View Full Version : Cravings - when is it something you need and when is it addiction?
08-27-2008, 02:00 PM
I have been 100% raw for many years. I am looking at the issue of cravings and listening to my body. If I have a dream about a particular food or desire to eat a particular food, is that a craving or addiction?
08-27-2008, 02:26 PM
ROFL, carvings:D were you having turkey dreams?
I have had 2 dreams of eating chicken, but in real life it disgusts me. I guess it might depend on the nature of the dream...I wish I could dream of eating more greens, sigh
08-27-2008, 02:32 PM
ROFL, carvings:D were you having turkey dreams?..
LOL...that's funny! :D
All changed TaupeRawMan
08-27-2008, 03:06 PM
I would say that after 5 years of eating raw, it would no longer be an addition (I am assuming here that your cravings are for something not on a raw diet?). My inclination would be to give in to the cravings and taste a little of the food. If it's not something your body needs or wants, I'm sure you'll get that loud and clear. If you do fine with it, and you feel better (no longer passing out, low blood pressure, etc.), maybe your body just really needs that food. I think we over-think a lot of things, because we think we are so smart and should be able to figure out everything through our intellect. Wrong! Our body's intelligence is far superior to our mind's!
08-27-2008, 05:03 PM
What are the cravings for? If you're craving a greasy fast food, maybe it's the salt or the fat you need rather than the fast food itself. Or ice cream maybe the fat or the sugar you need... sometimes you can meet your craving part way and feel good about it body and soul. I used to dream about KFC fried chicken, which never ever made me feel good. Since I've been eating seaweed, the cravings are gone.
08-27-2008, 05:08 PM
The cravings are for steamed brown rice and beans. It has been over 25 years since I have had anything other than strict vegan food, I don't think my body knows how to crave anything else!:)
I really appreciate your feedback. Part of me is leaning that way, but with all that Alissa and everyone says about how toxic cooked food is for the body, I am a bit scared.
08-27-2008, 06:38 PM
Storm talked about this and he's been raw for many years - 30+? I don't have the energy to look for the thread or info, but if you google you can probably find it. Actually come to think of it I know he has a youtube video on the subject of cravings after being raw for a significant period of time. Or maybe someone knows what I'm referring to, they bookmarked it and can share.
I don't think I experience physical cravings anymore. Anytime I think I have to have something that I don't eat anymore, I know it's emotionally based. It usually passes pretty quickly. But that is just my experience.
08-27-2008, 07:25 PM
A few months ago (at around 3 months 100% raw) I craved cooked brown rice. I didn't end up having it because I wanted to stay at 100% raw, and the craving went away. Perhaps if I were craving it because it had a nutrient I was missing, my body shifted that craving to something raw, like watermelon or cucumbers....I have gone through periods lately where I do crave certain raw foods and I end up eating them in excess but I get over each food after awhile. Right now my craving is bee pollen...I ended up eating about 8 tablespoons yesterday....there are lots of nutrients in there so I can imagine that was a physiological craving. Just a month ago I couldn't even go near bee pollen without feeling nauseous.
This may not be the popular answer, but I have followed your situation for a bit....and perhaps in your case it wouldn't be such a bad idea to introduce a very small amount of the cooked rice or legumes and monitor how you feel? I realize that they are cooked foods and therefore not really accepted here, but perhaps your body's wisdom really is telling you something. If you aren't ready to try cooked food in that way, I guess you could try soaking and sprouting the grains and seeing how you feel, although in my experience the sprouted brown rice doesn't digest very well (I did see your other thread about this issue) and also doesn't satisfy the craving usually.
There is also a raw brown rice protein that you might want to try, although I realize that too is nothing like cooked, but it might be good for getting those nutrients that your body might be craving.
