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Food for me is a concept, a BIG matter, a whole topic, an entire story to tell. Food for me has been for ages a 24/7 thought, and believe me, although I am a translator (or at least I am going to be once I finish my Master's at UCL on September), I feel much more of a nutritionist, dietitian, or even a chef rather than a translator! I am being sarcastic, of course! Or not? What I want to say is that I have thought a LOT about food, I have researched a LOT, I have cooked a lot and last but not least and as above mentioned, I have unfortunately also suffered a lot. But let's focus on a positive topic today and once I get to know you more I will share with you my story as well. For today, let's stick to this: How to stop craving sugar after your meals, how to feel better with your actual meals, and how to avoid feeling guilty with food.
I don't know if you can relate, but when I eat, I feed several parts of my body. I don't just feed my belly but also my eyes, my mind, my ears, my nose, and even and maybe most importantly, my soul and mind. Every individual has certain necessities in life with regard to their food, but when it comes to me personally and my plates, I am really demanding.
1. Be fancy but be also on budget.
Be fancy is one thing and be on budget is another. If I were a billionaire I could have been fancy and happy about my food every day by purchasing whatever I wanted with my bunch of dollars; that includes expensive ingredients, fancy weird things that only the high chef society knows and so on. Be on budget as well though, apart from being fancy, can guarantee that this fancy thing can last in the long run. What to do: Prepare a simple dish—for instance, a pasta and preferably a whole-wheat pasta because one it's healthier, two it's more fancy when you think about it (think of a menu: pasta Carbonara and whole wheat pasta Carbonara—you see the difference?), and three it has almost the same price as the white pasta. Let's say you want to make a Carbonara. Do it and make sure you put enough seasoning so that you make sure it's going to be tasty and flawless. Now here is the tip. Use an "extra" or as I say in my native tongue, Greek, a "precious" ingredient, which might be slightly more expensive than others (but you can use it several times and preferably not just once (budget). For example replace Parmesan cheese with VEGAN Parmesan cheese, or bacon with VEGAN bacon or use a high quality butter which is worth to be named for instance "ghee" butter. It has to be something you can name afterwards so that you can satisfy your mind. Look at this: Whole-wheat Carbonara with a hint of truffle butter sauce. You will automatically feel that you are eating something super cool and fancy. Although literally the only thing you did was to add a bit of truffle oil (for instance) in your butter (you would anyway use butter)! I suggest you to take a picture without necessarily posting it somewhere, but do it if you like so, and NAME it. Write it down so that you can see your ACHIEVEMENT along with the precious name you gave to it. You will be more satisfied, you will feel super great and proud and you won't crave further unnecessary crap afterwards, like sugary snacks.
2. Give it a call!
I've read some articles saying that after you eat, you could go out for a walk to forget that you want to eat more or to forget that you need sugar after your meal. You know what, I am one of those guys that want to relax after their meal and not going out to walk. Here is what I suggest: Do you remember the previous tip I gave to you? Do you feel proud of yourself for making this "extra" food? Yes, you do. What to do now is to call your bestie or your mummy or daddy or your boyfriend or girlfriend and let them know about your achievement. Literally, right after you swallow your last mouthful, if nobody's there, pick up your phone (which you use all day long ANYWAY so why not now as well?) and give them a call. You do not necessarily need to brag, although I do that sometimes as well. You could instead suggest to them what you've just done because you liked it! "Hey Sam, you won't believe how a splash of truffle oil takes Carbonara to a whole new level you have to give it a try!" Another detail here is to preferably call someone you know that loves food so that you can share your experience to the maximum. You will describe what you did and by doing that on the one hand you will be naming the ingredients you'd used as well so that will eventually be a good reminder of what you ate and make you understand that this was enough and you don't need something more, and on the other hand you will feed your cravings with the satisfaction of sharing your achievement with a beloved person of yours. This happiness will replace the "fake" happiness that you seek to find in this unnecessary sugary snack. It might sound slightly unrealistic but give it a try and you will see that I am right.
3. What if nothing of this works!?
If you did all the previous things and nothing worked, go and eat a dessert. I read some tips like go to the mirror and wear the best dress of yours and tell to yourself that if you really want to fit in there you better avoid that sweet. To me that sounds terrific, harmful, and torturing. Once someone does this (in my opinion), automatically relates desserts with fat and that is not true when we consume them in moderation and in addition, why do I have to go to a mirror and literally THREATEN MY OWN SELF that if I eat something I will not fit into that dress? Literally, unreal in my opinion. If you did the tips number 1 and 2 and they didn't work, go and eat something sweet but make sure that this sweet will be 1) "naughty" 2) healthy, and 3) that it will take you some time to prepare it. For example, don't just grab a chocolate bar. If you finally cannot resist, please at least make sure that this desert will be worth the pain, will satisfy your sweet tooth, but that it will be beneficial and healthy for you as well. And let me remind you that this is the LAST option if the previous two didn't work. You can do it once in a while. Basically, you can do it whenever you want but your mind will be happier with your consciousness if you know that you're doing it just once in a while (because unconsciously we want to feel that we have our life and food in control—if you know what I mean ;) )
So: Be fancy once again. Fancy, fancy, fancy. I didn't tell you to be Gordon Ramsey, but YOUR authentic type of fancy. For instance, instead of grabbing an unhealthy bar and eating it straight away, prepare a chia pudding. This will take some time. Pour some plant based milk into a bowl and through some chia seeds (1. healthy) and let them sit there until they turn into a pudding (2. it will take some time). Magic? Oh, yes. And it will take some time so it won't be something immediate and you will have something to wait and long for. Once it turns into a pudding, add some agave nectar, berries, and if you fancy a small piece of whatever chocolate you like (3. "naughty"). Not just 85% cocoa chocolate. No. I said, WHATEVER chocolate you like. Believe me, this will STAY in your brain forever (I mean this one small piece of your favourite chocolate) and you will avoid binge-eating in the future. Here you are. For this time, you may not manage to control your cravings but you prepared something valuable, super healthy, SWEET and something that will make your skin shiny and flawless.
Are you not proud of yourself yet? Well, you should be. I hope that you liked my tips!!! Believe me these tips DO WORK and will satisfy both your tummy AND your mind, which for me is the most essential part especially when someone recovers from an eating disorder.
I am looking forward to catching up with you again in the future with another topic, always related to food. :)
How to stop craving sugar after your meals and feed both your tummy and mind.