“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates
Last week on the blog was all about how powerful and capable the human body is, loving yourself inside and out and taking control over how you interact with yourself – mind, body and soul. It really focused on the importance of mindset for a healthy body.
But today I want to talk a bit more about strategy. Specifically, intuitive eating as a method to love your body.
Because I have found that nutrition is often the missing puzzle piece for so many women. More often than not, you get out what you put in. If you’ve got a diet full of carbs, sugar and processed foods you likely experience symptoms of fatigue, brain fog and pain.
So, how come it can be so difficult to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle?
The truth is, we’re often raised to go with the option that’s easier, quicker and cheaper. This mentality doesn’t align with making healthier, more balanced options.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating de-emphasizes fad dieting trends and instead emphasizes learning to be more mindful of what your body needs at any moment, so that eating becomes more intentional rather than mindless. In doing so, your body gets the power, fuel and nutrients that it needs and deserves. The great thing about intuitive eating is it’s empowering! It allows you to be in the driver’s seat and take control of your life, body and nutrition. Eating with intention has the power to literally change cells and patterns within the brain. Pretty cool, right?!
How do I eat intuitively?
Great question! If you’re someone who has been doing this for a long time, than great, keep up the good work! If not, no worries, I got you. It’s not something we’re taught growing up, at least not in school anyway, so it a bit of a learning curve. In fact, it’s not a training that many doctors receive, unless it’s their specialty. So, patience is definitely a must.
Here are three simple ways to begin your journey with intuitive eating:
- Tune into yourself – when you wake up in the morning, do you know what your body is needing to fuel up? Sleep is a powerful necessity for recharging the brain. Maybe you notice that you had a great, quality night’s sleep. Try taking 5 minutes when you first wake up to scan your body. Notice where any aches and pains are, what feels lacking, and where the state of your mind is. Alternatively, notice what’s feeling great!
- Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and how you feel after eating certain foods. Personally, after eating foods that are high in sugar and carbs, I notice myself feeling lethargic and bloated. However, after I eat simple meals full of fruits, veggies and healthy fats I notice myself feeling more alert and clear-minded. Now would be a good time to take out your notebook and keep track of what feels good and what doesn’t.
- Last but not least, patience! Patience! Patience! Part of the difficulty with maintaining a balanced diet full of intuitive eating is that the effects aren’t immediate. If you start intuitively eating thinking that it’s going to cure all of your ails quickly you might find that you’ll be disappointed. Our culture emphasizes “quick fixes” and “rapid relief”. Sure, take a pill and your headache might go away within 30 minutes but it will likely come back in full force. Prioritizing nutrition and mindful eating can begin to heal certain systems, organs and processes within the body.
There’s a reason people say, “nothing worth having comes easy”. Sometimes, that’s the truth when it comes to healing your mind-body connection from the inside out.
Work towards change.
And don’t be afraid to seek out support! Join us over in the Be Your Best Self Facebook group for all kinds of tips on healthy living.
**This is a guest post! Kate is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, a Certified Health Coach and a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern who works as a therapist at Jamie’s clinical practice, bybs+thrive Counseling. She enjoys exploring local hot spots and is a huge foodie. Her clinical experience ranges from trauma and grief to individuals struggling to manage life transitions and maintaining work-life balance. Kate also loves working with couples striving to make their relationships healthier. Learn more about her here: https://www.bybsandthrive.com/meet-kate