Did any one else stop the ice cream truck last week besides me? Is it because of the weather, childhood memories, cravings, or all the above?
The goal is not to become a slave to consistent cravings of ice cream, hot dogs, chips, soda, & cheeseburgers. If you indulge in these, stop, take a deep breath and have these substitutions on hand to combat the cravings.
1. Ice cream: If you are consistently craving ice cream it could be a for a variety of reasons; low blood sugar, dehydration, lack of essential fatty acids, malabsorption of vitamins and minerals in your gut, or you are just human. My new favorite substitute is Chia Seed pudding with coconut milk; 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup coconut milk, combine and chill for one day. Chia seeds contain essential fatty acids and the coconut milk and honey will offer the cold and creamy effect.
2. Hot dogs: Why do we crave this processed meat? Most likely if you have a low fiber and low nutrient dense diet, your body will want food that is processed so it can surpass the complex digestive processes. Hot dogs are made in a predigested form so not much work is done to break them down. This may lead to the consumption of many dogs because of the lack of nutrients and feeling full. Try adding or substituting the hot dog consumption with black bean burgers. Smash black beans, add egg, brown rice flour, jalapenos, seasonings and throw on the grill. The fiber in the beans will give your body nutrients and the full feeling.
3. Chips: The SALT! That is why you are craving these crunchies. Hotter weather leads to more sweating and loss of electrolytes and minerals. Make sure to add sea salt to your diet, either on your eggs in the morning, top of salad or in your marinade with meat. My recommendation for a healthy chip craving substitute is kale chips: Tear up kale leaves, spread onto a cookie sheet, drizzle Grape seed oil over the top, add sea salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice. Bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes & enjoy.
4. Soda: The reason soda becomes a temptation during hot weather is the initial thirst quenching effect. If you pushed past the time for a water break, your body may signal you to grab the cola with carbonation. If you drink carbonated water often, be cautious of the mineral depleting properties especially potassium, calcium and sodium which will leave you more thirsty. If you crave it on rare occasions, your body may need support to help you retain some water for quality water absorption. Ideally, I recommend alkaline water from either an alkalizing system or a trusted water spring source. If the craving will not surpass, try some carbonated water with a lime or lemon or you can try a low-sugar soda, ideally lower than 12 grams of sugar for a 12 ounce serving. Here is one I tested last week and enjoyed.
5. The Cheeseburger: I believe we crave the burger for a variety of reasons such as; the need for iron to keep up with the extra summer activities, the smell of the BBQ, and the consistency of biting into the burger. We all know of vegetarians who broke their term with a hamburger. If you are a vegetarian, this craving may come in the form of low quality veggie burgers and this can also apply to you. The white flour bread in combination with the burger can leave you feeling bloated and tired. Try to have your patty with a lettuce wrap and sauteed vegetables, and substitute the cheese with another healthy fat such as avocado. When you have the bun without the healthy fat your body will want another burger, more chips, and a soda to feel satisfied.
Have a happy & healthy summer,