Someone asked me the other day about emotional eating. Why do we reach for food that doesn’t serve us?
Even when we thought our days of self-sabotage were long gone?
Why do we make promises to ourselves to eat one way and suddenly find ourselves craving that slice of pizza or piece of cake?
The short answer
The way I see it and have experienced it, cooked food deadens our senses and ‘holds down’ emotions.
It acts like a buffer, or a set of ’emotional brakes’ to keep us from feeling what we don’t want to feel, because then we’d have to admit to ourselves that life isn’t quite turning out the way we’d planned.
So subconsciously (or consciously), we pick up that piece of cheese or that cookie when we’re not even hungry, rather than admit to ourselves that our job/partner/lifestyle/fill-in-the-blank is not what we really want – and there we are, another casualty in the war on emotional eating.
The biggest emotional eating culprits
The biggest culprits here are what I would call ‘bad carbohydrates’.
Here’s the lineup of ‘offenders’:
- bread and crackers
- potato products, like fries or potato chips
- brownies, cakes and cookies
- dairy products, especially cheese
I had a long conversation/argument/battle about this with a huge piece of cheddar, as you can see in the top picture.
I won that battle, thankfully! (The cheese put up a good fight though)
So how do you fight emotional eating?
Here’s a fun experiment you can do with yourself:
The next time you want to reach for that piece of cake, slice of toast or other goodie when you’re not actually hungry, just stop for a second and ask yourself a few questions.
- Do I really want this?
- Why do I want this?
- Has something just happened which has upset me?
And for the brave amongst us…
- What might I do instead?
- going out with friends
- reading a book
- listening to music
- dancing about your living room
Once you have your answer, you may decide to eat whatever it is anyway, but at least you’re deciding consciously, rather than succumbing to the ‘unseen forces’ that can play havoc with our emotions and generally mess things up, like our latest healthy eating plan for example!
Raw food and emotional eating
Now where does raw food fit in?
Well, like it or not – or believe it or not – raw food helps us be more in align with ourselves, what we really want, our true purpose, who we really are – call it what you will.
And no this isn’t hippie stuff. This is coming from more than 10 years’ worth of experience, much of it intensely personal, a lot of it experiential and all of it super helpful.
I’ve listened to more than 50 raw food experts from around the world, and it’s fascinating how they all notice the same thing!
Here’s why raw food can help
The more raw food you eat, the more you’ll find that anything that isn’t in tune with your deepest most beautiful, powerful and healthy self will come up to the surface like old bits of food stuck to the bottom of your blocked kitchen sink. You get out the Brillo pads and oh dear, those horrible burnt bits of food come to the surface!
The more stress we’ve got or the more ‘out of sync’ we are with our true needs and nature, the more tempting it can be to push all that new awareness away…using food.
I have done this myself, so I know!
The downside of course to this discovery is that once you know, you can’t say you didn’t know! It’s actually a bit freaky when you catch yourself doing it and know why you’re doing it.
Hence constant clean-outs and clear-ups are the order of the day, for me anyway! And the more I do it, the bigger the rewards – that’s the really weird thing.
What are the rewards of all this raw food anyway?
- A stronger intuition. You can get a heightened sense of where you need to be and what you need to do.
I will see an announcement for an event and just ‘know’ that I need to be there – this has happened countless times, and each time it has turned out to be an amazing event that has moved me forward in some way.
Or you’ll meet someone and ‘know’ that he or she is going to have a continued impact upon your life even though you just met. (Of course, this may happen for you already – raw food just will enhance it even more).
Such a sense of purpose and being ‘centered’ can help you make informed decisions even about major life changes that you would otherwise agonize over for months, thereby saving you loads of time and stress.
- Fewer mood swings. You’ll be less prone to getting angry or annoyed, because you feel happier in yourself (no blood sugar crashes).
So there’s less of a need to take out any inner frustration on other people.
Not to say raw food eating makes you perfect though – far from it! Just more ‘zen’, I guess. At least that’s the best way I can describe it.
- Great overall health benefits. Sleeping less, more youthful skin, more energy, a trimmer waistline…just a few of raw food’s great dividends!
What about you?
If you have started then stopped eating raw food, then started again…over and over…what is your sense of WHY you do this?
I really want to help, because this is SUCH a common problem. And please do send this to your friends if you think they’d benefit. I’ll respond in the comments.
Here’s to rocking your world!