Cravings & Macrobiotics
What is good and new this week? Yes that's right, You know what's up next!
You're really getting the hang of this now... Take a moment to relax and write down all the wonderful, and not so wonderful things that have happened this week. Write them down, write about them, write what you would or wouldn't have changed about them. What you will do next time and how they made you feel. Accept them for what they are.
This week are going to discuss cravings, protein, sweet vegetables and Macrobiotics.
Think for a moment what foods you crave the most. Salt? Chocolate? Sugar? Brocolli? (yes, it happens!) Our bodies are amazing. They know when to sleep, wake up, go to the bathroom. They know to maintain a temperature of 37 degrees, they repair when wounded and they know the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Our hearts never miss and beat, our lungs are always breathing - our body is a super computer.
Did you know that 100% of women and 70% of men had cravings in the last year, so I know that this module is relative to you! Sure there are physiological reasons for cravings, but most often they are to do with emotion and desire. It is only fair therefore, to look at the foods, deficits and behaviours in your life that are underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really cravings are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance in your body.
When you experience a craving, deconstruct it, and ask yourself, what does my body want and why?
Often we are stressed or anxious when cravings kick into gear. You need to take control and talk to yourself. Don't be afraid of yourself.
And here's a wee vid on Cravings :-)
1. After watching the video above write down a time that you succumbed to a craving?
2. What was the mental process?
3. What was the end result and how could you take steps to get a broader perspective and make better choices next time?
4. What are your triggers?
5. Can you analyse this far in? We will discuss this at length on our facebook page, it's something really important to think about. So that you can avoid the triggers in the future.
We will discuss this at length on our facebook page, it's something really important to think about. So that you can avoid the triggers in the future.
Now, imagine a future memory, think of yourself dealing with cravings in a smart way. Outline what might work for you when craving hits, then recount it in detail.
Remember, next time you have a craving, use the 'go to questions' when you are at the pantry about to cave.
Ask yourself, is this worth the guilt? What am I actually craving right now? Do I just need a hug? A bath? Some sleep? To paint? Write? Read? To talk to my children?
Macrobiotics, Yin and yang
A big player in the cravings field is a yin/yang imbalance. In order to understand Macrobiotics you need to understand the yin-yang qualities of food. Then you will be able to deconstruct your cravings even more. The key is finding balance and harmony within yourself on all levels.
Macrobiotics was developed by George Onsawa, this man managed to contract Tuberculosis just to prove his point, and that he did! He managed to cure himself through balancing every aspect of his life through Macrobiotics. Generally those practicing Macrobiotics practice the art of a great life, they being to perceive things from a wider and wider perspective. They see the ups and downs, see the bigger picture and let go of the small stuff (doesn't sound too bad does it?!)
So if we take another look at the YIN AND YANG QUALITIES OF FOOD FORM we can start to break it down a bit more
A great example here is of one of my clients. We started to add in more water to his diet, which in turn led to less coffee (contractive, yang) which resulted in no cravings for sugar in the afternoon (expansive, yin) this in turn led to less self hatred and anger (yang) which resulted in more self love and exercise started up again (yin activities) Many work issues dissolved as this individual now started to release their frustrations through exercise rather than drinking AND they now had a wider perspective on life. Endorphins kicked in to the system and overall this client is now experiencing a really happy life!
The majority of us are unbalanced, stressed and working to hard. We are tired and not adequately caring for ourselves. When we are young our bodies find it easier to balance things out for us, but as we age and ignore our bodies limits and signals we also loose the ability to self regulate.
The food we eat also translates into different energies, which have profound effects on our ability to heal ourselves. Macrobiotics defines clear patterns of the energies in foods and promotes understanding how they interact with one another.
Click here to see the ENERGETICS OF FOOD TABLE
VIDEO ON CRAVINGS
Hopefully the video above has helped out with any confusion regarding Macrobiotics. If you have more questions please fire them at me, or share in the group Facebook page.
Another way of simply thinking about it would be how in Summer we crave fresh, raw, lightly cooked foods and salads. Yet in winter we crave soups, ovens, stews and roasts.
Basically, the bottom line here is to make sure you are eating balance of foods in order to avoid the harsh cravings.
Take a look at your food and mood diary so far, notice how you are craving certain things at certain times? Is your mood affecting what you crave and vice versa. Is the activity you are doing (or lack of) affecting what you want. Share with me and with the forum what you are craving and when you are craving it, maybe we can help you break it down and deconstruct it more...and therefore find a way to avoid or attack the problem.
Sweet vegetables; that's right! There is such a thing. Believe it or not, in the ancestral days a carrot was a go to for a sweet treat. Sweet potato and pumpkin were seen and tasted as very sweet goodies. Its only in recent times (well since the development of adding refined sugar into all of our foods) that we have lost the ability to really taste the difference in our foods. We are so used to this processed food that our tongues are loosing their receptors to natural tastes. It's a bit of a scary thought if you think about it.
