If you're craving:
-Hummus (farmer's markets, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and more will carry hummus. Read the ingredients, and make sure it's chemical-free, or make your own) or Baba Ghanouj. Serve with chopped veggies!
-Plain coconut yogurt. So Delicious makes this. The only problem I have with it is that they use sugar in it, and, as you know, I want added sugars out of the diet as much as possible. But as a once-in-a-while snack, it's a pretty good choice, and you can add your own fresh fruit.
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
around 1/2 cup water
One or two large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
A squeeze or two of lemon
If you have it handy, a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Soak your cashews in a bowl of water for at least two hours before making this cheez. After that, throw all of the above in a very good blender (I loooove my VitaMix), blend till smooth, and spread on your favorite sprouted grain bread or tortilla. I use this as a wrap base with Ezekiel tortillas for lunch all the time. Or, you can add a little more water and a few slices of roasted red pepper and use as a "cream" or "nacho" sauce on sprouted grain pastas or spaghetti squash. :)
Kale chips: Don't wrinkle your nose just yet. My roommate is addicted to these, and actually gets psyched when I bring home kale. I like to use black dinosaur kale for these, but you can use any kind of kale. Cut the leaves off the stems and into bite-sized pieces. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, put the leaves on in one layer, and spray them again. Sprinkle with a little salt or some herbs to taste, and bake at about 350-400 degrees until they are crispy. Soooooo good.
|Kale Chips. Nom.|
You can also make "chips" in this manner with sweet potatoes, turnips, or really any root vegetable. I am a HUGE fan of sweet potato "chips" (I just cut them into rounds for baking) and I do not salt them. I like to use coconut oil for those as opposed to olive oil, as it brings out their flavor really nicely.
|Sweet Potato Chips. Double nom.|
I find that a lot of salt cravings are due to stress, and the craving is actually for crunch as opposed to salt. In this case, grab yourself some baby carrots, celery, or other crunchy veggie, and munch away. :)
I've recently become addicted to nori chips. They're super-easy to make, and very healthy. Here's a basic recipe (or you can buy them pre-packaged): http://www.babble.com/Best-recipes/healthy-eating/nori-chips/
I recently discovered these chips: http://www.beanitos.com/ . I served them at my Superbowl party in February, and no one knew they weren't regular chips. They're mostly made from beans, are high in fiber and protein, non-gmo, gluten-free, high in omegas, and have all kinds of good stuff inside. So, as far as bagged chips go, these are a pretty good choice!
Fruit! While I don't recommend eating it in unlimited amounts as it still contains sugar, seasonal fruit (especially berries)is very good for you and high in flavor. I also love dates as a sweet snack. The fruit, not the ones I go out with. Although I guess the latter would be lower in calories. ;)
Here is my own personal recipe for black bean brownies: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=24531.0 The only change I now make, having cut out sugar, is that I replace the sugar with erythritol (I use a full cup of erythritol, as it tends to be a bit less sweet than sugar). They're incredibly nutritious, and you really feel like you're eating something naughty. :)
My friend and fellow kettlebell guru Lauren Brooks Miller makes this great apple cinnamon bread: http://kbellqueen.blogspot.com/2011/01/apple-cinnamon-bread-gluten-free-and.html , which is high in healthy fats and protein. My own personal changes to the recipe (as I am vegan) would be to replace the egg with 1/4 cup milled flaxseed mixed with enough water to make it "eggy" and sub in erythritol or coconut sugar for the brown sugar, as I'd like to stay as sugar-free as possible.
I have, just for you, made the ultimate sacrifice and taste-tested some chocolate bars, as many of my clients are chocoholics and want to satisfy their cravings without so much guilt. And my search has landed me here: http://www.gnosischocolate.com/zero-glycemic-raw-chocolate/ . It's expensive stuff (which means you won't eat as much, right?!), but it's extremely high-quality. So you get all the benefits of raw chocolate and all the taste of an artisan bar without any of the sugar or crap that tends to go into commercial chocolate (even the good stuff). The company makes all kinds of other chocolate bars, all of them have excellent ingredients, and the ones I've tried taste absolutely great. My only gripe is that they use agave as their main sweetener, which, while low-glycemic, is also high-fructose, which I don't think is particularly healthy. So I'd stick with the erythritol one and splurge on one of the other kinds on your cheat day. :)
Hope this helps-- let me know if you need more ideas!
Questions, comments-- post 'em here!