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Cooked Food Addiction: How to Overcome It?

The fact is, almost all of us, are addicted to something. If nothing else, we are all addicted to cooked food. So pervasive is the pattern that few even think of this as an addiction at all.

Studies show that a child of alcoholic parents is four times more likely to become an alcoholic than is the child of non-alcoholic parents. So consider: What chance do we have to avoid the cooked food addiction, if cooking has been around for tens of thousands of years?

Is Cooked Food Addictive?

Is it really an addiction? Yes. The sure sign: When the supply of cooked food cut is off, we experience withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal may include dizziness, chills, food cravings, headache and poor concentration—even flu-like symptoms.

Whatever you feel, you almost always feel it because of chemicals released in your body. It is believed that the cause of food cravings is the presence of a chemical (beta-endorphin) that stimulates the perceived need for certain foods. Cooked foods, in particular, because no one craves carrots or celery. Eat sugar in high concentration over time, and your nerve cells will actually alter in a way similar to the alteration seen in cocaine addiction (though different nerves are involved). The craving for cooked food isn’t merely “psychological”—it’s a cellular hunger, a tissue hunger. It’s powerful because it is mostly a physical phenomenon.

Abstinence May be Necessary

If you can be 95, 98 or 99 percent raw, then good for you. It means you are not an addict. It never worked for me. It has been my experience that the best way to stop cravings is to cleanse your body completely and practice complete physical abstinence from your trigger—cooked foods. Abstinence is not a diet. To be abstinent is to avoid any substance that triggers your addiction. We do not “go on a raw food diet,” as if we were simply “cutting down for a while.” Rather, most of us must practice abstinence from cooked foods, foods that in the long run contribute to illnesses and aging.

Stay "Sober"

To find our “cure” for cooked food addiction we must stay “sober,” that is stay 100% raw. Once we start eating trigger foods, we crave more. We, the cooked-food-addicted, just like those who are addicted to alcohol, can never safely consume our addictive substance at all. Our bodies will at once take note if we eat any amount of addictive substances, and we may very soon find ourselves falling off the wagon. The sure way for us to set up that craving again is to introduce even a very small amount of cooked food into the system.

Find a Substitute When it Starts to Get the Best of You

If you find that your cooked food craving is starting to get the best of you, try substituting something. Often going for intense exercise, such as hot yoga, will center you and clear your head from the food temptations. Or perhaps you still need to include more variety in your raw food diet. Go to a raw food restaurant if one is available, or try out a new recipe. Best wishes!