Do you feel like your cravings are a force that needs to be ignored. Or do you feel like your ability or inability to conquer cravings is a result of your willpower or lack thereof?
It's not that simple...and it's not your fault! Cravings are simply your body's way of trying to communicate what it needs. Your body is amazing, listen to it!
Instead of feeling bad about your cravings, try deciphering what your body's trying to tell you and try taking action based on what you learn. Take the guilt and self-judgement out of it!
7 Common Sources of Cravings
Lack of Primary Food
Consider that the food you eat is secondary to all of the other parts of your life that feed you, for example, your relationships, career, spirituality, hobbies, and exercise routine. These parts of your life are considered Primary Foods in the Integrative Nutrition world.
Integrative Nutrition bridges the gap between nutrition, or the food you eat, and personal growth and development. Both of these work together to create a healthy lifestyle. As I like to say, you could eat the most perfect diet in the world, but if you're unhappy in the rest of your life, you probably won't feel that healthy.
How many times do you find yourself walking down the packaged food isle, making decisions based on what the front of the package says?
I remember as a kid, the cereal packaging was the worst! Thinking back I can feel the disappointment in my body, when whatever was supposed to be in the package, wasn't. Most often it was the free toy or whatever that was featured prominently on the front, but in reality it wasn't anything like the picture.
Or, the nice photo of the cereal with fresh fruit and a beautifully laid out table. "Why doesn't my cereal look like that?"
Processed foods have become even more popular for their convenience and portability. Toaster pastries, tubes of yogurt, cans of soda, individually wrapped slices or pieces of cheese are usually heavily processed and contain various additives and chemicals to preserve their shelf life.
What is a habit?
A habit is a behavior that's performed automatically. Obviously, habits can be good or bad. This week I'll focus on developing good habits, but note that good habits can replace "bad" habits.
In fact, making small, continuous changes create habits that actually stick! That's because they don't require you to completely change everything about your life. They're built up over a longer period of time, which means you learn to manage and maintain them along the way.
In Deepak Chopra's book "Super Genes," he breaks down the lifestyle choices for increasing well-being into easy choices, harder choices, and experimental choices.
Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? No wonder how much water you drink can affect your health. Too little water can cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue, while too much water can result in mineral imbalances.
1. Being Hydrated Improves Mental Focus and Alertness
Water gets nutrients to your brain cells, so dehydration can cause your brain to be a bit sluggish.
Even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair mood, memory, and brain function. This fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 pounds (0.5-2kg) for a 150 pound (68 kg) person. Reference
How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
What's the Minimum Amount of Exercise You Need?
This article was first published March 29, 2017. Since it's been awhile, you may not know that our family of four traveled for ten months through Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, and England.
During our travels we ate many different kinds of foods and experienced the challenges of trying to eat a healthy diet at the same time. Peru was one of the easiest places to feel like I was eating well, and as a result I physically felt great while I was there. If you someday get a chance to go, take it!
When I originally wrote this, I did not yet know that my son, ten-years-old at the time, would declare himself vegetarian, just as we were entering Spain. The poor kid ate mostly potatoes in Spain, and we cut our time in Spain shorter than we'd planned so that we could get to the Pizza!
His new vegetarianism was probably a combination of seeing meat hanging in open air market, the guinea pigs raised for food, and his best friend at home being vegetarian. He's still vegetarian two years later. Now, our family eats mostly vegetarian at home, but isn't as strict away from home. It's what works for us!
Probably not an Incan Priestess, but I did fall instantly in love with the Peruvian culture. It could have been reading all of those Paddington Bear books. He was from darkest Peru. Or it could have been the Peruvian Dark coffee I used to drink roasted by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company.
Or was it the delicious food?
This might seem strange that your skills would have anything to do with your well-being, but hang in here with me. It's important for several reasons.
Learning and practicing skills adds excitement to your life. When you're excited, you automatically have more energy without changing anything else. Your life satisfaction will increase when you're actively involved in learning and looking towards your future.
Do you remember when you were a teenager or young adult and people were always asking you about what your plans were and the future seemed exciting and limitless?
Why shouldn't it be the same now, no matter what your age?
Not only that, adding new skills or practices into your life works your brain muscle! Did you know that the more educated you are, the more information your brain stores, and the better it accesses what it's learned. In fact, the build up of information results in what neuroscientists refer to as "cognitive reserve," meaning that added connections and pathways between neurons give a boost to the brain which can counteract dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease.
Step 1: Determine your primary field of interest.
Last week I wrote about clarifying who you want your future self to be and how that future self interacts with the people in your life. This week, we'll delve further into how to bring your future self into being.
I'd like to start with the definition of well-being. According to Psychology Today, "Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose.
Can you increase your sense of well-being? Yes, you can! Well-being develops from your thoughts actions and experience, most of which you have control over.
Through the next few weeks, I'll be covering some key components of positive well-being. When any of the components are lacking, your well-being is thrown out of balance. I'll be sharing some tools to help you discover where you should be spending your energy in increasing your sense of well-being.
The term "detox" is thrown around a great deal, especially this time of year when many people have set New Year's resolutions and many of them have to do with improving health. Detoxing can mean different things to different people. Some detox plans are beneficial and some may do more harm than good.
So let's explore the general intention of a detox and figure out whether it's the right thing for you.
How can you tell if you might benefit from a detoxification program?
What are toxins and how can they impact your health?
Toxins are harmful agents found in the environment. They can encompass anything from digestive and metabolic byproducts to environmental chemicals that can pass through and/or collect in your body.
The toxicity of many chemicals is dose dependent, meaning that they can have toxic effects if they're consumed in significant quantities. This can even go for certain foods, for example spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard contain oxalic acid, which can block the uptake of calcium. So, it's wise to not eat too much of these foods, but they shouldn't be avoided entirely because they contain a lot of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
Toxins can enter the gut through:
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Hi, I’m Crystal!