What do you crave this holiday season? This time of year brings up all kinds of stuff. That’s why I am addressing your Cravings, to see if we can get you through this season without gaining 10-15 pounds. (By the way, that’s the average amount people gain from Thanksgiving to New Years).
So, who is the brilliant group that motivated me to talk about cravings? Rosane Oliverira at UCD Integrative Medicine. Yes that’s UCD – UC Davis. That college is a brain trust of information. And her recent article backs that up for sure.
I do like this comment: “When we eat whole plant foods, our bodies stop looking for them. However, when we eat foods devoid of micronutrients (e.g. refined foods), our cravings kick in as our bodies continue to look for that next bite that may contain the micronutrients they need”.
I absolutely have found that to be true, as a plant based eater. And, I would like to add to that: while we have been told over and over again that we have no ‘will power’ over our cravings, I believe something very different, having done this myself.
And I do want to say no offense to Candygram.com, because I do go there for my organic dark chocolate. But this really is about making good choices. And even if there are insanely decadent things offered, you can pick and choose anywhere you go…. whether it’s online or at a restaurant.
Here’s how my philosophy started: First, I heard from more than three sources that the Flora in your stomach is what calls to sugar. So if you have eaten a lot of sugar, that bad stomach flora is what is calling for more. That works for me. It’s NOT about will power, it’s about a physical thing that creates that need.
So the next step was to find out how to get good flora in, bad out. Well, the simplest thing to do is to stop eating sugar. They say you can break any habit in 21 days. But what I found, is not only did I break the sugar habit, but within weeks, I started realizing that most sugar is too sweet for me. When you don’t have it, and then you do…. it’s easier to realize and be repulsed by the level of sweetness (compared to say, an apple). And I think you would agree with me that it’s much easier to give up something you are repulsed by, right?
So now, I needed something to address what was going on inside my stomach. I listened to all kinds of people talk about apple cider vinegar. Some said it was their family remedy when they felt a cold coming on. Others said they were taking ‘shots’ of the stuff (from a shot glass) three times a day and were amazed by their newly found health and energy. But after I did some investigation that talked about straight apple cider vinegar eating through the lining of your liver, I said: “Hey, let’s try this thing sensibly”!
So, I diluted a couple of teaspoons in water with a splash of apple juice, mostly first thing in the morning. At first it was harsh, but then I got used to it, sort of like you get used to Kombucha. And I found my flora was better. My health was better. My cravings were gone.
And I do agree with Rosane of UCD when she says: “Out of sight, out of mind”. I keep the house sugar free and I don’t miss it. I make baked apples with monk fruit sugar – that’s something that doesn’t spike your glycemic index and cause inflammation. I add some butter free granola on top and it’s a great dessert.
Yes. We will always crave. But the key is to not deny yourself. Just replace the bad with the good. That makes it so much easier. Baby steps and lifestyle changes!
Cravings Part II is coming up tomorrow!
Happy Healthy Eating,