How to Eliminate Cravings the Easy Way – The Renegade Health Show Episode #430

Monday Nov 2, 2009 | BY |
| Comments (126)

I know many of you deal with cravings on a daily basis…

I’ve been speaking all over the country about how to eliminate your cravings to small and large groups.

In my own personal experience, I eliminated my addiction to alcohol, so I’m pretty sure you can eliminate your craving for any food that may not be giving you the health results that you want.

Here’s how you can eliminate those pesky food cravings easily without planning and fighting yourself! 🙂

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What do you crave?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

126 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. RAWndre says:

    Thanks Kev,

    your enthusiasm alone is inspiring.
    Yesterday I came across this exerpt from Dr. Cousens Conscious Eating, synchronicity!

    CONSCIOUS EATING

    Turning in to the Love Note of God’s Food

    1. Close your eyes and take a deep breath

    2. Hold the food in your hand, feel its texture, weight, smell, shape, color, and any subtle message

    3. With the eyes still closed, imagine the food in its natural setting

    4. Thank God for the food and take one bite

    5. Chew slowly and experience the juices, textures and tastes

    6. Feel any energy release into the soft palate

    I am going to work with what you suggested.

    PS would love to see a show on hydroponics/aeroponics vs. soil grown
    and
    a whole show dedicated to wheatgrass, your opinion on it and research

    Infinite Blessings
    Andre

  2. kate says:

    Chocolate – especially when combined with sugar and fat (ie. donut). I’m getting much better, but I must learn to avoid raw chocolate as well, as it is not much healthier!

  3. Heather says:

    I crave pizza the cheesy delicious ordered out kind. Still have yet to find a healthier alternative for this that stops my cravings.

  4. Arthur Lopez says:

    God grant me the wisdome to change. AA

    Ice Cream, Cake, Pie, for most people who love these. But what if you dont have cravings, and you dont eat regular. You still get fat why. Not enough calories, whats wrong.

    Kevin I never eat sweets in fact, the Doctors tell me I’m in good health, but I dont believe them.

    Arthur

  5. lynda says:

    Hot french fries..as a kid growing up in a household that is still 100% Scottish, potatoes are a main stay of every meal. Yeah gotta go with the fries on this question.

  6. Rosa says:

    right now (for about three weeks now) it is peanuts and peanutbutter! Do not know why, but I have been eating it on everything -vegies, fruit, flax crackers, pumpkin bars, mashed into pumpkin seeds & raisins – it is rather crazy.

  7. sunshine says:

    cacao! I need it everyday!!!

  8. Amiee says:

    When I’m really stressed out I crave soda and cheese or ice cream. These are things that I have cut from my diet but the desire for them always seems to be there. I have talked myself down to mineral water in place of soda and I rather enjoy it. In place of dairy products I snack on extra dark chocolate. I find I don’t even need to always eat the chocolate, just knowing it is there if I really want it is comforting.
    I have also noticed that when I am consistant with green smoothies and I am eating a lot of dark greens my cravings are not as strong.
    Thanks for the encouragement I really needed it today.

  9. crow says:

    Chocolate and salt.

  10. Frances says:

    Pizza, non-vegan, non-raw, ooey-gooey pipping-hot, cheesy pizza. Sometimes it’s just melted cheese in general (lasagna, nacho chips) but the craving is usually in the form of pizza, haven’t had any in over a year and-a-half…sigh….I feel like, if Im going to “break”, it’s going to be for pizza. Staying strong..

  11. kevin says:

    injera…and ethiopian food… not very RAW!

    but injera is non gluten… is that any consideration??? or consolation prize?

  12. Nick says:

    Corn chips and Italian bread especially the crunchy end pieces.

  13. tessa nisbet says:

    i have an addiction to just thinking about what food to eat – i have no cravings for particular foods i just continually think about what to eat for the best diet – it wastes time and energy when i could be doing so many more constructive things….i’m going to work with your plan of what is a better option….!!

  14. Brenda says:

    What is a better chice? I use that with my clients too.
    This week I have been allowing myself raw sheep milk cheese, Manchego. Yum. I didn’t have cheese for two months, then several times in the last two weeks. Yum. Not really a food addiction though.

  15. Ellen says:

    pizza and chocolate…and cheese! Nothing seems to stop the craving s for these things. I get really good at fighting them off for long periods of time, but I eventually cave!

  16. Joni says:

    What a timely video especially since I’ve been O.D.ing on Halloween candy, i.e., Reese’s PB Cups and Snickers. I haven’t done anything like this in months. I also have no will power when it comes to potato chips. I am so mad at myself right now as I’m sitting here with my stomach hanging over my jeans and I’m a slender person! I’m very disgusted. So, the next time I want to grab for some chocolate or chips I will ask myself what a better option would be. Thanks, Kevin!

  17. Renee says:

    What do I crave right now is Hummus, garlic, sauerkraut, and lemon juice, yes those are my pregnancy craving and my husband knew I was preggo with #3 even before I had a clue because of those major garlic craving LOL.

    Hummus seams to be the only thing that does not trigger morning sickness this week so hummus it is for breakfast lunch and dinner. What will be my next week craving who knows.

    With my first pregnancy: I crave vinegar it pour it on everything (even morning cereal)

    Second pregnancy: Green apples (I ate tuns of those) and pasta, sometimes both together!!!

    Thanks for the question

    Have a great day

  18. lovola says:

    I can eat a whole jar of raw honey in three days if it is in my house. So if I buy it for a recipe , I have to through out all the rest or I will binge on it.

  19. Rosemarie says:

    It is 7:30 right now and I am starving but I am not craving anything. I usually crave chocolate or ice cream, but with the green smoothies that has taken away most of my cravings. BUT I did eat some Halloween candy, my weakness but I am happy to say I mostly bought the junk they like and I don’t like skittles, yuck.

  20. Angelique says:

    Great advice!!
    My kryptonite: Reese’s peanut butter cups.
    Kevin’s question totally worked…I’m going to go have a scoop of almond butter with cacao sauce!

  21. Janie says:

    I find that I am an emotional eater and when I am stressed need to satisfy myself with cakes, pies, ice cream carbs to say in a word and I know it is the worst thing that I should consume when I am stressed. Thank you for your response.

