When we slow down and listen to our cravings, we can get really good information. Mindfulness awareness allows us to approach strong desires with curiosity instead of judgement. Perhaps that midnight ice cream jones is really your body calling for more healthy fats. Or your pregnant friend's sudden need for pickles is actually her body's wisdom to know that it needs probiotics.
When we begin to listen, we can start looking for real solutions. A good place to start is exploring real food versions of the foods we are craving. So instead of that commercial ice cream full of hormones, antibiotics, chemical additives and high fructose corn syrup, you can make your own ice cream at home in less than the time it would take to run to the store. The simplest version is to blend up some frozen fruit for instant sorbet. You may need to add a bit of honey or maple syrup. If you think ahead, you can freeze half and half in ice cube trays, then blend it with your frozen fruit and natural sweetener. If you make this with raw grass-fed milk, raw fruit, and raw honey then you've got a probiotic, antioxidant super food.
I read a really great article today "In Defense of Emotional Eating." The author says, "The problem of obesity and diet-related disease is not that we eat for comfort. It’s that we eat junk for comfort and overeat it when we do...When we turn to fast-food we are getting nothing. Hence the need to keep searching and keep eating...What if comfort food really did comfort? What if it really did feed our bodies at the same time soothe our souls? When you want to reach for the candy-bar, reaching for a piece of the darkest chocolate instead, takes intentionality. But, we can relearn and our taste-buds are trainable."
If we don’t feed our bodies what they need, they will keep asking for it until they get it. They are much wiser than we give them credit for. If we never get proper nourishment - either physical or emotional - we end up with baffling cravings, and in our efforts to appease the cravings we get fat.
There is a circular relationship between eating right, mood, lifestyle choices, setting priorities, and living joyfully. We want to understand when we need more healthy fats, and when instead of ice cream we need a hug, or to watch a sunset. In my experience, a balance is required. I need a supportive diet, that gives my body the chance to function properly and produce the right chemicals for feeling good. And I need a life that gives me enough sleep, stress reduction, joy and love.