Welcome to the anti-diet (aka intuitive eating). This is freedom from diets, restrictions, fads, and deprivation. This is our innate intelligence doing what it does best. This is trusting our bodies to guide our food choices. If we really slow down and check in with our bodies, they know exactly what we need to eat and how much. Sounds simple right? Maybe so, but the hardest part of intuitive eating is actually UNlearning almost everything we have been taught (intentionally or otherwise) around food in our culture.
When was the last time you sat and enjoyed a meal? I’m talkin a European style meal filled with pleasant conversation and slow chewing. Probably, not recent enough, right? And most likely not often enough. Convenience may serve us in simplifying our busy lives, but it is nothing but detrimental to our digestion and ultimately our health. Choosing real, whole foods requiring foresight and preparation are certainly not as convenient as popping a lean cuisine in the microwave, but the payoff doesn’t even compare. Sure you’re full, but your body isn’t nourished. Food devoid of nutritional value–and perhaps low in calorie–leaves your body craving more.
Intuitive eating doesn’t mean cookies for breakfast and skittles for dinner–it means truly tapping into the needs of your body. The foundation must be a nutrient-dense, properly-prepared whole foods diet. The best thing about the anti-deprivation anti-diet, is there’s always a way to satisfy your cravings. It’s the ultimate form of self-care.
Our cravings actually mean something! Crave carbohydrates? Try eating more essential fatty acids. Crave chocolate? Get more magnesium in your diet. On a sugar craving rollercoaster? Balance every meal with the satiating magic of quality fats. Cravings are essentially symptoms of a lack of some nutrient(s). Tune into your body and understand what it’s telling you, then give yourself permission to eat it.
Here are some guidelines to eating more intuitively and mindfully:
It’s all about relieving the stress of food rules and guilt. Keep in mind these principles of intuitive eating:
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Respect Your Fullness
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
- Respect Your Body
- Honor Your Health
- Trust Your Innate Wisdom
I wouldn’t send you into Thanksgiving week without a treat….Check out the recipe below to [mindfully] enjoy my healthy and delicious take on sweet potatoes