Curb Your Sweet Cravings by Eating Sweets

In working with
clients one of the first things we frequently
address
is their sweet cravings.

Perhaps I attract clients with sweet
cravings because I have a sweet tooth of my
own. It’s been there since childhood, when
my grandmother always kept our freezer
stocked with homemade cakes and cookies. What
fond memories.

In overcoming my
own sweet cravings, I have become an
expert
at helping my clients and
workshop attendees break through theirs.
Does this mean I never eat cake or cookies?
Of course not. That wouldn’t be any fun! It
just means I don’t feel that need to have
them as frequently. That’s my goal for my
clients. I help them
tweak their diet so they aren’t always
fighting a desire
to eat the more
refined sweets like candy, cookies, cake, and
ice cream.

See, when I work with
clients I don’t just say “stop having sweets,
they’re bad for you,”
I say
“let’s figure out WHY you’re having the sweet
cravings.” This is where my approach varies
a bit from a traditional nutritionist. In my
experience, both personally and with clients,
a sweet craving is a sign that something is
out of balance. By
addressing the imbalance and therefore
reducing the craving, my clients can eat
healthy without feeling deprived.

One of the
reasons we all get sweet cravings

is because we don’t have enough sweet flavor
in our diet. Ideally, we want a balance of
sweet, salty, bitter, and sour tastes in our
diet. We typically don’t get sweet flavor in
our meals and so we look for a sweet treat
such as candy or cookies.

What would happen if
we added some healthy sweets to our meals?
I’ve experimented with this
personally and with my clients and it works
like a charm. When I talk about healthy
sweets I’m mainly talking about sweet
vegetables such as sweet potatoes, winter squash
such as butternut, beets, and
carrots
(especially cooked
carrots). How often do you eat these foods? I
will frequently make a batch of one of these
sweet vegetables on the weekend and keep them
in the refrigerator so I have them on hand
when I want something sweet – either as part
of a meal or a snack.

If you cook them
right, they’re honestly like eating candy.
Plus, they are packed with
nutrients and fiber. Sweet potatoes are my
personal favorite. The trick is to bake (not
microwave) them at 450 degrees for one full
hour. Yes, an hour is a long time. Simply set
a timer and go watch TV or make some phone
calls.

While I’m certain
that eating more sweet vegetables will help
you with sweet cravings,
there
may be other things going on that are causing
your cravings. Often when I work with
clients we find there is a combination of
three or four reasons behind the cravings and
we go step-by-step to address each one.

Food Focus: Beets

This once forgotten vegetable is making a comeback! Beets are such a good source of colorful anti oxidants that are needed for good health. They’re easy to cook and they are one of the sweet vegetables, mentioned in my last newsletter, that help reduce sweet cravings.

Beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, but they are also very low in calories. Aside from the sugar, beets contain powerful nutrients that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

Cooking Beets with Only 5-Minutes of Active Time

While beets take a while to bake, they’re very low maintenance and take only 5 minutes of active time. Simply set a timer and go do something else.

Ingredients

1 bunch of beets (about 3)

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil. Place on baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel beets. Cut each into 8 wedges.

Place beets in a medium size bowl and toss with the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt.

You can serve on a salad, over greens, or simply eat them on their own. Enjoy!

Note:
Once the beets have been cooked, the skin will literally slide off as you drag your hand across the beets. To avoid staining your hands, wear gloves or put olive oil on your hands before handling the beets.

Healthy Food Tips: Smart Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Recent studies indicate that humans have an innate preference for the taste of sugar. If you’re like most people, then you haven’t quite figured out how to satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your diet. The good news is that there are plenty of snacks and sweet treats that can be part of a balanced diet if enjoyed in moderation. You can have your favorite cake and eat it too, as long as you don’t go overboard. The following substitutes have an amazing taste and are much more wholesome for you than their junk food counterparts:

Eat Dark Chocolate

If you are craving for chocolate, go ahead and get some – but make sure it’s dark chocolate. Researchers have found that dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. Some varieties are loaded with calcium and probiotics. Dark chocolate supports cardiovascular health and increases your energy levels.

