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Darkness of Winter inducing Pizza cravings...

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  • Darkness of Winter inducing Pizza cravings...

    I went primal in Feb. I stopped eating grains and have had no cravings for cereals or bread or even pizza since I changed my diet. I will admit to some sweet cravings that are easily satisfied by a bit of chocolate or some fruit, but the grain thing just never happened.

    Now it is December. I live in dark and dreary Seattle at latitude 47. The sun is above the horizon only 8 hours a day and even then it is shrouded in a cloak of grey cloud cover. I have never been primal through the darkest period of winter. Suddenly I find myself wanting to make oatmeal for breakfast and I had a screaming pizza craving for dinner last night. This has really struck me as very odd.

    Overall, I am finding that I am craving carbs a lot more the past couple weeks than at anytime since I went primal. It feels directly related to the lack of sunlight. I am feeding my carb cravings with more root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, as well as apples and oranges. So far I have avoided the grains.

    Anyone else at dark northern latitudes feeling more dragged out, more carb cravings during winter?

  • #2
    Yup, absolutely. I eat a lot of winter squash, carrots, onions and sweet potatoes this time of year as opposed to "lighter" veggies through the spring, summer and early fall. Actually, those are pretty much my staples through winter.

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    • #3
      I'm fortunate enough to liver further south (~32 degrees), so feel free the dismiss any suggestions I might give, as I may not know what I'm talking about, haha.

      Maybe more vitamin D would help.
      Maybe you are also craving foods that are usually served very warm; try chili or hot tea/coffee to warm from the inside out.
      And there is always cauliflower+cheese crust if you have to make pizza! Hehe.

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      • #4
        Yes! It's awful. I'm making more roasted root veggies, esp sweet potatoes lately and I'm trying to make comfort foods like beef stew, chicken soup, chili... but I really have just wanted some homemade mac and cheese or spaghetti and meat sauce...with garlic bread Things that I really wouldn't crave in the summer. Ohwell, it's only about 4 more months until we can break out the grill again and pretend it's warm until it really is.

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        • #5
          Anyone else at dark northern latitudes feeling more dragged out, more carb cravings during winter?
          Surprisingly, no! In fact, my husband bought me a sweeter chocolate than I usually eat & it was too sweet for me. I have been eating a bit more fat as well as sweet potatoes--but not huge amounts.

          +100 on the Vitamin D suggestion. I live on the Olympic Peninsula and have noticed how much better my mood is during our dreary weather. Have been supplementing for over a year with 8,000 IUs.
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          • #6
            I have been supplementing 4000 IUs Vit D daily since sept, was on 2000 IUs during the summer. Maybe I should get my level tested to see if I am in a good range.

            I have had the mac and cheese craving multiple times as well!!! I might have to give in to that maybe once this winter......

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            • #7
              You need a "happy lamp" full spectrum light in your home. Sit under it for a while every afternoon, it really helps with Seasonal Adjustment Disorder and the blahs that come with it. I had a room mate in college who had one and she was a totally different person after a "happy lamp" session. Or go vation in LaPaz for a week in December!

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              • #8
                Its your internal clock...that lack of light says its time to pack on the fat and hibernate, and there's no better way to induce weight gain and sluggishness than carbs. Evolution-wise, makes complete sense. Sub-par food slows down metabolism, because we're obviously not finding the good stuff, like wild antelope liver or something.....

                I second the vitamin d and happy lamp suggestions. Hawaii or a tropical island would be the ultimate happy lamp....but not as affordable as a lightbulb (darn). I want to curl up with a good pizza when the weather gets dark and gloomy, too.

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                • #9
                  I had a huge pizza craving last night. More for the cheese and pepperoni than anything else, though. Went with Chinese instead.

                  I find that, in general, I tend to crave fat more during the winter than any other time of the year. I want creamier soups, nuts, and other fat-rich foods.
                  "A man in this world without learning is as a beast of the field."

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                  • #10
                    I am at 33 degrees in Atlanta. Major increases in carb cravings with the onset of winter.

                    And it's not a D issue



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                    • #11
                      Yes, I recommend getting your vitamin D level checked. Are you taking cod liver oil? Have you tried increasing your (general) fat intake?

                      The "happy lamp" might also do the trick for you.

                      I also live in Washington, about an hour north of you, and I crave baked goods this time of year. However, my cravings are satiated by eating no-grain, low carb baked goods made with nut flour and coconut flour. Do you think your cravings are *definitely* carb based?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by surely5 View Post
                        Yes, I recommend getting your vitamin D level checked. Are you taking cod liver oil? Have you tried increasing your (general) fat intake?
                        Checking D levels is always a good idea.

                        I was just saying D isn't an issue for me. You're new here

                        There are varying opinions as to whether or not cod liver oil is a good idea due to the varying (and often excessive A content) of different brands.

                        I'd say "have a look at my D doc, linked below" but someone reported 3 of my docs as 'inappropriate' to google and now they are inaccessible to anyone except me.

                        So yay for that.



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                        • #13
                          I eat plenty of fat on my primal diet, and I am finding lately that I don't want as much of it! I am not craving baked goods so much as pasta, hot cereal, and as I said, pizza. For now, I am not giving in to these particular cravings but eating more primal carbs.

                          I am reminded of something I read in the book "Lights Out" about how we raise our blood sugar levels during the winter as a kind of natural antifreeze in our blood stream. Living in heated homes as we do, this doesn't seem too useful now. But perhaps when exposed to numbingly cold winter temps it would have been very advantageous in warding off frostbite in the extremities to have a little hyperglycemia. Hence the carb cravings. It sounds good in theory anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                            There are varying opinions as to whether or not cod liver oil is a good idea due to the varying (and often excessive A content) of different brands.
                            Yeah, there's definitely different opinions regarding vitamin A. Controversy is ubiquitous in the realm of diet and nutrition, isn't it? I noticed a significant improvement in my wintertime mood, as well as decreased sugar cravings, after a couple of months on 1/2 teaspoon daily of Blue Ice cod liver oil. Everyone else's mileage may vary, of course.

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                            • #15
                              I'm in the Yukon, and .. not so much, no.
                              You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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