Curb Your Cravings With These Blood-Sugar Balancing Tips

Question of the week: “How do you deal with cravings?! I eat one sweet thing and then end up gorging all day!!!” 

sugar cravings.jpg

Our cravings are primarily related to blood sugar, stress, hormone imbalances, and food choices. By keeping nutrition quality high, getting adequate sleep, calming the nervous system, reducing stress, and getting in daily physical activity, you can help keep your cravings at bay.

Understand that cravings come and go and if you can accept their presence while trying to determine why they’re happening, you can change your reaction to them.

Here are a few reasons you might find yourself with a hankering for that 2pm cookie:

  • Low blood sugar

  • Consuming an imbalanced meal

  • Stress

  • Lack of sleep (less than 6 hours)

  • Dehydration

  • Hormonal changes during pre-menstrual period

  • Travel, especially with time-zone changes

  • Attempting to soothe boredom, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, etc

  • Looking for a distraction

  • Overly focused on food and nutrition

The more honest you can be in recognizing your cravings, understanding the reasoning, and addressing them appropriately without giving in to them, the more you'll feel in charge of your own decisions.

How food choices affect blood sugar:

Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets and recommend you live a little, too. But understanding how and what affects your blood sugar can help you in making the right choice and how to prevent yourself from spiraling on the rollercoaster that can be the blood sugar response.

A diet consisting of a high intake of carbs with a minimal amount of fat and infrequent protein feedings (hello, American diet), eating carbs by themselves, or choosing high glycemic index foods (candy, sweets, bread, pasta, natural sweeteners, etc) causes frequent spikes and drops in blood sugar, which in turn, makes you crave more sugar and more carbohydrates.  


Sleep, emotions and stress all negatively affect cortisol levels (the stress hormone), blood sugar, inflammation, hunger hormones, and mood, all which lead to more sugar cravings. And reversibly, your ability to control blood sugar can also affect your sleep, mood, and stress. Welcome to the vicious cycle.

To keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night, eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate. This is the only time I don’t recommend protein, as the digestion of protein can interfere with sleep.

A single night of inadequate sleep can elevate blood sugar levels and when we consistently don’t get enough sleep, our body enters a state of chronic stress. Improve your overall health by creating a sleep routine that enables a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep.


Pre-Menstrual Period

While the hormonal effects during the a woman’s cycle varies from person to person, it’s not uncommon for there to be greater fluctuations during the pre-menstrual period. If you’re someone who tends to be more irritable and notices significant swings in mood, it may help to increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during this week.


Consistent blood sugar balance is KEY:

Begin your day with a healthy breakfast consisting of at least 15-20 g of protein, a high quality fat (like avocado, grass fed butter, or a straight tablespoon of coconut oil), greens, and a low glycemic carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, or seasonal fruit).


Ex: 2-3 eggs (12-18g protein), arugula, ½ an avocado, ½ c brown rice, lemon, olive oil, salt, tablespoon of pesto

Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours.  Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 2 fists of vegetables, 2 thumbs of healthy fats, and an optional 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 


  1. Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours. 

  2. Always eat a balance of protein, fat, and carbs and try to avoid eating carbs by themselves. If you can’t find all three macronutrients, choose at least 2 of the 3.

    - Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 1-2 fists of vegetables, 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats, and 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

    - Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 

    - Eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate.

  3. Get adequate sleep (7-9 hours) for more stabilized blood sugar, more energy, less hunger, better decisions, and a happier mood.

  4. Take frequent “breath-breaks” throughout your day (10 focused breaths of a 5-count inhale and 5-count exhale) to calm the nervous system and lower stress hormones.

  5. Adaptogens can help regulate the hormonal imbalance in the body. Use this guide to help you in determining what your body might benefit from.

