As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over 35 years, this is the style of eating I practice to manage cravings.
I love the food I eat and like to keep it simple. I start my day with a good amount of protein. Usually I am shooting for around 20 grams of protein, at least 5 grams of fiber, no sugar and lots of micro-nutrients. This sets me up perfectly so I am not starving mid-morning and my cravings are under control.
My go to breakfast is a protein smoothie and here is my recipe:
1 scoop of powder*
1 cup of almond milk, unsweetened
½ cup to 1 cup of frozen fruit, preferably berries for their minimal impact on blood sugar
Handful of spinach or Swiss chard for minerals and fiber
1 tbsp. of chia seeds for the fiber and omega 3 fats
FLAVOR: It varies. Some days I add certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils (doTerra). I love ginger because it makes the smoothie taste fresh. Cinnamon is also good but so are lemon, orange and lavender.
I also like to add natural unsweetened cocoa occasionally for the chocolate flavor and because chocolate is full of flavonoids which are great for your brain health. When I do I might add a drop of liquid stevia for sweetness and wild orange essential oil for yumminess.
You can also use spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, etc.
Other favorites for breakfast include a couple of eggs any style with veggies either in the eggs like scrambled eggs with sautéed onions, mushrooms and Swiss chard or eggs with veggies on the side like avocado, tomatoes of leftover veggies from dinner the night before. Occasionally, I have Greek yogurt with berries or in season fruit, chia seeds and nuts. Infrequently, I have a grain for breakfast because it generally makes me feel hungry mid-morning. But variety is the spice of life. So, my choice is gluten free rolled oats which I like as granola. Check out my Homemade Healthy Granola recipe here. I like it with almond milk, berries and some chia seeds.
Lunch is generally a salad with lots of veggies, protein and healthy fat. Occasionally I will have canned salmon or chicken on my salad but mostly the source of protein is either cannellini beans, black beans or chick peas. Beans, peas and lentils are super foods. They are low in saturated fat, a good source of nutrients and protein and an excellent source of fiber. And inexpensive!
I always add healthy fat in the form of avocado, nuts and seeds, olives and/or olive oil to my salad. My preference is for homemade dressing because almost all the commercial salad dressings are based on soybean oil which is inflammatory. Check out my recipe here for Good Seasons Italian Dressing Knock-Off here.
Snack to Manage Cravings
If I want a snack, I almost always opt for a small piece of fruit and a small handful of nuts. I like this because it is easily portable and doesn’t need refrigeration. I generally don’t eat between meals because I am not hungry or craving foods. But if I do feel hungry, I will eat something with protein, fat and fiber so I don’t get the hungry horrors right before I start to make dinner. I make it a priority to stay away from sugar and refined carbs so I don’t crave then.
Dinner is usually planned around an organic,grass fed or wild source of animal protein ranging from fish to poultry to grass fed beef to a vegetarian meal. My goal is always to heap at least half of my plate with veggies and keep the gluten free grain or potato to about a ½ to ¾ cup serving. Olive oil is my preferred fat for cooking but when I am preparing something that requires higher than moderate heat I have started to use avocado oil.
I never eat after my evening meal. But to be honest, I have started to think about having a snack at night before bed to improve my sleep. I am toying with having a snack that is mostly carbs and fat because of the impact on hormones and neurotransmitters. I will let you know how it goes.
*Either pea protein or hydrolyzed beef. I like Designs for Health PurePaleo or PurePea. You can access my store here.