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Aikido for Food Cravings – Deflect and Redirect

Kick Those Cravings in the Booty!

Aikido focuses on using an opponent’s own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement.1) Aikido for food is a concept you can use to kick those cravings in the booty and send them on their way!

When it comes to food cravings food replacement and substitution works wonderfully to redirect your cravings into healthier alternatives. Aikido for food is about redirecting that momentum of desire energy into something that will actually give you real energy and longevity over a quick fix, sugar spikes and depravity.

Aikido for food means to deflect and redirect those craving, kick them in the booty and send them on their way. And it works.
~LeAura Alderson,

What Causes Cravings?

It’s helpful to first understand what causes cravings and how it works, so here’s a brief description in layman’s terms. Leptin is a hormone that signals to your brain that you’ve had enough food and nutrition.

“Leptin is a protein that’s made in the fat cells, circulates in the bloodstream, and goes to the brain. Leptin is the way your fat cells tell your brain that your energy thermostat is set right.”

~Robert H. Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco2)

Processed foods suppress leptin which signals to your body that you still need to eat, even if you’ve had plenty of food.  Cravings happen when, your body doesn’t recognize the food you’ve consumed as nutrition.

Your weight increases as the quality of your diet decreases, and instead of signaling to your brain that it has had enough food, the opposite occurs. As your blood stream and brain become leptin deficient, your body becomes leptin resistant.

“In leptin resistance, your leptin is high, which means you’re fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s brain starvation.”

~Robert H. Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco3)

How to Stop Food Cravings

We have a garden, and there’s nothing like walking in the garden and plucking and nibbling on fresh sweet peas, leaves of longevity spinach, springs of fresh parsley and basil.  Green juice made from these and other fresh greens, whether from garden or grocer, these vital foods make my cells sing.

The fastest way to stop food cravings? Consume the freshest whole foods you can find.
~LeAura Alderson,

Fill up on fresh fruit with yogurt for breakfast. Fresh greens and veggies for lunch. Take green juice and alternate with fresh fruit smoothies for snacks and your cells will sing and your leptin will get back to work, signaling satiety to your brain.


Food Aikido – Redirect Cravings

Just yesterday afternoon my “kids” (they’re both young adults now), wanted a huge plate of their favorite food: nachos!  I suggested having a huge bowl of salad first. They had that along with a homemade veggie burger sandwich, and ended up with no desire for the nachos. They were too full, yet fully satisfied; all healthy food excepting for the bread, which was at least relatively benign whole grain and gluten free breads.

Don’t obsess over what you can’t have.
Focus on what you can have that you also love.
~LeAura Alderson,

I had the same thing: a leafy green salad topped with raw veggies, avocado, a few Kalamata olives, a spoon of crumbled feta, toasted nuts and a light homemade balsamic vinaigrette. I also had a veggie burger patty, but without the bread. I added the usual favorite “burger garnish” of mustard, ketchup (organic and no HFCS), dill pickle, tomato and lettuce, but I cut it up and ate it with a fork instead of between bread as a sandwich. It was still very satisfying and so tasty I didn’t even miss the bread!

Burgers with all your favorite toppings but without the bread are still surprisingly delicious and satisfying. And veggie burgers can be an equally delicious replacement. Eating healthy can still be delicious with just a few tweaks!

Here’s one of our favorite homemade veggie burger recipes from, that uses portabella mushrooms, beans and vegetables.

There’s something amazing in each bite of organic, garden fresh food that makes my cells sing.
~LeAura Alderson,

What if You Don’t Have a Garden?

No problem if you don’t have a garden. Today, we all have ready access to vibrant and profoundly nourishing fresh produce, only a grocery store away. If you start your day with the wholesome and healthy, your body will be there for you too.

You have one body. Doesn’t she deserve the best, most dynamic and vibrant body you can give her? Doesn’t he deserve the dignity and confidence of a strong and healthy body? Choose foods that feed your health, not foods that destroy it.

Be there for your body and she will be there for you.
~LeAura Alderson,

Redirect and Replace, Not Deprive

We’re not talking about deprivation and the anguish of giving up foods you love. Aikido for food is not about struggle, but about redirecting the flow of desire from the shouldn’ts to the shoulds. Aikido for food is about simply sidestepping that desire for a Starbucks Frappuccino, and instead, choosing a fresh fruit smoothie you brought from home, made with 100% fruit and coconut water… no high sugar juice.

Aikido for food is about redirecting the flow from shouldn’t’s to should’s… from the things you love that you shouldn’t do to the things you love that are good for you.
~LeAura Alderson,

Save Time and Health

But eating healthy takes more time. Maybe. But chances are you’ll be surprised. We tend to notice the minutes and hours in the kitchen, but lost track of those that are spent running on errands and in short order lines.

If you think you don’t have time to make healthy foods, so you go to the drive by or local snack place, think again. You can make a fresh fruit smoothie or a healthy green juice in just 5-10 minutes, which is often less time that it takes to go through the line at your favorite coffee shop.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to take more time, but it does buy you more years of health.
~LeAura Alderson,

Healthy food from home, takes less time and money than standing in line for that frappe that has no food value, or those oil laden fries that clog your cells and make you less of your best self in every way. Those are the foods that make your body leptin resistant and starve your brain while feeding your body.

