If you've been loving munching on the We Bar None bars in our Spring Box then you can probably guess that founder Ellen Burns knows a think or two about healthy snacking!
She's taken the time to share her tips and tricks to beating those junk food cravings and what healthy alternatives we can choose instead.
“Emotional eating, guilt free, will power.”
Since when did snacking become a war against ourselves?
We often get told that our cravings are something to be ashamed of and that when we “give in” to them, we are weak and should feel guilty.
In reality, our bodies are trying to tell us something. Once we understand the physiological reasons behind our cravings, we can choose snacks that actually satisfy and nourish us.
Chocolate is among the most common cravings and usually signifies a magnesium deficiency or a pretty crappy mood. Cacao fires off all of our happy chemicals - serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, anandamide (known as the “bliss chemical”) and phenylethylamine, which is the chemical our brains release when we are in love. Cacao also contains theobromine and magnesium, which are both shown to reduce stress hormones and promote muscle relaxation.
So if you’re craving chocolate, by all means have some, just make sure that it’s real cacao. Milk, white or cocoa isn’t going to give you what you need. To boost your magnesium intake, you should also be snacking on pumpkin seeds, cashews, or a green smoothie.
Craving chips and salty snacks usually means we are in need of good fats, chloride, calcium, magnesium and zinc. A handful of salted nuts will give you all of these! Some other snack suggestions are olives, cheese, or seed crackers piled with avocado.
A trick to get some chloride and keep yourself hydrated is to add a pinch of sea salt or pink salt to your water bottle. Salt contains the electrolytes magnesium, calcium and potassium, so adding a little bit to your water basically turns it into a “sports drink”, without all the needless sugar!
Salt cravings usually mean that our adrenal glands are working overtime, so you should also try meditating for a few minutes and make sure to get an early night.
Sugar, I need sugar!
You know what? You probably do. Maybe you’re trying to cut back on sugar or carbs, or you’re just tired and stressed, but it’s very likely that your blood sugar is tanking. Instead of grabbing something that’s just going to skyrocket you and crash you back down, snack on some fresh or dried fruit that has both natural sugars and fibre. Even better, pair your fruit with some nut butter or dried fruit with nuts and seeds to keep you energised.
Sugar cravings can also mean that you are low in phosphorus, sulphur and tryptophan. These can be found in sunflower seeds, pepitas, nuts, cacao and dried dates.
Caarrrrbbbbbssss. Give me carbs.
You need nitrogen, stat. Grab some beetroot hummus, as beetroot, garlic, and sesame all boost your nitrogen levels. Other suggestions are dark chocolate (there’s that cacao again), nuts and seeds, or a smoothie packed with dark leafy greens, citrus and watermelon, or even a glass of red wine.
First of all, you mayyy have an addiction. Keep an eye on that and you might want to calm down on your caffeine intake... but it could also mean that you’re dehydrated or that you’re lacking in salt and iron. An iron deficiency can also cause weird cravings for ice, so if you’re really jonesing for an iced coffee, maybe get munching on some meat, eggs, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, or dried fruit instead.
Uh...I dunno, I just want to eat. Something.
If you find yourself mindlessly scanning your fridge or pantry, chances are you’re not really hungry. The desire to eat can often be a sign of dehydration, boredom and stress. Next time you find yourself pacing your kitchen, drink a glass of water, get outside and go for a walk, or take some time to do something that you enjoy.
Cravings aren’t our bodies way of testing us, and we shouldn’t be depriving ourselves or feeling constantly at war with our impulses.
We should be listening to our bodies and what they need from us, and feeding our cravings with love and understanding.
Next time you get snacky, tune in to what your body is trying to tell you, and then find the best way to nourish it. When we do it right, eating is a form of self love and self care.
For more about We Bar None and healthy snacking, head to their website: https://www.webarnone.com.au/
And for an exclusive RY discount, use the code treatyoself at the checkout for 20% off your entire order! (Valid until 1st Jaunuary 2020)