Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crave?

     
     When warmer temperatures and sunshine make me feel light-hearted and energetic, I love being out and about.  I can work through the morning, come home and go for a 4-mile run, then do some yoga, settle in for a few hours of study time and still find the energy/willpower to fix a satisfying, healthy dinner. 
     “Disaster” strikes when those spring days turn out to be grey, cold days that make me feel like winter just won’t go away.  On those days, my morning at work seems to take forever.  By mid-morning, I’m starving so I eat.  By the time I get home, my stomach is still full from my late morning snack, so I put off the run and fight the urge to take a nap instead.  The bleak views outside my windows make me want something – anything – to make me feel comforted, soothed, distracted.  That is when I begin to crave some kind of food that (fortunately) I rarely have on hand, these days.
     Brie Cheese…Ben & Jerry’s Crème Brulee…Love Notes Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Dried Cherries…
     Remember being newly “in-love”?  It was easy to skip a meal (or 2, or 3) or skimp on sleep and still feel wonderful.
     Our moods and emotions play a huge role in our appetites.  There is no easy way to separate them from each other without being really mindful of what it is we really NEED when it’s food we CRAVE.
Different cravings can signal different emotional states.  Craving something hard and crunchy?  You might need to find a productive way to vent some anger and aggression.  Craving something creamy?  That might be a signal that you are feeling lonely and in need of some physical contact.
     I remember the 3-year-old son of some friends of ours.  He spent quite a bit of time in front of the TV, throughout the day.  Often, he would get up and wander around the kitchen, opening doors and drawers, saying, “Momma, I want somfin…I want somfin…” on the verge of tears, looking for a snack.  In retrospect, I think the kid was bored out of his mind and possibly lonely.  Funny how those food-mood reactions are so “primary” in us.
     What do you crave on your most stressful days?  Do you notice a variety of cravings based on they type of day you’ve had?  



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