Cravings happen. They attack even the healthiest and most dedicated of us. Usually, a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner. Even though I’m satiated with food, I totally get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a difficult habit to break, because the snacks we choose are often high in calories, sugar, or fat. This means they taste delicious and activate the dopamine receptors which lead you to want more and more. The trick to snacking without compromising your goals is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for. Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet, savory, creamy or crunchy. Instead of bowing down to that craving, here are some ideas for substitutes. Next time you get a craving for something sweet, try: • fresh, whole fruit • apples and almond butter • dried fruit • green smoothies • dates stuffed with almond butter whole raw almonds • organic dark chocolate chips For your savory cravings, try these instead: • olives • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets, and lotus root • tabouli, hummus • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar • freshly made salsa or guacamole • Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!) • salted edamame Your cravings for something creamy can be met by eating: • smoothies • avocados • rice pudding • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush • puréed soups • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana • mashed sweet potatoes • coconut milk Finally, when you’re craving a crunchy snack, try: • apples • frozen grapes • rice cakes • light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan) • carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots) • celery and nut butter • raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your body and future goals.
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