Eat THIS when you crave THAT – Cravings Swap chart!

What is your body really craving?

Is it the sugar, or is your very wise body, really asking for something different? 

Don’t you sometimes wish you knew what to eat to give your body what it REALLY needed? 

In my work around cravings, I’ve discovered that there are three root causes to what our body asks for:

Nutritional
Physical
Emotional

Some of the foods your body craves are its best guess at how to get more of the nutrients or minerals it needs!

I’m creating an extensive chart filled with the nutritional needs your body asks for, so you can start eating more of the nutrient rich foods to get what you need!

And hey – a little bit of chocolate here and there won’t hurt.

Just be sure you’re getting enough of the minerals you also need, so you don’t find yourself face-down in a pint of double-chocolate brownie ice cream, when what your body needs is just a little magnesium!

The full Nutritional Cravings Swap chart will be available to everyone who signs up for my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program, so keep an eye out for my 3-part video series on how you can begin turning your body into your ally, and follow your cravings to the body and life you truly desire.

Click here to get your 3 top cravings swaps chart! 

And let me know in the comments below what was helpful, and what you’re going to try!

 

 

 
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How do you manage cravings?

I was recently asked where cravings come from, and how to “fix” them.

I thought it was interesting to be asked to fix something that I don’t think is broken.

See, I don’t think cravings are bad or that they make you wrong for having them.

Rather, cravings are messages from your body about your true needs. We can learn to listen to our cravings and give our bodies exactly what we really need to be happy and have the life of our dreams…bold statement, right?

How

First, let me just say that we all have cravings – cravings make us human! Without cravings, desire, wants, and needs, we wouldn’t eat enough to thrive as babies, we wouldn’t feel the passions that carry on our genetic DNA, and we wouldn’t feel the inspiration to create great works of art.
So, I believe that cravings are divine!
That being said, our modern food landscape has changed so drastically in the last 80 years, that we now have cheap and easy access to highly addictive foods that our bodies naturally crave.
Until recently, fat, salt and sugar weren’t easy to come by, but they are very important to the health of our brains and bodies, so the way our bodies evolved was to make us happy when we eat those foods!
Our brains actually light up when we eat sugar, fat and salt – a release of dopamine, a pleasure chemical, follows every bite of fatty, salty or sugary foods. So we keep eating them, especially when we feel stressed or otherwise unwell.
So cravings for food are not “wrong” and don’t make you bad, or “weak-willed.”
You are simply responding to a positive feedback loop.
I believe our cravings for foods are rooted in three areas: nutritional, physical, and emotional imbalances.
Basically, a craving is a request from your body to balance something.
In that way, and so many others, our bodies are so brilliant!
Our bodies are either craving missing nutrients like minerals, which can cause salt cravings, or our blood sugar (AKA “brain sugar”) is low, and our brain needs glucose to operate, so it craves sugar.
Physical imbalances can be a need for better sleep or more exercise. We feel tired, so we hear the craving for energy and hear “caffeine!” In reality we need to move and rest more.
Then there is the world of emotional imbalances, which almost always overlap with the nutritional and physical needs. Stress, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and anger set off a stream of chemical reactions in the body, like a release of adrenaline or coritsol. Over time, this makes our bodies uncomfortable, and we crave something to calm us down and feel “good” again.
Our bodies, in their wisdom, know that sugar or fat or salt will make us feel physically better, release the happy hormones in our brain, so we eat something that isn’t necessarily best for us long-term.
In order to manage our cravings, and have them work for us as our best allies, we need to take in the whole picture of our cravings and lifestyle so we can give our bodies what they truly need: real nutrition, rest, movement, physical fun, and joy.
 
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Why I believe in play – come camping with me?

I believe in the power of play…

I believe that in order to fall in love with our bodies, we need to enjoy living in them –

and the best way to enjoy your body is to play!

(hence my new pink roller skates!) pink skates

Whatever way you have fun in your body, whether it’s skating, hiking with your dog, or going to yoga with your best friend – when you have fun in your body, when you PLAY, your body responds.

It heals, relaxes, and major shifts are possible.

When we are at play, exercise moves from drudgery to heavenly. Competition moves from frustrating to fulfillment. When we play, we feel, act and look younger and more alive.

So play has become a very important part of my life.

And one of my favorite ways to have fun – since I was a kid – is to go to camp!

Getting out of your normal surroundings, playing with other “kids” of all ages, learning new skills, bonfires – what’s not to love?!

This September I’ll be featured at 2 camps, just for adults, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about them so you can join in if you’re game…

The first is Soul Camp:

soul camp alex

September 4th-7th Honesdale, Pennsylvania

(2.5 hours from NYC)

http://soulcamp2014.com/

Created as an adult camp for the soul, I’ll be speaking on Following Your Cravings to the Life and Body You’ll love at this fun-filled sleep away camp for the soul.

