This blog series will showcase how Intuitive Eating has supported my own eating and movement journey, how it has shaped me into the dietitian and person you know today, how it outlines my practice, and how it can help you.
Start your own Intuitive Eating Journey by working with Down to Earth Nutrition. Read more about us here.
“Healthy” is very relative to the individual, and even your individual terms of “healthy” can change over time. What is healthy for one person might not be healthy for another. This can be a food, an activity, a situation, etc. It really depends!
It was 2017, the year before my wedding, and I was on high alert for all things “healthy”.
I tried to "health-ify" all my favorite foods and recipes, by switching out ingredients to lower one nutrient or increase another. This caused a restrictive mentality for me because I wasn't allowing myself to have the regular foods I wanted. The "healthier" food never fully hit the spot—because it just wasn’t the same!
If I was craving ice cream, I would eat frozen yogurt. This caused me to eat more frozen yogurt because it was “healthier”, and then still eat the ice cream (and lots of it) because I wouldn’t let myself have ice cream that often anymore. As someone who’s favorite food is ice cream (see Volume 1 of this blog series for more about that) this new “lifestyle” was really upsetting to me. I was causing myself to think about ice cream night and day yet restrict it, then “give in” and eat tons of it and feel really guilty about everything. And it didn't stop at ice cream. Any food I put a limit on, I couldn't stop thinking about.
So what could I have done instead? After speaking to an Intuitive Eating RD (and studying it myself), I now know that I can focus on my nutrition and enjoy the foods I love by adding in foods that are actually appealing to me instead of forcing myself to eat things I don’t even like.
The photo above is me apple picking. Later I made an apple crisp and I added oats to the crisp, not because I wanted to make it a healthier version, but because I like it with oats on top! 😊
Instead of putting a limit on foods, categorizing them as healthy or unhealthy, or depriving myself, I now allow myself to enjoy the foods I love without guilt and when I want to.
And guess what? I no longer crave these foods with such an intensity that it’s all I can think about. So, when I am in the mood for them, I simply eat them. Then, the craving passes and I’m able to move on because I know I can eat them again later if I want to.
There is no longer black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking over eating. I choose not to restrict foods. Intuitive Eating helped me learn why that doesn't work. It’s not worth my sanity or my happiness.
One of the best ways to create an individualized approach to your sustainable nutrition and lifelong wellness is through nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Down to Earth Nutrition offers just that! Read more about our nutrition counseling services here. Since we provide concierge services, we only have a few spots available.
Prefer to learn in community? Start your own Intuitive Eating Journey and work your way toward food freedom and away from food guilt, by joining Nourish Your Body, a 6-week Intuitive Eating and self-compassion group program. Read more here.
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Everyone's Intuitive Eating journey will be different. While I am a registered dietitian, I may not be your dietitian, personally. All intuitive eating blog series posts are for informational and educational purposes only and may not be the best fit for your personal situation. Information shall not be construed as medical nutrition therapy. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. It is not intended to replace individual nutrition care or nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Always check with your own registered dietitian and physician or medical treatment team before trying or implementing any information read here.
If you choose, Down to Earth Nutrition would be happy to help you in your own, individual nutrition and intuitive eating journey.