Instinctual Eating: The Seasons and Your Own Changing Cycles

Okay, pretty much everyone has heard of eating with the seasons. It just makes sense to enjoy fresh, local food and food that is appropriate to balance what’s going on around you.

When you use ingredients that come from local farmers and naturally lend themselves to the present cycle of nature, you will almost always be consuming food that has more nutritional value and is pranaful (containing the vital energy of life!)

General Examples of Seasonal Foods:

Spring/Summer: Lighter more cleansing foods, lots of fresh fruit and veggies
Fall/Winter: More hearty, warming, comforting foods, root vegetables and soups.

Instinctual Eating

But what about your own personal cycles?

What your body needs and asks for can change gradually or suddenly. Listen to your cravings and learn how to read them. For instance, if you’re wanting something sweet, your body is likely asking for the mineral and sugar content of a certain fruit

Though sometimes a craving for sweets can be mistaken for a dire need to eat ice cream, it’s generally not what your body really wants. Think about what a natural source of what you want is and match your craving to whole foods as often as possible.

When listening to your body, learn to align with your healthy intentions. If you’re craving salt, rather than getting a bunch of empty calories like French fries or chips, add some Celtic Sea Salt to your meal instead. The minerals in the Celtic Sea Salt will actually feed your body while the poor quality salt and oil in the chips or fries would deplete it.

TIP: A great way to get in tune with your body is to record what you eat and how it makes you feel. Also, take note of your environment and attitude when you eat and how that influences your physical feeling. Taking your time with your food will feel different than a rushed meal or one eaten when you’re angry vs. feeling content and peaceful.

My Personal Story of Cycles and Change:

I’m fascinated by my body’s ability to let me know what it needs and what it doesn’t want. And sometimes these can be the same foods that are in one month and out the next.

For example, I used to thrive on avocados and tortillas. It was so simple to take a wrap, add half an avocado, maybe some tomatoes and lettuce, Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and call it a meal.

This worked for me for years, then a few months ago I went through a phase where my body didn’t want fats like avocado and almond butter at all. I just felt terrible when the same foods used to make me thrive! And now I’m slowly reintroducing avocado, happily, but with caution and really being mindful as to how my body responds.

More surprisingly, I’ve actually just started eating meat again for the first time in about 7 years. After craving it for over a month I decided that was a strong enough signal and brought home some grass fed, hormone and nitrate free beef from the Farmer’s Market.

It is taking some adjusting for my digestive system to figure out what to do with the meat again so I’m starting off really slow with small amounts of meat. I have noticed better overall energy, so that’s exciting. At the same time, I know at some point my body may ask to go vegetarian again.

What is currently working really well for me is two protein shakes a day with fresh fruit or superfoods, and two meals a day. I wonder when I’ll have my first hamburger… Will I be smart enough to have a salad with it, or will I do the empty calorie thing and get fries. I guess it depends on how well I’m listening and interpreting my body’s signals.

Eating with your Intuition

This “Instinctual Eating” is really going with the flow of what is right for you in each cycle of your life.

I’ve tried everything from fast food in my teenagedom to raw food and vegan. Things change as we evolve, and one of those things is your body’s nutritional wants and needs. When you listen to your body and learn how to choose healthy foods that go with what your body craves, you might be surprised how well it works!

What is working for you right now? Please leave a comment below and share with us!

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Posted in Nutrition by Katrina Ariel | 2 Comments

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