Q: Why Do I Crave Foods That Are “Bad” For Me?
A: This is a big question. Part of the answer involves understanding the relationship between your individual digestive system and the wide variety of food choices out there. Much of what passes for “food” has not even been grown in the ground. Start with this: eat real food. Eat food that HAS grown in the ground, optimally in certified organic soil, and choose food that grew there in the good earth not too long ago.
Each person has a unique relationship with food depending on various factors. For example, family background. How was food presented to you as a child? Was candy given as a bribe or treat? Food choices would ideally also be predicated on blootype. Also, consider your caloric requirements: how much do you exercise, are you mostly sedentary during the day, is your day-to-day work highly mentally demanding?
When you crave a certain food, and it’s a whole food (such as a juicy ripe peach) and when you eat that food and feel good and satisfied, then you are responding to a need for the nutrients and psychological benefits of that particular food. However, if you get a rash around your mouth or your tongue swells up, the message is strong and clear that you need to avoid peaches.If you crave a candy bar, for another example, and you eat the candy bar and feel good for a few minutes but then don’t feel so good, but still want another candy bar the next day, or the next hour, then perhaps you’re “addicted” to the candy.
There are two basic questions you can ask yourself to sort out whether something you crave contains a nutrient your body truly needs, or whether you’re looking at a harmful addiction.
- First, how do you feel after consuming the desired food?
- Second, does a small portion of the desired food satisfy you, or do you continue to have cravings?
In women, there is a connection between the throat and the vagina. The base of the uterus, which opens into the vagina, is called the cervix. Behind the throat are the neck bones: the cervical spine. We are vulnerable in these areas. Many women with eating disturbances have issues around communication and self-knowledge, or their sense of their own unique power. Women who feel out of control about what goes in their mouths (or vaginas) are going to be, understandably, grumpy or withdrawn or uncomfortable with intimacy. There can be varying degrees of these expressions. Luckily, there has been a lot of information about “eating disorders” published in the past decades and women no longer need to feel alone with these confusions. Therapy and research can help with both the “why” and the “how to change” aspects of dis-ordered eating. In looking at “why” you binge eat, forgive if possible and love anyway if possible and, most of all, re-commit to yourself, which is really all you have control over in this life.
â€œHow toâ€ get past dis-ordered eating involves developing a taste for healthy food, regular exercise (start with walking 15 minutes daily), good sleep hygiene (don’t short-change yourself) and staying aware.
Another tip: try to catch the behavior as far in advance as possible. By that I mean if you are planning to go to the store for some cookies that you don’t really need, decide RIGHT NOW to instead take a soothing bath, call a friend, write a letter, pick up a favorite book of poetry, spend time with someone you love whatever is authentic for you. These are clearly better choices. And easier to make than if you get all the way to the store, to the cash register, cookies in hand at that point it’s almost too late. But not quite.
And even if you can’t stop the binge, you can forgive yourself and spend some quiet time tuning into how you really feel now; how does your heart feel? How does your tummy feel? Put your hands on your body, one on the heart and one on the tummy and just FEEL. The small quiet voice of your own truth can only be heard, and appreciated, when you are listening.
Meanwhile, supplemental chromium, 200-500 mcg daily, can really help with sugar cravings. Chocolate cravings, specifically, may indicate low magnesium status: take 500-1000 mg of magnesium at bedtime, as it is also a gentle muscle relaxant. Also consider trace minerals potassium (99mcg daily), zinc (in the form of picolinate, 30 mg daily) and selenium (200-500 mcg daily) will help to offset imbalances that could create unhealthy food cravings.