Get Some Yogurt

Plain yogurt can be sweetened with jam or honey, or combined with granola, cereals, and chopped fruit. Greek yogurt brands are very delicious and filling. If you are looking for a creamy treat, combine some low fat yogurt with a high-fiber fruit, flaxseed, and ground nuts. Add blueberries and raspberries for extra fiber. You may also use crushed graham cracker crumbs and vanilla yogurt.

Pudding Is a Great Choice

Pudding is an excellent source of calcium and protein. You can make pudding at home or buy it from the cafeteria. Individual pudding packs are low in calories and come in all sorts of flavors. If you are trying to lose weight, you can opt for sugar free varieties.

Have a Sweet Drink

Sweet drinks contain empty calories, but you can add them to your diet once in a while when you are craving for sweets. The healthiest options include instant hot cocoa packets and hot chocolate made with milk. Stick to half of cup in order not to exceed 100 calories.

Try Chewing Gum

Chewing gum comes in all flavors and colors. Some varieties taste like Key Lime pie, while others are available in classic flavors such as mint or cinnamon. Chewing gum not only gives you fresh breath, but also helps you curb your appetite.

Add Dried Fruit to Your Diet

Dried fruits have a chewy texture that satisfies that urge to snack on something while you watch television or read your favorite book. They are a quick and tasty way to add more nutrients to your diet. Dried fruits are healthy, loaded with fiber and satisfying to eat, and they usually contain more fiber than their fresh counterparts.

The Sweet Truth: The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

If you are looking for an alternative to rice or potatoes, your best bet would be sweet potatoes. This crop is rich in vitamins and minerals, not to mention its naturally endowed delicious taste. Whether it is boiled, mashed or served in any way you want it, the health benefits of sweet potatoes should not be taken for granted.

Although starchy, it is very low on calories and it is also an excellent source of proteins. You have to know that proteins found in plants are healthier than those found in meat. And although it is a good source of carbohydrates, it is low on sugar, that’s why diabetics can safely eat sweet potatoes.

As mentioned earlier, this potato is a good substitute for rice, if you are looking for a good source of carbohydrates. It also contains several vitamins which is very helpful for the body, helping it to function at its fullest. Vitamins also help us prevent contracting diseases. Deficiency in specific vitamins can also cause diseases and health conditions which can be dangerous. Here are some of the vitamins found in sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which is good for the nervous system and also helps the body to effectively absorb protein and carbohydrates. Pyridoxine also helps in the formation of antibodies, for better immunity. It also aids in balancing sodium and phosphorus amounts in the body.

Vitamin C – if you thought citrus fruits are the only good source of vitamin C, well, sweet potatoes will prove you wrong. They have a considerable amount of vitamin C. It can heighten defenses against diseases like colds, influenza and other respiratory ailments. Vitamin C also aids in clotting for faster healing of wounds. It also produces collagen which contributes to skin’s elasticity, meaning your skin will not sag at a fast rate while you are aging.

There are more health benefits of sweet potatoes, including fast absorption of minerals to your body. How did that happen? It is because of Vitamin D which sweet potatoes also contain. Vitamin D helps your body to effectively absorb minerals to your body.

Speaking of minerals, the benefits also include considerable amounts of minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium.

Iron is good for the production of red blood cells, and when the body is insufficient in iron, we tend to get tired easily, and we tend to lose our focus. Magnesium on the other hand aids in cell repair and strengthens bones, teeth and muscles. Potassium plays a role in the function of the heart’s muscles, as it does with the kidneys.

The health benefits of this vegetable are in a complete package, because you don’t just acquire essential nutrients, but it also will be effectively absorbed in your body for use.

Well, if you think those health benefits are not enough, then maybe you can try adding some more ingredients to pair with sweet potatoes, like mashed with milk, or fried. Boiled sweet potatoes also taste excellent.