Monthly Archives: September 2015

What Cravings Teach Us

Young woman looking for some snack in fridge late at night

Ahhhh….You know what I am talking about here. That insatiable desire for something: food, carbs, salt, sugar, sex, love, or whatever. Its called a craving. And we all have them, but some of us are better at giving into them than others.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved meat and potatoes. WHAT?  I rarely ate meat and potatoes were a treat. But I craved them. My physiology spoke to me through that hormonal change that said, “I want a great steak. And  I want carbs!”. Huh? Let it be said, cravings are certainly NOT just a prego hormonal response…

So why exactly do we crave something? Why is it desirous? Is it biochemical? Is it emotional? Is it physiological? What the heck is happening when we feel that “I need this NOW!” Is it an addiction-response? Yes…and ….no.

Your biochemical body (hormones) signals you to tell you what we are missing. If you keep feeding your body sugar, your body begins to learn to want it–not being able to truly discern or regulate how much is actually “good” for you. It can become addicting.

But what if you are not getting enough of a certain (good) substance (ie. good fat, protein, vitamin  or mineral)? What if you are not receiving the human touch, or affection? How does that deprivation affect your body?

So some cravings can be a signal to your body to tell you what you may be missing ie.. something your body really needs such as nourishing  hormones/emotions/biochemicals which your body desires and needs. You may need to feed these cravings. Your body is calling you out on them. When you don’t give into these needs, your body seeks (unhealthy) substitutes or ways to fulfill the desires which are not always in our best interest (drugs, illicit sex, unhealthy eating and more)…

So how do you distinguish a real (healthy) craving from one which can cause havoc and unhealthy lifestyle practices?

I believe the first and most important step is to get your body into balance, into a state of equilibrium as much as possible.To do this may mean you need to rid yourself of  (or at least minimize) everything artificial or that which your body truly does not need, such as sugars, processed foods, fried foods, salty foods, nicotine, alcohol,  drugs and more..Strive to feel your optimal best–your healthiest.

Observe your body and how you feel for any signs of lack.  What is  your body  (telling your mind) it’s missing (ie. craving) ? Pay attention.

This will be challenging. Your mind-body will cry out to you because there will be various forces that are at work in and around you. Emotional and physiological forces. These forces can be so compelling that they will steer you to make poor choices about food, sex, or other substances which really won’t nourish your body…in fact..it may simply destroy it. These drives for substances/emotions your mind FEELS you are missing may lead you astray. They are powerful. They are determined.

Remember, that “every emotion you FEEL will have a thought and physical sensation” as described by Dr. Deepak Chopra, in Perfect Digestion. The key is to realize that what you are actually feeling (the emotion) will coincidentally be producing a physical response. For example, if you are feeling very nervous, your stomach may begin to rumble or ache, your mouth may feel dry or you may feel jittery. With cravings, the desire for what we BELIEVE we are missing/wanting may show up as a very physical sensation (anxiousness, sweet tooth, strong hunger pangs).

Get to know your own body’s homeostasis . This is your body’s baseline..where it feels perfectly wonderful. (consistently good weight, healthy appetite, minimal aches/pains/inflammation, strong immunity). When you truly get tuned into your body, you will soon become your own savant about knowing which craving is healthy versus unfounded (misdirected).

Cravings come in all shapes, forms and sizes. They are super good at fooling you sometimes too. If you truly crave a particular substance (which you know isn’t good for you), ask  yourself, “What do I really want? What am I really hungry for? ” Which taste (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, or astringent) am I missing from my diet currently? How am I feeling within? Secure? Loved? Valued? Purposeful? These questions will help you to identify the root of your craving.

And remember, when you  minimize the “excess” of most anything, the craving for it will diminish and eventually disappear. But also know that some cravings act as warning signs signaling to you that you may not be getting enough of a needed substance or feeling  (vitamin, mineral, taste, love, affection, validation). Be careful not to fill your need for love, affection or human touch with food. This will only create another unwanted (substitution) pattern and craving!

Cravings (for food/tastes) will come and go. Dont beat yourself up if you crater to them once in awhile. No one is perfect. We are not meant to be. Give yourself a pat on the back and a lot of love for learning more about your body, your desires and for working hard to make good, healthy choices.

