Fillyjonk, Food

Burritos and desire

On Sunday, when Dan and I got home from Thanksgiving traveling, we got burritos at Chipotle. On Monday, what I wanted for dinner was a Chipotle burrito. On Tuesday, what I wanted for dinner was a Chipotle burrito.

I didn’t get them on Monday or Tuesday, because eating Chipotle three or even two times in a row is absurd (without, I suppose, a good reason — anyway it’s definitely absurd for me). Instead, I considered what it was about Chipotle burritos that made me want to eat them over and over again — the protein? The fats? Did I maybe just want to spend more money than I needed on food? Eventually I determined that it’s because it’s getting wintry here and I want to eat things that are substantial and warm. Eating a Chipotle burrito is like eating a hot water bottle, and that is what I want.

The point here is that eating what you want is not the same as satisfying all your desires at face value. Sometimes doing what you want means digging deeper than just noticing what pops into your head — it means evaluating, even second-guessing. It’s a fine line to walk, to be sure, between self-analysis and self-abnegation — asking “do I really want what I think I want?” sounds suspiciously like a diet strategy. But the baseline of not automatically denying yourself anything is still of paramount importance. You approach it thus: “Okay, I probably don’t really want another Chipotle. If I do, I’ll get one, but I think something else is really going on.”

Indulging my Chipotle craving would have had the following effect: I would have eaten two more Chipotle burritos, and tonight I would want another one. Evaluating the craving didn’t get me any burritos, but it got me to understand at a deeper level what kinds of foods will be mentally and physically satisfying right now.

By “mentally,” by the way, I don’t even just mean the emotional satisfaction one normally gets from eating. Here’s what I had for dinner last night. We normally call it “sour chickpeas,” which is what it’s called. I was having none of it. Dan, knowing my feelings in re: eating something warm and filling (I believe I had actually complained that sour chickpeas “sounds cold”), said “what if I call it curried chickpea stew?” In that case, I said, give me some right now. Sometimes it’s not even about the food, but about the context.

People sometimes feel put off by intuitive eating because they think it’s a matter of always having a clear, unsullied image of what foods you truly want. In fact, people’s desires are rarely so crystalline, about food or anything else. Intuitive eating, and body acceptance in general, rests not on a foundation of knowing just what you want but on a foundation of knowing that you are allowed to want. Society likes to tell us, especially women, that our desires are not only unimportant but unseemly. I’d like to say the opposite. Don’t just notice your cravings, but think about them, examine them, go elbow-deep in them, pick them up and look underneath. It’s not about having a perfect sense of what you want for dinner, but of truly, fundamentally understanding that you can desire and seek nourishment, emotional as well as physical.

106 thoughts on “Burritos and desire”

  1. Hear hear!

    Its taking me lots of therapy to get back in touch with my hunger and being inside my body. Not an easy task for someone who has dieted since the wee age of 8.

    Thanks for the reminder, Fillyjonk!

  2. Mmm…Chipotle. I had homemade bread and butter for dinner last night. And for breakfast this morning. Then lunch was Vietnamese Bun: vermicelii noodles with 2 shrimp and some pork, sriracha sauce, a sweet sauce, cold bean sprouts, & shredded cucumber, carrot and lettuce. The perfect blend of sweet, spicy, hot, cold, veggie, protein and noodle.

    I didn’t worry about my bread and butter dinner last night since I’d had a lot of veggies at lunch yesterday, and figured I would again today.

    Not sure this was on point, but my lunch was so delicious I wanted to share

  3. Huh. I’m craving Chipotle myself (and was thinking earlier that I would pick up burritos for dinner since we haven’t had ’em in a while), and that chickpea recipe sounds delish. In fact, I have dry chickpeas and a crockpot. Maybe that will be tomorrow’s dinner.

    I find that I go through food cycles- I’ll eat something day in, day out until one day I don’t want it at all. Several weeks later I’ll crave that thing again and the cycle repeats. For example, I seem to alternate between yogurt, cottage cheese, and no cultured dairy. Right now I’m on the cottage cheese kick and that sounds really good right now. In a couple of weeks I probably won’t want it at all. I just assume that there’s some nutritional need behind the cycles, kind of how I crave beef when my iron stores are getting low. I go and get a good hamburger, and I’m fine for a while. *shrugs*

    And now that it’s cold and snowy, warm and hearty foods are most appealing. I’ve roasted a chicken, made chilis and soups, beans and rice with tortillas and salsa (highly comforting), and am thinking that a pot of stew or a pot pie will be in order soon, along with homemade bread. I love cooking in the winter. In the summer I don’t have much appetite for anything other than light dishes and cold salads, and the husband always wants to do heavy meat grills. Fine on occasion, but I get sick of it quickly.

  4. Yeah, my appetites are ridiculously weather-specific. Hate hot food in the summer, but in the winter I just want to eat stews and cream sauces and, apparently, Chipotle.

    Unfortunately I am no better able to tolerate heavy creamy foods in winter, so my summer diet suits me a lot better! But I think I just get cold so easily that it makes me sad to be cold from the inside.

  5. Last night while chatting over at the new SP site, I suddenly got a strong craving for ice cream. So I went and got a cup of it. I didn’t feel guilty about eating it like so many think I should.

  6. When I went back to work in May, all I wanted was ice cream. I wanted ice cream every single day for about two months. I didn’t have it every day, needless to say, but I wanted it every day, and i had more ice cream than I would have allowed myself back in the bad old days of moral scrutiny of every morsel that passed my lips.

    A big part of it was “yes, I’m allowed to have ice cream. I CAN have ice cream. Now, do I actually want it or do I just want something refreshing and cold?”

    Another big part of it was that I was coming back to real life again going back to work and needed the energy I’d get from ice cream.

    Anyway, I pretty much had ice cream a lot, and after six weeks or so, the constant desire for ice cream eased up. It was a weird experience. If something like that happens to me again, I’ll be sure to examine it that way (look underneath it-I like that) and see if I can figure out what it means.

  7. I have eaten beefstew for lunch every day since saturday, until today, when I had meatloaf and potatoes.
    I have been craving warm, pasta and creamy dishes, like strogonoff, al week long. I couldn’t figure out why, intil now.
    It snowed over the weekend. It has been cold in MN for a while, but there is snow on the ground. It looks cold out.
    My body is telling me it is cold, and I need to be warm.
    This would also explain the increase in coffee and hot tea consumption.
    Thank you!

  8. Hehehe, I’ve been having a daily craving for Red Robin veggie burgers. The gross part is I think what I like is the mix of cheese, fresh tomatoes, mayo and ketchup. It’s all about the toppings. And the fries. I love potatoes in the winter. Mmmm.

  9. I also go through desire cycles. A few months ago all I wanted every day was a McDonalds Double Cheeseburger (from the $1 menu), now if I go to McDonalds it doesn’t sound good.

    I also have seasonal food shifts, like you FJ heart soups, stews and hot things sound really good in the winter but horrid in the summer. For my lunches this week I fixed beans in the style of Red beans and rice, but without meat ’cause I’m cheap. It has hit the spot every day :)

  10. I don’t have seasonal food cycles, but I do have other craving cycles. I had salad every day for lunch because I kept wanting it, and now that I seem to have abruptly stopped craving salad, I have three bags of it in my fridge to eat.

