Combat Cravings with These Ten Calorie-Free Treats

Think back to your childhood days, when the world was your playground and afternoons with friends were filled with joy and adventure. Dinner announcements from your mother were met with indifference, as the passion of play consumed your attention entirely.

Or falling in love! If there’s been a time when you were deeply enamored and every moment was infused with excitement, colors seemed brighter, and intimacy felt like pure magic. The touch of your beloved and the rush of exhilaration sustained you, leaving you floating on a cloud of euphoria. In those moments, food became secondary as you were nourished by the richness of life itself.

Many of us have also fallen deep into a compelling work project – moments, days, or even months when we are so deeply engrossed in a project that hunger disappeared and our attention remained lost in creation.

These experiences remind us that true nourishment extends far beyond what’s on our plates. Healthy relationships, engaging in physical activity, finding fulfillment in our careers, and nurturing our spiritual well-being all contribute to a deeply satisfying life. When these elements are balanced and fulfilling, they become our primary food (a term coined by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition), feeding our souls and satiating our hunger for life itself.

When we neglect these aspects of our life, cravings for physical food often increase. One of the reasons this happens is that food has a very powerful impact on our brain chemistry, increasing dopamine and serotonin which create feelings of reward, contentment and satisfaction. If you are finding that the stresses of your life are high and your cravings are as well, you may be experiencing a deep need for Primary Food. While Primary Food ‘treats’ are, in my opinion, an essential part of nourishment, they often are considered luxuries or afterthoughts in our hectic, demanding culture.

Having a list of Primary Food treats at the ready can help you prevent cravings and combat them when they arrive. Getting in touch with your need for connection, intimacy, and play as an essential vitamin to sustain your health will help you prevent future cravings and better understand what you may actually need in a moment when a desire for chocolate, wine, or chips surfaces!

Below are my list of top ten calorie free treats. These are suitable for any diet, whether you are a vegetarian, omnivore, lactose-intolerant, or even a gluten-free triathlete!

1) Massage

2) A walk in nature – the beach, a wooded trail, around a lake…

3) Good Conversation with a friend

4) Laughter

5) Spontaneous Dance Parties

6) Exercise

7) Spa treatments

8) A Good Book

9) Candle-lit, rose pedal, scented baths

10) Playing with dogs, cats, and/or kids

I encourage you to borrow from this list and continue to make your own! What are some big, and small ways you can meet your Primary Food needs?

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