Intuition is an interesting thing.
Personally, I think it’s a reflection of the health of your nervous system.
Professionally, I know it is.
Last month, we went through a brilliant journey of CREATING OUR OWN REALITY. Your reality is easily one of the biggest influences on what we intuitively know about well, EVERYTHING…
Health, Wealth, Inspiration, Building Families, Pregnancies, Babies…
The whole of life is influenced by our reality ESPECIALLY what we believe about our food.
While we can get stuck in the mental processes as it relates to this principle, FOOD can be one of best ways to enhance our intuition and vice versa.
Intuitive eating is one of the most powerful windows into the health of your body, mind and spirit.
What most people don’t realize is that food is our connection to the earth and the greater ecosystem of the whole of the planet.
So let’s investigate two of the most common food cravings… what we think, in the moment is our intuition SCREAMING at us for
Pizza (fatty foods)
Ice Cream (sugar – you know, the most dangerous legal drug out there)
Two of my favorites.
So you may be thinking, how could cravings relate to the nervous system? How the heck does this relate to the health of my spine? We have talked in the past about the parasympathetic and sympathetic balance in the body.
But let’s dissect that sympathetic response because we could all agree that as a society, we are plenty stressed.
And not in a way like in caveman days where the predatory animal kingdom was our main form of FIGHT OR FLIGHT.
Okay, the setting is back in hunter gatherer times and we are literally being chased by a sabertooth tiger.
In chronological order this is what happens.
- You perceive it (this is 100% a nervous system function). Your sensory system, through it’s 109 afferent inputs, perceives the threat.
- It sends a message through the locus areleus in your brain to fire off the sympathetic nervous system. Noradrenaline and Adrenaline are produced in your brain. (Again a nervous system function).
- This region of the brain fires off pathways downstream through your hypothalamus, your pituitary which then informs your adrenals to fire off cortisol and adrenaline. (also a brain and nervous system function).
- Cortisol and Adrenaline/Noradrenaline from the adrenals and the Sympathetic Nervous system and have very unique physiological functions.
- Blood pressure and Volume skyrocket.
- Why? Because your body need FUEL ASAP to get away from the tiger.
- Blood Sugar goes UP.
- Because it needs ROCKET fuel.
- Blood Cholesterol and other lipids go UP.
- Because cholesterol is necessary for wound healing, can be converted into fuel.
- Blood pressure and Volume skyrocket.
There are a whole host of other responses in the body but let’s cut this off here because it is all we will need for this blog.
You can tell that the need for fuel is the highest priority when the stress response is initiated in the body. In case you didn’t know, this is old news. Hans Selye coined this process in the 1970s.
This is our ancestral make up. Stress has been and will always be a part of our life and adapting to it (in all forms) is easily the most important factor in all of natural health.
But stress today is very different that before. Instead of an instantaneous life or death process like being chased by a sabertooth tiger, stress today is CHRONIC.
I mean you get away or you don’t right?
Today, stress is ubiquitous and non-stop..
It’s our family, finances, a new baby, sleep deprivation, a boss that doesn’t understand maternity/paternity leave…
But our response is physiologically is the same………
What happens when we have a CHRONIC demand for blood sugar, cholesterol and other fats?
We crave it more.
What happens if we give into that craving consistently over the time that we are stressed (ahem days, weeks, months, years, decades)?
Well, high blood pressure acutely might save your life, but chronically? Heart Disease. What about blood sugar? Generally, two things will happen…
- Cancer. How you say? With blood sugar imbalances come INSULIN imbalances. Insulin is a mitogenic hormone. Mitogenic means it causes unregulated cell replication (aka cancer).
What about blood lipids and cholesterol? This again will lead to heart disease AND chronic cholesterol imbalances could affect hormone balance because it is a precursor to so many hormones.
If you look at the leading causes of death today, virtually ALL of them are related to chronic levels of stress and more importantly an inability to adapt to stress.
Why is this important?
Without addressing the cause of your “intuitive” cravings–the uncontrollable stress response–you’ll never be able to give your body what it truly craves. How can we eat intuitively and mindfully if we’re continually feeding a stress response overriding all other functions?
The sugar may fuel the flee from the sabre tooth tiger in the moment, but on the whole, the sugar interacts with and affects your biology. The food we eat either supports health or creates disease. Yes, your body’s innate wisdom knows all, but in order to tap into this wisdom–this intuition–it must be free of interference.