  11. I’ve been wanting saltines for about 2 weeks and I’ve been eating them… ususally a sleeve every day. Not too bad, and better than eating some other version of a chip.. I do the same thing as alot of you. I eat something until I’m sick of it and then I’m fine. I have discovered that if I deny myself something that I’m really craving, I eat something else, then something else.. get my drift? I working on that and trying to get away from food being a reward and/or punishment. Lots of weird head games with myself that i need to fix…

  12. This week, I have been in a cheese groove. I had hot dogs dusted with shredded cheese twice tis week, with a side of tostada chips and cheese dip.

    Today, I felt like having “naked” food. Chargrilled chicken sandwich, fruit and a piece of string cheese.

  13. Hmmm… Might you be pregnant?;) Just joking. But that was my first thought when I read the beginning of your post. I’m just getting into my 2nd trimester, and I swear–all I can think about sometimes is getting Chipotle. (Of course, no sooner do I eat a yummy burrito than the digestive nonsense that is pregnancy gets started, alas).

    I liked this post quite a bit, actually. You put your finger on something that I’ve had a hard time with for awhile now when it comes to intuitive eating. I sometimes struggle to know *what* it is I really want, and sometimes it takes a helluva lot more than simply sitting quietly and “listening” to my body. My desires–formed as they are of countless influences, needs, wishes, advertising cues, scheduling issues, etc.–are often not so clear.

    Now that I’ve added pregnancy into this mix–holy hell! Just last night, my partner and I decided to go out to eat. He suggested Indian; I thought to myself–yummmm! Sounds great! We walked into the restaurant and my body rebelled. Turns out Indian was *not* what it wanted. Intuitive eating has never been as difficult and fraught and frustrating as it is for me right now. I sometimes feel sort of hijacked by this other entity that’s dictating my desires.

    Anyhow, thanks for a very thoughtful and reflective post that has helped me do my own thinking about this issue.

  14. I’ve been all over Chocolate Chex for the past three months. Part of it is due to the convenience, and I think part of it is the texture. All the warm, hearty foods I’ve been eating to combat the weather don’t have any crunch to them.

    My office is having a big Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow. Thankfully I’ve been here long enough to know which people are currently dieting, so I can make sure not to sit anywhere near them. I will enjoy my lunch to the fullest with no talk of points or calories or fats or carbs to disturb me! (I hope anyway.)

  15. Ha! I am not, but I think maybe my body behaves as if it’s pregnant a lot of the time… I have certainly had the experience of being sure I want something, buying (or even eating) it, and realizing that I wanted nothing of the sort. Maybe it’s because I’m on the pill, and my body is easily fooled! ;)

  16. A really great recipe when you want Tex-Mex comfort food:

    Saute a chopped bell pepper and some frozen or canned corn. Dump in a can of beans, drained & rinsed (I use black, but kidney or pinto would also work). Add a jar of salsa. Add about a half-cup to a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Eat plain or over couscous, rice, or quinoa.

    I call it “pseudonachos” and it is the Best. Thing. Ever. And it’s easy enough to keep the ingredients in at all times. (Mr. Improbable asked me yesterday if it was possible to just buy salsa by the case, like you can with wine.)

  17. Intuitive eating, and body acceptance in general, rests not on a foundation of knowing just what you want but on a foundation of knowing that you are allowed to want.


    Miss Conduct, I totally make “pseudonachos,” too, except I add ground turkey and call it fake chili! And sometimes I don’t even bother with the corn or pepper — I just do turkey, salsa, and black beans (plus whatever toppings are around), because I can definitely always keep those ingredients around. I also often serve with tortillas and turn it into pseudoburritos.

  18. Hey, I make “pseudonachos” all the time, only I call the mixture Mexifake. I like to keep little tubs of frozen brown rice handy just in case I need them for Mexifake or quick stir-fry.

  19. That sounds awesome, Kate! I almost always have ground turkey in and I will have to try that sometime. I don’t always bother with the pepper, either, because I don’t always have a pepper on hand.

  20. I love the idea of eating to my needs, and I would like to try it. I’m not sure how to adapt it to cooking with others. My partner hates salads or undisguised vegetables, and we’ve also got my cousin and her partner staying with us until they can afford their own place. They’re not fond of my vegetarian diet (they’re trying not to complain though, they’re not rude about it) so I find most of my cooking creativity goes to making food they all like without being too repetitive.

    I’m not trying to be “poor me” here, a lot of people must be in the same boat, especially those of you who are parents. How do you try and meet your own food needs with a houseful of other needs to balance?

  21. Heh, the ice cream was totally from me on chat last night. Most of my cravings are pretty seasonal, too, but since discovering chocolate chip cookie dough soy ice cream, I have it almost every night. Even if it makes me shiver in the winter! I also do really, bizarrely, love hot soup in the summer. Maybe it’s like a sauna, from the inside? Something about chicken soup on a hot day is just fabulous to me.

    But mostly I’m with you on the winter foods and summer foods. I can have at least one mug of microwaved hot apple cider every day in the fall and winter, but I’m not even interested in it once it warms up. And in the summer, every time I take a sip of a cream soda it’s like the BEST THING I’VE EVER TASTED… but one day this fall I opened a bottle and sipped it, and it had started to get a little chilly, and all of a sudden it just did not taste good. No vanilla in the cold weather for me, apparently.

    Lately I have been making quesadillas all the goddamn time, because I learned how to make them and that they take literally five minutes to make. And are delicious. And have almost no cleanup. It’s like the perfect food.

  22. I like this. Sour chickpeas sounds incredibly gross to me, but I hate chickpeas unless they’re in hummus.

    Miss Conduct, I love that. Easiest pseudonachos ever – add rice to cooker with appropriate amount of water. Add beans. (I like ~ 2 cans/cup rice – your mileage may vary.) Add jar of salsa. Add whatever veggie you have available – onion, peppers, tomatoes, corn, etc.
    Close cooker lid.
    Push button.
    Mmmm, dinner.

    I’m struggling with poverty and cravings. My cooking is not superawesome – I do a few things semi-well, and occasionally knock one out of the park, but often I want things I can’t/don’t want to make. Also, I’m usually only home for short periods of time, which makes extended prep tough.

    I think tonight is either burritos or squash soup, assuming I don’t break down at class and get salad. (My school’s snack bar has this super awesome chicken, spinach, blue cheese, walnut, and cranberry salad that is ungodly.)

  23. Ooo…quesadillas. Those might be a good solution to my “where is my protein” problem for breakfasts. I have to watch the cheese level, but in this weather something hot like that would be perfect.

    I’ve been craving lentils all week. I think it’s something about all the heavy weird food I’ve had over Thanksgiving weekend. Now I just want something hearty and warm but not all oily and animal-product-y. For dinner, red lentils :-)

    In the winter, I tend to crave hearty fatty food all the time, and, oddly, while heavy chowders and warm brownies and things like that satisfy that craving, so does tea. Plain jasmine tea, maybe with a bit of honey. I think the craving is mostly for warm rather than for the extra calories, and I have to remind myself that tea will work instead of snacking incessantly and ending up all full and sleepy.

