Healthy Snacking: Tips to Cope With Food Cravings

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Photo by: Eartha Lowe - @earthacooks.com

BY: EARTHA LOWE 

craving: an intense, urgent, or strong feeling of wanting something

craven: a Jamaican patois (patwah) word that means “greedy”

foodie: “a term of endearment used to describe a “craven” person with a never-ending “craving” for food (in my opinion)

Food cravings are to be expected, but ask yourself, “am I really hungry?” A food craving is an intense, and sometimes uncontrollable desire for a specific food. Feeling stressed may also promote emotional eating and cravings for comfort foods. These types of foods are often junk, processed, and high in salt, sugar, and fat. Craving these types of foods can be a major roadblock for people trying to maintain a healthy weight or switch to a more healthful diet.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to help cope with cravings. Here are some tips:

  1. Don’t wait for intense feelings of hunger before you eat. Have a regular pattern of meals and healthful snacks planned throughout the day.
  2. Eat mindfully. One of the keys to better health is to enjoy eating your food slowly and in a stress-free environment.  Take the time to pay attention to each bite, noticing how your food looks, tastes and smells.
  3. Start new habits. Replace the activities that trigger food cravings with something else. Go for a walk, have a good stretch, or enjoy a cup of herbal tea.
  4. Uncover nutrient deficiencies. Recognize what you truly need and find a healthy alternative.
  5. If you crave foods like store bought potato chips for example, why not discover a healthier version that’s homemade?

Sweet Potato Chips are delicious! They’re also super easy to make. Slice the sweet potato as thin as possible to get a crispy chip. Thicker chips will be more chewy than crispy.

You’ll need

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced (as thin as possible)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 2 hours. Rotate the pan and flip the chips after 1 hour.
  4. Once the chips are light and crisp, remove them from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. The chips will crisp as they cool. Serve immediately.

Category: vegan, vegetarian

Prep and cook time: 2.5 hours

Serves: 4

Difficulty: easy

Lemon-Blueberry Smoothie: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are potent sources of antioxidants. Berries are high in fiber, which benefits the digestive tract, cardiovascular system, and blood sugar levels. Rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated only into baked desserts – because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits – enjoy a hearty serving of berries in a tasty, energizing smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to get a healthy dose of vegetables and fruits into you, meanwhile helping to curb cravings for something sweet.

You’ll need

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Crushed ice (optional)

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a blender; blend until smooth. Serve chilled.

Category: vegan, vegetarian

Prep and cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2 cups

Difficulty: easy

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