Monthly Archives: July 2012

Curb Cravings … Mood & Food

junk-food, emotional eating, curb cravings, health coachingWhen a craving hits, it usually hits HARD! Why?

  1. Sometimes it’s because we’ve been working hard and the glucose from our food has been depleted from carrying energy to our brains and muscles. When the glucose gets low, this type of craving occurs. We often feel sluggish, lose our concentration, experience headaches, get the shakes or have some serious hunger pangs. (Physical Cravings)
  2. The second reason is emotional. This type of craving occurs when we use food to mask our feelings. It’s easy to do and we don’t always recognize it. For example, it’s Saturday afternoon, you’re home alone with only household chores on your horizon. Yuck! Instead, you go to the kitchen and get a donut, cookie or ice cream and then a few minutes later you’re back in the kitchen looking for some chips. You’re bored and uninterested in what’s on the horizon so you choose something more pleasurable. (Emotional Cravings)
  3. When you’ve identified your craving as stress related, try going for a walk or to the gym for a good workout. Exercise has been proven to lower stress, so when you’re done you just might have beaten that craving! If you’re still hungry, at least you will have added to your energy-expended bank, and you’ve had time to think about what kind of healthy snack you’ll have instead of the junk food you almost picked up. (Emotional Cravings)

What to do? Stopping the donut/chip cycle is easier said than done, but a couple of things that will help you triumph over cravings are:

  1. Any type of craving or snacking behavior requires that you become aware of when it typically occurs and how you’re feeling at the time. Keeping a small notebook and tracking your food is incredibly helpful in this process. Looking back over it will give you strategies for when/how to implement the next tip.
  2. Be prepared for cravings or snack time by having healthy choices available and by limiting the availability of unhealthy ones.

Examples of healthy choices include:

  • healthy snack food, curb cravings, emotional eating, health coaching1 oz. of nuts and a piece of fruit
  • Healthy Trail Mix with a lot of nuts and small amount of dried fruit. I make my own from the bulk bins at Whole Foods to get the blend I want and it’s easy to carry with regardless of the outside temperature.
  • Celery and peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • Hummus & cucumber slices (or any fresh veggie you enjoy)
  • 1 piece of Dark Chocolate (72% or higher, 70-100 calories) and fruit I like in-season peaches with mine. Out of season I go for organic berries.
  • Larabar (nuts, fruit, dates … that’s it!) They are calorie rich, but when I’m out of Trail Mix and need something on the run, this is my favorite.
  • PBJ … yep! A peanut butter and jelly sandwich; grown-up style! Whole grain bread, no-sugar-added organic peanut butter (or almond butter) and either fresh fruit or all-fruit jam.

Most people have cravings; they’re not always a bad thing. Sometimes a craving is your body’s way of getting what it needs whether it’s nutrition, comfort, release or the need to relax. Potato chips only give temporary comfort and almost no nutrition–Understanding what we really need is the key to resolving our seemingly out-of-control cravings.

As a Certified Health Coach I can help you figure out why you’re experiencing cravings and help you design a lifestyle that will eliminate or greatly reduce them. You will feel empowered when you understand where your cravings come from and you learn to take back control. I am your Personal Trainer for nutrition and health!

In order for you to find out if coaching is a good fit for you, I’m offering you one FREE LifeChanger Session! Just hover over ‘Change My Life’, go down to LifeChanger Forms, fill out the appropriate form, submit it and I will contact you to schedule an appointment. www.healthworkskc.com

(I will be teaching a class on Mood & Food at the Lone Jack (9/27) & Liberty (11/15) branches of the MidContinent Public Library System.)

Thanks! I hope to see you soon!

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Kale, Collards & Scrambled Eggs

What leafy greens did you eat today? I am really lucky because my neighbor has a HUGE collard green patch and she gave me a bag of just-picked goodness so I added some of my curly kale fresh from my garden and cooked it up in a quarter cup of water. When it was tender I chopped it up, added some chopped onion and broccoli and sauteed it all together. When the onion was tender and slightly caramelized I poured a scrambled egg over the top and cooked it to perfection … Served with a side of ice cold watermelon and I was in heaven! By the way, the egg was from a different neighbor’s sister’s homestead. Am I spoiled or what?

For lunch I added the remaining greens (and cooking water) to my leftover homemade vegan split pea soup. It didn’t look like much, but it was delicious! I chose Missouri peaches and a handful of cherries for a side.

Greens are soooo good for you and now is the time to find them locally. Add them to smoothies, omelettes, salads and soups for some serious nutrition!

Greens are full of vitamins and phytonutrients. They improve circulation, purify the blood, strengthen the immune system, reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk, protect against macular degeneration … and they lift the spirit.

Imagine what your life would  be like if you had clear thinking, energy & excitement every day … if you were leaner and stronger! As a Certified Health Coach, I am your Personal Trainer for Lifestyle & Nutrition! I work with you to create an energized and passionate life, helping you develop a happy, healthy lifestyle in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial and discipline. Working together, we will discover the food and lifestyle choices that best support you. Making gradual, lifelong changes enables you to reach your current and future health goals. For more information, or to contact me, visit my website at www.HealthWorksKC.com