Friday, December 26, 2014

3 Steps to Beat Cravings and Temptations to Cheat: Holiday Menue Included

I appreciate your friendship and readership, this time of year and all year. So I want to wish
Best Ever Pumpkin Pie- dairy free- GAPS friendly
you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year. It's a time for caring and sharing, and JOY! Allow the good things to shine and patience is the operative word. Be on your best behaviour because you never know who is watching you, and is going to emulate you. Gluten sensitivity runs in families and there are others who have trouble with cravings, not just you. 

Be a leader and change any foods that you traditionally might serve, but are too processed, to real food with blood sugar stabilizing fibre and low fructose and no sugar.(only scant natural sweeteners such as honey and only in small amounts) artisanal agave and maple syrup. And lower the temptations for everyone. "It's Christmas" isn't going to cut it as one sugar filled "cheat" can trigger craving and hormonal changes that can last weeks (because of the changes in the microflora!). 

Here are 3 great practical tips from one of my mentors, Hyla Cass MD, integrative physician, author of "8 Weeks to Vibrant Health,”  These tips will lower your cravings for the wrong foods, especially bad carbohydrates, which will also stabilize your mood and make you happier. 

A 3-Step Formula to Beat Cravings by Dr. Hyla Cass MD (my bold) 

I'll bet you know exactly what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health, but every once in a while (or perhaps often!), something in the pantry calls your name… and you just can't resist.

Does that sound familiar?

Many people blame themselves, thinking cravings are the result of a character flaw or lack of willpower. Sometimes they eat even more to relieve the guilt. I want you to know that cravings are not the result of some kind of psychological shortcoming.

What decades of study, research and thousands of patient cases have shown is this: Cravings are the result of a chemical reaction in the body. (And are preventable)

When we eat, sugar is released into the bloodstream either slowly or quickly . If it’s slow, you'll have a steady, stable blood sugar and a controlled appetite. If it’s quick, your body uses up the fuel faster and your blood sugar spikes. When it drops back down, your body cries out: “I need fuel now!” That’s a craving, and it’s as if you're a puppet on strings with no sense of control.

Compare this to a healthy appetite. A healthy appetite is being hungry for foods you decide to eat as fuel for your body. You choose what, when and how much to eat and then you’re satisfied. There is also a sense of personal fulfillment that comes with a healthy appetite because you're in control.

Let me offer you a simple system to help you defeat cravings and enjoy a healthy, controlled appetite.
1. Add Fiber

To combat cravings you need a steady delivery of fuel coming into the body, and not a sudden surge. How do you bring that about? With fiber.

Eating the right amount of fiber and the right variety at the right times leads to a gradual release of fuel into the bloodstream. That keeps blood sugar levels steady, leaving you with fewer cravings and a more stable feeling of energy.

Blackberries (only organic are recommended) are high in soluble fiber and low in fructose and they are one of the best fruits to add to your morning plate. For insoluble fiber, eat chia seeds (not flax seeds), which are also rich in protein, minerals and calcium.  With lunch and dinner, I recommend adding to the menu healthy carbohydrates, such as (unprocessed, fermented ) beans and legumes (use for guidelines on how to introduce, soak and cook legumes safely in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome scientifically proven way). You'll also want good fats, such as those in fish, seafood (not farmed fish or seafood), raw nuts and seeds.

2. Drop Fructose

Step 2 is to limit your intake of fructose. Fructose is a unique type of sugar because the liver has to do extra work to process it. This causes your blood sugar to drop and cravings to occur.

To decrease your fructose intake, cut down on sodas and candy, and yes, you heard me… fruit. The high amounts of processed fructose in our diets and the toxins we are exposed to, have left our livers less tolerant of good fructose. If you've got cravings, I recommend staying away from fruits such as pears, apples, cherries, blueberries and bananas, including fruit juices, especially in the morning. Have about a quarter cup of blackberries with breakfast instead.

3. Gain Freedom

If you add fiber and drop fructose, the result is freedom. You actually don’t have to do anything at this step! When your blood sugar levels are steady, you don’t fall victim to cravings. Instead of losing control and then grabbing for high-sugar foods to refuel, you'll be able to choose what you eat. You'll enjoy a more balanced mood and energy level and you'll feel more vibrant. Plus, you’ll feel greater self-esteem because you won’t be in a constant battle with yourself and your food.

You don't have to be a victim of cravings. Add a few fiber superheroes to your diet, drop out a few fructose culprits at the right time, and enjoy the freedom of a healthy, controlled appetite. You’ll lose weight and feel better, and that’s just the beginning!

If you have found out you are gluten sensitive, it is important to follow the improved specific carbohydrate diet, called Gut and Psychology Syndrome protocol. Every day. This will promote long term health benefits, in an attempt to gain back 20 healthy years. 

There are lots of festive, GAPS friendly delicious recipes available in books like Breaking the Vicious Cycle, or Eat Well Feel Well  by Kendal Conrad or online.

For a holiday menue, with links for appetizers, crackers, mashed cauliflower (delicious), squash with brussel sprouts and chestnut, and cranberry sauce go to Elana's Pantry's.

For a chicken or turkey gravy go here

For a dessert cheese cake here is Elana's. It is made with yogurt, but not everyone can do yogurt even when fermented 24 hours. Please use only artisanal agave or honey. 

I recommend Best Ever Pumpkin pie because it is dairy free, and it's been family tested and should be called "pumpkin pie that pumpkin haters like".

For a Simple white cake with a dairy free icing try Comfy Belly's recipe. Or with a chocolate icing if you have healed and are at the end of the protocol and are able to do a little chocolate try this white cake dairy free cake.

Or maybe you want to serve a no cook chocolate mousse that tastes great and gives you great fats, lots of fibre and only 1.5 grams of sugar/glycemic load per serving (and it is sweet enough and delicious- I aim for less than 20 glycemic load points a day).

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara