HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We would like to introduce you to a blog series on Intuitive Eating. This blog is written by Danielle Lithwick M.A., founder of Move Out Of Madness. With over a decade of combined education and experience in nutrition, yoga, psychology, addiction counselling, mindfulness, and personal training, she believes that how we move and how we eat should nourish not only our bodies but also our minds. Her mission is to teach people how to take the simpler and saner approach to exercise and eating using a personalized, skills-based, and compassionate approach to change. Her coaching services are rooted in non-diet and weight-neutral approaches to health and in the values of education, empowerment and enjoyment. She lives in Ottawa, ON Canada.
To read the series of blogs click the links below:
- Principle #1: Reject The Diet Mentality
- Principle #2: Honor Your Hunger
- Principle #3: Make Peace With Food
- Principle #4: Challenge The Food Police
- Principle #5: Feel Your Fullness
- Principle #6: Discover The Satisfaction Factor
- Principle #7: Cope With Your Emotions Without Using Food
- Principle #8: Respect Your Body
- Principle #9: Exercise - Feel The Difference
- Principle #10: Honor Your Health With Gentle Nutrition
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
3 Steps to Beat Food Cravings
You're probably thinking (with some inner-eye-rolling) 'She's gonna go through a list of things not to eat and then suggest some weird stuff to try instead...'
Can't blame you if you thought that.
I mean, there are some websites who suggest you try some carrot sticks next time the craving monster rears its ugly head.
Now, I'm rolling my eyes.
C'mon - carrot sticks instead of a slice of chocolate cake?? How? Why?
Nope, in this article, I'll briefly talk about how to prevent cravings before they happen. And this has to do with finding YOUR trigger.
In a nutshell, cravings can be linked back to 4 main triggers namely:
- An unhealthy gut (and that's a big one)
- Nutrient deficiencies
Remember Jenny from last article?
Here's the action plan we created together:
Step 1: Accept that having cravings don't make you 'bad' or 'greedy'. They make you human.
Step 2: Ask yourself 'What does that craving mean? What do I really want?'
Maybe the craving is your body's way of telling you:
- I just want to get over this sadness or anger inside. [Emotional trigger]
- Remember how mom made cinnamon rolls every Sunday? Sweet memories... [Emotional trigger]
- You only work, work, and work. Humans need to have fun! [Physical trigger]
- I'm exhausted - you sleep too late and/or too little way too regularly! [Physical trigger]
- You only feed me junk food. I can't do any work with that! [Nutritional trigger]
- Your blood sugar levels are too low (because you ate that pastry for e.g.). [Nutritional trigger]
Step 3: Heal your gut + make sure your stomach can produce enough acid.
If you have a candida overgrowth, or a bacterial overgrowth, you'll crave sugar. Because these bad bugs love sugar.
Stress, processed foods, toxin exposure, and hormone disruptors can all disrupt the gut's ecosystem.
Not having enough stomach acid can also cause bad bugs to thrive (because your stomach acid helps keep bad bacteria in check).
Plus, stomach acid helps your body digest and use the food you eat - without adequate stomach acid, you'd be at greater risks of developing nutrient deficiencies. And cravings.
And if your gut is unhealthy, it won't be able to produce enough serotonin. Yep, that's the feel-good hormone that helps keep anxiety and depression at bay.
Having an unhealthy gut also causes (i) sleep issues and (ii) lethargy which makes you not want to get moving. Yep, these two factors can cause cravings as well.
Check out this article to learn more about stomach acid and what messes with its production.
Back to Jenny.
Once she realized that her body was just tired, she decided to:
- Take the evening off - she'd paint a bit from 8pm to 9pm and would go to bed by 10pm.
- Wake up earlier (which was easy once her sleep routine improved) and prepare a healthy breakfast (e.g. Grilled chicken strips with some sweet potato fries and sauteed cabbage)
- Exercise for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning.
- Work on improving her stomach acid levels.
- Move her morning coffee to when she reached the office and have a turmeric and ginger infusion instead with her breakfast.
See how understanding what causes your cravings can help you create a treatment plan that works for you?
I'm now also on Instagram @autoimmuneandperiodhealth and would love to connect with you.
Submitted by: Shari
Feel free to post about your own journey with Health At Every Size, any questions you may have or suggestions for future topics on our Facebook page. Shari also has her own website https://thestrategicrd.com/ .