  24. Sarah, man, I should try that. I ate a big warm lunch and ended up — surprise! — all full and sleepy. Work would thank me if I could avoid making that a habit. Not that I’d do work anyway, but at least I wouldn’t feel physically incapable of doing work.

  25. I crave dairy Butter, cheese, cream sauces, you name it. If it is a dairy product, I want it, and in the full-fat amount. And said craving got stronger once I became a vegetarian.

    I have tried for awhile to figure out the root of this craving, and all I can come up with is that I simply really like dairy. And maybe now that I’m not eating meat anymore my body wants other sources of fat?

  26. I was thinking about this after my trip to the doctor on Monday because she’s the first doctor who ever asked me what I eat not because she was about to lecture me on how fat I am, but because she was trying to get a handle on what’s wrong with me.

    Turns out that knowing a person wants to eat beef and spinach all the time helps you discover that she’s anemic. Who knew?

    I found that hugely eye-opening and I’m embarrassed to admit that I got to be my age without ever even suspecting that my cravings were anything other than a sign of weakness, but might actually be giving me information about how my body is (or isn’t) functioning.

  27. Cravings, if analyzed, can also help you find ways to self-care. Case in point: December is always my worst month at work, and unfortunately, my CSA drops of fruits and veggies stopped for the season near Thanksgiving. So, I come home late and tired. At least I am still trying to eat out less (saves money, and less ultra-processed crapola), but I find myself craving a glass of wine and really good cheese. I would just eat too damn much cheese, period, if I did this every night.

    What I realized after a week of this was that I NEED to carve out some time to make sure that something TASTY and BALANCED is ready or easily prepared when I get home, and that I need more sleep (so I don’t necessarily need a drink to calm down from over-tiredness at work). It’s tough, but at least I’m getting a game plan together.

  28. When I was pregnant I wanted Wendy’s. All. The. Time. I couldn’t have Wendy’s because I had gestational diabetes. I realized what I wanted was the lettuce…they put an actual piece of lettuce on the burgers. After we would have tacos at home and I would just sit and eat lettuce (it was considered a “free food” up to a point) and it was really nice. Mmmm crunchy lettuce…

  29. I actually crave sweet foods constantly because of the medication I’m on. It’s a well-known and very common side effect of this particular drug. I used to be a savory person, but now I could pretty much eat sweet stuff all day, every day. I don’t fight it; I eat a lot of it in the form of fruit, sweet potatoes, granola, yogurt, etc. It’s really weird knowing my diet is largely based on not what I want, but on what chemicals tell my body to want.

  30. Don’t just notice your cravings, but think about them, examine them, go elbow-deep in them, pick them up and look underneath.

    I am sitting here pondering. On one hand, I totally agree with what you say here; it’s liberating and revolutionary. On another hand, I think it has to be okay not to do that — to choose sometimes not to spend so much focus and mental energy on choosing food.

    It’s weird — I love Intuitive Eating, but I worry sometimes that it’s another way to keep some kind of pressure on. I totally agree with you that “people’s desires are rarely so crystalline,” and I have to think that it’s okay not to worry so all-fired much about that (as much as society says we should) and to choose to spend our mental energy on other things, when we want to.

  31. Aunt B, I had to cut out a lot of stuff from my eating last year while I was in the midst of intestinal disastrousness, and after a while all I could think about was cheese. I was dreaming of cheese! Once I started eating dairy again and my calcium and fat intakes were back to normal, then I just went back to liking cheese, not wanting it with every fiber of my being.

    I’m glad your anemia got diagnosed!

  32. I have Chipotle cravings, too, and I went through a similar exercise of trying to figure out what it was that I really craved. Turns out, it was the salsa. I just love their pico de gallo – that crisp flavor. Anyway, I can sate that craving more easily (and cheaply) with things I already have, rather than going out and getting a burrito.

  33. On another hand, I think it has to be okay not to do that — to choose sometimes not to spend so much focus and mental energy on choosing food.

    I don’t even necessarily just mean food — anything! But yes, of course you want the ability not to do that. The problem is that most people already have that ability in spades. Serious thoughtfulness about cravings and desires is something people are less likely to have in their toolkit, or even realize they’re missing.

  34. I did something similar today; I was hungry, or so I thought, but I’d already eaten breakfast and had a snack. There was *something* my body was telling me it needed to so I headed to the fridge. Nothing went DING! for me until I looked at the juice jug and realized I hadn’t drank anything yet today. *facepalm* A glass of juice and a glass of water later I was happy. Learning to listen, to our bodies and each other, is a big first step.

  35. I have crazy Chipotle cravings all the time–sadly, no Chipotle’s down here in Savannah. :( But up in Maryland, my roommate and I lived across the street from one. We ate there at least once a week.

    Funny thing with Chipotle, it seems people either love love love it, or really can’t stand it. I think the cravings for me tend to focus on the lime juice they make the rice with–maybe it satisfies a citrus/vitamin C craving, or maybe the way it melds with the other flavors just hits the spot for me.

    So, I got home tonight, perused the fridge and cupboard, felt kind of “meh” (even though my stomach was starving), and finally realized I felt like waffles with boysenberry syrup for dinner. So that’s what I had. ;)

  36. Trying to communicate the concept of intuitive eating to people is so difficult. This quote:

    Intuitive eating, and body acceptance in general, rests not on a foundation of knowing just what you want but on a foundation of knowing that you are allowed to want.

    just nails it, nails it, nails it.

    And the Chipotle chicken fajita burrito for a massive, delicious win.

  37. The problem is that most people already have that ability in spades. Serious thoughtfulness about cravings and desires is something people are less likely to have in their toolkit, or even realize they’re missing.

    I guess the trick is to have the serious thoughtfulness in a way that doesn’t let it (sneakily, behind our back) become a cousin of the “OMG am I eating the RIGHT THING” feeling that diet culture presses upon us. If that makes sense.

  38. That’s a much more adaptive analysis than my partner and I have made–we call Chipotle “the crack burrito place.” It’s the rice for us, too–maybe we should just try making rice with some lime juice and cilantro…

  39. Great post, great insight and perfect timing as I’ve been struggling with some cravings of my own.

    I weaned myself of the fast food addiction months ago and then PMS reared its ugly head this week and has left me salivating for cheeseburgers and pizza every day, every meal and sometimes between meals and I’ve really been trying to not give into that, I did once, but I don’t want to over and over. Today on the way home I thought I was starving and wanted a cheeseburger so badly but asked myself if that’s really what I wanted or if I could just wait until I got home and have some fruit. Turns out the fruit was a perfectly good snack.

  40. Dairy has opiates(specifically in the casein), which is why it gives such strong cravings (it keeps the baby calf coming to the breast; ditto for human breast milk); cheese is concentrated so it gives them even more. That’s what makes this so tricky, I used to crave cheese so bad. I stopped eating it out of lack of $$, then when I ate it again, I realized it made me feel horrible! But before I was always craving it. So there are a million messages to decode. I guess that means our bodies are complex, and since we’ve been trained to ignore them, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves for not always “getting it”.

