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What to Eat as an Intuitive Eater

Posted Feb 25 2013 5:37am

intuitive eating what to eatThis week I have had several people asking a very similar question – “what do I eat”. Quite often I avoid answering this question because i do not want to “confuse” you or “trigger” you with food talk, but I think it is time to address this question once and for all.

Hi Nina,

It would be so helpful to me if you could create some video’s on what you eat and buy as this could give me some ideas of where to start. My whole life has been a history of eating disorders but i really really went to break this now. I’m 34 years old with three lovely kids. I think it’s about time i lived my life properly.

Thank you so much for all your help and support,you have been my light and the end of a dark,dark tunnel,
Love Leila

Dear Leila,

It has now been 7 years since I have been recovered from all eating disorders and living as an “intuitive eater”. I use the term “intuitive eater” loosely because I know that it is a “branded” name – and not my own branding, but for the sake of simplicity and to avoid confusion, I do use the term as I feel it is appropriate and relevant.

However, I know that there is a lot written about Intuitive Eating (which I do NOT read, so I have no idea what the techniques related to this are and I do not endorse anything that I know nothing about)

I can only speak from my own personal experience and what I have been through.

When I started intuitive eating I was basically a terrified child. I had NO idea what I was doing, I only knew that I wanted to BE a “normal eater” (that is my own term, as vague as it sounds, I think it hits the mark).

I practiced slowly and treated myself like a real child.

I would say (embarrassing) things like “baby what do you want to eat today? “Ok Nina what do you really feel like eating, I am going to take care of you and give you whatever you really want – no more diets and punishing restrictive eating”

So I ate things that I remember eating and enjoying as a child – sandwiches were my main thing, smoothies and shakes, pizza, some chocolate (although I realized this was never a big thing for me), pancakes for breakfast, pasta and even “healthy label” food like brown rice and tofu (still one of my favorite things to eat.

The Challenges and Trusting My Intuition

If you feel like you are “doing it wrong” – join the club. I doubted my decisions a lot, I could not comprehend that the food that I labeled as “unhealthy” and “bad” for so long were actually acceptable.

I had to let go of the good versus bad, right versus wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.

As long as I was aligned with this black and white thinking – I was playing a “no win game”. I would always end up in shame, despair and doubting my inner wisdom.

You want me to tell you that it is a quick process, right? Well yes and no. It can be as quick or as slow as you let it be. If you are stuck in dieting, pseudo dieting, black and white thinking and trying to control your food and weight, the process will be slow.

It is the great paradox of “the more we let go, the more we are able to experience true freedom”

As the years went on, I became more comfortable with eating out at restaurants, not noticing the “calorie” content, adding more food that I actually liked.

There were days where I felt like I had ‘screwed it up”, that I was overeating, that I would never “get this”.

There were days when I ate nothing but “prohibited, non-diet” food for weeks on end. Chips, ice cream, pasta, pizza for days and weeks. But here is the catch – i always felt satisfied and slowly my obsession and compulsion lessened, as did my control over my weight. Consequently there was no change in my weight, more space in my mind to do soul inspired things, greater connection with people and a building of my own intuitive forces. That is the great payoff.

Seven years later my food choices are a little different, but ten underlying pronciple is still the same – “Nina, what do you feel like eating right now?”

I trust that whatever comes up is honoring my body and I do not second guess it. It may be an egg sandwich, a whole pizza, ice cream, brown rice with spinach and chick peas, a Lara bar, soem juice, fresh fruit or brussel sprouts. Whatever it is, I go with it. I do not have the luxury of allowing that “critical” eating disorder voice to guide my decision making process. It is what it is, and if I am to stay true to myself, my body and my path, I accept it without question or judgment.

So now I want to ask you.

Are you still holding on to dieting, pseduo dieting, control techniques, old ways of managing your food and weight?

Honesty will set you free – either in your notebook or in the comments below. i would love to hear your experience and for it to be shared among the rest of the community that is on the same path to recovery.

Own your voice, share with us, tell us your experience and where you are at. We heal through our openness and honesty with others…


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