Cravings seem to take two forms with most of us.
For some, Cravings is that friend from high school that is a whole lot of fun to go out and party with. She comes into town, calls you up, and part of you is excited, but the responsible part of you is tugging at your shirt. You know it will be a great time if you go...but that you'll probably regret it in the morning. You give in and you go, and you indulge all night long. Waking up in the morning, your head is pounding and you think "That night was not worth what I'm feeling now."
For others, Cravings is a different type of friend from high school. You see her around town every once in awhile, and it seems like her life is just like yours. Every month or so you meet for lunch, and chat pleasantly about whats new and reminsce on old times. As you're driving away, you let out a breath and think "I had a really nice time. That was great." And that good feeling holds you until next time.
You may have heard that "everything is good in moderation". And I agree with that. With all of the diet books and celebrity endorsements and "science"-backed diet websites and supplements out there in the world, I'm pretty sure that at one time or another you thought about trying one of those diets. "I shouldn't be eating anything processed." Even though a donut every Sunday morning over coffee really makes your week. "No more red meat for me!" So you start cooking separate meals for you and your husband. "I should get on one of these high intensity exercise trains. I'm going to join a Cross Fit gym - why not sign up for a 1-year membership?"
Jumping into a diet that cuts out food groups or signing up for too much exercise too soon will leave you burnt out and reaching for all those foods you swore off. Take it slow. Make those "boring lifestyle changes" you see every once in awhile in a magazine article. Start walking your dog instead of letting him out in the yard. Or go for a walk at lunch. On the food side - pack your lunch twice a week. Eat outside instead of at your desk. Do push-ups during TV commercials.
I made biscuits last night to go with dinner. Heavenly, flaky, buttery Southern buttermilk biscuits. I had the sudden urge to bake them, and so I did. I grated a whole stick of frozen butter into a big bowl of flower, mixed it up, baked it, and enjoyed every bite. What else was on my plate? A few chicken meatballs cooked in salsa (yes, salsa!) and kale coleslaw salad. To me, a biscuit is memories of high school, its memories of when I used to bake all the time, and just overall warm feelings of home. It doesn't come with fried chicken or pork belly, it's just a biscuit.
I've had my share of conversations that start with someone sitting down across from me saying, "Wait. You're eating that? I thought you were a dietitian!" Yes, I am eating - ice cream, cake, a cookie, chocolate, potato chips - because it tastes good! But I don't eat a gallon bag at a time, or every day. I follow my hunger cues, listen to what my body needs, and guess what? So can you.
I'm sorry I've been M.I.A. the past 2 months. Life gets crazy, does it not? Even I can't juggle everything at once.
Are you ready to ditch the drastic changes and make a new healthy lifestyle? I know you can do it.
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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