I live with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which means my body doesn’t know how to handle the changing hormones around my menstrual cycle. Among the more severe symptoms I have to deal with such as constant anxiety and fatigue, I get some serious cravings that threaten to hurt my health and my wallet. Not only are cravings expensive, and this is especially the case if you have an “alternative diet” like being vegan or gluten free, but the food you choose can cause you to feel worse physically and mentally. Since I’ve spent six years working to get my PMDD under control, I know a thing or two about beating PMS cravings the healthy way. Here are a few affordable snacks that you can choose the next time you’re jonesing.
1. Munch on dates instead of chocolate
While I like to buy vegan chocolate because dairy makes me break out, and raw chocolate is actually good for you, these items aren’t always budget friendly if you’re craving chocolate all day, every day. If you’re looking for something that’s going to satisfy your sweet tooth but be really nutritious for you, pitted dates are an amazing way of doing this. They come in a large container and have enough packed inside for a week. They’re also full of calories and fibre, so if you can’t stomach much they’re great to snack on throughout the day.
2. Choose potatoes instead of chips
It’s so easy to grab a cheap bag of chips from the corner store, but the sodium can actually exacerbate your cramps and bloating, not to mention just make you crave more chips. Before you know it, you’re spending more and more money on chips and feeling worse and worse. A healthier way to satisfy your cravings is to bake sweet potato fries or any kind of potatoes you like tossed in oil and sea salt. Not only are they packed full of calories for cheap, but they have tons of iron as well, which will help boost your energy levels.
3. Drink tea instead of soda
A bottle of soda can seem so satisfying when you’re PMSing, but the empty calories are just going to give you a sugar crash afterwards. Opt for a herbal tea like Rooibos to sip instead, which is caffeine free, has a sweet taste and is detoxifying as well. With herbal tea you get more bang for your buck than you would when buying soda, and it’s a great option if you’re nauseous from PMS. If you’re looking for a colder beverage, just add some ice to your brew.
What are some healthy and affordable snacks that you like to chow down on when you’re PMSing? Let me know in the comments below.