What To Do When The Sugar Cravings Hit

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So, here is the northeast, getting stuck inside for 48 hours during “snowzilla” can bring out the stir crazy in you.  I don’t know about you, but the winter shifts my eating habits in profound ways too. Can you relate?

Once my face no longer hits the sun as much and I have to break out my Happy Lamp, (yes, my full spectrum lamp, and yes, that is what they call it, and yes, it works, enough to allow me to get out of bed at 6am when it is still pitch black out, not feeling like I was drugged) I know I have to get extremely mindful with my eating, especially the amount of sugar I eat. The Happy Lamp doesn’t cure everything.

In the winter, I can go through phases of never really feeling satisfied with food, as though I could just graze through my entire day. And then end it all with a couple of (homemade) cookies. Not good in the long run.

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I am not making poor food choices, per se, just maybe a little too much food overall.  This is winter after all. But, we all know now (or you should) that eating well still means we have to watch our calorie intake. Better than eating McDonald’s and Chinese food everyday, but still, calories are still calories.

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And then the cookies. When that becomes an everyday occurrence I know I need to reign things in.  Having gone through this for a number of years now, I can see exactly what is going on. A number of years ago, this would just be a way of life for me. Now, my awareness around my emotional hunger and my physical hunger is top of mind for me, and thus, I can make choices.

Here are some choices I am making right now to shift out of winter overeating:

  • Eating warming, more filling foods at every meal, rather than a cold smoothie or a salad. I have learned, for me, that this never really satisfies me and always keeps me a bit hungry, thus I graze.
  • Allowing myself to have a treat every once in a while, not every night. And enjoying it fully. I do not want to feel like I am depriving myself, yet I need to keep the treats in check.
  • Recognizing that winter, though far from my favorite season, is a time to rest and hibernate a bit. A cup of tea at night, a long walk outside in the fresh air with my dog, all make me feel better.
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And since this blog is so much about the food, what treats would I make to satisfy my sweet tooth right now? My go to’s lately are something made with either local honey, real maple syrup or dark chocolate and lots of other high fiber, good for you ingredients, such as cashews or pecans, unsweetened cocoa powder and chia seeds. These also help slow the rush of sugar to your bloodstream and we don’t want our blood sugar to go haywire. Like this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Drizzled Popcorn. Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? Yes! Try it and let me know how winter is treating you.

 

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