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Tana’s Tips: Eliminate Cravings, Short Cuts and More

By Tana Amen, Author, “Eat Health With The Brain Doctor’s Wife”

Eliminate Mid-Day Cravings:

  1. Don’t skip breakfast- be sure to start with protein!
  2. Think of protein like a natural medicine!  Take it in small doses every 3-4 hours!
  3. Eliminate sugar, bread, pasta and white rice.  Eat whole grains like a condiment.  The more carbs you eat, the hungrier you will be!
  4. Drink half of your body weight in ounces each day.  If you are dehydrated, you will feel hungry.
  5. If you are going to cheat, do it with protein and healthy fat- and maybe a half piece of fruit. 
  6. Be sure your vitamin D and fatty acid levels are correct.  If you are deficient, you will struggle with cravings. 
  7. Know your trigger foods and trigger times and have a plan!  Don’t go to parties, movies or amusement parks without a plan!
  8. Use brain healthy spices and herbs to flavor food, instead of heavy sauces.
  9. Minimize alcohol consumption.  Besides the extra calories, it decreases judgment and impulse control.  Before you know it you’ll be flirting with that second piece of pie and regretting it in the morning!
  10. Remember that this about abundance, not deprivation!  Have a list of healthy alternatives for each food you are “eliminating.” Here are some suggestions:
    • Green tea with a few drops of stevia instead of coffee.
    • Sugar free, steamed almond milk with a bag of “Green Chai Tea” and a few drops of cinnamon flavored Stevia.  This is guilt free “Tea Latte.”
    •  “Light Coconut Milk” in your tea or coffee instead of half and half or soy creamer.
    • Drink sparkling water sweetened with root beer flavored Stevia instead of diet soda.
    • Try sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a few drops of lemon flavored Stevia in place of wine.  This is a great drink for parties when you want a “drink” to be social but you don’t want to consume alcohol. 
    • Try almond milk instead of dairy milk and soy milk.
    • Replace ice cream with “Avocado Gelato.” Recipe online
    • Eat ½ apple with almond butter instead of cookies and candy.
    • Eat ¼ cup raw, unsalted nuts and 1 piece of 70% low-sugar dark chocolate instead of muffins, cookies and candy.
    • Try salsa or sugar free catsup instead of the catsups and barbeque sauces that are filled with sugar.  You also can look online for great sugar free catsup recipes.
    • Use Vegannaise, guacamole or hummus instead of mayonnaise.
    • Avocados, nuts and seeds are great alternatives for cheese on your salads.
    • Use lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches and wraps.
    • Try Shiratake noodles instead of pasta.

    If you Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail!
    Always Leave the House Prepared!

    Pack enough to last an entire day.  Here are some suggestions:

    1. ¼ cup to ½ cup raw nuts
    2. Cut vegetables and hummus or guacamole
    3. A piece of fruit
    4. Left overs from last nights dinner
    5. A sugar free protein bar
    6. A hard boiled egg
    7. “Steve’s Paleo Snacks”- great gluten free, grain free snacks.  You can order them online.
    8. “Cheesy” kale chips- They are delicious, I promise!
    9. A salad with raw nuts, blueberries, and wild salmon
    10.  Turkey wraps- Use romaine lettuce to wrap turkey, avocado and tomato

Short Cut Tips:

  1. Have one day each week that you prepare some short cuts for your week. If you are busy this can help you and your children make healthier choices.
    • Boil a dozen eggs so they are ready to grab for your ice chest.  They are also a great snack for your kids.
    • Chop up vegetables and fruit a couple days each week and keep them in an air-tight container- ready to snack on.
    • Prepare a couple healthy treats for the family, so they don’t cheat during weak moments.  I usually try to have some “Goji Nut Truffles” or “Avocado Gelato” in the freezer. 
    • Wash and prepare fruit in advance.
    • Visit stores and websites to purchase healthy snacks and have them ready to go. 
    • Keep one cabinet designated as a “grab and go” cabinet. 
  2. Prepare enough food for dinner so there are always “leftovers.”
    • Immediately pack left over food from dinner in small, “to go” containers and put them in your ice chest when you are cleaning up from dinner. 
    • Put the ice chest in the refrigerator so all you have to do is grab it in the morning. 
    • My ice chest always has raw nuts, chopped vegetables, fruit, lean protein (either a hard boiled egg, fish or chicken), hummus or guacamole and a protein bar. 
    • I always pack whatever salad and food I have left over from the previous night.