A blog I follow, Feed Me I’m Cranky, posted recently on Intuitive Eating. I really appreciated her post because it is something that I have opened up to recently and can strongly attest to the benefits. Intuitive eating is basically listening to your body’s wants, needs, cravings and desires when making food choices. Intuitive eating has been working wonders for me lately, however I can not say that has always been the case.
For the first time, in a long time, I have maintained my weight (to the exact pound believe it or not!) for the past several months (even through the winter holidays!!) I have never ever ever been able to do that in my entire life. I have always fluctuated anywhere from 5 to 10 or even 15 pounds from month to month. Normal? Ehhh, not exactly. Healthy? Ehhh probably not… so why did I always fluctuate? Well it usually depended on my physical activity level, but it also had a lot to do with whether or not I was dieting, or in “I don’t really care” mode. But NOW, I follow a consistent plant-based diet and follow intuitive eating when making food choices; for the first time in a long time, my body is loving it. I feel so good about the way I feel, the way I look and the way I eat. It sounds so simple but trust me, it has been a long and rocky road.
Intuitive eating works for me because I have already narrowed my food choices. I stick to a wholesome plant-based diet with limited sugar intake and next to zero processed food intake. Because I have already narrowed my food choices, when I have cravings or desires I can safely know that I will respond to them in a healthy and effective manner. For example, when I am craving something sweet, I will usually have a bowl of frozen banana slices sprinkled with a couple of vegan chocolate chips or a few dates smeared in peanut butter. In the past, I would reach for cookies, candy or ice cream… NOT ideal. When I want something salty I might grab some toasted nuts with sea salt, whole grain pita chips or lightly salted kale chips. Once again, in the past, I would reach for salted processed chips, crackers and cheese or some other salty processed food. Again… NOT ideal.
But these days my intuition is usually spot on. If I’m really craving protein I will have a handful of nuts or a huge scoop of hummus and not feel guilty about the calories, because I truly believe that is what my body wants and needs at the moment. In the past, I fretted over calories and fat grams and carbs. Ughh those days were terribly stressful. It really surprises me that my body has been so flexible and accommodating lately :) And to be honest, other than some yoga, my physical activity has been minimal. This is mostly due to the fact that I was sick the entire month of January and half of February with a wretched sinus infection and cold, and the fact that I started back in school this year and have been trying to juggle working full-time with school full-time–easier said than done! Overall though, I have been quite impressed with my God-given temple of a body lately, and it’s ability to finally be kind to me. I truly believe I owe this in part to intuitive eating, mindful and healthy food choices and relinquishing “dieting” thought mechanisms.
Everybody and every body is different, but my wholesome-vegan-raw experience thus far has been ultra fabulous and I thought I’d share.