Listening to your body to determine your diet

Home ThinkSpace Week 3: Food and Environment Listening to your body to determine your diet

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  • When I dream about drinking water, I know I’m dehydrated. I’ve had friends say that they crave meat when their body needs more iron. The main signal that I get from my body about what to eat or not to eat is dizziness. When I eat too much sugar, either a lot at once or a little each say for several days, I begin to suffer from dizzy spells and nausea. That is one of the ways that I learned over time to transition my diet to avoid foods with added or refined sugars.
    How do you use your body’s signals to determine what to eat? Do you trust your body?

    Rachel Carriere
  • I have read that our body will crave the thing that contains the nutrient we need. For example, when the body needs potassium, we will crave bananas or potatoes. I just heard this affirmed in a food podcast I was listening to yesterday (was it the Splendid Table? or the BBC Food Program? I can’t remember) – but they were saying that when children who have not been exposed to many foods are then introduced to a wide variety of foods without any cultural/social overlays, they tend towards the nutrients their body needs. I found this very interesting – so much of our food behaviors are imprinted on us because of our culture.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent. Back to #whatthebodywantstoeat , I find that as I am training for this half marathon, I need to increase my caloric intake (a fine predicament to be in!) and in particular, my body craves protein. I love vegetables and fruit, I have no problem laying off the carbs, but there are times when I just need to get some protein in me – whether that be a handful of nuts, meat, a protein shake, an ounce or two of cheese or even a glass of soy milk.

    I have also noticed especially on long road trips (I have moved across this continent twice) that when we are eating at restaurants and gas stations, my body cries out for something fresh, fruits and vegetables please! Good salads are hard to come by at Interstate highway rest stops, let me tell you.

  • For years, I had an undiagnosed iron deficiency and was always craving beef. Ever since then I’ve paid very close attention to my body’s cravings to try to understand if it’s trying to tell me something. Sometime’s it’s not nutritional¬†advice though! When I crave raspberries I know that my body is really telling me that I miss my best friend, Zoe (raspberries are her favorite food). A doctor recently told me that salt helps with low blood pressure, so now every time I crave pickles I wonder if it’s for that. #Imlistening #cravings #whatdoesfoodmean #whatsinacraving

    Samantha Kaplan
    • I have heard of people drinking pickle juice to replace electrolytes after strenuous exercise or long days of gardening in the hot sun. Our bodies do need salt!


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