Does it feel like you have zero control over them?
To discover what they might mean read on and gain strategies to deal with these challenges. We’ve all been there. It comes on strong and it can be relentless and have you extremely motivated, agitated and even relentless to respond to it ASAP. What is it you ask? Why it’s the infamous craving and no you don’t need to be expecting to experience it. You know what I am talking about don’t you?
WELL DID YOU KNOW THIS?
Each of us has food tolerances in our body and no, this is not a typo – I do mean ‘tolerances’ and not intolerances. These have developed over the years from the foods we regularly eat that are highly processed, acidic and toxic to overall well-being. These foods react in our body like a drug. Even if we have negative consequences consuming them, we crave them and it keeps us going back for me. Often we may actually feel good eating them as they sate our addictive craving. However when the 'fix' wears off we need more.
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If you take an acidic or poisonous drug your body's immune system steps in and responds immediately to fight off this threat.
This is a good thing. However in some circumstances if we continue to expose ourselves to these drugs we can develop a seeming tolerance to them. Our body acclimatizes to the pervasive presence. This may seem like a good thing however you want to think again. (Think drugs such as cocaine, crack, heroine, opioids, even wine, etc.) as well as environmental substances).
Come the time you aren’t exposing yourself to that acidic poison – be it a conscious decision or by default and you continue to have the tolerance, your body can continue pushing against the acidic poison even though it is no longer being ingested. Yes really! This feeling is what we call a craving or in the case of drugs, addiction. Your body longs for the particular drug because now with the developed tolerance, it requires it in order to maintain balance. This becomes your bodies ultimate goal. Toxic drugs aside, foods we consume can often trigger this very same response.
If you’ve been regularly ingesting over-processed, highly refined foods for a prolonged period, when you stop putting those particular toxins into your body, you can experience a perceived need for them. This is the language of ‘cravings’ and they can plague you for life if you leave them unattended to.
When these foods are eliminated from our diet your body can then recognize it no longer needs the protective tolerance and voila the craving gradually dissipates. This means no matter how strong a craving is for some particular food (or any substance); if you don't eat that food, the craving will eventually fade allowing for healthy cravings.
For instance, a fat craving can be satisfied with avocado, nut or seed butter, almonds or dark chocolate, bread cravings can be tamed with chromium rich foods such as whole grains, broccoli, potatoes, green beans and bananas. Sugar cravings can be sated with fresh fruits. If your body needs certain vitamins, you may crave nutrient dense veggies such as leafy greens, even vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts or a protein and fiber rich smoothie.
The take away here is - cravings are a language signaling our body that it needs attention.
When we delve into what the particular cravings are saying we can then take steps to both eliminate trouble makers as well as supply the body with necessary building blocks for optimal health. Responding accordingly with consumption of the related nutrients via whole foods enables our cravings to assist us in augmenting our health rather than impairing it.
Here is a list of cravings, related mineral and vitamin deficiencies
and some related symptoms:
Chocolate: magnesium / hormonal shifts
Caffeine: stress, adrenal or physical fatigue
Breads and Pasta: zinc
Salty foods: stress or adrenal fatigue
Sugary foods: chromium, zinc, magnesium or fatigue, stress, hormonal shifts
Fatty Foods: essential fatty acids - omega 3 rich
Spicy: fatigue or boredom
Crunchy: stress or repressed anger
Symptoms and Supplements - what they may mean:
Scalp Dryness - vitamin A, essential fatty acids 3, 6, 9 deficiencies
Dandruff – B vitamins, zinc, protein deficiency
Hair loss - zinc, vitamin B12, or protein deficiency
Dry and lifeless hair, dry skin, sore joints –essential fatty acids
Frizzy, corkscrew hair – Vitamin A, D…
Poor Memory / erratic behavior – possible B 12
Poor eyesight and night blindness – vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, selenium
Acne – hormonal problems, B vitamins, zinc, vitamin A, toxic liver, digestive problems
Pale skin, lips finger nails – possible anemia, iron, and folic acid
Bleeding gums – vitamin C or other dental problems
Poor digestion – bloating, gas or indigestion after meals can mean unhealthy gut bacterial overgrowth, enzyme deficiency, food allergies and intolerance and food combo challenges
Elimination problems – insufficient fiber and water intake and mineral deficiencies
Undigested food in stool – improper ingestion, insufficient chewing, poor digestion
Diarrhea – bacteria in food, inflammation in intestinal tract or IBS
If you are plagued with constant cravings and health challenges, enlist the aid of a qualified dietary health care professional experienced in digestive health. They can help to assess your symptoms related to your lifestyle and food intake and guide you to appropriately respond to your bodies needs overcoming cravings and allowing for overall improved health and well-being.
A side note before I sign off...
For all those fasting keep in mind:
Sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium are essential electrolytes that can be quickly depleted if you’re abstaining from food. Therefore, it’s best to supplement with these nutrients if you’re fasting for longer than 24 hours. I am a fan of Liquid Light as well. This is a daily supplement for me with over 72 trace minerals.
If you are looking for supplement support and ordering products online in Canada check out Raw Elements Inc and use Teri for a 15% discount code
In the US ordering from Sunwarrior use teri15 for 15% savings
I have been a long standing Ambassador for these companies and use this products myself. They are my go-to. If you have any questions please reach out and ask me.
If you feel this article may help others, please do share it.
My aim is see all of us living with optimal health.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing – James F. Balch, MD and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. / Victoria Boutenko12 Steps to Raw Food; / Dan Hanewich The Nutritional Component of Your Active Living Program; / Vista Magazine – Penny Ornsbee – www.pennyormsbee.ca
Teri Gentes www.terigentes.com
Whole Self Lifestyle Wellness and Whole Foods Nutrition Coach and Chef