Food, accommodation, water, air and a life purpose provide the fundamental foundation for our lives on earth according to Abraham Maslow. If we take a look at many of the problems in western society such as obesity and the array of diseases which originate from bad eating habits, they have been “learnt“ from our surroundings (society, the media, our parents etc). Most of these habits are in fact rooted in how past civilisations lived. Even though we live in a much different world today, these food habits still linger begging the following question. What if the thing that was stopping us from eating healthy and raw was our belief system which we learnt from our surroundings?
How do we actually choose what we eat?
Most people subconsciously choose what food they eat depending on the experiences that they gained throughout their childhood. Many of these dietary preferences were derived from positive emotions connected with food. So if we ate something that felt good then we would want to eat it again. This explains why many people have difficulties in managing their food cravings and sticking to new diets.
As an example, think about your favourite food which you love the most. What, whom and/or experience do you connect with that food? Which emotions and feelings arise when you think about it?
One of my favourite foods is homemade cinnamon sugar buns. When I think about them I also think about my mum, my birthdays and a cosy feeling comes over me. Unfortunately, while cinnamon sugar buns are incredibly delicious, they are also greasy and full of sugar! Unless I am able to disconnect these positive experiences and emotions from cinnamon sugar buns, I will forever crave to eat them.
This shows that many people eat unhealthy food not because of “food hunger”, but because of “emotional hunger”. They eat certain unhealthy foods so that they can relive positive emotions from their past.
Breaking the habit
We can escape the habit of buying junk and expensive food by using our body intelligence and asking our body what food it really needs to stay healthy and vital! To do this, I’ve created a set of questions that you can ask yourself the next time you get a junk food craving.
- “Where in my body do I feel this craving for food?” Keep in mind that most cravings do not come from your belly. Once you have found where your craving lies, imagine taking it out of your body in your hands before asking yourself the next few questions
- “Am I truly hungry or am I hungry because of something that I learnt in the past?” (e.g. “I have to eat at noon“, “I’ve worked so hard so now I can indulge” or “I need to eat now because I didn’t eat yet; and we need to eat at least three times per day!”
- Is this craving connected with emotions, memories and experiences from my past?
- What is the lesson that I can learn from these emotions, memories and experiences from my past?
Most of the lessons that we extract from our past are related to a lack of love as children, cosiness from others or the feeling of loneliness. If you “install” lessons in your brain such as “self-love“, “self-cosiness“ and “self-worth“ at the “original source” (the time when you needed it the most and initially created this craving for a particular food), you won’t feel that same hunger anymore.
Sounds weird? It does, but it works! According to recent brain research, we “install“ memories along with emotions and our other senses (what we hear, see, feel, smell and taste at the moment of experience). Therefore when we remember a past experience, we also remember the other senses at that moment in time. Rather than allowing these senses to determine our present-day decisions, we should disconnect from them by learning the underlying lessons from the experience.
The life-changing benefits
Keep in mind that my techniques and methods have been created out of personal experience because nothing else seemed to work. Since I started doing this, I found that I bought less food as I was eating more than I actually needed to. By listening to my body intelligence, I was able to understand when I truly needed food and which kind of food was good for me at that moment leading me to a more healthy and raw vegan diet.
Don’t just take it from me though. Reconnect with your child-like self and play around to find what works for you. Ask yourself these questions to discover what past emotions, memories and experiences have been influencing the way you eat today and listen to your body to find what it truly needs.