One of the hardest things about changing your diet is dealing with the cravings for food you know you shouldn’t be eating, but secretly want to! So far, over the last few weeks I have shared 5 raw recipes for breakfast and lunch options to give you some ideas of what you could switch your current breakfast and lunch to instead. You can check out my Kickstart to Raw Series here.
In today’s post, I am introducing you to the beautiful and skilled raw food chef, Judita Wignall. This woman is making raw food extremely sexy. You only have to flick through her two gorgeous books to know that this woman is a genius in the kitchen. And not only that, but she also happens to be a kickass commercial actress, print model and musician from Los Angeles who has studied at the Living light Culinary Arts Institute. Oh and she’s kindly giving away a copy of her latest book “Raw & Simple“.
So today, I want to break down cravings and get down to the bottom of why we have them and how we can stop them. Below I am sharing a page from Raw & Simple on the 10 possible reasons we experience psychological cravings which can stem from a few things:
If we’re not eating a balanced diet, we may be lacking in the essential nutrients our body needs. Start your day with a mineral-rich green juice or green smoothie. Powdered green whole-food supplements are also great. When your body has all the nutrients it needs, it won’t be constantly hungry.
Food Chemical Addictions
Processed foods are created in such a wat that you will crave them again and again. This is by design. If you have a food that you say you can’t live without, then it is has an ingredients that is creating an opiate effect that you are addicted to. Even whole foods like cheese and wheat contain proteins that stimulate dopamine production. In processed foods it’s a bit more sinister, as MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and aspartame are not only addictive but also harmful to the body. The best way to rid yourself of food chemical cravings is to go cold turkey with these junk food chemicals and let your taste buds discover new and exciting foods.
Lack of energy
One of the most common reasons we have cravings is because we are looking for energy. We often reach for sugar when we feel like we’re lagging; our body knows this is the fastest way to get energy. If it’s a late-night craving, I recommend just turning in. If it’s a mid-afternoon slump, I recommend a a little nap if you can swing it. Otherwise, drink a green juice or a protein shake. Green juice will oxygenate the blood and perk you up physically, while the amino acids will give you a mental boost.
We can often mistake dehydration for hunger, Whenever you get any kind of craving, always drink a tall glass of water first and wait a few minutes to see if you’re still hungry.
Low Leptin Production
Leptin is known as the hunger hormone. Formed in our fat cells, it signals the brain when we have had enough to eat. It also increases our appetite when our fat (energy) reserves are low and reduces hunger when we have extra energy reserves. Have you ever had a big meal and an hour later felt like you were starving again? This means your leptin level is too low or you may be leptin resistant, which is when a high level of leptin circulates in the bloodstream but the body is immune to it. It’s very similar to insulin resistance, which is when the cells are no longer receptive to insulin. We can increase our leptin production and sensitivity to it naturally by not eating after dinner, getting enough sleep every night and eating a low-glycaemic, fibre-rich, non-inflammatory diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Candida thrives on sugar. As it proliferates throughout our body, its demand for sugar rises and cravings can become fierce. Eating probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and coconut kefir can eliminate sugar cravings within days.
Food left in our mouths after eating can stimulate cravings. If you can’t brush, chew some xylitol dental gum after meals.
Emotional cravings can come from stress, boredom, lack of joy and emotional pain.
Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, which creates intense food cravings and binging. Manage stress and lower cortisol be exercising regularly, going for walks, meditating, deep breathing or talking it out with a friend or loved one.
Boredom can lead to a cravings as well. If you’re eating because you’re bored do an activity that you love. Remember when you were a kid and you were too busy playing to stop and eat? Find things you love to do and get lost in them.
Emotional pain can lead to eating because we are lacking joy in our lives or numbing a painful feeling. This is only temporary and does nothing to fix a difficult situation. Dissatisfaction with a relationship, feeling unfulfilled in a career, lacking a sense of spiritual purpose – all of this and more can drive us to consume comfort foods, but only by taking action in those areas can we get to the root of emotional eating.
One final note on mastering your cravings
Eliminate all junk foods from your kitchen as “trigger” foods – foods that cause you to binge when you said you were only going to have just one. If there is a food that turns you into a Cookie Monster, then that food is no longer allowed in the house. This includes raw cookies and cakes.
With it being a Friday and normally sharing a recipe with you, today, I am sharing Judita’s recipe for Root Vegetable Slaw. Sadly my picture doesn’t quite do it justice and certainly doesn’t look similar to the beautiful picture in the book but it tasted great nonetheless and that’s all that matters.
Root Vegetable Slaw
- 2 cups julienned beetroot
- 2 cups julienned carrots
- 2 cups julienned daikon radish or celery root (I used celery)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used both)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1. Set the beetroot aside in their own small bowl and toss the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- 1/4 cup hazelnut or olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour the mixture over the salad, reserving a small amount for the beetroot.
Add remaining dressing to the beets and gently incorporate them into the salad right before serving.
Health Note: Root vegetables are a great source of minerals and antioxidants, as well as being excellent blood purifiers and liver detoxifiers. They also contain emotional and physical grounding energy that can make us feel more focused and powerful. It’s a very similar energy to the kind meat eaters say they get from eating animal protein.
To win this book, tell me in the comments below: 3 reasons that Judita suggests as reasons you might crave junk food
Giveaway closes Wednesday 7th August at 11.59PM.
WINNER ANNOUNCED: ANNE HUMPHREY
Connect with Judita here:
facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rawjudita
twitter – https://twitter.com/judita
instagram – http://instagram.com/the_scout