Why You’re Having Weird Food Cravings Right Now
Is anyone else craving spaghetti for breakfast? The pandemic has wreaked havoc on many things, including our food cravings. There's one main reason behind the need for carbs right now.
We may not think we're emotional eaters, but we are. Food is not only delicious and necessary, but cravings for it can be connected to great memories that we're trying to recreate, whether we realize it or not.
If mom made spaghetti as your pre-game meal the day you won a high school state football championship, you might crave spaghetti now because your mind wants to connect to that happy time and the football high. The noodles hit the spot, but the memory makes it better.
I grew up on my grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls and I can't eat one now without thinking about the cinnamon smell in her little farmhouse. We ate them warm with melted butter on top and they were just over-the-moon good, and they helped make me a chubby kid but I didn't care. Cinnamon cravings hit during stress sometimes now, and I think it's to remind me of the good ole days.
Delish.com calls them "COVID Cravings," and they said people are craving Russian dressing, S'mores Pop-Tarts, weird chip flavors, banana-cinnamon donuts, and sloppy Joes for breakfast. Anything to connect us with memories and make us feel less stressed.
We've also heard Spam sales have increased because, apparently, sometimes our brains just want something that breaks all the rules. Delish says stresses trigger what's been called the brain's master stress neurotransmitter, CRF (corticotropin-releasing factor) in the parts of the brain that are responsible for cravings. When that goes off, we can't be held responsible for the food that ends up in our mouths. Sometimes it's pizza, sometimes it's ribbons of peanut butter in chocolate, and sometimes it's processed meat.
I've mentioned my odd daily craving for handfuls of Xtra Cheddar Goldfish crackers and carrots. I never wanted that before in my life, and all of a sudden the pandemic hit and now it's a craving that can't be stopped. It must be the CRF talking.
If only the stress of the pandemic would trigger cravings for asparagus and cantaloupe just as hard. Maybe that's coming.