I am loving these early days of Summer – the flowers, the smell of freshly cut grass, the warm temperatures, and a blue sky that lasts into the evening hours. As much as I thrive in this season, I’m struggling to quiet the nagging sense of uncertainty that’s become part of the current daily narrative. Are you, like me and so many of my clients, feeling it too?
I was going to write about sugar cravings and the hidden sugars in our most popular “healthy choices.” I wanted to talk to you about the friend who flaunts her nutritional expertise as she orders a salad that, unbeknownst to her, has a day’s worth of sugar and then continues to douse it with a fat-free dressing. Then she wonders why she craves those after dinner cookies, intends to eat just one but manages to polish off quite a few.
Then I started to think about a different sort of cravings.
Cravings.….. We crave love, serenity, touch, control, and, still the chocolate! Who doesn’t want more sweetness in their life? These days, who doesn’t need it?
The news cycles and social media overload certainly contribute to both the uncertainty and what we’re craving. What about all the health and diet headlines? You don’t have to look too far to see the barrage of health information, nutritional systems, celebrity doctors promoting products promising healing cures, and eating experts telling us what to do – and what they’re saying is dramatically different from one another. What’s even more fascinating is that each of these experts is offering scientific evidence that their theory is best…Paleo, Keto, Pegan, Low Carb (Yikes). How do we make sense of this? There’s so much information out there regarding nutrition but so very little wisdom in what truly nourishes us. The field of nutrition piles on us the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of how we can get healthy, skinny, sexy, and happy. With all these rules, how can we ever learn to trust our symptoms, our hunger, and our body’s wisdom? What so few of these diets and experts address is the most important ingredient – YOU.
What’s missing is the understanding that it’s not that we ARE what we eat, it’s that we are what our bodies DO with what we eat……
There’s uncertainty regarding our changing states of health, our aging bodies and life cycle events we have no control over. We can, however, take control over our choices regarding food and lifestyle practices. We can learn what choices make the most sense for us when we explore the environment within us that’s supporting the very symptoms we find to be challenging – that’s the theory behind Functional Medicine and Functional Medicine Nutrition.
In uncertain times, the desire to self-soothe is strong. If food is what calls you in such times, remember that “hunger” can also be metaphorical; if you’re finding yourself confused and even fearful about what to eat, realize what you’re craving or fearing has nothing to do with food at all. You can feed your needs and face your fears outside of the kitchen in ways that are truly nourishing...You can Live the Change, Be the Change, See the Change…