Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how my whole approach to eating has started to change. I used to be very ‘controlled’, I would have my meal plan and would never deviate from it no matter what.
I still meal plan for a number of reasons – to reduce food waste, to be organised and to try and save money, but now I have a much more flexible approach to it. If I have planned to have something and I just don’t fancy it then I will look and see what’s in the fridge and cupboards to see what else looks good, or if I’m hungry I’ll eat something whether its on my plan or not!
I’ve found that I’m able to tune in to what my body needs much better than ever before. Whether its a big green smoothie, a giant raw veggie filled salad, a plate of roasted veg with hummus, a bowl of dried fruit and nuts or some chocolate, I’m really happy to just go with the flow. One of my favourite things is to be able to go to the market or green grocer and see what fresh produce I feel drawn to at that moment.
This is something I’ve never experienced before!
Over the weekend I commented on Jessica’s blog that I felt I still needed to have some ‘control’ over things, but when I really sat and thought about it I realised that I actually don’t! I listen to my body most of the time (some times I’m not hungry when I know I need to eat more, like after a long run) and I naturally crave healthier stuff.
I really dislike it that some people think I live in a state of deprivation when that absolute opposite is true. I enjoy my food now more than I ever have at any point in my life. I can eat what I want, I just choose to eat the foods that I’m now naturally drawn to and that make me feel my best. The other day I surprised myself as I was looking forward to eating a juicy jazz apple just as much as I used to look forward to eating a greasy pasty from Greggs.
I never seem to crave meat, cake or crisps – I have started to get the odd fleeting egg and goats cheese craving and depending on how I feel I may go with it – all in line with my feelings around not adopting a strict vegan label and preferring to go with the ‘eat what makes me feel good’ mantra instead!
I’ve also started to find that when I have a few weeks of eating a lot of sugary stuff or drinking a lot of coffee it kind of builds up until I feel the need to cut back on it a bit.
I feel like I know my body so well now. Before, when I would get hunger signals I didn’t fully understand when they were due to stress, boredom or genuine hunger. Now I feel like I know the difference. I can’t really explain how I’ve got to this point, but I think after 3 years of trying out different ways of eating, discovering new foods, changing my mind set from skinny to healthy (this is the real key change I think) I’m really getting there. The fact that I’m maintaining my weight and making great improvements with my running (so I must be fuelling myself well) makes me feel like I’m on the right path!
What are your thoughts on intuitive eating? I don’t think I’m a pure intuitive eater but I feel like I’ve found a really good balance that works for me. Do you meal plan? If so, do you try and find a balance between planning meals in advance and listening to what your body wants?
What are you currently craving?
Right now I’m in the need for something chocolately and have just found this siesta orange carob bar in the back of the drawer, yum!