Food cravings? Willpower is not the answer.

food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer

food cravings sugar chocolate

It’s Monday.  You’ve just started a brand new health kick, and you’re convinced that THIS TIME you’ll stick with it.  You have an event coming up in three months and you want to lose 10kg in that time.  You’ve removed all the junk food from your house, and you got pizza for dinner last night as a kind of last supper – just to prove to yourself that it was the last time you were going to eat food like that for at least 3 months.  You’ve got this.  Motivation is at an all time high, and nothing is going to stop you this time.

It’s Thursday.  You skipped the gym this morning because you snoozed your alarm too many times.  You were running late to work and didn’t have time to eat breakfast or make a healthy lunch, so by the time 11am comes around you are starving.  Sushi is the healthiest choice around, so you grab a couple of rolls and basically inhale them without thinking.  But it’s okay, you’re still on track, you haven’t given up yet!  Back to your strict diet tomorrow, for sure.

It’s Sunday.  It’s now been 4 days since you went to the gym, or exercised at all.  You’re feeling like a bit of a failure.  Your diet hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been very good either.  And now you’re sitting on the couch thinking about the packet of potato chips sitting in the cupboard.  You rationalise; “I haven’t really stuck to my diet this week anyway, so I might as well just start again tomorrow”.  Before you know it, the packet is empty and you’re hit with guilt, regret and shame.  Why did you do it?  Why did you give in so easily?  Why couldn’t you just be a bit stronger and ignore your cravings?  You didn’t even enjoy the chips in the end, you were just eating them to punish yourself! Why, why, WHY do you always do this to yourself?

Gosh, that cycle is exhausting.  Trust me, I’ve been there!  And the reason I’m sharing this with you is because I know what it’s like to struggle through with nothing but willpower and CONSTANTLY feel like a failure.

You feel like you’ll never lose weight.

You feel like there is something wrong with you because you just can’t stick to a diet.

You feel worthless because you’ll never fit into those size 9 jeans sitting in your cupboard that you bought 4 years ago as “motivation to lose weight”.

It’s a really horrible place to be, all that guilt and shame and failure.

But wait for it…. *drum roll please*….. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!  While the dieting industry would love you to believe that will power is your only option when it comes to losing weight, I’m here to smash that myth.  Let’s be cynical for a second: if all those dieting pills and weight loss shakes actually worked, wouldn’t the dieting industry be out of work?  Wouldn’t they lose customers every time someone actually succeeded in their programs?  Wouldn’t they make A LOT MORE MONEY if they actually set you up to fail in the first place?  By convincing you that your willpower is not strong enough, and then convincing you to try again, use a different product, start again next week or in the new year, the dieting industry is making you into a lifelong customer.  And that’s a win for them and their wallets.

So what’s the alternative to willpower?

Willpower works against your body.  It tells you to ignore food cravings, push through your low energy, ignore your stress and stick to your diet plan no matter what.  So the alternative to using willpower is to work with your body.  Listen to your body, get in touch with you and your individuality, and work from the foundations up.

When you work with your body, you delve deeper into your food cravings and figure out what is causing them, so that you can eliminate them completely.  Not having food cravings in the first place is a lot easier than fighting those cravings will willpower.  (This is what I teach in my online program Overcome Food Cravings).

When you work with your body, you figure out what is causing your low energy and you fix that first, rather than forcing yourself to “smash it out” at the gym when your body is screaming out for rest.  It might require increasing your iron intake, or improving your quality of sleep, or a number of things.  But whatever is contributing to your poor energy, that needs to be addressed before you can expect to stick to a consistent exercise regime.

How do I work with my body?  I don’t know where to start.

This is exactly what I do with clients in my 1-on-1 GROG sessions.  And no, we don’t sit around drinking wine together (although that sounds like fun too!).  GROG stands for Get Rid Of Guilt.  In an hour session, via video call or in my Hove clinic, I will help you understand what is going on at a foundational level so that we can get you to a place where eating healthy foods and exercising regularly feels easy.  No battling willpower, no feelings of guilt or failure, just a really down-to-earth and simple approach to getting you on the fast track to success in your weight loss goals.

I’ll help you get rid of your food cravings altogether.  I’ll help you improve your energy levels, get your digestion working properly, and give you coping strategies for stressful and emotional situations.  Whatever obstacle you need to remove before you can start living a healthy, happy life – I can help you out.

For more information on my 1-on-1 GROG sessions, send me an email or comment below.

I struggled against my body and blamed my lack of willpower for way too long, and I don’t want you to do the same.  Book a session with me and together we’ll get to the root of your issue, so that you can find freedom with food and healthy living.

If you want to book a GROG session now, click here.  And feel free to bring wine! 😉


P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

My ‘Day on a Plate’


Inspired by too many “what a nutritionist eats in a day’ articles that are completely unreasonable for the average person (I’m looking at you, Lola Berry), I decided to share my own ‘day on a plate’ to give you an insight into my average daily diet.

I am a qualified naturopath, and my biggest passion is helping women lose weight and get their food cravings under control.  I help my clients improve their eating habits, reduce their cravings, understand their bodies and approach themselves and their bodies with just a little more kindness.  I help my clients find exercise that they enjoy, and create a healthy lifestyle that is simple, sustainable and enjoyable.

But I also help my clients find balance, and encourage them to enjoy their life in amongst all the healthy eating and exercise.  There is no point restricting your diet to the point that you’re miserable and can’t go out and have fun with friends.  There is no point setting unrealistic goals and expecting to have a perfect, clean diet 100% of the time.  I’m a realist, and I know from experience that expectations of perfection and unsustainable dietary restriction is only going to cause cravings and a negative mindset and possibly even binge eating.