  41. And the Chipotle chicken fajita burrito for a massive, delicious win.

    Eh, for me it’s the barbacoa beef with pinto beans for the win. But so far I haven’t had anything there that I’ve disliked. Chicken is still good.

  42. I’m sorry…you lost me at “Chipotle Burrito”…

    I have a short attention span and we don’t have them in Hawai’i…

    I was so spoiled in Monterey…


    Great post and great timing…

  43. Mmmm. Good food. One of my favorites:

    Bit of olive oil in saucepan
    Add chopped garlic, about three cloves depending on tolerance for garlic in your household
    Add a tablespoon ground cumin, a teaspoon of ground coriander seed, and a pinch of salt, cook for a few seconds with the garlic.
    Add two cans of refried beans
    The juice of either half or a whole lime, depending on your tastes

    Stir until nicely warm. Plop inside a tortilla with some cheese for a very nice burrito.

    A couple weeks ago I was agog for a bowl of cheerios with milk and sugar every night right before bed. Not sure what was going on with that, but they hit the spot. It went on for a couple weeks, then vanished.

    And I made some caramels last week, they were very tasty too. A little too firm as I cooked them too long, but I’ll know better next time.

    Oh, and I made a cornstarch pudding with coconut milk rather than cow milk. It was tasty and rich. The recipe is in Joy of Cooking, it’s called Tremblique I think.

  44. The thing about dieting and the subsequent life-long disordered food thinking is that it ruins my ability to do what you said. If I’m craving something, I can never figure out why any more–is it because I’m hungry in general and the McD run would be easy, or because I want and desire fast salty food, or or or…

    I spend a lot of time these days really really thinking before I eat, which is of course time consuming and sometimes I’m too starved to put in the effort, lol. But I find when I do, it always pays off in satisfaction and lack of guilt.

  45. I truly believe that my body tells me when I’m lacking in a food or nutrient. Even chocolate. I think it’s important to respect those cravings.

    Now that I’ve been away from Chipotle for almost a year, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my draw to their burrito. I think the secret lies in heavlily salted cilantro rice. I could bathe in that stuff.

  46. Intuitive eating has been like learning a new language for me. It can be frustrating, but I also get that excited satisfaction at having learned something new every time I figure out what a particular craving means. For instance, I crave sugar A LOT. Not constantly, but very very often. I’ve found that craving usually means I want fruit. If I eat a piece of candy or drink a soda, I’m not really satisfied, but an apple will make me happy and get rid of the craving for hours. It probably actually means I need a certain set of vitamins found in fruit, but I haven’t reached that advanced level of Craving Interpretation yet.

    I’m another person who craves hot, creamy, meaty things all winter. “Substantial” is a great descriptor for these things. And like a lot of people before me have said, I crave hot tea in winter too. In summer I can’t drink tea unless it’s sweet and iced–one of the best ideas to ever come out of the South. ;)

    I hate how much this reeks of diet-speak, but it’s true: a lot of the time when I’m “hungry” in between meals, it turns out I’m actually thirsty and a glass of water is what I want. But there are also times when I can’t bring myself to drink plain water; the thought of it grosses me out, and I need milk or juice or something instead. Who knows what that’s all about.

  47. Funny little intuitive eating story…

    Not long ago I was diagnosed with 2.5-million food allergies. So my eating had to change. Basically, I can no longer have most processed food. And consequently I started feeling much better than I had in a long time. But I was craving… dill pickles.

    So I ate pickles. And I craved more. And I ate more. And pretty soon I realized I was up to 3 jars… a WEEK! I went to my doctor and said, “Ummm… my salt levels might be off. I’m eating a ton of pickles and my boyfriend is getting nervous!”

    I walked out with instructions to start salting all my food and a salt supplement to take daily.

    The pickles have spoken.

  48. Forget Chipotle, I am all about a local place which is beloved by students for its $5 burritos that are THE SIZE OF YOUR HEAD. Mmmmmfgh.

    And I totally did this today! I dragged my mom out for Chinese food because I was craving something that didn’t taste like Thanksgiving, and I realized while I was there that not only did I want non-Thanksgiving food, I also craved vegetables. So I got a plate of beef with string beans and snarfed it down and felt soooo much better.

    I also had chickpeas for dinner, though ours was a thick stew with kielbasa in it. My family refers to this sort of hearty winter food as “glop.” But in a loving way.

  49. Morag: I feel your pain. I don’t have houseguests, but my husband and I have totally different ideas about how much vegetables, proteins, and carbs to eat. He could survive on pasta and red sauce for weeks at a time. I, on the other hand, *need* a balance of protein with my carbs. Plus, I’m a much happier person if there a fresh fruits/veggies at every meal.

    Anyway, what I’ve taken to doing is to make a main dish that I know we’ll both eat, and often this is served with rice, pasta, potatoes. If the starch is separate, then I can take the amount I want, and my husband can load up on his carbs. I also make sure to have the unadulterated veggie that I need. If my husband eats some, great; if not, well he’s an adult and he gets to decide what his body needs too.

    I guess what I’m saying is compromise, but also make sure you have what your body is telling you it needs. If the others don’t like what you’re making, well, they can probably find something in the kitchen to survive on, no?

  50. Whoa. Lately I’ve totally been choosing what to eat based on the fact that my toes, fingers and nose were feeling constantly cold and I wanted to warm them up. Completely didn’t realize this at all until just now. But if I imagine my extremities being comfortably warm, then suddenly a roast beef sandwich sounds better than the stomptillionth iteration of some kind of meat-bean-veggie stew that… well, I mean, enough already, you know?

    Amazing. Fillyjonk, seriously, this one will really help me out. Thanks.

  51. Since I stopped eating meat a year ago, I’ve become a lot more aware of what my body wants. When I crave meat (beef product is a common craving for me) I have to analyze what my body is telling me it wants because I am flat-out not going to eat what it tells me.

    In the beef scenario, I usually think, “Hmm, iron?” and plop some spinach into whatever I eat next, and that tends to work splendidly. Come to think of it, this is probably why I consume salad on such an epic level.

    And dammit, now I want Chipotle too! It’s like a hug in a tortilla! But alas! The nearest one is 45 minutes away, and I have a short paper due tomorrow that I still need to start.

  52. I crave Chipotle constantly. Mostly because I now live near enough to one that I could eat there every day if I didn’t think that would be horribly unhealthy.

    I am actually thinking about trying intuitive eating because I am constantly craving things, but they don’t satisfy me when I do get them. I usually end up going for something like Chipotle because it’s easier and less time consuming than grocery shopping, cooking and then washing dishes. Although I bought a crock pot so that I can slow cook stews and stuff while I’m at class and come home and have warm food ready to eat while writing papers.

  53. $5 burritos that are THE SIZE OF YOUR HEAD.

    Nomie, that wouldn’t happen to be a place called Freebirds, would it?

    Memories of college flooding back….

  54. I crave dairy[…] And said craving got stronger once I became a vegetarian.

    Could be vitamin B12. Humans only absorb vitamin B12 from meat, eggs, and dairy, so it could be once you stopped eating meat your body wanted more dairy to make it up.

