Certain foods take root inside our emotional brain and become CRAVINGS
Just like my client Sabrina, our emotional brain connects these food cravings with moments of intense happiness and love.
We gather with friends or family around food.
In this way we fulfill our need for human interaction and connection and we associate it with the partaking of food.
The tastier the food, the more intense the emotion! That’s how certain cravings are formed.
And we crave these foods as a way (though unconscious) to re-create these emotions, to feel loved, and happy again.
Foods are the living photographs of happy moments.
Cravings are like looking through old photo albums.
In the same way that you wouldn’t take a photo album out of the hands of someone and snap it shut, you don’t want to shut down your cravings.
As a matter of fact, trying to shut down cravings through sheer willpower will have the opposite effect!
It will make you rebel and give in to these cravings even more.
For example you might eat 2 pieces of home-made apple pie instead of one!
That’s what happens when women deprive themselves with diets, only to gain the weight back and more once the diet is over. An Ayurvedic Diet can help you identify what tastes and foods are missing in your diet.
So what’s the solution?
As an Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle Practitioner, I try to meet my clients where they are!
Create a healthier version of the foods you crave and enjoy them with your family and friends
Sabrina loved caja china, a Colombian dish that she related to her childhood experience of family gatherings and celebrations.
I asked her, “what is it that you like about this particular dish?”
She said, “the spices and the crispiness of the meat.”
For those of you who are not familiar with caja china, it’s a whole pork cooked in a roasting box with adobo spices.
So I looked up on the internet and found the spice formula for adobo: 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp paprika and 2 Tbsp salt
That sounds delicious doesn’t it? And spices improve digestion!
So I suggested to Sabrina that the next time she’s having friends or family over that she experiments with making caja china herself.
She can buy healthier pork meat at Whole Foods and roast it in her oven with the adobo spices.
I also suggested she tried the same recipe with chicken or fish.
The goal is to satisfy her cravings without feeling like a failure for having them and giving up all the good habits she had already developed!
When you allow yourself to have a healthier version of your cravings, you’re less likely to crave them because you won’t feel physically and emotionally deprived!
And when you crave less you can maintain your weight loss goals.
Keep trying healthier recipes until you find one you like.
Remember, dealing with new foods is like getting used to being with a new person! Give them a chance.
If you fall on your face and give in to less healthy versions of your cravings, don’t beat yourself up and most importantly don’t give up!
click here for a few tips on how to handle family and friend’s objections over your food choices.