Saturday, February 7, 2009

eating the angel way - part nine

why do i always crave what's bad for me? for most people, this is the place where it all falls apart. if only we could crave salad, we think, as we head for the chips, the dip or the skittles.

according to the Angels, you can begin to understand why you crave what you crave by listing all the foods on an "i know this is bad for me but i have to eat it any way" list. mine includes things like salt-and-pepper potato chips, pretzel rods, cream in my coffee, coffee, chocolate and rice pudding. i also like mickey d's burgers and fries, kfc, and coke. once i had my list, i realized my cravings fell into three main categories - salt, sweets and fat.

then i realized that it isn't the salt, the sweets or the fats that are "bad" for me. salt and fat are necessary nutrients, and we are born with a taste for sweet. breast milk itself is sweet. its not the salt, the fat or the sweets that are bad for us - it's the form in which we choose to ingest them that matters.

for example, brains require salt. i realized that i most likely crave salty food at two times generally - right before my period, and when im writing. writing creatively requires an enormous expenditure of energy from an organ that already demands around a third of all available resources normally. at that point i realized that my craving for salt when i wrote wasn't a function of my weak will power, it was a function of my own body telling me what i needed.

once i realized there was a connection between what my body was telling me to eat and what i actually needed, i realized that potato chips and pretzel rods, eaten in moderation, may not be so bad for me AND might even have a healthy purpose. now, when i write, and i get an urge for some chips, i give myself a reasonable size bowl and let myself snack away. what i've found is that by "indulging" in a "bad" food like potato chips when my body tells me it's appropriate, i don't feel deprived any more, i don't feel i can't eat my chips and i don't feel bad about me or any perceived lack of will power.

one of the reasons we don't "crave" salad is that we generally don't forbid ourselves salad. why would you crave something you know you can eat as much of it as you wanted at any time? the control of cravings for most people begins with two things - realize what it is you're really craving, and release whatever it is from it's "forbidden" or "special" status.

similiarly, we all need sweetness in our lives. to listen to the ads on tv or in magazines, you would think sugar is public enemy number one. and yet, sugar, or glucose, is the only form of energy your body can metabolize. in order to access any of the energy in your food, your body first turns into sugar. yes, sugar. so to tell yourself you have to limit the amount of sweet food or sugar you eat, is to tell your body that the very fuel it runs on is bad for it. your mind is telling you one thing, and your body is insisting on another. is it any wonder we don't know what we need to eat?

again, it's not sugar or sweetness that's "bad" - it's the form you find it. of course you should enjoy sweet foods... just avoid the highly processed (high fructose corn syrup for example) or the artifical kind. your body knows what's real food and what isn't, even if you don't. this is why low-fat foods aren't as satisfying and artificial sweetners are too sweet. you can try all you want to fool your body - but your body has its own wisdom. it knows what it wants and needs and it will spur you on to eat until it receives what it needs - no matter how much artifical and processed food you feed it.

if you crave soda, for example, drink it. but drink the real thing - don't have the diet version. if you want chocolate, eat it - but don't eat the cheap, highly processed junk with the high fructose corn syrup. buy yourself - not anyone else necessarily - the highest quality organic chocolate with the highest amount of cocoa possible and indulge. what people generally find, once you get past the "i can really eat this and not have to feel bad about it" stage, is that you don't really need to eat a whole bag of chips to feel satisfied. you don't really need the whole chocolate bar.

if you allow yourself to eat only "real" food, you will begin to retrain your palate. and once that happens, you won't be able to stomach anything made with artifical or highly processed ingredients in anything other than very small doses. this is another reason the Angels recommend you begin slowly. the process of retraining your palate, of listening to your body, and of understanding why you crave what you crave when you crave it, can take a while.

and in the meantime, if you have a craving and you really want something, do what the Angels say to do... just say yes.

30 comments:

Moncha said...

Hi, I just found your blog and I am so glad. I love it. I will be back for more !!!
Have a fantastic day !!

NJDecorator said...

I like your points here, but I cannot stand the taste of regular soda - so I just have one or two glasses of diet soda a day and the rest is water. That takes care of that "craving".

I am Harriet said...

Hi Annie.
Great post!

Laura Rose said...

I've started eating chocolate and chips from the health food store. And the angels are right. I do not need to eat much. A few only and I'm happy. And it doesn't cost that much b/c I'm not eating a whole bag/box! by the by, the one cup of organic coffee I'm treating myself to is literally getting me through this winter. And interestingly enough, with the cold I have, I wake up with a really big, sore head. The coffee relieves that. Blessed angels!

Lynette said...

Coffee is my down fall I think. I can drink it all day and not eat anything. Hummmm, don't think that is the Angel way. LOL
I have found that if I keep some chocolate on my nightstand I don't crave it. Have a little once a week maybe. But, if there is not any in the house I am going crazy for it.

Shades of Scorpio said...

Miss Annie ~ thank you! After my nightly indulgence in chips this was nice to read. Being vegetarian for 16 years and being off many foods due to sensitivity I definitely am what said - a salt,fat & sugar. But lately way more of a salt. We have sea salt in the house and I put it on everything. That's fine with me but then when I eat the chips I feel like its overload. I don't do that often but if I have company that week, I am sure to have chips in the house. Then they leave. Then someone has to finish them. =)

Beautifully said. I'm sure there are a million mamas who would love to read this blog today.

and I hope you are feeling much better!!!

