Taking the reins of your own eating

How is your relationship with food?
Do you eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full? Do you eat only things that serve your body nutritionally? Do you always feel happy and contently satisfied with your meals?

…yeah, me neither.

Growing up, family gatherings always revolved around food. As soon as you get to an aunt or uncle’s house they’re serving you a generous plate of rich food. Finished with your plate? That means you’re ready for round 2 of nearly equal portion size. You’re full? Don’t be rude, take that second helping anyways. And make sure not to waste food!

In the health and fitness world there are so many different sources telling us different things. Eat 5 small meals during the day. You should try intermittent fasting. Don’t eat any carbs. Do this 21-day detox cleanse. AHH! How do we know where to start, which to choose and for how long?!

How about we go back to the basics?…When we are born, we have an innate sense of hunger and fullness. We cry for food when we’re hungry and we stop when we’re satisfied. As we go through life and its experiences, those hunger and satiety cues are drowned out and sometimes lost all together.
I can certainly tell when I’m hungry and don’t usually hesitate to eat! Although, sometimes I question whether I’m actually hungry or just bored. If I ignore my hunger cues for too long, thinking I’m not actually hungry yet, head for the hills…I’m HANGRY.
Figuring out (and honoring) my fullness level is much different. With the “do not waste food” mentality embedded in my brain, paired with my love for all things delicious, I often clean plates even if I know it’s well beyond a serving of food. Even to the point of feeling sick from eating too much, then guilt.

Does that sound familiar to anyone else?

Just know that you’re not alone! While the majority of my food choices are fresh and healthy…too much of a good thing can be bad. And I crave sweets and baked goods like anyone else.

I am learning now how to be more intuitive about my eating. Thinking about how hungry I really am, what sounds appetizing at that moment, how much I enjoy the taste of the food, noticing the texture of each bite, how I feel after eating. I have also began to avoid mindless eating- eating while I am distracted by my phone and working on the computer. By changing my framework around eating, I am enjoying my food more and becoming more satisfied, usually with smaller portions.

I invite you to slow things down.
Enjoy your meals with your special people.
Put your phone away.
Take smaller bites, chew each one thoroughly.
Notice the smell of the dish.
Take note of the texture.
Are you enjoying what you’re eating?

You’re in charge of everything that goes into your mouth and into your body. Let’s feed it what it really wants and needs. That’s usually what makes us feel and look our best.

#funfact: Avocados and cinnamon are in the same family.

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