Following your cravings
I am so thankful for my healthy upbringing and the values and body confidence that my mum really instilled into me.
My mum is strong, she is fit. At age 60 she is still wind surfing, skiing and surfing regularly. She has ideal health and lives a healthy lifestyle (Minus the wine she drinks! LOL)
Growing up we lived on a farm, we grew our own veggies, chickens laid our eggs and where possible we ate everything that we grew or raised ourselves.
But the one thing that I look back on and really wish more parents did this, was allowing children to decide what to eat (to an extent).
We never had lollies or any processed food in our house (not even store bought juice etc) so mum knew that whatever we decided to eat was going to be a healthy choice.
By allowing us to select the food we wanted to eat, we followed whatever our bodies were craving- our bodies are designed to crave foods. It is how our body tells us what nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need.
If you're craving chocolate it could be that your body needs essential fats or even magnesium. By allowing your body to crave foods you can really tune in and listen to what your body is requiring.
As a coach this is a super important and vital piece of information that we ask every client each week, what their cravings may have been.
Along with allowing us to select our own food, the other key nutritional key I took away from my childhood is to not make children eat 'everything on their plate' this teaches us from an early age to stop when we're full.
It is so common for adults to want to eat every single thing left on their plate, which is a common practise taught from an early age.
My little cousin has been raised with a practise called baby lead weaning, which is allowing your child to feed themselves from an early age. She is now almost 2 and there isn't anything she won't eat. She stops when she is full and eats better than most adults do. By allowing children to select the food, feel the texture and really learn each food and which ones they want to eat it gives your body the best chance at full nutrient and mineral balance.
As adults, I now have a lot of women who email me who are confused and scared of their cravings, rather than embracing them and learning to listen to your body.
There is so much information that cravings can tell us- for example if you're craving pizza, baked goods and breads it is likely your body is requiring more carbohydrates to fuel your day to day activity. Or if you're craving fats, ice-cream and other sweets you may need to increase your essential fat intake.
Learning to listen to your body can be the best move you make for your overall health- and your body!