Good Morning! If you have been following along, you know I’ve been going through the 10 principles of Intuitive eating as well as an overview of what it is! If you haven’t been, you can read more about everything here. It took me awhile, but finally finishing out the last principle to complete the series! This one is the key to Intuitive Eating, but honestly you really can’t get here until you’ve accepted and embraced principles 1-9, which is why it’s the last one.
There’s also a misconception that Intuitive Eating is anti-health. NOT TRUE at all! The authors of the book are actually dietitians. They just have studied and proved that you can’t heal your body with food until you heal your relationship with food. AKA why it’s SO important to go through the other principles before you land here. It might take some people a longer time to get to this last principle and be able to handle it with a good mindset. Some people may be able to get to it sooner! That’s why everyone’s stories and journeys are different, and you truly cannot compare.
“Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.” (pg. 318) I LOVE THIS. I feel like this is the overview of what Intuitive Eating really is. It’s wellness WITHOUT obsession. It’s taking care of yourself, but not solely focusing on that. It’s living life. It’s wanting to feel good and choosing the things that make you feel good. Not out of guilt, but out of desire!
The book gives a guideline of 11 things you can do to honor your health with gentle nutrition. It’s not about following them perfectly. If you haven’t caught on yet, the whole point of the book is progress, not perfection like stated above. These are general suggestions from dietitians. Everyone wants to feel good right? To have energy, no aches and pains, to take care of yourself. That’s so important! So here are small practical ways that you can. Again, this is a loose guideline. Don’t follow it exactly, take out any steps that don’t jive with you and add in something that does. Start with 1 or 2 of them. Start with all 11. Do what works best for you, because at the end of the day, no one knows your body like you do!
- Don’t forget about general food wisdom like eating a variety of foods so you don’t get bored/ variety is good for you, eat in moderation because too much of anything isn’t good, and try to eat a balance of all food groups to satisfy you at mealtime.
- Make sure to eat often to feed your metabolism. Getting fuel during the day while you’re hungry helps your metabolism fire!
- Eat the good stuff: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. This all helps your digestive tract from the fiber and they’re full of vitamins and minerals.
- Make sure to get enough protein, but not too much! It’ll help balance your hormones as well as help your hair, skin, and nails.
- Eat carbs! Don’t be afraid of them, carbs are energy and they’re also delicious.
- Good quality dairy products are a great source of calcium. Plain whole milk yogurt is also full of probiotics and wonderful things for the gut.
- Drink water! Lots of it. Make sure to stay nice and hydrated. This helps everything! Your digestion, helps prevent constipation, & cleanses your kidneys.
- Fat does not make you fat. Fat is incredible for our brains and bodies. Quality fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, etc are great sources to enjoy. They help production of hormones, promote satiety, help build cell walls, and help absorb fat soluble vitamins.
- Don’t forget to allow play foods into your life. Food isn’t black and what or perfect. Allowing yourself to enjoy some play food keeps you sane. Then you’re able to balance health with pleasure and satisfaction as well. Let most choices be focused on feeling good, and others be focused on pleasure and enjoyment (especially with others!)
- Watch out for the diet related products. Fat-free, low calorie, gluten free, etc. Just because they have a label like that doesn’t mean they’re good for you. Focus on whole foods, because they’re usually way more satisfying! Like a banana with 2 tbsp of peanut butter for an afternoon snack will hold you over and make your brain feel better than a 100 calorie snack pack!
- Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t let your worth be defined by what you eat. You are not better than someone else because of your food choices. Don’t judge other peoples choices either. We’re all human and eat different ways for different reasons and there is nothing wrong with that. Embrace your own way and live your life!
So that’s it! This is the last and final principle. Again, you don’t have to follow all 11 of these suggestions. Maybe dairy hurts your stomach, then don’t eat it! You can choose the ones that feel right for you and even add your own. This is just their general guideline! I hope this series has been helpful & that you have enjoyed it! I’d love any feedback in the comments or through DM of what you’d want me to talk about more in new blog posts! You are the best and I appreciate you!
Tribole, E. and E. Resch. 2012. Intuitive Eating, 3rd edition. St. Martin’s Press, NY:NY.