One of the commonest issues I hear when people try to detox or diet is that they get cravings. Bizarrely, these cravings never seem to be for a head of lettuce or a shot of wheatgrass! Why is it that the cravings people get are always for the bad things?
Here’s some of the things I hear all the time on the top of the cravings list:
- Cheese on toast
- Fried chicken
- Ice cream
- Chinese duck and rice
- Bowl of cereal with milk (especially the sugary ones like Crunchy Nut Cornflakes)
- Roast dinner
- Cake or pastries
- Chips or crisps
As a rough rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t feel like going for a game of tennis after eating it, the food is taxing your system too heavily! All of these foods are high in fat and carbohydrates (sugar) and most also have high amounts of salt. These ingredients, when put in certain quantities, overwhelm our body’s natural appetite control, or homeostasis. They can trigger uncontrollable urges in otherwise highly disciplined people. There is even a term for this – hyperpalatability.
Hyperpalatability was first brought to public light by David A Kessler, the former head of the US Food and Drug Administration. While in charge Kessler had taken on the tobacco industry and went on to expose how food scientists had perfected the science of making food addictive. Hyperpalatability is achieved by combining the elements of taste in specific ratios which cause our bodies natural biochemical reactions to food to go into overdrive. What should be a natural pleasure becomes used against us, hard wiring us to favour certain food types, none of which are conducive to long term health and many of which are noted in the rise of obesity, diabetes and other degenerative conditions. Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating, gives great detail on this from his extensive research in the area and is highly recommended reading for anyone struggling with weight management and food cravings.
Knowing that the body is hard wired to want certain foods and that when their flavours are combined, it sends our tastebuds into overdrive, are there any quick fixes we could use to get us over those junk food cravings? Yes, there are. Hyperpalatable junk foods all follow a pattern. A large amount of fat is accompanied by a sugar. That can be refined sugar, or a refined carbohydrate that the body will quickly convert to sugar such as white bread, white rice or white potato. In most cases there’s also some salt. What I do to treat food cravings is make something that is completely whole food based, full of nutrients and enzymes, free from pesticides or food additives and takes only a few seconds to prepare. Here’s the deal. You’ll need:
- A small bowl and a tea spoon
- A handful of organic cashew nuts, preferably soaked overnight and then dried in a dehydrator. I tend to do this for a kilo or so of nuts at a time and keep the dried nuts in an air tight container ready for when I want some
- Half a teaspoon of unfiltered organic honey – use a soft set honey so it’s easy to mix in. My current favourite is an enzyme rich tropical honey from a community farm in Africa although I make this dish for a friend using local honey from a Surrey beekeeper to help her with her hayfever
- A pinch of Himalayan Pink Rock Salt
Here’s the complicated part. Put all the ingredients in the bowl. Mix thoroughly!
Wasn’t too bad was it now? In all of about 10 seconds you just created a salted honey nut dish. This will supply a quick hit of fat, sugar and salt, however the fats in this are good and come complete with fibre, protein and minerals, the sugar is brimming with enzymes and plant phytonutrients and the salt has a balanced mineral profile. This little snack delivers all you need to quash a junk food craving and by replacing the junk with a healthy version will help to wean you off of those foods over the long term. It does this by helping your body to remineralise and as you become accustomed to eating low calorie, high nutrient food in place of high calorie, low nutrient food, you’ll find that you start to crave nutrients and not junk.
This recipe is suitable for a raw food diet too, unless you’re a strict vegan in which case you could substitute date paste for the honey.
Junk food costs incredible amounts. Here are some of the costs:
- Junk food depletes your body of vitamins, minerals and enzymes
- Junk food ages your body quicker
- Junk food is implicated in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cardio vascular disorders and many other leading health problems
- Junk food is produced using poisonous agricultural chemicals that are destroying the Earth’s ecosystems, depleting the soil and polluting the water
- Junk foods often use palm oil which is a leading cause of rainforest destruction
- Junk foods often use factory farmed meats which are an inhumane form of slavery and genocide, a breeding ground for superviruses and a major source of climate change gases
Buying junk foods supports the corporations that causing the destruction of planet earth doing more of the same.
It takes less than a minute to prepare a healthy alternative as I’ve shown, so make sure you have the ingredients you need to hand. By doing so, you can help change the future of all life on earth. It sounds grand to put it like that but it was one bite at a time that got us into this state and one bite at a time that will get us out. Take the conscious health choice and within seconds of eating it your craving will go.