Tag Archives: nutrition

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 Shake Out of Nutritional Shakes

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Probably many of us have all tried a “nutritional shake” in the past year. At least we were told it was nutritional, right? As a wellness passionista, many, many people have asked me to support/endorse  their “nutritional” products (shakes, energy drinks, protein supplements, weight loss products) in the past year. I have turned them all down. Let me explain.

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When Life Gives You Lemons, EAT them. Get Healthy!

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There is an old proverbial saying , “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning to take the sourness/bitterness of those lemons and turn them into a sweet/pleasurable  drink of lemonade…in other words to be optimistic in the face of adversity or challenge.

However, I say, when life gives you lemons…EAT them! Why? Because that bitterness, sourness will literally do your body much better than making a sweet, sugary lemonade drink!   Lemons (limes, oranges and other citrus fruits) can help your body become better balanced.

While these fruits are acidic in nature, they actually are alkaline producing to your body after they are digested.Lemons, especially, are used frequently in Ayurveda. They are generally pitta producing and vata calming, but can gently be used to treat, heal or simply maintain your bodily health.There are so many wonderful benefits of adding real lemon or lemon juice to your daily nutritional regime. Here are the Top 10 Benefits I have found to be extremely useful:

Top Benefits of Eating Lemons:

    1. Improves your skin texture.
    2. Improves your digestive power. (In Ayurveda, we call this agni...your digestive FIRE.)
    3. Decreases fat deposition.
    4. Relieves bad breath. Cleanses oral cavities.
    5. Decreases cholesterol by decreasing deposits in blood vessels so decrease risk of heart attacks.
    6. Assists in daily elimination of bowels.
    7. Works to detoxify your liver (helps dissolve kidney stones).
    8. Improves your immunity-works against colds and flu.
    9. Helps decrease your body’s production of phlegm…especially important during cold/flu season.
    10. Helps to absorb iron from natural foods. Because lemons are high in Vitamin C, they naturally improve your body’s absorption of iron in many foods including spinach, beans, lentils.

So the next time you feel like life has come at you just too hard and you are feeling challenged by those lemons being tossed your way, DON’t discard them…EAT them instead…a proverbial gift from the universe !

More Putter, Less Flutter. Rx:Rest!

frog relaxing in pondPush yourself. Go Harder. Don’t waste time. Accomplish more! Hurry up!

 

These are excellent mantras for motivation if you find yourself in a lull. But most often, you probably find yourself overdoing it on many levels—work, family and even fun. Unfortunately, this all-consuming, overtaxing, over accomplishing determination mindset to do MORE can harm your body.

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Blue Zones: Why Lifestyle Matters to Your Health

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A good friend said to me, “We all have a certain number of ticks/beats to our heart. A finite number.” Yes. Agreed. But what IS that number? At what age will your heart cease to beat? Only God/the Universe know those answers. So why do some people live to be 100+ and others pass much younger? Do we really have an effect on that finite number of our heartbeats? I believe that “magic” number is predetermined. HOWEVER, we have so much ability to live out those years in the best way possible. We have the power to determine if we will live those years in a healthy state or with chronic illness and disease. We have the power to choose HOW those years will be lived as long as we become accountable for our own health and wellness. We need to become more proactive versus reactive with regard to our own wellness.

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The Spices of a Healthy Life!

 

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Being raised in a Polish household, my mother made some fantastic food, but didn’t use too many spices in cooking, other than salt and pepper. Even the food in college was pretty bland. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20′s that I tried new foods with many different flavors and spices such as Thai, Mexican, Spanish, Indian and even Ethiopian dishes. And guess what I discovered?…VARIETY is the SPICE of LIFE!

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Clean Your Colon and Get Healthier!

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Awww….those dreaded butterflies in your stomach, sour stomach, stomach ache. OUCH! Sometimes that awful feeling doesn’t even require food…your stomach may just ache in anticipation of an upcoming event or a stressful situation you are experiencing. While many doctors will suggest taking an anti gas or calcium carbonate medication, oftentimes, that solution may resolve your immediate symptoms, but actually make matters worse in the long run. Even long term use of laxatives will eventually cause your body function improperly.

Get a Leg Up on SKIN !

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Skin tight. Give me some skin. Under my skin. Thick skinned. Skin deep. Skin flicks. Skinny dipping…

Our skin is our largest organ we have and its cells are constantly dying and re-growing. We do a lot of things to our skin, we:

Flaunt it. Cover it. Poke it. Pinch it.  Pierce it.Steam it. Squeeze it. Inject it. Tan it. Shave it. Tatoo it, and more…

But when it comes to health, even our skin is more than skin deep.

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Welcome…So Glad You Are Here!

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I am so excited to welcome you to  PassionatelyPam.com.

So, what’s Pam passionate about?

Well, I am passionate about many things, but my “sweet spot” is health and wellness.

The world of health and wellness is forever changing, and I am passionate about the exciting fusion of cutting edge AND ancient holistic wellness disciplines that can catapult your health from GOOD to BETTER to VIBRANT!

I invite you to Wake Up Your Health! Challenge yourself to pursue your Health in a whole new way!

Why? Because I want you to SHINE with great health and energy and help you become unstoppable in all that you want to accomplish and create in your life.

This blog is just the beginning. I’ll be expanding this into a full website with resources to help you as you make your journey toward vibrant health.

So join me on this journey…because it’s going to be FUN!

Health is the New Wealth: Living the New Wellness Paradigm

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As I was growing up, my mom always told me wealth means NOTHING without good health. Truly enjoying your financial and personal successes count for less when you are not in the best of health.

These days we all seem to be trying to be healthier. We strive to eat healthy, exercise more, and balance our lifestyle between career/work, family and independent time. This idea is everywhere in our pop-culture, and Americans, alone, spend upwards of $40 Billion on this idea every year.

So if we’re all trying to achieve that healthy life that our mothers wished for us, why do we feel like something is still missing? Are we just like hamsters on the wheel, constantly running nowhere? How do we acquire that “joie de vie”? How do we create a lifestyle that promotes a healthy life and longevity?

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