Do you have a sweet tooth or do you prefer salty snacks? Believe it or not, what you crave says a lot about your body. Tastes are one way your body communicates with you. If you listen to and begin to understand these subtle hints, you can get some insight into your overall health.
It may be hard to understand the true nature of these messages at first. Often times, we eat from our minds, not our intuition. We choose foods that are easy or fast to prepare instead of listening to what our body is asking for. Albert Einstein was once quoted saying, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Our intuitive mind knows what our body needs. But our rational minds often get in the way.
How do you begin to access your intuition? Let’s break it down to the basics:
- Spend some time in the grocery store. See what foods (and aisles) you are naturally drawn to. Then meander over to the produce section. Find the in-season fruits and vegetables, and pick up the first three that “speak” to you. What does this little test say about you?
- Once you get to the checkout, look over your grocery cart. Do you have a lot of pickles and sour foods? Did you pick up mainly salty things? Are the majority of your items carbs and sweets? When you get home, look through your pantry and fridge with the same thoughts in mind.
- Pay attention to your eating habits over the next few days. As you choose a food, ask yourself, “Does my body want this or does my mind want this?”
- Once you’ve discovered your true patterns, read below. Use these messages as a guide to help re-balance your body.
What Do Particular Cravings Mean?
Each organ system in your body has two sides: its physical function and its energetic function. The invisible is much more powerful than the visible. That means anything that happens on a physical level happened first on an energetic level. If you can tap into the subtle messages your body is sending, you can reverse the issue before it shows itself on the physical body.
Tastes correlate to the way the organ functions on an invisible, energetic level. Sweets, like chocolate, dried fruits and carbohydrates signal the Stomach. Don’t forget what you learned in school: All of those carbohydrates eventually break down into sugars. So, if you constantly crave pasta, your Stomach is asking for a little extra energetic support.
How about salty foods? The Kidney loves salty foods, and as the water element, it also loves saltwater fish. If your cravings tend toward salty foods, give your Kidney some added support.
Are you a pickle lover? You’re heralding the Liver—lover of all things green, sour, and pickled. Need an added crunch? A craving for crunchy foods is the body’s way of relieving stress. Crunch that stress away and support your Liver!
Maybe you are someone who loves your foods hot, hot hot! You pour on the Tabasco sauce and order your meal “extra spicy.” If so, read about ways you can give your Lung some TLC.
Constant bitter cravings are messages from the Heart, the King of all organs. Read to discover foods and lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your life to support this mighty organ. And don’t forget to smile!
Winter & the Kidney
TCM ascribes a season to each organ system. Winter, a time of rest and renewal, is the season of the Kidney. The Kidney stores all of our inborn or “pre-natal Qi” and distributes it to organ systems needing a bit of a boost as they get depleted. It therefore becomes essential that our behaviors and diet in the Wintertime are supportive of the Kidney.
So how do we go about living a lifestyle that supports this essential organ system? First and foremost, slow down and conserve your energy, especially in Winter. In terms of food, add more shellfish, bone soups and warming foods into your diet. It’s important to be cognizant of the season. When it’s cold outside, bring warm within.
Food is not just something we eat for survival—food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. But different foods provide an array of healing benefits. Black beans, seaweed, cauliflower and nuts—namely walnuts, pine nuts and black sesame seeds—give the Kidney an energetic boost.
Cook & Continue Learning
Check out some great soups and other Kidney-loving recipes in the recipe section of our website.
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