HERE'S WHY I REFUSE TO DIET AND CUT FOOD OUT
If you’ve been tuning into our Wellness Leader Series on Instagram, you’ve probably heard the word ‘Bio Individual’ come up in conversation. And while it may sound very sciencey and unapproachable, when you boil it down, what it means is we are all unique.
What your body easily digests, mine might struggle with. Some people may thrive on sulphurous vegetables like broccoli, while it might make your gut cringe. You may have no problem digesting gluten in general, but specific grains may give you a stomach ache.
Between trends like the carnivore diet, intermittent fasting, and naturopaths suggesting everyone cut out gluten, dairy, eggs, night-shades and everything else but the kitchen sink, trying to follow all of these ‘rules’ can be exhausting – and potentially do more damage than good.
The truth is, because we’re all ‘bio individual’, there really is no perfect diet that fits everyone.
This doesn’t mean that you should throw the advice of your naturopath or wellness mentor out the window, but what it does mean is that you may want to consider taking a little step back from outside opinions and take a step closer to yourself. The only opinion you should put any real weight on, is that of your own gut.
A case for intuitive eating.
When you take a moment to reconnect with your body and focus on your own gut-mind connection, incredible things happen. You may notice that your stomach is flatter as a result of reduced bloating, you may also notice your skin clearing up, that you have more energy, that you’re more clear-headed, and that you sleep better.
All because you invested a bit of time, energy, and focus into listening to your body and practicing intuitive eating.
Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
As with all great things, the benefits aren’t necessarily immediate. It takes time and practice to develop a solid relationship with your gut and implement an optimal intuitive diet. And when I say diet, I don’t mean a restrictive disempowering set of rules, I mean a personal relationship with foods that makes you feel fulfilled, energized, and actually healthy.
All that said, the real question is how do you start cultivating that relationship with your gut and really start practicing intuitive eating?
Start by slowing down.
Far too often we rush when we eat. We shovel the food into our mouths, barely tasting it. This causes two problems; one, we can’t really feel when we’re full and two, you aren’t giving your body enough time to register how it the foods feel to you.
Trial your favorite foods
Spend a few weeks trying out some of your favorite foods, this could be anything from healthy meals to guilty pleasures, and really take the time to reflect on how they made you feel. If a meal makes you feel light and energized, chances are that the ingredients in that meal are gut approved, but if it makes you feel sluggish and foggy, then it probably is not something you want to keep eating.
The keyword being ‘want’. When you’re truly intuitively eating you will want to eat the foods that make you feel good, and not want to eat the ones that make you feel crappy. You won’t need to restrict yourself (which, to be honest, just makes you want to rebel against those restrictions anyway).
Do a deep dive
If you’re finding one of your favorite meals is giving you grief, but you’re not ready to abandon it completely, try swapping out one ingredient at a time. For example, if your meal involves quinoa, try swapping it out for millet. Or if it involves kale, try swapping the kale for spinach. Go through every ingredient in that meal until you’ve identified the culprit.
It may sound like a lot of effort and work, but remember it is a labor of love and the benefits FAR outweigh the effort involved.
Like we always say, optimal wellness isn’t about elevating one part of yourself, it’s about elevating all parts of yourself. And when you’re optimizing one of your wellness pillars, it will positively impact the rest of your life.