Doreen Virtue (angel-writer, now Christian writer) began her career as a psychologist and therapist for eating disorders. One of her early books is Constant Craving. In it she explores the way we crave specific foods to satisfy particular emotional hungers. (Check out the interpretations below.)
Some of Virtue’s tips to handle cravings:
- Weight Maintenance is really Peace-of-Mind maintenance.
- Emotional Hunger’s deepest root is Fear, which may manifest as Anger, Tension, or Shame.
- Our Gut Feelings are key – listen to them. Get quiet enough to hear them.
When a Craving hits: What is my Gut Feeling underneath?
What emotion am I trying to smother?
For instance, my gut says I want more fun, but I don’t have time for that, so my body seeks “fun” in food.
Instinctively I reach for peanut butter. It happens to contain pyrazine which triggers the brain’s pleasure center.
Voila! Peanut butter = Fun for my body.
So when a craving hits you, take a breath: how can I find fun instead of food?
Indulge in some real fun. Play a game. Color a picture. Blow bubbles, I say 😉
Foods have mood-altering properties that relieve emotional pain, says Virtue.
Chocolate brings Love, Euphoria. Chocolate craving is a cry for love, intimacy, romance. Chocolate is a stimulant that triggers serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Instead, treat yourself as the most special person in the world. (Say “I love you” to the mirror. Affirmation – “Love shines in me.”)
Dairy is an Antidepressant. Dairy ingredient Choline is soothing; L-tryptophan is calming. Cream is comforting. Try therapy, grief work, journaling. Exercise is your mood elevator. (Affirm “I am safe, secure. All my needs are filled this moment.”)
Salty Crunchy Snacks indicate Stress, Anger, Anxiety. The crunch releases tension, frustration, and reminds us of our power (‘cuz we chomp powerfully). Try crunching on crisp veggies. Find the source of your stress/anger; call a friend; journal. (Affirm “I forgive myself & others.”)
Spicy Foods produce Excitement, thrills, heat, intensity. Perhaps to numb old pains. Instead listen to your gut feelings, follow your dreams toward natural enthusiasm for your own life. (“I fulfill my dreams. I have time and guidance.”)
Sodas, Coffee, Alcohol indicate Swinging Energy Cycles – stimulation, pushing yourself, self-medication. Unlimited energy arises when you live in harmony with your deepest beliefs. (Affirm “I have enough, I am enough, I love myself as I am.”)
Nuts and Peanut Butter convey Fun, gaiety. Maybe I’ve been depriving myself of fun. What is my heart’s desire right now? Can I do more of it? (Affirmation – “I follow my heart; I have time for childlike joy and pleasure.”)
Breads, Rice, Pasta are Comforting and Calming in the face of fear, tension, a high-stress life. Stabilize your serotonin with Vitamin B6 100mg/day and regular exercise. De-stress by aligning your priorities. Find comfort in friendship. (“The Universe loves me.”)
Cookies, Cakes, Pies are like Hugs, Reassurance. It’s likely that I’m procrastinating, using a sweet as a reward or as love. Heal the self-esteem. Reward yourself with nonfood fun. Beware of compulsive black-or-white thinking. (Affirm: “I’m good. People naturally like me.”)
Candy is a Pick-Me-Up, Reward, Entertainment. Indicates boredom, sweet tooth habit. Make fruit your treat; try frozen fruit. Confront emotional issues. Allow yourself a single candy. (Tell yourself – “Time and energy are available to me.”)
Fatty Foods fill the Emptiness – with greasy fries, fatty meats, burgers. I am filling the void; I lack meaning or purpose; I’m deeply afraid of something. Quell the fear by plugging the stomach. I want a change but can’t seem to do it. Try soul-nourishing activities, exercise. Resolve emotional pains, release resentment. (Affirmation – “I am safe, loved, secure.”)
Toward the end of Constant Craving, Virtue gives an index of specific foods.
Craving spicy chips means I’m “overwhelmed with too many dull and boring responsibilities.”
Craving catsup reveals my “desire to be carefree as a child and feel high-energy playfulness.”
Her interpretations are amusing, and they hold some truth.
Love is the filling feeling, Virtue writes.
A positive and negative feeling can’t occupy the same space.
So fill up with love; let negative emotions fade out.
Expand your contentment.
(Meditation fuels contentment.)
What do you think of these food-emotion correlations?
Do any of them resonate with you?
(I remember a season when my love life improved and my chocolate craving instantly disappeared …)
(If this pixabay pic isn’t about sensual love, romance, and euphoria, I don’t know what is.)