Kicking the cravings
I am 48 years old and all of my adult life I have craved food all the time. I’m happy! Let’s eat. I’m bored, let’s eat. I’m sad, CHOCOLATE! I’m upset, let’s eat. I’m tired, let’s eat. You get the picture. I just thought it was part of my makeup. Something I would have to fight forever. I was wrong, again.
Eating the paleo way has given me a totally different perspective on this. I don’t crave all the time. I get hungry, I eat. I don’t overeat, I don’t even want to. I even know where the stop button is that says I’m full. It is so weird. Then I take a walk on the grain side and guess what? CRAVE! I want more, I want to overeat.
Stag (hubby) and I went out for pizza on Sunday night and got a pizza loaded with veggies and meat. It was delicious. Pizza is one of my most favorite foods. I ate just one piece and found myself full. That was nice. We brought home a box full of pizza since Stag was full fast too. (It is amazing how grains are just a cheap filler, like in dog food.)
That night there came a strange sound from the kitchen. “Daaaaana. Dana Dannnnnna, come eat me. Come eat the pizza NOW!” No, I won’t, I’m full! I went to sleep with the pillow over my head. The next morning the call came again. I relented and ate pizza for breakfast. Then ate pizza for lunch. Then dinner. Then Stag came home and ate the rest, thank goodness. I was freed.
Back at the Cavewoman café, I have no cravings. When I have an emotional upheaval, I know it. I want food to cover it up, but it is glaringly obvious that I want to emotionally eat. There isn’t the confusion with cravings mixed in there. I love it! I had no idea!
There is an actual physiology to all this. First, we have programmed to eat foods that are low fat and avoid foods that our body actually needs for metabolic processes. Our bodies need fat! It fulfills us and pushes the satiety button. We, as a culture, are malnourished for the foods we really need. We have been told meats and fats are bad! (Well, some really are.) But lean clean meats and good fats are essential to our health.
Second, we eat lots and lots of sugar in our society and it starts the body on this endless cycle of rise and fall of insulin in our bodies. (I explained the sugar cycle a bit over here.) Our body is up then crashes, again and again. The cravings are our body trying to gain control over the roller coaster. It wants produce, meats or fat to balance things out. But most people grab, grains and sugar, which is being stuck under our nose all the time. Then we go up and down again.
Thank goodness I have found this way of eating. It feels so much better and is easy to stay on. My body wants it! I don’t feel like I am swimming upstream, against a flow I know will defeat me one day. I feel the current at my back, helping me. What a different feeling. Thank you to my ancestors for showing me the way!
Here is a Shepherds’ pie that I tweaked a bit to make it primal. My hubby and I loved it. It was a great dish to have in the fridge for a quick meal too.
I cook the squash ahead of time, cause it is so much easier than trying to peel and cut it. Just take a baking dish and set in the oven with about 2 inches of water in it. Cut the squash in half, de-seed and set in the water, cut side down and bake at 350 till easily pierced with fork. This recipe adapted from Epicurious.com
For the topping
5 cups of cubed sweet potato
3 cups of winter squash flesh
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or agave
Salt and pepper
For the filling
1 ½ pounds of sweet Italian sausage in bulk
1 large onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 pound of green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 bag of frozen peas and carrots
2 eggs, lightly whipped
2 tablespoon of grass fed butter or coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons of curry powder
½ teaspoon of coriander
Hot pepper sauce to your taste
Salt and pepper
Boil the sweet potatoes (and winter squash in cubes if you didn’t cook it first) till soft and tender. Drain the water and mash the potatoes and winter squash with the butter, syrup and salt and pepper to taste. (I like to add a few cloves of minced garlic here as well, but I’m a garlic freak!) Set aside for a few minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Get out a nice BIG skillet or dutch oven and fry the sausage, onion and garlic till the meat is completely cooked, breaking up the sausage into bite sized pieces. Take off heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Pat sausage mix into a large, oiled, baking dish and then pat the sweet potato mix on top of that. You can get artsy with a design here for grins and giggles. (The great pumpkin anyone?) Tuck in the oven to bake till the top just begins to brown, about 45 minutes. Let it set for a few minutes before you tear into it. Enjoy!