Are you on a diet and last night you dreamt about having your cake and eating it too (literally, the entire cake)?
Were you and Emeril Lagasse nibbling on meat and potatoes back in time in your childhood home?
Did you dine in a fancy French restaurant while being serenaded by a steak and lobster quartet?
The food you eat in your waking life as well as in your dreams reveals volumes about what you are chewing on in your life, the belief systems you are ingesting, the emotional connection you are hungering for, as well as the values you are feeding others.
On the physical level food enriches the body; on the mental level knowledge feeds the mind and soul. Food dreams represent values, customs, belief systems, inﬂuence, knowledge, and/or "food for thought". Your dream meal may reveal that you are starving for a hearty "meat and potato" commitment from your lover, or that you're tired of being devoured by your mother-in-law's will, or that you are struggling with losing those last belligerent twenty-pounds. In fact it probably won't come as a big surprise that people who are dieting tend to dream (by day and night) about food. But, even if you aren't on a diet, food is an important part of your life ... and one of the juiciest metaphors in the pantry of our dreams.
The following is an hors d'oeuvre sampling of common "food/eating dreams" to whet your appetite and stimulate your own deeper understanding of what your food dreams may be telling you. As they say in 12-Step programs, "Take what you want, and leave the rest behind." Translation: If it resonates, eat up! If it doesn't, leave it on the plate, or wrap it up in a doggie bag and share it with someone who might have a hankering for it.
1. I'm Starving!!!
If you dream of being hungry ask yourself what you are craving. You might be feeling deprived of time, attention, romance, quiet, stillness, recognition, or praise. Ask yourself what you need in order to even the scales: more sweetness in your life, more alone time, a creative outlet? Once you discover the missing ingredient, feast away!
2. Overdoing It
If you dream of "pigging out" then perhaps you've been in deprivation mode (aka dieting on twigs and berries) emotionally speaking. If that is the case then it should be no surprise that you are dreaming of eating the entire refrigerator. Inquire into healthy ways you can feed your self-esteem, creative stimulation, or praise for the aspects of your life that are really cooking. To shift feelings of scarcity, both in dreams and in your waking life, find creative ways to soulfully fill yourself up (i.e. melt in a hot bubble bath, adorn your bathroom mirror with gold stars, praise yourself with a gratitude list of 10 things you did well today, rock out to uplifting music...you get the idea.)
3. Fast Food
If you dream of "drive- through" dining then ask yourself where are you looking for a quick fix. Perhaps your dream is revealing your desire for instant gratification---the hunger for a particular result in your life without the willingness to cultivate a deeper level of care and attention. Fast food in dreams and in real life represent energy that if consumed over a long period of time could have diminishing returns for your body and your body of affairs. If this resonates as true, then open your mind to the big picture of your life and well-being. Life is long...and you need a healthy mind/body/spirit vehicle to carry you through the long-haul.
We all know what Sigmund Freud would say if he knew you dreamed of eating carrots, celery, or cucumbers! More than a mere phallic symbol, dreams of vegetables represent self-love, strength, good health, and that you are taking care of your body's basic needs and well-being.
If you dream of eating something unpalatable then ask yourself what in your life are you trying to make yourself stomach? Is there a relationship that is not feeding your soul or a job that isn't enriching your intellect?
6. Finger-Lickin' Gooooood
If you are enjoying a healthy dream meal, then you are allowing yourself to relish the fruits of your labor. You are being nourished by your life and you have a recipe for success ... feeling in control of your consumption from the menu of life. Follow the scent as you continue to move yourself in the direction of your most delicious destination.
7. Cooking Up Something Yummy
If you dream of being the one to dish it out, then you are the woman or man with a plan...with the energy and creativity to cook up a scheme. This dream can also represent your ability to take care of others and dish out emotional nourishment.
8. Difficult to Chew
If you dream you have a mouthful and are having a hard time swallowing or chewing, then you may be processing the ways in which you will deal with a challenging situation (also known as "sleepworking"). Good news, studies show that the sheer act of dreaming about a decision or difficult situation in your life means that you are gaining a creative edge on how you will approach this in the light of day.
9. Sweets for the Sweet
Of course, I'd save the best for last. If you dream of dessert, ice cream, cake, and other sweets, then it is time to celebrate a job well done and savor your just deserts. You are allowing yourself to have a sweet life. Conversely, you may be acting too sugary sweet in your life -- i.e, being disingenuous. If you are on a diet and you have this dream then you are having a calorie-free binge on what you've been depriving yourself of in real life.
Remember the old adage, "You are what you eat" ... that goes for food as well as your thoughts and belief systems. If your food dreams could talk they would say, "Be mindful of the thoughts you are ingesting. Feed your body/mind/spirit only that which empowers, fortifies, and uplifts you in the highest way. Feast on the nutrients that make you a vibrant match to the life of your dreams...because you're worth it!" Oh yes, if you dream of eating a gigantic marshmallow then you may awaken to discover your pillow gone ... it happens.