If you’ve just switched to a Paleo diet and you find you’re being overwhelmed with cravings for bread, soda, alcohol or other junk, never fear! Pretty much everyone who transitions to Paleo from the Standard American Diet goes through a period of cravings and energy crashes.
Chris Kresser, L.Ac has talked about this and describes the symptoms some people might experience, such as energy crashes after meals or in the late afternoon, anxiety or agitation, intense cravings for sugar, brain fog, and extreme hunger.
Don’t despair, though, and don’t give up. These feelings will subside, and soon you’ll feel the best you’ve ever felt in your life.
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There are quite a few ways for you to stop those cravings in their tracks. Here are six Paleo snack ideas to fight those cravings, as well as some extra tips.
Fruit is an obvious snack for when you’ve got those cravings. Sure, your diet might restrict fruit, particularly in the beginning, but what’s worse: eating a fresh fruit salad or that chocolate donut that you really want?
Nuts and Seeds
If you’re constantly craving chocolate, you might be deficient in magnesium. In fact, Mercola says approximately 80 percent of all Americans are deficient. If you find you crave chocolate, it’s very likely you need some magnesium. Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are all great sources of magnesium, as are green leafy veg like Swiss chard and spinach.
If you just crave sweets in general (not an easy craving to fight off), you could be low in a number of nutrients, namely, sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, rutabaga, collard greens, turnip (root or greens), maca, radish, and wasabi, among others, are great sources of sulfur, Vitamin C and fiber. They’re also great for fighting off cancer cells.
If you’re craving toast or bread, you probably need more nitrogen. You can get that from high protein meats and fish. Don’t think of meat as a “snack”? Make some jerky. Even if you don’t have a dehydrator you can still make jerky. All you need to make jerky is a bit of time, some mild heat, and a dry environment. If you’ve been buying jerky, save yourself some loads of cash and make it yourself!
Get yourself a top round roast and slice it as thinly as you can (or get your butcher to do it). The best jerky is made with just a few ingredients (but everyone’s taste buds are different). You’ll want to combine coconut aminos, some spices, and coconut sugar (yes, it isn’t totally Paleo; you can use honey instead). If you want the flavor that liquid smoke imparts, feel free to add it in. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, throw in the meat, stir it around, cover it, and put it in your fridge for at least 12 hours.
Remove the meat from the marinade and lay it out on your counter on top of some paper towels. The goal is to get it as dry as possible. Lay paper towel over top and pat it dry. Now’s the time to put it into your dehydrator or oven. You can thread the meat onto wooden skewers (near one end of each piece) and lay the skewers perpendicular to the oven wrack’s bars (use the top shelf). Make sure the meat hangs down. Place cooking sheets lined in foil beneath the meat to catch any drips.
Prop open the oven door so moisture can get out and turn your oven to the lowest setting possible, or around 160 to 170F. The time it takes to dry out depends on the thickness of your meat; start testing it at around eight hours.
A Big Salad
If you crave soda, you might be low in calcium. The best source of calcium is in your leafy greens. Make yourself a big salad out of spinach, kale, watercress, turnip greens, some broccoli, and sesame seeds. If you do dairy, throw some cheddar in there, too. Top it all off with some homemade Ranch dressing or a nice oil and vinegar dressing. This snack will not only help increase your calcium intake, it’ll also fill you up and leave no room for that soda you want to drink.
If you MUST have something bubbly, have a glass of club soda with some lime juice squeezed into it.
(Discover: 24 Perfect Paleo Salad Recipes)
Dried apricots are high in potassium, which you might need if you crave alcohol. Each half-cup of dried apricots will provide approximately 22 percent of the daily recommended intake. You should either dehydrate your own or buy some that are sulfate-free.
Some great Paleo snacks that can help with cravings are dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), bananas, raspberries, bacon, and avocado. It’s extremely hard to overeat any of these foods, so feel free to indulge.
(Discover: Dark Chocolate Bacon Bark)
When you’re trying to choose some safe Paleo snack foods to help fight cravings, pick ones that are low in sugar, low in carbs, and difficult to eat in large quantities.
Instead of filling your face, occupy yourself with something else. Do 25 pushups. Go do some sprints. Do a 60-second plank.
(You’ll Also Love: Paleo Snack Bars)