Your Food Cravings: How To Move Beyond Them

It’s 8 pm and the kids have gone to bed. The day is finally over and dinner has been eaten. You sit down on the couch and turn on a movie. Although you’re full from dinner, you start feeling that itch.

You know what I’m talking about.

That itch to go to the cupboard and pull something out. Everyone has a something; the go-to food that they crave. For some it’s chips (Hello! I love you). For some it’s ice cream. Others can’t go too long without their chocolate fix.

But did you know that certain food cravings actually tell us a little something about what’s going on inside of us? After all, if you’ve eaten dinner and you’re already full, eating more at that point is indicating that something else is going on.

Either you’ve consumed empty calories (which leaves you overfed but undernourished and therefore always hungry) and simply need to eat more, OR there’s something deeper at play.

When we have uncomfortable feelings that we don’t want to deal with (which, by the way, we often feel more acutely in the evening) we need to do something, anything, in order to subdue them.

Stuck emotions, old wounds and memories, grief, anger, anxiety, worry, and negativity need to be fully felt in order to cycle through us properly and then they can fold back into us in a transformed state. When fully felt, these sticky and tough emotions can teach us great and amazing things about ourselves. They can teach us how resilient we are. They can teach us to love ourselves unconditionally. They can teach us how to forgive. When fully felt, they can lead us to a surrendered state.

And make no mistake. It is from a  surrendered state where we flow, glow and thrive.

So let’s get back to it, shall we?

Here we sit. It’s dark out (which is mirroring our shadow sides and hence bringing up our shit) and we’re not wanting to ‘deal’ so we go and eat. We decide to stuff the uncomfortable stuff. We give in to a typical craving.

Let’s unravel what certain foods bring to the psyche…at least what our bodies and minds believe offers us some kind of relief.

Salty/Crunchy Foods

You know these foods. Chips and popcorn come to mind. These salty, crunchy foods are eaten by the anxious. Anxiety, worry and low level fears are the craving partners of salty and crunchy foods.

Think about it. The simple act of crunching can cut into these tough emotions and temporarily give the body and mind something else to munch on. Salt stimulates our adrenal glands, which, interestingly enough are the glands associated with our fight or flight response.

Our fear response (be it worry, anxiety or just plain fear) is temporarily thrown off balance by this salty snack.

Of course, the snack doesn’t actually do anything with the fear. It simply tricks the body-mind into relaxing for a while. The anxiety continues to sit until it is properly addressed and fully felt.

Sweet Foods

Chocolate, ice cream, cake, pie, pop….the options are endless here! The sweet lovers are quite literally looking for some more sweetness in their lives. Sweet foods are often sought after by those experiencing sadness, depression or a lack of joy.

But sweet foods can also point to some crucial biochemical processes that may be off in the body. You may have some blood sugar issues. And when I say you have blood sugar issues, I mean YOU’RE EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR!  Eating too much sugar IS the culprit behind blood sugar issues.

Spicy Foods

Looking for a little more intensity and action in your life? Than you’re likely seeking out bowls of red hot chili peppers or Tabasco sauce. Although often not a late-night snacking choice, craving this kind of food can be a sign-post to kick it up a little bit. Spice up your actual life; not just your palette.

Soft, Starchy Foods

Again, while you’re not as likely to bake yourself some Pillsbury Dough rolls at 8 o’clock at night, there are those that really, really love these comfort foods. Breakfast often consists of muffins, croissants and pastries. Lunch is most often accompanied with bread, bread and yeast. And dinner…can someone say, PASTA?!

These soft, doughy, often warm foods literally bring comfort to someone needing a hug, in a big way. Those who are seeking comfort are often very uncomfortable with something. Trying to ease that discomfort by eating comfort foods works much in the same way as all of the aforementioned foods. It provides a temporary balm to something that is really looking for your attention.

Can you sit with your discomfort…your sadness…your anxiety? Can you meet yourself in these heavy emotions and JUST BE?

Can you lovingly remind yourself to stay put when those feelings come up and just be with them? There is no need to analyze (in fact, I would encourage you to NOT analyze your stuff when it’s up) or try to fix anything. It doesn’t work that way.

Our feelings simply need to be felt. That’s all they’re ever asking for. Can you give them a slice and just be with yourself?

Your inner world, your waistline and your ass will thank you.

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