Why is the health food craze often a battlefield of false messaging and confusion? How can we learn to hear what our body is craving? No, not your mind, your body. Our body’s have evolved over thousands of years to crave what is good for us. Mother Nature makes no mistakes. However, with the uprising of food marketing, manufactured, processed, and sugary foods – the question of what is good for me has become quite complicated over the past 100 years or so.
What makes the body feel nourished? What can I eat that creates an experience of vitality and excellent health? The answer is not straightforward. To truly master your wellbeing you must learn to listen to the cues your body is sending you in each and every moment. These cues are often quiet and difficult to hear… especially when we have corporations spending millions on marketing and advertising campaigns designed to make us want what they have.
Each individual is naturally going to require different foods each day. Yes, we can break the requirements down scientifically into units and measurements, but this is a mechanistic way of reducing our humanness. We are not machines, we are complex being who are influenced by climate, relationships, environmental factors, mental habits, and choice. Not one of us live in a container, and to be part of the world we can learn to listen deeply to our individual body’s needs and requests.
The following are 6 easy steps to get reacquainted with what your body is asking for:
1) Don’t share your food
Your body is designed to want foods that create nourishment within your unique and complex body. Eating with others often means we forget to ask the question, ‘what do I want?’ This does not mean never eat with friends, it simply points out that food choices cannot be individualised in a group setting.
2) Be still, and then choose
What you want, or what you don’t want is more often a result of conditioning from your past rather than real-time information. Autopilot encourages us to make choices similar to the choices we made yesterday. To create change, stop and pause before choosing on a whim. Slow, calm and clear-minded is the space to create change from.
3) If you want something different, do things differently
Not rocket science, right? However, we are often addicted to our sense addictions. Freeing up energy means clearing the mind of conditioning that demands we eat a certain way. Intuitive eating is all about responding to this moment, not yielding to sensory impulses conditioned from a lifetime of poor eating habits. To be clear headed when we make food choices, we must learn to decipher a conditioned urge from a real and natural craving from the body. A general rule of thumb: if your thoughts around what to eat are kind in nature, eat it. If the voice telling you what to eat is angry, demanding, or nasty, the thoughts are likely coming from past conditioning, mind-based rules or beliefs, rather than the intuitive self.
4) I am what I eat
If you were a food, what would you be? Would you be a luscious tomato grown organically? Or would you be a highly processed, factory-made can of tomato soup? Which would feel better to embody? Food is energy in motion… and so are you! When we gravitate towards food that is fresh, alive, and from the earth we know that we are on the right track towards eating intuitively. Your body wants what’s best for you. Simple logic tells us that whole, naturally grown fruits and vegetables are more nutritionally satisfying to the body than highly processed, manufactured products. Become friends with these natural foods and let your body create a relationship with them… in other words, get to know one another. Which natural foods does your body like? Which taste delicious and nurturing? Become curious and allow your sensations to guide the way.
5) Stop blaming yourself
In fact, stop blaming - period. Rather than get hung up on why your past has been riddled with food hiccups, empower yourself with the belief, ‘from this moment forward, I will learn to love myself and choose foods that encourage love.’ Getting stuck in negative emotions such as blame and hate make it incredibly difficult to choose foods that serve our body with loving energy. If you want to choose healthy foods that serve you, start from a place of service to your physical form, start from a place of love.
6) What I cannot change today, I will change tomorrow
This is a process. You will not master intuitive eating in one day. You will inevitably make mistakes as you learn to listen to what your body is asking for. Expect setbacks and focus on progress – focus on wins! We have evolved to seek out and eat what serves our highest self. This means high quality, nutritionally dense, fresh foods. Just because your brain has been conditioned to crave otherwise does not mean you cannot train yourself to reside in your natural state of harmonized physical health. Know that you were born with instincts to choose correctly and with a little focus and training, you can bring yourself back to that place.
The intrinsic ability to self heal and self regulate is made possible through awareness. Making conscious choices means that we must bring light to our unconscious processes – thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Don’t let anyone tell you that you know better than you! Learning to move with the flow and rhythm of life can be fun if you choose to take that mindset. So… choose it! You have the power to love, heal, and serve your body. Need some assistance? Reach out, and using the tools BodyTalk offers, I can help to accelerate your intuitive eating journey.