Bring health from home. You can make a green juice or fresh fruit smoothie to go in 5-10 minutes. Less time than the local drive through or drop in coffee shop.
~LeAura Alderson,

If you’re skeptical, just try it. Let us know how it goes.


Healthy Travel Choices

These days there are so many more healthy options than ever before. Even if you’re traveling, it’s relatively easy to find salads, fruit and healthier snacks. It’s also relatively easy to pack some from home. My favorite snack when flying is mandarin oranges.

There’s something so wonderfully fresh about breaking open the thin skin of a mandarin orange, in flight. Suddenly, the stale cabin air is transported into a wonderfully fresh sweet citrus fragrance. People in nearby seats look around and smile. It’s a scent that everyone loves, and I like to think that it might give fellow travelers an idea for their future trips.

Health and weight loss simplified:
Choose favorite foods that feed your health.
Avoid the foods that bring disease.
~LeAura Alderson,

Aikido Healthy Snacks

You can “aikido” your snacks, by simply redirecting your cravings from the shouldn’ts to the shoulds. When it comes to healthy snacks, there are so many options and variations you can try. It wills serve you for life to practice donning the explorer’s mindset, on an adventure to discover what you can have, and you will find more of that!

Some of our favorite healthy/healthier snacks include:

Healthy Savory Snacks

  • Baked kale chips
  • Roasted nuts – our favorites are
    • slivered almonds, toasted
    • pistachios, especially in the shell
    • peanuts in the shell, roast in the oven in the shell
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pecans
  • Homemade nut mix using raw nuts and raisins at about a 6-1 ratio; I also will use one roasted salted nut that has not added oil, as that little bit of salt enhances the entire batch with just the right amount of savory, without an overload of sodium.
  • Baked organic non GMO corn tortilla chips
  • Cottage cheese with a handful or two of nutmix
  • Green juice

Peanuts and pistachios in the shell are great for tv viewing or car travel if you’re the passenger because they keep you working and occupied. You’ll also eat a lot less when you’re having to shell them versus handfuls of already shelled nuts.

Healthy Sweet Snacks

  • Frozen fruit smoothies (no juice; add 100% coconut water, water, or nut milks, such as almond or coconut)
  • Banana “ice cream” – frozen bananas blended up (or eat just the frozen banana like a popsicle)
  • Frozen cherries – a favorite!
  • Frozen berries added to yogurt, stir it in and watch how it turns into an ice cream like texture
  • Homemade nut mix using raw nuts and raisins at about a 6-1 ratio. Or you can increase the raisins for a little more sweet, to as much as 2-1.

There are literally hundreds of smoothie recipes and others we could include here and beyond that there are also hundreds of variations on the healthy snacks.

Having a major sweet tooth, I use to make this 2-1, dried fruit to nuts. However, dried fruits are high in sugar content already and with the high caloric content of the nuts, these can be high in calories.

We used to also love to include Craisins too… I mean it’s dried cranberries and cranberries are healthy, right? No craisins. Craisins are prepared in oil and with added sugar, so we no longer get them. Instead, we’re adding the super nutritious dried “super fruits”, which are typically a little more tart than sweet, yet add bursts of flavor and nutrition to the nut mixture.

When it comes to healthy snacks, there are so many options and variations you can try. Don the explorer’s mindset, on an adventure to discover what you can have and you will find more of that!
~LeAura Alderson,

Healthy Sweet Treats – Food Replacements

If you love sweets like I do, there are increasingly more options that are healthier. We used to make more of our own wholesome treats, especially when I was a homeschooling our kids and had more time. Now we enjoy baking our own using healthier alternatives, using flours like gluten free all purpose flour, quinoa, chestnut, buckwheat, almond, oat and coconut flours.

My daughter is gluten intolerant, plus we know that bread is not good for the rest of us, so we substitute with the most wholesome of the gluten free breads and tortillas we can find, and use it in moderation. Ideally, we make our own treats out of almond, oat, coconut and quinoa flours, but if you don’t have the time more and more innovative companies are making healthier options available, and I predict these will be the mega corporations of the net decade.

Our favorite healthy protein bars are from Quest Nutrition, because they’re allergen free, contain no soy and sweetened lightly using only Erythritol. We’re also enjoy the Raw Revolution Coconut Chocolate bars.


Please let us know your favorite “Food Aikido” moves… where you are successfully substituting bad habits for tasty good ones and deflecting cravings by simply redirecting then into something better.

Because here’s the thing: think of your favorite fruit. Imagine it next to your favorite junk food treat. Both are delicious and you enjoy them both. One is also nutritious and you feel good about eating it, before, during and afterward. The other, is delicious but not nutritious, and in fact it contributes free radical damage, inflammation and toxicity to your system.

No brainer, right? Yet the struggle is real.