  22. Muriel says:

    I crave dark healthy chocolate bars with maca in them. I also crave snack foods like toast with almond butter and honey, i also just love toast saturated with coconut oil.
    I seem to think about eating so much of the time. Its mostly healthy food, but i never crave veggies or meat and rarely fruits.
    I am not overweight so i justify my habits as being healthy ones.

  23. Tricia says:

    I crave Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips.

  24. Tanya says:

    everything. HELP

  25. Genevieve says:

    Every once in a while I give in to the craving for salty potato chips. I try to substitute a few bites of dulse instead — I guess it is the salt I am craving — and that works if I am anywhere around where I can get some dulse.

    I only want chocolate if it is of the highest quality. Junk chocolate is simply not worth it.

    I guess a spoonful of natural peanut butter on its own now and then kind of gets me too.

    Other than that, no real cravings apart from fruit, fruit and more fruit. I have learned to cut back on it though.

  26. menaka says:

    i have a thing for agave and raw cocao.. dates, dehydrated fruit leather, banannas… all high sweet fruits and raw chocolates … i need to stop eating all of the above because i’m trying to do a candida cleasne, i can ‘t stop eating sweet fruit or organic raw sweets when i start they’re all gone til the bag is empty, i know it’s the candida talking, need to find a balance… urgh… we may think it’s health food but it can be an addiction of it’s own, espeicially raw cheeze cake.. with cashews.. cashews are killer for me

  27. Linda Miller says:

    I use to have a BIG sugar addiction most of my life in fact. I found what was helpful for me was to think of what I CAN have and not dwell on what I CAN’T have. Cause if you think about it long enough, you’ll eat it.

  28. Nodari says:

    Kev, often it does not work this way. Especially for the raw vegan beginners. Wanting to eat something is not psychological, it is physical absence of something in the body. And the body is craving it. Now here is the thing. If one doesn’t know the options or if the options are nutritiously “empty” the craving will not go away.
    I for example crave grilled chicken. The only thing, which kill the cravings is organic seaweed. Inorganic does not do the job. So, my point is if I would have never experienced organic seaweed how would i know. Therefore telling people just think about it is just wrong. People have to experiment and look at already published works, which contain the possible substitutes.

  29. Vietnamese Pho Satay Bo – Spicy Yummy Beef Soup with loads of Chilis and Lemongrass in the Broth…..and then pretty much anything with Sugar and Fat in it!!

  30. victore says:

    Barbeque potato chips (kettle chips). WELCOME TO GEORGIA!! How cool to have you in our neck of the woods. If you don’t have a tight schedule, I recommend a 1 1/2 hour drive south to FDR state park. The leaves are spectacular right now! Hundreds of miles of trails. And I’m pretty sure RV campsites. My son and I go hiking every year but we can’t make it until this weekend. Leaf change may not last that long. We’re half way from Stone Mountain, to Pine Mountain (FDR state park) and have plenty of H2O and electric hook ups if you need someone to “hook up” with in the mean time. Let me know. Would love to have you….

  31. I crave sweets. I make raw cacao balls sometimes. Lately have been having a spoon full of raw almond butter with raw honey drizzled on it. It helps satisfy those cravings.

  32. bethany says:

    Chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter, coffee.
    I’ve been doing the same thing you described for quite some time due to my many food allergies and chronic candida. It’s sure not easy. Last year was the first in 41 years without cake and ice cream for my birthday. I just made it through Halloween without buying any candy. It’s nice to know that you understand and thank you for sharing with us in these shows.

  33. Mary says:

    I crave pizza. I think because of the dough and the cheese. Carbs and salt.

  34. Diana says:

    I am highly magnetized to jarred/preserved foods. I don’t know what it is but I notice myself go into ‘zombie mode’ whenever I see any jarred. People make jokes that I must be pregnant. I’ve learned to supplement these cravings with apple cider vinegar and sea salt but sometimes they get the best of me still. I also used to be a big candy eater and was addicted to processed sugar. I would eat it every night as a routine before bed. Bad for my teeth, bones, liver, EVERYTHING! I now realize sugar was certainly a drug for me and I ate it before bed as a habit because it would make me feel ‘happy’ while I dozed off. I did three candida cleanses over the span of a year. After the first two I went back to eating sugar both times and thought it was impossible. It wasn’t until after the third cleanse that something clicked in me and now I don’t even think about anything processed or sugary. The zombie was defeated 🙂

  35. esther says:

    I know if I had a dehydrator I’d be all raw because its really does come natural to me. The only thing I’ll want when doing emotional eating is crackers. Just plain stone wheat crackers.
    I can’t eat too many though because it starts feeling too dry in me, so then I crave lettuce.
    Outside of that I feel great just eating raw and living foods.
    Good question to pose as life is all about the choices we make.

  36. Jackie says:

    I don’t have “bad” food in the house, but my problem is that I “graze” all day and night. I wish I could eat regular meals and be satisfied.

  37. Jenny says:

    I used to crave cheeseburgers and wonton soup. I ALWAYS felt really sick afterwards. I even had some pizza. It took me three days to feel good again. Now, my only craving is canned tuna. I have it about twice a week but put alot of chopped veggies and use a wonderful Vegganaise. Miraculously, I’m still loosing weight.

    As I said in another QOD, I’m ever so grateful to you Kevin and your book “High Raw” for helping me adjust my diet to my needs and NOT feel guilty.

  38. Koa Sky says:

    Yes, I have sweet cravings. But reading all the crap other people crave just might be the ultimate crave killer. I’ll save the page and read it next time the cravings come.

  39. Barbara says:

    I’ve been a vegan for many years and now I’m about 80% raw. The only food that I still crave and believe I would enjoy would be a favorite food from my childhood – a corned beef sandwich on rye bread from the deli! I can still smell the aroma in my dreams – and, although I doubt it would taste as good as my thoughts about it, it is the one food I crave to this day. Since there is no real replacement food for it that would satisfy me – I just eat it in my dreams and that’s it.