Check out the amazing list of over 35 “camp staffers” who will lead workshops on everything from yoga, meditation, astrology & angel card readings, boating at the waterfront, nature walks, Buti aerobics classes, breath work, intenSati, organic farming, arts & crafts and soo much more!

I am beyond thrilled and honored to be a part of this years Soul Camp Staff – if you have been waiting for the opportunity to see, hear and try out all of your favorite mind/body/spirit instructors & classes in one place at one time – this one’s for you.

OR ~ Come with me to the Good Life Camp!

Good Life Camp

glp camp

September 11th-14th Rock Hill, NY (90 minutes from NYC)

The brain child of my friend and mentor, Jonathan Fields, Good Life Camp is a weekend for the aligned entrepreneur who wants to build a life, not just make a living.

I’ve been reading and talking with Jonathan for a few years now, and love the teachers, guides and coaches he brings together for those of us who run our own show – or who dream to start their own business.

Because one of Jonathan’s foundations is health and vitality I know that if you’re reading this and crave your own business as a way to express yourself in the world, then you may want to join me.

AND I’ve been offered a special discount to share with you, my peeps – so if you decide to sign up, use the code: FF10 and get 10% off camp!

That’s enough savings to buy all the organic chocolate for s’mores you can stomach!

Learn more about Good Life Camp here: http://bit.ly/goodcampalex

 
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My messy kitchen = psychological troubles

I admit it: I had some kitchen shame.

 

I have an organization issue, and it was getting in the way!

See, I “kinda know” where everything is when I start to cook – after all, I do the shopping and put away the groceries.

 

Organize your kitchen to eat healthier!

Organize your kitchen to eat healthier!

But I’m usually in a bit of a rush (mantra for 2014: slow down & breathe!)

And tend to fling things into the cabinet or fridge.

 

And then I realized how this “no big deal” way of being was hurting me.

 

See, my kitchen started to feel cluttered and messy.

Even when the counters were clean, I knew there was a disorganized mess awaiting me every time I opened the fridge.

 

And having those unfinished, unmanaged, messes makes me uncomfortable.

I started to notice I was a little stressed in my kitchen – which makes cooking feel not-so-fun.

 

And when I feel uncomfortable in my skin, my whole being feels off.

And when I feel off, my body craves something to make me feel better, or distract me from the real issue at hand.

 

You may have felt this too: feeling uncomfortable or frustrated about something, and then your body starts to crave foods (usually fat, salt or sugar) to feel better?

 

There’s actually a psychological reason for this: the Zeigarnik Effect.

 

This effect explains how the brain is constantly annoying you when you have something unfinished in your life. It reminds you that something you were going to do isn’t done – and we experience dissonance.

 

It’s human nature to finish what we start, and when we don’t finish, our brains poke us all day long, depleting our willpower and making us uncomfortable.

 

Well, I’m dedicated to asking the real reason behind my cravings so that I feel authentic, connected and like I’m making progress towards my big motivating desires.

 

And my real craving was for organization and clarity!

But how to tackle the mess?

 

I decided to get some help!

I called my friend Jordana, an organizational expert (from Embarkability.com) with a great sense of humor, to come over and help me make sense of my kitchen.

 

Jordana came over and we went through my cabinets and refrigerator, and we made a “How to Cleanse & Organize Your Kitchen” video!

 

The video training will be a part of my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program, which begins in a few weeks (keep your eyes open!)…

 

But I wanted to share with you some of the best tips I got from cleaning out and organizing my kitchen last weekend:

 

(I’m so totally in love with my fridge now – I like to just open it an marvel!)

 

  1. Take it all off (or out)

 

When you reorganize your fridge (or spice cabinet – yikes!) take everything out first. This helps you see how much room you have, if you have any multiples of items (3 bags of hemp seeds, anyone?) and you can check the dates of everything. Throw out the expired, old food, and maybe take a wet towel to clean off the surfaces.

 

  1. Don’t should all over yourself: Do what works for you

 

One of the BEST things I learned from Jordana is to take the healthy veggies out of the crisper drawers and bring them to the top shelf where I would see them – and be more likely to use them!

My newly organized refrigerator! Keeps me healthier

My organized fridge! It’s so clear and easy to get the healthy stuff out – I love opening the door and am totally inspired to eat healthier!

 

I thought I “should” use the crisper drawers for veggies – but learned that I could do what worked best for me and my family. (Like leaving the fun, messy drawings my son makes on the front of the fridge, while cleaning out the inside of the fridge)

 

Don’t hide the food you want to eat more of –put greens in life-prolonging green bags within easy reach. I made so much room on the shelves by storing bottled drinks in the drawers.

 

  1. Don’t do it alone

 

Calling in an organized, helpful friend to help me out was the best thing I could have done. See, getting started feels like the biggest obstacle.

