I read this question, posed by Alexandra Jamieson, earlier in the week, and, in proper Matthew McConaughey ‘Who’s Your Hero‘ fashion, I couldn’t answer. Me, the girl who has spent 15 years, a little short of half of my life, wrapped into health and nutrition (and Bulimia), couldn’t answer a very simple question. So I thought very hard. And two days later, I have the answer.

Treat your cravings like a business.

In order to run a business, one must know their business. For example, for me, at present, buying a piece of chocolate for afternoon enjoyment is like sending my employee for a pedicure. It won’t kill the business, in fact, it might help the business; and I’ll just need to work a little harder to compensate for her time off.

But it’s the bigger cravings, those which can wreck an entire evening or week, which must be given greater thought.

Note: buying and eating chocolate in my first year without Bulimia would have wrecked the organisation. So as it goes, businesses change and grow. It’s the only way to survive. Each business is different, and mine is only example for this blog post. Chocolate is small for me, but it could be big for you. You must assess YOUR business from the inside out.

Here’s an example of my bigger craving:

On Sunday, driving to the suburbs, the aroma of hot, steamy mexican tofu burritos filled my car. Oh la la, it would be a divine breakfast, yes? It’s my Sunday morning tradition. But my mind went somewhere else, to the aroma of hot potatoes, emerging from the oven, split with a knife, sprinkled with extra chives at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. It was an amazing flashback to my first job, at age 16. It was how I spent every Sunday morning, back then in 1998, and it hit me intensely on this past Sunday, 16 years later. But I ignored the cravings, putting them on my agenda for later assessment.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, the cravings intensified. First, I wanted ANCHOVIES. What?! For real?! Yes. I haven’t experienced anchovies since a double dare by colleagues in 2003 at Vincent’s Pizza Shop in Pittsburgh. They challenged me, the girl who ate only salad whilst everyone else stuffed their faces with pizza (I assure you, I ordered pizza from there on weekends, bingeing to my heart’s content); so I accepted the anchovy challenge. OH the salty flavours of anchovies! I was in love! But I ignored the Sunday cravings, putting them on my agenda to assess later.

And on Sunday night, the cravings even more so intensified! Divulging these super odd cravings to my sister, she questioned if I could be pregnant. I only laughed, and she knew the answer was no.

I wanted a Caesar salad. Done my way. Romaine lettuce. Add anchovies. Can I find a vegan Caesar dressing? What about that Goddess Dressing from Trader Joe’s to which I was addicted many years ago? I wonder if that’s vegan? Oh! And Parmesan sprinkles by Daiya. It’ll be a grand salad. This is what my brain conducted. But I ignored the cravings, putting them on my agenda to assess later.

And last night, Tuesday, I decided on the salad but wanted something even more! I wanted shrimp added to it. Shrimp from the big bucket at Whole Foods. But because I was adding more mess to the craving, I ignored it. Making such an abrupt change to a business is dangerous without thoughtful consideration. I’m not one to dwell, but I understand that food control is my weakness.

Treat your cravings like a business. 

Who gave me this wonderful advice? It was me.

Honestly, every holistic health coach and many dieticians will tell you to listen to your cravings. That’s not enough for people like me. Sure, we can listen. Does that mean to follow? To be commanded by? No, it means to LISTEN. But listening does not mean acting. I listen to socialist mumbo jumbo all day long. It won’t change my politics.

Treat your cravings like a business. 

So will I continue eating the same thing every single night? Is that the safest, best bet for my business? Or will I ‘listen’ to my recent cravings? There shall soon be a verdict. Stay tuned.

What’s the most helpful health advice you’ve ever heard, and who told you?