This blog series will showcase how Intuitive Eating has supported my own eating and movement journey, how it has shaped me into the dietitian and person you know today, how it outlines my practice, and how it can help you.
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Being a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Registered Dietitian helps me provide sustainable nutrition and lifelong wellness for myself, my family, and my clients. To do so, I use nutrition to honor health (in the Intuitive Eating world, we call this Gentle Nutrition) and through discovering the satisfaction factor in food and eating.
Gentle Nutrition is really quite simple. The most basic of food-related necessities, after having access to food, is to eat enough food. Barring any medical conditions, such as food allergies or specific nutrition-related conditions, essentially no food is off limits.
For my family, we try to keep it really simple.
What sounds good to eat?
What do we already have and what would we need to get?
What foods do we need to use up before they go bad? Looking at you, produce.
What is quick and easy to prepare after a long day?
In the moment, I also think to myself what sounds super satisfying and appetizing, and will it feel good in my body.
For example, I'll ask myself:
Do I want something sweet, salty, savory, spicy?
Do I need something refreshing, cozy, hot, cold?
How much time do I have to prepare and eat my food?
What do I have going on in the next few hours and do I need something that will keep me fuller for longer? This is called "staying power".
How will this food/meal make my body feel?
Could it be a combination of some/all of these options? Yep! This is not an exhaustive list; its actually very short in comparison to the type of questions you can ask yourself about what you feel like eating in the moment and how it may make your body feel - but for myself I like to keep simple!
Here are some real life examples of satisfying gentle nutrition from my own Intuitive Eating Journey. Many of these meal and snack ideas were inspired by my lovely clients! Remember, everyone's Intuitive Eating Journey is their own and none are supposed to be perfect, or even close to it.
Let's discuss from the top, left to right.
If I am cooking, I really prefer simple meals that don't require lots of steps or prep. In the first picture, I knew I needed some staying power, I wanted a grain, and I wanted a crunchy veggie (plus we had tons of veggies to use).
From Costco we got some pesto butter salmon, which is already seasoned and just needs to be cooked. I boiled some jasmine rice, and I made kale chips in the oven (using pre-cut kale) which I seasoned with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder and baked til crispy. Super easy and delicious, and met all my gentle nutrition needs at that moment.
It's summer and we subscribe to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from a local farm, so we get lots of produce each week. I LOVE nectarines and they are in season right now (August in Maryland) so I am taking full advantage! Five out of the six examples here have nectarines!
For the charcuterie board (AKA snack plate, grazing board... whatever you prefer to call it!) I wanted staying power to keep me content, something refreshing, something crunchy, and something quick. I looked through the fridge and pantry and decided on crackers, cheese, nectarine, almonds, chocolate covered apricots, and sunflower seeds. Delicious, very easy, and met all my needs.
Something else that provides food satisfaction for me is "fancy flatware". I met a local potter at the Farmer's Market this summer and she not only has made me a mug with DTEN's brand mark on it, but I've gotten a mini pitcher -- the perfect size for my morning espresso! -- and this tiny bowl (shown top right) for yogurt or oatmeal. In that picture I had coconut yogurt, a nectarine, some granola, and some almonds. It may be tiny but it sure holds a good bit of food! I was satisfied for sure, and I was able to get in a variety of food groups too.
The rest of the meals and snacks shown follow the same idea: What sounds good to me, what do I have available to me, how will the food make me feel, etc.
Honoring my health, checking in with satisfaction when it comes to food, and using gentle nutrition practices in my Intuitive Eating Journey have helped me to grow into a less worried eater.
I feel proud when I am able to use these tactics to think of a meal that is truly satisfying to my taste buds and meets my gentle nutrition needs over time.
Nourishment is a very simple form of self-care, and I'm glad I'm able to care for myself in this way.
One of the best ways to create an individualized approach to Gentle Nutrition is through nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Down to Earth Nutrition offers just that! Read more about our nutrition counseling services here. Since we provide concierge services, we only have a few spots available.
Want to learn how to eat your favorite foods without guilt or stress?!
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Everyone's Intuitive Eating journey will be different. While I am a registered dietitian, I may not be your dietitian, personally. All intuitive eating blog series 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. 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, Down to Earth Nutrition would be happy to help you in your own, individual nutrition and intuitive eating journey.