  6. If you’re a female, increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during your premenstrual week.


5 Tips for KICKING CRAVINGS when they arise:

  1. Keep healthy food choices on hand always, not only for balancing blood sugar quickly, but also healthier options for when you still need to satisfy that craving for something sweet -  keep these in your bag, in your car, in your desk drawer, etc:

    - avocados, olives, nuts, seeds

    - primal kitchen bars

    - chia seed pudding (3 tbsp chia seeds, 8 oz almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon

    - fresh pressed green juice with half an apple and half a lemon

    - coconut water

    - apples, berries

    - seasonal fruit

    - 70% cacao dark chocolate

  2. Drink a full glass of water

  3. Take a “breath-break” of 10 deep breaths (5 count inhale, 5 count exhale) and check back in

  4. Chew a piece of gum

  5. Eat a protein/fat combo or a serving of almonds (17) and then check in with your craving 10 minutes later.


When you first begin thinking about your craving, ask yourself if anything was missing from your last meal. Did it contain enough protein and fat to keep your blood sugar stable? Are you actually hungry? Is what you’re about to eat what your body actually needs in that moment? Eat it if you know it will bring you true joy and isn’t an attempt at filling a void, calming your stress, or your body’s cry to boost your energy levels.  If you do eat it, balance it, savor every bite, relax, and move on.

If you find that you still can’t kick your cravings after following this advice, you may want to consider getting your hormones checked.

Let’s Chat!

Do you have a question regarding blood sugar, nutrition choices, and your fitness goals? Do you have any words of advice for others trying to navigate creating a healthy lifestyle? Ask or share below or start the conversation on social using #runningwithforks.

Summer Post-Workout Recipe: Blackberry Basil Smoothie



Yeah! Thanks, Barre3! If you missed it in their instagram stories, I got you covered. Scroll below for the full recipe! But if you feel like witnessing my first ever Instagram Stories video, it's a hoot to watch me on camera (talk about vulnerable firsts) and you should go check it out. 

This recipe is THE PERFECT post workout smoothie, not to mention, super refreshing for those hot summer days and when you're short on time.


  • Protein (protein powder)

  • Fat (coconut and avocado)

  • Fiber (spinach and greens)

  • Electrolytes (coconut water)

  • Antioxidants (blackberries)

  • anti-inflammatory (basil and bee pollen)

  • Fights free radicals (basil and bee pollen)

  • Supports a healthy gut (basil and bee pollen)



  • 1 serving protein powder (we suggest collagen protein or your favorite plant-based protein)

  • 6-8 oz. coconut water

  • 1 cup frozen berries

  • 1 handful spinach or your favorite leafy greens

  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shaved coconut

  • 1 Tbsp. flax seeds

  • ¼ – ½ avocado

  • 1 Tbsp. bee pollen (*optional)

  • ¼ tsp. cardamom (*optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, and whir away until smooth.


Need a Tip for quick and Easy Smoothie Making?

Place all ingredients of your smoothies (except for the liquid) in a mason jar, ziploc, or airtight container and pop into the freezer. When ready for your perfect post-workout smoothie, open the freezer, toss the contents of the mason jar into the blender along with recommended liquid and blend.


And if you still haven't downloaded the Super Shakes Guide, it's your easy guide to making a perfectly balanced smoothie every single time, no matter what ingredients you have on hand. Snag it here!

If you whip up this delicious smoothie, take a picture and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #barre3anywhere and #rwfeats and let me know what you think!

The 6-Minute Egg

I've always had a love for hard boiled eggs, mainly for the convenience on my crazy days on top of the fact that eggs are protein packed and high in nutritional value (hello omega-3's, vitamin A and D, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, iron, copper and choline!)

In recent years, I've grown tired of the dry hard boiled eggs and have turned to SOFT BOILED EGGS and sometimes even a touch medium if I know I'm going to be eating them in the car and on the run. The perk, a golden milky center that's perfect for soaking up my maldon salt and doesn't leave me reaching for a drink to swallow it down. 


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add however many eggs you desire. *You can make a big batch for the week to plan ahead or simply just a few for your next meal.

  2. Set a timer for 6 minutes. When the timer is up, use a slotted spoon to transfer to an ice bath.

  3. For a less-runny yolk, yet still super creamy that you can easily slice for toasts, set your timer for 7 minutes. For a hard boiled egg, set it for 8. But trust me, just try the 6.


