Written by: Sheila Petersen
I don’t believe cravings are the problem. I believe they are the solution. Cravings indicate a key element in your life that needs attention. Ever notice when you’re feeling lonely, you want sugar? Ever wonder why the bag of chips is empty, yet, you’re still hungry? Maybe your unfulfilled in your career and you’ve got a seat with your name on it at the bar every day. Ever think about why you crave, what you crave and the underlying cause? Let’s get to the root.
Why do we crave sweet? Our bodies are wired for sweetness. We want to taste it. We want to feel it. We want to experience it. To be truly authentic and give the body what it needs, we must become more mindful with ‘what’ and ‘why’ we are choosing. A recurring sweet tooth is a great time to take a look at the type of sweets you are consuming. Are they nourishing your body or are they a quick fix, leaving you unfulfilled and wanting more?
It’s also a great time to look at your relationships. Personally or professionally, doesn’t matter where you start. They all matter. Are they uplifting or draining? Do they leave you feeling inspired or depleted? Do you they move you into action or keep you playing small?
Truth #1 – If you are not satisfied in your relationships, you will find comfort in eating sweet foods to fill the void. Let this be an action for you to create more time in your life for meaningful, human connection. Make meaning by creating sweeter experiences. Pick up the phone instead of sending a text. Schedule a date night and be present with someone you care about or want to get to know better. Let this be an action for you to incorporate more sweet fruits and sweet vegetables. Then, take note and watch what happens for you.
Why do we crave salt? Along with the sweet, our bodies are also wired to want salt. Remember that bag of chips I mentioned earlier? You want crunch and you want salt and the two come together perfectly, in a chip. When you are craving salty, this is a great indicator that your body could be asking for more minerals in the form of mixed greens like romaine, spinach, arugula, bok choy (insert your favorite green here). When you are craving crunchy, this can be a sign that your body wants to digest and absorb more nutrients in the form of whole foods. It can also be a sign that you are drinking to many liquids.
Sometimes we don’t realize we can get the crunch our body needs from carrots, cucumbers and celery and feel nourished with the salt and water that also comes along. Eating chips is great once in a while, but the body has little room from processed oils and doesn’t send a message to your brain that you are nourished in the right way.
Truth # 2 – Let this be an action to incorporate more greens into your diet with a salad, green juice or green smoothie. Try green vegetables like broccoli, artichokes or peas and see what happens. Purchase a high quality sea salt to use in your cooking and incorporate more sea vegetables like seaweed, kelp or kale chips, which are naturally salty and high in minerals.
Why do we crave movement? Today, screens are everywhere, from phones to tablets to computers and more. This means more sitting and more stress on the body and strain on our eyes. Over time, this creates tension, inflammation and pain in the body. Many people try to mask this feeling with sugar and alcohol, which only worsens the situation. Exercise is a great way for releasing the buildup of physical tension. Start small. Listen to your body. It will tell you what type of movement it desires.
Truth # 3 – Try a walk outside in nature or take advantage of the free week that most yoga studios offer. It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters that you start. Maybe you’ve tried that and you’re looking for more. Check out Orange Theory Fitness or SoulCycle.
The best solution I’ve found for authentically nourishing these three cravings is adding in the good, which leaves little room for the bad. Trust your cravings. They’re trying to get your attention in a big way.
Remember, you’re body loves you. Your body is like a crying baby and because a baby can’t yet talk, it’s up to the caregiver to figure out what it needs. Your body wants to be balanced and free of the pain, the struggle and the suffering. Use these tips to become open to what it needs. So you can finally experience what it means to nourish yourself authentically.
About Sheila Petersen: I have helped people transform their personal and professional lives via my newsletters, seminars, private one-on-one coaching and blog. I am a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I began my Holistic Health & Lifestyle practice, Life Elemental to help men, women and children feel empowered and accountable to make better food and lifestyle choices. I have a passion for creativity and making change fun. I love sharing what I know with those eager to learn and grow. If this sounds like you, click here to see how we can connect.