I really get a kick out of reading studies like the one below- better than those Cosmopolitan surveys! I definitely agree that there is a very strong correlation between what and how much of something we eat and our emotions. There are different schools of thought on profiling and food cravings. I'll post more about that at another time.
Here's some of my profile ( you should read the article first and then if interested, read my profile. AND PLEASE SHARE YOUR PROFILE!!)
I like tortilla chips ( organic blue ones to be exact) and I love black bean dip. This means that I'm a high achiever, perfectionist and socially responsible. YES...that's me on some level...I agree. However, I don't strive for high achievement in all that I do. I think I have a more practical reason for desiring achievement....eg..financial security , humanitarian effort. Overall, I'm content just being mediocre.
I love Potato chips even though I TRY to stay clear of them. The problem is that I can't eat just one. I will devour the entire bag in one sitting ( sometimes while I meditate..hehehe) I don't consider myself very success oriented and I am definitely NOT competitive. However, I agree with the traffic comment. I hate traffic and it does cause me to crave potato chips now that I think about it! But, maybe since I like Tortillas and chips, I have been in denial about myself and I really am a high achiever? Maybe I am more of a perfectionist than I realize? hmmmmm I will think on that a bit more.
I LOVE spiced jelly beans which means that I like chewy foods and I know for fact that I eat them when I am most stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed. I will stop at the local drugstore and literally run to the candy aisle for those Brach's spiced jelly beans. I also like the gourmet jelly beans that I can mix and match ( the coconut and chocolate pudding is awesome!) I crave jelly beans after talking to my mother, while studying, or during an exam. I lack control when eating jelly beans and it's too easy for me to consume an entire bag.
I generally don't think of eating nuts when I seek a snack or comfort food but I do make my own trail mix and I keep a bag in my desk for eating while working. This is a conscious choice to try and be healthy and reduce my temptation to eat something like cupcakes. I love cashews and goji berries with chocolate nibs. I wouldn't consider myself non-confrontational though. Yet, I am easy going most of the time-
CHEESE CURLS!!! OH I used to eat them and I love them so!! I don't like the puffy kind. I like the crunchy kind. cheetos? I refrain from eating them now because I can't stand to have that orange powder on my clothes and stuck to my fingers. When I eat them I lack control and I end up with orange stain all over me. YUK. BUt, otherwise, I could eat them by the ton. Do they make organic cheese curls? I also like those cheese crackers made Kashi...country cheddar. They are not very healthy, no doubt. But, when I crave a comfort cracker, those are my favorites.
Popcorn is something I buy and then never eat. SO, I can't say that I"m a popcorn person. Besides, I haven't the patience to stand at the stove and pop it and I don't own a microwave ( which is very unhealthy and can lead to popcorn lung- do a google if you're unfamiliar with this condition) I suppose if I were at the movie theater I would get a big tub and munch down like everyone else....lots of butter, no salt. I also like Raisinets and milk duds ( though my teeth probably couldn't tolerate the duds anymore). Popcorn reminds me of those tasteless squeaky rice cakes. WHy would anyone want to eat a rice cake? It's like eating styrofoam. I can't think of anything appealing about rice cakes. But, maybe I don't have the personality for them??
OK..I do LOVE to eat turkey jerky. I like the homemade kind that doesn't contain the sodium nitrite and other toxins. But, I love to gnaw and chew on jerky! I usually crave this when I'm shopping ( which I hate to do). My friends say that I'm a very honest and loyal friend that they trust so I guess this makes sense. But, why would I crave jerky when I shop?
I'm truly a recovering emotional eater. Seriously. I used to eat to fill up my empty tummy and I paid no mind to what I was eating or why I was eating it. I'm very different today thank goodness. But, I do admit that I have moments when I give in to my emotions and ' Death by Chocolate' sounds so much more appealing than living another moment without it.
Healing Foods—Profile of a Snacker
By Lisa Turner
Dying for a donut? Pining for a pretzel? What you snack on may reveal more than your food tastes, says Alan Hirsch, MD, neurological director of The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago and author of What’s Your Food Sign (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 2006). “Everything we do, including snacking, reflects our underlying personality,” Hirsch says. “Snacks are a very emotion-laden food.”
To discover which personality types are connected with which food preferences—and to find out how strong that connection is—Hirsch has conducted scads of studies involving more than 18,000 people. In one of the larger ones, 800 volunteers took numerous personality tests and then named their favorite snacks. “We found that there was a statistically significant correlation between a person’s snack food preference and their personality type 95 percent of the time,” Hirsch says. That means that 95 out of 100 times, you can predict a person’s character traits by his or her snack choice. People who eat tortilla chips, for example, tend to be driven, while nut lovers are laid-back and easygoing.
