How to Eat According to Intuition
Finding your power and pathway to the most rewarding diet available to you
Atkins. Keto. Paleo. Mediterranean. Vegetarian. Vegan. Zone. Raw Food.
Any of these sound familiar?
If you’re anything like the 7 billion people on the planet, you have, at one point or another, tried out a specific diet to suit your lifestyle or health and fitness goals. Maybe you were looking to lose a few pounds, trying to flush away a foggy brain, or balance your gut after having one-too-many wonky bowel movements. Whatever the case or cause, finding a diet out there that is right for you can not only be challenging, but extremely confusing.
Where to even begin? The problem these days is that there are so many options, it makes deciding on another diet a hurdle of its own. If we are all separated by constitutions, elements, blood types, and genetic make-ups, how are we to know if the Vegetarian diet we just adopted or the Keto diet we did for 3 years was even right for us?
One of the downsides of living in a culture where so much information is available to us is that we tend to get bogged down with too many choices. When there is so much to choose from, we are mentally overwhelmed by the multitude offered, and tend to decide on something that suits convenience, as opposed to health. Sure, it’s a luxury and a gift to have choice. But when it comes to health and wellness, there is beauty in simplification.
One the most effective ways to find the diet that is right for you is to tap into your intuition and your body’s innate wisdom. Experiment with different foods. When you feel the rumbles of hunger, tune in to your body and ask what would best feed you in the moment. Maybe you need to build blood and therefore choose roasted beets (a Macrobiotic blood builder).
Or perhaps you’re feeling irritable and craving the taste of sour lemon to nourish your liver (in Chinese medicine, the liver governs the flow of energy through the body). There is a reason why we crave different foods and knowing the difference between a healthy craving and a destructive habitual response can put you on a path towards greater wellness.
Another way to tap into your body’s innate wisdom is to become aware of the energetics of the food you’re consuming. Start by choosing plant-based, local & seasonal foods. I call it the Farmer’s Market Diet. Eat one fruit, vegetable, or grain, alone, and give yourself some time (I usually recommend about 20 minutes) to digest and assimilate its energy. Finding a relaxing and calm place to close your eyes, plant your feet on the ground, and rest your back would be ideal.
Try to feel how the food is moving in your body and then identify the reactions you are having.
Do you feel energized? Or lethargic?
Does the food make you more hungry? Or make you feel full?
How is the taste? Does it make you want to eat more?
Is the taste sweet? salty? bitter? pungent? spicy? Do any of these appeal to you in this specific food?
Do you feel like smiling, grimacing, frowning when you eat this particular food?
Do you feel excited to eat this food? Or loathing?
It is best to start slow, and understand this can be a longer process than just switching to a new diet in one day. It is best not to completely shift how you are eating abruptly. The best course of action is to take time, and slowly shift into what works best for your body, 1 day at a time.
This prevents the shock of changing foods quickly, and allows your body to speak to you more clearly about what you may or may not be physically enjoying what you are eating.
Here’s an example: Recently I awoke and found my gut to be unhappy from over-eating the night before. My bowel movements were slow, I felt lethargic and heavy. I thought about what I might need… I closed my eyes and let my body tell me what it wanted to eat. I took a few deep breaths and really let my gut speak to me. Immediately I imagined a bowl full of warm apples, drizzled with local honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ghee. I opened my eyes and felt excited! I rushed to the kitchen and prepared the meal my tummy was asking for, and to my delight I felt light, happy, clean and calm after I ate.
I believe in bio-individuality- the idea that we are all biologically unique and therefore have different nutritional needs. What a beautiful concept! I encourage my clients to find out what works for them by tuning in to the body and becoming acutely aware of its wisdom and needs.
Soon, I will offer you a series of articles about how different foods can be used for healing many different health conditions. Stay tuned for this foundational food as medicine guide!
The information on this blog and website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease. This information is distributed for educational purposes only. Please consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before acting on any material presented on this blog and website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have any medical conditions which require medical supervision.