Candy cravings ? 🍬🍭🍫🍭🍬
When you eat simple carbohydrates such as candy the brain chemical "serotonin" is released. This is the same chemical that is contained in anti-depressant drugs and helps regulate mood and appetite. It gives you feelings of pleasure and happiness. ☺️When we're stressed, anxious, or depressed, serotonin levels can drop and we may unconsciously reach for sweets to improve our mood. Women are especially susceptible to this as women have less serotonin than men. Among a variety of other factors, candy cravings can also be seasonally related as we recieve less sunlight in winter months causing a dip in seratonin levels.
The good news is that candy/sweets aren't the only way to increase serotonin levels !! Exercising, stress management, and spending time with loved ones are activities that have also been demonstrated to increase serotonin levels. You can also obtain seratonin boosting carbohydrates from healthier sources such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to reduce cravings of less-healthy carbs like the refined sugar found in candy.
Tips for when the Halloween candy cravings are haunting you👻:
Make it a tradition to have a healthy dinner prior to Halloween festivities. Full bellies means you will be less likely to get carried away later.
When buying candy for trick or treaters choose a kind you don't like so you are not tempted to eat it. Peppermint patties for days coming from my house !
Buy only the amount that you need and if you are about to close up shop for the evening give the rest away.
If you can't resist eating too much candy, wait to buy it on Halloween day -- or don't buy it. This way, the candy won't be around as a constant temptation.
Try giving out healthy alternatives to sweets- popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, granola bars, pretzels, fruit, veggie sticks, apple slices or homemade healthified treats. Alternatively, you can also offer non-food options such as glow sticks, stickers, pencils, bubbles or mini-puzzles.
Allow yourself to have one serving (<200 calories) if you would like to indulge without getting carried away.
Defend yourself from the candy bowls at work by stacking your desk with healthy snacks so you are less likely to go searching for something.
Opt for dark chocolate because it has twice the amount of antioxidants as milk chocolate. Look for a high percentage of cocoa which will contain less sugar and more blood pressure lowering flavonol. Raw cocoa powder or cocoa nibs are a great add on to smoothies or oatmeal.
Interested in learning more about how sugar affects your body? Next month I will be doing a Zoom presentation on this topic. Stay tuned for more details.=)
Chocolate lovers rejoice:
✨✨✨Chickpea Nutella !!!!!!✨✨✨✨
dreamy, chocolatey and way better for you than the jarred stuff and made with simple, wholesome ingredients.
You can also buy a similar version of this called "brownie batter" ready-made in the hummus section at Aldis or Trader Joes !!!
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained/rinsed 5 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened) 1/4 cup unsweetened almond butter 1/4 cup warm water 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt, to taste
DIRECTIONS: In a blender or food processor, add chickpeas, cocoa powder, almond butter, water, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend about 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed, until silky smooth.
Pro-tips: – If it’s too thick, blend in 1-2 extra tablespoons of water. – Save the extra canned chickpeas for lunch tomorrow! Add them to your salad, wrap, or lunch bowl.
Nutrition (2 tablespoons): 80 calories, 4.5g total fat, 0g sat fat, 8g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 2g added sugar
How to enjoy it…
Dip fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, apples, pears, grapes Spread on sprouted whole grain toast & top w/ sliced fruit Use as frosting on baked treats Stir into yogurt or oatmeal Eat it right off the spoon