Listen to your body. That’s a common phrase nowadays and can be applied to so many things: how much you push yourself during workouts, making a big decision, or even meal choices. When it comes to food, I try to make healthy choices most of the time. Doing my first Whole30 (more about that later) has made me more conscience about my food selections and has helped me understand why I gravitate toward certain items.
I recently learned that cravings could be your body’s way of telling you it needs something (well, something more than simply peanut M&Ms). Specifically, it’s letting you know you may be low in certain nutrients. This chart depicts some common cravings and what your body may actually need.
For example, if you find yourself often craving chocolate then you could be low in magnesium. In fact, most people are deficient in magnesium. I supplement with magnesium (here’s the kind I often use), but it’s also found in a lot of whole foods like bananas, spinach, and seeds. Similarly, if you reach for salty foods a lot (my weakness) then it could mean you are low in chloride, which is an electrolyte needed to regulate fluids and digestion in your body. Fatty fish, like salmon, would be a good choice here.
Let’s stop for a minute. I’m not saying that if I really want chocolate at the end of the day I’m going to go eat some cauliflower. That’s crazy. In fact, dark chocolate is a great choice to satisfy a sweet tooth (and boost magnesium levels), but I do believe it’s important to look at the big picture and to try to incorporate some of the suggested whole foods or add supplements to see if that has an impact on cravings overall.
But what to do in the moment?
If I find myself having cravings and I want need something quick, I usually eat one of the following:
- Nuts sauteed in butter or coconut oil: this is a great way to get in some good fats and usually combats cravings. I will also add cinnamon since it helps balance blood sugar.
- Dates and nut butter: my go to treat most of the time. Dates are super sweet and remind me of caramels. I will usually add some almond butter, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and banana.
- Thawed or fresh berries with whipped coconut cream: whip the cream and add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. #heaven.
- Banana “ice cream”: place one frozen, sliced banana with a splash of almond milk in the food processor and blend until creamy. Create new flavors by adding the following: nut butter and cocoa powder, a handful of strawberries, or vanilla and cinnamon.
- Chocolate “pudding”: mix one avocado, one fresh banana, a splash of vanilla, one tablespoon of cocoa powder and a bit of maple syrup (optional) in food processor and blend.
- Nut butter: straight up with a spoon! Make sure that your nut butter is just nut butter (and maybe salt). There can be a lot of hidden ingredients in these nowadays.
- Dark chocolate (at least 70% dark): Not Paleo but if you want chocolate then dark is the way to go. Smoother it in nut butter and we just became best friends.
- Larabar: (let’s agree that these are the best things EVER!).
If you have more time, there are tons of great recipes online. Here are some of my favorite sites:
So, tell me…what are some of your Paleo treats?
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