Day 4: What Do Food Cravings Really Mean?

day 4

When you eat like me – vegan and gluten free – it is difficult to find things you can eat when going out to eat.  That’s why it is so important to be prepared – part of my morning routine includes preparing all my meals and snacks for the day!

But, like many people, I do have a full-time, stressful and demanding job and often get busy!  In those unfortunate times, I don’t have a chance to prepare meals ahead of time – or heaven forbid – even make it to the grocery store.  It’s life, and it happens to all of us.  But I do notice that after a couple days, if I haven’t had a chance to prep my meals, those cravings begin to take over, and it’s A LOT harder to resist those cookies in the breakroom at work, or to hold off on ordering a plate of french fries to share at happy hour.

Believe it or not, what you are craving is most likely your brain is trying to tell you that you’re missing an important nutrient, and to please fix it!

Here are just a couple explanations for why you might be craving  certain foods – and healthy suggestions of foods to restore those nutrients:

Pasta, white bread, pastries: Most likely a chromium deficiency

Grab a quick salad with any of the following: romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, grapes, or apples.  A sweet potato with cinnamon is also a healthy fix!

Crisps:  It could be a chloride deficiency, or an essential fatty acids deficiency

Chomp on some celery, olives, tomatoes, kelp or himalayan sea salt to increase your chloride intake.  To increase your Omega-3’s (EPA and DHA) find some flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts to name a few.

Popcorn/Salty Foods: Most likely stress hormone fluctuations

Do some breathing exercises, mediation, or eat some leafy greens.  Head outside for a quick 15-20 minute walk – any type of exercise can help this!

Chocolate: Most likely a magnesium deficiency

Grab a handful of trail mix (I make my own) containing some raw cacao nibs or powder, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Other options include beans, broccoli, kale and whole grains.

Coffee: Besides the possible caffeine addiction, it could be a sulphur, iron, NaCl (salt) or phosphorus deficiency

Pinto beans, legumes, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and cranberries are all great options to restore many of these deficiencies.  Also reach for any cruciferous veggie (kale, cabbage, etc), asparagus, spinach, seaweed, garlic, onions, or apple cider vinegar.  If it is truly an iron deficiency, foods with vitamin c will help iron absorption.

Thanks to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for these great tips!

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