Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tip of the Day: Dealing with Cravings

Cravings are something we pretty much all deal with. Men and women. Don't pretend you're immune to the pull of that bacon cheeseburger you've been thinking about. Or that piece of cheesecake that's been calling your name. Just admit it, everyone has them.

The question is always pretty simple: give in or not to give in? I don't know about you, but I give in. In fact, it's been a pretty key tool in my succeeding this time around with my healthier goals. I've never been very good at restricting my eating. Low carb? Forget that. No sugar? No thanks. I just can't tell myself there is any food that is OFF LIMITS. The minute I do, there is a big red OPEN sign over anything I've tried to restrict.

I tried to go gluten free a few summers ago, something my doctor suggested to aid in weight loss when dealing with a bum thyroid. I think I lasted 3 weeks, got past the detox and was feeling pretty good but I just couldn't deal with all the 'no-no' foods.  I realize there are many reasons people just have to do dietary restrictions. It can be required for all sorts of health issues. I think for some of us though, it can spell disaster when trying to over-restrict.

The lucky thing today is that there are so many ways around a lot of those restrictions, if you're willing to put in the work at home. If you can't find some finger-lickin' chicken strips that cater to the celiac crowd, you can make them at home, probably tastier than at your favorite restaurant. By the way, I've done this with Bob's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and they were fantastic.

The point is, you can have your cake and eat it too. And you should eat it, if it's something you've been thinking about. Better to eat a reasonable piece now, than the whole cake later.

I think that for me, the trick is to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure. I buy just one peanut butter cup (or a twin pack to share) as opposed to a bag of miniature ones. Heck, that would set my whole family up. Also, many of the foods we tend to crave, I make at home instead of eating out, using healthy ingredients. Pizza is no longer a bad word in this house. It's a great way for me to deliver a healthy dose of veggies to my kids. We eat it several times a week, actually.

What was your last craving and how did you handle it? Me? I wanted a chocolate croissant. My compromise? I stuffed some whole grain french toast with low-fat cream cheese and Justin's Hazelnut chocolate butter. So good and it was exactly the melty chocolate-y filling that I wanted. Dusted with a little 'powdered sugar' (raw cane sugar ground up in my coffee grinder) and a little melted butter and it really hit the spot.

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