|When a salad looks this good, it's easy to|
decide to eat salad every day.
|If this is in your pantry, it's all too easy for|
your unaware mind to reach for a cookie.
Your primitive mind is the part of you that is the hardest to access. It's the part of you that relies on habits. I actually heard this explained first in my study of yoga as a "samskara" which basically means rut or impression. It's that way we wear a particular pattern into our lives by doing the same thing over and over again. The problem comes when we practice unhealthy habits and those unhealthy habits become samskara. We can change our samskara by forging new habits, but we have to employ our aware mind to set up thesee new habits. This can be achieved easier if we don't let ourselves get too tired, too hungry, or too stressed. Strategies for not getting too tired are to get a good amount of sleep, set electronic curfews, and take naps. Strategies for not getting too hungry are to keep Paleo-approved snacks with you. These can include nuts or nut butters (not peanut) or Paleo-approved jerky for times you're feeling light-headed and need protein; apples or other crunchy foods for when you're stressed and need a good crunch; seeds salted with sea salt for when you're craving something salty; dates are great for sweet and chewy cravings; and dark chocolate for when nothing but chocolate will get you through. Strategies for not getting too stressed can be a little harder. Stress happens. It is very hard not to let stressful events get the better of us at times. The key is to have things you enjoy that help you unwind. Exercise is good because it helps release endorphins. Prayer and meditation can also reduce stress. It's also good to have friends and loved ones you can talk to or do things you enjoy with to help in stress reduction.
The super-aware mind, however can be your best friend. This part is what allows us to connect to God. Scientists have been studying this phenomenon, and have found that through prayer or meditation, we can activate parts of the brain, coined "the God centers." We can strengthen our brains, and with the help of God, we can forge new samskaras and increase our willpower to get us through the tough times until Paleo becomes such a way of life that we are no longer tempted by SAD food.
Over the past month, I've had a rough time. I've been sick, Ray started a new medication but had to go back off of it because of it's effect on his blood sugar. The kids have been sick. With all of this going on, plus the added stress of working long, stressful hours at work, sticking to Paleo can be hard. I find myself craving sweets after really hard days. I also need something crunchy when I get off work. I keep an apple in my lunch bag for after-work crunchy needs, and I have an ounce of dark chocolate at the end of the day. And if the craving gets really bad, I'll give in to some dates or even some cookies or cupcakes made from almond flour or coconut flour. And coffee has been on my mind more often than not, and since I like my coffee sweet, I've been adding coconut sugar to it. All of these things have helped me keep my sanity without making me feel worse.