Here’s another round of behind the scenes of intuitive eating. These posts certainly don’t illustrate what you should eat, everyone is different. Rather, I hope reading the thoughts that go into a food decision helps in your own intuitive eating journey as you navigate learning to nourish yourself based on internal vs external cues.
In the beginning of your intuitive eating journey, it can feel like you’re hyper focusing on food choices. And it can feel really murky and grey – like you’re walking around in a dark room. If that sounds familiar, you’re in a good place As you learn new skills and learn your body more, the decision making shifts and becomes more subconscious and intuitive. Wherever you are, even if you’re wresting with the idea of intuitive eating, know that you are right where you need to be.
After typing up this last week, I went to save the draft and it didn’t save, so I lost the whole post. The combination of pregnancy hormones, costochondritis and lack of sleep due to the pain from the costochondritis sent me into an irrational emotional breakdown. I had a moment. So this is round two of the original post. Here are a few other more in depth behind the scenes of intuitive eating posts that I hope are helpful for you.
Overnight oats made with equal parts rolled oats, full fat yogurt and almond milk because I had back to back clients and needed something easy and fast. And with the summer hit still lingering, cool + creamy always sounds good. I use 1/2 cup portions usually because that’s what I find best meets my body’s hunger needs. You might need more or maybe sometimes less depending on what you put on top. I added blueberries and banana and topped with almond butter.
Breakfast isn’t the most mindful meal sometimes. This day I was answering email while eating, so I was zoned out a bit, but I know from past experiences this amount of food usually satisfies my hunger + tastebuds for breakfast.
Dates stuffed with chocolate and peanut butter.
This is a go to snack if I want something sweet. Carbs + protein + fat and the cold, chewy texture (I store the dates in the freezer) always satisfies. I like to think of it as as lazy girl’s Larabar. I find that usually I need 1-2 snacks between breakfast and lunch so I don’t get “meal hungry” since I don’t like feeling meal hungry in between meals if I can avoid it. So once I start to feel empty and I begin losing focus with what I’m working on, I know it’s time for a snack.
Salad (mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper) with rotisserie chicken, parmesan cheese, olive oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Plus a bag of chips left over from an earlier flight.
When life gets busy, salads are a default lunch because they are easy, filling and keep me energized throughout the day. Was this the most satisfying meal? No. Was I craving a salad? Not really. But it was fast, convenient and filled me up so I was able to move on to more important things in my day. Here’s a really good post from Kylie about eating unexciting foods.
I was full after lunch but not quite satisfied and wanted something sweet so ate a peach on my walk to a coffee shop. No matter what time of day, juicy sweet fruit always hits the spot. I’m said peach season is pretty much over because they were SO GOOD this year.
Chocolate covered chickpeas and garlic roasted cashews.
Whenever I leave the house for the afternoon to write and do other blog projects I also bring a variety of snacks…like 4 or 5 choices. Loosely planning lunches and dinners for the week makes life simpler throughout the week so that works for us, but it doesn’t allow me to just “eat what I’m craving” all the time. So I find having a variety of snacks on hand is a way to bridge together intuitive eating and meal planning.
I try to pack a variety of flavors and textures – salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy, etc so there is plenty to choose from.
Thai turkey meatballs I linked to in this post over short grain brown rice (I’m obsessed with the chewy texture of short grain rice) with sautéed purple cabbage
I love Thai food. This meal was satisfying, tasty, colorful….all the things! I’m finding that in pregnancy, I can sometimes get overly full even though I’m not satisfied and haven’t eaten a what looks like a “normal” portion for me. Occasionally eating past fullness is part of normal eating and it can enhance a food experience. For me, that usually happens at restaurants or special occasions where there is a lot of delicious food around. Enjoying the food and the people makes those occasions memorable. But I’ve found that being overly full and pregnant is quite unpleasant so it never enhances the experience for me. It takes conscious effort (that to be honest, I don’t like to give because I’d rather just eat without having to think too much) but pausing halfway through a meal for a few minutes has been really helpful in avoiding getting unintentionally too full.
