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Blog

The blog of Kate Schwabacher, Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic consultant, and a Chinese Medicine student. Healthy recipes, yoga ideas and more. 

OUT SMART SUGAR CRAVINGS

Kate Schwabacher

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You know that feeling when you wake up and you're dreaming of pancakes? Or a donut? Or whatever your sweet teeth craves? Today was that day for me and it was fluffy pancakes.  

Demonizing food is really not my style, and on a usual morning I would make a small batch of multigrain pancakes with extra flax meal, ground sesame seed, ghee, and real maple syrup. But I was out of my pancake mix so I started considering the possibilities, the cafes locally where I knew I could find my beloved pancakes. I waited to make any decisions until I'd finished my morning routine. 

And then some really important stuff happened:  

1. I drank some hot lemon water with raw honey.  

2. I got some cuddles from my husband.  

3. I did some yoga asana, breathing, and intention setting for the day.  

Basically I did three things that align with my deep held values: body nourishment, love, mindfulness, intentionality. 

By the end of all that, did I still want pancakes? Yes. But did I realize I'd feel much better and meet my sweet craving if I roasted a delicious & nutritious yam instead- yes! So I chopped & tossed the yam in the oven and while that was cooking heated some quinoa kitchari, added burdock root, ginger, green beans, and kale. And ta-da! A meal that I feel propels me in the direction to more fully align with my deep heart desires for my life.  

When you get a sugar craving next try these four things and see if the craving shifts: 

TIME  give yourself some time to really consider if your craving is what the deeper parts of you really want.  

DRINK something nourishing, ideally warm and a little sour (like lemon, lime, hibiscus, apple cider vinegar). This will hydrate you, soothe your nerves, and help move any stuck pitta that might be contributing to the craving.  

ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES   of self-love/care with action. Maybe it's asana (including legs-up-the-wall) or mindful breathing, a walk, cuddling with a companion, or maybe just a few jumping jacks. Do something that connects you to a positive rhythm of self-care. Momentum in a healthy direction means you'll be more likely to make healthy choices! 

HONOR the craving. If you're still craving sweet- It's okay! It's important to not ignore cravings because it's a message from your body and sweet foods can be good for you. We can meet a sweet craving in a way that reflects our commitment to to self-care.

Here are a few of my favorite refined-sugar-free sweet treats : 

  • roasted or steamed yam or winter squash
  • fresh fruit  
  • a medjool date  
  • a cup of herbal tea with raw honey  
  • fennel tea or fennel seeds to munch 
  • many herbal tea with licorice  

 Best wishes for balanced cravings!