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Rediscovering Intuitive Eating and A Breakfast Scone

Posted Aug 25 2013 9:52am

Today our eating habits are defined by many rules. Rules that we have learned throughout our lives or have even implemented ourselves. But have these rules made eating any easier, healthier or more enjoyable?

As far back as my childhood I can remember rules around eating. My parents would tell me to finish my plate, or eat my vegetables first. Some foods were even banned in our household such as chips, soda, and candy. Every time I spent the night at a friend’s house I would binge on all the ‘forbidden foods’, Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops for breakfast, soda and pizza for lunch, candy as a snack, and Sloppy Joe’s for dinner. Whatever they offered I would devour.

Then as a young adult, reading beauty magazines, dieting was introduced to me. Messages filled with what to eat to lose weight, what not to eat, and how much to eat, bombarded me from every angle. Even today I see them at the checkout stands. Also, now with nutrition information much more in the forefront than ever before, we are receiving eat healthy or die messages from nonprofit organizations to food companies. No wonder we have built a whirlwind of anxiety around eating. With external forces influencing our eating patterns more than our own hunger cues, it is hard to define balanced and nutritious eating for ourselves.

All that the rules have given us is a lack of trust and confidence in our own ability to govern when and how much we should eat. Luckily we all possess the ability to eat intuitively. However, we have to uncover the many layers of rules, traditions, and emotions that have rooted deep into our eating beliefs.

In the book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, Tribiole and Resch define 8 different eating styles including

1. Careful eater: Fitness and health defines eating pattern
2. Unconscious Eater: Eating while distracted by another task
3. Chaotic Eater: Eating on the run due to over-scheduling4. Refuse-Not Eater: Open food presence on counter5. Waste-Not Eater: Free food or large portions should not be wasted 6. Emotional Eater: Stress and emotions trigger eating7. Professional Dieter: Always dieting due to feeling fat8. Intuitive Eater: Using biological hunger cues to make food choices
I am sure everyone can identify with at least one. I know I can. Here are some questions to ponder:
  • How has your eating style formed you? 
  • Do you remember how it first developed? 
  • Can you envision your daily triggers? 
  • What and perhaps who has influenced these rules? 

  • With so much information at our fingertips and constant advertisements promoting foods or diets that will make you younger, healthier, fitter, it is hard to make our own judgments. Ultimately, the goal is to eat a nutritionally balanced diet using biological hunger cues, that not only brings joy, but also vital nutrients to support our amazing bodies.

    Following I have summarized the 10 principles that Tribole and Resch use to help overcome the patterns and rules we have built surrounding our eating habits. I know that these tips may be easier said then done. However, they may help you move forward with your emotional and physical health surrounding food.

    Ditch the Diet Mentality: Holding on to the hope that a new and better diet may help you lose weight quickly and easily will prevent you from rediscovering intuitive eating. Learn to listen to yourself and not the diet books and magazines.
    Acknowledge Your Hunger: Triggering a primal drive to overeat can occur when you are depriving yourself of adequate energy and carbohydrates. Learn to pay attention to your biological signs of hunger, feeding yourself with a balanced meal or snack when need be.
    End The War With Food: When you tell yourself you cant have a certain food it can backfire causing you to overeat the food your depriving yourself of. By giving yourself permission to eat all foods and discarding the forbidden food label you will save yourself guilt from binging episodes.
    Gage Your Fullness: Learn to listen and feel when you are no longer hungry. Instead of grabbing seconds ask yourself are you really still hungry? If yes, then go for it!
    Quiet The Food Police: Try to avoid giving foods bad or good labels based on their calorie content, and challenge your psyche with positive phrases in place of negative.
    Importance of Satisfaction: When we bombard ourselves with dieting rules we can lose the pleasure and satisfaction associated with an eating experience. If you eat what you really want, not only will you satisfy your hunger, but it tends to “hit the spot” usually causing you to eat less because you have found a much deeper satisfaction than by following your diet rules.
    Managing Emotions Without Food: This is a hard one, I know, but finding comfort in food when stressed, lonely, angry, bored, etc. can cause you to eat although you may not be hungry. Resolving issues or finding ways around the triggers will help you feel better in the long run. Food will only help for the moment and perhaps even cause discomfort thereafter.
    Love Your Body: Learning to accept who you are and creating realistic goals for yourself, will help you feel better about your body. Rejoice in a healthy and functioning body and all the wonderful things you can do with it.
    Move Your Body: Learn to enjoy exercise for the sake of moving your body instead of the calorie-burning aspect of it. Focus on how you feel afterwards, are you energized, are you motivated, did you have fun?  When exercise is fun and energizing it is much easier to implement for the long run.
    Respect Your Health: Its what you eat consistently that will make you gain weight or cause nutrient deficiencies. Stressing over one snack, meal, or even day will not impact your health in the long run. Making healthy choices a lifestyle instead of a “need to do”, will allow you to experience freedom and enjoyment in indulgences.

