Whether you work from home, spend your days raising kids, or seem to be in eternal lockdown from these crazy times we live in, junk food can quickly become a problem. For those of us who are in our houses most of the day, it’s easy to use those highly processed, incredibly unhealthy choices for stress relief, loneliness, and a variety of other struggles food is not meant to remedy.
So how can we stop the madness? How do we finally tune out all the unwanted screams coming from our pantries?
Here are 4 ways I’m breaking free from turning to the bags of chips and Little Debbie’s that plagued me over the last several months. I hope they serve you as well.
Make your home a safe space.
This one may seem obvious, but I use every excuse possible to not clean out my pantry. It will stay on my list for weeks, transferred from one to the next. I never give it the importance it deserves.
Until now… I finally forced myself to get rid of everything that I crave immensely but makes me feel terrible after consuming. As a sugar/food addict, this is truly the only way to find success.
We don’t need all those old
friends foes staring us in the face. It’s too easy to turn to junk food when our work gets overwhelming, we’re forced to play the 100th game of candy land, or scrolling our facebook feed puts us in a dark place.
I understand those of us with families need to make adjustments here. My son will eat whatever veggies I put in front of him. In return, I keep Pop-Tarts and other snacks I prefer to avoid on our shelves for him.
But here’s a couple of tricks I use. One, I only buy Pop-Tart flavors that don’t interest me. And two, there is one shelf dedicated to my snacks so I can stay very focused when entering our pantry.
Unfortunately, this is something that needs to be revamped every once in a while so prepare for that. I’m not really sure how since I do all the grocery shopping, but strange food items seem to appear in my kitchen.
Crowd out junk food with healthier options.
Now that your pantry is healthier and prettier, this is a great time to start thinking of better choices to replace all that junk food breaking up your day before.
One of my favorite things I learned while studying for my health coach certification is the concept of crowding out. Rather than obsessing over what you’re trying not to eat, just focus on the healthier choices you want to add to your daily diet. This will help you naturally crowd out those unhealthier options.
Here are a few great choices to get you started:
- Veggies (carrots, bell peppers…) and Hummus
- Smoothies (check out my green juice or my kid approved smoothie)
- Smoothie Bowls
- Apples and Almond Butter
- Greek Yogurt and Berries
- PB&J Energy Bites
Try essential oils for craving and mood support.
I’m a big fan of essential oils. Those little amber bottles are scattered throughout my home. One of my favorite ways to use them is in my water. Not only do they flavor it beautifully, but the benefits never cease to amaze me.
Two of my top oils to support cravings and hunger struggles are Fennel and dōTERRA’s Slim and Sassy blend. Here’s a little more info on each of these.
Slim & Sassy is a metabolic blend that combines powerful essential oils (Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint, Ginger, and Cinnamon) known to promote a healthy metabolism when ingested. It helps manage hunger throughout the day while supporting healthy metabolism and promoting a positive mood.*
The naturally sweet flavor of Fennel essential oil can be useful when trying to avoid processed sugar and sweets. The chemical makeup of Fennel includes Trans anethole, a monoterpene that is 13 times sweeter than table sugar. To utilize these benefits of Fennel oil, take a drop of Fennel in water or green juice to help fight sweet tooth cravings.*
I use 2 drops of Slim & Sassy with 1 drop of Fennel in my large bottle pictured above which adds the perfect flavor for me. When I refill the bottle midday, I don’t add any more oils. The amounts and preferences vary for everyone so if you decide to try this, you may want to play around with the number of drops.
Another great use for essential oils is mood support. I mainly apply them topically and run a diffuser close by for this incredible benefit. I won’t go into all the oils I use for this as it would get far too long for one sitting.
But I think mood support is so important to help us not turn to junk food throughout the day since emotional eating is such a huge part of this issue. My favorite essential oil blend for stress and tension is dōTERRA’s Adaptiv blend. I diffuse it throughout the day and roll it on the back of my neck and wrists.
Here’s the basics on this oil blend straight from dōTERRA as I couldn’t have said it better:
“When stress and tension seem to be relentless, Adaptiv Calming Blend is the precise solution. Use Adaptiv to help get comfortable with new surroundings or situations. When a big meeting is coming up, or for other important events, keep Adaptiv Calming Blend on hand.
In preliminary studies, the scent of Lavender, a main ingredient of Adaptiv, has been found to contribute to an environment conducive to performing tasks requiring sustained attention. Lavender, Magnolia, Neroli, and Sweetgum provide stress-relieving effects while Wild Orange and Spearmint energize and uplift. Copaiba and Rosemary soothe anxious feelings to round out the calming blend.
Whether you’re feeling fatigued or restless, indecisive or irritable, Adaptiv Calming Blend is part of the toolbox to help the body and mind to stay balanced. Diffuse the oil in a room diffuser to promote a centered and calm mindset.”
For more information on using these powerful natural solutions, make sure to watch my free Essential Oils 101 Class or contact me for a private coaching session.
Stop to breathe, pray, or meditate throughout the day.
Last but certainly not least, we all need breaks from the stress of the day. My husband actually reminds me to breathe sometimes. I can get so caught up in something whether it’s a crisis, home project, or writing in this space for you, that I completely forget to just stop for a true, full breath.
I’m really working on taking time throughout the day to talk to God. This always helps me calm down, release all those concerns of the day, and refocus on His plans for me rather than trying to make mine pan out instead.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
I encourage you to find pockets of rest throughout your day as well.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. If you’re new here, please subscribe to my free newsletter so we can get to know each other better!
This article is part of my Turning to Food series. You can learn more about my food addiction story in An Addict’s Journey or you may want to check out some of the other monthly updates.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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