09 Aug Daily Eats + Intuitive Eating Principles
Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing with you my daily eats from yesterday with notes about what my day may have looked like if I wasn’t intuitively eating. First, I want to share with you the 10 principles of intuitive eating created by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
Intuitive Eating Basics
Intuitive eating is a style of eating that promotes a healthy relationship with food and your body by learning to listen, trust, and respect your own inner wisdom.
The basic idea behind intuitive eating is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. Seems easy, right? Well for those of us who have struggled with our relationship to food it’s not. Typically we lose touch with what it truly feels like to be hungry or satisfied because we are eating for every reason other than physical hunger. Physical hunger is an important key to connect back to in order to eat intuitively. Typically physical hunger is slow to build and is accompanied by physical symptoms such as a growling stomach or fatigue. If you are eating for any reason other than this whether it be emotional, free food, see food, etc you are likely not listening to your intuition about your food choices.
10 Key Principles of Intuitive Eating
Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Dieting is not sustainable, but until you let go of the idea that there is some magical diet out there that you can follow without guilt if you falter then you won’t be able to eat intuitively. Dieting focuses on external cues and requires willpower and control. Intuitive eating focuses on internal cues which doesn’t require willpower or control.
Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger
Hunger is there to remind you that your body needs fuel. So when you feel hungry respond by eating. When you honour your hunger you are less likely to overeat.
Principle 3: Make Peace with Food
There are no foods off limits! I know this one can be a little overwhelming to digest. Say goodbye to “good foods” versus “bad foods” and hello to all food is made of energy. Let yourself eat what nourishes you.
Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police
The food police is that voice in your head that is telling you that you’re “good” if you eat x number of calories in a day and “bad” if you eat too much. Challenge the thoughts that revolve around your eating patterns.
Principle 5: Respect Your Fullness
Listen to the signals your body is giving you when it has had enough food. Check in during your meal so that you can respect these signals and stop eating when you are full.
Principle 6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
It’s important to feel satisfaction during meal time. So make your eating experience enjoyable. Eat foods that you love and sit at the table while you eat mindfully.
Principle 7: Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
Emotional eating is a strategy to cope with feelings though it is not beneficial. Typically you will be left with the original emotion and feel uncomfortably full. This is only one tool, build your tool box and find other solutions that actually allow you to resolve your emotions without using food.
Principle 8: Respect Your Body
Respecting your body goes hand in hand with releasing comparisons to other people. You are unique and your body will never be anyone else’s so embrace your body just as it is through this journey.
Principle 9: Exercise — Feel the Difference
Find ways to move your body that you enjoy. Let go of the idea that exercise is for weight loss or to achieve a certain ideal. Movement should be a daily practice with the intention to feel energized, strong, and alive.
Principle 10: Honor Your Health — Gentle Nutrition
This is the most commonly misunderstood principle of intuitive eating. Whenever I tell people about intuitive eating they figure that they will sustain themselves by eating ice cream for the rest of their life. Yes, it’s good to eat ice cream if that’s what satisfies you but after eating it for 3 meals in a row I highly doubt you will still find satisfaction. At that point your body will likely crave the nutrients it needs to thrive. Gentle nutrition is about finding balance. Eating food that satisfy you while eating nutrient rich foods. There is no perfect way of eating so it’s all about finding what works for you.
Now, moving on to my day of eats…
Remember, I am sharing my eats with you so that you can see it is possible to eat intuitively and find freedom from food.
Breakfast (8:30 am)
I woke up at 6:30am this morning to get to work. I started to feel hungry at around 8am so I decided to take a look around the kitchen and managed to come up with this delicious breakfast. Super satisfying! I had fried tomato, sautéed collards with garlic, home fries, and avocado slices.
Intuitive Eating Note: This breakfast is amazing but guess what? When I had an unhealthy relationship with food I would only let myself eat one type of food for breakfast: oatmeal. Oatmeal is delicious but day after day it becomes pretty bleak. If I had followed my previous rules I wouldn’t have ended up with this delightful, nutritious meal.
Snack (12:45 pm)
I went out in the afternoon to do a few errands. In the middle of my errands I got hungry and was passing by my house so I stopped in to eat a snack. I had half of a giant chocolate chip cookie paired with some coconut milk.
Intuitive Eating Note: When I was stuck in my unhealthy eating patterns I likely would have continued doing my errands instead of honouring my hunger.
Lunch (2:15 pm)
Shortly after I arrived back home I ate two small cucumber dill wraps. I also added some apple cider vinegar to my water in hopes to clear up my skin. After lunch I had a raw walnut brownie. This brownie was divine! The recipe will definitely be in my next book.
Intuitive Eating Note: Two desserts in one day oh my! When I was stuck in my unhealthy eating patterns I would have never had two desserts in one day. The food police would have crept in and I would feel guilt about this. I likely would have decided that I had ruined my day so I might as well keep going and eat everything and be “good” again tomorrow.
Challenge yourself if you notice your brain stuck in this black and white thinking. Your body knows what you need, trust it!
Dinner (8:45 pm)
After teaching two yoga classes tonight I was starving when I arrived home. There wasn’t much available so I made a sandwich. Not particularly satisfying but it was something.
Intuitive Eating Note: Coming home super hungry and eating something unsatisfying is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to eat something satisfying but if there are limited options it’s more important to eat something rather than nothing at all. Honouring your hunger comes first, if your body needs fuel, eat.
That’s it for my eats today! If any of the intuitive eating notes sound like you remember that you are not alone. It is possible to develop a healthy relationship with food once and for all! Contact me today if you’re interested in learning how to honour your hunger and start intuitively eating.