How to become nutritious through your intuition
You may be thinking “How the heck can our intuition and nutrition be in conjunction with one another?!?” But, they do go hand in hand if you allow it to. All you have to do is listen to your own body.
With hundreds of different diets out there, not all diets are created equal for every individual. While being on a ketogenic diet may be superb for you, it may not be for your BFF. Our bodies are individualistic to us and only us. So, when we tap into what our bodies need rather than follow the new “it” fad even if we hate it or succumbing to our minds desires, we have the ability to change our overall nutritional state.
For example, I was born and raised in Taiwan where breakfasts were generally a bowl of Congee (soupy rice) with assorted condiments such as chili bamboo shoots, pickled cucumbers, cabbage, etc. When I moved to this country during childhood and my parents would take me to the local diner or a pancake house for breakfast, I was appalled by what I saw. Heaping mounds of pancakes with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and bacon that looked like it had more oil than meat being served on plates that were practically larger than me. Even cereal with whole milk rather then soy milk was a source of confusion for me.
Eventually, throughout the years when I became more acclimated to the American ways, I deviated from my roots and started to adapt to the American diet. Why? Because I wasn't following what my body was telling me that it craved- rice porridge with veggies. But rather, I was following along with society and did what everyone else did. Hey, when in Rome, right?
While our environments playing a pivotal role in our diet and lifestyle choices is certainly a valid argument, that simply isn't the case for what our bodies need. A fast food joint may be your neighbor's go to food whereas it may be your kryptonite.
After consuming dairy, greasy foods, and meat, I would get so tired, lethargic, and bloated. Feeling like you have to get rolled on your side out of a restaurant to your car because of what you ate is the exact opposite of what your body needs. And when we don't listen to our bodies, we pay the price for it.
It's like exercising. I used to weight train but when I switched over to yoga, I started to get into much better mental and physical shape because it was what my body needed in order to be functioning at its fullest potential. Or even walking. I don't run because my body overheats easily and I wind up sweating like a pig. Runners are constantly coming up to me encouraging me to try it out. I have and it didn't work for me.
Or we can even take coffee for instance. I never liked the taste of it but when I reached adulthood, it became a habit that I picked up. It was the “grownup” thing to do...start your day with that cup of coffee so that you can conquer the world. I would drink coffee with milk and sugar because I saw everyone else doing it and I couldn't even stand the taste of milk. It soon turned into black coffee because the thought of having any milk repulsed me and black coffee with sugar was too weird of a concept for me to try. I happen to be one of those people who goes into caffeine overdrive with just one cup but didn't stop even though my body was practically screaming me for to cut it out. I wound up developing a bleeding ulcer because of the coffee. Even after the incident, I refused to give it up. It was what worked for everyone else to wake up first thing in the morning, so at some point, it would have to be conducive for my body, right? See how our minds can create a convoluted rationalization just to “fit in?”
It wasn't until I developed a morning routine of drinking warm lemon water first thing upon waking up that I managed to cut the coffee out completely. And now my body thanks me for finding an alternative energy booster by not being so jittery all of the time along with my heart not beating a mile a minute.
Now, you may be thinking that it's absolutely disgusting to have some kind of rice soup with veggies for breakfast. Or maybe you're not a breakfast person at all. Or you would rather die than to skip that cup of joe. And that's my point exactly. What YOUR body is telling you what it needs to flourish and thrive is the complete opposite of what my body needs along with everybody else's. We're all vastly different. We don't all wear the same clothing and/or shoe size so why should we all adhere to the same diet?
There's no one size fits all with diets. It's simplistically straightforward. All you need to do is listen to what your body needs rather than what your mind wants. When you do, your entire perspective on nutrition will change.
If you don't know how to listen to your body with what it truly needs, a food journal is the easiest way. Just try it out for one week. Write down every meal you consume along with how it makes you feel afterwards. If you feel energized and rejuvenated after steak and potatoes, that's great because that's what works for you. If you feel heavy and tired after a soy latte, then maybe that's something you have to cut out of your diet eventually.
How do we go about controlling our minds craving certain foods? Take a step back and reflect on why you may want that tub of ice cream instead of a cabbage and kale smoothie. Most often, it's some psychological issue that plays a trick on us into thinking that we've garnered some form of control in our lives over an area that we feel a lack of nourishment in.
For instance, junk food was never kept in my house. Once I moved out of my parents home, I would buy chips, pretzels, ice cream. Anything that wasn't healthy became my diet. It was a coping mechanism for me as an act of defiance towards my mother. Symbolically, it was me taking control over my own life rather than allow my mother to have any form of control or say in what I did and how I lived. And let's face it...our unhealthy ways of adapting are effective until they aren't.
This also doesn't mean that we have to deprive ourselves of anything. I personally don't eat too much meat because I get so tired and have a heavy feeling afterwards. However, once in a blue moon, my body is craving a steak so I will eat a small portion of it. It's just about finding what works for you. Explore and experiment with different foods and seasonings and you'll find what works for you. Essentially, your intuition is your diet.
Our bodies are perfect mechanisms that don't make mistakes. They can't afford to. Otherwise, we wouldn't be alive right here and now. Allow your intuition to guide you into the nutritious life that you deserve and you'll see what a difference it makes in you.