“I can resist anything but temptation”
There is an important function to pleasure which should periodically override any strict adherence to a nutritional regimen or program. Certain forms of rigid “perfection” are some of the most harmful things we can do to our health. However, the fact is that most people don’t actually feel pleasure from their “guilty pleasures,” but more guilt and conflict than anything else. The attempt to change one’s lifestyle or diet is often begun by steeling the will power to stop eating everything that is liked, and instead to force oneself to eat everything that is supposedly “good” for us. This sets up a very difficult dynamic, with the total breakdown only being a matter of time.
Given a more moderate relationship to lifestyle modification, a much more healthy and pleasurable relationship to food can be established, without living in such an extreme tug-of-war with oneself. In fact, it usually doesn’t take very long for a patient to actually begin to feel a genuine pleasure for the foods in their regimen, and even a loss of interest in what was previously considered a “can’t live without it” food.
When there is a craving in this context, it can actually provide very valuable clues about one or more underlying health issues in the patient. The first and most obvious level to potentially interpret a craving is in terms of nutritional deficiencies. If we are lacking a certain vitamin or mineral in our diet, it will show up in the form of cravings sooner than later. Addressing such a deficiency can quickly restore the system to balance.
The next obvious layer to look at in terms of cravings relates to the dominant glandular type of the patient. Our dominant gland is naturally our strongest, yet is also the first one we tend to weaken from overuse. It’s kind of like being right- or left-handed, and potentially taking on too much of a burden on our strong side. When this dominant gland starts to become weakened, it cries out with characteristic cravings, which are usually well known by the patient in terms of their typical comfort foods. Working with appropriate gland-strengthening foods and strategies, including homeopathic gland balancing remedies, the root of such cravings can be overcome relatively easily.
Another interesting layer of meaning to examine in some cases of cravings is in their underlying emotional meaning. The study of the homeopathic materia medica reveals many characteristic food cravings, and the homeopathic remedy which contains them. Natrum Muriaticum, for example, which is one of the most primary remedies uses for sadness and grief, has a very characteristic craving for salty food. As someone is working through various emotional layers of their time line, it is not at all uncommon for them to take a detour through a few bags of chips when the next layer for them to work on relates to a grief event. In this case, it is this homeopathic remedy that they need, and not necessarily any special glandular support.
As I said at the beginning, there is definitely a healthy function for pleasure, however, many instances of cravings don’t actually lead to a true pleasure, but to reveal a deeper need that the patient has which is not being met.
What are your most typical food cravings, and what do you think they mean?