Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dealing With Cravings

When I was pregnant with Munchkin I didn't have very many food cravings. Honestly, it was such a fight to keep food down that I never really thought about what my body might be craving or needing. I ended up eating a lot of pb and j sandwiches (one of the few things that tasted good and didn't immediately come back up), saltines, toast, and other bland items. At that point I had done Atkins a few times with great results but hadn't stumbled upon the Paleo or Primal diet yet.

This time around I am constantly craving food, even though I feel seasick nearly all day long. Hot, spicy Chinese food and sweet stuff like chocolate are at the top of the food cravings, and yes, I have not been eating 100% clean the past few weeks.

Its obvious I need something, but what? Searching the internet it seems that a craving for spicy food could mean a lack of zinc in the diet. It may also be a sign that the body is having trouble regulating its temperature. Well that makes a ton of sense-I'm either hot or freezing. Time to get more zinc in the diet! Once I upped my intake of spinach, kale, and berries my need for high carb Chinese evaporated.

My chocolate cravings seemed to be tied to a lack of magnesium so I started adding strips of dried seaweed to my bone broth, which helped but...chocolate. There's a lot more to THAT craving than just a low mineral. I have managed to eat more fruit and keep the chocolate nibbles to a minimum, though.

As for the rest of my diet I have been eating like I normally would: lots of protein, tons of veggies (and thank goodness spring veggies are starting to show up) fruits like berries, and some nuts. I have been trying to eat more fish, though I can never see fish being a favorite protein for me. I am also taking a pre-natal vitamin and extra folic acid, just to ensure all my bases are covered.

While cravings can be hard to overcome it is possible. My suggestion for everyone out there (not just the mommies to be) is to look at what you are craving and ask your doctor (or do some research) and see if you are craving that food for a dietary reason. I never would have thought eating more kale would stop my Chinese cravings in their tracks. Then look and see if there is a psychological reason. I know for a fact my chocolate needs come from years of grabbing a candy bar whenever I was sad or had a rough day. Breaking THAT habit is hard, but it can be done!

Now to go throw together a big salad for lunch with spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers (sadly, hothouse ones), leftover grilled sirloin, and cherry tomatoes (again, hothouse). Yum!

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