portion down at this time so aim for mainly herbs and greens like spinach or rocket. Prevent jumping straight on the blood glucose rollercoaster first thing in the morning. This will have you reaching straight for the caramel latte and muffin by 10am! Rather live by this…
Protein and fat brekky = stable blood glucose by day, irritability and tiredness kept at bay.
5. The Food You Crave
You may want to read that again just in case you didn’t believe me the first time; but believe it or not, having a small amount of food that you crave will benefit your feelings of deprivation. Depriving yourself of something can sometimes prolong cravings and result in an unhealthy binge. When consuming your desired food make sure you are only consuming a small amount and combine it with a healthier snack, such as some nuts or veggie sticks to keep you fuller for longer and help you avoid the guilt trip.
6. A Cup of Coffee
So we have already established that cravings are most likely to hit when the body is in a bit of an energy downfall. Having the occasional cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer!) never hurt anyone and it will provide a caffeine hit that will keep you upbeat until your next meal. Coffee is also a great excuse to be social, which is a pick me up in itself!
7. Eat more healthy saturated fats.
Increased fat consumption can help you beat your sugar cravings while improving your health as saturated fats like coconut oil; raw, pasture-based butter and lard; sustainably-raised palm oil; and grass-fed milk and cream are all excellent healthy fats that will provide solid sustenance for your body and brain, which can help naturally eliminate your cravings for sugar.
3pm food cravings image via tumblr.com