    I had a weird intuitive eating moment the other night. I was at the grocery store, trying to figure out which vegetable I wanted with my meal. I couldn’t think of anything so I just started going through what was there and seeing if it was appealing. So I’m looking down the aisle: “Green beans, no, bok choy, no, cauliflower, no, brussels sprouts, YES” It was weird because I don’t like brussels sprouts. My body must have been craving some kind of vitamin in them. I tried to go through the other vegetables to see if anything else was as appealing while being more tasty… broccoli came close but just didn’t do it. So I had the brussels sprouts and even more weirdly, they tasted delicious.

  55. Can someone please, please, please write me a romance novel called “Burritos and Desire” and there can be Fabio and a lady on the cover eating burritos and making bedroom eyes at each other over them.

    Also Moe’s (which may exist only in NY, or the East Coast) is so much better than Chipotle. Moe’s is like the stoner surfer cousin of snobby Chipotle. And Moe’s has booze.

  56. I also love the “eating a hot water bottle,” lol!
    I’ve been working on intuitive eating for almost 2 years now. It has been a struggle for me, for, I think, the exact reasons you write about here. It’s hard to give myself permission to have desires! (Especially being a mom of two kids with special needs; it’s easy to forget about my own needs.)
    I also agree with you that women are not encouraged to have wants, needs, and desires, let alone to go about having them met. Further, I think that the pressure put on us to look a certain way is a good method of subjugating desires. We learn to live without: you want that cake? Forget it! It’ll “ruin” your figure! You want a promotion? Why should we give it to you, rather than that young white guy who fits our image better? You want ANYTHING?!?!?! How dare you, you selfish bitch! Don’t you know it’s ‘natural’ for a woman to put everyone else first and not want anything for herself?!/!?!

    Huh. Guess I still have a few issues here, lol!

  57. Who wouldn’t want Chipotle burritos? :D I love their hard tacos ‘cos they’re gluten free. They do a really good job there of being careful about cross contamination, and they keep their allergen information up to date.

    I am, however, in a total food rut. I’m sick of cooking what feels like the same 20 meals over and over again, and I just have no desire to eat anything but toast, tea, and chocolate. *le sigh* I have to eat to keep my blood sugar levels up but everything tastes like cardboard.

  58. The actual BEST burrito place is Holy Frijoles in Baltimore, which has a grilled veggie burrito that is like seeing god. But it’s 30-45 minutes away to Chipotle’s five.

    Amelia June, that is my normal experience, which is probably why I post every time I have an intuitive eating insight! Like when I got home for Thanksgiving, my mom asked if I was hungry, and I said “I’m ravenous, or I have a really bad stomach ache, not sure which.” The idea of having to find lunch is enough to make me despair. So I get really excited when I’m attuned enough to figure out not just WHAT I want but WHY!

  59. I live directly across the street from a Qdoba…I completely understand this phenomenon, especially now that it’s consistently below 50 degrees every day. Every other day, my boyfriend and I have the, “I don’t wanna cook…you don’t wanna cook…Qdoba? Again?” conversation. We usually pass, but DANG is that lime-flavored rice and warm tortilla appealing.

    …crap, now I want another one.

  60. I did a little of this analysis myself and was surprised to find that a couple of the things I routinely say I want to eat have non-face-value desires attached.

    That green chile cheeseburger from the place open only Wed-Sat tends to get spoken highly of on Sundays: wanting what you can’t have

    The roasted chicken dinner (with black beans and rice) that costs about 5x what it’d take for me to make it myself: wanting the time to watch a movie with my husband instead of cooking dinner & doing dishes

    They’re both delicious foods. But when I mention one or the other 2 or 3 days in a row, it’s time for me to hunker down with my husband and make grilled cheese sandwiches.

  61. This is a good article for me to read right now – I am really struggling with this, as I have a wheat/gluten intolerance. I’m staying with family for a few weeks, and just couldn’t find my regular wheat-free staples at the grocery stores here. So, I just want pizza and sandwiches all the time, but can’t eat it. Trying to figure out what that means I want (the cheese? the filling carbs?) will help me deal with it better than just sitting around feeling hungry, but not finding anything appetizing.

  62. I completely understand what you are going through too Morag. When I started dating my partner the only vegetable he would eat was potato (and I think that was a rarity). I was living on basically a vegetarian diet and that changed rapidly when I started dating him.

    We are now married and he is cooking up a chicken teriyaki stir fry in the kitchen as I type! He still doesn’t eat numerous things (raw vegies etc.) but from where we started we’re on the up and up.

    FJ the sour chickpea recipe looks awesome!

  63. Don’t you know it’s ‘natural’ for a woman to put everyone else first and not want anything for herself?!/!?!

    Oh God Yes. And everyone who has not yet reproduced but wants to and is female, watch the fuck out for “natural” when you get pregnant. If you don’t want an epidural (because you don’t find labor unbearable, you don’t like being numb, you want to see what it’s like, etc.) then don’t get an epidural; and if you want to breastfeed (because of cost, ease, immunity) then breastfeed… but just watch THE FUCK out for people telling you, at a very vulnerable time, that the more “natural” choice is to do what they did because women’s bodies were “designed” to only X, Y, and Z…. and if that particular choice doesn’t work for you and your family? SELFISH MOMMY!

    Motherhood is damned hard, and I like to think my body was “designed” to “naturally” do what actual thinking brain tells it to after I survey my possible options in my unique situation. And if that doesn’t look crunchy, blissed-out, special, domestic, or natural enough for you then make different choices about your OWN BODY, and also please consider the fact that passing judgment on the worth of other women based on whether you like what they do with their boobies and vadges is not a feminist thing to do. Nor is saying a really “good” laboring woman will stay in the safe private domicile of her home rather than go into the public space of a hospital where she will risk be victimized by leering men and thus become a “bad” laboring woman. Nor is setting up yet another test in which a woman has to prove to others that her body is good enough through self-denial. Obstetrics has a sexist history, yes, but those ideas have their own sexist histories. How about everyone just do what works best for them, and we OMG TRUST WOMEN to make those choices without demanding they offer reasons for not doing it our way, and OMG LET THEM RETAIN SOME OF THEMSELVES even when they occupy the public space labeled “mother.” OBs, doulas, midwives, doctor relatives, LLL people, Bradley leaders… my body is not a place for you to work out The Place of Mothers In The Ideal World You Would Like To See If You Were In Charge.


    Sorry, y’all, but I met some CRAZY sanctimommies when I was pregnant. I guess it’s still raw. Wellrounded, I hope you know that I don’t have you in mind here! You strike me as very reasonable.

  64. Thanks for this post. Its a great reminder. And since we are sharing craving-recipes. Here’s my favorite for that chocolate hit. Take a bit of coconut milk in a bowl and pore a dose of dry hot chocolate mix over it (the good kind that requires you to add fresh milk.) Mix and then mix in some coconut flakes. Wait a few minutes for the coconut to absorb the extra moisture and eat it straight out of the bowl. Hits the chocolate spot so well and I find the ingredients easier to keep around the house than ice cream, which tends to trigger me into some painful overeating habits.

