Thanks for the positive responses from yesterday's blog on eating Millie's SuperFoods. I love feedback and enjoy helping people wanting to eat healthier-no matter what stage of eating healthy you're in or what diet you eat!:)
If you find yourself looking to food to satisfy you alone, you won't find it. The right diet for you may not be the one your neighbor thinks you should eat, the one your friends or family think you should eat, or be the one that YOU think you should eat. Sometimes our bodies speak to us more clearly than we acknowledge. The foods we crave, the moods we have and our actions, are often relayed back to what we eat and how we perceive food. For instance, there are "diets" for every type of person and for every type of ailment. Are any of these wrong? No, maybe not, but are they right for you? Perhaps, perhaps not.
The point is, if you crave certain foods, there's a reason. Either you're addicted to them physically, or your brain and body need them. Sometimes blood sugar drops influence a crave for food, such as chocolate, coffee, sugar, etc. We want that one food that is going to pick us back up, put us in a good mood or keep us hauling through the workday right? Does it actually mean our bodies need that Twix bar, that McDonald's McFlurry or that extra latte from Starbucks? NO:) Does a craving for fats and sweets have something to do with not getting enough protein, healthy fats and natural carbs from whole grains and fruits have something to do with it? YES. Does depression, food obsession, stress or food addictions have something to do with it? YES. The fix? Easy! Fill your list of foods with healthy filling foods and leave less room for more cravings, more calories and more unhealthy foods.
EXTRA TIP- Exercise increases your ability to suppress the appetite a natural way by improving mood and blood sugar.
Regardless of your situation, take in mind that the healthiest foods come from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, fat free dairy, healthy fats like nuts and seeds and some oils, lots of herbs and spices. Anything within those contexts is healthy- don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Percentages may differ for certain people or preferences, but truly, these are all good foods so if you're eating one of these not fried or soaked in butter and grease, you're doing well:)
*:.Millie Lou's favorite Craving Cures *
Craving- Ice Cream! -
Solution: Freezing nonfat greek yogurt for 2 hours and drizzling with sugar free chocolate syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon:) or eat it plain!
*Greek yogurt is full of protein, low in sugar and stablizes blood sugar, regulates digestion due to active cultures and is truly guilt free! Plus it releases tryptophan which enhances your ablity to sleep soundly!
Peanut Butter Cookies
Solution: Spreading 1 tbsp. all natural peanut or almond butter onto a homemade oatmeal cookie:)
Peanut butter is high in B vitamins and magnesium, all which energize you and keep your blood sugar stable! :) Almond butter does the same but is rich in Vitamin E too which helps improve skin, hair and nails and contains more fiber!
Slice a whole or sweet potato ( skin on ), or a large zuccini into 1/4 inch slices and spread on a nonstick baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with salt free lemon peppe, garlic pepper, or pepper or your favorite spice and bake for 15 minutes in the oven. YUM
Sweet potatoes are high in potassium and fiber. Ditto for Zuccini which also adds a good source or plant protein!
1 sqaure of Ghiradelli chocolate 100% dark cacao ( or at least 70% dark)
Chocolate ( dark) is rich in antioxidants and can improve artery health when eaten dark and eaten in small amounts daily. Its also a natural mood booster:)
1 -100 calorie packet of low sodium popcorn such as Smart Balance brand
Popcorn is high in fiber and low in fat. 4 cups popped. This kind contains only 2 grams of fat and has 4 grams of fiber.
1 100 calorie packet of Blue Diamonds natural almonds or 1 cup of mini carrots
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and can help prevent or treat breakouts!:)
Millie Lou's Trail Mix ( 1/4 cup ) - see below - and 1 orange sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon
Oranges are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C from citrus has also been found to significantly reduce joint pain and improve mood in various studies:)
.:* Millie Lou's Favorite Trail Mix *:.
1/4 cup natural almonds
1/4 cup natural pecans
1/4 cup natural walnut halves
1/4 cup natural pumpkin seeds ( also called pepitas on the ethnic and international aisle at your grocery store )
1/4 cup natural cashews
1/4 cup natural hazlenuts or macademia nuts
1/2 cup or 2 small boxes of raisins ( I like to buy organic, they're very cheap and don't contain the any preservatives and to me, taste fresher)
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with a spoon to mix well. 2. * Enjoy 1/4 cup at a time ( handful) for a tasty and SO nutritious 130 calorie treat!
:* Extra Tips * :.
~You can buy trail mix pre-made but by buying your own ingredients and making it fresh, you ensure there is no salt or ingredients you don't like! I hate buying trail mix and picking through it if there is something I dont like, so if you don't like one of the ingredients above, substitute your own!
~ I like to portion mine out by 1/4 cup servings and put into Ziploc bags. I store them in the pantry and grab one every day on my way out the door. That way, whenever I need a pick me up throughout the day but don't want a meal, I'm covered!:)
~ Feel free to even add your own spices. I like cinnamon mixed in mine, but get creative with different flavors if you want like nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom, etc. Get creative and experiment, that's the fun part:)
*Now, forget rules, regulations and diets. Eat a more simply healthy diet from whole fresh foods, less processed foods, less if any caffeine, little sugar ( only from natural sources) and you'll be on your way to eating well. Forget low fat, but be sure to keep a check for foods that contain saturated fats and keep under 10 grams per day.*