Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us!
Often, when a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner, we get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a bad habit to get into, because the snacks we choose are often junky, un-nutritious, and high in calories, sugar, or fat and most of them increase the chances to get a headache or migraine, maybe the next day.
The trick to snacking without causing a headache or migraine attack is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for. Having healthy snacking options available is so important and not too difficult if you plan ahead. Some of them, like nuts, you can easily keep at hand in your office drawer, others you need to plan for, but it’s so worth it!
Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate!), savory (potato chips!), creamy (ice cream!), or crunchy (crisps!). Obviously, my examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time if you want to feel good in your body. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings. Instead, you just need to substitute.
Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:
• fresh, whole fruit or apples and almond butter, maybe even with some cinnamon
• dried fruit (eat with some nuts to keep the blood sugar from spiking too quickly!)
• dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
• green smoothies
• banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or raisins ,and serve)
• organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:
• pickles and pickled vegetables, such as gherkin, carrot, daikon, beets
• steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
• freshly made salsa or guacamole
• Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!)
• Simple cucumber, tomato, avocado salad with just some herbed salt
Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:
• chia pudding
• dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
• puréed soups
• mashed sweet potatoes
Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the Pringles, when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:
• celery with nut butter and raisins aka ‚ants on the log’
• frozen grapes
• carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
• raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
• rice cakes
• light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good for you!
Stock your pantry or office drawer with some base ingredients so you don’t have an excuse to hit the vending machine!
What about keeping some raisins and a jar of almond butter at hand and then you just have to remember to purchase fresh sellery for ‚Ants on the log’.
You will be surprised how tasty this snack is and so satisfying on a number of levels as it is crunchy, creamy, slightly salty and sweet! A total winner!