Pop culture has slowly but surely shifted the focus from Eurocentric body image ideals that can perpetuate eating disorders and insecurities to a place where health and wellbeing are paramount.
There are so many diets out there, some of which can be helpful, some less so, and figuring out the right one for you can be overwhelming. Because honestly, there probably isn’t a proper diet for anyone. Your needs fluctuate and change throughout your life, with the seasons, and with your menstrual cycles.
Hence, you could be starving right before your period!
What is intuitive eating?
Being able to feed and nourish your body is one of the most basic aspects of being human, but with so many distractions and options, it can sometimes be difficult to know what types of food your body needs and when.
Intuitive eating is the practice of tuning in to your body’s needs and choosing foods that just feel right. It listens so you know when you are full and when you are actually hungry.
There are no specific guidelines for intuitive eating as everything is based on you and your intuition.
Since it is an exercise, you will likely never come up with an exact recipe for what, when, and how to eat. Instead, it will change and evolve with you as you get to know your body better. Intuitive eating is rooted in the cycles of nature and takes our individual needs and the associated fluctuations into account.
This approach takes the pressure off you and allows you to get rid of any guilt or stress you may experience while eating. Intuitive eating places the emphasis on how you feel rather than how you look or what you think you should be doing.
How to become more intuitive
Of course, intuitive eating needs … intuition!
Even when you feel disconnected from your intuition, it is a power that everyone has and that everyone can develop and refine.
You can help build your intuition through meditation. Breath work, Exercise such as yoga and hiking and a diary practice.
If you take just a few moments a day to put your hands on your stomach and heart and take deep breaths, you can listen to any messages that may come in. The more you adjust to your body, the better you will be able to take care of its needs and to know if red flags are emerging.
Follow your food
Knowing where your food is coming from is helpful. When you are able to have your own garden, join a community garden, shop at a farmers market or local cooperative to create a relationship with your food and the soil it came from. This is not always an option, depending on accessibility in your area and your budget.
Don’t worry, anyone can learn to eat intuitively, no matter where your food comes from!
Having this awareness allows you to act from a place of intuition and trust that you are making the right choices for your body.
If you want to eat animal products, you may need a lot less or a little more than what you currently have. It can be helpful to have your mineral levels tested to see where you might be deficient, such as: B. iron in the case of anemia.
Delete the palette
Sometimes you need to do some sort of reset to get to a place of intuitive eating. You can try a cleanse, it doesn’t have to follow a strict regiment, but you should only eat fruits and vegetables for a week or two. This helps curb food cravings and reset your system so you can synchronize more with your body’s needs.
During this time, cutting out processed sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and simple carbohydrates can be helpful.
No guilt necessary
One of the gifts of intuitive eating is that it helps remove any feelings of guilt you may have about eating.
There is nothing wrong with eating home cooked food, everyone needs to eat their feelings sometimes, and that’s fine! When you find yourself in a cycle, ask yourself why you eat and what other hobbies you have to lift your soul.
Bottom line: this is your body and your journey. So eat the cake and the carrot. Some days you might have a green smoothie for breakfast, other days you might have pancakes. That’s great. You do you!
Here is a simple, nutritious recipe to help you on your intuitive eating journey:
Medicinal miso soup
- 6 cups of filtered water
- 2 tbsp miso
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon each of fresh or dried oregano and basil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or 1 small fresh turmeric root grated
- 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 sheets of nori (sushi seaweed) cut into small strips
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 shallot cut into tiny pieces
- (optional) fresh greens such as kale, Swiss chard or spinach
Now bring your water to a boil, toss in all of these ingredients and let the flavor simmer for between 25 minutes and a few hours. That’s it! You can even put other vegetables in your fridge that need to be used like carrots and broccoli, or the tofu that has been sitting there for months. This soothing soup is great for any time of the day. You can even poach an egg in a single serving for breakfast.
Listen to your body, it is you and you alone. You can do it!
Natasha (she / she) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator and sexual wellbeing advisor. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers that people carry during birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.