Do you practice intuitive eating?
May 27, 2010 § 2 Comments
I firstly have to give a massive shout out to the weather gods for giving us a brief respite from the downpour today. Oh em gee, I don’t like to be to be hatin’ on mother nature, but I absolutely can’t cope with this sudden onset of subzero temperatures, and a constant watery barrage from above! I’ve discovered an ingenious method for drying washing however, that involves wearing said item until the warmth of your body eventually takes the moisture out for you! It has come to that. I’m going mouldy! Do any of you enjoy this slippery, soppy season?
In other news, I’ve been pondering the concept of intuitive eating, which is precisely that – listening to your body’s signals as to when it is hungry, what it may need, and when to place your knife and fork calmly beside your plate. This my friends, is a theory of which I am embarrassingly unfamiliar.
Sorry, had to take a snack break. Where was I? Oh! Gluttony!
I’ve always loved to eat myself silly, and as I was perusing my iPhoto library to give you all some hilarious photograpic examples, I discovered way too much evidence of my culinary greed to warrant such a display. The many and varied pictures of me making love to food are definitely not for public viewing.
Let’s just say, the food monster looks a little something like this:
Eyes blissfully staring into the distance, mouth crammed full of delicious treats.
In recent years, I feel like i’ve totally lost that innate ability that we all must start out with, of comprehending when I do and don’t need to eat. I’m sure I had it here somewhere! But fear that as soon as learnt about calories, engery expenditure, and even nutrition, I lost this important skill in a blizzard of dieting do’s and don’ts.
When I babysit, I can observe this amazing ability in action; the kids run screaming to the pantry when hungry, banging on the door and wailing until something they feel like eating is procured. Even if food is on offer, if it’s the wrong kind & they don’t feel like it, it’s straight on the (newly swept…grrrr!) floor.
Where did this knowledge go?
You know, half the time I think the difference between people who are happy with their weight, and those who aren’t, is simply being able to eat intuitively.
It’s such a shame that with meal planning, calorie counting and even the regimented mode in which we separate our culinary day into breakfast, lunch & dinner facilitates this loss of intuitive ability. But wait, there is hope! For I feel it’s also something we can re-learn.
For me, simply asking myself am I hungry? is enough to start the process of engaging with your body and it’s energy requirments, as opposed to rigidly adhering to some sort of plan, or ideal. It’s such a conflicting area of health because on the one hand, I think it can be beneficial to plan your meals in order to cover your nutritional requirments, and also help you psychologically form good eating habits (ie. not crazily over-eating, or devouring the wrong foods). But there comes a point where it is necessary to pose the question, hey! wait a minute! why would I deprive myself of such-and-such a meal just because it carries too many weight watchers points? or conversely, why am I still digging my spoon into this can of Milo EVEN THOUGH I had satisfied my cravings after the first mouthful?
Eating to fill an emotional gap, or out of boredom, is not a healthy habit. But eating what you want, when you want it, and until you are satisfied, is something we should all strive for.
So to recap: I’m now trying to consciously differentiate between ‘hungry’ and ‘bored-while-watching-tv’. Go easy on yourself, because it’s a lifetime of ingrained cultural norms, or previous dieting that we have to overcome. But if you allow yourself to act upon your true, internal signals, you may find it is a much more satisfying way to live.
To celebrate, I intuituvely ate this delectable cup of oatmeal for breakfast.
Why do things taste so much better out of giant, novelty crockery?! It was off the hook! Adding a teaspoon of Tahini makes the smoothest, creamiest porridge imaginable.
Also whipped up a batch of avocado pesto pasta dressing in the blender:
handful baby spinach
1 tbsp red onion, diced
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt & pepper
Throw over some buckwheat pasta, top with savoury yeast flakes and more coriander, and you’re good to go!
And my life wouldn’t be complete without a sweet potato, bean & hummus bonanza!
Boom. Good food, eaten when required!