How to be an Intuitive Eater AND Eat Healthy

You want to listen to your body, but you also want to be healthy. How do you balance the two?

Intuitive Eating Series Principle #10 - Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." That's it! Just kidding. Today for our LAST post in this intuitive eating series, we are talking all about how to incorporate healthy nutrition into your intuitive eating regimen to help you feel your absolute best. 


Now, you might be wondering why this is the last principle and why it's a part of intuitive eating in general - didn't I just tell you in the last 10 posts not to stress about what or how you eat? And now I'm here bringing back all this healthy talk?! 


Ok, let me clarify some things and hopefully, it will help. Before you pursue healthy eating, it's of utmost importance that you first have a healthy relationship with ALL food. Let me say that again. If a healthy relationship with food is not in place, it's difficult to truly pursue healthy eating. 


So, this is why this principle is last. Because it's important. But, there were so many foundational pieces we needed to work through first. And typically, when you find yourself wanting to lose weight or change something about yourself, you tend to gravitate toward finding the next "healthy" diet or meal plan to get you there when in reality you might have a lot of work to heal your relationship with food. 


So, now that you have all of the tools you need to have a healthy relationship with food, we can talk a little about how to honor your health with gentle nutrition. If you haven't yet, I recommend you go back through all of the videos in the series before coming to this one - trust me, it's important that you go through all the steps. 


I've thought a lot about where I want this post to go, and I've decided that I want to share some tips with you and then let you run with it. Because you know you best and what you need. 

 

 

What is healthy eating? It's having a healthy balance of foods AND having a healthy relationship with food. Eating healthy feels good. Getting the right balance of vitamins and nutrients gives you the energy you need to keep up with your day. 


First, taste. Find food that is pleasing to your palate. And if it isn't pleasing, see if you can prepare it in a way that is. It's quite simple. Try new foods and learn what tastes good to you. Trust me, it might take some time, but stick with it!


Second, quantity. Don't worry about portion sizes. Eat what feels good to you (and you've had lots of practice working on hunger and fullness cues in past videos). Don't eat too little and don't eat too much. Eat what satisfies and then listen to your body when it's time to stop. 

Third, eat fruits and vegetables. Ok, I know you've heard this a billion times. But... it's important. They're important. And if you don't have a healthy balance of fruits and veggies in your diet, you won't be able to feel your best. Let me tell you one thing though. It's ok not to love all fruits and vegetables. You don't have to eat them all. Find a few you want to try, make them taste good to you, pair them with other things, and explore new tastes! If you've struggled with vegetables in the past, I'm certain that all you need is a little practice in making them in a way you can enjoy them. 


There are obviously so many tips I could give you, but ultimately, eat to take care of your body. Don't eat to punish. Don't focus on if something is "good" or "bad". Don't stress about eating desserts.

 

Typical Scenario

In fact, let's go with that one for a minute. Let's pretend it's Halloween. You love Halloween candy. In the past you let your kids pick out their candy and then after they go to bed, you go to town on that chocolately goodness. But, a few hours later you feel crummy, and the next day you're energy is shot. You realize it's probably an effect of eating so much candy. In the moment, the candy was great and didn't bother you, but now you're paying for it. 


That's the way it is with eating. It usually takes a day or longer for food to work through our systems. Think about the last time you ate food that didn't serve your health and how you felt the following one or two days. That is why this principle of honoring your health is so important. Honoring your health with gentle nutrition will give you the energy and strength you need to accomplish everything you want to do. It will help you reach your goals, have energy for your day, and feel overall more in charge of life.


So, the best thing I can remind you today is a principle we learned a few videos back. Remember that nutrition is gray. It's not black or white. It's not perfect. Your nutrition will ebb and flow. You will learn and grow. You will learn the foods that make you feel best and you will still indulge in foods that you enjoy. The question is - how will you find your balance? 

I truly hope this intuitive eating series has been helpful for you. And remember that these principles are meant to be PRACTICED. You might have to go back to a principle and practice it over and over to feel like you're getting the hang of it. That's ok. Remember this is a journey and I'm so glad you're on this journey with me. 


Share in the comments below how you're going to find your balance of healthy nutrition and intuitive eating!


Thanks again for being here and joining me for this series! See you next time!