What is the last craving you had?
Pizza…? Chocolate…? Ice Cream…? Pancakes? 😉
Did you honor it?
Or did you tell yourself you knew better?
I’ve always had a hard time “honoring” my cravings…most of the time I just don’t know how to distinguish between a a “true” craving (something my body is really needing) and a “snacky” craving (something I only think I want because I’m bored, I saw it on the tv/internet, or maybe I’m just curious about some recently acquired snacks).
Here’s the thing…for me, having new snacks is like having new toys…I want to open them all at once and “play” with them. But unfortunately, playing with that many “toys” almost always lands me with a tummy ache.
But lately, I’ve been denying myself any playtime at all.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself feeling extra “snacky”…especially at the end of the day. At first I chalked it up to being tired, but even after a good
night’s day’s sleep, the feeling was still there. So I stopped, and I listened…trying hard to figure out what my body was telling me…
It wanted fat, it wanted salt, it wanted…CHOCOLATE?!
Really? But I don’t even really LIKE chocolate!
So I decided I knew better.
I had some pretzels dipped in peanut butter…but only a few…I didn’t want to go overboard. Then I had some carrots and celery…there, that balances everything out, right?
The cravings persisted over the next week…they got more intense.
Then, the other day, I was up late because I couldn’t sleep (thank you night shift insomnia!) and there it was again…that craving for chocolate!
So I (picture me sticking out my chest and pointing my thumbs back at myself) decided that wasn’t what I was craving at all…it was late, I couldn’t have chocolate. Instead, I had some carrots…I even dipped them in ranch dressing (thinking if my body wanted fat, then there…there was some fat), but after I finished, I just wasn’t satisfied…so I had a couple handfuls of granola…and then a couple more…and then some peanut butter out of the jar…
And then…FINALLY, I gave up and got the DAMN chocolate out of the DAMN cupboard!
And you know what? That was it! THAT was what I wanted! As soon as I had a good dose of the dark stuff, I was fine…well, except for the fact that as soon as I walked out of the kitchen, I had a tummy ache…with a side of guilt.
It wasn’t until the next day, after a long talk with a good friend, that I finally got things into perspective. She reminded me that our bodies are smarter than our minds give them credit for. We want what we want…sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t.
But where do we get off thinking we know better?
If I had gone for the chocolate in the first place, I never would have went rabid in the pantry and ended up feeling miserable afterwards!
But it stops here. I’m no longer going to try to “override” my cravings…even if they aren’t the healthiest choices. And I’m not going to let one night of overindulgence leave me with a sense of guilt.
Life’s too short! Right, Amanda?
Do you have a hard time “listening” to your body? How can you tell when you’re having a TRUE craving?
What was the last craving you gave into?
Yep, at times I have a hard time distinguishing an impulsive ‘bored’ craving or a true craving. Or if I begin having dessert after dinner more than a few times a week, it starts to become a habit. The last craving I gave into was fro-yo – last night! It’s my weakness. I should not be left unsupervised at self-serve fro-yo bars.
Oh yeah, I’m totally guilty of getting into habits. It never fails, I start having dessert after dinner for a few nights and before I know it, I find myself EXPECTING something sweet after almost every meal!
I feel ya on the fro-yo! The ones here in town aren’t as good as the ones in Nashville…I think reminding myself of that is the ONLY reason I don’t end up camping out at the one that’s like 5 minutes from my house…I just KNOW there’s better! Lol
I’ve been having the craziest cravings @ night lately. Some nights it’s been for chocolate, others it’s been for some sort of “healthy” chip. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I do know I don’t pass em up. I’m sure it’s not the smartest thing to do, but hey I can at least say I tried the whole “chew on a piece of gum” first method to try n erase the cravings.
