I don’t have much of a sweet tooth—I am more of a savory girl. I buy maybe 3 dark chocolate bars a year, and if I hide them from my boyfriend, one bar can last me the better portion of a month. But that hasn’t always been the case, and last night I got a craving for some chocolate. As I am striving everyday to be more aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions, I wondered where this craving was coming from. I realized that my boyfriend is out of town and that my cravings seem more frequent when I am alone.
I started thinking about the sweet taste through the eyes of Ayurveda, and not just on the physical level, but also on the emotional level. The sweet taste is equated with love. It provides satisfaction and contentment. It calms our nervous energy and grounds us. It cools our anger and decreases our fear. When we overindulge in the sweet taste, we become complacent and even greedy. We typically take in the sweet taste through our food in the form of grains, dairy, oils, nuts, water, fruit, sweet vegetables like yams and juicy vegetables like zucchini. Then there are all of the actual “sweeteners,” which we want to use in moderation, choosing mostly raw honey, sucanat, jaggery or stevia. But there are ways other than food to bring sweetness into our life and reduce the sugar addiction that so many of my girlfriends claim to have. Sweetness can come from the love you get from other people, and the love you give yourself.
I was craving some sweetness last night because I wasn’t getting my normal lovin’ from my sweetie, but you’ve got plenty of love inside to shower upon yourself. There are two simple things you can do to sweeten yourself up without food. The first is mantra. Tell yourself how great you are and how much you love yourself. Come up with your own little self-love saying and repeat it to yourself over and over throughout the day. The second is self-oil massage. Before you shower (or even better, take a bath) lube yourself up with oil and give your body a little rubdown. Don’t clean the oil off, just gently rinse and pat dry, letting the sweetness seep inside of you.
When you need to cool down choose coconut oil. When you need to warm up choose sesame or almond oil. You can use the oil that’s already in your cupboard, or try some specifically made for your body which tend to be a little bit lighter (I use Banyan Botanicals). Work these practices into your daily routine and watch your sweet tooth melt away! (But if you must eat sweets, choose something healthy, like these Dream Date Rolls).