Oh hey, September, didn’t see you there underneath all that humidity and chirp of crickets!
While Labor Day marks the unofficial end to our fanciful beach blisses, it should not be mourned because fall’s front door is within arm’s reach. The cooler weather means scarves, boots, sweaters, obligatory fall foliage/pumpkin pictures, apple cider, and my absolute favorite fruitable (yep, it’s both a veggie and a fruit!) of the year…PUMPKIN!!!!!!!!!!
I’m not on any of these marketing execs payroll’s but my heart tends to flutter like a child playing in leaves on a crisp fall day when I see, smell, or taste anything pumpkin. In a way, I think it’s my coping mechanism to gradually acclimate myself into the cooler weather since I’m 100% all about that summer, summer, summer time.
Like bears and squirrels, humans tend to begin the hibernation process during this time period. With all the Sunday football hotdogs, halloween candy and oktoberfests running amuck, navigating a clear pathway to healthy eating during this season can prove to be a tumultuous task.
As always, it’s best to get your liquids in as much as possible. I’m not saying tote around jugs of waters with you everywhere (even though I do), but just be mindful of the nutrition that you are drinking. (this means 1 beer for every glass of water)
During the fall season, the temptations are irrestible and everywhere in abundance. Even in the middle of East Jabib a pumpkin latte and an apple cider doughnout exists with future consequences. (trust me, I live there, so I know.)
I’m not saying to completely cross off all fall treats and sweets from your normal diet, but during this tasteful time be mindful of the reasons behind why you crave a certain food or beverage.
The next time you are greeted with a giant life sized advertisement at dunkin donuts for pumpkin this and apple cider that, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I being brainwashed into ad imagery? (typically the “but it looks so good” effect)
2. Everyone else is, so why not? (black sheep never got anywhere by being white, right?)
3. Do I NEED this or WANT this? (chances are always that the mind will tell you both, but in actuality cravings are wants)
4. What are the after effects and are they worth it? (food guilt, bloating, overly caffeinated, hungover, etc.)
5. Have I had too many “reward days” lately? (If your cheat days are everything that ends in “y”, back away from the temptation. Once a week is usually okay, but any more than that can hamper your healthy living goals.)
So…instead of wallowing into an empty cup that was once your pumpkin spice latte, here are five ways to take control over your cravings:
1. Opt for tea. Tea is seriously my Bible in navigating my daily nutrition needs. I keep 3 different types on hand and once I’m finished with them make sure to try 3 brand new flavors. You would be incredibly surprised how one cup could change the rest of your outlook on food for the rest of your day. (I highly recommend David’s Tea for cravings. The company caters to every taste you can imagine!)
2. Become an early riser exerciser. This is from my own personal experience. I once thrived off of late night sweats at the gym, but honestly it lead me to inhale a house afterwards and head straight to bed. Obviously the food I had eaten wasn’t properly digested and once I made a habit out of this routine, the weight came right on. Try and set your alarm even just a half hour earlier in the morning and plan on incorporating cardio yoga or a brief run before you begin the day. If you can also fast before exercising in the morning, that’s even better. It’s daunting at first, but your body will gradually adjust. Exercising early has curbed my afternoon slumps/late night cravings.
3. Drink your greens! It honestly cannot be shouted from the highest peak of the highest tree that exists at a comfortable altitude enough……. Greens are seriously the best! I’m not just stating this fact becuase I’m vegetarian…greens are a great source of all our vital minerals and vitamins as well as acting as a great detoxifier to the skin and blood. Greens provide energy, curb hunger, and regulate your digestive system.
4. If you really want it, then you can really have it. Sometimes we go hours, days, months, or even years with an insatiable craving before it’s tamed. Every time I’m in South Beach, I frequent La Sandwicherie, becuase their simple dive-hoagie sandwiches are to die for. This is an example of a destinationally based craving. Many of us though have thought bubbles with chocolate cakes, peanut butter cookies, brownies, and whatever else our food hearts desire clouding our thought processes on the daily. In this case, I say if after you’ve tried to debunk why you have the craving and can’t seem to come up with a logical answer, give the freaking hell in. (I mostly do a week before PMS really hits. I stay within reason but still manage to give my body every single thing it craves otherwise a binge ensues.)
5. Fake it when you make it. Trick your body into believing a food is sweet/sour/crunchy/salty by creating a healthier version. For instance, the latest craze for veggies is kale chips. You can also try noodle-less lasagna, paleo pancakes, or vegan ice cream. These will only add inches to your mind!
Keep in mind that cravings are an integral part of life. We cannot simply swallow a pill and expect to suddenly become model food consumption citizens. As long as you truly listen to the reasons behind the cravings and every once in a while give in, you’ll have no impeded progress with achieving or maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
What foods or beverages do you crave? Ever actually thought about why you had a craving?
Peace, love, & ALL PUMPKIN EVERYTHING cravings!