Mindful & Intuitive Eating

Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty, sleep when you are tired. – Taoist adage.

Mindful & Intuitive Eating is sometimes defined as simply eating “whatever you want, whenever you want.” Whilst this description is partly true, the authentic process is much more refined and ‘awake’ than this catch phrase might look at first.

The simple tools of tuning into our bodies and fully experiencing each bite of food have the power to resolve many questions about food choices and diet. However, after a long period of ignoring our body’s signals, getting back in touch with them can take a little bit of work – this is where working with a skilled therapist can help.

It’s hard to listen to the body when a symphony of opposing authorities on diet are shouting their new findings and guaranteed weight loss methods from the rooftops, but it IS possible and the benefits to your physical and psychological health are considerable.


WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING?

Intuitive Eating can also be referred to as Non-DietingMindful Eatingand Attuned Eating. These eating philosophies are a class of eating behaviours guided primarily by awareness of and agreement with internal body cues of hunger and satiety. Instead of fighting your body, mindful & intuitive eating guides you to connect with and ultimately befriend your body.

WHY IS INTUITIVE EATING HELPFUL?

Mindful and Intuitive Eating are powerful strategies for breaking the trap of yo-yo dieting, compulsive eating and releasing ingrained emotional eating patterns.

Weight-control diets often teach us to disconnect from and distrust our body. Diets encourage us to categorise foods, to be fearful of them, to measure and control. Dieting can turn eating into an entirely cognitive process devoid of body signals and laden with guilt and power trips. Eating this way can be extremely frustrating, anxiety provoking and typically leads to yo-yo weight cycling. Intuitive Eating is a valuable and evidence-based alternative to dieting, more conducive to our physical and mental health.

WHAT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS?

There is no guarantee of weight loss or gain when you adopt a mindful eating practice. The focus of this practice is attunement, acceptance, health and well-being. However, if you have been eating out of attunement, is very much likely that you are out of your healthy body weight.

Authentic Intuitive and Mindful Eating behaviours promote improvements to health and well-being that include physical, emotional and mental aspects. These improvements can occur irrespective of changes to body weight (assuming you are not significantly underweight).

Intuitive Eating respects that body weight is highly individual and maintains that good health can be sustained outside of standardised body weight tables when our behaviours are healthy. If you are interested in these ideas you can click here to read more about Health At Every Size HAES.®

YOU CAN LEARN INTUITIVE & MINDFUL
​EATING

Whilst we can lose the ability to eat in tune with our body through dieting, the great news is that these skills can be re-learned in teachable steps. This ‘re-learning’ process can sometimes require a period of structured eating, and this is particularly true if your eating is highly restrictive or you are prone to very regular binge. Everyone’s journey to reconnecting to their body and eating with awareness is different.

Experimentation, with the guidance of professional counselling can assist you to reinstate a sense of eating competence that is sustainable, flexible and authentic.

Get in touch here, and let`s work together

THE CORE SKILLS OF INTUITIVE & MINDFUL EATING

There are three core skills of intuitive and mindful eating:

  1. Being able to pay attention, and be fully present to what we are doing and experiencing
  2. Being able to sense our body’s signals, accept our body’s signals and respond to these signals with permission, compassion and wisdom
  3. Being able to practice 1 & 2 realistically and with flexibility as often as possible

The only reliable authority, in the end, is your own body.

My Panchakarma Experience – Ayurveda

From where to start? I`m just back from Sri Lanka where I went for a Light Panchakarma Programme, by the end of the week I felt a deep sense of relaxation and peace of mind, which was amazing.

I learnt that Ayurveda is much more than I expected, I now see it as a synchronised and interactive science where real foods and self-care practices come together in harmony as a natural medicine to recover the body and eliminate “ama” toxins.

I`m so glad and grateful that I got to know Sri Lanka, it is just a sweet and happy place of easy smiley people, sunny weather and tropical sea. The King coconuts makes its presence everywhere, hugely used in the culinary, from delicious recipes to roof tops, cookery utensils and religious ceremonies.