  40. I’d say cheese and bread are my two main cravings.
    I don’t have a dehydrator but I do make some sprouted wheat bread baked on low heat which I consider pretty healthy.

    I haven’t found an alternative to cheese. I honestly don’t think there is a good raw vegan cheese out there.

    The only problem is that there’s always cheese in the house since my girlfriend eats it. That makes it way to easy to give in to my cravings.

  41. Rosey Dow says:

    It’s corn chips for me. Salty plain corn chips.

  42. Ann Marie Huntington says:

    nicotine 🙁

  43. Ann Marie Huntington says:

    I am healthier than anyone i know. (I’m 50) I have been raw for 7 yrs, exersise, eat right and sleep well and work hard,but I can’t get past that ocassional cig, organic of course, lol

  44. Corn chips are my weakness! 🙁

  45. Sonya says:

    Great suggestion!!! Thanks for sharing!

  46. Jill says:

    I crave anything with chocolate (except cake, I hate cake) and anything with cheese! 🙂

  47. Great video and suggestion, by the way!

  48. Sarah says:

    So glad you all are in GA! And what a BEAUTIFUL past couple days we have had! Hope you all are enjoying…
    I crave rich sugary foods. I prefer raw but don’t always have them on hand, so sometimes I fall off the wagon…. Coconut Milk Ice Cream is my current favorite. I also crave buffalo meat and french fries. Uuuggghhh! It can be so hard sometimes. I find that if I am eating well, there are fewer cravings.

  49. Ahntara says:

    Since going (mostly) raw in July, I find that I don’t have Bad cravings if I keep my diet clean. When I have strayed, I experienced cravings – the urge to ‘graze’ – about 24 hours later. My technique for dealing with it is to eat healthy, even if it’s excessive, for that time period, exercise vigorously and then return to eating normal (raw). I’ve been able to dust off rather easily and pick right up with my typical, good diet. I second (or third) that green smoothies are crucial in dealing with cravings.

    Otherwise, my true craving (as opposed to hormonally-fueled grazings) has been for lean protein, typically fish. I don’t know how you vegans do it. Maybe it’s the weightlifting, maybe it’s the weight-loss, but I want fish 3-5 times a week, always with some fresh, raw veggies. Yum!

  50. Mary says:

    I have not been eating any, repeat any kind of sugar for 3 months. I am working on 4. Trying to kill off candida and fungus and mold in my blood. Also, autoimmune concerns. I used to eat alot of sugar. I didn’t touch the Halloween candy. Do you know how hard it is to not eat sugar. It is in everything. I don’t really want or crave it. I am just craving food. I can’t find enough GOOD food to eat.
    I miss ice cream. I don’t crave it, just miss it. But a good alternative will be frozen bananas made into ice cream. In another month!!
    I am already using the thought of what is a good alternative?? But, they are very hard to find.
    I am going to go eat a granny smith apple and almond butter.
    Thank you for your encouragement Kevin

  51. Debbie Gordon says:

    I don’t really “crave” anything. I have been 100% raw for 2 and a half years. My problem is that once I start eating, I can’t seem to stop. I start with a green juice, then a nice giant salad with great dressing, maybe some flax crackers or avocado, and I am definitely satisfied and NOT hungry. But then I eat tons of nuts and seeds and desserts made with them. I can’t seem to get out of this rut. It’s driving me CRAZY!!!!

  52. BJeannie says:

    I don’t understand it, but I crave black olives! If cake is around, I have to have a piece, but I don’t crave it. But I’ve always craved black olives.

  53. Brian says:

    I assume that cravings mean you really desire the food but they can never satisfy. Eating more will make you feel worse and does not stop you. It is often easy to confuse cravings with needs.

    Cravings are triggered after overdosing on any type of food, limiting to one type of food, or lacking certain minerals like zinc or chromium.

    Generally, roasted peanuts, nuts, and seeds are much more addictive than the raw kinds. Ditto for baked starchy foods or caramelized sugar.

    Getting incomplete protein can lead to food cravings the next day.

  54. Elaine says:

    I crave corn chips, corn chowder, popcorn and cornbread. Also, french fries, potato chips, potato soup, etc. Guess it’s a starch thing.

  55. I crave beer. Pretty silly, but as a uni student 3-4 day benders are a weekly happening here. So so bad.
    Besides that i crave bread sometimes, and even though i know that it will make me feel ill i still eat it. Very silly too.
    I usually opt for nuts, like walnuts and figs and snack on that. Truly tasting but it gets too much sometimes also.

  56. Veronika says:

    Gotta agree on the pizza thing…the ooey gooey greasy, salty, shiny pizza slice. Funny thing is, before going gluten-free and non-dairy, I never craved that (and I mean NEVER). I haven’t had a real gluten non-vegan pizza in years. I also crave a few other things from my childhood. I’m sure they wouldn’t taste as good as I remember.

    I was wondering why I was suddenly craving pizza, and then I found this excerpt from the World’s Healthiest Foods newsletter:

    “Cravings can also be related to food allergies, and it is possible for a person to crave a food to which they are most allergic. (Although this may seem contradictory, craving a food to which we are allergic is a fairly common occurrence in nutrition, and one that is documented in scientific research.)”

    It’s kinda like how trauma victims are magnetized toward people or situations that recreate the trauma (e.g. sexual assault).

    Maybe it’s some sort of physical or spiritual need to work out the situation because it irritates the body.

  57. John says:

    Chocolate for sure, and salty snacks too. Something that I’ve never found a replacement for in raw food is crunchy foods – sometimes I really crave crunchy foods like potato chips, corn chips, and crackers and I tried some raw crackers but they were not the same and just not crunchy enough for my tastes. Any suggestions?

  58. Veronika says:

    @Kevin re: injera and gluten

    I found out the hard way that most injera bread in America is mixed with wheat flour to “water-down” the strong flavor and “improve” the texture. Sometimes you can ask the restaurant to make you a batch with only teff (or buckwheat if they have it) if you call ahead.

  59. Hot lemon water and green smoothies killed my 45 year coffee addiction. But I still crave salt, cheese (I’m lacto-intolerant) and wine at 6 p.m. I tried evening smoothies, but they just don’t cut it. Merlot is divine.
    Today I had buffalo wings at lunch and now feel awful, so they may be on the way out. The taste does not out-weigh the stomach bloat. A better alternative for gluten free pretzles is apples (with salt). But nothing replaces a nice wine.
    I will try that sea veggie idea.