Back to savory foods for a moment…

The Fast on Fried Foods

We’ve got it backwards. Fried foods are not your friend. “Comfort food” should be called “cholesterol food”. Healthy food should really be called soul food.
~LeAura Alderson,

Even organic tortilla chips are deep fried, (unless they specifically state otherwise). So when you think, “corn”, and it’s a healthy vegetable, that’s likely not so. And of course that’s not explained on the labels. They disclose oil, but not the fact that it’s oil from deep frying which means that it’s heated to a toxic level. So choose baked tortillas.4)

But you do need to examine labels carefully because sometimes it can seem healthy but be quite the opposite. For example, my husband use to enjoy snacking on the green pea wasabi snacks. Hey, they’re a green vegetable-like legume, which is naturally healthy right? They look healthy, have a nice crunch and taste great.

But… while wasabi peas offer protein and iron, they’re mostly not healthy because of being coated in salt, sugar and deep fried. Yep… most wasabi peas—like most chips—are deep fried, and anything deep fried is not going to be healthy; in fact, quite the opposite.

Fried, means that any nutrients have not only been killed off in the high heat, but the frying process actually makes them anti-nutritive (toxic) through the releasing of free radicals into your system that occur when oil is heated to such high temperature. So while you’ll find mixed health recommendations when it comes to wasabi peas, if they’re not crunchy from freeze drying, then they’re likely crunchy from deep frying.


The Fight is Real

If you eat it you won’t truly enjoy it because you will be conflicted in your struggle. The fight… the daily battle saps your energy, your resolve and your sense of self. The more you give in, the more you give in. The more you redirect your cravings to health, the stronger you grow in your resolve to choose health.

Giving into unhealthy food cravings is the worst investment we can make.
~LeAura Alderson,

The Psychology of Caving to Cravings

  1. The struggle to resist
  2. The bittersweet fleeting enjoyment
  3. The long-lasting guilt
  4. The long-lasting weight gain
  5. The long-lasting health impact

You will enjoy it—mostly—while you’re eating it. Except for the guilt you rack up with each bite you shovel in while trying to push away the feelings of failure.

Afterward, you will regret it. You always do. You will feel bad about your choice—and about yourself for making it. You may feel weak and hopeless that you seemed unable to resist temptation yet again.

That’s a dead end street. That’s a ‘been there, done that’ one too many times. Now is different.


Deflect to Defeat and Dominate

Most of us are never truly hungry; that hunger that comes from true food deprivation. We may get empty and our stomach and energy level may be telling us we are hungry. We may experience low blood sugar and especially if we’re in the highs and lows of sugar consumption, but likely more than 80% of the time we get up from our desk or out of our chair to get something to eat, it isn’t because we’re hungry. It’s because our body… the “paleo man” is programmed to think resting means eating, sexing or sleeping.

Our body requires movement to thrive, and if we aren’t moving, the next thing we’re wired to think of is eating.
~LeAura Alderson,

So the very best remedy for the desire for food when our body is overweight is to MOVE. Get up and move vigorously, dynamically, briskly. Whenever you get up from your desk (if you work in an office), walk or run to to wherever you need to go if you can.

‘Aikido for Food’ is about redirecting cravings into movement and health.
~LeAura Alderson,

Imagine you had to jump up for a fire alarm and HUSTLE… or you were late for a very important meeting. You book it as fast as possible, right? That’s how you need to walk or run. THAT will shake up your hormones and rev things up.

If you can, exercise, even if it’s just for five minutes. Just stand up… right there at your chair, desk side, and move very quickly through a few exercises. Here are three, and you can do these in 1-3 minutes, (remember, you’re moving briskly and as fast as you safely can).


20 Squats
20 Knee ups (knees to chest from sitting position, or from standing; if you can’t do both knees together, then alternate them)
20 Push-ups from your desk, a wall, or the floor.

Chances are that after this you will not feel hungry but rather you will want some water. That’s next. Enjoy a full glass or bottle of water. Even better if you have a fresh lemon or lime wedge to squeeze into it. Now you should feel refreshed, energized and alkalized… and all in under 5 minutes!

During your next lull or craving, you can repeat this until it’s time to eat a healthy meal. Do different things, such as running up the stairs in your building if you have them, or a brisk walk around it if not. Even better, running some outside stairs if you have access, so that you can get fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Training your body, trains your brain and, mindset makes all the difference.

Food Aikido, Cravings, Mindset, Deflect & Redirect, LeAura Alderson, Deskside Exercise, 1-Minute Fitness Break, Kale Chips, Quest Bars, Quest Nutrition, Food Substitution
NOW you are ready to dance with destiny and choose to boost your life by boosting what you put into it and into your body.

Move energetically through life and when it’s not working for you, redirect the negative force into positive momentum.

“Aikido for food” redirects your energy to what serves you and deflects what doesn’t.

‘Food Aikido’, simply redirects cravings…
from weakness to strength;
from illness to health;
from fat to fit.
And it works.
~LeAura Alderson,

You’ve got this!

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