Monday, November 12, 2012

Soft-Chewy Food Cravings

This is the final food craving texture of this series: soft-chewy foods. Why can’t I stop eating that cheesecake? Why is it so difficult to stop eating after I go out to breakfast and have my favorite omelette? Have you ever found yourself saying these things and not able to stop eating?  If the answer is yes, then it’s time to take a look at what is driving these irresistible cravings. Having favorite foods, is not necessarily a craving. A food craving is an intense, urgent or abnormal desire for a specific food to “satisfy” something. That something, however, rarely has anything to do with food, cravings may actually be a clue that you’re longing for something not found in a grocery store.  Let's take a look at what might be going on within you if when you crave SOFT-CHEWY foods.  

Soft and chewy foods like omelets, cheesecake, tapioca pudding, or even a warm chocolate chip cookie out of the oven, can illustrate that you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated. These feelings can often disguise themselves as food cravings, but rather than running to the cheesecake factory, what you really need is to live in the moment and feel more satisfaction in your life.  Living in the moment is a three step process of clearing your mind.  The mind (your floating computer) has three levels; chatter, cognition, and the now.  When any of those levels is out of balance you can feel overwhelmed and unmotivated.  The first step is quiet your chatter, next—find solutions in your cognition, because this will clear up enough space to come into the moment.  The now is mostly peaceful and calm, this is what our life is made up of.  When we learn to come into the now and spend the majority of our time here, it becomes very simple to be satisfied, and happy because all those things happen from living in the moment! 

Remember, there is a difference between what your inner problem is (overwhelmed or frustrated) and then what you truly need. Look at the inner need as the navigator giving you information and then make a list of 20 things that make you feel whatever your true need is, but that you cannot BLT (bite/buy, lick or taste). The goal is to begin practicing those new things when the craving surfaces.

When you take the time to figure out what it is you are truly longing for (which is probably not food) and begin to give yourself what you really need, you'll notice that your food cravings begin to dissolve.

Other Textures we have discussed:

Sweet cravings, like the desire for chocolate or donuts could be an indication that you are feeling insecure or tired. Yes, the sugar can make you temporarily feel good, but the crash that follows shows it’s not a satisfying fix. In this instance you may truly need to be nurtured and get true rest. An example of feeling nurtured could be: cuddling up with a blanket, turning on some soft music and reading a book. Or a rejuvenating solution to achieve true rest could be meditating or taking a nap. The the goal is to begin practicing those new things when the craving surfaces instead of just impulsively acting on the craving. 

Salty cravings like chips or pretzels may be a sign that you feel tension and anxiety. When you're in an anxious--negative emotional, mental and spiritual state you are probably going to experience a disconnection from feeling good. It is not necessarily a physiological “lack of salt” but rather a craving for salty foods to subdue the tense and anxious feelings. While the salty snack may seem satisfying at the moment, you’ll never truly be satisfied because the basic need may be to truly relax & feel satisfaction. 

Crunchy cravings like having a biscotti or overeating on nuts can hint to an inner frustration & irritation. Crunchy foods help you act out your temporary emotional and mental release of frustration. The act of chewing and cracking the food in your mouth can momentarily release the feeling of frustration, but the problem is that the second that the crunching stops—the frustration returns, which is why people go back to eat more and more. Instead, crunchy cravings can be information that you are looking for self-fulfillment, approval, and pleasure. Self-fulfillment could be anything that individually fills you up, I have heard people say painting a picture, doing their nails, or walking on the beach is fulfilling. The goal is to find what fulfills you and then practice that instead of running to food. 

Creamy cravings like ice cream, puddings, custards, or even mashed potatoes have something in common besides milk. Creamy foods are comforting because it returns us to our primal action of sucking and that makes us feel comforted and soothed. Craving these foods could possibly point to an inner discomfort with uncomfortable feelings & worrisome thoughts, which is the inner disruption going on inside (discomfort and/or worry) but not the need. The need is to comfort and sooth those thoughts and feelings by finding what soothes you. Some examples might be to take a bath, give yourself a foot massage, or wear comfortable soft cozy clothing.

Liquid cravings, like coffee and soda, are filled with caffeine and sugar, or even artificially sweetened, and could actually be a signal that you may feel discouraged, tired, or dissatisfied with your job. This points to the inner lack we may feel that these beverages are drowning, but what we need is to find inspiration, take time to truly rest, hydrate with plenty of water, and rejuvenate yourself by connecting to your purpose.

A person who is craving greasy foods could be in a space of lacking self-certainty and needs something to fulfill them.  The solution is to connect with your spiritual self and find something that brings personal fulfillment. Filling up on the inside is a very unique experience, but if you look back to your childhood you will find answers.  What did you do for fun as a child: draw, climb trees, sports?  No, I’m not saying climb a tree now, (you can if you’d like) but look back and see what you loved about climbing the tree, was it being up high and hearing the wind blow—voila—there is your answer!  Find a safe place high up, where you can “be” and hear the wind blow.  

Moist cravings, like pasta and cake, could be a clue that you  are experiencing subconscious self-doubt, feel drained in your life, and need to let loose and have fun.  Instead of running to the olive garden or cheesecake factory, try to connect to something that makes you feel confident in your life; whether that is painting, hiking, or holding a baby.  Next, do an inventory of how much fun you are currently having and double your engagement in fun activities.  Clear your schedule and go to the beach/ lake/ mountain with yourself or friends and explore,  don’t bring a watch, don’t be on a schedule, just get into the day and allow your inner self to tell you where and when you are ready to go.  

Craving sort of gummy and sticky foods possibly means you feel insecure and apprehensive. It’s a sign that you need to recognize you are unique and have a distinctive purpose in life that only you can fulfill.  You and I and every person here came to this earth with a purpose and our stay will only be for a short time.  When you narrow it all down, you are unique, all you have to do is allow this to register.  There is no one like you here right now.  Notice all the ways you are unique and allow them out.  Stop trying to fit into an outer society and instead make the choice to fit into your unique and wonderful self. 

When you’re reaching for those hot wings, it could be that you are feeling bored and uninterested in your daily life and that you need to engage in more fulfilling activities.
 You may ask, "how can I, first, find the time and, second, discover more fulfilling activities to bring excitement into my life?"  As we get into a redundant routine we can lose our zest for life.  This can sometimes go unnoticed until we get in touch with what is going on inside: boredom and disinterest.  The solution:  carve out fifteen minutes to an hour a day to look at what would make you feel better and more stimulated.  (Come on I know you can find fifteen minutes, if my client who works in the ER can, I know you can too!) Depending on your personality this could be more down time, like meditation, or could be more adventure like dance lessons or rock climbing.  The goal is to find what makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated and then make your list of twenty things that make you feel those things!  

 If you need help finding these deeper answers, contact Sophie at LSS Harmony for a free thirty minute phone session!

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