By Cristina Luibil, registered dietitian and mom-to-be
Recently, I've spent a lot of time reminiscing about my intuitive eating journey, especially how it changed once we found out we were expecting our little one.
I can say without a doubt that I am glad I was well into intuitive eating and accepting of my body at the very beginning.
It got me thinking… I can't be the only new (or seasoned!) mom with these struggles....
1. Honoring my hunger
I thought I had my hunger cues down pat, but that first trimester did me in. Not only was I hungry 24/7, but at the same time I also had ZERO appetite! Pregnancy food aversions are strong and totally threw my eating world upside down for a few months.
2. Discovering the satisfaction factor again
After eating pretty bland foods during the first trimester, I can say with certainty that my taste buds and preferences have changed a bit! I used be pretty adventurous with trying new things, but now I tend to stick to things I know. Will this last forever? I will have to wait and see, but it's been interesting to feel satisfied by meals and snacks that I used to not be interested in.
3. Respecting my body
I think that a few years ago, the major changes that my body has gone through in these past 9 months would have sent me over the edge (not in a good way). I can say with confidence now that it has been really heartwarming to see how my body has changed to accommodate this baby and that it is doing what it needs to do to keep us both healthy and strong. That's pretty awesome, in my opinion! Thanks, body ❤️
4. Honoring my health with gentle nutrition
Though at times I had either zero appetite or a ravenous appetite, I knew (both as a human and as a dietitian) that it was super important to make sure to keep the practice of gentle nutrition at top of mind.
Here's a brief explanation of Gentle Nutrition:
Nutrition in and of itself is not the first priority of our health. There are SO MANY other factors to consider first. Gentle nutrition is the practice that intuitive eaters use to consider their preferences, their mood, their rational thoughts, AND their nutrition-related priorities. Gentle nutrition is a practice where we add in foods in order to both manage a condition (if applicable) AND help us to continue feeling our best - both physical and mentally!
Gentle nutrition is the last principle in Intuitive Eating for a reason - we have to learn how to ditch diet culture, how our body reacts to acting on our internal signals, AND how to decide what is truly right for us before we can even factor in nutritional properties of foods.
I know that actually sounds *counter-intuitive* (especially since our culture is a bit obsessed with nutrition) but I can guarantee you that it is what allows us to honor our true, authentic health ❤️
At times, many of us that are practicing intuitive eating have hard days related to connecting with our body in terms of both body image and food… thats pretty normal. But I think if you are able to see the positive in the changes you are seeing and feeling, you will have an advantageous experience with intuitive eating (whether pregnancy-related, or not).
In 2024, Aterra Nutrition is debuting a new group program specifically for moms and moms-to-be focused on Intuitive Eating and Gentle Nutrition. Read more about the group here 🪴
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Blog Disclaimer: Everyone's Intuitive Eating journey will be different. While I am a registered dietitian, I may not be your dietitian, personally. All blog posts are for informational and educational purposes only and may not be the best fit for your personal situation. Information shall not be construed as medical nutrition therapy or advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. It is not intended to replace individual nutrition care or nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Always check with your own registered dietitian and physician or medical treatment team before trying or implementing any information read here.
If you choose, Aterra Nutrition would be happy to help you in your own, individual nutrition and intuitive eating journey.