Ok, so here’s the skinny (no pun intended)…I am not a nutritionalist, I am not a dietitian, I am not credential in any way, shape, or form in regards to food and nutrition. I do have a Master’s in Human Development though (go me!). But here’s what I’ve learned through my eating habits and many, oh sooooo many diet fads.
As you may have noticed, I have converted over to a vegan lifestyle. However, here’s a quick breakdown of that. I eat vegan 99% of the time. I am however, half Italian and half Mexican, which means both sides of my family can make some MEAN GRUB. Think lasagna, ravioli, seafood feasts, Tamales, Encheladas, Posole, Carne Asada Tacos, the list goes on and on. Well, since covnerting I don’t eat those types of food hardly every, but and here’s the kicker, I do endulge in those foods when there is a special occasion. This is where this topic of cravings happens to land.
I am a firm believer in everything in moderation. Since converting over to vegan eating there have been times when I was “craving” something fatty, fried and not good for me. When this urge hit me I did everything in my power to ignore it and find a much healthier alternative to the craving. Did that work??? Sometimes. But most other times it just made eating more frustrating. Everything I made in replace of the craving didn’t satisfy me the way I wanted it to. I felt I was falling short and constantly hungry because I wasn’t getting this craving met. For example: if I “craved” something crunch and salty; what I wanted was chips or fries. But instead I tried to replace that craving with carrots (for crunch) and nuts (for salt)…no where near what I wanted. My craving didn’t go away…I know shocker (lol)
So this had me thinking….why? Why was it that I couldn’t ignore the craving and just make something different. Why did it have to be that specific to the craving for me to stop feeling hungry all the time, and to not feel disappointed in whatever I made? Well, here’s what I came up with.
When we crave things I feel there are two key components to the craving, and emotional drive (think comfort food) and a biological drive (nutrient deficiency). When we don’t surrender to the craving, it could hinder another need that hasn’t been met.
Now listen, I’m not telling you to go out and eat 4 Big Macs in one week because you’re craving them. Negatory Captain!! that’s not what I’m getting at. Remember ALL THINGS IN MODERATION. But if you’re craving something fried, it might be what you need to get rid of some unwanted feelings or discomfort. If you are craving chocolate, you might need some caffeine, or again, some comfort.
When we put too much pressure on trying to eat “perfect” 100% of the time, there tends to be a higher likelihood of falling off the wagon. Give your body some variety. It’s ok to slip every now and then, so long as you get back up.
So go ahead and eat the fries today. Eat a few pieces of chocolate the next time you’re feeling down and out. Have a glass of orange juice on Sunday morning with your breakfast oatmeal. When we treat ourselves, it shows us that we are worth a reward. Think about everything you’ve accomplished this year…..YOU’RE STILL HERE! That is a huge feat! Why is it that we are allowed to reward our children and animals with treats but we aren’t supposed to treat ourselves….think about that one for a min.
Ergo, how to fight off the cravings? Give in every now and then; you may be surprised that you won’t get the cravings as often. And remember the golden rule of cravings “everything in moderation”
Happy eating 🙂