  60. Susan says:

    Welcome to Georgia! You have certainly picked a perfect week to visit. The weather is perfect and the leaves are stunning.

    I was selfishly hoping that your visit here would be a working one, so that I could see you speak.

    Enjoy your stay.

    Smile

  61. I crave toasted sprouted english muffins with coconut butter.
    I crave dark chocoalte/ raw cacao.
    I crave my green smoothies ( good thing)
    I crave my husband’s kettle chips if they come into the house ( i grab my raw kale chips) instead 95% of the time.
    Baby steps and Thanks Kevin for this video

  62. Geri says:

    I crave sweets! Sinful sweets, anything with sugar! I have a food addiction and I think this is the hardest addiction of them all. When someone is an alcoholic, they don’t have to be around liquor, we don’t need it to survive. Drug addiction ditto! But food, we are around food, we eat, it’s so hard! I will try the question but a food addiction is the hardest. My friends say, ‘you don’t have to eat, just have a tea’. That is like telling an alocoholic, ‘you don’t have to drink when we go to the bar, just have a tea’! I’ll try the question Kevin!

  63. Tracy M. says:

    Pragito Dove in her book named
    “Lunchtime Meditations” speaks about
    “humming food” (food that is good for you and makes you body “hummmm” versus “Beckoning food” (food that calls out to you because of addictions or bad habits)…what Kevin was talking about today–reminded of this…now when I drive by a fast food place and think of those fries–or a donut shop–I think of that food as “beckoning” me —so I am not so easily tricked now—and do ask myself “what is the better choice?”…as I head to the local Health Food places in our area! Just knowing those words–helps me catch myself!

  64. J says:

    Arthur Lopez check out the Gabriel Method! Jon Gabriel answeres the reason why we can eat so little and gain so much…because our “fat programs” are activated. I think you could really benefit from his method. Check it out at http://www.gabrielmethod.com

  65. Martha says:

    SWEETS! ANY & ALL! LOL!
    I do luv spirulina to help curb the sweet cravings! Of course, I know the healthier I eat the more the cravings will subside, I hope, but till I become a pro at it, I am open to suggestions! Thanks for covering this topic!

  66. Kaz says:

    PAD THAI!!!! Homemade from scratch with lots of coriander and egg.
    And sprouted spelt bread-not so bad I know but if only I could stop at one piece. Unfortunately when spread with macadamia nut butter and honey or garlic and tomato I usually get through half a loaf!

    MARY – For an icecream alternative when bananas aren’t available google Ani Phyo’s lucuma icecream. Delicious!

  67. Nancy Zare says:

    Since eating 100% living foods in July of this year, I don’t have cravings. Yes, I do salivate when I smell foods cooking. Yet, when I check inside my body really doesn’t want them. This past weekend I volunteered at the Boston Vegetarian Food Fest where there were scores of vendors offering samples of cooked foods. I got hungry and tried a bite or two. Almost immediately I sensed how heavy it felt and I rejected the item. I was thrilled to come home and have a nice light clean kale salad. I do have a desire for meat and continue to make a choice for health to avoid any animal foods. It’s been 4-5 years that I’ve maintained a vegan lifestyle.

    Kevin, I like your question. Anything that breaks up the semi-automatic hand to mouth action has value. Your question gently guides a person into making good choices.

  68. Mary Kay says:

    I crave chocolate, fat and nuts. I make our own butter from raw cream, and I could probably eat 1/2 lb, if I didn’t stop myself. I’ve been known to drink a cup of raw cream. Could easily drink a pint, but haven’t allowed myself.

    But I wonder if there’s not some physiological reason for these cravings. Isn’t that what the Instinctos think? Like the chocolate due to low magnesium, and maybe the fat because of low omegas/fats etc.

    I’m 54, and still getting my periods, but I’m assuming menopause is just around the corner. I’ll begin speaking and forget common words like “go put it in the, the …..basement. That’s it. Basement.” That sort of thing, which I’ve heard can be attributed to an omega/fats thing.

    I don’t want to give in too much though, because I’m 15 lbs overweight and find if I do eliminate/cut back on the fat, I do lose weight.

    Thanks for sharing again, Kevin.

    Mary Kay

  69. chris says:

    Idapie Norway… I can relate. BEER (living in Portland, OR; micro-brew capitol of the world)!

    Maybe Kevin can share how he ditched his alcohol craving??!!

    Be Well, all…
    🙂

  70. jackie says:

    I’ve heard from a raw food doctor on the radio that people crave what they cannot digest. It seems like a contradiction, and I can’t remember all his supporting reasons, but I imagine if you can’t digest something, your body isn’t getting the nutrition from it, so your body keeps wanting it.

  71. taylor says:

    I crave EggNog!!!!!!!!! ='(

  72. Charlotte says:

    hmm, enjoyed reading all the comments, very interesting. I’m super active and so i have a higher calorie need then normal people of my size. I don’t know why but for being 5’3 and 110 pounds I can sure eat a lot. Lately after dinner, I have been snacking on Mary’s Gone Crackers (gluten free) and this amazing almond butter that I bought. I love salt and so I sprinkle Real sea salt on my almond butter, mm so good. It’s weird but for the amount of salt that I use I have a pretty low blood pressure. That however is beside the point. Usually even after a have a big meal I find myself snacking on food. I’m pretty sure this is because i’m not getting any animal protein. I have some wild alaskan salmon in my freezer that I should make but it’s hard to make yourself eat fish/meat when you’ve been eating vegetarian for a while.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed the postings. I find that I can relate to many of the comments at one point in my life, especially the more unusual ones like sprouted bread saturated with coconut oil, lol.
    Charlotte

  73. Christa says:

    I have so many cravings. I often crave lots of carbs, especially breads and creamy pastas. I have been trying so hard to stay raw, it is really difficult because whenever anybody else around me is eating something cooked such as pizza, teriyaki chicken, or fresh bread, the aromas are so overwhelming that I atleast have a few bites most of the time. I really want to refrain entirely, but it is so hard. I have became obsessed with the foods that I eat and don’t eat. Since I crave sweets so much, I kind of go overboard with dried fruits such as gogi berries, raisins and mango. And then, I take many handfuls of nuts to try and fill in the gaps of normal comfort foods. This has definitely been a journey, I find myself feeling stripped and naked when I just eat mostly fruits and vegtables. It’s as if I don’t have any way of hiding or sheilding my emotions when I consume mostly raw. Cooked foods numb my emotions, and I find that I am continualy not ready to confront them, hense my over consumtion of raw fats and sweets, and even cooked foods altogether. I look forward to someday managing and overcoming this emotional eating battle.

