A lot of the time when we’re craving something, really craving it, it’s because we’re missing something. Our body is telling us that we are missing a nutrient. And to get that nutrient our body is going to get it by having us crave something that will deliver it.
If we look at what we’re craving we can usually find the root to what our body is really looking for. For example, bread is a great source of nitrogen. But so is chicken or may protein sources. Craving chocolate means we’re needing some magnesium. We can find more magnesium in dark chocolate, but also in almonds. Craving coffee and tea, beyond a cup in the morning, means we may need to bring our iron levels up. And craving sweets, who doesn’t crave sweets at some point. Craving sweets could mean that you’re low in tryptophan. Tryptophan becomes serotonin in our bodies, the happy chemical in our brains. If you’re craving sweets, fill up on tryptophan rich foods, like eggs, turkey, pineapple and nuts.
When we listen to our cravings and look into what we might be missing, we are being more purposeful with our nutrition. Everyone is going to have cravings, but if we fulfill our cravings with healthy options that address the source of what’s missing, we will start to crave the source. If we fill our bread craving with some roasted chicken, or our chocolate craving with almonds or pumpkin seeds, our body will start to crave those things.
We all get them. Cravings aren’t just something women get while they’re pregnant, but something everyone deals with. Whether it is chocolate or greasy food, or even a piece of fruit, we all have cravings. There is a way to decode your cravings, and figure out if it’s a habit that’s creating the craving, or if it’s a nutritional deficiency that’s got you wanting chocolate.
We’re going to chat about habitual cravings now, and we’ll cover deficiency cravings in a bit.
So a habitual craving – can be as simple as always eating a certain food during a certain event. You always get popcorn at the movies, or you are sure to have that greasy burger on the drive to the cottage. These cravings are born out of habits, usually not the best habits. But habits can be reformed, we can make small changes and rewire our habits to be a bit healthier, or we can overhaul them and change them completely.
The burger joint you stop at on the way to the cottage, well that’s a tradition, and it’s once a year, twice at most. So maybe instead of the jumbo fries, you can pack some fresh veggies and fresh fruit. Eat something in the car before you get there and then you won’t feel the need to eat every last bite.
So habits are a bit more ingrained and more frequent. We often spend the evening watching The Good Wife while we work away on little things. If that’s 3 evenings a week, and I were to dig into a bowl of pretzels or ice cream, can you imagine how much extra I was putting in my body each week! It’s crazy to think that some people are doing that not just 2 or 3 times a week, but every evening! Changing a habit like that can be hard, but if you take it in stages it’s easier. Decide to have something healthy before you dig into the treats. Have a bowl of fresh veggies, or some protein. You’ll be less hungry for the treat after, and if you do want it as a treat, it’s not going to get out of hand, because you’re already fueling your body.
Habitual cravings can be tough to overcome, but it’s possible!
You decided to take control of your eating and start eating clean. Today is the day you’re going to do it, which is amazing. You’ve prepped your food for the week, and it’s go time! Day one goes great! You are so excited for the food you prepared, you’re feeling great. You’re getting rid of some of those after meal cravings, you have lots of energy, you’re drinking more water and you’re doing amazing. Day three comes and the cravings hit, doubt creeps in, and you are questioning why you’re doing this. Day 5 comes and you cannot look at another meal of plain chicken breast with broccoli and quinoa ever again. Here is why junk food will always win against “clean” eating.
When we eat junk food we are meeting all of our sensory needs. We are getting different textures, lots of different flavors, different colors and when you look at the plate clean food you don’t see that. You don’t get the sensory side of eating, which is why by day 5 you’re begging for some junk food.
There is a way to eat clean and not crave the junk you know you shouldn’t eat. It is really quite simple! Add flavours! Don’t be afraid of a little spice! When you eat the same bland things day after day, no matter how you’re meeting your nutrition needs, you’re missing one key part of the experience! You’re missing the flavour, colour, and the pop! That an amazing meal has. Clean eating does not have to be boring and bland! In fact it shouldn’t be at all.
The clients in my 4 Week Slim Down are enjoying this Haddock recipe, and loving it! It’s not boring or bland, and if you’re vegan or vegetarian, or you don’t do fish, you can substitute. What I love about it is you get flavour! There’s sweet, savoury, and creamy all in one meal, and you aren’t staring at a boring plate. If you want to switch it up, grab some chicken, or steak and grill it.
Junk food will always win the fight against bland boring foods. So to beat out the junk food, make sure you’re not eating boring clean food, eat great food that fulfills all your needs, including different colours and flavours.
Do you or someone you know suffer from recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)? There are particular groups of people who are predisposed to UTI’s. One of the common factors in those who suffer from recurrent UTI’s is that they have antibiotic -resistant bacteria in their urine when it is cultured in a lab. What is the main conventional treatment for a UTI? An antibiotic. What is the solution? Breaking the cycle. This is why prevention for UTI’s and early treatment with something other than a strong antibiotic is the only way to build your immunity so you don’t need the antibiotic.
What else is there for treatment? What can you do to prevent UTI’s? Ideally you would have a visit with a Holistic practitioner who is has taken a high level of training in natural medicine so they can create an individual treatment plan that would be most effective for you. But let’s discuss a few facts about UTI’s to arm you with some basic knowledge so you will be empowered to make the best health decisions for yourself.
Most UTI’s are caused by E.coli bacteria. This is not the same strain that causes deathly food poisoning and hospitalization. It is a mutant strain that is found in the intestine but when overgrown and found in the bladder an infection may occur with symptoms that are unpleasant such as burning, pressure above the pubic bone, the urge to urinate frequently with little output and sometime a fever, chills and body aches.
How do these bacteria flourish in the bladder? Well, they feed on sugar, thrive in an acidic environment, travel to the bladder when hygiene isn’t optimal and when our beneficial flora/bacteria is low than these bacteria that are pathogenic have an easier time multiplying.
One group of people who are at a greater risk of experiencing recurrent UTI’s are our elderly in long term care facilities. They may be physically not able to go to the bathroom themselves so they can’t void when needed, or they wear personal hygiene products that increase the risk of infection if left unchanged for a long time. Other reasons are neurogenic dysfunction which may affect bladder control.
There some natural safe ways to build your defence against UTI’s. One of these is D-Mannose which is a simple sugar found in beech and birch trees. It is extracted from them and made into a powder. It is similar to glucose so it tastes great however we absorb very little of it in the upper intestine so it doesn’t raise our blood sugar. It can be used acutely or ongoing to break the cycle. D-Mannose is found in cranberries, apples and some other fruit but in much lower amounts than in the supplemental form of D-Mannose. It is supplemented in doses as high as 6-9 g per day to treat mild-moderate infections and lower doses to prevent UTI’s.
To compliment D-Mannose, an alkaline diet rich in greens and gluten- free grains and low in acidic foods such as sugar, alcohol and caffeine can help to create a less friendly environment for pathogenic bacteria. Also supplementing with a multi- strain high dose probiotic to prevent pathogenic bacteria from multiplying easily and causing infections and inflammation.
NEW PODCAST: “Walk the Talk to Health and Well Being” Episode #3: 9 Tips to Sustain a Healthy Sense of Community in Your Life. Airs on Thurs, Feb 25, 2016 @8:30pm AST on BlogTalkRadio: http://bit.ly/20VFg98