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The power of reinvention and cravings

by Vivian Fleitstra on March 29, 2014

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It is week 3 of the power of invention series.  In sticking with the theme and the things I’ve been learning this week, I thought I’d discuss cravings.  Recently I have not had cravings.   I had to spend a little time thinking about it as I was wondering why I haven’t, and I’ve noticed I feel very balanced in my life right now.  When something is missing I tend to crave different foods.  In my studies I learned about various causes of cravings.   The first discusses our bodies.   Truly our bodies are amazing.  Our bodies naturally seek to heal itself.  It maintains a temperature of 98.6, unless we get sick and even then our bodies kick in to fight the fever and heal ourselves.  Our heart, never misses a beat  (thank goodness), or you know what happens.  Are lungs are always breathing, we don’t even have to think it about.  When we get tired our bodies go to sleep even if we try to fight it.  We wake up naturally, unless our alarm clock jolts us out of bed.  The body strives for balance and cravings show up when things are not in balance.

Look at the foods, deficits, and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings.  Many people view cravings as a weakness because we only think of them in relation to our food, but really they are important messages to assist you in maintaining balance.  Next time you experience a craving, see where its coming from, try to see what it relates too and what you’re missing.  Ask yourself, what does my body want?  Can you taste the craving in your mouth, visual it. Can you smell it?  See where it comes from before reaching to put something in your mouth.

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  • PRIMARY FOODS.  One main cause of cravings is lack of primary food.  Are you dissatisfied in a relationship?  Are you getting enough exercise, too much, or bored with the gym?  Is your job stressing you out so you can’t get to the gym even though you make a commitment at the start of the New Year, but you haven’t been consistent. Are you unhappy in life in your career, relationship, what is it?  This is all part of deconstructing those food cravings.  Eating can be and often is a substitute for boredom and a form of entertainment.
  • WATER.  I know sounds crazy but its true.   Dehydration or lack of water can send a message that you are thirsty and manifests as mild hunger, so the best thing to do, and I tell my son this all the time when he is looking for a snack.  His classic line is, I want something salty or sweet.  Hence, I know he is craving something in his body. My immediate response is, first are you really hungry, you just ate a little bit ago. Next, I tell him to get a glass of water, wait and see.   It typically works and craving is gone.  However, there are times where he really is hungry.
  •  LACK OF NUTRIENTS.  If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.
  • SEASONAL.  Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods, and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions, and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil, and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog, or sweets.

So next time you’re having a craving stop get a glass of water and sit down and spend some time thinking about what you’re feeling, what you’re doing and see if one of the causes above comes into focus.  The next best thing you can do is reach for a healthy snack vs. something sugary or processed because it’s not going to take care of the craving, and likely leave you looking for more of the same.

To learn more about my health coaching services and offerings, please visit my website.

Thank you for reading.  ~ Vivian.

 

 

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