I am Harriet said...

Lady- that comment you left on my site was way too funny! :)

Walk in the Woods said...

Color me odd, but I *DO* crave salads and other green foods ... as does the boy. Especially in *this* season.

If we skip a day without greens (cooked or raw) we both put green food high on the MUST EAT list for the day!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE salty and I DO crave chocolate ... and those faeries keep telling me that dark chocolate peanut MMs satisfy some aspect of their cousin's rainbow. I'm not buying it, yet the lone peanut wrapped in "dark" chocolate and WIERD colors justifies a handful for me!

Peace.

annie kelleher said...

ah, rose, you're not odd... you've simply been doing what the Angels suggest we all do so long you do crave food that's good for you. that's what happens for everyone... eventually...

The Mindful Chef said...

Annie I'd like to link your blog to mine , if you approve. Its about Making Magical Foods Mindfully. Your angel way is certainly minful!

Martha said...

This is wonderful, Annie, and echoes my own transformation with my relationship with food and my body about 20 years ago. I don't drink soda or alcohol and I think that helps a great deal in keeping the appetite thermostat balanced.

Mindy said...

I have found this to be SO true. Since I did my cleanse, my pallet has been swept clean and food tastes so different to me now. Things I didn't like before, like vegetables =) now taste wonderful! I have been eating both veggies and fruit by the fist full. Cookies from Subway, though I used to love them, taste like sawdust to me. Cookies from the bakery that uses organic ingredients... Mmmmm Good!

I will keep eating what I crave, in moderation of course!

Thanks for all this great advice on here! I really enjoy tuning in and reading =)

Divaeva said...

...Everything in moderation!? Sounds like a good plan! I just have to do everything over and beyond - seems to be no middle ground for me. Working on that though - love your little tips - they are absolutely helping! <3

Ruth said...

Hi Annie, I just checked into your blog and will start reading it more fully. I plan to leave more comments real soon.
Blessings,
Ruth :)

penguinsandladybugs said...

Hmmmm....I don't know if I could even tell if I had a craving, because I don't allow myself to :( This is something to think about!

April said...

Thanks for the enlightenment today...much appreciated! My weakness is chocolate!

Allison said...

Permission to eat chips & chocolate? Just say yes? I love these angels!

Patti Gibbons said...

Great blog. I have been having some cravings...odd ones. Like beets. Especially when I was bleeding like a stuck pig the other day. I did some research and beets help to regulate hormones! I was also craving arugula and pecans..which I got and made a salad..and they were used in ancient times for fertility! WOW. I just never thought about listening to my body before. Guess that came from being so out of touch w/my body for so long... Anyway, thanks for the info on supplements you left on my blog, going to head to the health food store this week and pick up some. Got to get this hormonal thing under control..am not liking it all that much. I don't even mind the "power surges", it is the lack of good sleep etc. that kills me!

xxpatti o

oh the word is celangl

celery angel...lol..and have been craving that too! (ohh..celery is for testosterone..does THAT need adjusting too?!! LOLOL)

Spirit said...

so nice of you to answer my question. it makes sense. everything in moderation rule right?

jennifersusan said...

this post makes so much sense! Thank you! This is a great way to look at things and not feel guilty for craving certain things. Of course my biggest downfall is that I rarely do crave things and so when I go to the store I don't buy them and then later I want it and either go without or make a special trip. I'll have to learn to balance better. :)

Kathy said...

I actually had Breyer's coffee ice cream go stale a little while ago. I didn't eat the whole thing in one sitting, like I've been know to in the past.

Week one, day one: Angel's Way of Eating

Walk in the Woods said...

I just *had* to come back to say that I LOVE the pic of Buddy Love resting on his blue pillow!

tarabu said...

and those rosemary butter cookies, only made when there's enough fresh rosemary in the garden, are ALWAYS wonderful!

thanks for sharing my day

Carolyn G said...

I love this post annie. It makes total sense to me. THanks.

ikkinlala said...

I should get my friends to read this post - a lot of them don't understand why I try so hard to eat real food all the time.

Judy Vars said...

its embarassing to say I crave Pringles and Pepper Mint Patties and cheeeeeese

Kim said...

It so makes sense. I avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetner - my thought is mama nature made sugar - who knows what artificial sweetner really is. I can taste it when someone tries to sneak it in - my whole body screams foul. And one block of good chocolate really does satisfy. My big craving is salty foods - must be using a lot of brain power - the mental libra in me. LOL

joanofalltrades said...

Visiting from SITS! Love your blog title!

Stacy's Random Thoughts said...

I had always heard that when you 'crave' something, it was your body telling you that you 'need' a certain nutrient...like if I 'crave' peanut butter, I need protein! ;) So apparently I listen to the angels... :)

Mama Krit said...

Great thoughts! And here I thought I was the only one who couldn't live without junk like brownies! I find that when I am really strict on my diet and deprive myself for a really long time, then I'll tend to have a break down and eat an entire cake in one sitting. (I've done it, I swear). By allowing yourself to eat those forbidden foods in moderation you can avoid this entirely. Thanks!