For the past 10 days or so, I’ve been off of sugar, gluten and caffeine (on this cleanse). To be honest, the cleanse hasn’t been very difficult because it’s mostly how I eat anyway, but I’ve totally cut out all sugar and sweeteners, even natural ones (except for fruit). Dr. Lipman allows certain sweeteners on his cleanse (small amounts of raw honey, 100% maple syrup, 100% coconut palm sugar, stevia), but I’ve been doing my best to cut it all out and see how it goes.
One thing I’ve noticed that’s really made a difference in my sweet cravings is sweet vegetables – namely, winter squash. I’ve noticed that when I eat squash in a meal, I really don’t crave sweet things.
Sweet vegetables can definitely help to crowd out sugary sweets. Vegetables like winter squash (i.e. butternut, acorn, kabocha), carrots, onions, beets, sweet potatoes and corn have a sweet flavor when cooked. According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness people often feel after eating other kinds of sweet foods. Here’s a simple roasted root vegetables recipe.
Kabocha squash is my absolute favorite sweet vegetable. I developed a pretty serious kabocha squash addiction when I first found out about it.
Here are some of my favorite squash recipes:
And here are some other veggie recipes from Integrative Nutrition – including a lot of sweet veggie recipes.
So if you’re craving sweets a lot, especially at night, try throwing in some sweet veggies! If you have a favorite way to cook or eat sweet veggies, feel free to share.