Tag Archives: food tips

Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Unhealthy Cravings

We all get cravings from time to time, which can threaten to derail our healthy eating habits.  In this post, Sarah Grace from Fresh Fit N Healthy provides advice on how to handle cravings.

Allow Yourself to Indulge

Sarah used to struggle with cravings, especially at night.  She suggests allowing yourself to indulge in appropriate portions, while eating healthy 80% of the time.  Sarah also cautions against putting foods on a do not eat list, as she feels restricting yourself only increases the craving, which can lead to overindulging.   When indulging your cravings, ensure that you are using portion control, such as measuring out a serving of chips instead of eating directly out of the bag.  It’s also a good idea to choose options that contain fiber or protein, to help keep you feeling satisfied.

Satisfying Sweet Cravings

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Sarah has a weakness for chocolate, but she points out that it’s fine to indulge in a little dark chocolate daily (she pops dark chocolate chips in the freezer, and takes a few out for a treat!) .  Dark chocolate has benefits including improved heart health, decreased risk of diabetes and has mood-boosting properties.  In fact, consumption of dark chocolate has also been shown to decrease cravings.  If you’re craving baked goods, try Sarah’s Single Lady Chocolate Cake, which can be made in under 5 minutes, or her Raw Mocha Coconut Brownie Tarts.

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At night, Sarah likes to choose options that have protein.  Protein consists of amino acids which help your body repair itself, making protein a good nighttime option.  There is also some evidence that eating protein at night helps to keep your metabolism high.  Try her Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake or No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars.

If you’re craving chocolate but not really hungry, Sarah suggests heating up almond milk and mixing in chocolate greens powder.  She says it tastes just like hot chocolate, but you still get the nutrients of the greens.

Satisfying Salty Cravings

Sarah’s go-to for satisfying salty cravings is a fat-free, single-serving bag of popcorn.  She also enjoys toasting a wrap topped with a little olive oil and salt. Pistachios are another great option – they’re full of antioxidants and are one of the lowest calorie nuts – there are 160 calories in 49 pistachios.

Swap it Out

If you have a favorite recipe but want to make it a little healthier, there are some simple swaps you can make.  Sarah suggests using heart-healthy avocado as a substitute for fats such as butter and mayonnaise. If you’re baking with oil, apple sauce makes a great low calorie and low fat substitute. Check out Sarah’s blog for more healthy swaps, such as this pudding recipe that uses tofu as a base!

 

Health Food Trends to Follow

From gluten-free to 100% natural, there are a lot of buzz words appearing on food packaging these days.  However, it can be difficult to know which health food trends are worth following and which ones to skip. See our favorites below.

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Photo by Sweet on Veg

 

Quinoa

Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein; one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.  Compared to other grains, quinoa has almost twice as much fiber, which helps keep you feeling full longer, and is also a good source of iron, magnesium and riboflavin.  Erin Stutland, creator of Shrink Session, hopes the quinoa trend is here to stay because it is so healthy for you.  However, she suggests preparing it at home as you can often make the same dish yourself for much cheaper.

 

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are preserved by natural bacteria feeding off the carbohydrates in the food, which produces lactic acid.  The result is the creation of probiotics and healthful enzymes, which help improve gut health and boost the immune system. Fermentation also helps break down the food, making it easier to digest.  Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and Kombucha tea.

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Photo by Breville

Green Juice

Erin hopes people will continue to enjoy green juice after the trend fades, as it is good for everyone. It can be difficult to consume the recommended amount of vegetables per day, but green juice makes it easy to get the nutrients you need.  Green juice can also help expand the variety of vegetables you eat, which helps make sure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals.

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Photo by Rubyran

Hemp Seeds

Chia seeds have had their time in the spotlight, and hemp seeds are beginning to become more popular.  While there is room for a variety of seeds in your diet, hemp seeds contain 50% more protein than chia and flax seeds, making them a great option for those who don’t consume meat. They also contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help support brain function. Try them sprinkled on yogurt or blended into a smoothie.

Flexitarianism

Going meatless even one or two days a week can have benefits on your health as well as the environment.  Flexitarians tend to have a lower BMI than meat-eaters.  Additionally, omitting meat from your diet some or all of the time can help you consume less calories and fat, and lower your cholesterol.  If you’re unsure about going vegetarianism, flexitarianism can be a great way to introduce more plant-based foods into your diet.

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Photo by Malcolm Manners

Teff

Said to be the next quinoa, teff is a tiny seed grown in Ethiopia.  Teff is actually the smallest grain in the world, but is packed with protein, calcium and iron.  It can be substituted for wheat flour and is naturally gluten-free, making it a good option for those avoiding gluten.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is based on the fact that our bodies haven’t changed since the Paleolithic times. On this diet, you’ll stick to eating like the cave people did, consuming a clean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, meats and fish.  The Paleo diet is beneficial as it is an easy way to avoid processed foods,  and incorporates plenty of protein and healthy fats into your diet.  The protein and healthy fats will help you feel full, so you’re able to stick to this natural way of eating.