So please, don’t compare your current daily diet to mine or anyone else’s.  We’re all at different stages and what works for me might not work for you.

Here’s my average daily routine:

6.30am  Breakfast:          1x espresso coffee with soy milk

8.30-9am                             Protein shake – either Medi-Restore or a combination of Vital Protein powder and Vital Greens powder, in 50-50 water and almond milk

1pm                                       Mountain rice wrap with roasted chicken breast and salad (baby spinach, leafy green lettuce, rocket, carrot, beetroot, cucumber, tomato all tossed in a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice) with hummus

3pm                                       Homemade banana bread, if I haven’t already had some for breakfast

                                OR          1 banana with Justin’s Almond Butter (soooo yum!)

7pm                                       Dinner is almost always some kind of protein with a variety of veggies.  Curries and stirfries are popular in our house, so is pasta, veggie bakes, homemade pies.. I try to mix it up to keep things interesting.  Some weeks I’ll do a big cook-up on Sunday for the week, and other days I’ll cook simpler meals each night.  Being just the two of us at home, meals will usually last us at least 2 nights, or we might have leftovers for the lunch the next day.

So that’s my average day on a plate!

But I’m human just like you.

Some days I’ll have a second coffee (my fiancé has turned me into a coffee lover!)

Some days I don’t take enough food to work and come home absolutely starving.

Some days I feel like chocolate, and although I always tune in to figure out why I’m actually craving it, there are days when I’ll eat something else instead and days when I’ll have the chocolate I’m craving.

Wherever you are right now in your health journey, it’s totally okay.

I used to eat hot chips almost daily, and craved chocolate like crazy.  I had a phase when I was 18 years old when I ate nothing but BBQ Shapes and salami and drank energy drinks every day.  Even just a couple of months ago I was having a rough patch emotionally, and my eating habits were completely reflective of that – I had no motivation to prepare food and was eating packaged convenience foods or nothing at all.

I’ve got a complex relationship with food, and even though my eating habits can fluctuate, I am connected to my body and always feel in control of the decisions that I make.  And if I’m having a rough patch, I know that it’s not forever, and I just do the best I can to get myself through.

So sure, I can give you my average “day on a plate”, but it doesn’t always look like this.  And that’s totally okay.  

Cause I’m human.  And I’m not perfect – but I am healthy and happy, and that’s the most important thing to me.

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins



Makes 10 muffins

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 16-18 minutes

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 heaped tsp almond meal
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw or coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk (you can use a plant-based milk to make these muffins dairy-free!)
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and grease or line a muffin tray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract, milk and coconut oil) except for the blueberries. Make sure the coconut oil is soft enough to mix but not hot, as it may cook the egg if it is too hot.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold gently to combine.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and cook for 16-18 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow muffins to cool completely before removing them from the tray.

Homemade Pasta Sauce



  • 6 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp italian dried herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cut all tomatoes in half. Peel garlic cloves.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and evenly spread olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper and sugar. Place the tomatoes skin-side-up on the baking tray, and put in the preheated oven, cooking for 45-55 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Blend on low speed for 1 minute until roughly blended but not 100% smooth.
  5. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Banana Bread



  • 1 3/4 cups SR flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a rectangular cake tin.
  2. Combine dry ingredients – flours, cinnamon, raw sugar in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix rice malt syrup, eggs, milk and olive oil. Add to dry mixture and combine well.  Fold through mashed bananas until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until skewer comes out clean.

Banana Muffin Treats



  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 5 cups GF SR flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly softened (not liquid)
  • 1/3 rice malt syrup
  • 3 tsp chia seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tray with patty lines.
  2. Combine flour, oats and baking powder in a large bowl. Add milk, coconut oil, rice malt syrup and combine.
  3. Fold through bananas and chia seeds until just combined. Pour mixture into patty liners and bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Banana and Fig Gluten Free Muffins



  • 5 cups GF flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 5tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced dried figs
  • 1 banana, mashed


  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-muffin tray or line with patty liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and coconut sugar
  3. In a small bowl, combine honey, egg, buttermilk, olive oil, vanilla extract
  4. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and combine with dry ingredients. Add figs and banana, fold through mixture until just combined.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between muffin tray or patty liners. Bake for 25-30mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes after cooking before removing from pan.

Zucchini Slice



  • 6 eggs
  • black pepper
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and/or corn
  • 2-3 tsp dried italian herbs mix
  • salt to tase
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 25g parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar, grated
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced


  1. Grease a large baking tray or two medium tart trays. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk eggs in a small bowl, season with black pepper, set aside.
  3. Grate zucchini and carrots, skin on. Squeeze out all excess liquid and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and combine. Pour into baking tray/s and bake for 40mins or until slightly browned on top.  Allow to cool slightly in tray before removing. Cut into slices and refrigerate once cooled completely.
Note: I often make the slice without the cheeses, to make it dairy free. Works perfectly!

Chocolate Maca Bliss Balls



  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 16 dates (soaked or medjool)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • coconut to coat


  1. Process nuts in food processor to a fine powder.  Add dates and process.
  2. Add some of the water if the dates were soaked (I usually use about half of the water that the dates were soaked in)
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process. You can add some desiccated coconut to the mixture if required for texture/if mixture if too wet and sticky.
  4. Roll mixture into balls using a teaspoon, and roll in desiccated coconut to coat.

Apricot Balls



  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp hulled tahini
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp water
  • desiccated coconut, to coat


  1. Place almonds and oats in food processor and process to smaller pieces.
  2. Add all other ingredients except water and process to a thick mixture.
  3. Add water as required/if at all. I usually use around 2 tbsp water but moisture can vary.  You don’t want it too wet and sticky.
  4. Roll mixture into balls, using a teaspoon, and roll in desiccated coconut to coat.