We all get them, especially those salty, sweet, cold, chocolaty, or starchy ones. Amiright? What do I do, personally to overcome cravings when all I want is ice cream or macaroni and cheese or the world’s biggest bowl of mashed potatoes?
I don’t give in.
I’m sorry if that wasn’t the answer you wanted to hear - but it’s the truth. I think about how many times in the past I gave in; how many meals I “splurged” before I started taking care of myself (hint: probably 80% of them!); and remember how eating those things never, ever made me happy with my body and never made me feel good after eating them. This is not to say I never splurge - if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I do, but I believe in controlled splurging, i.e. Friday night through Saturday night.
Teaching yourself how to substitute your unhealthy cravings with foods that will both satiate the craving and make you happy is hard, though, right? Right. “What do I do, then, M?” - make your meals interesting!
For example, let’s say what you really want is a cheese burger topped with greezy sauce, fries and a shake - well, that’s too tough, man, because you aren’t going to have that. You’ve committed to a healthier lifestyle now. You know that eating that cheeseburger is only going to bring you farther away from your goal of a healthy body and a body you love; bring around Regret and Guilt (your least favorite “friends”); and leave you looking and feeling bloated.
Instead, you go for a salad - but decide against eating some boring “diet food” salad like iceburg lettuce with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions and the protein of your choice, a la this garbage:
Sure, maybe it’s pretty - pretty boring!
A prime example of what most people think “diet” food looks like. That looks SO G-R-O-S-S! I don’t want to eat it and I’m sure you don’t either!
Instead, you refuse to be bored to death by your new “healthy diet” and you decide to create a salad with all the best quality, yummiest, most interesting healthy ingredients you can find!
You want even more specifics than that? I know you do, you crazy kids, because I get messages asking me all the time.
How about a mixed baby greens salad with some fresh herbs mixed in (dill, basil, cilantro, thyme and parsley all work amazingly well) topped with any of the following: heirloom tomatoes, hearts of palm, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, beets, pepperoninis, Persian cucumbers, garbanzo beans, avocado, strawberries, spinach, specialty olives, radishes, jicama, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese, grilled veggies of any variety, pears, apples, Parmesan or feta cheese - and then topping it with a protein of your choosing?
Maybe something more along the lines of this:
Mmmmm, yummy looking, right? And certainly NOT boring!
And what do I do for dressing, you ask?
Lemon juice; extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (infused even, like fig vinegar, or basil EVOO); or I make a dressing myself at home. Lemon slices tend to be my personal go-to, though, and they are always available at restaurants.
So stop making yourself miserable with your salads (and all your meals!) - get creative!