Deconstructing Cravings

Cravings are not bad or wrong and we don’t have to fight them.

In fact, “fighting” or resisting cravings can contribute to and exacerbate the oftentimes problematic behaviors that ensue. So what’s really going on?

Common Causes of Cravings:

1. Unfilled Primary Needs:

“Primary Foods” refer to the primary ways we nourish our bodies, minds, and souls outside of our snack and meal times.

“Primary Foods” include: Sleep, Water, Connection, Action, Touch, Creativity, Spirituality, Rest, Food, Play.

I see a lot of clients who misinterpret their cravings. For example, we discover their afternoon binge eating stems from a craving for rest and goes away when we implement a 15-min afternoon nap.

2. Unmet Micronutrient Needs:

Micronutrients are vitamins or minerals needed by the body in very small amounts to attain optimal functioning. However, their impact on a body’s health are critical, and micronutrient deficiencies can cause severe and even life-threatening conditions.

Many clients come to me with menstrual cravings or cravings for sweets. Through my micronutrient analysis protocol, I work wtih clients to help identify micronutrient defficiencies and identify healthful ways to fill those needs.

For example, cravings for chocolate often derive from Magnesium needs (chocolate contains high levels of Magnesium). My clients find my Menstrual Protocol and Sweet-Buster Smoothie curb the cravings and they feel great!

3. Reward Responses to Hyper-Salient Foods:

Many food items these days are specifically designed by big food companies (with PhD Researchers on staff) to be highly pallatable (tasty), salient (rewarding, memorable, and motivating), and even addictive, promoting unwanted cravings that perpetuate product consumption (Bray et al., 2021; Sections 3.8 and 4.1.8). 

In these types of scenarios, I work with clients to move away from the foods that “keep them coming back, even when they don’t want to,” and move towards whole natural foods (e.g., foods that come from the Earth and are not altered from their natural states — whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds without added salts or oils). This transition often enables clients to establish a new relationship with their food and eating – as sources of medicine and healing rather than harm.

Sweet Buster Smoothie:

This simple smoothies delivers 100% daily fiber needs, heaping doses of iron, manganese, magnesium, and great healthy fats that will bust cravings and keep you fueled throughout the day. My clients have 1 for breakfast or 1/2-servings as morning, afternoon, or before bedtime snacks.

1) 1/2 – 1C leafy greens (collard, spinach, chard)

2) 1C berries (blackberries, wild blueberries)

3) 3 – 4 tblspns flax meal (1 – 2 oz) 

4) 1 package unsweetened acai (optional)

5) ~2 tspns baking soda

6) ~2 – 4 tblspns apple cider vinegar


1 smoothie: 500 calories
16g protein
30g healthy fats (15% Omega-3s)
24 g carbohydrates
27g fiber (100% daily needs)
Vitamin A: 91%, Vitamins B1-6: 7-11%, Vitamin C: 61%, Calcium: 31%, Copper: 29%, Vitamin E: 14%, Essential Amino Acids: 2-4%, Folate: 27%, Iron: 37%, Vitamin K: 56%, Magnesium: 12%, Manganese: 68%, Omega-3: 15%, Phosphorus: 8%, Potassium: 52%, Selenium: 11%, Zinc: 11%.


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