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One Friday afternoon, I was feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list, but not at all interested in staying indoors. So I took a list of errands with me as I went out.

I was enjoying the sunshine, and everything seemed fine until I finished my first errand. Suddenly, a craving hit. I thought, “I could really go for some chips right now.”

That thought had been popping into my head with some regularity over the past few months. I was aware that it was mostly connected to anxiety in my life. And I probably wasn’t hungry, since I’d gone out shortly after having a balanced, healthy lunch.

But I checked anyway, and asked myself: Is this desire for chips Stomach Hunger, Mouth Hunger, or Heart Hunger? In other words, do I need to fill my stomach, quiet my tastebuds, or feed some other need or habit?

Well, in this case, my stomach was still feeling more full than hungry, despite a few butterflies floating around. So I didn’t actually need food just then.

But guess what…I bought something anyway. In asking myself what was driving my craving, I found anxiety, as I expected. But when I dug a little deeper, I realized that part of what I was anxious about was what my husband and I would eat for dinner, just a few hours away.

What I needed wasn’t a snack – I needed to know that a meal would be ready for me when I needed it to be. That I wouldn’t be rushing around the kitchen trying to cook something only after noticing that I’m starving. You don’t want to hang around with me in that state – I’m likely to want to bite your head off. This is one reason why meal planning, and eating regularly can be so helpful in improving your relationship with food – and sometimes, also with other people. So I bought a ready-made meal that I know we’ll both enjoy, and that I can feel good about.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to the grocery store (as I do every weekend). This time, I’ll stock up on even more quick and easy basic foods that I can mix and match into healthy meals. Kebabs of vegetables with some sort of meat or meat alternative are extra appealing options right now, to roast or stir-fry.

Are cravings, stress eating, or boredom eating getting in the way of reaching your health & wellness goals? There’s plenty more you can do to conquer those cravings. We review the science behind why you eat the way you do, plus over a dozen effective change strategies in Craving ChangeTM. This group workshop will help you change your relationship with food – plus you get to meet others who have had the same struggles. Registration opens just a few times a year. Can you join us?