Whacky cake! A craving hit and this cake reminds me of my Grandpa. If you haven’t tasted the pure bliss of whacky cake you must. It’s the easiest cake ever so don’t be intimidated. The cake takes 10 minutes, the frosting 5 minutes and you don’t need to wait for the cake to cool, you just pour on the dreamy caramel frosting.
We ate it with caramel ice cream and it was everything. I didn’t have my Grandpa’s recipe on hand so this recipe is the one I used because it looked almost the exact same.
I’m pretty much never hungry when I eat a bedtime snack. But I almost always eat a bedtime snacks for a few reasons. 1) satisfaction 2) it ensures I don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry 3) for emotional reasons that feel healthy, mindful and not distressing – on weeknights, a bedtime snack is part of our evening wind down. There’s nothing wrong with emotional eating, it just is. But if emotional eating feels distressing, then that might be something that you want to change. Food is an emotional experience! Helpful vs unhelpful emotional eating just depends on how you experience that food situation.
If you’re feeling stuck, alone and/or frustrated in your intuitive eating journey we have two virtual intuitive eating support groups starting this fall – our final two groups for the year. These groups have limited spots and we’d love to have you! You can read more about the groups here!
Megan @ A Continual Feast says
Love these posts! That Thai dinner looks delicious, and so does the cake. I’m the same way with a nighttime snack- have to have it no matter what!
nighttime snack club!
emily vardy says
I’m with ya on the night snacks! 99% of the time I do have something before bed, but on the rare night I go to bed without a snack I’m guaranteed to wake up STARVING at 3AM. I don’t know how (/why) people live by the “no food past 7PM” rule!!
diet culture made that up – there’s no science behind it 🙂
I feel like I have made big progress in my journey and I am way more Intuitive in my food choices not needing to think just as just.
Regarding fullness though I still have to work on that! i find it strange though as it seems that it is MUCH easier for me to be mindful when I am around people or in restaurants than at home for example where I struggle to leave food on my plate. Any tips?
that’s a great question Annie! so it sounds like at home it’s hard to overcome the “clean plate” mentality?
I’m wondering if you body actually NEEDS all that food if you’re not feeling overly full after eating?
Thank you for your answer! It is indeed hard to overcome the clean plate mentality at home.
I thought about it today and I feel that I am not mindful at home because when i get home from work I am still wired up from the day. I have quite a stressful job and I guess maybe I am not fully present when I eat as still stressed from the fast pace. Does that make sense?
For example I have just come back from 2 weeks vacation and it went absolutely fine. I ate to satisfaction.
Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says
I’m the exact same way with snacks! I always pack several different options to then choose what sounds good later, but I find it so helpful to plan most lunches/dinners for the week due to time and busy schedules! 🙂
same same same!
Sian Williams says
I absolutely adore when you do these. It’s so helpful to see what someone else is eating – I never know if I’m eating enough/too much/the right things.
Thank you – more please!!! <3
know that your body is different than mine so what I eat might not be what you need 🙂
but I hope these are helpful in light of that!!
I love your weekly eat round ups!
I do have a question – do you ever eat foods such as: Doritos, Lucky Charms, Snickers, Oreos, Pop Tarts, etc. (I couldn’t think of a good way to describe these types of foods…) – I follow a lot of IE RD’s and it seems like anytime they post food there might be these types of foods but they’re always the organic/healthier version….I’m asking because being from a small rural community (closest Wal-Mart is 40 minutes away – “health” food stores are about 2 hours away) access to all these organic/healthy alternatives aren’t available conveniently…..and if we go out to eat locally we have 2 options and believe me there aren’t any fancy/organic options. So, I realize you have access to a lot of different options but just wondered if you ever found yourself having to choose from more “traditional” options/brands.
