Being a nutritionist at a party can be VERY interesting.
It's funny to see people watching my every move to see what I put on my plate. I think they really just want to see if I'll eat “bad” food.
Some brave people have even told me it's not fun to see me there because they're afraid I'll see what they’re eating and I’ll be disappointed in their choices.
Here's a great question I get all the time…
“Danette, do you ever get cravings?”
The truth is, I do have moments when I have cravings. But it's good to have a day here and there when you eat off of your meal plan. I personally think it's a good practice, because it reminds you how much better you feel when you eat clean.
My cravings are few and far between these days. I believe that my well-rounded meal plan and my go-to healthy snacks keep me in check. So I never feel deprived.
When you cover your nutritional bases, I believe most, if not all of your cravings will subside.
Let’s go through some of the most common cravings and how to stop them in their tracks…
Now who doesn’t just love chocolate? You could probably dip brussel sprouts in chocolate and they would taste good (Hey! I might be on to something). A little chocolatey goodness is fine from time to time. What gets people in trouble is not only eating too much chocolate, but eating the wrong kind.
Try replacing your milk chocolate with dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao). Dark chocolate has antioxidants, lower sugar, and other nutritional benefits that can make this a healthy treat. To enjoy a guilt-free chocolate treat on a daily basis, I recommend Cacao Bliss!
You should also know that chocolate cravings have been closely linked to magnesium deficiency. Try eating some extra spinach, broccoli, or some nuts, such as almonds and cashews, to boost your magnesium levels. You need even more magnesium during your menstrual cycle, which explains why cravings can be pretty crazy during that time. Some studies have even shown chocolate cravings to be a deficiency in vitamin B6. Add some potatoes or bananas to your meal plans for an extra B6 boost.
I totally get the fascination with potato chips and other salty foods. Once you start, you just can’t stop!
Now, If your cravings are more on the SALTY side, you may be deficient in just that–SALT. I’m not talking about refined table salt which is what is added to almost all potato chips. The good salt you need is unrefined sea salt. My favorite varieties are Himalayan Sea Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and Redmond’s Real Salt.
If you’ve ever found yourself at the bottom of the potato chip bag still craving more, you don’t need more chips, you need more good, healthy unrefined sea salt.
But it may not be as simple as just adding some salt. In recent studies, researchers have found that a lack of potassium, calcium, and iron causes test subjects to devour table salt. To increase your potassium levels, reach for some coconut water or bananas. For increased calcium, go for some canned salmon or sardines with bones.
And for more iron, go for lean red meat and organic egg yolks.
Breads and Pasta
Well, maybe this craving just has to do with your wanting to be Italian–I’m kidding of course!
Most cravings for foods that are high in carbs are due to blood sugar imbalances. Craving carbs means you need more protein to balance out your blood sugar levels. I know eating chicken or eggs is not exactly what you’re looking for when your tummy is telling you “bagel”, but you will find yourself much more satisfied and full…and NOT craving more carbs later in the day.
Carb cravings may also mean you are low in energy-providing B vitamins. Although there are some foods that are higher in certain B vitamins than others, B vitamins are widely distributed throughout the food supply. So if you're eating a varied, balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups, you're most likely getting as many vitamins as you need.
Make sure to include green leafy vegetables, a variety of natural protein sources, and a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables to cover all of your B vitamins.
Remember that cravings can come on by one or more nutrient deficiencies in your body, whether that is a macro-nutrient (protein, carb, or fat) or a micro-nutrient (vitamins and minerals).
I never know how my day will end – with two kids, a household to run, and a busy business, I have more balls in the air than a circus clown!
Yours in health,