Good Afternoon and Happy Sunday!
I hope you are enjoying your day and hopefully staying inside since there is a smoke alert for Portland. I hope that the fires get contained soon and am sending much love and prayers to those affected directly by the fires.
Today I want to talk about CRAVINGS! We all get them, whether they are for a greasy cheeseburger or a sweet treat, they invariable happen and they are actually a good thing.
The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. So is this reliable, intelligent body or ours making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power or discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem. They are, in fact, critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.
The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is filled with STRESS or is too boring. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs. And often it really is not that CHOCOLATE even though you feel that way in the moment.
After spending years studying nutrition, I can honestly tell you that no book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance. You will essentially create your own unique Health Food Blueprint. Yes, it takes time and yes, you have to really learn to listen to your body but it will tell you what it needs!
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
- Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
- Do 25 jumping jacks. This may sound silly but distracting yourself works.
- Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit or root vegetables.
- Take a moment to ask- What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your day just before you had this craving?
- When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Did it hit that pleasure point? Did it make you feel guilty? The more aware you are the easier it is to decipher what your body is telling you. Sometimes you NEED that burger and other times you just might need a hug.
Give these tips a try and let me know if they help you deconstruct your cravings.
In Health and Happiness,