    It takes time to relearn the innate ability of your body to guide your eating patterns. Hopefully by implementing these principles into your lifestyle you will learn to trust and listen to your body’s intuitive cues. Not only will this help you reduce food associated guilt or emotional distress, but it will also help you find pleasure in eating. Intuitive eating is a lifestyle that can help lead you along a path to feeling physically and mentally healthy. Consequently, your body will find its natural balance for optimal health.

    So now that you have a few tools in your pocket, I hope you are able to take the time to thoroughly enjoy this scone with a cup of hot tea in the comfort of your home. Perhaps you share it with a friend, or freeze some for later. Either way, may it be wonderful!

    Orange Turmeric Middle Eastern Scones
    Makes 8 scones
    For the Dough:
    1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour mix (with xantham gum)
    ½ cup garbanzo flour
    ¾ cup cooked quinoa
    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon turmeric
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for decoration
    ½ cup blonde coconut sugar, plus more for topping
    ½ vanilla bean, scraped
    Zest of ½ Valencia orange
    ¼ cup coconut oil (not melted)
    2 tablespoons coconut cream (or an extra tablespoon coconut oil)
    ½ cup almond milk
    1 cup wild blueberries (you can buy them at Trader Joe's)
    Optional: beaten egg

    For the Glaze:
    Juice of 1 Valencia orange
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    ½ vanilla bean, scraped

    1. In a large food processor add gluten-free flour, garbanzo flour, quinoa, salt, baking, powder, baking soda, turmeric, sesame seeds, coconut sugar, vanilla bean, and orange zest. Pulse a few times to combine.
    2. Slowly add the coconut oil and coconut cream while pulsing the food processor.
    3. Splash by splash add the almond milk, pulsing in between each splash. You may not need to add all the almond milk. Stop adding almond milk when the dough thoroughly combines in the food processor.
    4. Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with plastic wrap and evenly cover the bottom of the pan with blueberries. Top the blueberries with the dough, pushing down to make sure the blueberries stick. Press the dough smoothly and evenly across pan.
    5. Cover the dough with remaining edges of plastic wrap, and place into freezer. Allow to freeze about 30 minutes.
    6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small sauce-pan bring the orange juice to a simmer, and add the maple syrup and scraped vanilla bean. Reduce heat to low, allowing mixture to slowly simmer. Continue to reduce, until the mixture forms a syrup consistency (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from heat.  
    7. Remove the dough from the freezer and flip onto a large cutting board with blueberries facing up. Sprinkle the top with a few remaining sesame seeds, some coconut sugar, and brush with beaten egg. If you want to keep the recipe vegan, you do not need to brush with egg, it just gives the scones a nice shine. Cut the dough into 8 even pieces.
    8. Place pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake scones for about 25 minutes. Make sure to give each slice room to grow a little bit.
    9. When the scones are done, drizzle each with the reduced orange maple syrup glaze and allow to cool.
    10. Serve fresh, store in airtight container in refrigerator, or freeze. Frozen or refrigerated scones are great warmed up in toaster. 

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