If you’re vegan but find yourself craving meat, you might worry or feel guilty. But don’t - it could just mean that your diet is lacking an important nutrient. Here are some common non-vegan cravings and what you can do to nip them in the bud.
- Craving Conundrum #1: Chicken, Eggs or Fish
What do these foods have in common? They are all sources of protein! If you're craving these foods, it could be a way of your body saying that it requires a bit more protein. The thing to do is to jumpstart your protein intake with vegan sources. Try eating more leafy greens and zucchinis, as well as nuts.
- Craving Conundrum #2: Red Meat
A red meat craving could really be about iron. Perhaps you’re not getting enough, so once again top up on leafy green vegetables such as spinach. Remember to combine your iron-intake with Vitamin C foods as this nutrient can help the body to absorb more iron. So, an idea could be to make a fresh salad with spinach and toss in some orange juice, strawberries or sweet red peppers - a surprising source of Vitamin C!
- Craving Conundrum #3: Milk and Other Dairy
You pour yourself a cup of tea and then get the sudden urge to add some milk to it, even though you haven’t had milk since you became vegan. Craving milk is common and it could point to the feeling of wanting to be satisfied from food. Dairy can sometimes have the effect of making one feel comforted. There’s science behind it, too: if you’ve just stopped having dairy, you could be feeling withdrawals. Dairy contains opioid peptides, amino acid sequences, that release endorphins or 'feel-good' chemicals in the brain. To get rid of the feeling, try adding some grains and protein to your diet, such as nuts, lentils and beans, that will make you feel more satisfied after a meal.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.