6 Ways To Satiate Your Sugar Cravings

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This summer has been a sweet one so far. I’ve been settling into a sweet new community, studying with my teacher, spending time with wonderful friends, old and new. Oh yeah, I also got married to the love of my life! (Read to the bottom to see one of my wedding pictures, from my lovely friend Rebekah Boatrite!) I hope there are always causes for celebration in your life, and often times these celebratory events are invitations for cake, ice cream, sugary drinks and hangovers. I have a some ideas on why we crave sugar and what we can do to break through our sugar addictions and still enjoy life, which is just sweet enough, already.

#1. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Cravings almost always have a psychological component. By figuring out the underlying reason you’re reaching for an afternoon sugary snack, you can find balance and take charge of your health. When life itself becomes sweet, excess sugar isn’t needed! Spend time with good people. Cuddle with your dog. Tell your partner you love them. Call your mom. Check in and notice, do you still really want that second cookie?

#2 Try out different spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food and reduce cravings. Plus, it’ll deepen the flavors of your food and make cooking (and eating) way more fun.


#3. Eat more fat! We’ve been tricked for YEARS, thinking that “low fat” or “reduced fat” packaged snack foods would make us healthier. We now know the contrary. To make up for the lack of flavor and taste in these foods, they’re loaded with sugar. This will send you spiraling with sugar highs and lows, making your crave more. Instead, eat whole, non processed, tasty foods, that will keep you fuller, longer.

#4. Eat naturally sweet vegetables and fruit to crowd out your sugar cravings. I’m a huge fan of Nice Cream! All you have to do is blend frozen bananas in your favorite high powered blender. Add in a spoonful of almond butter and some cocao nibs and you’ve got yourself something way better than store bought ice cream, in my opinion.

#5. Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, like sugar, are the most readily-available source of energy for an exhausted body and mind. Many of us live in a chronic state of stress or sleep deprivation and your body will crave the quickest form of energy available. so, set yourself up in a restorative yoga pose, go to bed earlier, and don’t over book your schedule.

#6. Make sure you’re feeling fulfilled in all areas of your life. As I mentioned before, it’s not just the foods that we eat that make up our health, and positive relationships aren’t the only way to feel kindness and cheerfulness in your life. Check in with how you feel about your career, home environment, amount of physical activity your getting, education you’re receiving and even how you relate to spirituality. Filling your cup in all of these areas, can make your life sweeter and fuller.

And now….that photo I promised you.

Photo by Rebekah Boatrite  https://rebekahboatrite.pixieset.com

Photo by Rebekah Boatrite
https://rebekahboatrite.pixieset.com

Treat Yourself To These 5 Salty Snacks

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One of the most common things I get asked about by my clients is SNACKING! You know, the salty, sugary, crinkly bottomless bag we reach for when we’re bored, lonely, stressed, happy, sad, annoyed, excited or basically any other emotion? When I was asked for some recommendations for snacks with the “convenience of almonds but the fun of chips” I decided I had to deliver! I think the convenience factor in healthy snacking comes from prepping, because if there’s one thing I know to be true, food is always healthier when you make it yourself, opposed to out of a bag or box. Being prepared for any snack attack is crucial.

The first thing I want to cover about snacking is the WHY. A lot of the time, food cravings have nothing to do with food at all, and everything to do with other areas of your life. Are you looking for more sweetness from a relationship? Do you feel extra stress at work? Maybe there’s something missing in your life and filling that void with food seems like a good temporary plug. It is possible that excessive snacking could have to do with the nutrients you’re getting, or not getting enough of, and it’s definitely important to make sure that you’re getting a good variety of vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. Going easy on simple carbs and sugars will help to quiet the snack cycle as well. When I’m eating in a more balanced way at meal times, I’m fuller longer and I crave less in between meals. 