While linking your personality type with your passion for popcorn may seem like a stretch, Hirsch says that biologically it makes sense. “Food preferences reside in the olfactory lobe, the same part of the brain where the personality resides,” Hirsch explains. What’s more, food preferences develop at the same time as your personality—from birth to age 7. So “it’s possible that neural systems and pathways that develop simultaneously may be linked in more than random fashion,” according to Hirsch. “They may, in fact, be dependent on each other.” Indeed, at Hirsch’s research center, they’ve observed that when people lose their sense of smell or taste, their personality sometimes changes as well.
Along with your personality type, your emotional state at any given moment also influences what goodies you grab. “There are two different types of snack patterns,” says Linda Spangle, RN, MA, author of 100 Days of Weight Loss (SunQuest Media, 2006). “The first is a tendency to snack on chewy or crunchy foods, things you really bite down on, like chips, pretzels, or cookies. The other category is wanting to snack on foods that are smooth and soft, like ice cream, pasta, or bread.”
When you crave a chewy, crunchy snack, Spangle says, you often are responding to “pressure emotions,” like stress, anger, frustration, resentment, or feeling overwhelmed. When you reach for smooth, soft treats, though, you’re feeling what she calls “empty emotions,” like sadness, loneliness, restlessness, boredom, or neediness. Ever since Mom dished us out ice cream after skinning a knee, we’ve learned to associate food with feeling better—specifically, smooth foods for comfort and soothing and crunchy ones for venting stronger emotions. But “at some point we have to realize that food doesn’t fix our problems,” Spangle says. Reaching for food out of an emotional need rather than hunger only helps us gain weight, not gain on the problem. To address the root of your craving, Spangle recommends the following:
• If you hanker for something crunchy, ask yourself, “What do I want to ‘chew on’ in life? Will eating change this? What can I do instead?”
• If you reach for a soft, smooth treat, ask yourself, “What’s empty in my life? How am I trying to fill that emptiness? What am I trying to smooth over with ice cream or stuff up with smothered biscuits? Will eating this change that? What can I do instead?”
• To help get past the craving, try some alternative behaviors: For pressure emotions, go for a vigorous walk, pound a pillow, or chew gum. For empty emotions, choose soothing and nurturing activities: Take a warm bath, listen to music, or call a trusted friend.
• If the craving subsists, opt for healthier substitutes that still satisfy your need for crunch or comfort. Instead of triple-cheese Doritos, reach for whole-wheat pretzels, crisp apples, or carrot sticks. Rather than decadent mousse, choose chocolate low-fat yogurt, applesauce, or healthful soups.
• Watch how much you eat. “Have a few chips, and then stop and reassess how you feel,” Spangle says. Five chips may psychologically boost your mood just as much as 50.
Lisa Turner is a nutrition writer, personal chef, and food coach in Boulder, Colorado.
What do your snack preferences say about you? In one of Alan Hirsch’s larger studies, he had 800 volunteers take several personality tests and then asked them which of eight snacks they preferred. The correlations were astounding: People with a particular personality type chose the same snack as others with the identical personality type 95 percent of the time. Find out how well the snack-personality profiles match you (and if you’re curious about what your favorite ice cream flavors reveal, check out Web Exclusives at (www.alternativemedicine.com
Here’s the message in some popular munchies:
Tortilla chips. You’re a perfectionist, with high standards for yourself and others. You’re successful, ambitious, and like to plan ahead. You also have a strong sense of social responsibility and abhor injustices, large or small.
Pretzels. You’re energetic and lively, the life of the party. You love novelty and can quickly become bored with the routine and mundane. You’re sometimes easily distracted and tend to start new projects before completing existing ones.
Cheese curls. You have a high sense of morals and ethics and insist upon treating everyone fairly. You’re wise, conscientious, and prepared for anything. You may seem uptight to others, but you’re highly organized and methodical.
Popcorn. You’re a take-charge type, as ambitious and goal-oriented as chip people, but with a more modest, low-key demeanor. You’re confident but reserved, the type who would make a large charitable donation without telling anyone.
Nuts. You’re even-tempered, easy to get along with, and highly empathetic. You may not be a natural leader, like a chip or popcorn person, but your easygoing, cooperative nature contributes to your success at home and work.
Potato chips. You’re achievement-oriented, successful, and competitive. You’re a natural leader but can be easily irritated with life’s inconveniences, like long lines or traffic jams.
Crackers. You’re contemplative, thoughtful, and often a loner. You prefer private time and shy away from confrontation and arguments; you can’t stand to hurt another person’s feelings.
Meat snacks (like beef jerky). You’re gregarious, extroverted, and generous and tend to be trustworthy and loyal to a fault. Says Hirsch, “If you want a true friend, pick a meat-snack lover.”