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8 Causes of Cravings

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The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, wake up, go to the bathroom, maintain 98.6 degrees and tighten the eyes when the light gets bright. It knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer and it never makes mistakes.

Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?

The eight primary causes of cravings are:

1. Lack of primary food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of insufficient primary food.

2. Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.

3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.

4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.

5. Seasons. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets.

6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

7. Hormones. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood-sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

*This article is courtesy of Integrative Nutrition 2010

Race Wish List!

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wishlist

Races are my love, they keep me going, they keep me with a goal in sight and something to train for.  So! I’ve started making a race list which I will eventually transfer over to its own page.  Since I definitely won’t be able to do all these races this year (they get kinda pricey when you throw travel into the mix) this list will be for this year and next year and probably the years after as well.  Most of them are the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series, they are fun and easy races to find.  As I find more, I’ll be adding them to my race calendar along with Triathlons once I can figure out the means to get myself a bike!

July 21 – Chicago (Half) Rock ‘n’ Roll (RNR)

September 1 – Virginia Beach RNR (Half)

September 15 – Philadelphia RNR (Half)

October 20 – Denver Colorado RNR (Full)

October 28 – Marine Corps DC (Full)

November 9 – Savannah Georgia RNR (Full)

November 17 –  LasVegas RNR (Half or Full)

January 9 – 12 2014 – Disney’s Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, Half & Full)

January 18, 2014 – Louisiana Marathon (Half or Full)

February 24, 2014 – Disney Princess Half Marathon

December 14, 2014 – Honolulu Marathon (Full)

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What keeps you going?

How to Cope with the 6 letter word of death!

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Aka “INJURY!”

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It seems like a death sentence for those of us super active people.  It’s awful, it feels like you can’t move on with your life, you might as well just pig out, and become one with the couch and your TV… I mean whats the point right if you can’t run, or bike, or do yoga or whatever it is that is your sport of choice.

I used to have this mentality, and yes, I am still guilty of at first getting into that mental black fog.  However, there are so many other things that you can do to still stay active and not gain weight while on the bench!   I am currently in this exact boat.  I’m a runner and have been battling some type of injury in my hip.   I’ve had this same injury before so instead of feeling sorry for myself  I immediately transitioned over to biking and elliptical as well as still keeping up with my circuit workouts.  I just take out any jumping or pounding that will further aggravate my hip.

Whatever your injury might be there is always something that you can do, it may not feel as active as you’re used to doing, but it is certainly better then doing nothing!  The other most important thing is to make sure that you are continuing to eat clean!!  Make sure you are adding in crucial healing foods.  Ginger is a major one to add in if your injury has any kind of inflammation involved.  Ginger is an anti-inflammatory food, along with Blueberries and Turmeric.  Add them into your salads, smoothies, juices or slice up the ginger and let it steep in hot water and have ginger tea!  If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know my obsession with Ginger, read my post on it here!

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I know it may feel like the end of the world during your healing recovery time, but the key to getting through this is to find the thing or things that you CAN do!  For me I’m doing a lot of spinning and I just got into boxing!  It is quite therapeutic!  I have no idea how long I’ll be out from running, and there is a chance I may have to miss my big 50k race June 1st if I can’t get back to training soon!!  So needless to say, I did have my moment this past weekend feeling super sorry for myself, but I’m back to cross training and feeling pretty good!!

   How do you all cope? Any other recommendations?

Nourishing Wisdom Cont’d

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A few blog posts ago I was mentioning a book I had started reading called Nourishing Wisdom. “The Good, the “Bad”, and The Ugly (If you click on the highlighted part I link back to that last post in case you missed it) It is a fantastic book that has hit on quite a few points that have struck major cords with me. I wanted to follow up on them before I strayed too far from it!

There were 2 other points that I left out of that last post because I thought they deserved a blog post on their very own!! Powerful stuff I tell you.

Here they are:

1) Working a boring job you might find yourself hungrier then usual; food serves either to calm us down or activate our interest when we feel unfulfilled.

2) There are 5 Key Factors that play a roll in our food desires and changes: Lifestyle, Environment, Season, Age, and Health.

I completely relate to these two on a very deep level. Why? Because I’ve lived them both!! I was in a job about 3 years ago now where I was severely unhappy. I had big plans to stick with it long enough to save some money and then move forward. Then I got fired. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as this job was so unbelievably toxic. But never the less, while at the job, I began gaining a lot of weight. I was mindlessly eating just to fill this major void and mask my unhappiness. Then about a year and a half later, I was at a different point in my life where I was unemployed and also extremely unhappy because of being unemployed and broke (go figure) and therefore basically eating whatever I could find just to fill the void which then leads to being more unhappy. It’s a vicious cycle. In any case, I gained back even more weight after losing quite a bit.

When you’re unhappy you inevitably gravitate towards sweet or salty processed foods because we view them as comfort foods. These then spin the chemicals in our heads which make us feel happy, momentarily, so we want more. Then we fall out of our healthy regimes like working out, going out with friends, being outside. So our lifestyles then change. Not to mention as we get older our metabolisms slow down. I’ve lived every single “key factor” that is mentioned. So now what does one do?? We set intentions for ourselves, we re-organize, set goals, call a friend and tell them what you’re goals are to hold you accountable. You make a Game Plan!! Setting yourself up for success rather then failure sets the ball rolling. Yes, you very well will slip up and falter a few times. What matters is this, that you get up and TRY! Keep going forward, because ultimately after a few tries you WILL succeed!!! Make a chart for yourself like we had in pre-school, for every time you make it to the gym or eat clean all day you get a star. When you get a whole consecutive week filled you go reward yourself with a manicure or movie with a friend!

