When we are busy, usually the first thing that falls through the cracks is our commitment to healthy eating. Do not beat yourself down, because you are not alone. Blame Mother Nature. Yep, nature designed you this way. Craving sweets when stressed is a natural phenomenon. Let me explain.
When stressed, our body wants to be prepared to run away from the danger. It craves carbs. Carbs supply the body with glucose – they fuel your brain, nervous system , kidneys and red blood cells prefer. At any given moment the body makes a decision about which fuel to use for energy – fat or glucose, or a combination of both. When you are living on stress hormones, your body uses glucose as its fuel, not body fat. The more your body thinks it needs to use glucose as your fuel to help you escape “danger” , the more it needs to keep your “get out of danger” fuel tank full. You crave sugar to support your survival mechanism!
Back in the day, the stress came from a tiger chasing us, but these days the danger comes from impending deadline or traffic, or cranky kids.
And I know, this type is stress will never disappear. So, what should we do then? Just keep eating in that Snickers bar in secret, or run to buy yet another high-calorie caffeinated sugar drink? It is the quick fix of vicious circle.
Nope. That is not a solution, is it now?
How do you calm your body to think that it is not in danger without meditating and deep breathing in front of your boss?
First, notice when you crave sugar and increase your healthy fat intake the meal prior to your sugar craving time. The calories from the healthy fat will give your body enough energy to deal with any crisis. Your body will be prepared and ready to deal with anything.
Second, come to my website and you will find simple, super easy, fast to make and highly nutritious recipes. All my recipes follow my mantra: food combining and seasonal eating will give you max nourishment. My students ( I teach holistic nutrition at University of Calgary) are always amazed when I show them how to make a pretty, delish and nourishing meal in under 5 min by just using a blender or a food processor.
Here is the proof. My dinner tonight which I happily shared with my husband and 4-year old son took me 7 minutes to make.
A cup of black eyed peas (black beans will do too), a cup of white beans, a cup of chopped organic cherry tomatoes (Thank you, Costco) and 4 stalks of green onions. While I was chopping the tomatoes and opening the cans, I warmed up the oven to 350F and roasted a few kale leaves brushed with avocado oil and sprinkled with Himalayan salt. In my trusty blender, I threw in a handful of fresh dill, mint and the zest and juice of 2 lemons, a splash of your favourite oil, apple cider vinegar. Five minutes later, I was ready to enjoy a mouthful of flavour and textures.The crunchiness of the kale, the softness of the beans, and the explosive taste of fresh herbs and lemon-y dressing. A sprinkling of raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds added the healthy fat component of my meal.
The ingredients compliment each other perfectly to help your body optimize the nutrient absorption. Iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, C, healthy protein and fat – all on one plate of max nourishment.
This is the perfect fast food.
Extra bonus tip: A handful of pumpkin seeds at dinner, will help your brain and muscles relax and sleep better at night due to high magnesium content. After a good night sleep, you will be ready to face the hectic traffic and your boss.
Have a max nourishment day!
With love; Elina
Elina Nurmi is a guest blogger for Naturmend. She helps people create simple and nourishing meals to provide them with maximum nutrition. She teaches classes at the University of Calgary and runs a stunning Instagram page as @maxnourishment. Learn more about her here.