|Why didn't I think of this?
Most of us have a food or beverage that we crave and couldn't imagine living without. I was thinking about this in regards to simplifying your switch to whole foods, and possible setbacks as you begin your real food journey. Now, of course the stores are full of gluten free cookies, organic potato chips, coconut milk ice cream- you name it. BUT, these are also really expensive and don't add nutritional value in most instances. For those of you who want to switch to whole foods because you need to completely revamp your life, including weight loss, switching over to organic versions of all of your favorite processed foods aren't going to help you. Sucanat and raw honey, while nutrient and mineral rich, are still sugar. That being said, switching to whole foods doesn't mean you can never indulge again- you just may indulge in something different than what you want to indulge in today. Your tastes really can change.
I used to crave sugar every day, typically around 3:00 in the afternoon and also after dinner. Being at home most of the time, it was very easy to walk over to the pantry and find something sweet. Because we don't have processed snacks on hand, my sweet treat might involve peanut butter with honey drizzled all over it. This continued well after I switched to whole foods, so now my "whole sugar fix" was plaguing me just as badly as my "refined sugar fix". But when I realized why I wanted something comforting, I could find comfort in other things besides food. There are three changes that I made mentally and physically that I truly believe helped catapult me out of the vicious craving cycle.
First, I made a mental note of the comfort I have in knowing what I am going to eat. I simplify my meal options and while adding variety in how I combine foods and ingredients, I always have the same ingredients on hand. I find comfort in knowing I cook 2 eggs for breakfast, because I don't have to think about. If I thought about it a few years ago, I could have possibly talked myself into eating something like this for breakfast I mean, what's the big deal? Um...Anna...really? You REALLY talked yourself into that? OK, on occasion, I did! And you know what, it didn't help me any! But I don't crave cake anymore. And, whereas now I occasionally could go for something sweet, I rarely crave sugar or salty foods. Again, your tastes really can change.
I also visualize what I want to be eating. At the beginning, I had to visualize what I wanted to want to be eating (you follow?). I thought about myself eating the foods that I knew would fuel me, give me vitality and energy. I visualize myself eating a kale smoothie and how glowing my skin looks, and how good I feel, and then my emotions all of the sudden buy into it as much as my mind. Now I don't have to buy myself into it- I do eat the foods I want, they just happen to be whole and healthy. This is a huge technique to achieing success with any goal you set out to accomplish. It will build your mental strength, and help you move past years of poor habits.
Lastly, I added a food that really helped curb cravings for sugar and bread/cookies. I upped my saturated fat intake. GASP! I know! Did you know that fat doesn't make you fat, but carbs and sugar make you fat? There are so many amazing books out there (I have a nice list in the resource section if you are interested) that have some fascinating information, studies and science behind them that debunks the low fat lifestyle. When I ate a low fat diet while trying to give up sweets and carbs, I was cranky, hungry, and worst of all, I still craved the foods I was trying to avoid. I think I actually craved them MORE! Since adding more saturated fats into my diet like virgin coconut oil, high vitamin butter, flax and fish oils, etc. I feel healthier, happier, full, and best of all- my cravings have vanished and haven't returned. It has truly inspired me.
We long for comfort, and food is a sensational way to connect with people, culture and traditions in our families that have added values to our lives. It's deep, authentic, and important. I hope that simplifying your switch to whole foods will really help you see how you can maintain these same ideals while utilizing the best choices in quality, giving you the longest life possible to enjoy these comforts God has blessed us with in this one and glorious life! Live and enjoy its abundance!
Great sources for learning about healthy fats and healthy weight loss
•The Diet Cure by Julia Ross
•Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD
•The Fourfold Path to Healing by Thomas Cowan, MD
•A Life Unburdened by Richard Morris
•Life Without Bread by Wolfgang Lutz and Christian Allan
•The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin
•The No-Grain Diet by Joseph Mercola
•The Schwarzbein Principle by Diana Schwarzbein