Anyway, on to the tasty stuff. Snacks can be great and healthy if we consume them mindfully, and even better, enjoy them with good company! I stand by the fact that everything is more digestible when we eat it in a relaxed, fun and loving environment. For example, when you eat a whole bag of Doritos while watching Law and Order SVU, you’re probably ingesting a lot of negativity and even undertones of violence, while you eat. BUT having a few tortilla chips and some salsa at a Mexican restaurant while laughing with your best friend is pretty OK in my book. While I prefer eating fuller meals and leaving the snacks for HANGER emergencies (they happen) or in a social environment, I do have my go to favorites, especially as “Apero” has been adopted in my household. Apero is the ever popular before dinner drink and salty snack in France - perks, or should I say challenges, of marrying a French dude). Intuitively listening to hunger cues is key as you dig into the following treats, because using “SNACK” as a verb can be a slippery, oily, salty slope, However, I do love a good bowl of popcorn as much as the next gal… 

Speaking of popcorn…

#1 POPCORN

OK OK, maybe not the most nutritionally sound snack, but I was asked for convenience and fun and there’s nothing more satisfying than digging into a bowl of hot, crispy popcorn when savory crunch is what you crave. Embarrassingly, a happy popcorn dance literally ensues every time I get to have popcorn, so I feel no one should miss out on that (the popcorn, not the dancing). I make my own on the stove, pop the kernels in a big pot, add melted coconut oil, nutritional yeast and a dash of salt and pepper. To make your popcorn indulgence a more balanced protein, add some roasted almonds!

#2 SEAWEED SNACKS

I’ve been obsessed with seaweed chips lately. You can buy them packaged, but even better - make your own! All you need are full sheets of Nori, you can get them at the health food store or sometimes even in the Asian grocery section of whatever store you like to shop at, sesame oil and salt. Brush the Nori with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 250 F in the oven for 35 minutes or until crispy. These are super convenient because they stay for up to 4 days in a sealed container. You can bring them to work easily or on the road!

#3 BRUSSEL SPROUT CHIPS

Totally get it. Chips are hard to part with. Food should not be about deprivation, I am really not about that, so let’s get the salty, crunchy, deliciousness we desire from a vegetable instead. I know, a potato is technically a vegetable, but I mean a green one ;)  Not all that different from the seaweed snacks, you can season them any way you like. I love smoked paprika and chili powder! A little patience is necessary as you cut the stems separate the leaves, mix them up with olive oil and spices and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 F for 8 - 10 minutes or so. Who knew that a brussel sprout could be a chip?

#4 TACOS

Wait.. aren’t tacos an actual meal? Yes AND we eat them for a snack all the time on the road, especially if we’re in between meals and actually need something more substantial to tide us over. I buy gluten free, organic corn tortillas, throw in some hummus or avocado (always have a ripe avocado on hand, totally a snack on it’s own) my favorite hot sauce, some sprouts, greens, tomatoes, mushrooms or pretty much ANYTHING I have around. If you’re not into the tortilla, I’m a big fan of collard greens as a wrap, too. Hummus, ground almonds, and sprouts area great combo in the collard greens.

#5 PICKLES

ALL OF THE FERMENTED THINGS! Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled carrots, pickled cucumbers, asparagus, and radishes to name a few! Pickling veggies takes time, in between prepping and waiting for them to ferment, but they’re fun to make, cheap and if you prep a bunch to have on hand they last a long time once you transfer them to the fridge. Making your pickles at home versus store bought ensures that they’re actually fermented so you get the healthy boost for your gut microbiome. Yay probiotics. Check out a great sauerkraut recipe here: 

https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/natural-fermentation/sauerkraut/

Remember, if you’re eating salty foods, your body will need more water! Make sure to stay hydrated, which will also keep you fuller longer. Next time, I’ll have some refined sugar free sweetness for you. Share your favorite healthy snacks in the comments! Happy Snacking :)


Warm Food, Cold Weather

Find out why it's important to balance the seasonal outdoor elements with what you put into your body. In this video, I share a warming fall recipe and some of my favorite tips to stay toasty and cozy!