Oh yeah, I’ve done the “drink a glass of water” thing…but one thing that someone said that got to me was this, if it’s like a persistent thought…something you just can’t get out of your head, then chances are it’s a TRUE craving and you won’t be satisfied until that craving is met. No wonder the chocolate was haunting me for weeks! Lol
Good for you for listening to your body and giving it what it wants! 🙂
I have been pretty snack-y lately, too. I try to honor my cravings the best I can, but sometimes it can be hard to distinguish! I find that if I give in to my craving and have a good sized portion of what I want, I’m better off 🙂
So true! I’m beginning to realize now that if I give into a craving with the mentality that I’m only going to have “a bite”…that that just won’t do. There’s no tricking my body! Besides, who can REALLY stop at just one bite? 😉
I definitely know to give in to my chocolate cravings! Those are something my body usually really wants, and, yup, aren’t about to go away on their own. But things like chips? Those are always snacky cravings. I never regret not giving in to those, and they usually pass quickly or are satisfied by something healthier. I have a 87% dagoba bar just waiting in my cabinet…just in case…
I’ve never really had cravings for chocolate OR chips…which is why I think I doubted my true cravings in the beginning, but after reflecting on my diet over the last few weeks, I noticed that I’ve been limiting my sodium and fat maybe a bit too much…of course, NOW the cravings make sense! Over the last couple of days, I’ve been including a few “healthy” chips like Popchips and falafel thins (my latest discovery…yum!) and a bit more fat in my meals/snacks and haven’t had any of those intense (seemingly out of the blue) cravings. I guess what they say is true…it REALLY is all about balance! I just gotta learn to listen! Lol
I know this feeling all too well. sometimes it is that your body just wants fat/more water/etc… but sometimes you just ant some damn sweet potato fries. So I had them. Joyfully, and with a side of beer on cheat day. 😉
You know, I’ve been thinking if maybe I should give another thought to the whole cheat day thing…I just wonder, how do you keep from going overboard and ending up feeling like poo after the day is over? I think if I knew that “cheat day” was coming, I’d want to stuff my face with so much that you’d have to end up rolling me bed at the end of the day! Lol
Honestly, after working so hard all week and just being “used” to eating clean… I don’t want to go totally wild. Don’t get me wrong – I love my teats, but I don’t want to make myself miserably full.
Oh my yes, I always have a hard time deciding what I really need and what sounds amazing. I love to snack and I have to be careful about that, but I’m trying to listen to my body and just make notes on what I eat for the next month. We’ll see!
One thing that has actually helped me a lot over the last couple of days is taking a minute to reflect on my diet over the past few weeks…I realized that I had started limiting sodium and fat a bit too much so NOW it makes sense where those cravings were coming from. Since then, I’ve added a few salty snacks and more fat in my meals, and haven’t felt like I was depriving myself of anything….like I was before.
I can completely relate. I do not honor my cravings, at all, and then I end up going nuts. And craving nuts! Ha! I still have a hard time, though, figuring out if it’s a true craving or I’m just bored. It’s been hard to learn how to listen to my body.
I’ve always been like that too. I think it’s mostly because I don’t trust myself around certain foods…I feel like if I have one bite or a small serving, that I’ll go overboard and end up stuffing my face with it. But since I never give myself the benefit of the doubt, I end up ignoring/suppressing the craving altogether…only to end up stuffing my face later! Ugh, I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS LONG to come to this realization! You definitely have to practice at listening to your body…sometimes it’s easier than others, but I think if we don’t allow ourselves to stress out as much about the “what if” and just go with the flow, then we’d be better off! 🙂
I have a really hard time listening, mostly because all I ever want to eat is cake, cake and more cake :).. not very balanced! I have started making squash, carrot, apple etc., loafs to try and curb the craving a bit while not overindulging on the processed white stuff but honestly, it doesn’t completely do the trick…its often someone’s birthday at least 1x a month so I fully indulge then.
