I have realized something about myself lately. Perhaps it is cultural or maybe it is just me, but either way it is a loathsome struggle. I am struggling with a sense of entitlement to have treats (treats meaning- sugary, processed foods like candy bars or store-made cookies/pies). In my mind I think, “I already eat well, what is one sweet treat a day?” I think, “I am 6 months pregnant, I deserve to have a break from cooking for a day, let’s just get take out.” If I am having a bad day, I want a treat. If I am having a good day, I want a treat. If I am busy, I want to treat myself with quick food. If I am tired, I want a treat to pick me up.
I have never been the type of person who uses food as a coping mechanism- until now it seems. However, besides splurging once or twice on Valentines Day candy, I have not really given in to my desire for treats, but the mind game is driving me crazy. I feel as if all our diet changes were for nothing since I am craving unhealthy food. Perhaps it is my appetite going into overdrive mode to pack on more pounds for the baby on the way. I have to constantly remind myself that eating sugary treats does not do my body or the baby any good. In fact, it may actually be harmful because sugary, processed foods actually depletes our bodies of vital nutrients.
My unhealthy cravings have made me think more about all the messages that we are bombarded with everyday that tell us our satisfaction and fulfillment comes from products- like food. This of course, is far from true, but it still difficult to manuever through all the messages we hear, see and touch on a daily basis. I’ve often wondered, “Is my body really craving a Coke right now or have I just seen too many ads for Coke or is it a combination of both?” It has been ages since I have had a Coke, but even typing this out makes me thirsty for a Coke. How sad is that?
I admit I have caved on a few occasions this past month. I had a few truffles. I had a few pretzels from Auntie Annes. I have had three strawberry banana smoothies and two fish sandwiches (my latest pregnancy craving) from McDonalds. I ate two chocolate bars that my husband brought home for me as a treat; and I had a handful or two of Valentine’s candy at two get-togethers we attended. This has been the worse “treat” month ever. Pregnancy or not, I have resolved to end my unhealthy “treating” or at least significantly reduce it.
Here are some things that I do (and should do more often) when I have particularly strong cravings for unhealthy, processed food:
- Drink a large glass of raw milk.
- Eat an egg or make a homemade smoothie with an egg yolk in it.
- Eat before leaving the house. If I am even remotely hungry when I am out and about, I am more likely to give in to the tempting messages found on billboards, restaurant windows, and packaging on food products.
- When grocery shopping, have a list and stick to it.
- Have natural, wholesome “treats” in your house that are reserved for when you are craving something sweet. Last week I desperately wanted something sweet, so, instead of eating more truffles, I whipped up a batch of macaroons (sweetened with maple syrup) and had a few of those.
- Examine your diet. Are you getting enough healthy fats & oils? If not, boost your intake of things like protein (eggs, meat, fish, etc.) and healthy fats & oils (coconut oil, butter, etc.).
- Bake something! Often, if we want something sweet, but know the only way to get it is to bake it ourselves, we do not end up actually baking it (and thus, we do not get the treat). Then, if we do end up baking something, we are often so tired out (or, at least I am) from baking our treat that we do not eat as much of it as we would have if we had not baked it ourselves.
- Pray! We are to have control over our bodies and not let our desires rule us.
Do you have any tips for curbing your cravings? I would love to hear about them!