Posts

Digging Into Desserts as an Intuitive Eater

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I am often asked about the role that dessert plays in our eating plan. Many people who are stuck in the diet mentality see certain foods as off-limits. This is largely due to the many diets they’ve been on that place foods into two categories, healthy foods and “junk foods” (or “good” and “bad”, “legal” and “illegal” etc…you get the idea).

 

When food is labeled as forbidden, it just becomes that much more appealing. When you place limits on how many sweets you can have or when you can have them, you are giving that food power over you. You are treating certain foods like a vice instead of a delightful treat to be savored.

 

Food is not meant to be categorized in such a way. As a matter of fact, I have a pet peeve when people call food “junk food”. Food is not junk and food is not garbage. Food nourishing to our body and soul. Food is neutral and there are ways you can incorporate what you would call “junk foods” into your eating style without demonizing it.

 

In order to build a healthy relationship with food, it is imperative to stop demonizing it, and look at it as a source of nourishment.

 

When working with my intuitive eating clients, I take them on a journey in which, together, we work to rebuild a happy and healthier relationship with food. During this journey, we reframe the way they way they look at desserts and sweets, and refer to these foods as either “fun foods” or “play foods.” They find it enjoyable to incorporate play foods into their eating style once they rebuild that trust within their body. They no longer fear these foods.

 

Chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, and salty caramel ice cream are not “off limits”. As you learn to enjoy all foods on your intuitive eating journey, you will find that every food has a place in your life, if you so choose.

 

Some sweet treats that can’t be beat:

  • Anything with berries in it. Berries are a great way to sweeten up any meal or snack. They have antioxidants, they protect your cells from free radicals and they are delicious. Check out my favorite ways to add berries into my meals.

 

  • Cookies, in any shape and size. Cookies are great because you can have one or two or five! You decide based on your level of hunger, not based on a pre-determined portion. To learn more about these delicious treats, check out my blog post.

 

  • Nuts – I’m just nuts about nuts. Nuts are packed with nutrients, fiber and healthy fat making them the perfect snack or after dinner dessert. While nuts might have once been an “off limit” food for you, as an intuitive eater you are now embracing them for their healthy fat content. Learn more about the various nuts and how to incorporate them into your menus.

 

  • The perfect parfait. Parfaits are a great after dinner treat, especially when they are homemade and you get to decide what to put in them. For simple instructions on how to make your own click here.

 

In practicing an intuitive eating lifestyle, you will learn how to pay attention to your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues.

 

Quick Tip

When you are eating a food, try and remember how that food is affecting you both mentally and physically.

 

Remember how you felt after eating a quinoa salad and compare that to after you had a giant cheeseburger. When you pay attention to how foods affect you, you will feel more in charge of your eating. You may not crave that BLT as much when you realize how much better you feel when you eat a yogurt for breakfast instead. Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when a giant stack of pancakes is in order, however as you become more intuitive and skilled at listening to your body, this may not be as common of an occurrence as before.

 

Interested in learning more about intuitive eating? Contact me to learn more about my various intuitive eating programs.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What is your favorite sweet treat? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Can You Mindfully Eat Fast?

Mindful eating. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

 

Actually, it’s not! If it was, many more people would be doing to. Why is it so difficult to eat mindfully?

 

I think a big reason is the chaotic lifestyle that a lot of people live.

 

We live in a society where we are constantly running, running, running, doing, doing, doing. If we aren’t ‘running’ and ‘doing’, then we are considered lazy.

 

When we have a chaotic lifestyle like this, chances are our eating is chaotic as well. We don’t plan, and even if we do, we don’t have time to carry out the plan, so we just grab what we can when we can.

 

Some people call this winging it.

 

Do you experience this?

 

Let me share a story with you. This is an experience that happened to me 2 weeks ago.

 

It was Wednesday.

 

Wednesdays are very busy days for me with client appointments often back-to-back. I planned a lunch break into my schedule, but this particular Wednesday morning time got away from me. It was 12:40 pm and I was 10 minutes late to leave the office for lunch. But, I figured that’s alright, my next appointment isn’t until 1:30 pm, so I will work for another 10 minutes to finish up a project, and then I’ll still have 40 minutes left for lunch.

 

My assistant then says to me, “Bonnie, you need to break for lunch. Your next appointment is in 20 minutes at 1:00 pm”!

 

I jumped up, looked at my appointment book and in fact, the next appointment was only 20 minutes away. I made a mistake in my timing. I was noticing gentle hunger, and I knew I needed to eat lunch before my next appointment, otherwise I won’t have a break for many hours.

 

I left the office, went to my kitchen and prepared my lunch. I was intending to have soup and a salad (I love soup and it was a bit chilly out), but noticing the time, I knew I would not have enough time to mindfully eat and enjoy.

 

So, I changed course.

 

I asked myself what else would I enjoy eating now, that I can prepare quickly and not rush eating? The answer was a sandwich.

 

By the time I sat down to eat the sandwich, I had 10 minutes to eat. Oh no, I thought. Can I mindfully eat my sandwich in 10 minutes?

 

The answer is YES!

 

Here are the things 3 mindful eating strategies I used that you can use too when you are in a hurry, and still want to eat mindfully:

 

  1. Sit down at the table, do not eat standing. This is so important. If you eat while standing at the counter, or running around the kitchen, you won’t actually process that you just ate your lunch. So, while you may fill your belly, I can tell you that psychologically you won’t feel satisfied and you’ll be searching for something to eat the moment you have a break.

 

  1. Put your fork down in between bites. Or, in my case, I put my sandwich down in between bites so I can focus on what’s in my mouth and not on the next bite I am about to take.

 

  1. Avoid all distraction. Mealtime is not the time to catch up on your texts, emails or the local news. Give your food the attention it deserves.

 

 

I mindfully ate my sandwich in 10 minutes and returned to the office just in time for my next client appointment. I felt satisfied, both physically and psychologically.

 

Now it’s your turn: Tell me a time when you have eaten mindfully when in a rush! Comment below!