How Intuitive Eating Can Change Your Life
There are a zillion diets on the market and each one promises you the keys to some magical, slim, healthy, life-changing kingdom.
What all of these diets fail to communicate is that we are all biologically individual with unique metabolic requirements.
Each of us comes in with a blueprint for the kinds of fuel our body needs most, the kinds of movement that we would thrive on…and all of this is complete with personal, social and emotional needs as well.
Our individual complexities are, well, complex as hell. Getting to know what these complexities are can be completely life-changing.
Adopting a particular diet for moral or political reasons, for example, is about as ridiculous as adopting a diet because of its popularity. Why? Because you are a biological being that requires very specific elements in order to thrive, keep disease at bay and maintain energy needs.
So how can you intuit what your particular body-mind requires in order to really take off and thrive?
You start with basic fuel. Without appropriate fuel, our efforts at exercise, movement, rest and even socialization will be futile. Not to mention living in a way that prevents disease from setting in or even just living in some sub-par state.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I want to live life with as much health, vitality, happiness, love and aliveness as possible. We’ve each only got one shot at any given life and I want to know that I’ve lived the hell out of it.
So, we start with fuel. How do you know and intuit what fuel your body wants most? You start with an Elimination Diet.
An Elimination Diet removes those foods and substances that we were not biologically adapted to eat. We peel it back to a basic nutrition template that includes only the most nutrient-dense foods that tend not to create allergic or intolerance reactions. These are the same foods that our ancestors ate. These are the same foods that, before the introduction of agriculture 10, 000 years ago (and our first taste of grains) our Paleolithic ancestors thrived on, relatively disease-free for over 2 million years.
The Elimination Diet Removes:
- All sources of refined sugar
- All grains (rice, oats, corn, wheat, barley, millet, etc…)
- All legumes (beans, lentils, peas, soy, etc…)
- All seed and vegetable oils
- Alcohol (I know…I’m sorry)
- Caffeine (Don’t punch me)
The Elimination Diet Includes:
- Clean sources of animal protein and seafood
- All vegetables (with the exception of white potatoes…and yes, sorry, this includes chips!)
- All fruits
- All nuts & seeds
- Fresh water
- Fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices
Typically, you would eat this way for a minimum of 30 days. Doing this does accomplishes several crucial things.
- It resets your gut bacteria to a completely balanced state (in fact, this can be done in a matter of days…our bodies respond incredibly quickly to change)
- It removes all of the common allergens and dietary toxins (think soy, corn, gluten – the protein in wheat -, dairy, caffeine and alcohol) and completely unburdens the body
- It detoxifies the liver (okay, admit it…caffeine and alcohol are not friends of our livers)
- It removes belly fat (and ass fat and arm fat and hip fat…shall I go on?)
- It completely cleans up our digestion and as I’ve written many times before, our digestion dictates almost EVERY healthy or unhealthy process within our bodies and brains (you can reference this article on the importance of our digestion)
At the end of the 30 Days, you can reassess how you feel. Do you feel lighter? Are you sleeping better (me thinks the simple elimination of alcohol and caffeine will achieve this)? Has your belly shrunk (and in some, it will be considerable)? Is your brain fog gone? Has your energy shifted? Do you feel like moving your body more? Are your aching joints gone? Are your eyes clear? Has your skin cleared up? Does your tongue look nice and pink (as opposed to coated and gross)? Is your bloating gone?
Okay, okay…even if you experience half of what is mentioned, that’s a pretty good start.
Here’s where the intuition part comes into play. After 30 days on The Elimination Diet, you can begin to add in one food at a time, every 4 days.
Before you endeavor to add back EVERYTHING into your diet, take a minute and ask yourself, do I really feel like eating this food? Is my body craving this food or am I simply craving the need to reinstate my old eating habits? If the answer is still yes, than give the food a try. And then wait. How did you feel with this food back in your system? Did you experience any bloating, sleep issues, skin issues? How did you feel mentally after consuming this food? If any of your answers to these questions were sketchy, this is a sign-post that this particular food is not your friend. Let it go. Eating unfriendly foods sets up the body for imbalance and illness.
You wouldn’t put crappy or inappropriate gas in your car, would you? Why would you put crappy or inappropriate food in your body?
Keep a journal. Write down your impressions; reactions; feelings. This is how you navigate intuitive eating. Your body knows exactly which foods and beverages are appropriate for it and which ones are not. You know that when you eat, say, poutine, you feel like shit. Why keep doing it? For that momentary satisfaction? Because it is very momentary. It’s fleeting. But your body needs to sustain itself for a very, very long time.
It houses your Spirit, your passions, your secret abilities and allows you to move and speak and express yourself in this life. Give it the right fuel and it will mobilize all of those things and then life really begins.
After I began feeding my body the foods that it wanted and let go of the foods that were never appropriate for me, my energy soared, my mood stabilized and my disease healed – completely. I have since started trail running (stay tuned to how this incredible movement can change your life) and seem to have unbound energy. I tried running for years but my joints would get too sore and my energy reserves just weren’t full enough. Neither of those are issues now and I’ve found a form of movement that fills my soul and nourishes my body.
Give this endeavor a try. It’s 30 days out of your life that could change everything. Be willing to see what your body needs and how much it can thrive, given the right tools.
No Comments »