Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[Article] Cravings

Cravings are real and powerful. Just about everyone gets them, and many of us struggle with them. I have struggled with them personally my entire life.

Often we call our cravings "hunger" but that isn't really true. When you're "hungry for pizza" but want nothing else but pizza, that is a craving.

Cravings are a design of our mind that is intended to help us seek out foods that benefit us. Unfortunately (as the videos I posted below explain), our cravings can not direct us accurately because our body is not designed to handle processed complex foods.

Animals in the wild each large meals of one whole raw food at a time. A bunch of leafs and fruits from a single plant, or a bunch of worms together, or lots and lots of grass or grain together. They do not mix nuts, fruit, meat, diary and vegetables all in one meal, and many common dinners do include all of these.

Growing up, dinner looked like this in my household:

  • 1 cooked vegetable (frozen peas, canned corn or string beans were common options)
  • 1 bean dish or pasta dish (buttered egg noodles, re-fried beans with molasses, chili stew or lima beans)
  • 1 meat dish (pork with sauerkraut, ham with applesauce, steak with carrots, hamburger with bun and tomato slices, etc)
  • 1 bread-type item, potatoes or starch (squash, baked potatoes, spaghetti with store-bought sugared sauce, etc)

And sometimes this was followed by a rich dessert loaded with white sugar, fruit and white flour. You'd never, ever see an animal in the wild consume a meal that loaded with sugar, that devoid of nutrition and fiber, or that complex.

Our bodies are not designed to handle this type of food, physically or emotionally. Cravings are a way to tell us what we need, but our cravings system is broken.

I've created a one-page Cravings Reference Chart for figuring out what your cravings really mean and what you can eat to help combat the craving and get what you really need. The causes are often both physical and emotional, which is why I've included both on the chart.

I recommend printing the chart out and hanging it up somewhere where you can review it daily when you're having a craving. You could keep it folded up in your back pocket and refer to it any time you're feeling that "need" for a fatty food or a sweet food coming on.

My goal is to empower you with information so that you have the strength to fight your way to health.

Also, check out the following short videos. Each one is only a few minutes long, and each one gives you an interesting insight into ways to combat and understand cravings and where they come from:

Dr. Ritamarie explains the basic principle of cravings and why they happen:

Motivational speaker Markus Rothkranz explains why it is okay to cheat on your diet when you have cravings:

And, for a very creative idea in fighting cravings:

Why is sugar, in particular, so addictive? This video explains:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you've learned something useful on your journey to healthier living.



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