Do you feel like your cravings are a force that needs to be ignored. Or do you feel like your ability or inability to conquer cravings is a result of your willpower or lack thereof?
It's not that simple...and it's not your fault! Cravings are simply your body's way of trying to communicate what it needs. Your body is amazing, listen to it!
Instead of feeling bad about your cravings, try deciphering what your body's trying to tell you and try taking action based on what you learn. Take the guilt and self-judgement out of it!
7 Common Sources of Cravings
Lack of Primary Food
Consider that the food you eat is secondary to all of the other parts of your life that feed you, for example, your relationships, career, spirituality, hobbies, and exercise routine. These parts of your life are considered Primary Foods in the Integrative Nutrition world.
Integrative Nutrition bridges the gap between nutrition, or the food you eat, and personal growth and development. Both of these work together to create a healthy lifestyle. As I like to say, you could eat the most perfect diet in the world, but if you're unhappy in the rest of your life, you probably won't feel that healthy.
How many times do you find yourself walking down the packaged food isle, making decisions based on what the front of the package says?
I remember as a kid, the cereal packaging was the worst! Thinking back I can feel the disappointment in my body, when whatever was supposed to be in the package, wasn't. Most often it was the free toy or whatever that was featured prominently on the front, but in reality it wasn't anything like the picture.
Or, the nice photo of the cereal with fresh fruit and a beautifully laid out table. "Why doesn't my cereal look like that?"
Processed foods have become even more popular for their convenience and portability. Toaster pastries, tubes of yogurt, cans of soda, individually wrapped slices or pieces of cheese are usually heavily processed and contain various additives and chemicals to preserve their shelf life.
Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? No wonder how much water you drink can affect your health. Too little water can cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue, while too much water can result in mineral imbalances.
1. Being Hydrated Improves Mental Focus and Alertness
Water gets nutrients to your brain cells, so dehydration can cause your brain to be a bit sluggish.
Even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair mood, memory, and brain function. This fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 pounds (0.5-2kg) for a 150 pound (68 kg) person. Reference
This article was first published March 29, 2017. Since it's been awhile, you may not know that our family of four traveled for ten months through Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, and England.
During our travels we ate many different kinds of foods and experienced the challenges of trying to eat a healthy diet at the same time. Peru was one of the easiest places to feel like I was eating well, and as a result I physically felt great while I was there. If you someday get a chance to go, take it!
When I originally wrote this, I did not yet know that my son, ten-years-old at the time, would declare himself vegetarian, just as we were entering Spain. The poor kid ate mostly potatoes in Spain, and we cut our time in Spain shorter than we'd planned so that we could get to the Pizza!
His new vegetarianism was probably a combination of seeing meat hanging in open air market, the guinea pigs raised for food, and his best friend at home being vegetarian. He's still vegetarian two years later. Now, our family eats mostly vegetarian at home, but isn't as strict away from home. It's what works for us!
Probably not an Incan Priestess, but I did fall instantly in love with the Peruvian culture. It could have been reading all of those Paddington Bear books. He was from darkest Peru. Or it could have been the Peruvian Dark coffee I used to drink roasted by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company.
Or was it the delicious food?
The term "detox" is thrown around a great deal, especially this time of year when many people have set New Year's resolutions and many of them have to do with improving health. Detoxing can mean different things to different people. Some detox plans are beneficial and some may do more harm than good.
So let's explore the general intention of a detox and figure out whether it's the right thing for you.
How can you tell if you might benefit from a detoxification program?
This article was originally posted on November 23, 2016. Our family was three months in to a ten month "round the world" trip.
Our food habits changed quite a bit from country to country. In Australia, we were mostly cooking on a camp stove or in the communal kitchens at the caravan parks as we were mostly traveling by camper van.
In New Zealand it was mostly hostels. We had our boxes of food that we stored in the communal kitchens, then packed up for the next place.
We met so many wonderful people and observed different cooking and eating habits. In many ways, cooking in hostels wasn't too different from cooking at home. If I had a plan and the food to prepare, a meal would happen!
The more you cook, the more you will cook.
We're travelling by car in New Zealand and staying in hostels most of the time.
As much as I've talked about being an introvert, I've preferred hostels to our Australian campervan experience.
I'd never stayed in hostels before, so its been quite fun doing it with our family of four. We are all having fun having other people to talk to. Our fellow travelers are interesting as are the people managing the hostels.
It really struck me the other day how much people were cooking. Not just throwing sauce on pasta, although that is a good option for a long travel day. They often cook good healthy meals from whatever country they are from. Hardly anyone is American, most often they are German, Dutch, French or from various Asian countries.
I was really impressed!
Why using Real Plans weekly meal planning service has been a life changer for me.
First of all, why should you go to all the effort to meal plan?
I’ll share my story first, because I definitely haven’t always been a meal planner, unless it was one big meal, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or for a party of some kind. And I really needed some help. I couldn't manage to come up with a weekly meal plan on my own.
*If you want resources for meal planning on your own, click here.
I’d usually go to the store with a plan for that night’s dinner, then fill in with items I knew I was out of (I would make lists for those kinds of things) and staple items that I used all the time, like onions, carrots, lettuce, bread, cheese, rice, etc.
What are polyphenols?
I'm sure you've heard plenty about the health benefits of polyphenols, but do you know what they are?
Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants. Polyphenols give plants a certain color or taste and they generally serve the plant by defending it against ultraviolet radiation and agressive pathogens.
Towards the end of the 20th century, epidemiological studies started showing that a diet rich in polyphenols may offer some protection from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Reference.
What are the health benefits of polyphenols?
Do you experience too much stress? Do you feel like your hormones are out of whack or like your immune system might need a boost?
My guest, Paula Grainger, has just released her new book, Adaptogens, Harness the Power of Superherbs to Reduce Stress and Restore Calm.
Paula has been practicing herbal medicine since she obtained her degree in herbal medicine from the University of Westminster in London in 2004.
Following her graduation, she worked in several busy London clinics, and then opened her own herbal clinic and apothecary called Lemon Balm. She successfully ran and worked in her clinic until moving to Santa Cruz, California in 2010.
What's the difference between acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD? You've probably heard of them all, and I know that I hear from many women feeling miserable after eating.
These three are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing! In this article, I'm going to clear up the confusion and banish the most common myths around these conditions, which might be making you feel worse.
Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach flows backward or "refluxes" up into the esophagus.
Normally, the peristalsis that causes your food to go down, and not up, is so strong that even if you stand on your head, it keeps it moving in the right direction down towards the intestines.
When the body needs to quickly get something out, it has a built-in reflux response. For example, vomiting or burping.
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Hi, I’m Crystal!