10 Ways to Avoid Cravings

While I was out of town in Park City last week, I realized that I never craved or had one Diet Coke. I usually think of myself as pretty healthy, and a mostly “clean” eater, but over the past few months I have an off-and-on again relationship with Diet Coke. I am only talking about one a day, but still, I try to keep soft drinks at a distance. It really got me thinking about cravings. Now, you might think I’m being silly, but everyone does have their particular “vice” whether it’s candy, chocolate, chips, French fries or even soft drinks. To help you and me, I thought I would jot down some tips on how to avoid cravings:

1. Don’t give in– One of my friends once told me that the more sugar (or salt) you eat the more you crave it. This is so true. Once I start with Peanut M & M’s, I can’t stop, and I continue to crave them until they are completely out of my house. Don’t buy them, and you won’t be tempted as often.

2. Note your trigger foods– Take note by writing down what your “trigger” foods are. Then, stay away from them. Awareness will help you think twice when you crave your trigger foods. Keep your “trigger” foods at bay, and don’t bring them into your house or surroundings.

3. Stay in control– If you are surrounded by your trigger food at a party or at work, keep control.  For example, if it’s a doughnut, take a small bite or portion if you must, and push the plate away when you’re done.

4. Eat protein along with fat (healthy fats)– Eating snacks that contain protein along with fat will keep you satisfied longer. If you’re craving ice cream or sugary desserts, opt for Greek yogurt with honey and nuts, reduced-fat cottage cheese or fresh vegetables with hummus.

5. Bake something healthy– I love to bake homemade granola or mini muffins to have on hand. Homemade fresh baked goods are a wonderful substitute for junk food.

6. Stay on schedule– Try to eat 3 meals a day and two healthy snacks, so you don’t get overly hungry. Staying on a schedule will help curb cravings.

7.  Drink water and chew gum– A friend once told me this helped her stay away from eating while she was cooking. It helps when you have cravings too.

8. Make homemade smoothies– Use fresh fruit, fresh juice, Greek or low-fat yogurt to make fresh smoothies. These are a wonderful alternative to sugary desserts.

9. Drink green tea– Green tea is filled with so many healthy benefits. Substitute it for that afternoon soda, coffee or packaged snack (I need to do this more).

10. Don’t deprive yourself– Eat something healthy at the end of each meal or occasionally award yourself with a “splurge” meal. My friend, Sandra, brings dark chocolate to every lunch date we have. She eats it at the end of her meals so she satisfies her sweet tooth.

 

Kid’s Cooking Class at Park City Mountain Resort

Last week, I spent spring break in the incredibly beautiful Park City, Utah. I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a Kid’s Healthy Cooking Class at Park City Mountain Resort making Apres Ski Snacks.

The kids had a blast making four recipes starting with Mini Banana Bread Loaves made with Greek yogurt and ground flaxseed.

I loved working with the staff at the Park City Mountain Resort. They made it so easy for me even though sometimes it’s tough working back in a big resort kitchen. I was looking for a masher for our banana bread, and this is all I could find.

I do appreciate all of wonderful help from Krista, Mike and Deirdra. Y’all are the best, and I had such a great time working with you!

Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we also made a healthy Herb Dip appetizer that the kids devoured.

They also especially loved preparing the Homemade Granola Bars. It was one of the more difficult recipes, but definitely worth it.

The kids also made homemade make-your-own pizzas. Everyone used their own unique touch. When the food came out of the oven, everyone was ready. They were happy (and hungry) to eat all of their healthy homemade snacks, especially after a long day of skiing.

Be sure to check out Park City Mountain Resort and Snowmama’s the next time you’re thinking about a wonderful family vacation. My kid’s had never skied before, and they were off and running after a day of lessons from the wonderful instructors here. We all had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back!

St. Patrick’s Day Herb Dip & Kid’s Cooking Class

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, and I am so excited that I will be spending my Saint Patrick’s Day teaching a Kid’s Cooking Class at the Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah. We we will be making kid-friendly apres ski snacks to make in the condo. See more information about this fun class on the“Snowmama” website. One of the recipes I’ll be making in the class is this healthy, easy and very simple Saint Patrick’s Day Fresh Herb Dip. It’s a great way to get the kids to try fresh herbs such as basil and dill and to eat fresh vegetables. I like to use reduced-fat Greek yogurt in this recipe because it has so may health benefits and is filled with protein which is perfect after a long day of skiing. Enjoy this recipe on Saint Patrick’s Day or any time of the year.

Kid’s “Healthy Baking” Cooking Class at “Studio B” in Alys Beach

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Over spring break (I can’t believe it has been a month), I had the ultimate pleasure and honor to teach my “Healthy Baking for Kid’s Cooking Class” at Studio B in Alys Beach. It was such a wonderful experience in an incredible venue, Studio B, located at the most beautiful beach in the country, Alys Beach. We had originally planned for 15 kids, but when 24 arrived, we didn’t turn them away. We made all types of wonderful healthy baked (and no bake) treats. I will feature some on the blog this coming week. Below, is a shot of some of my hometown Birmingham friend’s children who attended and some other shots taken from the class by the talented, Colleen Duffley, owner of Studio B.

My Favorite Snack Bar-Grab the Gold

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I am always searching for a great-tasting and nutrient-rich protein bar that is not too high in fat and calories. This is just in case I am in too much of a hurry to eat and need something on the run. One of my favorites is the “Grab The Gold Snack Bars”. Made with peanut butter, oats, chocolate, whole grains and crunchy soy nuggets, they taste fresh and are high in fiber, protein and potassium. With 195 calories, 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, I think they’re hard to beat. And if you’re counting your Weight Watcher’s points, they only have 4 points. There’s only one catch: they can be tricky to find, but you can check their website to see where they carry them in your area or purchase them online at http://www.grabthegold.net. My friend, and dietician consultant Sandra Koulourides, of Fuel Plus Fitness recommends these to all of her clients. Trust me, she knows what she’s talking about. Look for our joint cookbook coming in the near future.

Healthy Organic Trail Mix

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When I am on the go (which is all of the time), I like a quick healthy snack. This trail mix is perfect because it has the combination of a sweet and salty crunch made with some of my favorite ingredients. Today, I am taping 4 different cooking segments for a new local NBC show, “Daytime Alabama”. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to prepare for 4 different cooking shows (I thought 1 show was difficult). Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. I would like to give thanks to my friend Alacia who helped me prepare for these television segments. 

 

Organic Trail Mix

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield:  6 cups

Ingredients

21/2 cups Oatmeal Squares

2 cups granola

1 cup peanut-butter filled pretzels

2 (10-ounce) package Harvest blend trail mix (I used Back to Nature)

1 (5.2-ounce) dried strawberries

1 (5.2-ounce) dried blueberries

1 (8.3-ounce) yogurt covered raisins

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a airtight container and store at room temperature.