Crunching Cravings

Thanks to Elise of Kale & Chocolate, for sharing her chewy story on One Healthy Hamptons!

Recently, one of my awesome clients came to me with a situation:

She nourishes her body regularly with vibrant, nutrient-dense meals. Fitness is a fun part of her daily regime. When it comes to her health, she feels better than ever.

Except…

photo(194)Every night, during family time, her husband heads into the kitchen to pop a huge bowl of movie theater popcorn. You know—that caloric bomb swimming in salt and mysterious bright yellow butter.

And, every night, that bowl of popcorn would seep into her senses. And before she could stop herself, her hand was digging in—over and over.

I knew this smart, savvy, health-conscious woman wasn’t actually craving that kind of popcorn. She usually makes the right choices, and truly prefers whole foods over processed & fat-laden options.

So, what was she really craving?

Together, we dug deep and went through a roadmap to discover her cravings, peeling back the layers and looking for any emotional triggers, too. We still couldn’t crack the crunchy code.

She filled up on nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast. Lunch was usually a big vibrant bowl of veggie or lentil soup, and she was enjoying dinners that included some combination of fish (or other protein), sweet potatoes and sautéed leafy greens.

She told me that when the popcorn appeared each night, she wasn’t hungry. She felt satiated, and noticed that her energy levels were sky high. So, what was ultimately the problem?

She was missing the CRUNCH. While her meals were nutritious & delicious, her smoothies, soups and softer foods weren’t cutting it with her urge to crunch.

Craving the crunch is quite common. When we’re stressed from a long day, we subconsciously clench our jaw. Chewing a crunchy food in your mouth releases this tension. And when you don’t satisfy your need for crunch in your meals, then you’re much more likely to turn to the less healthy options in between. (Hello chocolate chip cookies!)

When we think of balancing our meals to prevent cravings, the “protein-fat-carbs” macronutrient trifecta is at the top of our minds. (And it should be for steady blood sugar levels.) But, we don’t often consider the importance of balancing texture to keep us satisfied & satiated.

In the spirit of recognizing our craving for crunch (minus the calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient chips, popcorn & pretzels), here are my favorite ways for you to munch & savor crunch as part of your meal or for a mid-day snack.

Crunchy Meal Toppers:

For a creamy smoothie or an extra thick smoothie bowl, top it off with nuts, trail mix, homemade granola, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut chips or chopped up apples, pears, or frozen fruit. (If you haven’t checked out Breakfast Criminals yet, you should! I’ve been totally inspired to step up my breakfast game with some pretty creative smoothies & toppings.)

For a satiating meal of oats or quinoa, put walnuts, almonds or any combo of nuts and fruit to add more texture.

For beautiful salads in a bowl or mason jar, think about including the crisp vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, celery, jicama, and broccoli. Then, sprinkle some kale chips, nuts, seeds or roasted garbanzo beans as a finishing touch.

For that piping hot bowl of soup that will warm you up from this inside out, pair it with flax crackers or a side of carrots & cucumbers.

crunchy-wideCrunchy Standbys:

Kale Chips (or sweet & spicy here)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Nuts—almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios
Trail Mix
Roasted Chickpeas
Raw veggies
Apples, pears
Frozen grapes
Homemade Granola
Cacao nibs
Chocolate (Keep it in the freezer for that extra snap when breaking off a square.)

Just in case you’re curious, my client now happily enjoys a crisp apple and a handful of almonds while her husband still eats his popcorn. She feels amazing and completely satisfied.

One Healthy Breakdown: A little crunch goes a long way.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

What’s Really on My Mind for 2014 and Why YOU Should Care

The saying “this is the first day of the rest of your life” never really resonated with me because there’s always tomorrow (well, hopefully…) But, today? TODAY is the FIRST DAY OF 2014. That feels more real to me, more concrete, more attainable. I can’t really picture the rest of my life, I can’t picture 20, 30, 40 years down the road, but I can picture the next 365 days and I can grasp what, how, and why they’re going to be absolutely amazing.

sabatino-060Rewind back to the fall. I was having a conversation with a friend about what really drove me to start One Healthy Hamptons and what I dreamt it to be. The goal of OHH is to provide a resource and a community to celebrate and grow health and wellness here in this amazing place we call home. I wanted to rejoice the uniqueness of this beautiful place full of incredible people and outstanding resources. But why? Why me? Why here? Why now?

