Intuitive Eating

I’m thinking about Intuitive Eating this morning. Many people, including myself when I first heard the term, thought it meant breaking every diet/healthy eating plan rule and stuffing your face with cake, candy, donuts, a bottle of wine or any other food or drink that you’ve been denying yourself for years. So, that may happen at the beginning, especially if you’ve been strictly limiting the food you eat (low carb, low fat etc.) for a while. But, the beautiful thing about intuitive eating is that, once you’ve let go of all of your eating restrictions, once you’ve let go of believing an outside force knows your body better than you do, something magical happens. You start to listen to your body and really allow yourself to sink into and feel your body. And that’s when your intuition will kick in. When your intuition kicks in, you are able to receive signals from your body regarding what it needs to nourish itself. Sometimes that may be a grilled cheese sandwich with pickles and lots of ketchup and other times that may be a fresh, crisp green salad like the one in this photo. It can feel scary to trust yourself and your body’s signals, especially after many years of diet doctors telling us that we shouldn’t. But, if you can move past the fear and the initial craving of everything you’ve been denying yourself, there is a beautiful place of self-awareness and self-love waiting for you.

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MSG Free

I’ve been learning a lot about MSG lately and none of it is good. Did you know that MSG is an excito-toxin that does a bunch of terrible things to our bodies? First, it contributes to ADD, mood disorders and the “dumbing down” of our society by causing neurons in our brain to fire too quickly. It also exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease when eaten in excess (and, since it’s in everything, it’s very easy to unknowingly eat in excess). And, as an explanation of why North Americans are getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, it suppresses the mechanism in our brain that tells us when we’ve had enough food. Oh, and to top it all off, this cheap little flavour enhancer is addictive too. Clearly big food corporations aren’t interested in our health and well-being – only their profits – by adding MSG to literally every processed item in our food supply.

So, after reading all of this, I’ve decided to eliminate MSG from my diet and I’m discovering that it’s literally everywhere, hidden behind some very sneaky labeling in a lot of cases. It was even in my toothpaste, vitamins, vegan protein powder and “healthy” granola. Basically, if a food is processed and packaged, it’s got MSG in it. So I’ve realized that the only way to avoid this nasty little toxin is to make my own food for every meal.

I’ve been doing just that and it’s been a wonderful experience the past few days. Time consuming for sure, but the food I end up with is wholesome, yummy and, most importantly, real. It tastes like the food I ate as a child when we picked our own veggies out of the garden, added butter and salt and chowed down. No health-robbing chemicals needed.

I’m looking forward to sharing all of my healthiest and prettiest raw, MSG free recipes here as well as any changes I notice as I go along.

There’s nothing more important than nourishing our bodies with delicious, healthy food made with love. I’m excited to be on this journey and to share it with you.

Happy Valentines Day ❤

Harder Than You May Think

So, my first few weeks of intuitive eating were tougher than I thought. The first hurdle was having huge difficulties trying to rid myself of my diet watchdog mentality and desperately wanting to run back to the bland safety of my quinoa and grilled chicken. Then when I finally did just eat whatever I wanted, I found myself eating way too much of certain things like chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, bourbon sours (well, that’s not a food but I had way too many of them) and ribs. And I don’t even eat pork. So, let’s just say that I went a little crazy for awhile.

But, after a couple of weeks, the novelty of being able to eat and drink whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted finally started to wear off and I began to really listen to my body’s signals. All of a sudden I want the odd carrot along with my cookies. Or the juicy, fresh crunch of an apple instead of the loud, greasy crunch of sour cream and onion potato chips. The novelty of having chocolate every single day wore a little thin until I was completely chocolated out. And, most importantly, I really started to listen to what my body was telling me. And it had all kinds of things to tell me; when I was actually hungry for, let’s say, spinach and also when I was really full, when I had enough to drink or didn’t really want anything to drink in the first place (I never really listened to that signal before), when I just needed a good cry or a chat with a good friend instead of any kind of food, when I was feeling so uptight that it had to be addressed before I even thought about food. And I found out that my body had a bunch of other stuff to tell me as well. Whenever I eat cheese, my face breaks out in a sweat ( yes, my face actually sweats). It’s been happening for years and, other than commenting half heartedly that I must have a dairy sensitivity to whomever may be around to witness this cheesy, sweaty outbreak, I did my very best to ignore the situation. Well, if I’m truly listening and doing what’s best for my digestive system, I can’t really ignore my cheese situation any longer. So for the next while, I won’t be eating any food that my body reacts badly to. As a friend of mine said when I told him about my reaction, the only beings that should be eating dairy are baby cows. Well, if you put it that way…

relax1

Also, I’ve become a big social media addict in the past year or so as I mentioned in this post. Studying digital marketing will do that to you. But I’ve realized that it’s time to take a break from my constant Twitter, Facebook, Instagram checking and spend a lot more time in the real, natural world around me, soaking up the sound of the waves, the smell of the trees, lying in a bed of flowers every so often and just being a little more present in my life. Setting my own pace instead of trying to match the sometimes frantic pace of city life. I’ve never understand the great reward of being frantically busy anyway. Doesn’t it just mean your life and the amazing moments in it pass you by while you’re too busy to notice?

So, this is where my experiment has left me right now. And I’m learning to be aware of physical signals that I’m uncomfortable (physically or emotionally) instead of trying to shut those signals up. And I’m starting to listen to what I’m really feeling instead of trying to medicate any of those feelings with food and alcohol. Sometimes it feels like I’m moving very slowly but, even if it’s slowly, it’s in the right direction. And that means a lot.