  65. Sanctimommies: I suppose I am one, as far as I can tell from that comment. But it’s hard to create a space where there’s a realistic choice for women between recently-traditional medical-science routes and older-traditional DIY routes when the former are normal and the latter are wacked-out hippie potentially fatal choices based on false information and so on. (Natural != unskilled, scientific != superior, etc).

    When I rule the world, women having babies will have access to unbiased information and not be judged for their choices, and any advice they receive will prioritise women at least as much as their babies, and mental health as much as physical health. I’m working on the brainwashomatic right now.

  66. “santimommies”. lol. Not at your experience, but because I know all too well how people can do this, not so much in a birth/child-rearing sense, but in a medical sense in general.

    Back to the topic at hand….

    I thought about these concepts for a long time last night, fillyjonk, and the more I came to realize that this is seriously advanced Fat Acceptance. I’m talking graduate level courses, working on our dissertation, getting ready to graduate and worrying if we’ll be able to get a good job, type of concepts. The amount of nuance and sublety required in our diet-shaped minds to not let this become just another form of “good foods/bad foods” really is amazing and intimidating.

    I found myself in a position last night of holding a piece of cheese and mentally chastising myself. My belly was hungry, but I wasn’t quite certain what I wanted, and it was time to go to bed anyways so I didn’t feel like cooking anything. I cut up some cheese, took a bite, and it tasted okay but not amazing. Suddenly, what was this emotion taking hold of me, strange but not forgotten….guilt. My mind was saying, “Why do you keep eating this?? It’s obviously not what you REALLY WANT. Why do you insist on doing bad things to your body??” Yeah, I felt guilty for eating cheese. I knew it wouldn’t take long for these thoughts to turn down the familiar road of “HOW CAN YOU EXCEPT TO BE LOVED, OR ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING WITH YOUR LIFE, WHEN YOU HAVE NO SELF CONTROL!!!!!”

    Maybe I’m not ready for graduate school….maybe I need to go back and take a couple remedial courses. Maybe I just need to create a mantra, hang it up in the kitchen, in my car, in my office, and repeat it firmly to myself, and I mean firmly, that even if I don’t carefully introspect about each food choice, even if one night I settle for MickeyD’s because it’s easy, even if I have just an okay-but-not-trancendental experience with food:

    It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.

    Isn’t it sad that it has to come to that?

  67. When I rule the world, women having babies will have access to unbiased information and not be judged for their choices, and any advice they receive will prioritise women at least as much as their babies, and mental health as much as physical health.

    lol Alibhe, I’m afraid that disqualifies you from sanctimommy status. Sorry. You don’t seem to think that every mother everywhere has to fall in line with your agenda or at least feel bad for not doing so, because otherwise you’ll have to see your Pure Vision of Motherhood get tarnished. (And obviously that’s a mentality that predated the sanctimommy phenomenon; I just personally have a lot of leftover anger at the local sanctimommy crowd for telling me things that then fed into my PPD in a major way. I hear in other places it’s the crunchy folks who are more about women’s choices/desires, and the OBs who are more about dictating choices. I have no reason to doubt that, but it’s not been my experience here.) Anyway, can I donate to your World Ruler campaign? But, like you say, back to the topic at hand:

    EntoAggie: even if I don’t carefully introspect about each food choice, even if one night I settle for MickeyD’s because it’s easy, even if I have just an okay-but-not-trancendental experience with food:
    “It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”

    This is so brilliant. Thank you! This goes on the fridge.

  68. A recipe for those craving lime-cilantro rice. We call this Thai rice salad, but we really made it up.

    Make rice or other grain. May be best with white rice, but YMMV.
    Mix the juice of 2-4 limes with approximately an equal amount of fish sauce (thai or vietnamese). Use less fish sauce if other things are salty. I dip a cucumber or shrimp or whatever to determine the right mix to my taste.

    Mix with rice.

    Must add fresh cilantro, peanuts, and red pepper flakes for the full effect. Can add salad vegetables, a protein source, green onions, garlic, etc.

    And it goes well with mexican food, since it has that lime-cilantro thing going.

  69. Discovering desire is a wonderful thing. I’m often wanting onion rings[1], or thinking that I’m wanting onion rings, but the standard onion rings are always disappointing. Tonight, when we had tandoori, I realised that what I think is an onion ring craving is really a desire for onion bhajis. Delicious, sweet, spicy onion bhajis. Which I’ve had before plenty of times, too, but I just never made that connection.

    Right now I’m craving insalata caprese a whole lot. Coincidentally, our garden is producing mounds and mounds of tomatoes and basil, so I’m in heaven.

    [1] Not sure if there is any translation needed here, but I’m talking about the kind that is a ring of some sort of reconstituted onion product, crumbed, deep-fried, and served hot, typically alongside a burger.

  70. This is a great post for me. A few months after starting intuitive eating, I’ve found this out for myself: do I want the special, or the rush of sugar with the soda provided? Etc. I’m taking baby steps there but it’ll come with time, I believe.

    I’ve actually started doing this with romantic desire as well, before this post. I think it runs along the same lines, though, and as a compulsive dater and someone who falls very easily it’s something I have to do for my mental health. Do I really want to date X, or do they have the type of intelligence I find attractive while being a jerkoff? Or is it their personality I like and not so much any of their habits or hobbies?

  71. fillyjonk, lol! Well done, Miss Conduct!

    Also have to add Cosmic Cantina in Durham, NC to the burrito pantheon.

  72. The hardest thing for me in learning the process is learning when I actually don’t want to eat something. I was so used to denying myself things, that when I first discovered HAES and became aware of the dangers of dieting, I stopped cold turkey and went, well, whole-hog – I ate anything I wanted, whenever I wanted it. Sometimes, I even ate something I wanted when I was full. Recently, I’ve really been trying to pay attention to what I want when I’m craving, say, pretzels, but I’m actually not hungry. It’s been a big challenge – but an interesting one. Thanks for the post!

  73. A Sarah: well, where I am, it was the ob who rendered me doubly incontinent and claimed it was my own fault for not asking for a c-section, and the pro-homebirth midwives who cured my postnatal PTSD and enabled me to have a good planned section second time… so I think there are eeeeebil people on both sides. But one side is mainstream and the other is not. I’m told there are places in the US where midwifery is illegal, for example.

    Today I ‘ave mostly been eatin’ protein, carbs, and other stuff.

  74. Alibhe, holy SHIT, I am aghast at your OB!! Eeeeebil is right. Thanks for giving me some perspective on my perspective. To explain where I’m coming from a bit, around here the natural childbirth stuff is folded in with the conservative Roman Catholic you-were-put-on-earth-to-bear-children-so-how-dare-you-not-be-blissed-out-by-same junk. I had postnatal PPD and PTSD too, but it was from being so traumatized by the pain and feeling like a) I couldn’t ask for an epidural without damaging my baby, and b) that I was somehow a failure by not being able to breathe blissfully through it. Anyway, I think our experiences are maybe more alike than un-alike, and you’re right that there are bad’uns on both sides. Pregnancy just seems to bring out people’s issues with female bodies, in a different way than fat but maybe not completely unrelated?

