The concept of nutrition affecting our relationships makes sense. If food gives us energy, and that energy affects how we behave, how we connect with others and our overall posture as we move through our days, then it stands to reason that healthy nutrition supports healthy relating and poor nutrition does not.
Sugar cravings is an addiction that undermines our capacity for consistent, balanced energy. Simple carbohydrates are found in most processed foods and cause our blood sugar to spike and crash all day long. Eating proteins with essential amino acids and complex carbohydrates helps to regulate our daily energy pattern. This, in turn, promotes healthy, skillful interactions within our circle of family, friends and colleagues, AND within our own selves.
Food cravings mean that the body has its signals mixed up. When we are exhausted or blue, we have low blood sugar and/or low serotonin, and the body signals the brain that it needs a pick-me-up. This signal causes a sugar or carbohydrate craving.
Serotonin is our basic feel-good hormone. If serotonin is low, we feel sad or depressed. And hormonal imbalance or weak digestion can lead to low serotonin. Unfortunately, sugars and simple carbohydrates release a short burst of serotonin — we feel good for a moment, but soon return to our low-serotonin state — then crave more sugar and simple carbohydrates. It’s a downward spiral.
Here's the GOOD NEWS! Poor nutrition, including sugar cravings, can be overcome. In order to move away from bad habits, we must first acknowledge that our bodies are going to complain initially. They have become accustomed to the sugar. But remember, this too will pass and your body will become accustomed to your new food choices. Your body will begin to crave what it gets used to. If you allow it to move through the transitional complaining period, and slowly introduce the delicious, natural taste of raw fruits, vegetables, and lots of healthy protein like nuts fish, eggs and cheese, your taste buds will adjust accordingly. You will begin to crave the healthier fare and actually become disinterested in the unhealthy food you once craved.
Try this experiment in your own relationship and see if healthier eating results in healthier relating. If “we are what we eat”, then don't our relationships depend on what we eat, too?
Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, Sheryl Melanson, partners with people to transform limiting habits into mindful choices that express their values, create action plans and recalibrate their lifestyle to optimal well-being.