Recovery + Nutrition: Eat This!

Injuries happen. And they stink, right?

As science tells us over and over again, our workouts and healing are only as good as our recovery - and that not only means what we do, but what we eat. So here's the scoop.

Running With Forks Injuries and Nutrition Recovery

(Side note on me: on January 2, 2016, the last day of our little holiday vacation in BC, I had a tumble filled with multiple 'pops' and 'snaps' while clenching my teeth wanting to scream 'F$!%#!!!!!!!!!!' Our trip ended with a sweet heli lift out of the backcountry and a completely re-torn ACL accompanied with an MCL that looked like a dried-out, stretched-out rubberband. Blech.)

Running With Forks Canada Ski Trip
Running With Forks Canada Heli Rescue ACL Injury

It's been 5 weeks of non-stop recovery for me and I want to share with you my top priority when recovering. Did you know that WHAT you eat when healing from an injury can play a huge role in your recovery and be extremely beneficial in combating those aches and pains? Here's why.


Any time you experience an injury, there are:

Three Phases of Tissue Repair

Inflammation | Repair | Remodeling


These phases happen not only during post-injury, but immediately after your intense workouts as well. Every time you train hard (while incredibly beneficial in the long term) you are creating tiny tears and breakdown of the tissue (in a good way!) and it requires proper rest, recovery and nutrition to help rebuild and increase strength. I bring this up to encourage you to apply some of the tidbits below to your workout recovery as well. Being conscious of a balanced diet helps support this repair and may also help prevent future injuries. BONUS! 

The inflammation Phase


The Response:

The inflammation phase begins immediately after an injury and lasts for 3-5 days. This phase, while uncomfortable, is an essential period of healing consisting of pain, swelling and immobility. Adding in certain anti-inflammatory foods during this time will help with this healthy inflammation without impeding the internal repair, which is key.

During this immobilization phase, there is also a decrease in muscle protein synthesis, therefore leading to muscle loss (atrophy), making it imperative you get adequate protein to support the healing.

Nutrition Focus: 

OMEGAS - A diet high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats will be anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 fatty acids – the best sources of which are found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout), olive oil, avocados, flax oil, and mixed nuts and seeds.

BROMELAIN: Found in Pineapple - 2 cups of fresh pineapple per day or 500-1000 mg in supplement form. Not only is Pineapple high in bromelain - an enzyme believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and promote muscle healing - it's also high in Vitamin C.

QUERCETIN: CHIVES AND GREEN ONIONS - Quercetin helps to increase circulation, bringing more blood flow to and from the injured tissue and manages inflammation.

Running With Forks Salmon and Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Nutrition and Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Fat and Injury Recovery
Running With Forks and Injury Recovery
Running With Forks and Injury Recovery
Running With Forks and Injury Recovery

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HERBS AND SPICES: Manage your inflammation with some (NOT ALL) of the following. We don't want to suppress the inflammation response completely, we just want to manage it:

TURMERIC/CURCUMIN - Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help with joint pain. Studies have shown that 2 g of curcumin daily was just as effective as 800mg ibuprofen for improving knee pain. 7 teaspoons/day or 400-600 mg 3x/d in the form of a supplement. 

GARLIC - 2-4 cloves per day or 600-1200 mg extract

GINGER - 2-3 g per day in powdered form. Studies have shown that women taking 3g/day of ginger or cinnamon had a significant decrease in muscle soreness.

FLAVANOIDS - Flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants like Vitamin C (citrus) and Selenium (blue-purple berries, tart cherries, green tea extract and cocoa) are effective for wound healing and inflammation management.

COCOA - Eh-hem. Just the perfect excuse to eat chocolate. 

