Have you ever come across information that ignites so much passion in you that the words just keep pouring out? Well, food and nutrition; what we crave and the whys we experience with food cravings does that for me. Most of us, if not all of us, experience an addiction to something. But that addiction is really, according to the energies of the planet Neptune, our road back to the Divine.
For instance, I’m halfway through reading Doreen Virtue’s book Constant Craving which looks at the spiritual, emotional and physical reasons why we crave certain foods and allow those foods to control us, sometimes holding us prisoner. Now, her main readership for this book includes people suffering from obesity and other eating disorders, but even skinny girls (not bulimics) battle with food cravings. I might be 5 to 10 pounds underweight, but I still have my food addictions. And I have found myself licking the remaining crumbs off chocolate bar wrappers or sweeping (with my hand) the chocolate crumbs off the counter top so I can eat every bit of chocolate. Never mind that the chocolate is dark, fair trade and organic, it still controls me.
Now, other thin people read my words and think too that they don’t battle with food craving or that they have control over what they eat. Think again. I recommend reading Doreen’s book because she delves into the psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual reasons behind our food cravings whether those cravings include breads, puddings, ice cream, chocolate or even healthier food choices. And while women suffer intense food cravings with PMS and other womanly conditions and cycles, men also suffer from food cravings since stress, overwork, not enough exercise, anger, etc trigger these cravings.
But unlike the food documentaries Super Size Me, and the most recent one Fed Up (revolving around the addictive substance called sugar as it relates to brain chemistry) present us with the problem based on a mental or physical approach, Doreen’s book delves into a spiritual self-healing approach using affirmations to clear the real reasons for the food cravings. However, sometimes we are vitamin or mineral deficient so our bodies crave certain foods. Doreen covers that ground too.
Will power, public policies and public education will only take us so far in conquering the cravings. A look at food allergies, brain chemistry, and current food industry practices takes us a bit further. Psychoanalysis, hypnosis and cognitive therapies will take us even further as will economic improvement (obesity is most prevalent among people living below or just above the poverty level). But the biggest solution is reconnecting with a spiritual source because that is our real desire. We want to return to the Source and we confuse the high from food or drug sources as the vehicle to take us there, but we know that only brings on a binge followed by a crash.
Doreen provides a 5 step program to fighting fat cravings which appears on page 35 of her book, Constant Craving. (Note: I’m paraphrasing).
1. Decide not to eat for 15 minutes
2. Get away from or destroy the food
3. Brush your teeth or drink a glass of water to remove the taste (you crave) from your mouth
4. Ask yourself what emotion you are feeling
5. Replace the fat feeling with self-love
a. Look for the expanding butterfly feeling in your gut
b. Affirm: “I forgive myself” or “I trust myself”.
But it’s this last step that creates an ah-hah moment in my mind because how often do we experience an expansive “butterfly in the stomach” moment also known as excitement and instead of exploring this expansive feeling, we stuff ourselves with food to squelch it? Are we so afraid of this expansion or connection to the Divine Source that we must ground ourselves with food?
And how often do we stuff ourselves with non-food sources to squelch this expansion because we fear it? Are we addicted to knowing what awaits us in the future? Are we addicted to stories of things that happened to us in the past? Are we addicted to clothing, shoes, or acquiring material goods? Are we addicted to seeking other people’s approval? Are we addicted to achievement and world acclaim? Then if we are, ask ourselves why we have these addictions? What do we hope to gain from these situations that control and even imprison us? Why do we have to have stuff or stuff ourselves with food stuff?
Now, as any dieter will tell you there is a difference between hunger and craving. If we just ate a meal with proper nutrients then we are no longer hungry, but we might crave dessert. Then we can ask why we crave dessert and where does this craving find its roots? Could it be that the dessert reminds us of pleasant family dinners with Mom providing dessert? Could it remind us of more pleasant times so we wax nostalgia with every bite of chocolate cake or ice cream? Or is dessert just another mindless pursuit? We’re not mindful when we don’t question our cravings or live the life we say we’ll live because the cravings control our actions. We just do it because we do it and rationalize that we do it…
As I mentioned earlier, no one is going to look at me and say that I have no will power. I eat organic and natural foods. I refrain from consuming gluten, cow dairy and GMO laded foods. I cut way back on sugar and yet, I still feel like certain foods control me and they definitely control my moods. I might not eat a bag of potato chips, but I’ll eat half a package of rice crackers to satisfy crunchy foods and salt cravings. If I’m feeling depressed or suffer from low serotonin levels, I crave yogurt or Coconut Bliss bars. And while you’ll find no stashes of chocolate in my kitchen, I’m not able to eat just a little piece of dark chocolate and walk away. Like a magnet that chocolate calls to me until I’ve eaten half of it, even though a serving size is one fourth of the bar or less. Then when I reach the end of the bar, I seek out the chocolate crumbs, while feeling depraved. And yogurt, don’t even tell me to give up my yogurt or nuts.
One time I gave up chocolate for over a month then my sister bought me a chocolate bunny for Easter. I put the chocolate bunny on a high shelf to keep it out of my mind. Only I couldn’t get the chocolate off my mind so I climbed on the counter and made a grab for it. I told myself I would eat only a small portion then toss the rest in the garbage, but over the course of that week, I ate the whole rabbit and felt sick in the process. It was a large chocolate bunny. While this is a small incident and not one that ruined my life in any way, it does suggest that anyone is capable of foolish behavior when it comes to food or self-sabotage is something most of us experience. Good intentions only go so far.
The irony is that as I have dealt with food cravings, I wrote nutrition articles for food coop newsletters. I’m versed in food and nutrition having read numerous cookbooks, learned vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cooking and I even know the healing properties of food from ancient sources from China and India. As Doreen also points out in her book Constant Craving, dieters and people suffering from obesity know more about nutrition than we think. It’s not more education about calories, fat and sugar that’s required for healing, but a deeper look at the core of the cravings. Thin people know better too, but their thinness helps them get away with indulging their cravings because no one is going to judge them for body weight.
I’m ending this post with the trailer for Fed Up.
I also recommend reading Constant Craving by Doreen Virtue and other metaphysical authors’ books on dieting and spiritual pursuits as well as, check out videos on food & nutrition on Ted Talks.
I am an astrologer and intuitive coach for creatives in Bellingham, Washington. Go to Whole Music and Whole Astrology to sign up for a session.