Conquering Your Cravings- Part I

A concern of many who make the switch to raw foods is how can they fulfill their cravings for their customary snacks and treats, as many of those foods don’t play a part in their new diet. If something sweet is your snack of choice, once you get accustomed to the basics of making Raw Desserts you find that it is easy to satisfy sweet cravings with only a few ingredients. Salty snacks require a bit more creativity. For example, if potato chips are your weakness, even with all the exotic new flavors and “natural” labels that make it to the marketplace each year, there is nothing health-supporting about this snack. The good news is that you may find a delicious substitute that will not only satisfy the craving, but also make you feel better in a multitude of ways. Comfort foods play a huge role in our lives – in fact, eating in general takes up a lot of mental energy. We either spend far too much time thinking about food, obsessing about what we want to snack or planning our next meal – or we spend way too little time, without making provisions for something healthy and whole and often wind up taking the fast food route. Whether your cravings tend towards sweet, salty or fatty foods, I’ve included many healthy options to fulfill those urges in Volumes I and 2 of Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods.  Volume I has a complete chapter devoted to creative ideas for conquering those cravings, be they for sweet, salty, or sweet/salty, along with several recipes.  Volume 2, the Recipes only book, has a category for cravings recipes.

As you begin eating more whole foods and absorbing added nutrition, your body will be slowly cleansing of the toxins built up over years. One of the symptoms of detox is that you may have an intense desire for particular foods, especially those that were the least nutritious Ideally you will find healthier and more proactive ways to satisfy those food desires and in time, many will diminish as your body shifts into a new phase of well-being. 

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The Raw Fusion Challenge

I have discovered a way to entice friends and family more into this lifestyle by offering to come up with a raw or raw fusion substitute for their favorite snack or comfort food, which I call the “Raw Fusion Challenge.” This gives me an opportunity to be experimental with foods, something I find rather enjoyable. There is also a great feeling of satisfaction when you find a healthy option for someone you care for, knowing that you are improving the quality of a life. If they like the substitute enough, this is often motivation for being open to adding even more raw foods. They might also want to learn how to prepare the raw fusion recipe on their own.

My friend and neighbor, Patti refers to herself as a “candy bar connoisseur”, with her absolute favorite being a well-known dark chocolate/coconut bar. She confessed to being so enamored of these bars that her husband hides them from her, and she searches the house to find them. I took this on as a raw fusion challenge, creating “Mounds of Joy” (Volume 2 Recipes, page 105) and presented them to her one evening as a surprise. The next day her thank you email read, “Amazing – what a treat! They tasted as delicious as the real thing.” These completely raw confections are not difficult to make and they have also become very popular in my own home. Once you experience raw desserts and candy bars made with real cacao and other high quality ingredients, it’s not unusual to find commercial brands tasting waxy, stale and unappealing. Your unadulterated palate begins to notice all the chemical preservatives and additives.

Here is one of my favorite Superfoods sweet snacks – made with ripe plantains and lucuma powder.  You can substitute with bananas and any other superfood powder, like mesquite or maca or even a vegan protein powder or almond flour..  These really fulfill a sweet craving and are also great for a breakfast “cookie” or bar.  It is vegan and gluten-free (providing you don’t use a grain flour that contains gluten.)  These are dehydrated but you can try baking them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet at a very low temperature with the oven door cracked open as they don’t need a lot of drying.    You can find plantains at many farmer’s markets or Hispanic grocery stores.  Let them get very ripe, so that the skin is almost completely blackened, which makes them very “mushy” and easy to work with.

COCONUT PLANTAIN COOKIES

Ingredients: 
1 ripe plaintain
1 TB. shredded organic coconut
1 TB. yacon syrup (you can substitute with agave, maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar)
1 TB. lucuma powder (see substitutions above)
1/2  tsp. vanilla powder or extract
1 TB. virgin coconut oil (our favorite is Kelapo)
Directions: Take a very ripe plantain (skin would be blackened) and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of each of the following: Lucuma powder, shredded organic coconut, coconut oil, yacon syrup (can substitute agave or honey) and ½ tsp vanilla powder or extract. Mix well and drop by tablespoons onto paraflex sheet. Flatten with tines of fork. Dehydrate 6-8 hours and then turn onto screens and continue dehydrating until they reach desired chewiness!
Makes 3-5 medium sized cookies.

(Excerpted from Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods Volume I  pp. 221-223.copyright 2010 all rights reserved.

What is your raw fusion challenge for me?

Next time I will cover salty cravings.  Make sure to comment with ideas for foods you’d like to find a substitute.

Raw Fusion:  Creating Healthy Alternatives for Your Favorite Comfort Foods!


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Dr. LJ Rose
Author, therapist, raw foods chef, natural wellness expert, and creator of Worksite Wellness and Heart Healthy Living, Dr. Rose has over 25 years of experience as a hypnotherapist. She has published numerous books and has appeared on Daytime TV and over 75 eHow videos. Most recently, she has pioneered an affordable online Holistic Health & Life Coaching program and S-Tox™: A Smarter Way to Detox.

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