Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A desire for toast

I'm always a little surprised, and often pleased, when I crave normal foods. 'Normal' as in day-to-day, basic, non-processed foods: a bowl of oats or weetbix, a tuna sandwich, rice, stir fried vegetables. Or vegemite on toast, as per this morning.

I'm not usually much of a toast (or bread) person. I like it, but my day-to-day eating doesn't usually feature it. I prefer a combination of fruit, cereal and yoghurt for breakfast, and if I have a sandwich-type product for lunch, it would more often be a wrap.

This morning, however, I wanted vegemite on toast. Why? I don't know. As far as I'm aware, the scientific jury is still out on whether food cravings are linked to nutritional needs - the question is complicated by the psychological cravings that can be triggered by trying to restrict or avoid foods, being tired, feeling sad, and so on. Cravings for sugar usually fall into this second category, as most of us probably know...

However, part of me likes to believe that at least some cravings signal dietary needs. It would make so much sense!

When I do crave routine foods, I often think back to a family holiday when I was 14. In photos from that age, I am all arms and legs, tall and lanky, having grown in height and not yet in weight. On the holiday in question, I also caught the flu in the first week, and ate less than usual for some days. After I recovered, I ordered a ham and cheese croissant for lunch each day for the rest of the trip.

This wasn't a usual favourite, in fact I disliked cheese (usually) even back then, but I now realise it would have been the highest fat and calorie option available to me. I'm sure my body knew that's what it needed.

I don't know why I needed, or wanted, vegemite toast this morning - but I had it. One piece, with a small serve of blueberries and yoghurt, because I wasn't quite prepared to give up my usual breakfast items :)

And a cup of Earl Grey tea, made when I got to work. No coffee today (yet!).


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