  75. I LOVE Indian food, whether it’s hot or cold outside. I completely agree with your article. In fact, this week it has been perpetually cold at my work and my energy is low, I feel like I might be getting sick. So I’ve been hungrier. I’ve been wanting more food, and more substantial food, not because I’m depressed (which has happened in the past) but because my body needs more fuel to burn right now. And I’ve done that in the past and when that urges passes, I’m fine and I go back to eating the way I was before.

  76. Aibhe, I feel with you on the incontinence thing. I’m still convinced it was the unwanted episiotomy that I was given that has caused mine. The good news is that there is promising research where they take a bit of muscle from your forearm (or maybe belly fat, since they’ve discovered it’s rich in stem cells!) and grow up your very own stem cells for a bit, then inject them near the urethra. The initial studies are showing good results for urninary incontinence.

    Meanwhile, may I interest you in some nicely moldy apples from my compost pile to throw at a picture of your OB?

  77. Mmmm, Chipotle. Or Qdoba; I’m not picky, although I do like Qdoba’s corn salsa better. I think Moe’s rice is kind of gross, compared to the others, but hey.

    I also had an awful idea for the novel of Burritos and Desire, but I will not torture you with it.

  78. FWIW I thought “sour chickpeas” sounded cold too, even before you said that :) I was envisioning some kind of bean salad. Curried chickpea stew sounds much more palatable for winter!

  79. @Ailbhe — No, not just for Christmas. Sigh. And hey, I just realized I’ve been misspelling your screen name! Sorry about that. I’d better get it straight before I go printing up Ailbhe For World Leader buttons. ;)

    Fillyjonk, I know I said this already, but this post has really helped me out. I get really bad PMS and today is the worst day; and so all day I’ve been going, “Hang on… do I really want straight salt followed by chocolate chips and then yet more stew? Or am I just cold, bloated, and really tired because I don’t sleep well when I have PMS? Maybe I should just put on some warmer clothes, drink some water and rest.”

    What’s been most helpful is noticing how very different that kind of self-talk is from those superficially very similar conversations I had with myself while on Weight Watchers. All the, “Do I *REALLY* want to eat this? People sometimes mistake thirst or fatigue for hunger, you know. You’re probably doing that. Tsk, tsk, self.” And I’d get so hung up on the self-shaming that I’d never actually figure out what I want. It’s so different to go, “No, actually, I *really* don’t want more stew. I’m just cold and I want to warm up my extremities. But it would be fine to want stew. Stew is even a very fine way to warm up one’s extremities, and for that matter, that’s not a bad reason to want stew. I’m just kind of sick of stew right this moment.”

  80. EntoAggie: I was actually talking about a place called Bueno y Sano in my hometown. But I think there are probably similar places in college towns across America, because burritos are perfect for college students.

  81. First up, congratulations, Bree! Way to go!

    (Giving up the guilt was the hardest thing I’ve found about eating intuitively. I’m still not 100% there.)

    It’s coming into summer here in .au (and hooray, the weather outside actually *looks* summery for the first time all week – past three days have been grey and rainy, and before that it was blowing a gale and cold) so part of me is expecting to eat more salads. However, I know for a fact I have an absolute loathing of lettuce (particularly iceberg lettuce) after years of being given it as an expected part of the family diet for about twenty-odd years. So, while I’ll cheerfully gorge myself on tomatoes, and eat carrot sticks and celery until I burst, I won’t go within yelling distance of a lettuce leaf if I can possibly avoid it.

    My solution has been to serve myself what I call an antipasto platter – cold meat, cheese, sundried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, plus bread and butter. Something I can nibble on, and put away in the fridge when I’m done. I’m also craving steak a lot lately (my iron levels are probably down in my shoes) so I’ll have to think about getting dressed and heading down to the shops to buy some.

    Morag, I’ve been in a similar situation – it’s hard to eat intuitively when there’s one person doing the cooking for a group. The solution I’ve found is to ask the others what they’d like, and see whether it’s possible to have a couple of options available for everyone most of the time. Or alternatively, have one day a week which is “scrounge day” – everyone makes what they want from whatever’s available. Or share the cooking, shopping and prep with someone else.

    Oh, and on the whole rice with lime juice thing – another good cuisine if you want the sour flavours (which it sounds like you might; a lot of western cooking doesn’t run to them, more to the bitter) is Vietnamese. Thai will do a lot with lime juice, but they’ll tend to overwhelm it with coconut milk or palm sugar, whereas Vietnamese cooking is much less “heavy”. Hmm… now I have a craving for the Vietnamese dipping sauce they do with spring rolls. Time to get dressed, methinks, and write up the shopping list.

  82. @Piffle: The urinary incontinence was caused by whipping the catheter out because it was in his way, but the nerves he damaged are getting a lot better now. The episiotomy caused fecal incontinence on account of my torn anal sphincter not being stitched up again (ob to medical student “It’s amazing how this part of the body heals itself, you know.”). He was so proud of his work, he didn’t even put his name on his surgical notes! (He was the on-duty doctor, not a personal ob like you use in the US).

    On the other other hand, my beloved gynaecologist said “Oh, if it hurts like that, we have to fix it!” and did, so I am going to marry him as soon as polyandry is legal.

  83. @Meg Thornton: Iceberg lettuce is great if you’re short of cups, though; it has no flavour to impart to the drinks and will hold its shape while you fill it up.

  84. Well…hmm…this thread has made me super hungry for Mexicanesque food! Just to add, I’ve had horrible eating habits since college. And for the past several years, I would only eat when I was hungry, and maybe cook a good meal when I was feeling it. I live for chocolate aka the name, and I do eat way too much sugar, and I’m so aware of it. But, it’s my comfort, when I’m stressed, aggravated, tired, upset, etc. I wish I could figure a way out of the cycle. Blah. And since everyone else gave a recipe..I will too! Kind of like the bean and salsa technique. But first garlic and onions and butter, then black beans, then salsa, then cinnamon and COCOA. YUM. Then, put on top of toasted coconut and rice, add sour cream, fresh tomatoes, cheese etc. … I’m thinking why am I working instead of being home cooking..haha.

  85. So I had an intuitive moment last night, probably due to this thread.

    I was hungry, worked late, didn’t want to go out (nothing sounded good plus I’m on a budget) and couldn’t quite pin down what I wanted that I had around.

    So as I was reading through a complicated contract it hit me… Mac ‘n’ cheese! but woe is me… no boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and I was much too beat to stand over the stove mixing cheese sauce, plus I still had 40 pages of contract to read.

    think, think, think… Ah ha, of course, grilled cheese! I had a grilled Ham & Swiss sandwich and it was exactly what I needed to feel full and happy and finish my work.

    Hurray for figuring out what you desrie and then approximating another option if what you really want isn’t available!

  86. Oh. and PS to the pregnant woman talk, and what is expected…I just had to laugh yesterday when I read a quote by Jessica Biel, “[having babies] is something that I feel is a rite of passage as a woman.” r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s.

  87. niemaodpowiedzi: “In the beef scenario, I usually think, “Hmm, iron?” and plop some spinach into whatever I eat next, and that tends to work splendidly. Come to think of it, this is probably why I consume salad on such an epic level.”

