Aug 9, 2014

Five Unexpected Things I Learned From Intuitive Eating

In June, I downloaded a copy of Intuitive Eating and Have Your Cake and Skinny Jeans Too. Intuitive Eating, or IE, is a concept I've heard about a lot, but didn't want to bother with actually learning. In my mind, if something is intuitive, then we should already know how to do it, right? Well, not exactly. I've learned a lot so far, with some lessons taking me by surprise.

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1. Not all cupcakes are created equal. 

Like most people with actual taste buds, I enjoy eating cupcakes and when one is presented to me, I will most gladly accept it (unless it's chocolate -  I hate chocolate cake). Since studying Intuitive Eating, I've realized that some cupcakes are just blah and don't deserve the time of day. There were cupcakes in the office this week and they, to put it bluntly, were not the greatest cupcakes in the world. Someone (our caterer) thought it would be a good idea to make a cupcake healthy. A+ for effort, C- for execution.

Normally, I'd chomp away, not even noticing that they were subpar cupcakes. I mean, it's a cupcake for goodness sakes! After a bite or two of these, I realized that these were just not doing it for me and it was easy to just finish my half and move on without the need for more. Those cupcakes had no pull whatsoever. Now, the ones pictured above...those are what cupcakes should taste like.

2. You don't have to be on a diet to have a diet mentality. 

I always thought I was a normal eater. I never restricted any type of food (not counting a few Paleo diets here and there). Carbs, sugar, pizza, Diet Coke - all fair game. But after enjoying those things, I'd feel a little bit guilty. Not so guilty much that I'd crash diet the next day, but this little devil voice would nag me from time to time. And that my friends is a diet mentality. It is not healthy and the scary part is that most of us don't realize we have it. Since learning about IE, I've been trying to squash that voice and tell it where it can go...

3. Dieting sucks. I will never diet again. 

Nope. Never. Do you know how freeing that is? To never have Monday be the start of "my new lifestyle" and get lost in a whirlwind of "good" days and "bad" days and scales and calories and carbs and all that nonsense? Never again. I've never been happy on a diet. Just ask my husband.

4. It is truly possible to crave vegetables. 

Honestly, I used to secretly judged anyone who said they craved a salad. Who in their right mind craves vegetables? How was I supposed to trust these people? But it happened to me last weekend.

I had given in to every craving I had last week and by Sunday and I swore I never wanted to see a piece of cheese again in my life (that was short-lived). I ended up at Trader Joe's where I spent $30 on produce alone. I was tempted to dig right into the bag of romaine lettuce while driving home and was shocked that it had more pull to me than the tortilla chips I had also bought. Who craves romaine lettuce? Me, apparently, when I've had way too many grilled cheese sandwiches.

5. I'm a really picky eater.  

Okay, so if you know me, this is really no surprise. Think When Harry Met Sally. Yes, it does take me an hour and a half to order a sandwich and "on the side" is a very big thing for me. Condiments that I don't like will make me dry heave and no, I cannot just scrape them off my burger. Anyway, I'm talking about picky in terms of quality and taste. As with the cupcake example, I've noticed that I don't really like certain things I thought I used to love. Like pretzels. I thought I loved chomping on pretzels in the afternoon and would do so often. What I realized from IE is that unless they are slathered in that awesome powdery three cheese stuff that Pretzel Crisps puts of them, I'm not interested.

Obviously, I've become a fan of Intuitive Eating these past few months. I will warn anyone that's looking into it: it can be a really slow process. You've just got to trust it and trust yourself. Most people claim it's life-changing, but I wouldn't go that far just yet. It's just a really great concept that I'm glad I finally embraced.

I think we should end with this photo. If anything is life-changing, it would be this.

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We went to a food truck festival the other night because Brandon had been talking about this chicken and waffle truck for months now. The truck parks itself at his office a few times a week and each night he'd proudly come home and say, "It was chicken and waffle day!" I had to know what all the fuss was about. And the verdict? It was like my taste buds were transported back to a Sunday church potluck - so ridiculously good. The best part was I didn't have an ounce of guilt afterwards and that allowed me to really savor the heck out of this food. Even those collard greens. (To be fair, they were soaked in bacon grease.)


  1. Ha! This whole post was fun to read. I feel like we might be the same person, eating-wise at least, except for the face that I love me some veggies and I am NOT picky one bit. "Yes, I want everything on it" is a big thing for me :)

    1. I aspire to be like you one day...having a love for veggies and only take 2 seconds to order straight from the menu. I get actually giddy when I don't have to make any changes to the standard items. It's like they've gone inside my head and know that mayo is my enemy.


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