If You are What You Eat, Then Why do You still Crave Chocolate?

chocolate, glorious chocolate!

This morning I had a fabulous breakfast feast with home made bean sprouts, fresh coconut from the Notting Hill Carnival and garnished with vegetarian Furikake and smothered in oodles of virgin olive oil.

Furikake is a wonderful Japanese seasoning containing black & white sesame seeds, Nori Seaweed and Red Shiso leaves. (LINK)

Learn how to make your own bean sprouts.

I must say it was a wonderful way to start the day and I could literally feel the goodness in the food. My gourmet dish also looked rather attractive.

Now that was over 3 hours ago and I still have loads of energy and no hunger pangs.

This reminded me of the oft repeated phrase that you are what you eat. On that basis if I continue to eat fresh, healthy “live” foods, I will always be highly energised and healthy.

My eating habits have changed significantly since I started on my journey of personal development and self discovery. During this time, I have found that my taste buds have changed quite a bit and I no longer crave sweet foods apart from the occasional chocolate. Funnily, I tried some luxury chocolates last week and also found them far too sweet. So maybe those tiny chocolate cravings will disappear too!

As for Indian sweets they are rapidly becoming taboo for me – if you have ever tried Indian sweets, you will know just how sweet and sickly they can be!

So what really stops us from following such a healthy eating regime even though we know what is good for us and what is not?

1. Lack of knowledge.

With the advent of the internet there really is no excuse for anyone not to find out about what’s really good for us and what is not. For instance, it is now well known and chronicled that fried food in excess clogs up the arteries – and yet here in the UK, a fried breakfast is still the norm in many homes.

So the first step is to learn more about healthy eating.

2. Media and conflicting advice

At the same time, there is so much conflicting and confusing advice that seems to come out on a weekly basis from the media. The solution is to be discerning and sensible and follow what seems to be right for you.

The media of course has vested interests with many sponsorships and programme endorsements being made by multinational food companies.

The best way of judging whether something is good for you is how you feel after eating it. If you feel energised and vital then it is more likely to be good for you. Contrast

Also, you can even “ask” your body what it thinks. There is a lot to be said for literally following your gut reaction!

3. Lack of time and convenience foods

We so often choose ready made, microwaveable convenience food – and then plonk ourselves in front of the television. I am not a fan of TV dinners and got rid of my TV set a while ago, but I remember how easy it is to gobble our food down whilst mindlessly flicking through the TV channels.

Sometimes we are just too lazy to put that extra effort into preparing a healthy meal! But what I have learnt over the years is that it really doesn’t take much time to prepare a nutritious meal.

Ideally, we should then eat our meals on our own in a Zen like zone without any distractions or share it with family and friends. In many cultures including my Indian background, mealtimes are often a big family feast though sadly that tradition too is observed less and less, especially in the West.

Mealtimes should be a perfect opportunity to take a break from our hectic lives. Do what the French do – spend a leisurely hour or two over a gourmet lunch if your work allows!

4. Peer pressure

I remember times when friends have made fun of me for taking a packed salad lunch with me for work assignments – and then they used to wonder where I got my energy and youthful looks from 🙂

Eat what you feels right and healthy to you rather than what everyone else is eating. Of course, you can be a little flexible too and not let your eating habits become a hindrance to your social life.

For instance, being a vegetarian I am often restricted to where I can eat out healthily, but I don’t let that become an issue when out with friends.

5. Lifestyle and personal choices

At the end of the day, what you choose to eat and how you live your life is your personal choice and no one else’s. So a lot of your current unhealthy eating habits may have arisen from your chosen lifestyle.

However, it is common sense that you are what you eat and by even making minor changes to your lifestyle and therefore changes to what you eat, your whole being will benefit. Then gradually you can make more changes as you notice and appreciate the positive benefits.

Eating healthily is not about having a tough, unrelenting regime – it is simply about taking some sensible precautions and forming new habits.

It is not about feeling deprived of say chocolate – it is about moderation and cutting back on unhealthy eating habits over time.

So here is my challenge to all of you from today. Adopt just one new healthy eating habit every week and maintain it. Soon within a few weeks you will have adopted many new habits.

Do share below your ideas and what healthy eating habits you are committing to take on this week.

And do go easy on those chocolates!

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  1. Zoltán Cserei says

    Because chocolate is.. um.. sweet 🙂

    By the way, the article is very good, I just find the example contradictory. If you are what you eat, you might want to be just a little sweet 🙂 Also, chocolate is a great source of energy.

    On the other hand, the points you present well worth considering. Go to McD’s and take a closer look at a Big Mac. Do you want to become what you eat? A **BIG** Mac? 🙂

  2. Jeffrey Tang says

    “Eating healthily is not about having a tough, unrelenting regime – it is simply about taking some sensible precautions and forming new habits.”

    I think that’s the core of the post right there. And a very important core it is. With the diet craze raging, too many people are falling victim to the myth that only a strict, regimented diet formula can get you into shape. It’s no wonder that so many people simply give up on dieting.

