Mama Bear, Let’s chat a bit. “About what”, you ask? Let’s chat about those cravings you have when you’ve had a rough day and you just want some “Good Food”.
Back before I started this whole Health Coaching thing, I was totally clueless on how important it was to have a relationship with food. I was all over the place. I had no idea what to eat, I didn’t understand how food played a part in my daily activities, and I didn’t even know how to prepare a wholesome meal. Heck! I ate out just about every night.
Yeah, I told you I was all over the place. After a long day’s work, and putting my daughter to bed I would have these special cravings.
(Get ready, cause this one is off the wall!)
I would crave lemons and salt.
Ok, don’t judge me. They couldn’t be any kind of way either, they had to be peeled and sliced in a bowl and then tossed in salt. Whew, my mouth just watered talking about it.
I wasn’t a huge craver of sweets because I was a salty person. It wasn’t until I became a Health Coach that I realized that fulfilling this craving was causing me to feel bloated. My hands and feet would swell when I got hot and my mouth would dry out which caused me to be overly thirsty.
And you know what? I eventually got REALLY tired of feeling this way.
I also realized my cravings meant something. I now know to dig a little deeper when my body has those special cravings.
The fact is cravings are your body’s way of telling you something. Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life and you will discover the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance.
When you experience a craving, deconstruct it.
Ask yourself, “what does my body want and why”?
There are many factors that cause your cravings. Let’s look into a few.
- Lack of primary food. Wondering what your primary foods are? Primary foods are your career, spiritual practice, self-love, relationships and physical activity. When you rely more on your secondary foods (the food you eat) the less you rely on your primary food and vise versa. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of insufficient primary food.
- Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.
- Yin and Yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.
Now for the juicy part, here are a couple of ways to handle your cravings.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Eating too much can lead to cravings for sweets. So can eating too little! A good health coach will help you sort this out. Experiment. Respect your body’s individuality.
- Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Get A Tongue Cleaner- Cravings can be reduced by cleaning the tongue of leftover food. When the mouth can still taste the food, you may experience cravings for previously eaten foods. A tongue cleaner reverses the process of desensitizing your taste buds. It allows you to taste more subtle flavors in food so that you can eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains with greater joy. I always recommend the Dr. Tung’s Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner. (available from Amazon http://bit.ly/so7tcn )
Now that you know a little bit more about your cravings, there’s a lot more to chat about.
Want to chat with me about your cravings and how I can help you dig a little deeper and reduce them?
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