Stressed is desserts spelled backward. As a dessert-lover, I am not suggesting that savoring a sweet treat is a sign of stress. However, when our enjoyment escalates into cravings, it is a good time to step back and reflect.
Once we hear the craving as a message from our body, we have an opportunity to engage in a dialog with our inner wisdom and make conscious choices. Ideally, we would always get our eight hours of sleep, eat enough dark leafy greens, laugh every day, and get regular exercise; but for many of us, we are not always able to incorporate all elements of a healthy lifestyle into each day. When we consistently veer too far away from our healthy lifestyle, our bodies send us signals. We just need to listen for them.
Awareness is sometimes no match for the lure of chocolate. Here are some approaches I have seen work for reestablishing the balance between enjoyment and cravings. This is life experience not medical advice.
What??? Who would want sauerkraut instead of dessert? It sounds funny, but if you like sauerkraut, it is worth a try. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut are said to have a number of benefits, including curbing cravings.
2) Get more sleep
When you are sleep deprived, you are prone to more cravings. So, if you can, prioritize those 8 hours for a couple of nights in a row, you’ll be able to gauge the impact for yourself.
3) Eat dark leafy greens
A fruit smoothie with blended greens may be able to satisfy the dessert craving. The natural sugars of the fruit may satiate a sweet craving. And by blending in greens (such as kale or spinach), we are fueling our bodies and giving ourselves more of the nutrients we need to stay in physical balance. If you are new to green smoothies, it is helpful to start by just adding a small portion. Over time, you may find the ratio of greens to fruit shifts… but pace yourself so you enjoy your shakes. Check out this “Smoothie 101” article for great tips on making green smoothies.
4) Chew more
Sometimes when we are eating dessert to satisfy a craving, we forget to take the time to chew and enjoy the dessert. Take a deep breath before partaking, and try to chew each bite 10 or more times. (Chewing 40 or more times would be great, but realistically, if you are eating to satisfy a craving, 40 chews will be a challenge.
May everything you eat become health and harmony within.