Nutrition without obsession. Welcome to week 2 of our January "Habits For The Win" Challenge!
You mean, I can have my cake and eat it too? Gone are the days of crazy and exhausting food rules. It’s time to get back to the basics and start listening to our bodies. Hello intuitive eating! This week on the blog we’re chatting with Casey Leigh Stanton, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She works with clients to help empower, educate and lead them to their healthiest, happiest and most balanced self (Yes to all of this!).
Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Refined sugar-free. Keto. Plant-Based. Paleo. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Flexitarian. Are you bored yet? Same.
Now, how about Intuitive Eating? This word has been thrown around a lot in the last few months, and I wanted to dive into what it is and perhaps take a look at why it is popping up twenty-six years after the book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works was published. The book was written by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole in 1995 to combat the exhaustion of the myriad of diets in encouragement of making peace with food and rebuild a healthy relationship with nutrition and your body. Which, let's be honest, it is so exhausting trying to keep up with which diet is the "best." And therein lies the problem. There is no "best" diet. Neither is better nor worse and that goes back to the basis of bio-individuality.
We are all different with unique, multi-dimensional and individual needs. Every body has different needs. Just as we are all unique in mind, body and spirit, we are also unique in the things that support our individual health and happiness. So, what diet works best in my body, is not going to work best for you, and what you eat is not going to serve the next person, and so on, and so forth...
Intuitive Eating is the anti-diet. Resch and Tribole describe it as a "Journey of self-discovery and connection to the needs of your mind and body." It is a practice that encourages quieting the mind, slowing down, pausing, breathing and really listening to your body and following its natural hunger cues. If you were to listen to your body for one day without imposing what you think it wants and rather tuning into what it is telling you, what do you think it would it say? What would it ask for? When would it ask for it? Why would it ask for it?
For example, you may notice on days you do an exercise class and go for a run that you're naturally more hungry in the afternoon and evening. Your body knows it needs that extra fuel since it is working hard to use that same energy to rebuild your muscles and energy throughout the day.
Have you ever noticed when you eat a little more at dinner and maybe have that dessert you don't normally have, the next morning you wake up not as hungry? Maybe this is just my experience, but this is our body's natural way of coming back to homeostasis.
Intuitive Eating requires you to listen to your body's needs and guide you to honor your hunger. If you are interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating you may enjoy reading the book Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole.