Anatomy Of A Craving

Do you ever have cravings?

                               Is that a stupid question?

So, what are yours?

                                                                                                          I’ll tell you mine…

Sour Cream and Onion Kettle Chips

Yes, Potato Chips. But not just any old chip. All Natural Kettle Chips, gently cooked in the finest oils, seasoned with the freshest, all natural ingredients, creating chips with deep, rich flavors and fresh-from-the-field character, just as their website saysThe crispy, salty, dill infused, potato earth crunch of these Kettle Chips calls to me from the nearest Market in the sweetest, most promising voice, “Laura, I am here….”

Still, a major new diet study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that potato chips are The Very Worst Diet Offenders. They are demon Numero Uno behind the pound-a-year weight-creep that plagues us as we age. Which is no surprise. Just another reminder that I really have to Say No.

So when it occurs, it’s time to look into the Anatomy of the Craving: to break down the desire to its bare bones, to peel away the outer layers of quick and convenient, dig into its underlying impulse and try to discover a deeper, core truth.

Potatoes are a great source of minerals that can help keep the body cool in summer

“What is it?” I ask myself whenever I hear that persistent call. “What is it that you really desire? What is underneath that craving that might actually be good, perhaps even essential?”

This is a practice of listening called Vichara, from the Yoga tradition. It is a form of self-enquiry that lovingly gives attention to the desires, thoughts, emotions that we’ve grown to resist, dislike or disassociate. Instead of fighting against or guiltily succumbing, we wrap our awareness around the thought, feeling or sensation. We “listen to it” until it calms, until the inner experience is quiet enough to be able to hear what is needing to be heard.

Almost always, down under the noise, there is something wise, true, intimate and pure. Absolutely always, when followed to its completion, the practice provides deeper self-understanding, fosters self-compassion, and in time, reduces cravings.

So I listen.

Summer Potato Salad

Cravings are few and far between now, but when the desire does arise, it is almost always the same. I have, therefore, investigated its source many times. Usually, I interpret it as a need for Grounding/Potatoes, Hydration/Oils, and Electric Energy/Minerals and Salts. Inspired by the voice of that inner wisdom, home in my “kitchen lab,” I then enjoy inventing a recipe to satisfy the craving, and hopefully, keep me from landing in one of those diet studies as a statistic!

This summer, satisfaction has come with this delicious Potato Salad that can be made Vegan by using a Vegan Mayonnaise like Spectrum’s, or one you make yourself, and by replacing the eggs with Tofu: about half a block, drained and chopped into cubes.

Click for Print Version

Grounding, tonifying, mineral-rich, refreshing and reassuring, this salad packs substance. It can even serve as a meal unto itself. Hearty and wholesome ~ just the way cravings like to be handled.

Perfect for a Summer Picnic with Avocado and #GF Rice Chips

Ayurvedically, the primary tastes of this meal are Sweet and Bitter and the Action is Cooling, so it is perfect for a Summer picnic. We had it for lunch yesterday served on a bed of Red Leaf Lettuce.

We’d love to hear about your cravings. Please post it in the Comments below as I’d love to dissect its anatomy and even, in a future blog, invent for you a healthier, tastier substitute!
Potato Salad Glee

Learning to listen and love your cravings, needs, desires, and to respond with intelligence and delight is what my Ayurvedic Nutrition & Cooking Classes are all about! I invite you to join us August 7th, 11 am. More details, including the Menu for our Summer Feast, is at


16 thoughts on “Anatomy Of A Craving

  1. My biggest craving (besides salt & vinegar potato chips) is dark chocolate. I absolutely love the silky smooth texture and rich taste as is dissolves in my mouth! Ahh I want some now! LOL! Thanks for this post. I have been having intense cravings for sweets and salts since being home from vacation, where the food options were not so great (very few veggies lots of refined sugars=ugh). I can actually feel the difference in my body from those 10 days of diet change and it feels as though I am having withdrawals now that I am back to my meals of veggies and whole grains. So this post helps in putting it all in perspective 🙂

      1. Good to be back 🙂 Looking forward to that recipe! I have Alicia’s cookbook as well, and there are some really great recipes in it. I would be happy to share it with you. I’m bummed I am missing your cooking class this weekend. Have fun! See you soon 🙂

  2. kettle chips are my down fall too, i think it is the carb and fat together that is not really found in any food in it’s natural state. Oh yeah cheese cake too ……
    When I do induldge I try to do so in moderation, take enzymes to help digest and try my best not to feel guilty:) Blessing on a great blog.

  3. As you know I am 6 months pregnant & this pregnancy I have been craving a lot of sweets. Dark chocolate, coffee (w/ soy milk & a little raw organic sugar) & ice cream come to mind. I was never a “sweets person” (even w/ my 1st pregnancy). I tend to crave it t night (after dinner). Potato salad looks very refreshing… Especially on a hot summer day! 🙂

  4. What a great blog Laura! I loved reading every word of it. I look forward to seeing you soon and making the delicious potatoe salad!!! Yummy!!

  5. Lately I have been having bizarre watermelon juice cravings. I had mouth surgery and lived on watermelon cucumber juice for a couple of days and now I can’t get enough. I have gone through a giant watermelon a week. Sometimes I stick some greens in the juicer with the watermelon, but anyway I get it it’s good.

    Every 6 weeks or so I feel the need for a cupcake. Last week I made some from Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Life cookbook, which rocked and were healthy – vegan with spelt flour. Added some lavender and cardamon too. But (sigh) every so often, I make a pilgrimage to Crumb’s Bakery or Georgetown Cupcake and get the real deal. There’s nothing like it.

  6. Yum, Pamela! Lavender and cardamom together sounds enticing. I made something recently, though, with dried lavender flowers and it tasted like soap! Images of tiny, creamy-white soaps from a little old lady’s cottage in the Cotswolds danced in my head. Lovely images – not a great taste.

    I’ll look for Silverstone’s Cookbook. I appreciate all she’s done to promote Ahimsa within our Animal Family. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. Thank you, Shruthi! Means a lot coming from you. I had your Raspberry Mango Lassi last night. Made it with Coconut Yogurt so it could count on our Juice Fast. It was delicious!

      1. Hi! It is Vegan and we get it at our local health food store. It is called “So Delicious!” We also just found an Almond Milk Yogurt called “Amande” – also completely dairy and soy free.

      2. Thank you so much! I love the fact that you informed us about the efectfs of certain foods (ex: garlic and onions are good to lower the blood pressure coz it thins the blood) and I love how simple you make vegan cooking look!!! I’m not a vegan yet, though I aspire to it one day. I’m searching for different recipes I could do and see how vegan cuisine look like Thank you for all the info!!! It’s really helpful to see that it’s not as complicated as I thought it would be to become vegan one day

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