This week we have been focusing on cravings, what they mean, and how to curb them. You all know the feeling.....it's 3:00pm in the afternoon on a work day. You've been awake for 10 hours. You've eaten breakfast, lunch, and a light snack or two, and you have done more in 10 hours than many people get done all day! But now you have hit that wall....your tired and hungry, and nothing sounds quite as good as that gooey chocolate treat from the vending machine to really satisfy. But does it really satisfy? The answer is NO. Really it's an imposter.....pretending to satisfy, when in the long run all it will do is sabotage your fitness and nutrition efforts, and pretend to give your body the nutrients it needs.....causing you to crave something more in a short time. Generally speaking, when you have a craving it’s due to the fact that your body is lacking in micronutrients. Your body needs specific vitamins and minerals to perform all of its many daily functions. Most of these vitamins and minerals can be found in whole food options, or by taking a daily multi-vitamin. However when you do not provide your body with the fuel (nutritious and whole) food that it needs then it starts to have cravings, triggering you to fill the void. Take for instance that gooey chocolate treat. Chocolate contains magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Although chocolate (cocoa) does contain magnesium, it is not the healthiest way to replace the mineral within your system. Eating that chocolate treat can add hundreds of empty calories to your diet, most of which come from sugar. This sugar intake then spikes your insulin levels. Insulin comes to the rescue to take the sugar out of the bloodstream and turn it into energy. However, Insulin can sometimes be an overachiever. This means that it can take too much sugar out of the blood stream, and cause you to feel hungry again. This causes the vicious circle of eating too much sugar to start, and that unused sugar intake can turn to unwanted fat. Fruits and Veggies are loaded with essential nutrients and will help to curb those cravings! So....the next time you are craving chocolate, stop and think about what your body REALLY needs. Don't fool your system with chocolate, but instead FUEL YOUR SYSTEM with whole and nutrient rich foods. Raw and unsalted nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and legumes all contain magnesium, in addition to many other essential nutrients. These are all health options that will fill the need, and keep you on track in your health and wellness journey.