Check out this information regarding SWEET VEGETABLES
Add more sweet vegetables into your diet this week. Keep the food and mood diary going. Start to notice how the sweet vegetables help with the sweet that your body is craving? Sure I'm not saying that your are going to steer clear of your sweet tooth and never pick up a piece of chocolate again, but if you are starting to avoid sugary, processed foods you may notice here that the sweet vegetables are helping keep you balanced.
Protein, protein, protein...such a HUGE factor when it comes to cravings! As earlier discussed with regards to yin and yang...if you have a huge meal of steak then it is likely you will crave something sweet after that. Your body has overloaded on yang (meat) and now wants to balance itself out with some sweetness (yin).
So first up I want to give you some information on PROTEIN. I also want you to keep in mind that protein plays a huge role in cravings for sweet things. Combining your complex carbohydrates - like apples and bananas (complex carbohydrates contain natural fibre to help our bowel movements) with a healthy source of protein like nuts or cheese, will help further balance the sugar and insulin surge in your body and allow a much more gentle increase in blood sugar.
Eating enough protein will also ward off sweet cravings. Protein deficiency is extremely common - and it's not vegetarians I am talking about here. If you are protein deficient your blood sugar becomes unstable and this leads to headaches, moodiness and extreme cravings (sound like anyone you know?!)
Other protein deficient examples include muscle and/or joint pain, can't sleep well, low energy, moodiness and stress.
In short - if you are feeling any of the above try upping your protein rich foods like;
• High quality grass fed red meat or chicken
• Spinach and Kale
• Full fat organic dairy and cheese
• Peas and hemp protein powders
• Bok choy
Take a look back at your CIRCLE OF LIFE diagram that you did in Module 1. You may have re-drawn it in your notebook or you may have printed a copy out. Take a look at it and notice if anything is changing. If it is, please re-draw or print and date this new one. Think about what is changing in your life, why you have more time in it to fill other segments of the circle of life, or is it that you have prioritised yourself in there and you are making sure you find some balance?
If nothing is changing lets discuss what you want to see changing and how we can have that happen.
It's also really, really important to look after yourself from the inside and the outside. I am sure you have all heard/read/seen information regarding how important it is for you to stop, slow down and take care of yourself. Well, here is a really simple tool towards starting to take care of yourself. Nope - you don't have to do any deep breathing, and yes, you will still be feeling like you are getting somewhere as you will be moving.
Have you heard of tongue cleaning?
Click here to read more about TONGUE CLEANING
You guessed it - this week I would like you to try tongue cleaning. Keep us up to speed on how it is going. Ideally I would like you to try it every day - but if you only manage it a couple of times that is okay. You should make time for this daily task. It's so simple and yet the results are quite astounding. Do it when you are in the bathroom - do it in the shower, or while your children take a bath (you can still sit in and watch them if they are young). Please do this for you. You deserve it.
I like to do it, literally as the first thing I do in the morning. It doesn't take long at all, then I have all the toxins out of my system and I will have a big glass of water after. Boom! Set up for the day.
We are on track to have you looking after yourself first and foremost. I want you to think of the health of you and your family as if you were on an airplane and the oxygen masks fell down. They say to put yours on first before you try to help anyone else. Now, that is how you need to start looking at life. How can you possibly help others properly if you are not helping yourself. You need to be fit and healthy before you can really be there to help your family or friends. How do you feel about that?
Go forth and conquer! Look how far you have come already and we are only at module 3!
This module we have discussed cravings to a huge extent. I really want you to start breaking your daily cravings down, thinking about them from a wider perspective and then establishing some routines to see if some of them can be broken.
Next time you are having a craving try asking yourself some key questions and find some awareness. Many people can't control these cravings and its just horrible to live a life battling with yourself. So its important here that you make a conscious change not a fight with yourself. A go to question seems to be really essential when it comes to handling emotional cravings.
Some good examples include:
1. What am I really hungry for?
2. Will this give me the nourishment I actually crave?
3.Is this worth the guilt and crash I know I will feel later?
4. Is there a better choice?
Make it more about a choice and less about struggling with will power. Make it about doing whats best for you in that moment. Awareness to whats really going on. Think about your cravings, are they happening when you are home alone? Then it is most probably a primary food issue for you (take a look at your circle of life and find some ways to up your inner circle dots)
For those of you who are craving at the same time each day then it is most probably to do with a dietary issue. Are you too yin or too yang? You will need to focus on balancing that out. Also facings on eating more protein, drinking more water and nourishing yourself appropriately.
The nature of your cravings will always vary but some of the tips we have been through will help you make strong choices from now on in.
Make sure you are completing your tasks:
• Taking note and thinking about craving happenings and timings
• Think about your protein intake - are you eating enough of the right proteins?
• Try cooking with some sweet vegetables
• Check out your circle of life - do a new one of re-assess and keep it in the back of your mind
• Are you looking after yourself - try the Tongue cleaning
On that note, well done and have a cracker day! xxx