After several years of developing a few bad habits when it comes to food, I am making efforts to tackle them head on! Since 2013, the majority of my food choices have been centered on “what I should eat,” and were eaten “when I should eat.” It may sound silly, but in a way I kind of forgot how to eat like a “normal” human being. That is all about to change.
I am challenging myself to become a more intuitive eater. I want to eat what my body craves, and I want to eat food when my body is hungry. For the most part, the majority of my food intake will still be pretty healthy (since I mostly purchase healthy foods), but I am challenging myself to stop eating when I am full and to eat without distractions. I am used to clearing my plate, and I think so many of us are guilty of eating while distracted. Eating while watching television or while on my computer leaves me completely out of check with my body and its hunger cues. I want to change these things. I am partaking in somewhat of an “intuitive eating challenge” with me, myself, and I (though I’d love for you to join along!). I plan to share days of intuitive eating with you every so often so that you can see what I ate and hear my thought processes regarding those choices.
Here we go with day #1 of intuitive eating (last Saturday):
I started my morning out like I have been for the past several weeks with 28 ounces of water and about half a cup of 100% cranberry juice mixed in. Cranberry juice (not juice cocktail) has a lot of health benefits, and the added flavor encourages me to drink more water throughout the morning.
While sipping on my water/cranberry juice, I started thinking about what sounded good for breakfast. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out what I really wanted. I ran through my list of breakfast ideas in my mind and looked at Instagram to see what “looked/sounded good” to me. Ultimately, I stayed true to all of my cravings and decided on two whole eggs scrambled (with black pepper and a bit of turmeric) and a toasted whole wheat English muffin. I topped one half with apricot jam and the other with crunchy almond butter and dark chocolate chips.
I challenged myself to sit at the table and just eat. I closed the lid of my laptop, put my phone away, and turned off the TV. It turns out that when I was really focused on eating and how full I was, I actually did not feel the need to mindlessly finish everything on my plate. About halfway through my eggs I decided that I was not really digging them. I also enjoyed the apricot half of my English muffin, but did not feel the need to finish it when I was full. My love of almond butter and chocolate reigned true, and I finished that half off first!
Shortly after breakfast, I headed out to run a few errands. I really should have taken something to snack on because I found myself hungry around 10:45. Luckily, I made it home shortly after 11 and finished up what was left of my eggs from breakfast. I added salsa this time and that seemed to do the trick!
I did not plan out my timing for lunch very well. I was perfectly hungry by the time my meal was made, but by the time I was finished photographing the dish for the blog (coming soon!), I was staaaarving. You live and you learn. I started with a smaller bowl than I normally would, and surprised myself by being satisfied with just that. The leftovers went into the fridge for a different day.
2:45 rolled around and I was ready for my sweet green smoothie. There is rarely a day that I am not craving a green smoothie (aka what tastes like a chocolate milkshake). I finished this up while working on a blog post. The idea of drinking a smoothie slowly while not multitasking seemed impractical to me. However, I might challenge myself to try that next time.
I hopped in the shower around 4:00 to get ready for a fun evening. I was hungry afterwards, so I decided to snack on a whole carrot dipped in hummus. I ate all but about a 1-inch piece of the carrot because I was full and satisfied with just that.
I ate dinner at 6:00. I was not fully hungry, but had plans with friends at 7:00. Therefore, I wanted to eat a meal prior to leaving. I ate this kale salad topped with roasted sweet potato wedges. I filled my plate with less of the salad and sweet potatoes than I normally would, and found that I was full by the time I cleared my plate. If I’m being honest with myself, I probably could have stopped a few bites earlier, but it did keep me full for hours.
I met up with some of my former co-workers for a game night at a board game cafe called Spielbound. I was craving a beer shortly after I arrived, so I ordered a Deschutes Hop Henge IPA. I sipped it slowly and followed it up with a glass of water.
I brought an apple to snack on if I felt hungry, but did not end up needing it. I was, however, hungry when I arrived home around 10:30. I poured myself a smallish bowl of cereal and topped it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and fresh raspberries. It was exactly what I was craving and left me feeling satisfied.
I was pretty happy with how my first day of intuitive eating played out. There are some things I want to work on- stopping when I’m full, packing snacks, and not feeling like I need to clear my plate- but overall it was a great day. I’m excited to continue on this journey!
Do you consider yourself to be an “intuitive eater?”