Intuitive Eating: My New "Diet"

Have you ever noticed how often people use the words “good” and “bad” when talking about food? Maybe it happens more often in my world because I’m a nutrition student, but I hear it a lot.

“I don’t eat sugar because it’s bad.”

“I don’t even like kale, but I eat it because it’s good for me.”

“You shouldn’t eat (insert random food here) because it’s bad for you.”

Is anyone else tired of hearing this?!

so what’s the problem?

I believe that our words have power and they affect us more than we realize. I’ll use myself as an example – I used to label Hot Cheetos (my favorite processed food) as “bad” and kept them as far away from me as possible. This usually worked out pretty well, until I went to a friend’s house for game night and was suddenly face-to-face with a gigantic bowl of the forbidden chips.

More often than not, I would attempt to resist the Hot Cheetos but then they were all I could think about! Once I started, I could not stop until they were completely gone.

Can you imagine how I felt next? Guilty. Like a horrible person with no willpower. Like the worst nutritionist on the planet. I would mentally beat myself up and promise to never make the same mistake again. A promise that almost never lasted.

I know I am not alone in this vicious cycle. In America, we live in a culture that connects food with morality so it is no wonder many people experience something similar. People are constantly searching for which superfoods to eat and which enemy foods to avoid – but my question is, what makes you feel good?

Which foods give you energy? What is one food that brings you pure joy? Are there foods that cause you to feel sluggish? These are the questions I think we should all be spending our energy on to answer.

what is ‘intuitive eating’?

For me, intuitive eating means listening to my body and eating what makes me feel my best in that moment. Sometimes, that’s a giant green smoothie and others it’s a slice of gluten-full chocolate cake.

Intuitive eating means that I have given myself permission to eat any foods that I want. Yes, you read that right. I am a nutritionist advocating for nutritious vegetables and Hot Cheetos.

Since diving into intuitive eating head first, I feel liberated and completely in control of my food choices. I know some people might read this and think, “I can’t let myself eat Oreos…once I start I won’t be able to stop.” But how do you feel when I say you can have as many Oreos as you want? They don’t sound so exciting anymore, right?

Think back to when you were a teenager – we all rebelled and did things we knew we weren’t supposed to because it felt good to be bad. But would you have snuck out at night if your parents never set a curfew? Our brains often want to bend or break rules, which is why I would eat as many Hot Cheetos as possible when they were around.

It truly amazed me that the next time I was next to a bowl of Hot Cheetos, I didn’t feel the need to eat every single one. I ate a few and then they suddenly didn’t seem so appealing.

This kind of thinking requires a complete paradigm shift and it takes time and practice. I am still learning and by no means consider myself an expert, but I am passionate about this and want to help others make peace with food.

finding peace

I want to cultivate a peaceful relationship with food. No more “shoulds” or guilt or deprivation from occasional treats. I want to be able to tune into my body and know which foods help me feel my best rather than listening to the confusing and often conflicting media outlets.

I woke up this morning, made a chai tea latte, and decided one of my favorite mugs would be fitting for today. It says, “peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Doesn’t that sound nice?

What do you think of this concept? Does it resonate with you or perhaps leave you feeling confused and afraid to accept this approach? Let's talk about it!

With love,

Jenna Bee

About Photo.png

Hi, I'm happy you're here!

I'm Jenna - a nutritionist, cookbook author, recipe creator, kitchen manager for a preschool, gardener, book worm, and animal lover.

I believe the true path to feeling well is less about bio-hacks and more about basic everyday elements.

Welcome to my corner of the internet.

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