  74. Welcome to GA! I’m here too, in Savannah! But if you’re on a quest for fall foilage, being on the coast no fall foilage here yet! Still wearing flip-flops actually.

    I finally went 100% raw, so the cravings I have are for cooked food – but ‘healthier’ ones, like crusty brown bread (ok, maybe with a little Earth Balance spread), steel-cut oats, sweet potatoes, or hummus! And thai food. Oh and sometimes I want a cookie or a hot chocolate – but only if I walk by a Starbucks or am sitting with someone who is drinking coffee. Tea doesn’t quench it.

    I think the reason I’m craving these things is because they’re sort of do-able in the back of my mind. I intended to go raw gradually, eliminating these healthier cooked foods last – if at all! (and technically the hot choc is still possible if raw)

    No caffeine – 4 or more years. Dairy-free more than a year. Bread finally had to go in August – thought gluten was my problem (slow digestion/const.) and decided to eliminate it and free myself!

    Then after mentioned efforts to improve my digestion failed, a couple weeks ago I decided to go 100% raw, thinking big effort will bring big (obvious) rewards.

    The real kicker was the rash on my arms, belly and chest – likely detoxing – and I was so tired of stressing over it, wondering why its spreading when my diet is only improving!

    But I’ve not been able to eliminate fruits yet. So far, I’m just staying raw, avoiding foods that I’m suddenly especially sensitive to (leaky gut?) like bananas, oranges, apples, carrots – all are foods I’d been overdoing it on for a while.

    I’ve been taking some herbal treatments(vana chrom, total yeast redux, and l-glutamine plus) plus probiotics and enzymes. Can’t say the rash has cleared up much, if at all, considering there are flare ups. So I assume the problem inside isn’t going away either.

    Wondering how long it takes to heal up the gut in this manner?

    Also wondering how in the heck I’ll stay raw living on a mountain in Bulgaria! No greens there! Not in the winter! And few if any in the summer! Certainly no organic ones in the summer unless I grow them myself… which I’m considering taking on as a project for myself and the kids! New territory, gardening.
    Wish us luck!
    Stacey Stoyanov

  75. megan says:

    Ah, it’s chocolate most of the time when I have a craving. Otherwise, it’s something sweet or rich in calories. I’ve already ruled out that having chocolate is a bad thing; I’ve simply decided to allow myself chocolate, but limit my intake of it and/or make healthy choices when I eat it. For instance, a fun-sized chocolate candy bar, rather than a full-sized candy bar or a hostess cake.

    I like your advice, and plan to incorporate it into my daily craving attacks, especially when I am at work and it becomes stressful. Thank you, Kevin.

  76. karine says:

    I work in a health food store in Belgium. From the moment I arrive at work I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat, altough I had a big smoothie in the morning. Then I eat chocolate, candies and cakes, the healthy alternatives are just next to them but I always take the unhealthy ones, mostly out of compassion with myself because of emotional situations. I’ll try to change that today with Kevins question. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

  77. wow this is a huge topic of discussion.
    Any kind of addictive behavior is second chakra issues especially eating disorders.Our second chakra is where our creative/sexual energy is stored.Its also about empowerment.Some foods are physically addictive and it may take time to wean off certain foods.I think its important to add in other foods which have a higher nutritional value to help nourish the body.As you know Kevin green juice is good for cravings ,I actually had a friend of mine start drinking green veg juice and it helped him cut back on smoking.Food is away of dealing with emotions so I think that its important to get to the root cause of the problem rather than just targeting the food.It is also important to be patient and kind to ourselves whilst going through the process.If for some reason you end up eating something that you should’nt have dont put yourself on a guilt trip.It really is a sensitive topic,I suppose the thing you’ve got to ask yourself is what is it I’m craving which isnt satisfied by food.

  78. D says:

    Chocolate and Pizza…my kryptonite!

  79. Sandi Seegert says:

    I love coffee…the smell, the taste! Just black…nothing fancy but has to be from good whole beans that I grind fresh daily and made with filtered water. I like chocolate too but have really cut my sugar factor so that dark sugary treat isn’t as critical to my “yearnings” as the smell of fresh coffee beans!
    Love you guys!

  80. juan crovetto says:

    why is raw cacao so bad for you ?

  81. I find that I get cooked food cravings when I’m hungry!

    Say I leave work to get some lunch (if I have a loooong day and need to supplement what I blended that morning with something else…). On my way to the juice bar, I can’t help but walk past all these restaurants (usually Malaysian ones in the town I work in), and they all smell soo gooood, the nostalgia of my past life kicks in…

    The cool thing is, though, is when I walk back, having consumed a considerable quantity of the smoothie, I look into these foodstores and balk at the sight I see, all these people eating this greasy, urghy food…

    So that makes me feel pretty good, that I figured out that my cravings are generally brought on by being hungry.

    So… being prepared is important!

    T+J.

  82. Kate says:

    frozen bananas double dipped: first in coconut oil and then straight into the maca jar! I set up an assembly line on the kitchen counter 😉
    I try to sneak in a shot of E3 before I get carried away.

    Definitely a love of raw cheese, pure dark chocolate (especially homemade cacao truffles)and white wine. God Bless!

  83. Kazzie says:

    Pizza take out kind, covered in veggie toppings and extra cheese. Yum. Also nachos covered in real melted cheese. They are the two things I crave the most even more so when my Husband is eating them. I have tried making a raw pizza to have when he has his but it is just not the same thing. Still I will get over it.

