One of my patients asked me this question the other day and it reminded me of when I was going through acupuncture school and I continually asked myself the exact same thing.
As part of my Chinese medical training, I worked with a nutrition therapist who finally answered this question for me. (Shout out to Erin Livers! You’re amazing! Check out Erin’s website here.)
There is a myth floating around that when your body craves something, it must need it.
But here’s the deal…
- When you’re out of balance, your body craves things to bring you more out of balance. By the same token, when you’re in balance, you crave things that keep you in balance. So, cravings aren’t always your body’s most intelligent response.
- The truth is, your body craves a little stress. It’s a rush! Think of coffee. When you have a cup of coffee it stresses your body (your adrenals to be exact), but it feels good and you want more coffee. We love to be a little on edge. It keeps us alert and makes things exciting!
- For this reason, there’s a good chance you are craving the very thing you are allergic or intolerant to. Eating a little sugar, bread, dairy–or whatever you’re intolerant to–induces that stress response in your body that is oh so thrilling. And a craving is born! Years ago, when I was working with Erin, my nutrition therapist, she asked me what food I couldn’t live without. I said, without pause, “macaroni and cheese.” And she said, “there’s a good chance you are allergic to wheat and dairy.” She was right.
Next blog post: The one craving that’s good for you! What could it be??
The next time you have a craving, ask yourself where you’re at: are you in balance or out of balance? Then you will know which direction your craving is going to take you.
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Photo credit: antwerpenR