I've always viewed my cravings as a bad thing. They are an extra burden for me because I am already a hungry girl. Usually, I crave carbohydrates and I prefer salty things more than sweets. Over the years, I have learned different techniques on how to personally manage my cravings when they strike! It is interesting though, now that I am pregnant, Dr. Oz says that cravings are truly designed to help me. I may crave things my body is lacking so that I never become deficient of any important nutrients.
For the past few weeks, two foods are always on my mind. Tom yum vegetable soup and tomatoes! I don't want to eat them together, but for some reason I wake up thinking about them and go to sleep dreaming of them. My body clearly needs something that is in both of those foods! I am 15 weeks pregnant now, and during my first trimester, I had more aversions than cravings, which is an unusual feeling for me.
This trimester is causing me to dig through my Thai cookbooks in search of the recipe that hits the nail on the head! Unfortunately, the tomatoes in my yard are slowly dwindling, and I think I ate 95% of all the tomatoes this year myself...yummy! I am going to give you a great recipe for the soup that is my new love. It is light and full of flavors; I really think you will like it! Before I write the recipe though, Dr. Oz has great suggestions on how to turn unhealthy cravings into healthy options. These suggestions should be printed and placed near your cupboard or fridge so that when you are having wild and crazy cravings, you know what to grab for instead of the tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips.
1. If you are craving French fries; eat roasted sweet potatoes.
2. If you are craving ice cream; eat kefir or yogurt with live cultures.
3. If you are craving potato chips; eat baby carrots, celery sticks or air-popped popcorn.
4. If you are craving fried foods; eat grilled, baked or roasted foods.
5. If you are craving chocolate chip cookies; eat 1/2 ounce high quality dark chocolate.
6. If you are craving M&M's; eat edamame beans.
7. If you are craving toffee/caramel; eat nuts or a cup of fruit.
8. If you are craving cheese doodles; eat low-fat string cheese or walnuts.
9. If you are craving corn chips; eat 100% whole grain pretzel sticks, celery sticks or cut-up apples.
10. If you are craving store bought salad dressing; use extra virgin olive oil and either vinegar or lemon juice, or both.
Cravings happen to all of us. Instead of allowing the craving to control us, we can divert the urge and direct it towards something healthy. Thankfully, my current cravings are healthy and honestly much better than the cravings I typically have on a regular basis!
If any of you reading this are in the mood for a fantastically tasty Thai soup that is rich in flavors, try this recipe below! Tom yum vegetable soup is a healthy, low-calorie soup you're sure to love!
Tom Yum Vegetable Soup
2 qts of chicken or vegetable broth
2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
2-in piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 red chilis
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp of agave nectar
Either 1 can (8 oz of straw mushrooms) or use fresh mushrooms
Juice from 2 limes
Assortment of Asian veggies--of your choice (I like a handful of each of these: broccoli, snap peas, bamboo shoots and slivered carrots)
2 scallions, chopped
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
This soup is super easy to make. First, get a large pot and pour in chicken/veggie broth. Then, add all of the seasonings (lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, chili's, fish sauce, agave, lime juice and garlic). Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Lastly, add mushrooms, veggies, scallions and cilantro. Reduce heat and don't cook for too long – leave the veggies crunchy! Serve hot and enjoy! Little tidbit: This soup seems to taste even better the next day as all the flavors have continued to mingle! Also, if you want to add protein to this dish, add a chicken breast or shrimp! Enjoy!