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What Is Intuitive Eating?

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Friday, August 14, 2020


Really liked this "gift" from KALIGIRL . . . a great article summarizing IE and offering four "how tos" if you've been thinking about giving it a try.

1. Quiet your inner critic -- you can distinguish the "food police" voice from your own voice when you're making food choices. For example, yesterday my DH offered to make grilled hot dogs for lunch. Oh yeah, I LOVE hot dogs and have one, once in a while. But yesterday he'd had processed meat (bacon) for breakfast. And so I offered to make "something healthier": which turned out to be my chilled dilled beet soup plus a salad plate for each of us -- spinach and tuna salad with avocado and chopped olives, fresh beef steak tomato, then for him potato salad and coleslaw (both purchased, I don't like either) and for me one of my "grains and greens" salads with walnuts and pistachios which I'd stashed in the fridge.

2. Stop moralizing about what you choose. There's a big difference between "guilt" -- I was bad, bad, bad -- and "regret" -- OK, won't do that again, it didn't feel good. I'd had a couple too many hot dog lunches in the past couple weeks that just didn't feel good. A hot dog now and then is OK . . . but I'd regretted hot dogs, and learned something. The beet soup and salad was actually faster and more delicious and yup: absolutely more nutritious!!

3. Invite nuance. For example, some people think IE won't work for them (eating only when hungry, stopping when just about full) because they have to eat on a schedule -- maybe because of work or other obligations. And: that's OK. Sometimes we WILL have to eat before we're hungry because it's a business lunch or because we KNOW we need to eat after a vigorous work out even though we don't feel hungry yet . . . and so on. IE isn't about rigid rules, even about rigid IE "rules"!! Yesterday I wasn't so hungry for lunch when DH needed to have lunch -- we'd been out for our longest kayak of the season in the morning, I hadn't had breakfast (my typical intermittent fasting routine), I was kinda exhausted, but he had to zip into the office to get something done before a later appointment so he needed to eat. Once I sat down with him and began to taste the great food . . . oh yeah, I was hungry!!

4. Take it personally. There's no one prescribed method of practising IE because each of us is different. Each of us has different micronutrient needs. And preferences. And there are lots of social and emotional feelings around food too. I could have skipped lunch till I felt hungry, but I wanted the pleasure of eating with my husband and of making sure HE ate something healthy too . . . which I knew he would if I set it out in front of him!! He had gone to a lot of trouble reorganizing his day, and putting the kayaks on the car, and planning something for me that I would really enjoy (and I did): and I wanted to reciprocate that care and kindness to him. IE is fundamentally about paying attention to our needs -- all of them: for nutrition and motion, the physical signals -- but also for emotional and spiritual signals; and learning to trust that we will meet them.

Super article, KALIGIRL!! Thanks again!!

And . . . what a wonderful time we had on the river!

The water was fragrant with high summer smells: hay and flowers and greenness and just a whiff of cow!! There are herds on both sides at various points along the journey -- yesterday we saw the black Aberdeen Anguses deep in the woods!.

I heard robins and killdeers and a huge hunting hawk and cicadas and maybe a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks . . . couldn't spot them, though.

Kayaking under those silver maple arches and keeping to the shade, I saw several giant yellow spiders suspended on a single filament just above the water's surface . . . ready to catch an unwary fly -- or feed a carp, maybe?? Yikes, don't want one of those in my hair!! The current glittered with skating water beetles and metallic blue dragonflies . . . and floating past were monarchs and yellow swallowtails, white cabbage butterflies in pairs and a dense flock of tiny yellow sulphur butterflies feeding in the mud.

Flowers flowers everywhere. Magenta fire weed, golden grass seed heads, Queen Anne's lace and close to the water's edge, two stalks of cardinal flower: something I haven't seen for years! So beautiful.

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