I don't know if it is a by product of when I was pregnant and remembering that if I didn't eat right away when I was hungry...I would puke. Or, if it is the joy of actually being hungry and wanting to satisfy my physical needs before the feeling passes. But whatever the reason...when I get hungry, I want to eat and I want to eat NOW. I don't like to wait long and will grab what ever is fast and easy. Can you relate?
A few months ago I was leading and participating in the Spring Break program, a 21-Day Ultimate Self Care Staycation. Educating about how our digestive systems works and optimal ways to nourish ourselves with healthy lifestyle habits has been empowering for the participants. It has been fun to see the lightbulb go off in their eyes when learning about what being on the sugar roller coaster is costing them and discovering more energy without the sugar and processed foods.
What personally struck me the most this time through the program (as I did it, too), was how easy it is to eat well when you have the right foods readily available and the wrong foods not available.
It's kind of a no-brainer when you think about it.
If you don't have the chips, candy, ice-cream and processed foods in your kitchen, you won't be able to eat them when hungry, right? You'd have to get in your car and drive to the store or fast food place... or pick up the phone for a delivery, and that all takes time and money.
What if instead you could reach in the fridge for left over dinner from the night before because you made a large batch of chili or wild rice chicken casserole--or grab a pre-made mason jar salad or overnight oats? Easy, fast, nutritious and yummy.
And if the sweet tooth is calling out, offer it some fresh pineapple, watermelon or sliced oranges ("God's candy"). To satisfy the salty tooth, reach for the jar of mixed nuts or pop up some popcorn in coconut oil. There really are plenty of other options when we let go of the eating patterns we are custom to and broaden our palettes. Yes, our taste buds can and do change.
And then there were times I was NOT hungry but looking in the kitchen for something to eat anyway. Pretty sure this is called stress eating. The need to satisfy this restlessness that I was sure only a cookie or 10 would satisfy... Or a bag of potato chips...or a bowl of ice-cream...or a glass of wine....or...but alas, there was none to be found.
That is when I asked myself, "what are you really hungry for, Amy"? I would probably answer, connection. Connection and a sense I have more to be offering and doing than I am right now. A feeling of longing for the connection that comes from within to the divine or nature, as well as a deeper connection to friends and family.
Taking the time to satisfy that real need-- by meditating or praying, or calling a friend or putting on music and dancing or getting out for a walk, usually filled that hunger (Although I did still reach for the nuts or pineapple anyway-but at least it was a whole food choice).
Next 21 Day Ultimate Self Care Staycation will be starting in September 2021. Stay tuned or reach out if you want support in your health before then.