  84. Didiydi says:

    Thanks for everyone for the comments, and Kevin your suggestion sounds great, I”ll try it out.
    I am an emotional overeater, and going raw for the past year has proven to be so so so so hard. I crave pizza (which I never liked), stopped craving chips (after months of bingeing), naan bread, cakes, doughnuts, butter, fish…I agree that food addiction is so hard to overcome, since we do have to take our drug every day.
    I also came to realize that going raw is not going to be the same for everyone. I watched Matt Monarch’s video Natural Birthing where the woman explains how addictions are formed during stressful birth and during the first year of life. I’ve also been sexually abused as a child, so I am very aware that going raw for me is hard work. It triggers the emotions and trauma coming from the period when I had no words and no thoughts. It needs a lot of emotional and spiritual work, and as much as self-love as I can muster.

    Kevin, could you please make the second part that deals with the physical side of cravings, that some people already mentioned. For ex, I craved buckwheat because it’s high in protein and magnesium. I had a 2 month period of eating raw chocolate and it stopped- probably also lack of magnesium. I crave fish because of omegas and chia and hemp oil just won’t cut it. I think the same reason for butter. I heard chromium eliminates sugar cravings but haven’t tried it. I craved oats and cereals because I had an imbalance of phosphorus/Ca/Mg which I could see on my teeth.
    I would love to see what substitutes people discovered eliminated the craving.

  85. Michelle says:

    Carmens toasted muesli(Australian), dry roasted unsalted peanuts, homemade peanut butter, mangoes…..soooo good!!

  86. Robin says:

    Potato chips!! I can not buy them because I will eat the whole bag in one day.

  87. Leam says:

    You are right on, Kevin! I often ask myself if there is a better alternative to something I may be craving. However, sometimes I find I eat too much of whatever I chose as the alternative because it does not answer the real need. So now sometimes I’ll give myself permission to eat something sweet or more often something crunchy and salty but I must also eat a fruit or vegetable along with it. This makes me eat much less of whatever I may have a craving for and I get the added benefit and nutrients from something live and fresh. Fruits and/or vegetables with every meal or snack really helps me. This may sound silly to those who are completely raw, but I am not so it works for me.

    I also agree that we can have cravings to things we are allergic. I am allergic to pineapple but I often crave it. It would be dangerous for me to eat it so I try to think about what my body must be missing to crave something that would cause harm.

    Really great topic – thanks for your efforts.
    I was just in the same area last week. I agree – so beautiful and serene.

  88. Kevin –

    Great topic! My kid and I have a podcast where we chronicle our raw food journey. It’s called Sweet Peas Podcast. We actually talked about this in our second episode. It’s kind of the same thing you’re talking about, but we called it “good-better-best” because we wanted to leave out the negativity that we seem to saddle our food choices with. It’s worked great for my kid when she’s at a friend’s. Check it out:

    http://ritefoodandcompany.com/Podcast/index.html

    Thanks for talking about this!

    P.S. Did you notice how most people are craving similar things? Why do you think that is? I find this fascinating.

    Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt
    Rite Food and Company

  89. Rachel says:

    Chocolate!!!! M&M’s and Reese’s peanut butter cups to be exact! I went on a 100% raw food experiment last week with both of these in the house and never even thought of eating one. Sunday i made the mistake of trying to have just one. big mistake! Just like an ex smoker (which i am) or drinker there is no such thing as just one. I need to throw them out! i had a great smoothie for breakfast and now i have a belly ache because i just gorged myself on chocolate. i usually say the question you suggested but my taste buds seem to override any intelligent logical thinking. lol i’ll get there some day

  90. Karen Pringle says:

    Mornings I do well, juicing, then having a nice big salad late morning early afternoon, then…evening comes and in a colder climate I feel like I want to have a food coma. LOL I’ve explored the emotions around it and when I do ‘question’ it, it all works.

  91. Larry says:

    Hey Kevin,
    You may want to take a look at the fact that you have completely missed the real spiritual principals behind AA, and the fact that it it the most successful program ever in helping and allowing those who truly wish to completely recover from all addictions to do so. I encourage you to look beond some of the outer symbols of peoples difficulties in letting go of all cravings absolutely–(your reference to the coffee pot and cigarettes) and focus instead on the aspect of success within the collective histories of the 12 step programs based on AA. All the best to you in your efforts to remain sober. Larry

  92. Judy Cummings says:

    Bread – all kinds, cheesy breads, sourdoughs, piping hot and smelling up the whole place. That first bite makes you float, releases all tension, and puts you into ecstatic oblivion!!!

  93. Karla says:

    Stone Mountain! Wish I had known y’all were in Ga. Would have loved to meet you! I grew up climbing that mountain. Fun place.

    My triggers change. Salt one time, sweet the next. Sometimes it’s cheese. Just have to keep making sub foods that mimic the original.

  94. Tish says:

    I am just like everyone else with my cravings but probably much more overweight becasue of giving in to them. I have been overweight eating what I want, almost all my life. At 54, I am down 90 lbs.it looks like for the first time I will achieve my goal of losing weight and keeping it off. I still have about 60 lbs to go and I want to continue to lose it all in a healthy way. My keys have been exercise(hated it, but it truly works)and good nutrition. Trying to convert over to RAW but taking some time. I found when I crave my sweets, which never goes away..I can look forward to frozen grapes or cherries…They have helped me tremendously. Of course I go for fat free pudding with fat free cool whip sometimes but want to totally get away from that because it is not in the RAW direction I want my new life style change to go in. Thanks for your show, my husband and I have learned alot and continue to do so…By the way, he has lost 120lbs because of exercise and healthy eating…He is about 15 lbs from goal..We have never felt better!!!

  95. Joan says:

    I have been “mostly raw vegan” for about a year – don’t really have cravings, but when with family or friends, still enjoy indulging in some chocolate or ice cream now and then. It still tastes good LOL!!!

  96. Beth says:

    Another timely episode / post.
    I’m not currently craving anything in particular but I am hungry, hungry, hungry. Just finishing my green smoothie for lunch, and also brought a chia seed pudding for a snack.
    If the hunger doesn’t go away I know that I will be tempted to have “junk” food.

