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How Do You Handle Hard Core Cravings?

How Do You Handle Hard Core Cravings?

Written by XX2i Optics Athlete Natasha LaBeaud Anzures. Natasha recently set the Canadian National Record for the 15k distance, and continues to inspire healthy living and active lifestyles through her non-profit, 2nd Recess.

I am a huge believer that your food cravings are a code to what your body really needs.  However, I also believe that many individuals may misinterpret what the body is asking for and just go after what may just taste good in the moment.  So how do you temper those intense cravings?  I have a few tips that may help you overcome the most “hard core” of cravings.

  • Craving something sweet?
    • You may have low blood sugar, and in-turn, can benefit from fruit, foods with high fiber such as beans, and grains. So when you feel yourself reaching for the bon-bons, try cutting up some fresh fruit, making a tasty bowl of oatmeal topped with cinnamon, or creating some homemade black-bean soup (one of my personal favorites).  While it may seem bizarre to counteract a ‘sweet craving’ with some items that are not sweet, your body may just be looking for a satisfying way to boost your blood sugar.
  • Craving something salty and/or crispy?
    • Before you reach for those chips to satisfy that salt hankering, you can try a few alternatives that may restore a chloride deficiency. Try munching on celery, tomatoes, or olives to help restore sodium levels.  In addition, you can try different crunchy seaweeds to curb this craving.
  • Craving something cheesy?
    • Your body might be in need of some Omega 3 Fatty Acids and potentially calcium. Instead of polishing off a brick of cheese solo, reach for some sesame seeds and tahini (perhaps in a tasty hummus), avocado, or some leafy greens, such as kale or turnip greens.
  • Craving a steak?
    • You might be experiencing an iron deficiency if you have strong cravings for red meat (or are craving ice). However, you do not have to chow down on meat to quench this craving. You can incorporate beans, prunes, figs, spinach, seaweed, and legumes into your diet to bring that iron back up.

The body is a finely tuned instrument that can deliver you with so much information about what it needs, if you are willing to listen to it!  As an athlete with Celiac’s Disease, I am constantly listening to the signs from my body to ensure that I am properly fueled and getting the essential vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that I need to perform at my best. 

While fulfilling a craving with candy or fried foods might satiate you for the moment, your body will thank you for refilling the tank with quality foods that can push you for the long run (pun intended).  Plus, a craving can be a way to think about what you might be in need of, and then finding a new recipe to ‘fuel the beast’ that could be a new fan-favorite!  Bon appetite!