7 Strategies to Minimize Cravings and Boost Health

Cravings can be difficult to deal with and often lead to bad dietary decisions. By implementing these seven strategies, you can help conquer cravings while improving your health at the same time.

  1. Stabilize your blood sugar.
    Create a morning ritual that includes alkalizing your body upon waking with a green drink, a morning tonic, or ginger tea (or similar). Follow that (within a half hour) with a small amount of protein. Lack of adequate protein creates both an insulin surge and a reactive glycemic state that contribute to further fluctuations throughout the day that are difficult to overcome. Lack of focus, “brain hunger,” poor decision making, and so on, ensue. Even for people with no appetite, a bone broth or similar can be sufficient. Throughout the day small regular meals at two to three hour intervals are required. When your last meal of the day is at 6pm and you don’t eat again till 10am (or later), your brain and your body suffer.
  2. Eliminate pro-inflammatory foods.
    For at least thirty days, eat only animal protein, including fish and shellfish, vegetables, herbs and spices, a handful of nuts and seeds (preferably soaked and sprouted), healthy saturated fats, including pastured eggs, citrus, and berries. These should be whole, live foods prepared mostly by you. To restate this, you want to eliminate processed foods and foods that contain harmful components that are inflammatory to your system. To the greatest extent practicable you want your vegetables to be free of genetically modified organisms and pesticide residues (buy organic), your protein sources to be free of antibiotics and growth hormones. One hundred percent grass fed is preferred, and you want to forever eliminate food additives like sweeteners, food dyes, and other additives that are neurotoxic to the brain.
  3. Increase essential fatty acids and healthy fats.
    Healthy fats include coconuts and their by-products like coconut manna, as well as avocados, oils that are from tree nuts (e.g. macadamia oil), tree fruits (e.g. coconut, olive, avocado oils), clarified butter (called ghee) and 100% grassfed or pastured butter, and nut or seed butters (e.g. flax seed and cashew butters). Essential fatty acids like omega oils are also readily available from oysters and other shellfish that feed on algae, and micro-greens that convert the sun’s energy directly into food. All these help reduce inflammation by supplying the cells in your body, which are a self-contained life form themselves, with much needed nutrients.
  4. Increase prebiotic and probiotic foods, particularly those that are lacto-fermented or cultured.
    These are foods that utilize a culture starter or fermentation process that predigests the naturally occurring sugars and also create a thriving environment for healthy bacteria to flourish. These foods include sauerkraut and kimchi, pickled ginger, and chutneys. Also included are kefirs, buttermilk, and crafted yogurts (that are from 100% grassfed cows, sheep, or goats). Prebiotic foods are bitter leafy greens like dandelion greens, watercress, and asparagus.
  5. Minimize legumes.
    These include beans, lentils, and peanuts and are naturally difficult to digest. For many they contribute to gassiness and bloating. Now, a few beans in an otherwise well-prepared meal are fine for most people. That said, most cooks do not take time to adequately soak, sprout, and slowly cook their beans which will easily convert to a starch and lose the quality protein that is otherwise available. If you are relying solely on beans (and nuts, seeds, and plant proteins) for your nutrients, careful preparation is a must!
  6. Eat more raw dietary fiber, particularly in the form of leafy green plants.
    There is a myth that abounds that leafy green plants, particularly the cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, arugula, broccoli, and kale will somehow steal away precious iodine from your body, especially the thyroid gland. Or that high-oxalate content foods like spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens should be avoided because of the risk of kidney stones. If these cases exist at all, the probability is so incredibly rare that I can safely advise my patients to eat these at every meal.
  7. Hydrate!
    Not only is good water a primary source for trace minerals and nutrients, it’s essential for ridding the body of unwanted wastes. Very often, even though my patients are drinking lots of water, the water is not making it inside the cells. One of my suggestions is to always add a pinch of sea salt. Make sure the one you have on hand for this purpose is produced by the process of evaporation of saltwater bodies only.

Find out what you need to know about your thyroid hormone or health disorder diagnosis today, and get health news updates via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and The Wellness Essentials newsletter.

If you’d like to leave a question for me to answer in a future blog, you can do that via social media or email.

For more information about my clinic in Oradell, NJ, including Functional Medicine, Neurology & Nutrition, and The Grassroots Medicine Initiative, please call (201) 261-5430.