08-27-2008, 08:48 PM
Please remember that ultimately it's all up to your body. No food is going to heal you or not heal you. Food is only what enables the body to heal itself. YOUR body has ITS OWN TRUTH. Its truth has nothing to do with the opinion of gurus, and that's what we are all dealing with here, are we not. Don't be afraid of what will happen to your body, if you eat a little cooked food. Your body REALLY will let you know. If it's something your body does not want or need, you will find out soon enough. It will not cause so much damage, that your body could not heal itself immediately, if you stopped once you realized that it's not what your body wants. I really like Alissa's book, but I also like a whole lot of other books. All these people who write books see things a little bit differently from each other. That does not mean that one is right and all others are wrong. There is far more to the human body and to nature than we or any guru could possibly know. Trust your own intuition. I read an article this morning on NaturalNews.com by Kal Sellers, MH (Master Healther, I think), that deals with aging. The following is a part of this article as it pertains to food:
... "The second element of timeless youth and adding years to life is the attitude around food. Notice, I said attitude around food, not the food itself. Food choices come in here, but only secondary to attitude. Actually, it is a cause and effect relationship where the food choices are better because of a different attitude around food.
This is one of the greatest understandings of all time as it relates to health and diet.
Let me explain:
In societies where life is long and comparatively healthy, food is treated with gratitude. In our society (and I am very sad to report that every good and brilliant book that gets written about diet seems to make this situation grow worse) food is an enemy.
Even when the purest of raw food diets is chosen, it is a wrestle, and the person must wrestle with others to maintain that standard. Foods avoided are seen as enemies. This is made worse by the disagreement that is present in leading diet programs. Rarely is food treated with peace and gratitude.
In societies where healthy longevity is enjoyed, food is eaten in a certain meditative state. One has gratitude, yes, and also ideas about what they feel that food would best do to serve him or her. The person believes, very intuitively, that those benefits will come from eating and "nourishing" his or her body."
Trust in your body's wisdom. Find out what IT wants. Trial and error is a good way, better than blindly following a food ideology.
08-27-2008, 11:34 PM
RawHeaven, CocoCutie, and EmmaT -
thank you for your thoughts and wisdom. I will keep reviewing your postings as reminders to me on this journey.
08-27-2008, 11:51 PM
I was thinking of asking this same question here.
But I will ask: how do you deal with emotional cravings? Do you just eat something else, then hope they will go away?
I know that the cravings I have been getting the past few days are def connected to my cycle, though..
08-28-2008, 02:55 PM
Taupe, there are people who find it easier to be high-raw rather than 100%, for a variety of reasons. I eat eggs from pastured chickens. My body likes them, I don't need them every day or even every week, so I know they are not an addiction. But they digest well for me and make me feel good. There's a guy on another raw food group who eats steamed sweet potatoes. For whatever reason, he was craving starches and has felt a lot better since he added them to his diet. I also know of a lady who eats a more macrobiotic diet in the winter (brown rice, seaweed, millet) and comes back to full raw in the summer. I don't know her well enough to ask her if she swings drastically from one to the other or if she just adds a little rice in when the weather turns. I'm glad to read you're not craving fried chicken or something way out! :)
You ask a lot of questions like this, and they are all teetering on the line of inappropriate but asked in a way to make it just appropriate enough to the forum without getting moderated... The thing is that it seems you are trying hard to be respectful but possibly looking for an answer that would not be appropriate here.
If you have these questions so often, why not ask them on another forum where it is accepted to talk about cooked food? You just won't be able to get honest answers on both sides of the question here unless someone is willing to disrespect the forum's guidelines.
I say this without any animosity or anything of the sort, just FYI. :) Feel free to send me a private message if you would like to know of different forums where a question about rice and beans would be more likely to draw frank responses.
08-28-2008, 10:35 PM
I know this is raw forum, very supportive, but www.hacres.com advocates 85% raw with great results and plant based too.
I believe go as much raw as possible wherever one is at.
It's individual journey and I know you are asking questions to help you stay raw. Therefore, it's a good place to ask as we are "family" and not turning into a "cooked" group here anyway. I see many already are sharing.
08-29-2008, 12:48 AM
Thanks Eva and Carolg for the two perspectives.
Eva - I think the point of my question is when does one know if a dream, craving, etc is because the body needs it or because they are having withdrawals, releasing a toxin from years ago, etc. My point is not about what the food is, but about the experience. Sometimes people will say they had a dream about almonds and that is because they need calcium OR because they are addicted. I wanted to get some thoughts on these two sides to the same issue.
