CRAVINGS: Everyone gets them. Whether you're a person who reaches for chocolate when you're tired or a block of cheese when you're stressed, cravings are something that almost every person battles with. More often than not, we crave foods that aren't so great for us.
Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Power, is here to break down four of the most common cravings, what they indicate, and delicious, good-for-you recipes that help quiet that craving without packing on the pounds.
Craving #1: Chocolate
- About: Chocolate is the number one food that people, especially women, report craving. Chocolate contains PEA (phenylethylamine), which is a chemical in the brain that improves mood and even mimics the feeling of being in love. Additionally, pyrazine, a chemical in the odor of chocolate, can trigger the pleasure center of the brain.
- Healthy Alternative: Kimberly's Brownies with Raw Cacao Glaze
Craving #2: Salty Foods
- About: Most of the time, a salt craving is really a craving for crunchy foods, which people tend to reach for when they're feeling frustrated, angry or stressed.
- Healthy Alternative: Cheesy Calcutta Kale Chips
Craving #3: Carbs
- About: Carbs have a particular smell, texture and taste. Their mood-altering properties can make you feel euphoric, so we often crave carbs when we're feeling down and in need of a comforting pick me up. It's important to remember that whole, unrefined and gluten-free carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and quinoa are important for optimal brain function and overall energy. But, refined, junky carbs are another story all together! Like most cravings, we tend to crave carbs when we're feeling stressed or down. Refined carbs break down very quickly into sugar, which can give you a short-lived energy high.
- Healthy Alternative: Beauty food-paired Vegan and Gluten-Free Mac ‘n Cheese
Craving #4: Spicy Foods
- About: Haven't you noticed that more and more people are covering their meals in hot sauce? Some of my clients even have collections of hot sauces! Spicy foods, like chili peppers and hot sauce, raise your body temperature and cause a burst of adrenaline. Emotionally speaking, people can turn to spicy food when they're feeling like they're in a rut, or that their schedule has become mundane and repetitive.
- Healthy Alternative: Mexican Red Rice and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
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