variety in meal planning

Gentle Nutrition: End Dieting, Find Variety with Intuitive Eating

Last week, we talked about satisfaction being a necessary part of intuitive eating. Discovering which foods we actually enjoy can help us tune into what feels just right for our mind and bodies.

As a dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, I often encourage my clients to experiment with variety when letting go of dieting and/or disordered eating. Intuitive eating is all about exploring a wide variety of foods and food groups, to help you discover which foods are satisfying and pleasurable. It will take some time, patience and lots of learning experiences until you feel comfortable enjoying foods previously forbidden, and come to learn which foods you most enjoy.

Experimenting with Variety Might Feel Taboo!

When first embracing intuitive eating, it is common to choose heavier, more “fun foods” that you would NEVER allow yourself to eat in the past! Your variety might come as an assortment pack of chips, or a variety of ice cream flavors! I find that my clients eventually come back to balanced plates (meals with a combination of proteins, fruits and veggies, dairy, fats and grains), and eat a variety of foods from all the different food groups because they learn it makes them feel good.

We all know that fruits and vegetables (among many other foods) have vitamins, minerals and fiber, that helps the body with digestion and keeps your hair, skin, nails, and immune system healthy. So we know these foods are nutritious, but we don’t want to jeopardize our intuitive eating journey by relying solely on what our brain thinks we “should” eat.

 

variety is key to our sense of health and well-being

What Can Variety in Meals Look Like?

When figuring out your food preferences, experiment with interesting flavor combinations of foods which sound appealing to you. Perhaps you can look up some new recipes on Pinterest, or ask your dietitian for ideas. I have many new Pinterest Boards, including Recipes for Recovery, which offer many different options. There is no right or wrong way to find variety in your food choices. Some people like to plan meals a week in advance, others prefer to figure their meals out each day. In the end, your body is going to be the ultimate decision maker.  Stay tuned for part 3 of Gentle Nutrition with Healthy/Normal Eating.

Want to learn more about Intuitive Eating and Finding Satisfaction AND Variety in your meals?

 

Join my FREE FACEBOOK GROUP for Intuitive Eating, Anti-Diet Support!

free eating support group on facebook

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Having followed various food rules for so long, I was at a point where my brain felt inundated with contradictory, confusing nutrition information. Not only that, but I was just dipping my toes into intuitive eating, a way of eating characterized by tapping into your inner hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating in a way that works to prevent bingeing and promote wellness; but how was I supposed to eat “intuitively” when starting at the fridge felt like walking into a battlefield? I knew I was supposed to be giving myself unconditional permission to eat all foods, a tenet of the intuitive eating model, but I still held onto so much fear around foods that had felt almost addictive during my eating disorder.

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