The way I chose my food was more often than not a result of my then, current state of emotion. In my head, the instant satisfaction it gave that I accumulated through a foods taste/texture/flavor was far more rewarding than the possibility of any long term ramifications that awaited afterwards. That lead me to this question.....Was I feeding to fuel my body or was I feeding my emotions. Let that marinate for second. Quick fixes, temporary fulfillment's, and sugar highs......These were ways for me to escape the ever so often heartaches and stresses of life. When it came to food, my emotions and feelings played a huge role in what I ate and how I ate. Let's rewind a bit. Pertaining to food, when you think of a "sweet" flavor, what substance do you match this flavor with? I think I heard you say sugar. CORRECT!!! Next question. Again, pertaining to food and not your spouse this time, when you think of sugar, what are some of the first foods that come to mind? I'm guessing your answer is somewhere along the lines of desserts, candy, chocolate, cake, ice cream, cookies etc. All of which this country thrives off of. Yes, you are correct again! So smart. Next Question. This may require a bit more extra thought. In what moments do we usually crave these foods the most? Answers???........I'll help you out with this one. These "sugary sweets" are placed at food pedastal for major holidays like Valentines (Love & Romance thru chocolates), Easter (Egg baskets filled with chocolates and candies), and Christmas (The Multi-Flavored candy canes). They're celebrated through birthdays (The infamous birthday cake), anniversaries, and other parties in general. They are our desserts that cap off our dinner plates which may consist of an appetizer, main dish, 1-2 side dishes, and a glass of wine/juice/soda/other flavorful beverages. We present these sweets as rewards to our children for behaving or performing tasks correctly. Outside of celebrations, rewards, and holidays, they are our go to snacks (glazed honey bun, chocolate w/sprinkles donut, little debbie snacks, gummies, lollipops, etc). They have become the foods we emotionally confide in after breakups and times of insecurity to help us feel a bit better about ourselves. So what exactly am I trying to get across to you? That there is a clear connection between emotions and the types/flavors/amounts of food that we eat. We "reward" others and ourselves with foods that "punish" our bodies. Hmmmm...... imagine that. We reward ourselves with punishment? You heard me correctly. The bucket of french vanilla ice cream with the addition of chocolate candy (Reese's) with the brownie on the side and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, that we tend to devour after we have our heartbroken is doing more damage than good. It may seem fulfilling in the present moment, but once it's all broken down and digested, your issues are slowly but surely coming into formation. There is too much unnecessary stress being place on the body during digestive process and afterwards. Through my experience, times where I stressed the need of love momentarily, I would "overeat the love" to achieve love, through these desserts. Think about it for a second. As a society, we attach certain emotions with certain foods. Sweets and sugars, are a food symbol for love. We give chocolates on Valentine's day to express our love to others. We reward individuals with candy as a love for the their work and effort. It makes complete sense why we overindulge in these indulgences. We're not thinking about the stomach aches, the added stress, the cavities or the bodily dysfunctions these high amounts of sugary foods may cause in the long run because we're so stuck in the moment. We're also unaware that we've been programmed to do by all the advertising and marketing we've been exposed to through television and advertisements. My cry out to you is to first recognize this and acknowledge your own habits of overeating and/or emotional eating. Then I ask you to do some research on how your current state of emotional eating may be effecting you not just physically, but emotionally also. We may be emotionally satisfied and achieve that feeling of a sugar high temporarily that we strive to attain; But just like any other drug, that feeling will eventually wear off and your problems will still exist. This doesn't include the problems you create internally through overeating and consuming junk food. Remember disease doesn't just pop up at your door step out of no where. You have to feed it to your address until it eventually arrives, and barges through your front door. WE, can start by changing the narrative! There are many foods in general that are naturally sweet AND provide the right essential nutrients to fight against depression, anxiety, feelings of unworthiness, insecurity, and provide you with optimal energy. These foods will not only help repair your mental and emotional stages, but you will also see a change in your physical body as well. Naturally sweet foods include berries, citrusy fruits, pineapples, sweet potatoes, dates, cinnamon, carrots, coconuts, and the list goes on. Z's Understand that you must train your body to adapt to anything overtime whether its food or exercise. Overtime, as you consistently consume naturally sweet foods in replaced of GMO sweets and processed foods, you will notice your taste buds starting to change. The cravings you once had for that dollar double glazed honey bun from the gas station that was a quick-fix for your emotional hunger will gradually disappear. You will discover just how much mental this process really is. If you can mentally discipline yourself to not look towards the over indulgence of chocolate cake to feel the love you so desperately need, you'll start to create it and find it another way. WITHIN! And it is from here folks, that self-love is born! Namaste.