Post #2 in this week's adventure into kicking sugar cravings. How are you holding up? :)
I like to have a few handy go-to's at the ready for those moments when a sweet craving strikes. The great thing about being off sugar - well, one of the many great things - is that my craving for sweet stuff has diminished tremendously over the last (nearly) two years. But, as you may have experienced if you too have gone off the fruit sugar + the white stuff, is that from time to time, those magical chemicals in the brain start screaming out for 'sugar! sweet stuff! chocolate!'.
Irksome, but something to listen to, because there's usually a reason for it.
The body is a magical machine that executes hundreds of thousands of processes each day. I'm a believer that every thing it does is with a purpose, and that those signals are to be honored, at least with a little attention so you can figure out what your physical being might need.
With sugar, the common culprits include too much salt (the body seeks balance and will ask for sugar to counteract excess sodium), dehydration, too little protein or fat in the diet, fatigue and stress. Heck, any combination of these is a sugar craving waiting to happen -- how many of them are common occurrences for you?
For each, there's a simple proactive solution to keep the body in balance (and without the intense cravings).
Monitor your salt intake. Whole, unrefined salts like sea salt and Himalayan salt, are less jarring to the body than iodized table salt. Take some time to notice if your cravings for sugar increase after a salty meal, or after something like movie theatre popcorn. (It's no coincidence that pop and popcorn go so well together.)
Stay hydrated. 8-10 glasses of water per day (or 3-4 Nalgene waterbottles, if you like the look of smaller numbers) is a great place to start. If you're super active, super sweaty, living somewhere super hot, or not using the bathroom often, increase by 1-2 glasses per day and reassess. Remember: by the time you feel thirst, you're already dehydrated.
Focus on protein and fat. Keeping the body calm and nourished with these essential macronutrients kills cravings by reassuring the body that food is plentiful and you're not starving. Chickpeas, lentils, and other beans + legumes, quinoa, nuts, and tempeh make excellent plant-protein sources. Look for fats from cold-pressed oils, nuts, seeds, and fruits like coconut and avocado. A little at every meal will go a long way.
Sleep. Seriously. It sounds silly, but resting actually replenishes the body and provides energy... energy we otherwise seek out in the form of a granola bar or a Coke at 3:00pm. Refuel with the best energy replenisher, at night, with or without jammies. #ImNotJudging
Still, even when we make our best efforts to kick sugar cravings ahead of time, they can sometimes pop up and ask to be dealt with. No worries, wellness warrior: we have you covered. These raw chocolate chip cookie batter balls are not only sugar-free, they're dairy-free, grain-free and soy-free, and yes, they are the perfect little something sweet to help curb a sweet craving.
All you need is a wee bowl and a spoon to make these little tidbits of deliciousness. Have a few on hand in the fridge and you won't even need to consider going to the store to pick up ice cream or a Snickers. Plus, these are actually good for you! The tahini provides a great kick of healthy fats, while the almonds supply Vitamin E, the coconut flour is packed with fiber AND the raw cacao brings up the whole taste sensation with a boost of antioxidants. Goodbye sugar craving. Hello glowing skin and great digestion.
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 1/2 tbsp almond or coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cacao
- 1. Process almonds in a food processor for ~3 minutes, until a fine powder.
- 2. Add tahini and blend another 30 seconds.
- 3. Transfer to a bowl. Add flour, cinnamon and cacao. Stir to combine.
- 4. Roll batter into 1 1/2" balls. Voila!
- Store in the fridge.