Living gluten, dairy and grain free means I sometimes miss foods of my past, especially around the holidays. It’s true that when you cut carbs and sugar from your diet, cravings fade, but what can sometimes stick around are the emotional cravings tied to foods that elicit a happy response. Meaning, the foods from our past that remind us of happy times can trigger a craving that feels just as strong as those which are more of a chemical response brought on by the consumption of carbs and sugar. If you’re curious about how sugar works against you and causes a whole crazy/scary range of health issues, check out this post from The Whole 30 – creators of the leading Paleo 30 day diet challenge. These guys have 10s of thousands of clients who have successfully gone through the Whole 30 challenge, and reversed some pretty amazing health issues from auto-immune disorders to diabetes, and a bunch of stuff in between.
So when I notice an emotional craving coming on, I try to have foods on hand that satisfy me in a similar way, without causing a negative ripple effect on the progress I’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you’re like me, and face the effects of an auto-immune disorder coupled with some other genetic deficiencies and a host of food allergies, than you can relate to the feeling of occasionally being overwhelmed by your restrictions. And no matter how devoted I am to health and healing, I sometimes find myself dreaming of the homemade pastries or potato and gluten-ful dishes of my past.
So when that craving hit today, I threw a butternut squash in the oven, roasted it for an hour, and out popped a semi-sweet, soft and delicious treat that didn’t exactly kill the cravings, but it helped me feel better!
I think the key to sticking with a restrictive diet when cravings hit is making sure you have foods on hand which keep you happy and satisfied so you don’t turn to the bad stuff instead. For me, that means having root veggies and winter squashes alongside nuts and dark chocolate treats to keep my cravings at bay.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for some roasted butternut squash that makes my belly happy. Enjoy!
- 1 Butternut squash, cut in half (lengthwise)
- Olive Oil for drizzling
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tsp Ghee, butter or oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place foil on a roasting pan and add some water to coat the bottom of the pan
- Place sliced butternut on roasting pan, flesh side down
- Drizzle with olive oil to coat the squash fully - feel free to rub oil on the skin to ensure its fully coated
- Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes, until desired tenderness is reached
- Remove from oven and flip squash so flesh side is up
- Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh around the seeded area
- Scoop remaining squash into a bowl and mix with 1 tsp Ghee, butter or oil of choice
- Season with Pumpkin Pie Spice and Salt & Pepper to desired taste
- Mash with fork
- Serve immediately