 

I didn’t know where to start! I thought I had to map it all out first! I had emotional attachments to old jars of mustard, but my friend didn’t!

 

See, when you have a friend who you trust to help guide you through the process, you don’t waste time worrying and thinking.

 

You just get it done.

 

Now, I LOVE my kitchen!

I was so inspired and felt free and clear last night, that I whipped up a huge spread for friends and we enjoyed a lovely meal outside.

 

Cooking became a joy when my kitchen was organized.

 

Are you inspired to organize your fridge?

What will you do first?

 

 

 

 

 

 
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What to do when you have a craving: Gut Check Meditation

“You mean I should just do and eat anything I want? Because when I listen to my body it says it wants an skinny iced mocha,” she said, with not a little skepticism.

My client Jen and I were talking about her sugar cravings.

They felt constant, annoying, and she was trying to be “good” and not eat any sugar, of any kind, for two weeks before her vacation. She wanted to drop a few pounds before putting on a swimsuit, so she was eating these tiny little portions at each meal, and had sworn off sugar until her trip.

“You should listen to your cravings, Jen. You don’t always have to follow them exactly, but you do need to tune into your body and really listen to what it’s telling you.”

I had a funny feeling that Jen wasn’t eating enough and that her cravings for sugar were getting stronger because she actually needed more food in her body.

She was working extra hours before she left for vacation, and she was feeling tired after the holiday weekend with her kids. Jen had managed to stick to her diet rules all weekend, but she had been tired, impatient with her kids, and frustrated by Monday afternoon at work.

“Jen, your cravings are a message from your body that you need balance. It might be nutritional, physical, or emotional balance. So let me take you through a meditation I call the Gut Check. You’re going to close your eyes, scan through your body, especially your gut, and tell me what sensations you feel. Ready?”

heart tummy 2

Gut Check Meditation for Cravings

Jen closed her eyes (we were on Skype together so I could see her) and sat for a few seconds.
“Where do I start?” she asked.
“Start at the top of your head,” I replied. “Just scan down through your body, and tell me what feelings, colors, sensations, or anything else you notice.”

Scanning through her body, she told me her neck felt tight and her eyes were heavy. As she scanned through her body, and got closer to her gut, she said,
“My gut feels empty. My eyes are tired, and my neck is tight.”

“Ok, can you ask your body how it feels and what it needs right now?” I leaned in and watched as she fidgeted a little bit. This whole “woo-woo” talking-to-her-body thing was a little weird for Jen, but she was so ready to feel differently about her body and feel good, that she was willing to try.

“My belly is hungry. I’ve been eating small portions for a week, and it’s really just hungry. I don’t think the iced mocha will really satisfy my hunger. I’d really love some more of that chicken and tomatoes I made last night,” said Jen.

Her body relaxed a little.

“My shoulders are so tight all the time. I’m working really hard so I can take time off with my kids, but I was so irritated with them all weekend, I doubt they want to go on vacation with me at all.” She sighed.

“And my eyes are so tired and heavy. All this computer work and sitting at this computer are tough on my body. I wish I didn’t have to sit down so much. Plus all the commuting time in the car! I’m totally stressed out and just want a nap. That’s what I want – a nap.”

See, Jen’s body, when asked the deeper questions, didn’t really want the low-fat, caffeinated chocolate drink. Her body was hungry, a little tired, and she was stressed out.

Her body, in its wisdom, just wanted to feel better. Since she wasn’t listening to the more subtle cravings for more food (because she needed to wear a bathing suit in a couple weeks), rest (because she was working too hard), and relaxation, her body shouted at her:

“At least drink a skinny iced mocha so we can get through all this crap!”

Jen’s body was actually trying to help her feel better. She just had to learn how to listen a bit deeper, and then follow through and honor what she heard.

Her calorie-restrictive diet wasn’t helping her feel good, and she saw that she could eat some more real food and still look and feel good on her vacation.

Her hard-working, hard-driving attitude at work wasn’t helping her feel happy with herself, or helping her enjoy her family. Jen realized that she could leave work at 5pm, have a simple dinner with her kids, and do some simple yoga before going to bed early so that she felt relaxed and rested.

She lit up when I said, “Hey! Why not do a few yoga stretches right now, at your desk, or go outside and take a 10-minute nap in your car? You’ve been working hard all day – your body deserves a little break.”

Jen saw that she could give herself what she really needed, and by the end of our chat, she was more relaxed, and more confident that she had a plan for how to eat and take care of herself so that she could feel great every day, and not just wait to feel good on her vacation.

I want to know what your cravings are really asking for!
In the comments below, share what your first craving was, and then do the Gut Check meditation. What did you discover? What will you do for yourself now? (It’s ok if you decide to have that first craving – there’s no right or wrong here!)

 
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