What is INTUITIVE EATING?

I’ve been moving toward Intuitive Eating for myself and with my clients for the past few years.  This is exciting to me, as it opens up a whole new world of being and eating for my clients. But, the other day I had a situation happen in an online support group that questioned my definition of Intuitive Eating.  

My journey with Intuitive Eating has been an experiment, to say the least.  It started when I was so run down and sick with Adrenal Fatigue, Leaky Gut, Food Allergies, and all the goes with that….ugh, the bloating, gas, weight gain, …..

I feel like I have been through every stage possible when it comes to how to eat, what to eat, portions, weight loss, weight gain, euphoria and confidence to depression and self loathing.  Oh, and denial that I was actually sensitive to foods I was eating on a regular basis.  Big time DENIAL;  like purposely eat a food I knew I had tested allergic to just to make myself sick to prove it was true.  I’m stubborn.  

That is how it began, with my being sick.  

I was so anti-diet and restriction that I couldn’t even follow a strict healing diet.  Nope.  No way.  Even the thought of that made me want to binge eat.  I still won't do it.  

I had to get CURIOUS.  I had to make food be FUEL.  I had to realize that food is ENERGY and whatever meaning we give it is just that.  

I started to get curious about how food tasted.  I got curious as to how I felt after I ate it.  How long before I got hungry again?  Did I have enough energy to get through the day?  I threw all the food rules I had in memory out the window, because let’s face it, that’s just f*cking confusing!  I had to start creating a relationship with my personal body.  Even your energy body is influenced by the food you eat.  

Food matters!  

 

I still recall the first time I applied this non-judgemental, curious mindset to food that in the past I had always labeled BAD.  My kids wanted Sonic, so I agreed to go.  I got a burger and tator tots (I still love their tots!).  I had a hard time eating it without being a nasty bitch to myself.  You know the script:  You shouldn’t be eating this.  This is so bad for you.  How many carbs in this?  How much fat?  How much will I gain from eating this shit food?  And more.  

But, this time, I made it different.  I applied a curious mindset.  When those bitchy thoughts came into my head, I pushed them away and replaced them with “Omg, this is so amazing!  This is exactly what my body needed in this moment.”  Repeatedly.  I HAD to break the cycle of beating myself up and giving food more power than myself, if I was going to eat intuitively.  

I did this with any food I ate.  Well, when I remembered.  In the beginning, of creating any new habit or change, it takes a real conscious effort.  

Eventually, do you know what happened?  

  • I realized I no longer (or rarely) eat processed foods.  

  • My food is “CLEAN” and mostly whole.  

  • I cook more.  

  • I eat out the same way I eat at home.  

  • I can travel and not gain weight or much weight.

  • I make food choices based on how I want to FEEL most of the time.  Or based on the energy that I will need to get through the day.  If it’s a leg workout day, for example, and I’m hungry, I’m going to eat oatmeal if that’s what I want.  I know I’ll need the fuel later.  If I’m working with clients or at my computer most of the day, I don’t need to eat anything heavy.  

  • I ask, I check in and I listen.  

This most certainly didn't happen overnight or in perfect fashion.  It's been work!  But worth the effort.  

I have examined my own cravings and what they mean.  

I have experimented with all kinds of food and paid attention to how I felt 30 minutes, 2 hours or more later.  

I have even realized that I ate foods all my life that I didn’t even like!  I still remember telling my dad I didn’t like cornbread.  Really?  I was surprised, too.  I don’t like cucumbers!  Or raw carrots.  I don’t even like cake that much.  Who knew?  

Intuitive Eating is about checking in with your BODY and asking what it needs to feel nourished, alive, full of energy or more grounded.  It is not listening to the mind.  It is breaking lifelong habits and doing something different.

Intuitive Eating is NOT about just eating any and everything you want because your body will NEVER intuitively desire shit food or food that is overly processed, sugary, junk, void of any real nutrition.  Really.  It.  Just.  Won't.  That is your mind and past habits, addictions, hormonal imbalances, etc. telling you what to eat.  

The body will crave and tell you to eat whole, unprocessed, clean foods.   

 

I don’t claim to have this mastered.  I still eat things that I realize later wasn’t a great choice for me.  It was funny, yesterday I purposely set myself up to not take care of myself in exchange for something very old.  I kept saying I wanted Starbucks.  As I was driving to the outpatient surgery center for my husband’s procedure, I started to check in.  My MIND wanted Starbucks.  Our bodies are just not going to need anything not nutrient dense. The old habit of being in a hospital setting requiring coffee and long hours without food while you wait set in.  My BODY just wanted a clean, simple meal and my big bottle of water.  As I acknowledged this, I still made the choice to have the Starbucks.  And to not take care of myself as I played nursemaid for my husband.  Well, this was awareness.  This is still progress and process.  No regrets, just curiosity and learning.  

I want to invite you to experiment and get CURIOUS about your food and how your body feels about what you eat.  

  • How does it respond to certain foods?  

  • Do you have more energy?  

  • Do you feel bloated?  

  • Sluggish?  

  • Guilty?  

  • If you’re still labeling food good or bad, why?  

It’s just food.  Right?  


I’d love to hear about YOU!  What are your insights and experiences with this? REPLY in the comments below or shoot me an email at tori@you-by-design.com to share.  

As always, if you need support maneuvering this process, let’s talk!    

Let me take you on a chakra journey...

Maybe you are already familiar with chakras or have at least heard of chakras.  I don't claim to be an expert on chakras, yet, but I do know a few things about them and how they affect your mind, body and soul on physical, emotional and energetic levels.  

I'd like to invite you to join me on this journey to get to know your chakras and ways you can support them in a way that helps you show up in this world as the best version of you possible.  

What is a Chakra?