Carolg - thanks for the link. I will check it out.
Taupe -- maybe I misunderstood? I was thinking not just of this post but of several other posts that were brought in the same direction. If you are truly looking to stay 100% raw and are looking for feedback on this situation rather than starting a discussion on needing cooked food, I am offering my thoughts here.
There are many reasons people crave cooked foods even when they have been raw for a time, and I think in many cases, it is related to the memories or the healing. But we are individuals and have individual needs re: nutrition, healing and individual histories re: relationships, studies, food, life patterns, etc.
I think that there is more than just the two options for cravings, i.e. not just either a/something you need or b/addiction. Additional options would be c/emotional needs, or d/something you would have WITH that food, and I'm sure there are more.
Sometimes I have a craving (emotional) for cooked food because I have difficult emotions arising. If I were to give into the cooked food craving, it would stuff the emotion back down. If I were to move past the craving and keep raw, the emotions would rise to the surface and be resolved. Sometimes, I really am not ready (for various reasons: too busy, with family, learning new things with my job, etc.) for the emotion to come to the surface but I DO want to stay raw; this is when I subconsciously seem to have too many nuts. I'm still raw, but my digestive system is busy enough to hold off the emotions.
Another option: If you find there is one food that you are consistently craving, and you think (because only you really know all the details) this is related to needs for your body, you could look into what is in that food and the spices that you would have had with it as well.
For a time around the beginning of this past January, I had also craved brown rice. When I used to make it in my pre-raw days, I would put LOTS of salt, olive oil and curry in for seasoning. I caved a couple times and actually found some relief. But later when I got this craving again, I decided I did NOT want cooked food at all and tried to mimic the spices and to have something else. I had some cauliflower food processed and then added the salt, olive oil and curry, then put it in the dehydrator until it was warm. I found the same relief with this.
I have done more research on ADHD than on anything else I've read about because I was taking Ritalin and other medication for so long at doctors' recommendation. I find that sometimes I have intense cravings for salty foods and at first thought it was because I had so much salty food prior to raw and the table salt must have caused addictions, etc. After more research, I found that iodine deficiency is VERY common in individuals with ADHD. So I just listen to the salt cravings -- but stay raw.
I hope this is helpful for you.
08-29-2008, 07:51 AM
I am a total newbie so I hope it's not too obnoxius for me to weigh in on this, too.
Great post, Eva.
I totally agree with your point about cravings being emotional in nature. That was my first thought when I read the original post - that maybe people crave certain cooked foods when eating raw for the same reasons people crave certain cooked foods when they're not eating raw - and emotional eating would be at the top of that list.
And let's not discount habit! When you've been eating something your whole life, well, it's a habit, one that's tied to your very survival (as is anything having to do with eating) AND has emotional meaning as well.
That's tough to train yourself against. It takes time, I'm sure.
I just started raw yesterday, so I'm certainly no expert, but those were the thoughts that popped out at me as I read this thread.
I wouldn't jump too quickly to assign huge biological significance to cravings for certain cooked foods.
08-29-2008, 08:48 AM
yes I totally think you're on to something with the habit thing HG....when I quit smoking I used to dream of smoking. I haven't in a long time now, but for the first year or two I would. What a relief when I woke up!
Very common experience, don't think it would be any different. And with you being a strict vegan for 25 years, you probably ate a lot of rice and therefore it's probably your brain wanting to use those familiar neuron pathways dedicated to eating and enjoying brown rice. They'll weaken over time if you don't stroke em...
08-29-2008, 08:53 AM
ADDICTION- the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
CRAVING- great or eager desire; yearning.
I know that cravings can turn into full blown addictions, maybe it's a continuum that goes backwards as well.
That intuitive eating can be a real tricky thing ;)
...especially when you're changing, you need to be a little more guarded untill the coast is clear and you can trust your cravings to be just that. Absolutely addictions will try to disguise themselves as mere cravings. Addictions are smart, lol...
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