    The goal isn’t to bind yourself in a dietary straitjacket – it’s to change your mindset and your habits until a healthy diet becomes effortless.

    • Jeffrey – thanks for making the distinction between simply taking some sensible precautions and not getting entrapped in a tough unrelenting regime which ultimately one may resent and then of course give up on.

      As I say to my coaching clients, change your mindset, your habits and change your life.

  3. Lets see… what change will i make for this week? I think i will eat slower and wait for a reaction from my body after 3 or 4 bites. I agree with you that our bodies do react. But, I find I’m so busy in thought or conversation that I seldom take time to listen. Ironically, I just finished lunch a bit ago and didn’t pay a bit of attention! Not having been to the store in some time for groceries, I am always creating strange concoctions. Today i used up some crumbs in the bottom of a tortilla chip bag, covered them with an awesome cheese/salsa dip I had made during the week that also needed to be finished – and popped it in the over to heat. Then, I chopped up some fresh garden tomatoes and tossed over the top and sat down to eat. Since there were papers all around, I got reading and before I knew it – lunch was gone! Having woke up this morning with a bit of a scratching throat (very unusual)… cheese probably was not my best choice! Now, I am coughing a bit and trying to clear my throat! Had I paid attention a bit – I probably would have noticed the throat thing as I was eating!

    I have received your blogs for quite sometime now. I believe this is the first time I have commented on an article – as I’m usually in a hurry! And, I believe I would have enjoyed your breakfast! I’m always taking equally strange items for lunch!

    You’re an interesting soul! Continuing blogging!


    Midwest America….

    • Dear Sharon,

      Great to finally have you comment on one of my articles!

      Thanks for sharing about your lunch and how you failed to notice your scratchy throat. Suffice to say that a lot of people tend to just gulp down their food without being very present to what they are eating and how.

      As I said in my article, the key is to adopt one new eating habit each week e.g. do not read or watch tv whilst eating, and instead be fully present to what you are eating.

      Finally, thanks for your encouragement – I certainly plan to continue blogging for a long time:-)

  4. I have been called a health nut, but in all honesty I’ve just taken the approach of getting just a little better. I love eating healthy, but I make it taste good.

    Way to go on killing your tv! Isn’t it incredible how much more time there is in the day?

    • Justin, better to be a “health nut” than obese or worse still, dead!

      You have hit it on the nail – if you make healthy food tasy, then you are more likely to stick to it.

      As for getting rid of the TV, it is one of the best things I have ever done.

      A lot of my friends still ask me what I do in my “spare” time. I tell them I don’t have any spare time – life is too short to be sitting in front of the box!

  5. Marilyn Rixon says

    Hi Arvind,

    Many thanks for this wonderful breakfast recipe.
    If you like Furikake you might like Gomasio! Can be bought at the Health Store.
    Bon appétit!


  6. Marilyn Rixon says

    Also, Arvind, it sounds like you are detoxing!

    Leslie Kenton has a wonderful booklet “The 10 day clean out plan” – miraculous, and yes the only way not to have cravings is not to eat sugar, none, except Jaggery! but of course in moderation.

    I bake all my lovely cakes and cookies with carob and jaggery sugar.

    I am no longer addicted to sugar and chocolate!

    Wishing you the best of health,

    • Thanks for sharing that link Marilyn.

      Great idea to replace processed sugar with carob and jaggery sugar.

      I myself hardly eat any chocolat or sweets now – the worst drinks are all those cheap “tropical” fruit drinks we get in supermarkets.

      I look forward to tasting your cakes and cookies one day soon:-)

  7. Interesting post. I recently tried a new eating regime, that had less to do with what I ate, but actually why I ate. I realized that a lot of my eating was for non-hunger reasons, e.g. boredom, habit, finishing everything on my plate, stress. Just being aware of this, meant I cut down my eating significantly.

  8. Thanks Arvind, healthy eating has for a long time been a problem when I have been under pressure from several projects (beside lack of sleep). I found the necessity to listen to my bodies reaction essential for maintaining a good diet. At the same time I found it necessary to be flexible with my approach and not create any additional pressure with a diet.

    • Patrick – I agree with you that the last thing one wants is to add extra pressure and stress about what to eat and what not to eat.

      It is about moderation in all areas of your life.

      Adequate and quality sleep is a must – and on that note I am calling it a night and off to get some sleep. I must get my 7 hours in tonight:-)

  9. It’s hard to maintain a healthy eating habits. Convenience is my number one enemy like what you’ve stated above.

    I’m aware of the impact of being irresponsible in my eating habits, that’s why I try hard. 🙂

  10. Thanks Zoltan for pointing out the apparent contradiction in the post headline – maybe I should have used the concept of junk food instead of chocolate.

    Not to say that I think chocolate is junk food!

    I just believe it should be eaten in moderation.

    As for a Big Mac, I know some people who look like Big Macs!!!

    Incidentally I gave up eating meat almost 10 years ago whilst I was having a chicken burger in Macdonalds. I hated it and chucked it away – and that was a life-defining moment:-)

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