Rules and stigma surrounding food can be tricky to navigate in the face of a health crisis. Here are some tools to help you nourish your body to the fullest extent while balancing your mental health and desire for comfort and tasty choices.
Drink Enough Water
Water is essential for your body to properly transport nutrients to get into your cells. It is the base for vitality. Water can help your body assimilate the nutrients you provide for it. Schedule your water intake to begin in the morning as soon as you can manage and try to end at 6pm so you do not cause restlessness to your body as your bladder adjusts. If you are thirsty after 6pm, feel free to drink.
Eat your Fat and Protein First
Fat and protein are decadent and filling to your body. Salt your food until your tastebuds are pleased, but be sure to use real sea salt or himalayan salt. One of my favorite ways to increase fat intake is to make Bulletproof drinks with a base of coffee, tea or broth. Mix in grass fed butter and coconut oil or MCT oil. Blend until emulsified. You can add
collagen protein powder for an additional boost. This filling drink provides building blocks for your hormones, helps aid fat soluble nutrients as they assimilate in to your body and heals the gut lining.
Practice Gratitude for your Food
It has been proven that praying or practicing gratitude before eating your food can help it to be more nourishing. Eat slowly and savor every bite, no matter what type of food it is. Try to take time for yourself while you eat, eliminating distractions and avoiding phone usage.
Ask yourself, “what can I add to my diet?”
When dietary shifts are called for, it can be easy to feel restricted. However, instead of focusing on what you are eliminating, try adding new foods, colors, tastes and textures to your plate. Without assigning morality to your new food choices, try out alternatives with an open mind. You get to be your own guide. Frequently check in with yourself after eating a new food to reflect on how it made you feel.
After Steps 1-4
If you are having a craving or impulse to eat a food you know does not make you feel very good, yet, you want to avoid a restriction mentality, follow steps 1-4 and then enjoy your food. Depriving ourselves can lead to shame and binging later. The above steps are ways you can satisfy your body with nutrients first and then still enjoy a craving with what space you have left in your appetite. Remember to show gratitude for the food as you are enjoying it. Note: If you are avoiding an allergen, try looking for a similar food in an allergen free version.
The journey to intuitive eating is not an easy one. Yet, it can heal your connection to the food you ingest and help you to treasure and respect all aspects of your body.