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That’s all I got for today :-)

So go get ‘em my lovely followers! Make a list, make a game plan and by all means share them with me!! :-) I’d love to hear from you!

Things I’m Digging Right Now

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So it’s Monday… Yup, the beginning of  a new work week, so I thought I’d kick it off with a list of Things I’m Digging right now.  I may bring this back every so often as I discover new things, or re-discover oldies but goodies!  :-)

1. Frankie!! This is my current Theme Song (I tend to attach theme songs to whatever is currently going on in my life, and this one is, as always, dead on!)

2. Rich Roll! This man is a beast! And my current role model.  He is a plant based ultra athlete.  He has a book which I just read on vacation and I highly suggest you go get it and read it yourself!  It’s super inspiring and a great fast read :-)

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3. Raw Brownies!  As I have been transitioning back into full veganism and converting over to a completely whole foods based diet (aka no more protein bars and processed foods!) I’m playing around again with making raw foods.  I strayed from this for a while during my temporary housing situations over the past year.  But I’m back!  I found a great recipe over at My New Roots it’s pretty amazing!  Just be sure to not over process, I made that mistake and the oils from the walnuts come FLOODING out.   If the mixture is blended for too long, this apparently happens.  Oops! Rookie mistake :-/

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4. Sun Warrior Protein powder.  I add this to my daily smoothie for an extra protein kick!  It’s a clean, raw, sprouted whole grain protein.  Which means it breaks down very easily in your body and it’s hypo-allergenic. It’s also got all essential and non essential amino acids!  There are no added chemicals, it’s simple, and tastes delicious!

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5.  Etsy Home and Living section.  Oh.My.GOD!!!! Having just moved into my new apartment, I’m obsessed with all the ideas they have!!! I am such a nester, and love setting up my personal living space to be completely and totally reflective of myself and my personality.   Currently I am aiming to set my place up in a very simplistic and zen style.  I have a studio, so maximizing my space and not having it appear cluttered is really important.  If the space appears to look overwhelmed, then that will transition to my mood.  So therefore having a clean and tranquil environment is crucial!  I suggest you check it out too, so many beautiful vintage and zen ideas!

Oh and in addition to that… one word. Terrariums.  Obsessed!

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So that is all for today!  What are you currently into these days?

I’m BAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!

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Hello my beautiful lovelies!!

I feel like such a bad blogger! Life has been crazy, I’ve been crazy, therefore my blog took the backseat for a while.  So, let me update you on what all has been going on!

Last you all heard I was living in beautiful California!  It was gorgeous and fun, but once my AmeriCorps year ended, I was jobless!  So I went on the hunt for a job and ended up finding a job all the way back in my home town of DC!  So after only a year in California, here I was packing up my car again and headed back east.  So disappointing!  But I needed a job, so off I went.

I started my job in October, and it’s been a crazy whirlwind of ups and downs.  While I absolutely love that I am finally working as a personal trainer, like I’ve always wanted, it’s also incredibly stressful!  It’s not a job secure job situation, you’re clients come and go, which means your income goes up and down.  So I’m now finally trying to get myself organized, make sure that I pre-plan, make the most solid experience with my clients, but A LOT of work and planning goes into that!  Basically this whole job has been a lot of trial and error, and figuring out.  I suppose that goes with most first time jobs.  Prior to this job and AmeriCorps, I’d only had jobs that I just showed up at and did the work.  No outside work was ever required.

So that’s what has been going on.  My goal for the next few months is to really begin building my brand, building my business and trying to bring in as much side work as possible so that I can make a real true living and be able to take more vacations, do more races etc… !

So here is my question for you all.  What would you like to see more of on here?  I am also going to be offering services such as health coaching, online personal training etc…  Making this blog an up and running business!

Please feel free to comment or send me a message!!

The Good, The “Bad”, and The Ugly

I’ve recently started reading a book called “Nourishing Wisdom” by Marc David.  It is an incredible book, filled with so many amazing and insightful words of “wisdom”.   So I suppose the name is rather fitting.

Here are several quotes I’ve found so far that really stick out for me:

1) Labeling a food as “good” or “bad” automatically sets us up for a cycle of perpetual anxiety.  For once we label something as bad, we invariably desire it, and the desire grows stronger the more we resist the food.

2) By giving power to food rather than seeing things as they really are, we feel helpless and weak in the body.  We are afraid of sugar, overeating, and any food or desire we have labeled as bad.

3) By following a diet we believe to be perfect.  We are pretending that the body never changes and that we can therefore avoid the unknown.

4) Believing that a perfect diet will protect us from the unknown changes in the body is like buying an insurance policy from an imaginary company; it never pays off.

5) For, in the long run, understanding the mind of the eater may well prove to be as nourishing an act as understanding the foods that are best to eat.

6) Because we fear changes in the body and the inevitability of disease and death, we try to take control by believing in a perfect diet that guarantee’s perpetual health.

7) The fear of shifting to new foods with the body’s changing needs is symbolic of our fears about adjusting to changes in life.

These points are so amazing and so dead on.  I mean really the only word that comes to mind isn’t even a word.  They are flat out boomtastic!!

The overall point here is that our body is an ever changing being.  Therefore, we need to listen to it, and feed it accordingly.  Now, I’m not saying listen to that voice that constantly wants cake pops or candy bars.  I’m saying that if your body is craving more salt, perhaps you are lacking nutrients and should eat more seaweed etc…  Our bodies generally do tell us what we need and when we need it.  We just have to make sure to listen.

I highly recommend this book.  So go get it! :-)

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