Roasted Vegetable & Tempeh Couscous with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Recipe serves 4 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat Couscous - 2 cups

  • Roasted Veg Butternut squash

  • Cubed Broccoli

  • Chopped Onion -1 medium yellow

  • Dried Cranberries - 1/4 cup

  • Nutritional Yeast - 2 Tbs

  • Rosemary - 1/2 Tbs

  • Thyme - 1/2 Tbs

  • Ground Sage - 1 tsp

  • Nutmeg - 1 tsp

  • Olive Oil - drizzle

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

    Tempeh

  • 3 Grain tempeh - 2 8 oz packages

  • cubed Cumin - 1 Tbs

  • Coconut Aminos or soy sauce - 1 Tbs

  • Maple Syrup - splash

  • Cooking Wine or Vinegar - splash

    Tahini Dressing

  • Maple Syrup - splash

  • Tahini - 2 Tbs

  • Lemon - juice from 1/2

    Preheat at oven to 400 degrees. Cube butternut squash, chop broccoli and onion. Spread out butternut squash and onion in half of baking pan or sheet with olive oil drizzle. Sprinkle rosemary, thyme, sage, nutmeg and dried cranberries on butternut squash. Spread broccoli florets over the 2nd half of baking pan with olive oil drizzle and nutritional yeast. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.

    In a sautée pan, mix cumin, coconut aminos, a splash of olive and a splash of cooking wine or vinegar, add tempeh and coat with this mixture. Let sit for a few minutes while roasting the vegetables. Cook on medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and crispy. In small bowl, mix together 2 tbs tahini, a splash maple syrup, juice of 1/2 a lemon until smooth.

    Boil cups of water, pour water over 2 cups whole wheat couscous in a medium pot. When water is absorbed, stirring in the tahini dressing. Take vegetables out from oven, serve tempeh and roasted veg over generous serving of couscous in a big bowl, and enjoy!

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Golden Milk Recipe

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This is a super easy, fast, anti inflammatory "Golden Milk" recipe you can do with or WITHOUT a blender. Don't get me wrong, I love my morning coffee, but this recipe is even better! It'll give you a jump of energy plus a major immune boost. You'll learn to make turmeric paste from scratch that you can keep in the fridge, so next time it'll be even quicker!

Yield 1 serving, multiply recipe depending on people served Adjust to taste :)

INGREDIENTS:

Turmeric Paste:

  • 2-3 Tbs Turmeric Powder

  • 4 - 5 Tbs water

    Milk and Spices:

  • 1 cup Almond Milk

  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamom

  • 1 Tbs Fresh Ginger, chopped

  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil Honey (Stevia or Rice Syrup) to taste

End of Summer Avocado Salad

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Living on a remote island, where groceries are limited, the key to creating healthy and easy meals has been simplicity and adaptability. If we use fewer ingredients (clean, whole foods), our body has an easier time digesting and transforming our food to energy.  Plus, it takes less time, so we can spend the last of our summer days soaking up the sun. Adaptability, enables us to release the reigns a bit when reading a recipe, and make it work using what we have available locally (also a key way to ensure a healthy microbiome for digestion).

 

Anyway, I love avocado and it's the star of the show for this super easy salad.

 

Ingredients

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  • 2 Large Avocados, cubed
  • 2 Large Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 3-4 cups Arugula, or local green of choice. ( I love the spice the arugula adds)
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Favorite Fresh Bread, or GF Bread option

Makes two heaping bowls

  1. In one large bowl place arugula or green of choice, add basil, toss together
  2. Open and cube avocados, dice tomatoes & onions, add to arugula mix
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Separate into two serving bowls
  6. Serve with fresh or toasted bread - or your fave GF option. We love fresh coconut bread here on Little Corn Island! (pictured above)

THAT'S IT. The avocado and basil provide cooling affects for the lingering hot days of early September (or if you happen to live in the Caribbean), and you don't have to spend any time over the hot stove. We like that <3