Heal your Relationship with Food and Never Diet again with these 2 Questions
The other night my boyfriend and I went to the Satki Dining Room at Five Elements, a beautiful health resort about 20 minutes out of Ubud. The menu is vegan and mainly raw. We did the 7 (+ drinks!) course degustation and oh-my-stars it was scrumdiddlyumptious! If you are in Bali and anywhere near Ubud pop it on your must do list, especially if you’re a health nut (and even if you’re not!).
While we were devouring the crazy delish desserts (mango mouse in a cashew roll and pistachio and lime granita in case you’re wondering) the lovely Indonesian chef popped out to tell us about his raw food experience and how he came to be the chef at Five Elements. He is (now) super passionate about raw foods and spoke about since he adopted a raw diet he has gone from a diet of mainly rice to mainly veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. “I don’t need to eat as much” he told us, “because the food I eat has so many nutrients I don’t get hungry”. Ah! I thought – that’s it! Eat to nourish! Since choosing foods because of their nutritional chops, the chef had lost a heap of weight and gained a tonne of energy.
Over the last few years I’ve immersed myself in all things nutrition. I’ve devoured book after article after documentary. By the end of my studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in just a couple of months I will have studied over 100 different dietary theories. Understanding how different foods effects me is great because it’s empowering and it’s incredible to pass on what I know to my gorgeous clients. But do you know what else it is? Pretty dang confusing!
And no wonder! There is a shitload of contradictory info out there. There are living, breathing examples of people thriving on every diet from raw vegan to paleo to low-fat high-carb to high-fat low-carb.
I quickly discovered that there is no such thing as the “perfect diet”. What I have found is a different, simpler, back-to-basics approach to eating. I discovered that the best source of information on what to eat is not another book or doco but a something that I’d had all along – my body! And my intuition.
Instead of looking outwards to figure out how to eat, I now ask myself, “What do I feel like?”. Of course my choices are, in part, influenced by my understanding of nutrition. But rather than downing a green smoothie every morning because its good for me, I wake up and choose a breakfast that I feel like – anything from porridge or bircher muesli, to fruit, eggs, veggies, a bliss ball (or 2), or sometimes, nothing!
My body and intuition gently crave certain foods: warm creamy foods, subtly sweet food, cooked food. I very rarely feel like red meat or chicken but I love seafood, eggs, and yoghurt. Fruit in summer, soups in winter. (Note: if you’re craving junk, your system is probably a bit outta whack! Try gradually including more whole foods and cooking at home more often to bring things back into balance)
Your cravings will be different to mine! We all thrive on different diets. To find what works for you, here’s the plan:
Ask yourself the following two questions before you eat:
01. What do I feel like?
- Are you after something sweet/salty/bitter/spicy/tangy/crunchy/creamy/warm/cool?
- Food that is energising/grounding/light/heavy/satisfying
- A particular dish or cuisine?
02. What can I eat that will nourish me while satisfying that craving?
A few ideas for you:
- Kale chips are perfect if you’re after something salty and crunchy
- A bliss ball or healthy chocolate mousse will nourish while satisfying a hankering for chocolate, sweetness or a cool, creamy snack
- Roast veggies are beautifully grounding and satisfying (and a great choice over pasta, pizza and other heavy and not-so-healthy meals)
- A squeeze of lemon or lime over fruit like banana, watermelon or papaya is perfect if you feel like something tangy, energising and light (like a packet of gummi bears)
No more diets for you sista! It's time to heal your relationship with food.
Commit to taking this approach for a week or two. Experiment with it, try it out. Let me know how it goes for you!
Feel like you need more guidance on the nutrition side of things? Not sure how to tap into your intuition? Shoot me an email and I’ll see if I can help you out.
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