Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Binges and Cravings

I used to have intense cravings for Coke, Starbucks, chips, cookies, cinnamon buns, cake, sushi, etc... I always had intense urges to eat - just for the sake of eating, not because I was hungry. I rarely bought "junk food" because I didn't want my kids eating it - but I also knew if it was in the house then I would devour it. However, my cravings were always so intense I would make random trips outside to end the misery of my obsession - a package of cookies, 3-4 rolls of sushi, a venti Carmel Frappuccino, an x-large Coke from McDonalds for $1 (or a 24 pack of Coke which I would hide in the garage so I could secretly drink 3 cans without anyone knowing).

I've been eating "clean" for 9+ weeks now. I quit drinking soda {cold turkey}. I also decided I wasn't going to drink diet soda or {generic} Crystal Light because I know artificial sweeteners are not healthy. I used to abhor drinking water - so much so that I would go DAYS without drinking any water (I'd drink coffee, tea, soda, "flavored water"- anything but plain water).

I can honestly say I haven't had a single intense craving in 9+ weeks. I've had sushi ONCE in the last 9 weeks but it wasn't because I was craving it - my kids asked for it (yes, my 7, 6 and 3 year old love sushi). I made it myself instead of getting take-out because I wanted to control what exactly was going into my sushi. Most restaurants use seasoned rice vinegar which has lots of empty calories from sugar or they will add sugar to the rice. Additionally, my personal favorite is spicy tuna - which has sesame oil and mayo - I knew I could cut a LOT of added fat/calories by using trivial amounts of both without sacrificing the flavor. The end result was so amazing I told myself I probably wouldn't eat take-out sushi ever again.

With all that said, I do get cravings - but for healthy meals and snacks such as Greek Chicken with Artichoke Rice or an apple with almond butter & honey.

It's truly wonderful not being obsessed with food and binging! Thankfully I have always made healthy, delicious food from scratch (I'm a self proclaimed home chef) - so I have yet to feel deprived in any way.

Here's what I believe has made all the difference (for me):
1. Giving up Coke/artificial sweeteners and switching to drinking 8+ cups of water a day
2. Eating a full breakfast (I used to have minimal breakfasts when dieting because I wanted to save the bulk of my calories/points for the afternoon and evening. Now I eat a generous breakfast which keeps me fully satiated until lunch without a desire to snack)
3. Incorporating plenty of whole grains, veggies, AND healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, almond and sunflower seed butter, etc...)
4. Exercise (helps me mentally in addition to physically - and when it comes to binges and cravings it's almost always mental)


  1. You should read "French Women Don't Get Fat" - it helped me change my relationship with food. It teaches you to enjoy choosing and preparing your food as much as the eating it. I don't really count calories any more, I just eat the food I love and make sure everything is properly balanced. Well, at least when I'm not 7 months pregnant. Right now by diet is 50% sugar.

    1. I'm going to check on Amazon about the book recommendation. I'm curious to see what insights the author has.

      I have always enjoyed grocery shopping and preparing my food (since I was 7 years old and begged my mom to let me cook).

      While I'm not entirely familiar with French food/eating habits - I have a feeling Moroccans are very similar (except they don't drink wine). They eat bread with every meal, use copious amounts of olive oil, etc...

      However, people in Europe (and Africa as well as Asia) are far more active than we are here in the States. I walked nearly everywhere in Morocco - to the beach, to get groceries, etc... AND nearly everything there is fresh with very little processed food.

      I believe this actually has more to do with the reason why people overseas aren't as fat as Americans - they're more active and they don't have the same crap we have here.

      I fondly remember being pregnant (ok, well at least once I got past the morning sickness and migraines). I didn't gain much weight with my pregnancies - I think the most I gained out of all three was 35 pounds. Now that I think about it - my Coke addiction (the soda) started with my first pregnancy!

      Enjoy your pregnancy - I can't wait to see the pictures of your inevitably gorgeous little girl!

  2. Yay Serena you are my hero to see how u were trying so hard inspired me to become healthier... I have always loved to exercise and eat semi healthy(i will cheat with junk sometimes) and my weight is where is supposed to be so i guess i wasn't doing that bad. Anyways when i came back from visiting my family in Mexico i decided i had to try to stop buying junk and eat organic. Cook more healthy foods. I thought hey if Serena can and she has 3 kids, home school and workout everyday (all of the things which i do) so why can't I. I am cooking now everyday 3 healthy meals. I plan my week meals on Saturday or Sunday go shopping with a list and buy only what is in it. So everyday i don't have to think what i will cook because i already know and have all needed available. Doing this allow me to buy organic because i don't buy junk anymore plus I still can keep my weight because all the recipes are healthy and balanced in calories. Plus my family loves the food. I get most of my recipes from Ellie Krieger is a chef from the Food Network Channel( she is a nutritionist as well)... Go to the website and try her recipes. She has lots of guilt free deserts. I think you will like them. Plus all her recipes have all the nutrition facts in them (which i love) because i track all that everyday in the program i follow.

    1. Masha'Allah Hind - your words are always too kind! If there's one thing I'm thankful for in spite of being a terrible example for my kids to follow in the past - I have always insisted my kids eat healthy and I carefully watch what and how much they are eating (they all have hearty little appetites).

      I love planning my weekly menu (I ask the kids and hubby if there's anything special they want me to make). I have so many recipes the soonest I will repeat a meal is 2 weeks. This way we all won't get tired of eating the same things over and over - and it really prevents waste as well as the temptation to buy take-out (although for religious dietary reasons our take-out food options are extremely limited).

      I'll have to check out the Food Network - I LOVE trying new recipes (which I almost always alter or tweak).

      It's heartwarming to know I'm inspiring others to make changes - no matter how small. Thank you!


Comments are appreciated!