Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Do you crave sugar?
Want to be in charge of your cravings?
As a child (and well into adulthood), I had a raging case of sugar cravings. I grew up in a household where we ate dense brown bread, tofu and carob, while my friends ate fluffy white bread and hostess cupcakes. I did grow up with a healthy palate but I also was constantly on the hunt for sources of sugar. When my parents would drop me off to spend a week with my grandma each summer, the first thing on the agenda was always a trip to the grocery store. I always chose Lucky Charms cereal, and we would sit at the kitchen table, giddily picking out the dehydrated marshmallows for me. While that is a fond memory of mine, I've luckily learned to balance out those cravings. A few reasons to do so are:
Sugar is empty calories but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since it has no nutrients, your body actually takes stored nutrients from its reserves to digest sugar.
The more sugar you eat, the more you crave, making the cravings that much worse.
Sugar can lead to inflammation in the body which can contribute to weight gain, decreased energy, cholesterol issues and more.
Sugar depresses the immune system, which can cause you to be sick more often than you'd like.
So how do you take control of your sugar cravings?
Sometimes your body is actually in need of protein. I like an apple and almond butter as a slightly sweet snack with the protein of nuts.
Stress reduction. Stress causes blood sugar highs and lows, which cause you to crave sugar. Take some deep breaths, get outside, exercise.
Reduce the chance of proximity craving: Wanting to eat that donut at the office just because it's there. You weren't even thinking about donuts until they showed up!
Of course, everyone needs a little sweetness in their lives. How about a creamy chocolate mousse that you can feel good about eating? Here you go:
2 cups organic full fat coconut milk (canned)
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
4 medjool dates, pits removed
Pinch of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. That’s it!
You can top with fruit, shredded coconut, mint or chopped nuts.
This is a great combination of healthy fats to keep you satiated and natural sweeteners for when you really just need a little something sweet.
Whip up a batch of this chocolate mousse and mindfully notice each bite: the texture, the smell, the taste. Enjoy each one of those spoonfuls!