People might assume that people who work in health and wellness have the perfect diets, where they don’t indulge and eat nothing but superfoods, but that’s not true, well for me anyways.
I take a more flexible, intuitive approach to my diet, where I listen to my body and eat what I want, when I want. It has taken quite a while to get to this point, I used to have a very unhealthy relationship with food and had all these ridiculous rules around what I should and shouldn’t eat, but life is so much simpler and frankly way more enjoyable when you get rid of these rules.
This is my approach to eating..
I honour my cravings and honour my hunger. If I am craving a particular food, I will eat that food. If I feel hungry, I eat, regardless of how much I have already eaten and whether I feel I should be hungry or not. I see cravings and hunger as my body asking me for something, so I give it what it is looking for.
I don’t believe in “good” and “bad” foods. Yes, obviously some foods are more nourishing than others, but I don’t see the point in labeling food as “good” or “bad” as we don’t need extra guilt and shame around what we eat. I prefer to label more nourishing foods as “food for the body” and possibly less nourishing, more indulgent food as “foods for the soul”. I truly feel all foods can have a place in our diets and give us different things, whether it is vitamins and minerals or pure joy and deliciousness.
I eat based on how the food makes me feel. It took quite some time, but I learned to be very in tune with how foods made me feel after eating. I realized certain foods would make me feel energized and nourished while others would lead to annoying symptoms like headaches or achy muscles. For me, some foods cause symptoms almost immediately after eating them, while others can take days for the symptoms to pop up. For instance, I find when I eat a lot of dairy or refined sugar I can get a headache and overall feeling of unwell within 15 minutes, where when I eat gluten, I often experience headaches and muscle aches, but that usually doesn’t happen the next day. I don’t completely eliminate these foods, however I consciously choose to limit these knowing how it will make me feel afterwards.
I don’t follow typical eating schedules. I don’t typically eat based on the time of day, I simply eat when I am hungry. This often means I often go several hours in the morning without even thinking of eating, yet once I start eating I often don’t stop. This all goes back to eating based on my hunger cues, not external factors, like time of day or my schedule.
I am mindful of when I am eating my emotions. I know I eat my emotions occasionally and I am okay with that, as long as I am aware of when I am doing it. I am okay doing it, as long as I acknowledge that I am doing it and reflect on why I am feeling these difficult emotions and how I can cope with them in a more productive manner.
If you are looking to take a similar approach I encourage you to look into the concept of Intuitive Eating and the principles that underpin this way of eating. If you are on this journey, give yourself some grace, it takes time to unlearn society’s diet culture and rules around eating.
Want to learn more:
Check out this blog on finding the best diet for you.
Check out this blog on how to use an elimination diet to figure out what food cause you issues.