Did you know if you crave something, you may be lacking specific nutrients?
Here is a list of cravings we commonly have and what they mean, according to Lauren Conrad.
1. Sweets – chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired, according to Shape.com. Try to boost your energy in other ways such as going for a walk outside or taking a quick exercise break.
2. Carbs – nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black bean burrito bowl. It is possible you’re craving them because you’re cutting them out of your diet completely.
3. French fries, soda, pizza – your body needs calcium. Lauren Conrad’s suggestion is: fix a kale salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
4. Caffeine – your body needs salt and iron. These nutrients can be found in things such as lean meats (turkey or chicken, eggs, black cherries, craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated, according to Huffington Post.
5. Salty Foods – your body needs chloride. This nutrient, as Lauren states, is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check, according to Nutritional Wellness.
As we approach the holiday season, it is extremely important to learn how to control your portion sizes. Too much protein and too many starches can be converted into fat and contribute to excess pounds added to our stomachs or our backsides. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but it makes a difference if you divide your food into the proper portions to make sure you get the most nutrients and not consume excess calories. Here is Lauren Conrad’s Perfectly Portioned Plate. Keep this in mind when selecting your food for your plate during Christmastime and you’ll be ahead of the game for those New Years Resolutions.
Here’s what she writes about the portions:
- ½ Vegetables. First, load up on enough healthy greens or veggies so that they take up half of your plate. Salads, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and squash are a few of my favorites. But keep in mind that too much dressing or butter can turn these healthy sides unhealthy.
- ¼ Protein. Devote one quarter of your plate to a protein like turkey or ham. A 3-ounce serving of turkey is about the size of your fist or a deck of cards.
- ¼ Starches. The remaining fourth of your plate can be made up of starches. This includes stuffing, rolls, and starchy vegetables like yams, mashed potatoes, and corn.
This is definitely a good template to follow during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but it also applies year-round. If you’re really watching your waistline, stick to drinking water and a single glass of wine or a low-calorie cocktail during dinner. Soda should be off limits. Also, fill up your plate with a proper amount of food the first time in order to avoid going back for seconds. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll still have room for that slice of pumpkin pie!
As soon as I saw these recipes, my mouth started to salivate. It’s funny because I hated pizza until I was in grade 8 and now the instant I see pizza (mind you, I like the healthier pizzas with chicken, goat cheese and spinach), I crave it. Here are some great alternatives to pizza recipes I found on Lauren Conrad’s website. The first pizza was made by her and the second was made by Eat, Drink, Smile.
Here’s Lauren’s recipe/comments:
Whenever I get an insatiable pizza craving (and I’m trying to be good), I come up with alternative ways I can enjoy that cheesy, saucy taste sans carbs…
A few weeks ago, I attempted a carb-less version (see Exhibit A) that I kind of made up. Basically, I threw together all the veggies I could find (zucchini, broccoli, tomato, onion, mushrooms) and steamed them. Once they were tender, I mixed them with chunky tomato sauce and poured the hodgepodge of vegetables it into a baking dish. Finally, I layered sliced mozzarella cheese over the top and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (until the cheese melted). To be honest, it was pretty darn good. And it totally hit the spot! After the success of this experiment I did as any good blogger would do and took to the Internet in search of a truly carb-less pizza recipe to share with all of you. And let me tell you, I found a goldmine!
It may sound so wrong, but it’s just so right: Cauliflower Crust Pizza. I found the recipe on Eat, Drink, Smile and am really excited to try it. The entire crust is only 434 calories, which is just insane. Usually a single slice of pizza will cost you 400 calories alone. With this cauliflower version, one serving is just 109 calories. Crazy… Anyway, I have posted the recipe for you below. I’d love to hear what you think about it after giving it a try…
Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe courtesy of Eat, Drink, Smile.
- 1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- olive oil (optional)
- pizza sauce, shredded cheese and choice of your toppings*
To “rice” the Cauliflower: Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself. One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Make the Pizza Crust:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9″ round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note: Toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.
For more tips on making this recipe, check out Eat, Drink, Smile.
Since it’s getting colder outside, a great way to warm your belly and your heart is by having a warm, healthy recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner :). Check out Lauren Conrad’s Recipe on Mini Chicken Pot Pies that have found to be a hit!
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
- muffin pan
- 2 rolls of whole wheat refrigerated biscuit dough
- 1 cup diced russet potatoes
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup diced green beans
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper for taste
- 5 cups chicken broth (to make these heartier, use cream of chicken soup)
Instructions: 1. Preheat the over to 425 degrees. Then, in a large bowl, mix together your diced vegetables, chicken broth, eggs, and shredded chicken. (For the chicken, I just bought a whole roasted chicken from the market, pulled the meat off the bone, and shredded it.)
2. Take your whole-wheat dough and, using your fingers, divide it into the muffin holes, forming a mini crust in each.
3. Fill each muffin hole with your pot pie mixture. I filled mine up pretty full (but not so they overflowed) because I wanted more filling than dough in my pot pies.
4. Sprinkle a touch of salt and pepper on top of each pot pie.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until each one is golden brown.
For what the recipe looks like step by step, check it out here: http://laurenconrad.com/blog/post/recipe-healthy-mini-chicken-vegetable-pot-pies-lauren-conrad-november-2013