When you think about food cravings, typically the first thing that comes to mind would be some type of junk food… high in calories, low in nutrients, processed, and quite unhealthy. Is that what you tend to crave when a craving kicks in? What is your go-to craving — chocolate chip cookies? A big bowl of ice cream? How about crumb cake with a thick sugary topping? That’s mine. (And, I want a large piece!) My cravings generally happen when I’m tired or dehydrated.
I’ll be honest with you — I believe in a balanced life. I’m not saying to never enjoy a sweet treat again. The issue with ingesting processed foods and the chemicals that come along with them on an ongoing basis is the danger of addiction. We absolutely don’t want that, as it can disrupt the way our bodies function and wreak havoc in more ways than you can imagine.
So, if you feel like you may be addicted to sugar and/or processed foods, there is something you can do to help. There are many foods you can add into your diet to balance your microbiome and get your good bacteria back to a healthy place. These foods are generally fermented foods that are filled with the good bacteria that your body needs to balance itself again and rid you of those cravings.
These fermented foods can include kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir to name a few. I’d love for you to choose at least one of these to add into your diet this week and get that good bacteria back into your body. Taking a probiotic on a daily basis will help balance your bacteria as well — my favorite brands are Garden of Life or Jarrow.
Food Swaps for Popular Cravings…
Another of my favorite ways to combat cravings is to trade out unhealthy foods with beneficial ones.
If you’re craving potato chips… Try some raw carrot or celery sticks instead for that crunch.
If you’re craving french fries… Try some Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. They are very easy to prepare and you can add your spice of choice!
If you’re craving pasta… Try some Spaghetti Squash. Don’t have a spiralizer in your kitchen? No worries. Most grocery stores have packages of a variety of spiralized vegetables. (HINT: It looks like fresh pasta if this is new to you!)
If you’re craving soda… Try some sparkling water such as La Croix. There are so many flavors to choose from; you’re bound to find one you love — and you can finally ditch that soda!
If you’re craving a milkshake… Try a green smoothie instead to quench your desire for something cold and sweet.
Another helpful tip that I implement is to indulge mindfully. When you do decide to have a treat, enjoy a smaller portion than you’d even like to have. Teaching yourself restraint and how to indulge mindfully is an incredibly useful tool that you will carry with you always.