INTUITIVE EATING | NOURISHING NELLI | CULINARY MEDICINE
Food is the foundation of wellness, but the mind is much more influential. Hippocrates taught us that food is medicine, but so too is your mind.
Let’s face the fact…There is no one-size fits all, standard diet, or basic approach to healthy living.
The secret is knowing your unique body and gaining a better understanding of YOUR personal health through hunger cues, and then further relating them to science-based nutrition evidence.
Learning what your body needs in order to feel motivated, energized, and happy, comes from learning the unheard language – how your body lets you know when something is A-OK or no-way Jośe! This awareness is called “intuitive” or “mindful” eating, and it’s the most sustainable way to thrive each and every day. By knowing your body at this level, it becomes clearer on where to turn when making meal choices. You’re informed of the emotions that drive eating decisions, motivation to exercise, and taught how to check in with yourself to notice if you’re stressed, tired, or unhappy. This then leads to knowledge on how to reach a desired goal with your meal choices. I find this practice essential in obtaining optimal health and happiness!
Science is continuously proving the many ways that our bodies are affected by the health of our microbiome, environment, genetics, and lifestyle. The food choices we make with each meal are literally signals to the cells in our body. They instruct and impact our sense of self, how we feel, and ultimately how we show up each and everyday.
If you can embrace the fact that there’s a lot more to a meal than just the food components. There’s the emotional and hormonal connections – how it makes you feel, and then there’s each individuals’ circadian rhythm that correlates.
Listening to your body; while it may sound cliche to some, is top trend here at Nourishing Nelli. It’s the secret to success, and the key to developing a healthy relationship with what I like to call the “food-function-feeling connection”.
A good example of how this plays out is as follows. If you find yourself stressed, un-prioritized, lack sleep, or in a worrisome state, it doesn’t necessarily matter how “healthy” your meal choices are; hormonally you may cause havoc and end on the opposing side of what you wished for in that meal. That’s why learning to identify the “cue’s” that your body sends, is so important, so that you can then make choices to match your mood! It takes some time; but with practice you become powerful!
Understanding your food triggers and knowing you have the power to control them leads to food freedom; no diets necessary!
I challenge you to learn more about yourself! Take time to move, meditate, and just do nothing besides be present! Test out new foods, as well as, new activities! Breath! It’s time we begin to prioritize both physical AND emotional health by using the mind to make your meal!
The NN Bowl Building Guide and Dinner Designer are two great places to start; both giving you nutrient categories and options to fill via each your unique cues. In combination with your brilliant mind your meal will be ONE OF A KIND!
Common Hunger Cues
If you’ve noticed a decreased appetite, you may have experienced unintentional weight loss, you may have lost a desire to eat, or simply just never feel as hungry as before. The thought of eating may even make you feel nauseous.
If you don’t have an appetite, you may be able to tie it to psychological factors like: anxiety, depression, stress, or grief. There may be health-related conditions at play too like migraines, pregnancy, post-partum depression, a cold, the flu, or alcohol withdrawals.
Signs you’re not eating enough of the nutrient dense foods at each meal look like low energy, poor sleep, physical hunger, cravings, and headaches. So often nutrition resources are geared towards weight loss, but a focus on underweight nutrition is especially important, too.
- Other signs of no hunger may stem from a intermittent fasting routine. If you’ve fasted extra long and your body is content at burning its’ stored fuel – i.e. your fat adapted, your hormones will not stimulate huge hunger.
- You may have over eaten the macronutrient fat, which burns long and slow in the body as an energy source; therefore your body is utilizing it for fuel.
You’re Hungry All The Time aka HANGRY!
If you find yourself hungry all the time, it may be a result of lifestyle factors like lack of sleep or over stressed; or maybe you’re consuming certain products that affect your hunger via the ingredients used to make them. With these factors at play, your hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) can become unbalanced, causing you to feel hungry even when you’re not. Never-ending hunger is related to your diet, too. If you’re focusing on calories or macronutrient counts instead of the actual nutrient content of the foods you’re eating, you may be missing out on the key components of a truly nourishing “diet”. All of the macronutrients work together with micronutrients to create a balanced diet that you can call a lifestyle!
Other causes of ravishing hunger could be from:
- Dehydration — water is responsible for every process in the body, including your metabolism. By drinking enough water every day, you’re helping your digestive process while also supporting an efficient hunger hormone profile.
- You’re eating too many sugary carbohydrates — these refined carbs not only lack the nutrients your body needs to function properly, they cause a spike in blood sugar, and then a crash and then your left hungry again.
- You may not be eating enough protein, which is known for its’ ability to leave you with fullness due to its lengthy digestive requirements.
- You’re not getting enough healthy fats. Just like protein, healthy fats can help you feel fuller and lengthen digestive processes. They also help you absorb the nutrients you eat making them a win-win as an addition to your meals.
- You eat too fast — your mind may not register that you’re full from a meal if you inhale it too quickly. Set yourself up to feel fuller, longer, by allowing your digestion to take place as you chew your food slowly instead of scaring it down in a second!
- Stress – during emotional times or times of feeling under pressure can lead to a rise in your hunger hormones. Emotions play a role in our relationship with food and how often we feel the need to eat. Check in with yourself at mealtime and ask yourself if you’re being fueled to eat by how you feel, or by what your body really needs.
I hope this was helpful in making your meal choices as pleasant as possible! Checkout the Nourishing Knowledge Episodes for more in depth on this topics!0