Managing Cravings & Chocolate Peanut Popcorn

Am I the only one who suffers from some powerful sweet cravings sometimes? That’s a rhetorical question. I KNOW I’m not alone in that!  This time of year, it can be even harder because there’s soooo much that can creep into our house. Halloween starts the unofficial “season of sugar” for many of us. Candy, cakes, pies, and food centered celebrations keep our pump primed for sweets! If we let them, these ongoing opportunities to indulge through the holiday season can undo much of the good work we’ve done to create healthy habits all year long. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are a few of my favorite tips for how I manage cravings throughout the holidays.

Plan early, plan often.

There’s no substitute for planning. Planning includes menus for meals & snacks, planning time to grocery shop, and prepare healthy meals. If you’re going to a party, it’s planning how you’re going to handle a buffet, what you’re going to eat in advance, or what you’ll order at a restaurant. Planning means you’re not at the mercy of your appetite.  You’re prepared.

Don’t go hungry.

Skipping meals is a recipe for cravings. Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner…or snacks if you’re like me, skipping meals leads to overeating at the next available opportunity. Be sure you plan for excess calories at special events, but don’t do that by starving yourself all day. It’s really easy, when you’re really hungry, to eat a whole day’s calories (and then some) in one meal. But by eating conservatively, yet regularly throughout the day at regular times, you’ll manage your hunger, keep your blood sugar normalized, and still save calories for something special.

Give in to the craving…without guilt.

Creating a sense of deprivation drives a desire like nothing else. The more you can’t have it, the more you want it, right? It’s the truth about all kinds of things. The fact is that you can have almost anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want, anytime you want, in any quantity you want without any consequences. A little sweet thing is not a problem, but a gallon of sweet things is too much. Enjoy your favorite things in appropriate quantities and do it without guilt. Eating what you love shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. After all, you aren’t what you eat. You are so much more.

Those are just a few of my favorite tips for managing cravings. What you are yours?  Share your tips in the comments. Meanwhile, enjoy this super simple recipe for a tasty snack or treat that is almost healthy.

Chocolate Peanut PopcornPeanut Chocolate Popcorn

Ingredients

  •  6 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows (optional)

Directions

In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and peanut butter in 30 second increments until melted, stirring every 30 second. Spread the popcorn out on a sheet pan and drizzle with the chocolate peanut butter mixture. Put the whole thing into the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Sprinkle on peanuts and marshmallows (if using). Mix all ingredients and serve! Serves 6.

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