We are mid way through the challenge and I don’t know about you, but I’m over the hump. I do not crave starches as much, at this point. I have not cheated at all with any grains, but I do like some fruit in the evening. How do I handle the carb cravings? I’ll tell you…
The starchiest food I eat right now is butternut squash. Any winter squash will do, but I like butternut the best. Sometimes you get a very dry and “starchy” one that is very much like potato. Potatoes are actually allowed on this challenge, but I am restricting them as well because I am trying to go low starch. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg and you have a fabulous and easy to digest side dish.
When trying to restrict foods in a diet it is important to face the cravings you may have. Since this grain-free challenge is restricting most starches, you can’t just replace wheat with rice. This is a lot harder than going gluten-free, and more effective for healing for the reasons outlined in my previous post from week one.
Focusing on behavior modification is helpful. I try to keep busy with tasks to keep my mind off the food (although when writing a food blog it is surely hard to keep my mind off food!) When I feel a craving, I try to distract myself. I’ll get up from the computer or walk out of the kitchen for a moment and involve myself in something else. Usually the craving goes away.
I also find that restricting eating to the kitchen or dining room is helpful in a program such as this. Bad habits like eating at the computer or in from of the TV are things that must be changed. It is easy to engage in mindless eating when involved in other tasks like computer work, homework or watching TV.
Additionally, I would create another rule that says no eating while standing up. I was surprised when a person I was counseling, asked me why standing while eating was not good. Sorry, standing at the sink gauging yourself indicates a step in the wrong direction of self control and planned meals.
Reinforcing this behavior also “trains” you to expect to eat while doing these other tasks and this makes avoiding certain foods or losing weight much more difficult. It is more important to eliminate the behavior entirely rather than just substitute veges or grain-free items in front of the TV, computer or at the sink. Like Pavlov’s dog was conditioned to salivate in readiness to eat when hearing the bell, habitually eating while performing another task will condition you to always want to eat while at that other task. There has to be a lifestyle change of this behavior.
What changes have you made over the past two weeks? Please leave a comment and let me know!