Cravings happen whether you’re numbing your feelings with food or not, and sometimes you just want to be able to eat something (like cake) without feeling like a failure – this tends to happen if your thinking habits have been affected by dieting and weight loss programs.
When the craving strikes don’t try to suppress it.
Instead, tune in to your body and get curious about it. Cravings and hunger can be scary, but you’ll never really understand them unless you take the time to get to know them.
After you’ve taken a moment to pause and examine where the craving is coming from (is it physical or emotional), you get to decide how you want to move forward. If the craving is emotional, you may want to write about it in your journal. Or maybe dancing it out in a solo dance party is more your style. If so, do it. But sometimes self-care and soothing will involve writing (or dancing) and eating the food that you’re craving.
And that doesn’t make you a bad person.
Taking the time to tune in to your body and work through your feelings will make you less dependent upon food as a coping mechanism in the long run. But when you’re just starting out on this journey (and even later on), there will be times when you’ll still want to eat. Eating doesn’t negate the effort you put into getting to know your cravings and create soothing mechanisms that don’t involve food.
But what do you do if you want to eat the food that you’re craving, but you know it won’t make you feel good physically?
The answer: Eat something with a similar flavor profile, that makes you feel good.
Whether you choose food or not, the objective is to feel good.
Let’s use carrot cake as an example, simply because it’s related to the recipe I’m sharing with you. It’s delicious, but when I eat it, I end up feeling tired and bloated. That’s actually how this Carrot Cake Smoothie recipe was born. I had a craving for carrot cake and wanted to be able to soothe the craving and feel good physically. It’s definitely not cake, but it has the same spices and sometimes that’s enough to soothe the craving.
Note: in order for this to be a pleasurable experience, the flavor profiles have to be similar. Please don’t try to curb a chocolate craving with an apple. That may work for some, but doesn’t work for most people.
If you’re in the same predicament that I was: craving carrot cake, but seeking a feel good alternative, give this Vegan Carrot Cake Smoothie recipe a try, and let me know how you like it!
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup coconut milk (in the carton)
- ½ cup coconut milk yogurt, unsweetened*
- 1 medjool date, pitted
- 1 T flax seed meal
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- pinch of each - nutmeg, cloves, salt
- Blend until smooth and creamy - drink or serve in a bowl with desired toppings: grated carrots, toasted coconut flakes, raisins, toasted seeds (or nuts, if you can tolerate).
*I used Anita’s Coconut Milk Yogurt because I happen to think it’s the best vegan yogurt on the market, but any unsweetened yogurt will do. I don’t get paid to say nice things about Anita’s I just love the stuff!