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How to Make Healthy Choices When Your Body Is Screaming For Junk Food

Food | Lifestyle

We all have days when we don’t feel well. I recently had one of those days when I woke feeling slow, sluggish, and stuffy. My eyes were even swollen. As the day progressed I went downhill. Perhaps it was allergies, perhaps it was tiredness, perhaps it was a bug – perhaps it was all three. But the “symptom” wasn’t the issue. When there is an illness, or disease, or our body is acting out of sorts, then it is a sign. It’s our body’s way of telling us something and often that something is to nurture ourselves and heal.

Understanding Your Body's Signals

My choice that day was to go home after work and nurture myself, heal, rest and to eat nourishing foods. In this instance I’d had a big weekend full of foods I don’t normally eat and got little rest. The lack of rest bled over into the week. I hadn’t had much sleep so I chose to go home, rest and take care of my body. In other words, I listened to the signal my body was giving me.

Resisting the Quick Fix

But until I could get home I still had the day to contend with. For lunch my “sickling self” wanted comfort food. I contemplated going out and getting something but as the pickin’s are right slim in the area where I work my options would have been fast food and that wasn’t an option I was okay with. I could have gone to the little mom-and-pop restaurant and gotten a baked potato or mac-and-cheese but I asked myself which was more important – the quick fix of comfort food or the withstanding nourishment of healthy foods?

Turning Comfort Food Into a Healthy Meal

I chose my health. I made a salad and while eating it saw my boss making a ham sandwich. I suddenly greatly wanted a cheese sandwich. I don’t eat a lot of cheese and it’s the only dairy I do eat with any consistency. So, I decided my “comfort food” would be a cheese sandwich. Well, the hippie in me took over and that plain cheese sandwich turned into a spinach, avocado, and cheese sandwich!

I was able to have the comfort I craved while still being healthful! It just took being aware of the difference between a comfort craving and my body asking for specific nutrition. In my case, I wanted the feel-better comfort but my body wanted something to help it heal. I recognized this and chose something that satisfied the craving but still nourished my body. Healthy was doable even when I was feeling puny.

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