Well hey, at least your doing something by adding in some healthy ingredients! But you know, a once a month cake-indulgence isn’t bad…probably better than me giving into my once a WEEK farmer’s market cookie addiction! 😉
Cravings can be so tricky, because like you said, sometimes it’s nothing more than boredom or curiosity. I’ve found that more often than not, though, an inability to stop thinking about something is definitely a true craving, and trying to satisfy myself with veggies will never do the job and only leave me with a very uncomfortable stomach. I used to have a really hard time listening to my body, but I’ve found that the less I question it and the more I just go with the flow, the easier it becomes. I only run into problems if I put off honoring a craving for too long, which is why I had to give in to my craving for chocolate this morning and have a slice (or two) of my chocolate chip pumpkin bread 😀
“An inability to stop thinking about something is definitely a true craving” <- Omg, you couldn't be more SPOT ON! Over the last couple of days, I've been experimenting with "intuitive eating"...a few times, what I thought I wanted didn’t exactly come out right, but for the most part, I think I’m starting to gain a sense of what my body needs. I’m thinking if I just give my body what it wants when it wants it, I won’t have to worry so much about being caught off guard (in the middle of the night) with intense cravings that can’t be silenced.
Whoa…your pumpkin bread recipe is up? Going there NOW! 😀
I definitely get chocolate cravings! If I get a craving for someone sweet, 99% of the time it’s a real craving. If I’m going for crackers or chips, then I’m probably just feeling snacky – I’m a sweets girl 100%. I’ve definitely been doing some damage to the chocolate chips in my pantry lately. 🙂
Haha! Good to know I’m not the only one who goes for the chocolate chips! Honestly, since I rarely ever crave it, most of the time, that’s the only form of chocolate I have in the house.
Would it help if you didn’t buy so many items when they’re on sale?
Haha, yeah…probably, but c’mon, where’s the fun in that?! 😉
I am a snack queen!! I have been craving almond butter like crazy.. so today I whipped out a spoon and went to town! I have learned that if I on’t give into craving a little, they will just get worse!
I think it is so important to properly address our cravings. When my body wants some dark chocolate, I give it dark chocolate! (Hence the name of my blog I suppose ;-).)
I’m absolutely *awful* at listening to my body – mostly because my stress/anxiety/boredom response is “hungry”. Plus I’m a chocolate addict, so craving chocolate is an every day thing for me. But, if I crave something that I havent even thought about in ages, then I know it’s probably real, and won’t deny myself that. I used to do that ALL the time, and I would always walk away feeling guilty, wishing I had just given in right away.
Once in a while I get an odd craving for ravioli. NO idea what that means, but since I’m not a pasta person, I know that one is real.
Maybe it’s the cheese you crave? I’ve started noticing more cheese cravings lately too…I figure it’s from a need of fat/calcium, but I don’t think about that one too much before giving in…I mean, c’mon…it’s CHEESE! 😉 Lol
But I totally hear you on the stress/boredom thing…never fails, I always get those munchy feelings.
I pretty much give into all my cravings, but I try (operative word) to do it in moderation and cleanly. If I want chocolate, I’ll make something with chocolate or eat the good stuff, but I won’t buy some overly processed chocolate bar. I find by acknowledging and satisfying the craving, I’m able to indulge without over indulging more easily. Life’s short; eat the chocolate.
So true! Quality really means a lot…especially when it comes to chocolate. I won’t even waste my time with candy bars…just go for the good stuff!
I think it’s so important to listen to your body – and trust it! Especially when you’re sick!
I’m sick with the flu at the moment and am totally having to listen to my body to avoid pain. I’ve been eating soft and cold foods like mad and haven’t touched a single vegetable (except for in soup) because I know they would kill my throat! Who cares if not eating vegetables isn’t “healthy”, right now it’s what needs to be done, so that’s healthy in my books!
Aww, I hope you get better soon love! I know what you mean…I NEVER crave veggies when I’m sick! Most of the time, all I want is brown food! Lol Oatmeal, rice, clear soups…hey, they may not LOOK pretty, but they get the job done! And just the other day, I started to take notice of my food cravings more…and didn’t have any veggies for breakfast, lunch, or any snacks for the earlier part of the day, but you better BELIEVE as soon as dinnertime rolled around, all I wanted was a BIG FAT SALAD! Just goes to show, it all balances out in the end! 😀
Ha! I do the same thing! I’m slowly but surely learning to listen and understand what my body is telling me. However, it’s hard to know if I’m truly craving something or just bored/greedy/in an eating mood. More often that not I eat sommmething, usually end up eating multiple things, then finally give into my craving and thennn feel satisfied, yet peeved from eating all that food when I could have just honored my craving in the first place and been done! :/ Live and ya learn!
