Do you feel an urge sometimes to eat something but you don’t know what that is? I get this from time to time.
Cravings on a raw vegan diet can be especially pronounced when you are on beginner stages.
If you know what it is you are craving for:
If you know exactly what it is you are craving, then go ahead and satisfy the craving. In my case, it’s usually either something sour, salty or bitter. Sometimes, I need spiciness.
When you are transitioning to a raw vegan diet, cravings can be something you don’t want them to be. For example, meat, cheese, ‘healthy’ junk food, etc.
♣ If you have meat cravings, here I describe how you can beat meat cravings without actually eating chicken or beef.
♣ While in this post, I talk about nutritional yeast and how it can make you happy if you love cheese.
♣ If you are craving some kind of vegan junk food like chips or cookies, and you know that nothing can replace it, then have it.
The trick it to eat just a little. Chew it slowly, savor it, think about its flavors.
The other important thing is to make sure that your ‘taboo’ food is not overly harmful. For example, as much as possible made of organic ingredients. And absolutely no hydrogenated oils, GMOs, corn syrup, canola oil, aspartame, sucralose, colourings, preservatives, and other crap that I’m sure you are familiar with.
There are different causes behind cravings and each requires a different solution.
Definitely not all cravings mean that you lack a nutrient.
In this post I describe the types of cravings you can have (using meat cravings as an example), and how to beat them. (For example, your cravings may mean that you lack joy or are longing for your past).
I didn’t have much cravings during transitioning to raw veganism. But from time to time I would crave bread, especially sourdough rye. Or once in a blue moon, I’d catch my thoughts faintly revolving around a baked salmon. Occasional tomato sauces or marinades, and pickled stuff – I guess because these are sour, salty, and spicy all at the same time.
If you don’t know what it is you are craving for:
But let’s go back with what I began the post with: what do you do if you don’t know what it is you are craving for?
You certainly don’t want to eat the entire fridge before you find out what that is.
In the last year or so I started to notice that when I go a day or two without greens I tend to get such cravings. I just don’t know what to eat to put my mind back to peace!
Now, greens are powerhouses of all kinds of minerals, vitamins, co-factors, enzymes, and a whole bunch of other undiscovered nutrients. When I have a green smoothie, my cravings seem to go nearly right away.
When greens satisfy you when experiencing such cravings then, yeah, it definitely means your body is trying to tell that you are missing some sort of nutrient.
So, I came to a conclusion that the most effective way to deal with these kind of cravings AND any unhealthy food cravings is to make a green smoothie!
What should go into your anti-cravings smoothie?
1. Your main ingredient should be greens.
It can be any ORGANIC greens. Organic is a must (because unlike oranges or pineapples, for example, greens don’t have any barrier to protect them from intentional and unintentional pesticides and nitrates).
If you throw a mix of different greens it’s even better.
2. To make your smoothie tasteful, throw in pieces of lemon/lime, your favorite herbs, veggies.
If you use veggies, choose easy-digestible ones. For example, zucchini is good, broccoli is not so good.
3. Then, to make sure fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients are taken up by your cells, put something fatty in your smoothie.
In can be 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sunflower seeds, 5-6 almonds, a tiny piece of avocado.
4. If you think that you are craving something spicy, salty or bitter put the corresponding stuff in there.
♣ Sour: Lemon/lime/apple cider vinegar/cranberries (already taking care of this when trying to make a smoothie yummier).
♣ Bitter: Romain lettuce stalks, arugula, dandelions.
♣ Spicy: Cayenne pepper, jalapenos, ginger. Anything spicy that you like.
I’m not a huge fan of black pepper but sometimes I’d put it on top of a smoothie. Piperine in black pepper helps your cells better uptake certain nutrients.
♣ Salty: Dried dulse, sundried tomatoes, Himalayan salt, or sea salt are all good.
Ingredients that must go into your anti-cravings smoothie (and my personal examples)
I don’t think much and put any greens that I have on hand. It can be field mix greens, Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, arugula (which I love).
2. Something that makes a smoothie tasteful.
I might put lemon, lime or apple cider vinegar. Then I can add basil, oregano, curry, coriander, basically any spice that I feel like having.
3. Some source of fat.
Most of the time I put 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut. Simply because it digests fast (and I really like its coconut flavour).
4. Something that is sour, bitter, spicy or salty (or whatever you think it is you are craving for).
In the effort to make a smoothie palatable, you probably for the most part already taking care of these.
I may put Cayenne pepper, dandelions, sundried tomatoes. Occasionally, I may put a store-bought organic tomato paste.
When craving for salt I’ll usually put Himalayan salt on top of a smoothie without mixing it in (so that the natural flavours are not skewed).
And experiment with putting nori and dulse on top – when soaked, they become chewy and very satisfying (both are naturally salty).