During most of my cycle, I'm perfectly content to eat (mostly) healthy things...I love the fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy proteins, etc. with the occasional treat thrown in. However, immediately before and during my period my body goes crazy for sugar. I'm experiencing this right now, and one can only go through so many ice cream sundaes, butterfinger bars, and cookies before feeling sluggish and hyperglycemic. (This morning I ate a few bowls of Frosted Flakes, and we were out of soy milk, so I subbed heavy cream instead! eek! ) I love fruit, but my body's seeking something with complex carbs. Any suggestions?
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quote:I love fruit, but my body's seeking something with complex carbs.
Sounds more like your body's craving very simple carbs! .
Obviously binging on junk food won't make you feel too good, and consuming lots of foods with a high glycemic index (foods which your body turns into glucose very quickly) tends to have a rebound effect that will make you crave sugar again because your blood sugar levels have dropped.
But there are foods that will satisfy a sweet tooth without losing all nutritional value.
Dried fruit is great - sweet (especially tropical fruit like pineapple or mango), but with loads of fibre and micro-nutrients. Crystallized ginger has a lot of sugar, but the nutrients in ginger are great for you (and can help reduce period pains!).
In one of the Body & Soul threads, some of us have just been singing the praises of organic dark chocolate like that made by Green & Black's. Because it's very rich in cocoa solids, you feel totally satisfied after a very small amount.
It's also worth looking at possible psychological factors. Sometimes we go for sweet "comfort foods" when we're feeling stressed, vulnerable, or in need of nurturing.
Many women find that they feel unusually sensitive and easily stressed before their period. So making sure you're taking care of yourself emotionally can reduce the need to use food treats to try and make yourself feel better.
As Logic Grrl has said, sugars like you are craving are simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are basically starchy foods, e.g. rice, bread, potatoes, crackers. I try to eat these in preference to sugary stuff when I am craving and find they take the edge off quite well. They are a bit better for you than lots of sugary food as they provide slow and steady release of sugars into the bloodstream. A nice healthy sandwich is much better for you than reaching for the sweet stuff, and will provide your body with a healthy level of blood sugar.
Another thing I do is eat the healthy stuff I have first, e.g eat my sandwiches and apple for lunch, then have something sweet if I'm still hungry. That way I get my dose of something healthy down me, and also leave less room for sweet junk, even if I end up having some of it.
The organic high-cocoa choc is good in moderation when nothing else will do though ....... . Do you people have Green and Black's chocolate in the US (Logic and I both buy Green and Black's in the UK)?
There are quite a lot of brands of dark chocolate that have a high cocoa content, but the Green & Black's is certainly very high quality, and the fact that it's fairly traded is a big deal for me personally - there's a huge scandal going on at the moment about the use of child slave labor in cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast.
I haven't seen it, but Trader Joe's or our local Sunflower markets have other, similar sorts. Or, there's the option of taking a not-so-healthy recipe and altering it a bit. Brownies made normally with butter and baker's chocolate come out quite nicely made with cocoa powder and applesauce.
------------------ Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA
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