    Before going gluten free, and later high raw, I would crave anything bread related. It was crazy!

    These days when I am having cravings it is for corn chips or fries. I try and find the organic corn chips and make sure I dip them in something raw to help with the nutrition, and cut down on how much corn chips I actually eat.

  97. Hey Kevin,

    What a great show. I am a Recovering Alcoholic/Addict and have 21 years but, have not been able to curb the sugar addiction. I’ve given up smoking and ED behaviors but, will still crave chocolate and corn. How weird. I always thought I have to go to the root but, your idea may be just what I need. A deteorent. I’ll let you know how it works for me.

    Thank You
    Jennifer

  98. Laura says:

    What was your answer to that question when you used to ask it to yourself when wanting to drink and trying not to?

  99. Dr Jerome says:

    Kevin, great show and thank for showing the Nature.
    I develop a new craving since I am back in France: I am eating almost each evening one complete chocolat table (70-80% cacao). Is it because it is cold, I miss Portland community and/or social contact in France countryside… and chocolat in Europe tastes better and is cheaper as in the States… What can I do ? Did I miss minerals Mg for my learning ?

    I know chocolate is not heathy everyday despite my very heathy food habits all day long.

    thank for your tips
    Dr Jerome

  100. Maria says:

    I am craving very often something creamy and rich (ice cream or cheese).

    I like you shows. Very inspiring. Thank you.
    Maria

  101. Amanda says:

    I crave dates, ANY nut butter, cheese, sometimes I crave chicken. Plain, baked chicken. It has been several years since I stopped eating “junk” foods, so most of my cravings are for the above foods. It’s to the point where I can’t even buy dates because they only come in 2lb. tubs in my grocery store and I’ll end up finishing off the entire 2lbs. of dates before it’s time to go grocery shopping again! It’s the same for the nut butters – raw or roasted, I just want to keep eating spoonful after spoonful.

    I am so tired at this point of not being able to lose those last 15-20lbs. though, that I am going to give this a try, Kevin. It can’t hurt! Since having ONE date isn’t so unhealthy, I would love to try just having ONE date. Not needing to eat 10 of them in one go, and then have 4 or 5 more a few hours later. Perhaps being more conscious/mindful about my eating habits is just the thing I need, and garnering a new respect for my body as a sensitive, living thing that deserves food in adequate – not overwhelming – quantities. My digestive organs deserve not to be abused. They deserve to be treated with love and compassion.

    The fact is I love to eat and eat, and I keep eating and it’s no good! I deserve better than that.

    Geri said it well – with food addiction, you can’t just do things “in moderation!” No one would tell an alcoholic to drink alcohol “in moderation.” And that’s the trouble – you HAVE to eat food. And when the addiction is not specific to one kind of food, it’s tough. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m determined.

    I used to crave chocolate, but once I figured out it was causing my stomach aches, it was easy for me to quit 🙂

  102. Taina says:

    I crave red wine, pizza, cheese but feel better when I drink green juice.

    I have a Serious question though!

    For about 5 month’s I have had a terrible break out problem all over my chest and neck area. Even the derm can’t make it go away. Could it be a sugar response or what do you think?? I’m sick of it!!

  103. sharon says:

    Loved all the comments! And a good reminder for me about what might be a better choice. I didn’t realize until yesterday that I hadn’t eaten any Halloween candy this year – yay! My cravings are usually cookies (Eddies vegan – but still cooked) and chips (sesame blues) My 16 year old is sympathetic and so now we have moved them to the freezer – it is a good deterrent for me (and it might work for the dates too Amanda).
    Thanks Kevin,

  104. Sharon says:

    I really hope some of the readers come back and check this out. Please Kevin, do some research into amino acids and the brain and addiction. The best books I’ve found are from Julia Ross, The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. It’s possible to get rid of a craving within minutes. I haven’t read Dr. Hyman’s book about the brain yet but perhaps he talks about this too.

    My favorite: GABA. Kills cravings dead in ten minutes or less when mixed with water (vs capsules). Most of the other people I know prefer L-glutamine. It comes from beans so it would be okay for a vegan diet. Just open a 500 mg capsule and absorb under the tongue.

    Also homeopathy may work for some people. I forget the name of the remedy now. Maybe it’s Lycopodium for sweets?

    I love French cheese and black forest cake. If I go to Whole Foods (usually twice a year unless I’m traveling) I’ll buy some and eat it for a few days and then I stop. For me this is easier than just having one bite or doing without. I’ll enjoy it for a few days and then forget about it. This is also a conscious choice–probably not the best but it makes me happy and why should I stress about every little thing that goes in mouth? If it stresses me than I need to use enzymes in addition.

    I really, really like coffee. I don’t crave it anymore since I did a round of EFT which is also how I got rid of my Starbucks Frappacino cravings which were pure addiction. I don’t feel better or worse with coffee. If I have one, it will be certified organic only, guilt-free. EFT rocks for cravings!

    Food far harder to kick than alcohol or drugs or even cigarettes. Food is something we need. Alcohol is not. We can’t just stop eating but we can just stop drinking and smoking. A healthier choice doesn’t always satisfy the neurotransmitter problem in the brain that caused the craving.

    After I did my 10 day watermelon cleanse I stopped even thinking about chocolate or cacao. Now I just crave watermelon, LOL!

    I totally understand the enjera thing. I would love to eat that too but thankfully there’s no place to get it here. I love any foreign spicy food, especially Thai and Ethiopian.

    Kevin, looks like you’ve got a new project: come up with a cravings alternative recipe book! I bought some Ethiopian spices but have no idea what to do with them for a raw meal.

  105. Dawn B says:

    I crave everything bad, still battling a major food/sugar addiction. I was so good and only gained 8lbs while pg, but nursing is making me crave grilled meats big time. I figure if I can quit cigs (1997) I can do this too, eventually, I hope.

  106. Page says:

    Thai red curry – I made a big batch of red curry vegetables this last weekend to satisfy the craving. Vegs were lightly steamed so they were still quite crispy, coconut milk, red curry paste, and lime juice. Over brown rice. It was yummy!

