Deciphering Your Cravings
This is a guest post from the official sponsor of the iCiNG Transformation Challenge, Emrys Tetu! (Applause!) She is a holistic health counsellor & wellness coach based out of Connecticut, & she makes my heart sing! I hope you enjoy this offering from her.
Here is some extra love and support for each of you as you journey through this intense month of personal transformation! Whether your commitments to yourself during the iTC are focused around food or exercise or relationships or career or attitude and spirituality, here are a few reflections that may help you as you stretch and grow and discover new edges of yourself.
There’s nothing healthy about being miserable.
For many of us, this is so easy to forget. And it’s a wonderful test to use as you try new things. You can ask yourself, “Is this making me miserable?” If you find that it is, you’ll know that it can’t be quite right for you. This approach is excellent because it’s usually accompanied by an impulse to do something else. Instead of immediately dismissing this other impulse, explore it.
Often that which seems silly at the outset is exactly what’s required. So, for example, you may feel that…
You really don’t want to eat more salad, you want to eat more chocolate.
Although many of us would think that we should “make ourselves” eat the salad, there are probably good reasons you really want the chocolate. So, don’t dismiss those nice dark leafy greens completely, but do delve into what the chocolate craving is about!
Chocolate is the number one food source of magnesium, a mineral in which most people are deficient. Magnesium is crucial for brain, heart, and reproductive health. It helps strengthen bones and relieve muscle cramping. Chocolate is also an excellent source of antioxidants (again, highest natural food source), and many chemicals that react with the brain to improve mood, including theobromine, seratonin and dopamine. So it may be that your chocolate cravings are about a need to re-balance any of the above. (Chocolate quality varies wildly; any inclusion of refined sugar or dairy dramatically reduces its health benefits… my absolute favorite recommendation for highest quality, amazingly delicious, fully healthful chocolate that does not create insulin spikes and crashes is Gnosis Chocolate.)
A craving for chocolate may also be an indication that you aren’t getting enough rest and are looking for a pick up from a food instead of nourishing yourself with quiet time and sleep. It could be a craving based on a desire to regulate your mood, either because it is a comfort food for you or because of the way it alters your brain chemistry. Chocolate can also offer a bridge away from more intense chemicals like coffee, especially because it also offers deep flavors and a lift in energy.
I like to share this example, because people like chocolate, but we often think we shouldn’t. And when we realize that we’re allowed to like the things we like…
Sometimes the best things happen! This lesson transfers over to many other areas of life. Our cravings have so much to teach us!
Behind the surface of any craving is a complex network of memories, issues with self-acceptance and denial, and physical situations such as dehydration, low blood sugar, an excess of concentrated vitamins, and any of a number of other forms of imbalance. It takes time and attention to Lovingly unpack all that makes up a craving. Please be gentle here. The common approach of ignoring it is the least successful! Willpower doesn’t work, but working with lots of modalities together and having patience with yourself does. A support system is crucial, through a community group or a friend or a professional. Many have had success with wellness coaches such as Gala’s raw food coach, Karen Knowler, or myself (here’s what some of my clients say).
So, during this week of the iTC, get ready to enjoy your healthier, happier life! One bite of chocolate (or whatever juicy thing you allow yourself to explore) at a time! Celebrate this, your Best Life Ever…
Love, Kisses, and so much Encouragement,