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HELP! I GOT QUARANTINE MUNCHIES BAD!


Ever wondered why humans tend to reach for food (or substances) when they are feeling overwhelmed? What is it about food that comforts? And why do we want to devour everything in the freezer and pantry when we use cannabis?! Well, scientifically speaking, the cannabinoid THC is actually an appetite stimulant. This is good for patients who need to be eating more…but for most of us, it can be so annoying! I recently ate an entire bag of jalapeño kettle chips and think I may have licked the bag too. In these uncertain times, food is not only one of the few normal activities in which we can still partake, it’s also kind of comforting to eat, if I’m being honest.

Ice cream sales have skyrocketed during the virus. So, at least I’m not alone in loving a big bowl of creamy smooth ice cream, some chocolate and peanut butter yumminess, and if I’ve got coconut whip to top it off, even better! What about you, any go-to snacks that just seem to fulfill that salty or sweet tooth we all seem to have at times? Especially after medicating? Ladies, I KNOW you’ve got some cravings that seem to take over all logic and sense during that time… it’s tough to have temperance when it tastes so good, and let’s face it, makes us actually feel good! Herb and munchies go together like, well, chips and ice cream ha-ha!

Merriam Webster defines “Craving” as: an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing. Sometimes we fail to understand this. We use the word as though it’s totally normal! “I’m just craving fries and a milkshake; I need to give in to it, I must need it cause I’m craving it”. Sound like something you may tell yourself from time to time? You aren’t alone. We all want to give in to cravings because, well, it feels good.

But what’s actually going on in our body and brain when we give in to these munchies? Sugar is proven to light up the reward center part of our brain and release natural chemicals such as dopamine into our bodies, not much unlike cocaine and heroin! Seriously; researchers at Princeton University found that when rats ingest large amounts of sugar, their brains undergo changes similar to the changes in the brains of people who abuse these drugs. Additionally, excess sugar impairs cognitive skills and, again, the ability to practice temperance (i.e. self-control). Scientists have studied how sweet foods, and salty and fatty foods, can produce addiction-like effects in our brain. We can easily overeat and abuse these yummy foods. Excessive intake of these unhealthy foods can lead to Type 2 diabetes, which is a serious problem in our society. A study published in Diabetes Care concluded that this type of diabetes was related to increased sadness, anxiety and depression. So, we have potential for physical addiction, along with all these mental health issues. Is it really worth giving in to our cravings for a temporary release that could ultimately harm? Something to chew on for us all.

The good news? There are ways to help curb the craving. Brushing your teeth can help! Who wants to eat right after brushing? Try it, you may be surprised how well it works. Drink water! Sometimes, we think we’re hungry, but we are actually just dehydrated. The best way to change our bad habits is to choose to eat all-natural sources of sugar found in fruit!

Most of us remember learning about the Food pyramid, introduced by the US Dept. of Ag back in 1992. I believe there was much corruption and lobbying involved in this “pyramid” – but that’s another article for another time. They were right in recommending we eat fruits, which are low in calories and fat and are a healthy source of natural sugars, vitamins and fiber. Whole fruit can tame those sugar cravings and actually fill us up.

Here are some of my favorite whole food fixes to replace the processed junk; I hope you’ll try them next time you’re tempted to reach for the bag, or bowl and spoon☺

SWEET & HEALTHY:

  1. Cut up Apple or Banana with Peanut Butter

  2. Homemade trail mix: almonds/walnuts/carob chips/dried cherries/banana chips

  3. PB & Chocolate granola with hemp milk

  4. Fresh berries and watermelon topped with coconut whip

  5. A piece of dark chocolate or dark chocolate covered fruit

SALTY GOODNESS:

  1. Homemade roasted potatoes (coconut oil, curry, turmeric, cayenne and a good bit of salt)

  2. Homemade pickles (search the web for recipes – easy to make!)

  3. Cut up cucumber sprinkled with salt, salsa and guacamole for dipping

  4. Hummus with cucumber slices and whole wheat pita

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something we all struggle with at certain points throughout life, and especially right now in these uncertain times. And, IT’S OKAY to occasionally reach for a quick fix snack or treat. However, we must encourage others, and remind ourselves, our body is a temple; we are worth being considerate and conscious about what we put into our mouths. Sometimes, what we need much more than food is comfort for our souls. We can stop, think about why we want to eat an unhealthy food, and instead choose temperance, maybe even think about those around the world who do not have enough food. We can choose gratitude for what we have, trust that it will all work out okay, take some deep breaths, look up, and one day at a time, we’ll get through this.




Natalie Karmo is a daughter, sister, prayer warrior, advocate for cannabis and fighter against the opioid epidemic. She loves Yeshua (aka Jesus). She’s a dog mom to Louie and Jax, a Realtor and is currently working on her first manuscript. “Don’t worry” are two small words that mean a lot to Nat, and she hopes to encourage you in this too. Follow Natalie on Instagram, or you can reach Nat directly at HomeWithKarmo@gmail.com.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6: 25-34

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