First of all I am not a vegetarian, that said I believe that ethics are a strong motivating factor - if not the strongest for most of the Vegi oriented folks I know.
While first & foremost their take is about not causing undue suffering to animals, there is also the overall impact on the environment of feeding/raising animals for human & animal consumption. It takes enormous amounts of land, water & growing of grains going to feed animals for food. Then there's the often unhealthy feedlot conditions for those animals on the factory farms, vs the free range, grass fed cows, buffalo, chicken, etc. then there's the fear, pain & suffering in the slaughtering/"processing" plants. We even have the joys of excess methane gas - from cows & the huge amounts of manure that is produced. All this plus we have our meat products loaded up with all the "good stuff" like hormones & antibiotics....Don't get me started on what this ends up doing to our health. Need I go on?
While I'm no expert on nutrition & don't always eat healthy all the time, I do strive for some balance. I will however admit to being a chocoholic! I've seen plenty of vegetarians I know who eat a very unhealthy diet - who don't put much thought at all into what else they need to eat. They crave junk food: One reason why is because they aren't getting what they need nutritionally.
We do require a certain amount of fats & protein in our diet, then there's the need for basic levels of vitamins & minerals. The other part of all this is often more emotionally based - as we often eat to "fill" ourselves up when we aren't feeling like we're good enough, unloved, depressed, etc.
Processed foods are downright terrible for the most part. Kraft & more than a couple other major brands out there are loaded with all sorts of artificial food colorings & preservatives, not to mention - well okay I will intentionally mention it - HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP - which is one of the worst sugar replacements on the market - namely because it's a cheap sweetener, which sets you up for diabetes. It's in so many products it's unreal, read your labels on the stuff we know is bad for you anyway - like soda, as well as many breads, teas & juices....And in kids cereals, etc. Many other sugar replacements have a bad rap too, for good reason. About the only good ones are generally speaking honey, or stevia. Then there's MSG, yet another cheap ingredient as a "flavor enhancer", try reading up on that & all it's side-effects....But I digress....
See this link:http://www.womentowomen.com/understandy ... te+craving
"Another cause of food cravings is adrenal fatigue. If you are under a great deal of stress, or suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation, you are probably exhausted much of the time. This leads to adrenal fatigue or outright adrenal exhaustion, which in turn signals the body it needs a pick-me-up. You may resort to sugar or carbohydrate snacks or coffee during the day and carbohydrates or alcohol at night, all of which exacerbate the problem.
How to curb cravings
Women who blame themselves for their food cravings only worsen their mood and increase their need for serotonin. That’s when a pattern of emotional eating can develop. Remember, there are biological causes of sugar cravings, and your carbohydrate craving is rarely just a behavioral problem. The root problem is more likely inadequate nutrition.
How to break this vicious cycle? To reduce food cravings, the body needs real support — and lots of it. We have seen over and over that eating healthy foods, adding pharmaceutical–grade nutritional supplements and moderate exercise can almost miraculously curb cravings. Your metabolism will heal itself when provided with the necessary nutritional support. If it has been damaged, the process can take some time, but it will happen. The good news is — you don’t have to give up chocolate!"
As to those chocolate cravings: Chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which we all need - it helps our muscles & our minds to be more relaxed, and can act as an aid for sleep. Personally I love my Magnesium Calm by Peter Gilham, as it is a powdered version - so it get absorbed quickly. Though if you take to much you'll be making extra trips to the bathroom, but if you're up for a good clean-out it will do that for you!
This site has more useful info to read:http://www.naturalhealthtechniques.com/ ... avings.htm
For those who are interested in the benefits of foods & nutrition for a wide range of health conditions you may want to own a copy of Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch & Balch. It is an excellent reference book I think everyone should have on their bookshelves!
Oh & Pueppi - if you ever want to share a bag of Kettle Chips - Sea Salt & Vinegar - I'm there! They are downright dangerous...there's no such thing as eating just one....