A chakra is an energy vortex within your body along your spine.  They exist in what is called the 'subtle body' which is the invisible (to most people) field of energy that carries your urges, emotions, habits and all the imprints of everything that has happened to you in not only this lifetime, but all lifetimes.  These are portals between the mind and the body that organize elements of your life force as it travels through your energy and physical body.  Life force is also called prana, chi, subtle energy.  You may have heard these referenced in some form at one time or another.  Kundalini is a yoga practice that also attempts to awaken this life force stored within your body.  

Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disk.  Within your body, these wheels should spin in a solid, steady, clockwise pattern.  Sometimes they can spin too fast and become overactive or they can become blocked and spin too slow or not at all.  With energy work, meditation, food, essential oils, crystal healing, movement, and other natural therapies these energy centers can be balanced which opens a door to unlimited possibilities for those who seek to do the work.

Below is a picture of the chakra system as it relates to the spine and the location of each chakra.  There are 7 main chakras that I will be addressing over the next few months.  They begin with the Root Chakra at the base of the spine.  This is the one I will be focusing on in this post.  

 

Basic Information to know about the Root Chakra

Located at the base of the tail bone, the perineum area.

Color:  Red

Element:  Earth

The Root Chakra is the first chakra.  It is the foundation of the entire chakra system.  If this chakra is blocked or out of balance, the rest of your chakras will be, too.  Think of a garden hose, if there is a kink in the hose the water can't go beyond that blockage;  so is the chakra system.  

The Root Chakra is where you build your support.  It represents how you interact with your physical world such as: your body, home, finances, work, and environment that you live in.  It is your physical identity and how you identify with your body and it's needs.  This is your survival instinct and the area governing self-preservation.  This is the area that reminds you that your body and physical well-being are what take you through this life and you must take good care of your body.  Just like you wouldn't try to fuel your car with Kool-Aid, you need to take good care of your body with the proper nourishment, hydration, exercise and such to create health and vitality.  

The Root Chakra is also where you bring into manifestation your hopes, dreams, desires that you have created in your higher chakras.  

Sanskrit Symbol for the Root Chakra

Sanskrit Symbol for the Root Chakra

How do I know if my Root Chakra is out of balance?

You may have characteristics of an overactive or under active chakras, but you can also show aspects of both.  Here are some basic and most common signs of imbalances within the Root Chakra.

Overactive Characteristics may include:

  • Heaviness, sluggishness, slow moving

  • Resistant to change

  • Overeating, obesity, weight gain

  • Holding on to physical objects, hoarding behavior

  • Greediness, Materialistic

  • Workaholic

    • Over spending

Under Active Characteristics may include:

  • Fear, anxiety

  • Resistance to structure, boundaries, commitment

  • Anorexia, underweight

  • Spaciness, flightiness, too vague

  • Disconnect with your body

  • Restlessness, inability to sit still

  • Difficulty manifesting (you may have great ideas, but you can't seem to ever make them happen)

What does a balanced Root Chakra look like?

  • Grounded and steady energy

  • Physical health

  • Comfortable in your own skin

  • Sense of safety and security

  • Stability

  • Prosperity

  • Ability to be still

  • Mindfulness and being present in the current moment

 

bloodstone.jpeg

How can you deepen your connection and balance your Root Chakra?

There are multiple ways to balance your chakras, whether it be yoga, Mudras, meditation, essential oils, food, working with a personal coach, energy healer or a whole multitude of modalities, therapies and practices, but one of my favorite is to get a Crystal Healing session (with me, of course!).

  • A Crystal Healing session can help you to identify which chakras need balancing.  Once that is determined, the chakras can be balanced by placing appropriate crystals on the corresponding chakra.  For more information about a Chakra Healing session, read my previous blog post

 

  • Improve your diet.  Are you consuming too many processed foods, preservatives, fast food, fried food, sugar, alcohol, etc?  Or maybe you find it hard to find time to eat at all?  Eating whole, unprocessed, whole food that is organically grown (when possible), local, sustainable, wild caught, free range, etc.  All that good stuff you hear about.  

 

  • Move your money maker!  Or your body.  What I'm saying is, get some exercise in regularly.  Just 30 minutes 5-6 times a week is all it takes to create more health in your body.  No, you don't have to go to a gym, run a marathon or a sprint, or even have any fancy equipment.  Get creative here.  

 

  • Reduce stress and breathe more.

 

  • Incorporate the use of certified therapeutic essential oils, such as doTERRA, Mountain Rose Herbs, Ameo and Young Living.  The essential oils I like for the root chakra are:  Basil, Vetiver, Balance (doTERRA's Grounding blend...ask me how to order if you're interested).

  • Wear more red!  How fun is that?!  

 

  • Carry a crystal, or two, in your pocket or bra.  I use several for the root chakra.  For today, I'm going to recommend Bloodstone for root chakra support.  This crystal is good for strength, courage, vitality and purification.  Seems like a good one to have around if you're also trying to eat cleaner, detox your body and take better care of yourself.  

Bloodstone

Bloodstone

*Remember that bringing about healing, balance, and transformation in your chakras takes time.  Doing any of these suggestions once may bring about an experience, but doing it repeatedly over time, having regular crystal healing, and a support team can bring about a permanent shift.  

DISCLAIMER:  Please keep in mind that balancing your chakras, energy work, changing your diet and exercise routine, etc are only suggestions and NOT a cure for disease.  I am not a doctor.  I am a natural wellness advocate and a certified coach and Crystal Healer who is a crystal junkie and holistic wellness freak.  I am simply sharing with you what works and supports me.  

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions.  Do you feel your Root Chakra is a bit out of balance?  What will you do to nourish your Root Chakra?  Please share in the comments below.  

Are you ready to experience the benefits of a Crystal Healing session?  

Contact me to schedule your session.