    I have a tendency towards being anemic and I take one chelated iron supplement a day. I never crave red meat but shortly after I run out of those supplements, red meat suddenly sounds good! Then I go back on the vitamins again and I’m fine.

  88. oh yes, i heat vietnamese food. pho ga (chicken soup) is my go to food for whenever i can’t think of what i want.

    @Kitty L: the whole 64 oz of water per day thing is actually supposed to be 64 oz of fluids a day. yes, your body processes water the easiest in terms of absorption but any non-caffinated, non-alcoholic beverage will count toward that. might i suggest a mix of half sparkling water (i like lime or orange essence crystal gyser) and half 100% fruit necter as a yummy way to get some of those fluids? also, i used to tell my massage clients this all the time, nothing says you can’t put fresh herbs and citrus fruits in your water for a little flavor.

    @Becky: fresh brussles sprouts are so on my list of fave foods. buy the smalles ones as they tend to be more sweet and nutty. i usually just cut them in 1/2 length wise and saute mine with a touch of oliv oil or butter, some salt, onion and garlic. maybe some mushrooms if i have brown or wild in the house.

  89. Now I want a burrito…or do I???

    Thanks for this entry! I’m still working out the subtleties of how to eat intuitively, because it really isn’t just drinking lattes every time the thought of a latte pops into my head. There is so much in this post that is making me want to point and say, “Yes, this!” Like, it occurred to me at one point that because I haven’t been eating much meat lately, I might be craving lattes because they have milk, which has protein.

    I am taking a vacation from intuitive eating in order to do a challenge and elimination diet (to test for food sensitivities–it has nothing to do with trying to lose weight), though I’ll still have quite a bit of leeway in choosing what to eat and when. I feel like this diet I’ll be on will actually help me with intuitive eating when it’s over because I’ll have to be very conscious of what I eat (since the list of possible food sensitivities is so long and I’ll probably have to prepare most of my food myself), and paying attention seems to be an important part of intuitive eating (and just enjoying food in general). Maybe it will also help me be more aware of how my body feels after eating certain foods–especially in the “challenge” phase when I have to watch for symptoms of sensitivity–which will help me over time to differentiate between different kinds of “wanting”.

  90. I definitely have to second both the Chipotle sentiment AND the Moe’s sentiment; and by the by, I first “met” Moe’s in Tennessee and was delighted to find it when I moved to Florida. Alas, we do not have them in Vermont (where I am moving back to shortly to be near my baby’s grandparents). Very hard to get a decent burrito there. I would actually really LOVE to have a burrito right now (damn all of you), but since my nausea and stuff has been so bad since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been avoiding spicy foods that might aggravate it. I will definitely mow down on one from both of those places when I get over this, though…

    And on the pregnancy front: Lindy, I agree with you. Although I almost feel like pregnancy is teaching me intuitive eating, because I have to be so tuned into what my body is wanting, or else I either won’t eat, or what I do try to eat will make me sick. As some of you have heard from me, I got so caught up “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” at first that I was making myself crazy about all the things I SHOULDN’T do. Now I eat what I can when I can, listening to my body, refusing to let anyone else dictate how I get through this. That having been said, I of course make an effort to get as many of the food groups as I can handle in whatever way I can, but that’s when I can handle it. Some days it just ain’t happening.

    But right now I would totally make mad, passionate love to a burrito.

  91. you are so right about cravings.
    but i think also they put crack in the chipotle burritos. if i didn’t stop myself i would only eat chipotle every day of my life. i don’t think my wallet could handle that.

  92. Hey Becky,
    I hate you. Not really. Let me explain.

    I am on some heavy-ass antibiotics right now, the kind they give you when the bone in your jaw is infected. (Mine is actually in my inner ear, but I know this because someone I know had an infection in his jawbone and they gave him the same pills.)

    The nurse actually told me not to bother eating dairy to replace the bacteria in my stomach because they would all just immediately die again, that’s how heavy these bastards are.

    Thus I have not felt like eating anything at all, and everything tastes like cardboard or worse, except for coffee (?), and so I eat because I know I have to.

    As soon as I read the words “bok choi,” it sounded heavenly. (Specifically my mother’s bok choi soup recipe.) I have actually looked for bok choi in this town before, to no avail. I know I’d probably have to drive like at least an hour to find it. I have finals. No time.


  93. Alyce, thanks for posting your insight about the grilled cheese. Food is so irritatingly loaded and guilt-related for me that I think half the time what I really want is “to assert that it’s OK for me not to worry about the significance of what I put in my mouth all the damn time”–not necessarily in and of itself to eat the food that I am craving. I need to find ways of doing so without eating food that makes me feel jittery or tired or overly full, and that is so difficult in and of itself, but I had never thought of it in exactly that way before. So thanks.

    I have been hung up since yesterday on this “tip” in Woman’s Day magazine (I know, I know… it has some holiday recipes in it I want to try. And just that fact is ridiculously typical of women’s magazines considering what I am about to say). The woman said “To avoid holiday overindulging, I make sweets that I don’t personally care for, like fudge. I treat myself to gingerbread men and sugar cookies–but on Christmas Eve only.” So now I’m obsessed with the idea that it must be “normal” to eat cookies only one day per year or something. I mean, my logical brain says “surely it is more ‘normal’ to have one or a few cookies now and then throughout the holidays when you want one, or none if you don’t like them,” but seriously? She only eats a cookie that one time in the entire holiday season? It’s stressing me out.

  94. Eating a Chipotle burrito is like eating a hot water bottle, and that is what I want.

    ..ffffft okay if I’d have had a drink, it’d be out my nose and all over the monitor, now. I’m a bit sad that I’m not the first person to declare that!

    It’s not easily to eat intuitively… I’ll often just give in to the crazy cravings in the back of my mind, cash permitting. This week has been a little irritating because I’m strapped for cash and forced to actually… gasp… use all the second-tier ingredients in my kitchen! And it’s actually helped me determine what I actually NEED to eat, as opposed to what sounds the most Ultimately Delicious. So far, it’s been veggies-and-pasta, and I’m happy with that. I LOVE to cook, so I suppose I can view this as an odd sort of treat. Sure, more work, but… I get to eat my own cooking! WOO!

    And I know for certain that my weekend-long MUST HAVE SUBWAY OMFG desires are triggered by this one guy that comes to game night with Subway of his own… but the trigger is the SMELL of it. The onions and lettuce and… hm, need to give that some thought.

    spacedcowgirl: She only eats a cookie that one time in the entire holiday season? It’s stressing me out.

    That person is NOT LIVING, far as I’m concerned. Cookies are NICE THINGS. It’s okay to have ONE COOKIE. You will not die if you have a cookie on Monday, and then Tuesday, and then not on Wednesday cuz you don’t really want anything sweet, and then a cookie on Thursday, and…

    Where I’m going with this is that if you DO only limit yourself to a Yearly Cookie Day, you’re being needlessly mean to yourself AND you’re likely to eat cookies until you fall over when you do get to have them. EAT A COOKIE. (This whole thing never seems to sink in to my co-worker, who puts up a big fuss every time our workplace gives out cookies/candy/cake for whatever occasion. I feel so bad for her, that she can’t spare a single “point” from her plan to at least TASTE the thing she so obviously wants.)

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