Great post 🙂
P.S. Your vegan coconut french toast with mango is on my top 10 list of recipes to try NOW! YUM!
Thank you Sarah! That is EXACTLY how I feel too! I’m just now LEARNING from those mistakes and making changes so it doesn’t happen again. There’s nothing like that feeling you get after you’ve stuffed yourself silly on foods your body didn’t even want in the first place. My coconut French toast, of course, would NEVER make you feel that way! 😉 Let me know what you think!
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Those prices on your marked down chips!! Wow, so jealous!
What kind of peanut flour do you use? I just ordered Protein Plus peanut flour to try. I want to use it as a substitute for regular peanut butter. I have been addicted to PB2 for months now and go through about a pound a month.. or more. But, the nutrition label says it has <.01 grams of trans fat per serving. So, I'm in search of a replacement!
Actually, I use Protein Plus! I’ve tried SEVERAL different brands, and I think it has the best flavor out of any of them…plus, you gotta love the fact that there’s only one ingredient! 😀
I get off easy in the cravings department – I almost never feel cravings in the true sense of an uncontrollable or irrational desire to eat a certain food. The closest thing I get is the habit-triggered signals (such as wanting to eat sweets after a meal because I have a habit of eating sweets after a meal) and nutrition-triggered signals (I often “crave” eggs and fish when I’m very active or haven’t been eating enough protein, or I “crave” spinach and snow peas when I’ve been eating too much processed crap). Or I “crave” a bowl of hot, spicy curry on cold winter evenings. My cravings are all very logical, and they’re easy to indulge in a healthy way!
That said, I am a chocolate fanatic; I wouldn’t say I crave chocolate, I just want it because I love it! And that’s ok, because chocolate itself is perfectly healthy – it’s just a bean, after all. What’s unhealthy about chocolate is all the processing and added fats, flavourings and sugars. Just avoid those and you’re good. Pure cocoa powder is high in fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants – it’s a health food, not a junk food. When I want a chocolate fix, I make myself a cup of super-strong hot cocoa: using a battery-operated milk frother, I whip 3 or 4 heaping tablespoons of good-quality Dutch cocoa and a little sweetener and spice into 1/2 cup of hot milk (almond milk works nicely, and coconut milk takes it to a whole other level of decadence), then top it up with 1/4-1/3 cup hot water. It is INTENSE. And totally good for you! In the winter I also eat a lot of chocolatey cocoa oatmeal. The best one is chocolate-orange oatmeal: cook oats with the zest and juice of one orange and a dash of vanilla, stir in a couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt, and sweeten to taste. It’s super healthy, but it tastes like a big puddle of melted Terry’s Chocolate Orange!
Wow, I’m so impressed with how “in tune” you are with your body, Carrie! That’s amazing! I’m just NOW starting to get to the point where I can explain where a certain craving is coming from. The weeks leading up to the chocolate chip fiasco that was this night, I had been watching my fat intake…only I hadn’t realized that I was limiting it too much. Since that night, I’ve been including more healthy fats into all of my meals and snacks and have seen a HUGE improvement in keeping my cravings at bay. 😀
Honestly, I can’t tell you the last time I had a craving for hot chocolate, but your combo sounds amazing! I’ve seen Dutch cocoa in recipes and I know there’s a difference between that and regular cocoa, but how does the flavor differ in this? I may just need to track me down some and try this out!
I think that just giving in to your cravings is one of the best healthy eating strategies you can have. I really like to eat peanut butter every night for dessert. Nut butter + spoon into mouth. I keep trying to tell myself “DON’T DO IT” that is what my body always wants, and usually if I try to eat something else, I end up going for the nut butter anyway. I’m pretty sure it is just because I run a bunch and don’t eat enough fat or protein during the day, but I like my nut butter, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