An Intuitive Approach to Fueling Your Body Well
How to combine intuitive eating under a framework or infrastructure that keeps your body fueled appropriately.
A little over a week ago I shared with you my story of what led me to chose a more intuitive approach to nourishing my body, over following a set plan (IE a traditional diet or tracking my macros). This way of eating has provided so much freedom to my life, leaving me feeling empowered, resilient, fueled, and more connected to my body than ever before.
If you are ready to ditch the diet cycle for good, like I have, and transform your relationship with food, then this article is for you. I hope to illuminate for you a new possibility of how to combine an intuitive approach with nutrition science to restore your health in a sustainable way.
While I believe this style of eating is available to anyone who wants to adapt to it, I also understand in the beginning, it can be so helpful to have some infrastructure or a framework to work within. This is because many of us have a suppressed intuition when it comes to food (and most areas of life in general).
Here’s why: our whole lives we have been taught that our brains are smarter than our bodies. Consider that as mothers, we are told to feed our infants every 2 hours regardless of the infant showing hunger cues, sometimes even encouraged to wake them up from restful sleep to feed. This sends the message to our bodies early on that our brains are more intelligent. But the truth is, at our very nature, our bodies are full of wisdom and know the macro and micro nutrients they need, in what quantities, and at what times.
The good news is, I believe and teach that you can retrain your body to take a more active role, giving your brain a break from obsessing over food, creating more freedom in your life, and a new relationship with your body based on love.
Shifting this one belief: to understanding that our bodies know what they need best, is the first step to healing.
Outlining an infrastructure takes a lot of the guesswork out, and lets your brain relax so your body can articulate more clearly, while you learn to listen to her.
As a side note, this is true for so many other areas of life, not just food. I was reminded this week of the importance of structure, routines, and rituals for creating space for intuitiveness and creativity to flow, because your mind is freed up from focusing on details.
So today I want to expand on my story a bit and give you a glimpse into the infrastructure that my eating exists in, and hopefully you find this, not as a hard and fast set of rules for yourself, but as a guideline for creating structure that makes sense for you.
Below you will find an outline of the framework I follow, please let me know how you can adapt this for your own goals, food sensitivities, and relationship with nourishment.
Timing: Most days I eat within 1 hour of waking up and again every 3-4 hours following. I also make sure to eat within an hour of an intense workout or sauna session.
What: I aim to eat a balance of protein, whole food carbohydrates, and fats at every meal and snack.
How: Including animal protein daily from eggs, whole milk yogurt and kefir, wild caught seafood, and grass-fed ethically-raised animal meat. Including carbohydrates from fresh fruits and vegetables. And focusing on saturated fats like grass-fed butter, lard, coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.
Add Daily: Incorporate a variety of nuts, seeds, and herbs daily to add taste and nutrients to meals and snacks. I also consume whole-fat dairy products daily.
Add Weekly: I am intentional about incorporating certain things weekly like seafood and organ meats, which contain minerals you can't get from other foods as readily.
Eliminate: Reduce intake of refined sugars and grains, PUFA’s (poly-unsaturated fats), and processed foods with preservatives and chemicals.
Mindfulness: To maintain my intuitive approach, I focus on reducing distractions around meals to focus on what I’m eating, slowing down and chewing my foods thoroughly, and ensuring I feel no guilt around any foods by avoiding labeling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and instead how each food is nourishing me.
The main theme or takeaway here is focusing on keeping nutrient-dense, bio-available foods in my focus the majority of the time, and giving myself lots of compassion to allow my body to make the choices moment to moment. This creates a sense of trust with my body, as well as a sense of grace and forgiveness around events or situations that would otherwise create what I refer to as food stress or overthinking. I trust that if I use this as a framework for 90% of the time, my body will know how to handle the other 10%.
Hopefully you find this inspiring and supportive to creating your own framework for how you eat.
I vow to no longer participate in, believe in, or encourage my clients or friends to follow short-term diets over creating lasting, sustainable relationships with something so primal as eating. If you agree with this, I would love to have a conversation with you as to how to get started on an intuitive eating path that makes sense in your life.