Do you ever find yourself craving a big hunk of chocolate in the middle of the afternoon? Or you walk by a plate of donuts at the office, only to find yourself obsessing about them when you get back to your desk? If you do, you can consider yourself normal and join the rest of us who are trying to take the high road to health. Millions of people, including myself have a soft spot for the sugary stuff. It's fun to indulge every now and again but sugar is so seductive and addictive that a couple of indulgences can quickly turn into an everyday affair without some healthy habits in place. There are many simple things you can do that will cut your cravings way down allowing you the power of choice. Here I have chosen the five that have been most helpful for me.
1. EAT SWEET VEGETABLES:
like sweet potatoes, carrots or rutabaga, This one goes at the top of the list, because these foods make me feel like I've gotten a treat. My favorite way to enjoy any of these veggies is to roast them which brings out their natural sugars. Sweet potatoes are probably the easiest. Wash them with a vegetable scrubber, then pierce with a fork a few times in random places and place on a baking tray lined with foil and bake for about 40 - 50 minutes at 375. Hard squashes, and root veggies, such as parsnips, fennel, and sunchokes, are also delicious choices. See below for roasting instructions
Roasted Rutabaga never tasted so good
Roasting at a high temperature, leaving plenty of space between the pieces of vegetables will give you a beautiful caramelization. I did these the same way I do most of my root veggies. Preheat the oven to 425 or 450 degrees (depending on how hot your oven runs). Toss the veggies in a little olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Don't worry if there is some residual water on them left from washing; the high temperature will create steam so the veggies can cook all the way through without burning. Lay out onto a baking sheet, and roast on the bottom shelf of the oven where it is closest to the heat source. For pieces this size, leave them in for about 15 - 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. Using a metal spatula, flip the pieces over for the big reveal.
2. Avoid Chemicalized Artificial Sweeteners
There are many artificial sweeteners out there and most of them cause us to crave more sugar. Choose natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is my personal fav, because it tastes amazing, and it has a low glycemic index, which won't raise blood sugar levels as much as other sweeteners.
3. Sleep a Minimum of 7 Hours per Night
Or preferably 8 if you can manage it. Our bodies were designed to rest and relax in order to restore natural body functions. Simple carbs such as sugar are the most readily available form of energy for a tired body and mind. When you are in a chronic state of stress and /or sleep deprivation our body will crave the quickest form of energy, which is sugar
4. Move Your Body: Get Active
Being active helps to balance blood sugar levels which are at the heart of cravings. It will allow your body to let go of stress, which eliminates the need to self medicate with sugar. Start with simple movement, like walking or yoga. Begin with ten minutes a day and gradually increase. Most important is to find something you enjoy. I got hooked on hot pilates, and hot yoga and believe it or not, I look forward to going
5. Seek the Sweetness of your Soul
There is no food that will satisfy the craving for Wholeness. Most of us, including myself, can bump up against resistance in the rush to "Do". Create a space that feels Sacred for you to Honor your own Beauty. Beauty does't always feel sweet and beautiful and often it can surface in the form of fear or self doubt. Being Still to Welcome in awareness will feed the hunger you Truly crave. See my post on Finding What Feeds You to learn more about how sitting still eliminates the need to look elsewhere for what we need.