Food and Emotions

Did you ever wonder why it has been difficult to change your diet? (If it hasn’t been difficult for you, consider yourself blessed!) No matter what we know to be the ideal way for us to eat, we still gravitate towards “comfort” foods and cravings.

It may seem the body is calling for these foods, especially with cravings, but our bodies are too out of balance to trust that cravings are right for us. Most of the time, it is the unconscious mind and unconscious body calling out for theses foods.

Most of us are emotional eaters and don’t realize it. We start to associate food with love at the first suckle as a baby. From there on out, especially in old parenting paradigms, with love comes food.

 

Food has been used for comfort and to pacify in many ways. For example, when the baby cries, we wonder first, is s/he hungry? What if we considered that the baby might just have something to say, with a very limited vocabulary? “I’m angry, I’m scared! Hold me!” Instead of letting them be and holding them we try to ….make…it…..stop!!!, as our own uncomfortable emotions are triggered.

 

The foods we call “comfort foods” and have cravings for relate back to early years when love = food. So what are your comfort foods and cravings? Trace them back…

 

Another aspect of food that creates warm fuzzy feelings is community. Of course we celebrate everything with food and drink! And celebration is a pretty common reason/excuse to “live it up!” and forget all attempts at conscious eating. So when you try to make changes, there is a lot to wrangle with. How can you create new comfort foods and new cravings?

My 12 year old daughter has not been a big fruit lover in her recent years, but loves the effect eating raw has had on me. So she says to me, “Mom, you eat raw and I’ll eat a little bit later, when I’m older.”

Now since there is a lot of fruit laying around and I’ve been weeding out other choices in my kitchen, she’s getting more of an appetite for fruit. The other day she asked me to make her a fruit plate, so I decided to appeal to her aesthetic eye. I made her a mandala of fruit, with chopsticks! She was so amazed at the beauty of the colors and design she happily ate it and asked for more.

So now I’m spending some time getting real creative to inspire her. She knows she’s got me because I’m so happy that she’s eating fruit. Even the fruit she doesn’t like, she appreciates for art’s sake (and saves them for me). Inside, I’m more than happy, I’m ecstatic because I know I’m creating some warm fuzzy fruit associations. Love and fruit!

I have a few fruit rituals, like cutting up 3-4 raw mangoes and eating them with pure delight and joy, eating a pile of bananas one after the other, eating stinky durian with my friend Nadja, eating a monster mixing bowl of salad with my daughter (the only way she wants it), and smuggling grapes into the movie theatre.

 

So while you’re shifting your ideas and beliefs about food that you can live without, create new rituals with the food that you consciously want on your plate. Before long you will have unconsciously replaced the old comfort foods and cravings with new ones, and eating what’s natural for your body will come naturally.

 

Excuse me while I lounge and have grapes fed to me, one…by…one…

 

(I’d love to hear about your fruity rituals!)

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One Response to “Food and Emotions”

  1. nadja1972 Says:

    You go, girl! These days on my menu: watermelon – yellow and red – and grapes!!!!

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