So, over the past few days, I’ve found myself eating an incredible amount of food. Quite seriously, I’ve been insatiable. I dabbled in some Chinese takeout, vegan pizza, homemade stirfry, PB&J, bean and cheese and avocado burritos, honey mustard peanuts, tofu benedict*, and more….
*The tofu ‘eggs’ benedict was from this place Doherty’s East Avenue Irish Pub, which sounds about the last place you’d be able to get vegan breakfast at. HOWEVER, they had many options, the portions were huge, the prices were low, and the service was good too. It’s definitely a ‘foodie’ brunch (see the brunch menu here) – with vegan options including French toast, pancakes, tofu scrambles, white bean and tempeh sausage patties, and like I said, tofu eggs benedict. Beyond their vegan options, I was also astounded that their side of fresh fruit was the FRESHEST I’ve ever had at a breakfast place, and even included plump juicy blackberries and succulent strawberries and a perfectly ripe-but-not-mushy banana. Honestly, I’m not even sure where they got that awesome of fruit this time of year. But if you’re anywhere near the Providence area, you should definitely make it a point to check out this cafe for brunch on the weekend.
Anyway, back to my main point. I’ve been a bottomless pit over the past few days, scouring for some kind of craving that I just can’t quite fulfill. It’s an endless cycle, because the more empty calories you eat (like white flour, sugar, oil), the more you crave them because your body is searching for more energy. These types of foods are so high on the gylcemic index because they are so quickly converted into sugars, that your body experiences a surge, and then a crash. To compensate for the crash, your body craves more of these high sugar, quick energy foods, and it’s a vicious circle which leads to many of the problems that America is facing now from diabetes to obesity and the list goes on…
So, several times in the past, I’ve realized that the quickest way to curb my cravings for these unhealthy foods is to force a 2-3 day nutrient-dense binge, doing the exact opposite. The influx of nourishment will help your body realize what it was really craving was nutrition, and not empty carbs, sugar, or oil. The more you notice as you do these kinds of changes, the more it will be easier for you to repeat them in the future. We all know that the first 2-3 days of a ‘diet’ are the easiest. Our willpower is usually strong enough to get through those. To get back on the wagon, I’m taking it “food-easy” for 3 days, and only consuming water, herbal tea, fruit smoothies made alfalfa/barley/wheatgrass powder, and steamed vegetables. Water is so important as many times cravings for junk food are actually cravings for hydration. It also helps flush out the heavy foods that are sitting in my stomach and cleanse out my digestive tract, which is another way to promote healthier cravings. This combination of foods, for just 3 days, will realign my taste buds and allow me to realize what kind of food I really love. In fact, even as I was gorging myself this past weekend, I found myself actually thinking, “Why am I eating this? It doesn’t even taste that good!” I’m currently steaming an entire bag of frozen cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli, and as it cooks, I’m getting more and more excited at the delicious smell of steamed veggies, knowing they are going to taste even better.
I bet there are a lot of people who might read this and think I’m crazy. Let me explain. It has taken me 3 years to develop a craving for steamed vegetables. It’s not something you should expect to achieve overnight. Rather, what you should aim to do is increase your intake of nutrient dense foods, like a fruit smoothie with greens or a huge bowl of steamed vegetables. Your palette, I PROMISE you, will begin to shift. It’s your body’s way of thanking and rewarding you for feeding it the proper nutrition, I like to think. Eating vegetables will someday no longer be a chore. Don’t cut out the chocolate cake or the potato chips – at first. Just add in a few servings of fruit, a few servings of vegetables, and see what happens. Eventually (remember, I said it took me 3 years to reach this place), your body will actually say, YUCK to the stuff that makes it feel bad and feel unhealthy.
My Meatless Monday has consisted of a mango/pineapple/coconut oil smoothie made with greens and almond milk, this bag of steamed veggies, and water and lots of detoxifying teas. I might end up making another smoothie or another bag of vegetables, but that’s okay. You can eat all you want of the good things!
Okay, my veggies are done, so I’m done. Time for some yum!
These cookies taste good, but they make you feel nasty,
So keep your body happy through exercise.
Drink water and juice with a little slice of lemon,
Eat a raw slice of garlic every once a while.
Meditate, appreciate, learn a foreign language.
And understand that immigrants have the hardest lives.
–Jonny Corndawg, “Exercise”