Poll: What Foods Do You Crave Most?

And how do you deal with cravings?

I’ve never been much of a dessert person. Ice cream has always given me stomachaches. (Ugh, lactose.) Cake has never really done it for me. (The icing is always too sweet.) I’ve never had much of a hankering for chocolate. (It’s always either too rich or too bitter.)

But then there’s pie. Glorious, delicious pie. Guys, I can go hard on some pie.

I kid you not, for three full weeks last month, I had a one of those nagging, couldn’t-get-rid-of-it cravings for pie. The silly store-bought kind wouldn’t do. I needed fresh-from-the-oven pie to satisfy my craving.

Not being a pie-maker myself (I know—how ironic), I was at a bit of an impasse. I wanted pie but had no interest in making one. And so the craving persisted. Until …

Okay, here’s where you’re going to think I’m a bit of a jerk. Last week was my husband’s 31st birthday. His mom called me the weekend before to invite us over for dinner to celebrate.

“What should I make for dessert?” she asked. The subtext, of course, was “What would Christopher like for dessert?,” but that’s not what I heard. What I heard was, “What has Emily been craving for three weeks?” And so …

“PIE!” I blurted out. (It’s a good thing Chris is fine with pie.) And that’s how, finally, I was able to satisfy a pesky craving with a delicious peach and blueberry pie.

But the whole thing got me thinking about how wildly different everyone’s cravings are—I have a friend who can’t say no to cheese, for example—and how, when good health is your ultimate goal, a lot of us think we have to deny our cravings to actually achieve it. I’m here to say that’s some serious baloney. (Mmm, baloney.) I’ve found that the more I try to push off a craving, the more obsessed I become about it. I’m not saying we should give in to our every whim, but we also shouldn’t deny ourselves a treat every now and then, whether it’s a handful of potato chips (or, you know, an entire bag), a slice of cake or a Shake Shack milkshake.

In fact, the thing I find most annoying about my job is that more often than you might believe, people feel the need to justify—or even apologize for—eating something that isn’t broccoli in front of me. As if I’m the healthy-eating police! Guys, mark my words: I can go to town on some pie. And potato chips. And Double Stuf Oreos. And I feel totally okay doing so, as long as it’s not a regular thing. You have to find the right balance that works for you, of course—maybe you only splurge for dessert on Sundays, or maybe you have a few cookies as a reward after a long run—but the key word there is balance.

How do you deal with cravings? And, in the spirit of full disclosure, what foods do you crave most? Take the poll below and share in the comments.

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