Now excuse me please while I make some fresh popcorn. I’ve got a craving…   ;)

Wishing you healthy cravings in all of their goodness! xoxoxxo

~Pam~

 

The Prescription Medication Cocktail: Precusor to Your Funeral

prescription cocktail

When I decided to write the post, I knew in advance that many people might not necessarily agree with me nor like what I have to say; but I write to you from my heart.

About eight (8) years ago I lost my father. He died instantaneously of a massive heart attack. My dear mother saw him lying in the snow as he tried to make it to their front porch. He even had enough sense to push the alarm on his car FOB as his desperately reached for his last breath.

And in his sad passing, I realized something so much more important…WHY he died.

As we later discovered, my father was taking a concoction of medications all prescribed by a careless, physician (MD), who, obviously did not even have enough concern for his patient (my dad) to monitor the plethora of prescription meds he had prescribed. While I understand it is up to each person to be responsible for his own health, my dad was “old school.” At nearly 80 years old, he took his doctor’s advice as “G-d’s” word. But the doctor certainly didn’t do his due diligence. I am still not convinced that my father even really needed all of the meds he was prescribed.

The mixture of meds which my father took killed him. Am I blame placing here? Yes and no. Allow me to explain.

Allopathic physicians are schooled to diagnose your symptoms and prescribe medications. The pharmaceutical industry LOVES doctors like this! They make them very rich !

I am not suggesting  all medications are purposefully given to eventually harm you so the pharm industry can make money.  Some are prescribed to enable you to maintain life, or enjoy your quality of life..your lifestyle…but….

All of the man made meds have residual side effects..on your brain, your blood, your liver/kidneys or other organs of your body…and even your heart.

Allopathic physicians have a responsibility and duty (as described in the Hippocratic Oath) to care for their patients and to be mindful of the meds and advice they are prescribing.

Here’s the glitch, even the best doctors DO NOT KNOW the long term side effects of mixing many meds together. Neither do pharmacologists. There just isnt enough viable, reliable research to prove which drugs work/do not work together. And on top of it, every one of us has a unique biochemistry within our body. What may work for YOU, may not work for your sister, or your neighbor.  

So who is to blame?  Maybe the question is not about blame…so …How about “WHO ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY?”

The answer here is dual. YOU and YOUR DOCTOR.

Doctors are human. They are like you and me but have been through 7+ years of medical school. They are taught in a specific fashion. Allopathic doctors are very different from holistic doctors (which consider your entire lifestyle and YOUR specific body rather than just your symptoms before they create an actionable plan for your healing from an illness or disease).

In my dad’s case, I believe my father’s doctor should have been more responsible in guiding him; Even though his doctor may not have known the plethora of side effects by mixing the cocktail of medications, he should have leaned on the more conservative side..perhaps NOT prescribing all of those meds, perhaps suggesting that my father, instead, make major lifestyle changes, which would have probably improved his overall health. My dad was nearly 80. Unfortunately, he did not have the common sense to understand that mixing so many prescriptions would ultimately confuse his body’s biochemistry and lay down tracks for toxicity.  (And he was particularly private about his health and the prescriptions he took.)

Now, with peace in my heart, and with my sincere desire for your ultimate well being, I will make my plea. Stay away from taking prescription medications as long  as possible. If you must take them for a life threatening illness, spend some serious time on your own researching the side effects of those medications. And if you are regularly taking more than one prescribed medication, understand how it may react, interfere, or have long term implications with the other meds you are ingesting. Become a medication sleuth! 

The less meds you ingest, the better. Your pharmacist may help you to understand certain drug interactions, but PLEASE know that even pharmacists and pharmacologists are only relying on the data they are given.

Your body chemistry is unique to you. You may be more sensitive to some medications more than others or may react to some in ways other people do not. In spite of the research that is completed and documented on certain medications, and in spite of its approval by the FDA, there just isn’t hard line data proving that your prescription concoction will NOT have any implications on your body’s organs, systems or ability to optimally function.

So if you are told by your doctor you need a prescription for a  for X,Y or Z (for a chronic ailment) first ask him/her, “Why” and then ask him/her to suggest any lifestyle or dietary changes in lieu of  prescription medicine. Opt for seeking out the advice of a naprapath, homeopathic doctor or holistic physician for a second opinion. You are in the driver’s seat. Make smart, informed choices. Take control of your wellness.

Make each and every day of the rest of your life worth living. (a sweet Tweetable!)

Live Life Passionately …xoxox

Pam