As far as grocery planning I can access healthier brands/organic options but if I need something from the local grocery store (that has 4 aisles) or we go to someones house for dinner or out to eat there aren’t any of these nice options. You get white bread, cheap ketchup, fries fried in vegetable oil, doritos and the like. After working with you and through the last several years of becoming an intuitive eater it doesn’t bother me at all to eat convenience type food when that is what is available – and I thank God for that OFTEN….. I was just curious if you ever ate these types of things. 🙂
This is a GREAT question! The two stores I shop at in Boston are Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods because the other option is Star Market which can actually be MORE expensive than TJs and WF so there aren’t those brands at the stores I shop at. If I’m traveling, at home, at an event I’ll eat these foods if I’m craving them and in the amount I crave them.
I’ll try to perhaps do a weekend day or something like that with these posts since I typically do a weekday when food is more “routine” 🙂
LOVE that you said you do a weekend day. I’m always like “how do these people afford so much variety in their diet”. LOL!! If I did these they would look pretty similar each day (:
Chocolate covered chickpeas! OMG! Those look amazing.
I’m also a big fan of the pre-bedtime snack. I find that I wake up in the middle of the night ravenous if I don’t have that snack (and it’s really NOT fun trying to navigate the pantry at 3am half-asleep haha). I usually have some dried fruit and a glass of milk 🙂
I didn’t know how they would taste but I enjoyed them!
I hear you – food is not satisfying or pleasurable in the middle of the night! but if I do, pb and milk is my go to 🙂
I’m pregnant too, and sometimes I find that I eat things that don’t sound totally revolting to me but are not necessarily what I’m craving. Do you find that since you eat smaller portions at mealtimes that you snack more during the day? I was also wondering how you navigate the advice to eat xxx more calories later in your pregnancy- do you make a conscious effort to eat more or do you find that following your hunger cues ensures you get the most nutrition?
My appetite is hit or miss depending on the day – I wrote a post on IE and pregnancy that you might find helpful!
With you on being sad about peach (and really all summer fruits) season being over! I’ll miss those snacks.
They are so good! Till next year summer fruit…
Emily Swanson says
I love food that reminds me of my grandparents. That whacky cake looks so good with caramel ice cream. 🙂 And I love what you said about salads; they are a great simple fast meal; I often end up eating something along with them or eating a little bit sooner if I eat a salad, but I love them for all the textures and flavors.
Really really liked this segment! Would love for you to post more of these 🙂
Argh isn’t it awful when your work doesn’t save? I hate writing things out for the second time, I always feel I’ve lost all the spontaneity and I just can’t be bothered to work as hard at it. That being so, I’m impressed how well this post was written ^_^ I’m 5 weeks away from submitting my thesis and I swear everything is backed up in at least 4 places!
I love, love, love these posts! I think these are the posts I come back to most often. When I’m stressed about a choice I made or worried about an eating situation or just lacking inspiration/can’t tune into my body, I come back to these posts because they help me to rationalise and also give me some snack ideas when I don’t know what I want. These posts really have helped me so much in my journey, so thank you so much for writing them! ^_^
Thank you so much for these posts and especially discussing the bedtime snack. I regularly something sweet after dinner but always feel conflicted because I’m not actually hungry. I hope I’ll be more mindful and honor what my body wants, even if my stomach isn’t growling. I’m started to realize just how much diet culture is ingrained in how I eat. Also, where did you find those chocolate chickpeas? Two of my fave foods combined!
Nicole @ Laughign My Abs Off says
Oooh I’ve never heard of whacky cake, but it sounds amazing! I love what you said about the bedtime snack being part of your evening wind down. That just sounds so healthy and nourishing to me. One of my friends here in college never ever goes to bed without eating a dessert, and it’s always something super satisfying like a baked good or a slice of cake. I always thought that was absolutely amazing.
Also love your thoughts on packing different kinds of snacks so you can listen to your cravings, even when some other meals need to be planned out. That’s something I will definitely start to implement into my daily life, since I do need to meal plan quite a bit here at school. Thanks for a great post, Robyn!