Our bodies’ natural way of telling us we need something is by craving it. Ergo the cravings of pregnant women (I suspect). However, I do not see the nutritional value in a tub of chocolate chip ice-cream savoured in the middle of the night. But since she is indeed 2 in 1 we should never even think of complaining but get them everything their hearts desire. (this is me planning for the future when my husband even dares think twice about not moving earth and sea to satisfy my cravings. Clever, no?)
Pregnant women aside, let’s speak about us normal, singular folk. The cravings we have range from your fave fast food (burger, fries, pizza) to the sweet treats. I find I am one of those sweet-toothed individuals and being in the land of never ending chocolate is not helping. My friends stopped being shocked at my obsession with chocolate. They could now order a dessert for me without sparing a moment’s thought-whatever has chocolate on the menu.
Now I am sitting here staring at a box of chocolate chip cookies. I was contemplating having one (which most often ends up in me eating about half the box) when it dawned on me that my body does not crave ice cream or chocolate or cookies, it is my mind that craves for these indulgences. I have forgotten that other sugary treats exist and could possibly satisfy my craving. The league of natural desserts consisting of fruit, some vegetables, sweet corn and some healthy processed options like yoghurt. The list of sweet but healthy is endless yet here I am craving chocolate chip cookies. Why don’t I partake of these others?
Let’s get back to my box of cookies. I’ve just had lunch and I feel like having dessert. I had tangerines but they finished, and I really, really liked them because they did satisfy my sugar crave but in a nutritious and undraining sort of way. The feeling when I eat a cookie is more like “this cookie is too sweet” and before I am even finished I’m already tired of the taste and feel like I need to drink a whole litre of water to get the sugar out of my mouth. Not so with a tangerine. The sweet cool juices slowly infuse into your system and when you’re done you feel like you could eat another 3. So why do I go for the unhealthy snack options?? Because I have flooded my senses with chocolates and cookies and cake so much so that I have forgotten the satisfying nature of a good healthy snack. It is the sugar…we crave the sugar.
10% of UK expenditure on healthcare is on dental treatments. The link between sugar and cavities cannot be denied. The say smoking kills, we stop smoking. They say sugar gives you cavities and we carry on undeterred. I’ve been trying to reduce my sugar intake. I don’t think I can be one of those people who take no sugar at all but reduced is good too. And after a month (it takes 21 days to form a habit they say) I can sufficiently say I am proud to be at about 1 tsp. of sugar per cup of tea. Since my sense of taste is not bombarded with sugar anymore the sweetness of a healthy snack does feel soo much more like a treat (without the burn out after) and I thus enjoy it more. The same goes for salt. After salting the food while cooking if I find the food bland while at the table I refrain from adding more salt and look for some lemon, pepper or chilli. I have learnt to savour the real taste of the food. That is my take on what being a foodie is. It is amazing the effect it now has-a packet of potato chips is now too salty for my liking thus I have successfully killed the craving for that snack. Go me!
With this experience in my arsenal I can say the fight against unhealthy eating begins with going back to basics and letting your body remember the good old days. I hope this helps.