Intuitive Nutrition Starts With You
Good nutrition can be a sensitive and personal endeavor. It is a dynamic concept touching all areas of our lives. Having support and guidance is so important today. It seems where ever you look there is another splash of media touting the perfect diet, weight loss drug, longevity regime or how to look and feel your best in 10 days or less! Why do they seem to disagree more often than agree? According to the new guidelines the USDA tells us to eat low fat dairy and then new studies come out saying that full fat dairy may be a healthier option. Is butter good or bad? To count calories or not? Is cholesterol ok? What is healthy and who defines what health is for an individual? When bombarded with all of this inconsistent information it is easy to become confused.
My approach to nutrition focuses on you. What makes you feel good and sustainable? If we look at food as nourishment and not as good or bad. If we tune into how it makes us feel it takes on a whole new light. False hope and quick fixes don’t remedy underlying concerns. I encourage a diet free mindset and inspire you to look within to find the answers that nourish you.
Applying intuitive eating practices along with learning how to be present and mindful can support the areas of your life that may need more attention. You will be empowered to nourish yourself deeply and fully wherever your hunger leads you.
You are different every day so there is no set plan that works for everyone. Struggles with food are usually a symptom of something deeper that needs to be nurtured and transformed. If we sit and really be honest and inquire and listen to what needs attention lasting change will be attained.
Changing your relationship with food takes some practice but with some time you can find your way.
Here are some practices I like to implement.
Listen to your intuition.
It is your sixth sense, when other senses are leading you astray or cravings are overwhelming you go somewhere quiet and ask yourself what needs attention? What is it that I really need? Often times you will find it is not a food but something else. An example of this is eating chocolate late at night the body is tired and ready to sleep but the mind is saying stay up and eat some chocolate if we listen to our intuition we will go to bed and honor what our body is telling us. If we choose to ignore this then chocolate can keep us up and we will end up craving more to sustain a wakeful state.
Make choices you feel good about now and later.
If you ask yourself, “Will I feel better if I eat that now?” If the answer is yes ask yourself another question. “Will I feel better in an hour, day, week etc.?” If the answer is different than your first answer then it is time to exercise your choice muscle. Choice is just like a muscle the more you use it the stronger it becomes. When you decide to put off immediate gratification and reflect back and are please with the choice you made the next time a decision like that comes around it will be easier to make. Try to exercise choice as much as you can.
Be mindful when you eat.
Savor your food, chew, taste, smell! Eating should be a rich and fulfilling practice. Being mindful or aware of your environment and satisfaction of the meal can help us to know when we are full or almost full. Just by paying attention and being present the eating experience can take on a blissful quality. Simple things like chewing, sitting down, giving thanks and taking time to digest can all make a profound change in our eating behaviors.
Be kind to yourself.
It has been shown that digestion can be disrupted by our mindset. If we are stressed, sad, guilty, angry or depressed the most nutritious meal will be malabsorbed. To digest we must rest this is also known as the parasympathetic nervous system. Assimilation of nutrients is dependent on this so take time to be grateful, relax in a quiet setting, and suspend judgment. Even if you choose to indulge and give in to a craving this can be a truly rewarding experience if you let go and fully enjoy it with loving kindness. Beating yourself up for slipping only hinders your progress. This is an opportunity to learn and grow. One of my favorite meditations is the loving kindness meditation. Practice this often and see the change it makes in your life.