  107. Sandy Jo says:

    Mostly “crunchy” things, especially JALAPENO CHEETOS. Since I’m only a couple of months working toward being raw, I still crave a great hamburger and pizza still.

  108. Charlotte says:

    I agree with Sharon. I love french cheese, especially made from raw milk… and why feel guilty if we are eating something we enjoy right?

  109. Nick says:

    Hmmm, soil-grown compared to hydro/aeroponics. Well first off, soil as a substrate is naturally suited to the microbial & mycellial (mushroom) diversity, & worms etc etc, which act symbiotically (to mutual benefit) with plants, that neither water nor air can hold. Sure that’s a generalization, but I believe we gotta start with the biggest DUH to lay the groundwork reality stands upon.

  110. Alessia says:

    Hey Kevin and Ann Marie, Thanks for everything that you do! Your videos are awesome 🙂 I wanted to know: is whey protein isolate good for you? The one I buy is Cold-processed Cross Flow Microfiltred Whey Protein Isolate.
    Thanks! Alessia

  111. David says:

    Blue corn chips, potato chips, and popcorn with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Crunchy, salty, fat. Kale chips as a substitute don’t really satisfy like the “real thing”. Since this is pretty much the only “bad” stuff I eat, I let it slide for now. I think that when the time comes, it will fall away just like alcohol and caffeine did. Meanwhile, I try to focus on what I am doing that is healthy and positive.

  112. Raye Ann says:

    My big craving right now is sodas. I have only been off of sodas for around 7 weeks now. I just spent 3 day at my parents house with a pantry full of sodas. I did drink some orange juice one time. It was store bought, but it was better than the soda. Other than that I drank water. Although right now I am still wanting the soda.

    My hubby is not giving his up yet, but he is not keeping them or drinking them in front of me.

  113. alice says:

    anything heavy oily and salty like burritos, pizza, bread and cheese!!!!

  114. alice says:

    EFT is great for eliminating cravings. However you have to be willing to deal with the underlying emotions that give rise to the craving. Food can be a distraction so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable feelings.
    Happy Healing!

  115. Gwen Forbes says:

    Coffee is definitely my strongest addiction and not the cheep stuff; every day I get a Starbucks grande dry cappuccino on my way to work. I gave up coffee twice in the past for a whole year both times but each time I backslide the addiction is stronger. I think the question you proposed will work great during the Christmas season when I am faced with so many temptations but I don’t think it will help with my coffee addiction. I know all the healthier choices and none of them can take the place of a great cappuccino.

    I did break my addiction to raw cacao which I was having every day in a chocolate banana smoothie and now I only have it once a week on Sunday. Peanut butter is another craving that I have but only allow myself to have it when I am on holidays because I was quite addicted to it several years ago.

    I am also addicted to dulse; I eat it like popcorn and once I get started I can’t stop.

  116. John says:

    Usually, I stick to my raw-ism 24/7 with no problem. But when I cheat, I crave 2 things mostly: peanut butter, and tooth melting white sugar. Or both combined. Ugh, disgusting. And cravings usually always lead to a binge of sorts. Ugh, what a horrid pattern.

  117. Mae says:

    CHOCOLATE

  118. D D says:

    I had a serious chocolate addiction but got rid of it using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)which addresses underlying anxieties
    that cause the cravings. EFT invloves tapping on acupuncture points to balance the body’s energy system.

  119. Marijana says:

    Sometimes I crave beer and kulen – it is traditional salami with red paprika.

    But, most of the times, I’m winner in that battle. So far….

  120. KC says:

    OMG, Ice Cream! In May, I found out my system is gluten and dairy intolerant big time, so I’m trying really hard to have no wheat, oats, barley, soy, or dairy. While I love the smell of toast and it gets the better of me at times, ice cream is a killer. I thought cheese would be the hardest, but it wasn’t at all difficult to eliminate (except in cases of eating out when I’m not paying attention to the ingredients). Thanks for doing this episode Kevin! Feel free to re-visit it periodically (please)!

  121. KC says:

    Oh, and sweets! Sometimes an apple or other fruit just isn’t enough. sigh.

  122. JGL says:

    I am 80, and I crave Wendy’s taco salad. Other than that, I think that I eat and exercise right. I’m in excellent health, but 50 pounds overweight.

  123. refined carbohydrates/sugar: pasta, rice fried veggie sushi, cookies, bread, etc…

    It is so hard to not eat these things. I am really appreciative of your advice and I will definitely test this out. I notice that when I am eating more healthfully (green smoothies, 90% raw, low fructose) that I can not tolerate the refined sugars.

    I drink a lot of kombucha and it has helped me to break my sugar addiction. When I first started drinking it it was really pungent to me, now sometimes it’s too sweet! 🙂

  124. Tristan says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m afraid you left the Seattle / PNW area too soon to see the fall colors! Here in Bellevue, WA (10 minutes from Seattle) the fall colors have been amazing, way better (IMO) than the woods you have just shown us. I wish I had a photo to send you!

    Search google images for “fall colors in the northwest active rain” and check out the second photo (should be some trees in a parking lot). That picture shows the kind of trees that I think produce the most amazing fall colors around here, and they are everywhere. There is a street in Bellevue (140th) that is lined with them and lavender and roses and other bushes and of course lots of green trees too. I love driving down 140th in the fall!

  125. michelle bailey says:

    Hey kevin,

    Just saw this post from Stone Mountain and was so excited to see that you guys are in the Atlanta area! Welcome and I hope you are enjoying. If you are still in the area and haven’t been yet, YOU HAVE TO GO to the Dekalb international farmers market in Decatur!! Saturday morning is the best, but it’s open 9am to 9pm every day (i think…) anyways, amazing place, lots of organic produce of different varieties, great prices and loads of unique international healthy options! LOVE your show, i listen to the podcasts regularly.

    all great things to you and yours,
    michelle b

  126. Marlene says:

    peanut butter and chocolate. I have to have a scoop of peanut butter when I come home from work. It’s so hard to break. My dog loves it too. When I don’t have any, my dog goes to the spot where I eat it and begs for it. We both have cravings for it. I guess we both have to ask that same question—what is better for you? 🙂

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