Food is incredible right!?
I love food. I love the making and the tasting and the sharing.
Food in my house is and always has been a big thing.
It all started with my grandma's. They knew how to cook. My maternal grandmother especially was the one who has really taught me what it is means to host a gathering and how important food is.
The rules were simple; 1. There had to be something for everyone. No one was to ever leave hungry. Everyone got asked what they wanted. And everything got made. Poppy Seed Kuchen not your favorite? Well it was being made anyway because your second cousin twice removed that may or may not show up loves it. Or if you only drank one kind of pop (yep that's right we say pop in the Midwest!), we were going to have it for you.
2. There had to be enough. No one was to ever leave hungry. Making enough food meant being able to feed at least one third world country are at least the three surrounding counties.
and 3. Flavor was key. No one was ever going to leave hungry because it tasted weird. If you don't know what flavor is, you best believe that you were going to learn eating with us!
Okay so maybe only one rule was ever really important and that was that No One Left Hungry.
Of course, growing up with that, I took it for granted. I didn't grow up with everything my heart desired. The newest toy or game, the most fashionable outfit may not have been in my room but I always had a full belly. I think that came from my grandparents having many times when theirs weren't and they made sure their kids didn't know that feeling. By extension, me and my brothers and cousins never knew that either.
Now as an adult and an intuitive and a nurse, I am super aware of the power of food. It can provide calm, love, comfort, ease, and satisfaction, it can also cause stress, belly aches (physically and emotionally), and tension. Food is a stabilizer and it is a necessity and so many people don't understand it enough to experience the former and tend to deal with the aftermath of the latter.
So I am here to help! Let me explain somethings.
Food and eating should be intuitive.
Your body knows what you need when you need it.
Your ego will try to hijack the process, you can't let it.
Once you have the basics down, you simply need to enjoy the process.
So, let's start with the first; what is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating is going with your gut (pun intended) to tell you when you are hungry and what for. So many of us eat based on a schedule, three meals a day, or eating every three hours, or fasting twelve hours etc. If your body isn't deciding these moves then you aren't eating intuitively.
Second, your body knows, so ask it and listen for the answer. Some times it is going to be as simple as hearing your stomach grumble. But sometimes you will have to listen a little harder. Muscle testing or using a pendulum are quick and easy ways to ask and understanding the answer is easy. If you don't know how to do or use those tools check out my website and join me in my course Mind Over Matter: Becoming Your Own Healer to learn more, or check in with your emotions. When you think about a certain type of food or simply the thought of eating and you feel disgust or have a shiver of excitement, that is your body telling you no probably not a good time (disgust) or heck yes let's do this (shiver of excitement).
Third, your ego can hijack you! This one is big. And probably the biggest barrier to intuitive eating because if we are just starting, we can get our emotions confused with our ego or our ego can start dictating our emotions. For example, we go through a break up. We are sad and feeling unworthy of love. Our bodies and our true feelings are telling us that we are depleted and we need nutrients, fruits and veggies and lean meats that will give us energy and vitality and help boost our dopamine and help us better process our tough situation. But our ego takes our sadness and turns it against us. We let it in fact and we start eating sugar, processed foods for convenience and drinking alcohol that weakens our immune system and depresses our organs. We call in emotional eating when really is our Ego's eating.
So what do we do?
We slow down. We drink water. We learn about the value of eating a well balanced diet. We take stock of how we feel when we eat certain foods, do we feel heavy or light? Do we feel happy or sad? Do we feel energized or tired? We pay attention to certain times of the month and we honor our bodies instead of punishing them (one dove chocolate or an ice cream is no reason to go on a 10 mile hike straight up a mountain just because you are afraid of the calories and fat content).
As our knowledge grows and we learn more about what our body wants and is saying. We start eating for the fun of it. We eat because we are excited to make a new recipe. We want to nourish our bodies. We want to fuel our energy!
And this brings us to the fourth point, enjoy the process.
Food doesn't have to be hard and you don't need to worry about one, two or three slip ups. Your body is well equipped to help you balance your blood sugar, level out hormones and keep you hydrated during those times when you are not at your best. Now, of course it needs help so if you are slipping up more than a few times or are starting from that proverbial place of zero, then you and I have another conversation to have, but the point here is that food should be fun. Try a new recipe, see how many colors you can get on every plate, chew your food, and eat until you are full, not in an effort to drown out your breaking heart, or your screaming head. Your body needs food, not your ego and neither do your emotions. Learn the difference and honor your body with nutrients and your energy with good energetic management and you will find that intuitive eating is a hell of a lot easier than most people make it out to be.
So get out there and enjoy life. Enjoy the process of living. Taste what intrigues you and don't be afraid to follow your body when it tells you that meat isn't a good idea today. Listen to it when it tells you you need more water, when you need more salad, when you need more veggies. This is your body telling you what it needs and the only one who can listen, is us.