Running With Forks Turmeric Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery Garlic
Running With Forks Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery Ginger
Running With Forks Injury Recovery
Running With Forks Injury Recovery

CONSUME ADEQUATE PROTEIN: It is incredible important to ensure you are getting in enough protein to help rebuild tissue (this can be as simple as a portion of lean meat or fish the size of the palm of your hand with each meal)

*Attempt to eat fewer pro-inflammatory foods such as processed foods, foods high in trans fats and vegetable oils


The Repair/Proliferation Phase


The Response:

This phase begins roughly 5 days post injury and lasts for 4-6 weeks. As the inflammation goes down, your body begins to lay down collagen (scar tissue) to replace the damaged tissue structure.

(Think about it like this: spread your fingers wide on your right hand and lay it flat on the table or over an injured joint (like your knee) as if it was a sticky spider web, and then take your left hand, spread the fingers wide and lay it directly over your right hand but at a diagonal to create a cross-pattern. Visualize this repeating over and over, creating this sticky, adhesive, messy webbing. That's collagen. It's messy, but it's protective.) 

When we are fearful of pain or are experiencing pain and restricting our range of motion (ROM), as the body begins to lay down this collagen, it will start to bind the muscle fibers together as well as bind the connective tissue to the muscles and joint and in the end you'll be left with painfully restricted ROM. No bueno. 

Nutrition Focus:

Continue consuming foods from the Inflammation Phase above.

VITAMIN C - Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis – the protein found in connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and muscle – and is also a potent antioxidant, enhancing immune cell function. Since the body can't store Vitamin C, it should be consumed throughout the day from high sources such as bell peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, parsley, brassicas and citrus fruits. 

ZINC - My favorite excuse to eat oysters! Zinc, essential for tissue regeneration, is obtainable from shellfish, lean beef or lamb and pumpkin seeds and nuts (such as almonds - which also provide copper) for collagen synthesis. 15-30mg/d. If taking zinc, balance it with copper - an excess in one can cause a deficiency in the other.

SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER: Supplementing with LYSINE, ARGININE and GLYCINE 2-4 weeks post-injury to help with re-establishing collagen, COPPER 2-4 mg/d during the first few weeks and VITAMIN A 10,000 IU/d for 1-2 weeks post-injury.

Running With Forks Injury Recovery Brassicas
Running With Forks Injury Recovery Oysters


The Remodeling Phase


The Response:

During the third or fourth week, strength training becomes so important for a full recovery and lasts about six months. (This is where I am right now!) This is the time where stressing the muscles and connective tissue improves your function and stimulate growth.

Nutrition Focus:

  • Continue all the powerful and healing superfoods you've added in during the first phase

  • Adjust portion sizes for adequate energy consumption

  • Focus on a healthy nutrient-dense diet, incorporating healing foods

  • Consume protein with every meal

  • Eat a balance of healthy fats

  • Avoid processed foods

  • Eat the rainbow for micronutrients involved in healing

  • Consume herbs and spices for anti-inflammatory support

  • Add in the below micronutrients for enhanced support and strength




The building blocks of plants are filled with detoxifying and anti-inflammatory nutrients and not to mention this gorgeous, colorful, tasteless, magnificent powder (or liquid) you can add to ANYTHING. 

Running With Forks Injury Recovery Chlorophyll


heal up babies. i'm doing my best, now you do yours.

A Green Breakfast

Running WIth Forks Green Smoothie

This is probably a top favorite and request of a favorite little lady I have been cooking and creating menus for over the last six years.  You've got to know that this green breakfast is jam packed with nutrients that will most definitely get you stepping out the front door with your best self shining. And the best part, you can make a big batch and keep them loaded and ready in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack the next day! 


Prep time: 5 mins | Total time: 7 mins  | Serves: 1-2


  • 1/2 an avocado

  • 1/2 a small fennel bulb

  • 1 large handful spinach

  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 1 apple, cored and chopped

  • 1/2 c pineapple, chopped

  • 1 tbsp flax seeds

  • 1 c nut milk

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 tbsp almonds, chopped

  • 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped


  1. In Vitamix or high powered blender, combine all ingredients through the nut milk and blend on high until smooth. Adjust taste if desired.

  2. Pour into a bowl or mason jars and top with remaining nuts and seeds when ready to eat.