Why not just let people do what they want to do? Health is already a huge part of this community; we love our fitness classes, our kale salad, and our fun nights out, embracing the Hamptons scene, all while penciling in the next day’s workout…right? But, is it a positive thing? Are we just going through the motions and working out to make space for the fun? Are we indulging with thoughts of cardio and detox? If this is you, don’t worry, this was me too.

I started OHH because I am so DONE living like that. We only have one life, only 364.5 more days to enjoy and embrace 2014. So, unless we’re enjoying the process, it’s really just a big, huge waste of valuable time. I started One Healthy Hamptons because I was DONE with this deranged mindset. DONE with society’s pressures to ‘get skinny.’ DONE with the cycle of overindulging followed by detox, diet, and cardio binges. Ugh, what a miserable, unbalanced way to NOT enjoy all of the valuable time we have on this earth. I was DONE with the negativity that’s been so closely wound into such positive concepts of health and wellness. DONE hearing, seeing, judging others, done being jealous, done overdoing it for all of the wrong reasons. I know if I was DONE, that lots of others must be just as fed up, just as ready to turn things around. Once I hit this realization, things began to shift, especially as my eyes opened to the unique world of wellness throughout the Hamptons. Health and wellness became a positive passion, not a negative obsession. One Healthy Hamptons resulted from my growing passion to turn negativity to positivity and to spread that positivity throughout the place I love to call home as much as possible. To connect people over the common theme of embracing health and wellness.

I started One Healthy Hamptons to get the message across, not just to other young girls with deranged mindsets from society’s impact, but to an entire community of diverse people, that being healthy and fit, making wellness a priority, doesn’t have to be a sacrifice at all. It can actually be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process with huge positive outcomes. Eating healthy is fun. Working out is fun. Trying new things, challenging our selves, pushing the limits, attaining goals – it’s all fun. The things that make us feel our best, our strongest, our healthiest, are GOOD for us and they deserve to be embraced.

For me, 2013 was a huge year of personal, professional, physical growth. I gave up time at the gym and put that energy into enjoying moments with family, friends, and growing professionally. (Yes, LESS time working out is what I’m preaching here.) Less dreaded time on the treadmill or elliptical, fewer hours, and less sweat. Why? Because I was DONE working out just to get it over with. DONE eating bland food just to wear certain clothes. DONE detoxing on Mondays to make up for a fun weekend. I do it now for enjoyment. I workout because I ENJOY it and I eat what I ENJOY. One Healthy Hamptons is built on the premise of balance in life, not extreme exercise, not cutting calories, or cutting fun in any way. That’s so last year.

And, ya know what? I’m healthier and fitter than I was last New Years. I’m not perfect, I’m not balanced, but I’m closer and I’m happier. And I’m here to share the health and happiness with YOU. Living a healthy lifestyle and embracing it can be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process. That’s really what a resolution should be about. A goal that you aspire to reach with a process of getting there that is ENJOYABLE. Or else what’s the point?!

My drive to start this community, One Healthy Hamptons, came from the desire to fully embrace the positivity of health and wellness and to make it that much more accessible for all of us. In a few short weeks, once we’ve settled into 2014, gotten used to our routines, and hopefully taken the holiday decorations down, health and wellness in the Hamptons is going to be the MOST accessible it’s ever been. We’re throwing a party and it’s called Hamptons Wellness Week. For one week only, all things healthy and well Montauk to Westhampton will be RIGHT at your fingertips.

If you want 2014 to be THE year, YOUR year, then join me. If you’re ready to set yourself up for success, if you’re DONE with the negatives and ready to CELEBRATE, or you’re ready to make this your healthiest year yet, you’re invited to Hamptons Wellness Week. If you want to learn, try, and grow, you’ve got to be there! Where?

Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week on January 12th at Hampton Coffee’s Experience Store in Southampton, meet me there between 8 and 11am or 4 and 6pm to commit to getting fit, reinvest in your health, learn a ton, and have some fun. Participants in Hamptons Wellness Week will get: SEVEN premium fitness classes of your choice that work with YOUR schedule, SIX lectures to learn the skills to make 2014 knock your socks off, nutrition consultations, natural facials, a party and tasting at Fresh, the Hamptons top restaurant for healthy, local eats. PLUS, the first 50 to sign up will get awesome gift bags to kick off the week/year/healthier YOU!

One Healthy Breakdown: I resolve to write more concisely in 2014 😉