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Intuitive Eating


During recent meetings with clients in the Vitality Circle, I have found the conversation guided to discussions about intuitive eating. I feel inspired to bring it to the larger conversation with you. What is intuitive eating? While this term is quite the buzz phrase lately, with claims from the popular app Noom, books, and other resources, this term can be articulated in a variety of ways. I like to define intuitive eating as trusting yourself to make the best decisions in relationship with food, for the highest good of your body, mind, and spirit. We live in a culture that appeals to labels around how we interact with food ("I am vegan, or raw, or paleo") which imposes structure on how we eat through external guidance. This can be a great place to start and explore how you feel, but I do not believe it always leads to the best outcome. The key piece that's missing is tuning into an ever-changing internal conversation so that our food choices give us a sense of empowerment and ease, not compromise and distrust. In working with women, using Ayurveda, I have frequently heard things like, "I love that I no longer think of food in terms of calories, but instead in terms of nourishment. My body is finally easily losing the weight I have been trying to force it to lose for years!" Intuitive eating has a few different components: 1. Season - Eat what is growing in the environment where you live. Your digestion and assimilation are best equipped to receive the benefits of seasonal vegetables and fruits. 2. Constitution - Given what is in season, eat in alignment with your constitution (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha) and tailor it to balance any imbalances. This involves learning some basic Ayurveda, but eventually it becomes second nature. 3. Intuition - Use your wisest inner guidance to make the choices for your highest good. This doesn't mean giving into the cravings for food that ultimately make you feel bad. It means having wisdom to see the effects of your food choices. It also means making decisions based on how you want to feel tomorrow, how you want to build your bodily tissues, and how you want to age. When we choose to nourish ourselves with high quality food, from a place of balance and deep self-care, we need less quantity at each meal. Snacking becomes a thing of the past. We cultivate deep gratitude for the clarity and energy we receive from food. There is a satisfaction that derives from aligning with our own integrity. Ultimately, we trust ourselves to make aligned decisions. This is intuitive eating!

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