Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gut reaction...what's "instinctive eating"??

It's funny how some topics of conversation just tend to repeat themselves like a broken record with every person you come in contact with over a matter of days or weeks. On my radar of late, "instinctive eating". What the hell is "instinctive eating" you might ask? I'll tell you what it's not - it's not getting swept up in the wave of crash dieting and weight loss -- all the knit-picking around the minutia that goes into tracking every calorie, fat, and carbohydrate gram along with sugar and sodium content.

It’s exhausting, it’s certainly not fun, and most importantly, it often steers us away from the end goal of eating well (note the emphasis on well). That valiant effort of losing a few extra lbs actually moves many people away from this inherent mindset around food and eating. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to muse over “eating with instinct.” For me, that means getting a good read as to what my body's screaming for...typically a lovely balance between fresh, seasonal, healthful food and a good dose of ice cream and vino (which can be healthful in their own rights!). I do my best to get that balance AND enjoyment out of every last bite and sip. I think it's often too easy to get wrapped up in everything but that which we should really be considering — what a food tastes like, how wholesome foods make us feel, and what we’re craving or not eating enough of (or too much of).

Bottom line? We sometimes miss out on what our bodies are trying to tell us. It might sound ambiguous, but it can have incredible effects. Not to sound preachy, but if you remove the packaged, processed, artificial, and “diet”-focused products and eat fresh, whole, flavorful foods instead, the results are pretty stellar. Magically, our energy levels shoot up, we’re sleeping more soundly, sugar and carbohydrate cravings drop off, and our portions shrink but somehow leave us more satisfied and fulfilled.

And as an added bonus, we tend to lose some of those extra pounds without even thinking about it — all from real food. Doesn't sound too bad huh? Maybe "diet" really is a four letter word?...

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