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Saturday, December 10, 2011


Merriam-Webster defines "craving" as "an intense, urgent or abnormal desire or longing."
I have to admit that my definition of craving isn't much different.
 I go through phases which sometimes last a few hours, a few days and sometimes even a few weeks or months. 
I have cravings for chocolates, warm soup and fresh baked bread with butter, sometimes all at the same time. 
These are my comfort

Delicious chocolate ganache cups with strawberry, chocolate or pumpkin
mousse at our local Whole Foods Market.

I tend to crave my comfort foods when I'm hormonal or emotional. 
Sometimes, these two things go hand in hand. 
But I've only recently realized that I also tend to crave comfort foods when I feel confronted, conflicted, lonely or sad. 
Let's not forget that we, people of all culture, turn to food to celebrate our many moments in life such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. 
But today, let's focus on how some of us abuse food, or worse, use food as a drug, without even realizing it. 
I have certainly done that since I was a little girl but only realized this recently.

Over-eating is a classic form of using food as a drug to numb painful emotions that might be stirring within us.
When we over-eat, we literally are stuffing ourselves so that we don't have to deal with the emotions bubbling up to the surface, which is our consciousness or our attention.
Food helps to temporarily neutralize the emotions.
Foods containing sugar or carbohydrates, help us feel good as they create a temporary feeling of elation within our body.
The sugar gives our body a rush where we literally get a "high" for a short period of time.
This is called a sugar rush.

We eat carbohydrates in the form of bread, cakes, rice, pizza, pasta etc. 
Our body breaks down the carbs and we experience a "sugar rush" not unlike the rush our body experiences when we indulge in sweets.
As the sugar works itself through our body, we might experience a "crash" where our energy level falters and we once again, crave a boost and reach for either sugar or carbs. 
Thus the vicious cycle continues.

Caffeine works in the same way as sugar or carbs. 
We experience a rush of energy which allows us to have a sudden and unwarranted boost of energy but then we crash. 
Thus the cycle continues. 
As a grad student, I certainly consciously used and abused coffee by over-loading my system with caffeine when I had a paper to write or an exam to study for. 
Even today, I turn to a strong cup of java when I need to prepare for a presentation or a training.

But I also realize that I turn to food to comfort me. 
I crave a warm, nurturing cup of soup when I'm feeling sick. 
Nothing hits home like some of my favorite soups served with a generous side of fresh, baked bread and butter. 
Some might say, I have a love affair with butter. 
Not margerine, not the artificial wanna be stuff, I'm talking about the real, creamy, rich delicious butter.
And might I admit that my behind is proof of our love affair. :)
My favorite soups include chicken noodle (when I'm sick), lobster bisque, creamy tomato, crab and spinach soup, miso soup just to name a few. 
I love soup!
I wish there were soup shops at every corner, like there are Starbucks, where one could walk in and pick from a variety of fresh soup, made daily. 
Of course, they better serve fresh, baked bread and butter too. 
Many restaurants like Panera's have done just that.
I'd say Panera's is a food junkie's haven. 
We can get a delicious sandwich on our choice of yummy, fresh baked bread with a side of our choice of soup. 
And they serve different coffees, lattes, cappuciones and shakes.
Ok so I digress.

Now I am not a dietician or an expert when it comes to healthy eating. 
I am struggling, like so many others, to lose weight.
I hate exercising. I might enjoy the occasional swim or the walk but I am just too lazy to actually change out of my comfy home clothes into my workout clothes.
But as I am getting older, (I'll be 40 in a couple of years), I am realizing the value of being healthy.
So I am a work in progress....and I do the best that I can do.

The purpose of writing this blog was to share a few thoughts and shed some light. 
I wish I could tell you about my daily yoga practice and my daily meditation practice but I can't because they don't exist, YET!
I wish I could tell you about eating clean, vegan, organic etc etc..
but I can't because I am a newborn in the world of eating clean.
But I do realize that there are a few of you who do read this...
And I'm committed to being honest and real with you all, thus I share.

I pray we all find our true balance in life!
I pray that we eat healthy and find time, energy and motivation to exercise on a daily basis.
I pray that we find time to connect with ourselves and our higher power on a daily basis.

The photographs were taken at the bakery of our local Whole Foods store.

Sending you love and light,
From one sufi to another,

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