Let’s talk cravings. And let’s talk snacks. I’ve been working from home a lot lately and that means I am just steps away from the kitchen at any given moment. That makes it easy to reach for snacks when I need them, but it’s also too easy to reach for them when I don’t!
Cravings happen to all of us. Not a big deal most of the time. A craving hits in the mid-afternoon or in the evening after dinner and we get the urge to snack. Snacking isn’t really a bad thing, but mindless snacking can be a bad habit to get into because the snacks we choose mindlessly are often junky, lacking nutrition, and high in empty calories, refined sugar, or undesirable fats. Mindless snacking leads to overeating, which can lead to… you guessed it… weight gain.
The trick to snacking without piling on the pounds is to snack mindfully and find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for.
Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate!), savory (french fries!), creamy (ice cream!), or crunchy (chips!). Obviously, these examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings when you have them. Instead, you can make mindful substitutions and snack on foods that fuel your body, like the ones I’ve listed below.
Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:
fresh, whole fruit
apples and almond butter
banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts or berries and serve)
dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:
pickles and pickled vegetables (try my Easy Snacking Pickles recipe)
steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
freshly made salsa or guacamole
Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!)
Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:
dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana
mashed sweet potatoes
Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the chips when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:
light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
celery and nut butter
raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
Don’t fight your craving. Instead, be mindful. Listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your waistline.
Take action: Make a list of your go-to healthy snacks and then go shopping for them so you can have them on hand next time you get a craving.
Feeling Snacky? Eat this!