Diet Alternative: Emotions and Food Cravings

As I’m learning more about the emotional roots behind all of our health problems, it got me to thinking that there must be emotions at the root of our cravings.  As I researched, I learned the validity of this idea.  Here is what I found…..basically, there are three primary emotions behind our cravings for food.  1) anger:  this is manifest in the cravings for salt.  As we hold onto our anger we tend to subconsciously crave ways to release anger without having to yell at our spouse or our kids which also plays into our cravings for all things crunchy.  Combine the salt and the crunch and you have potato chips, nuts and other crunchy snacks.  So next time you have a hankering to down an entire bag of chips, stop yourself and think of the emotion behind it…’s likely anger.

potato chips

2) If you are going through a difficult time and maybe you are missing someone significant in your life whom you lost to death or divorce, you will likely be reaching for a plate of home baked goodness, perhaps a plate of cookies, a cake or cupcakes.    As you begin to consume these sugar filled caloric treats, consider the emotion behind it is a need to comfort yourself.

chocolate chip cookies

Finally, there is a craving we have to help us overcome loneliness.  This is manifest in our desire for 3) all foods soft and gooey.  This often comes in the form of foods packed with high carbs like pasta smothered in cheese sauce.  Next time we have that craving for a plate of macaroni and cheese, consider the source and ask yourself, “am I lonely?”  Also consider that often we can feel lonely even when we are surrounded by family and friends.

mac n cheese

As you successfully identify the emotion behind the craving, next consider alternatives to satisfying the depleted emotions that may be in the form of other, more wholesome foods or a session of self care including meditation or exercise that will help to satisfy the unmet emotional need which will naturally dissipate the craving for unhealthy food.  Of course, it’s not always easy to tie our cravings for food to our emotional deficiencies and then quickly finding a more healthy alternative; however, I believe that consciousness is half the battle and knowing where these cravings are coming from sure helps to move forward in healthy, more productive ways.

As we effectively identify the emotions behind our cravings, there is always an essential oil that can be used to support our emotional health and lend to an alternative way to temper our eating habits.  For instance, some essential oils use to overcome feelings of  loneliness include marjarom, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh.  For anger, consider using Thyme, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Spikenard.  Some great comfort oils include the Clary Sage, Juniper Berry, Cedarwood, Jasmine and Rose.



Healthy Snacks


This morning there was a piece on the news that caught my eye about healthy snacks.  The journalist provided a list of what she thought were the “healthiest” snacks out there.  I have decided to do the same.  While I agree with her choices and I am going to add a few of my own:


This sweet natural snack is a treat we should be regularly indulging in.  Among the many benefits, berries help keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are a good source of Vitamin C, while blueberries and raspberries are also excellent sources of fiber. Ellagic acid, a polyphenol found in blueberries, can increase HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure.  What’s more, the antioxidant properties of berries are also a good thing.  As a side note, to enhance antioxidant support, don’t forget to use a few drops a clove oil during the day.

Serving Suggestion: About 1 cup

Eat a handful for a snack.  Include in your favorite smoothie.

Top your cereal, yogurt or salads with these superfoods.


This potassium-filled fruit (about twice the amount of bananas), avocados provide healthy fat and calorie intake.  Also filled with fiber, Vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acids, the fruit helps the body absorb three to five times more antioxidants, according to one study.

Serving Suggestion: About 1 cup

Slice it and top the butter flavored fruit with salt and pepper.

Cube it and toss into a salad.

For a twist on the classic Caprese salad, slice up some tomatoes and avocado, drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic, top with salt and pepper. Serve it with some cheese or bread for a slightly heartier salad.

Mash it into guacamole, mixing cumin, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper into it. Serve it with some corn chips.

Always top your tacos, burritos or other Mexican fare with it.


This is my designated “emotional food”.  Dozens of health-protective nutrients have been identified in olives, and recent studies have taken a very close look at olive varieties, olive processing, and changes that take place in olive nutrients.

Greek-style black olives, Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata-style olives, and many different methods of olive preparation provide us with valuable amounts of many different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Olives are unusual in their fat quality, because they provide almost three-quarters of their fat as oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. The high monounsaturated fat content of olives has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Serving Suggestion:  about 1 cup

Add to salads, eat raw from an olive bar.  Canned olives are o.k; however, there is some controversy over the dilution of nutrients in the preservation/canning process.

Can be eaten as a side dish or salad or can be minced and used to top a sandwich.


the delicately flavored and versatile almond is available throughout the year to make a healthy and tasty addition to both sweet and savory dishes.  The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

Serving Suggestion:  about 1 cup

Eat raw anytime during the day to curb those huner pains.  This is another emotional eating “go to” for me.  When I feel that urge to “emotional eat” I start popping almonds.

Excellent to top salads or a piece of baked or grilled fish.  Don’t forget that this nut makes really good ‘almond butter’ to spread on crackers or celery.

Dark Chocolate

I could give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.

By choosing a plain dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content, eaters of this delicious treat consume resveratrol and flavonoids, which work together as antioxidants that keep free radicals under control, decrease inflammation and repair damage, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Serving Suggestion: 1 ounce a few times a week – but who are we kidding, I eat it once a day around 3:00 p.m.m

Eat It:

Break off a piece from a bar and eat it plain.

Chop some up and add it to a homemade trail mix of nuts and dried berries.

Melt it into milk for a homemade mug of hot cocoa.  Add some cinnamon, peppermint or wild orange essential oil if you want some additional flavors and spices.

chocolate heart