I went to Sri Lanka to learn more about Ayurveda, but really, I felt in love with the elephants ❤ Enormous, sturdy, strong and grounded creatures with a sweet slow pace chewing on greens all day, not as peaceful as you think, they will let you know if they are not happy. A little bit like me I believe, in a much bigger version!

The panchakarma itself was like hell and heaven, more heaven than hell of course. It looked like a lot of massages with incredible quantities of oils, like those ones we use cook with (ghee, sesame oil, coconuts, sunflower etc) among other foods, weird to start with until you start seen you skin and hair glowing like never before!

Panchakarma means “Pancha” 5 and “karma” detoxifying actions, is it a very intensive cleansing system exclusive to Ayurveda which is preventive as well as healing. The aim of it is to balance the “doshas” and harmonise the body.

The 5 measures are Vamana, Virechana, Nasyam, Vasti or Basti, Rakta Mokshana, the indications for each treatment is determined by an Ayurvedic doctor. It wasn`t indicated for me to do all 5, I`m a pitta-kapha but the pitta was the one more out of whack, so I only did 2 of the treatments. The most effective was Virechana (balance pitta) and my favourite was Nasyam (balance kapha), I don’t remember the last time I was able to breath so well. I always had horrible sinusitis until I reduced dairy and gluten from my diet, the diet helped a lot, but the treatments really takes things to another level, the sensation of cleanliness can`t be described.

When I wasn`t in the cookery lessons or Ayurveda lectures, I took the time to be on my own in silence, practice mindfulness (especially when eating), meditate, do yoga, enjoy the beach and swim in the warm sea. It was the best self-love practice I could have ever given to myself.

If you are mum, work hard and has a very busy routine like me you can get easily burnt out, anxious or/and depressed. Putting yourself first is not selfish, in fact, you will become a much more caring, loving and mentally balanced professional, wife, girlfriend, mum, daughter, friend etc, to be able to deal with your intense everyday tasks.

It`s like learning how to be your best friend, all you have to do is to check in with your feelings, be kind and show up for yourself.

I know you don`t have the time, me neither but we need to create the time and hold the space to nourish ourselves mentally and emotionally and make it a priority, daily. The world would be a better place to be if everyone was practising more self-care, I concluded.

Some self-care practices I enjoy are: meditating, yoga, dance class, massage, reading, relaxing music, long warm baths, nature walks, etc. How do you practice self-love? I would love to know, comment below 🙂

I have a DREAM…

I have a dream, I want to make the world a better place!

Starting by encouraging a better food system.

I believe that sustainable food that comes from natural and organic sources, and the are the way to health and well-being. Good and healthy food should be accessible to everyone.
I believe that the way we can change it, is supporting our local farmers and voting with our eating choices, every  time. Demand and supply, you know?

 
The actual food system doesn’t only damage our health with so much chemicals, but it also kills the beautiful planet we live in. We all know how much the food industry pollutes the seas, the soil and the air we breathe. It`s crazy!
I believe that modern nutrition science should`t be only about counting calories or exclude entire food groups from our diets, but instead, it should have a more holistic approach, accepting that we are all different within our very individual needs.

I believe that if we can learn to respect nature, you can also learn to respect ourselves.

Being healthy there is nothing to do with starving yourself or eating tasteless foods. Being healthy means feeling great in your skin, being able to listen to your own natural body signs and have lots of energy throughout the day, every day.

I`m here in this world to serve and to help other people through food, just like I had to do for myself, check my Binge Eating Disorder – Personal Story You can also find the best way to heal your body, your mind, prevent diseases, protect the planet and live happy to achieve great things, in harmony with nature.

We are on this together!

I`m Emi Looker and I`m glad you are here.

How fruits used to look like?

Fruits are little treats from nature. In the past the fruits were nowhere near the way we know them today. Before humans start agriculture they were not as big or as sweet as they are now.

The first bananas may have been cultivated at least 7,000 years ago and possibly as early as 10,000 years ago in what is know as Papua New Guinea. They were also grown in Southeast Asia. Modern bananas came from two wild varieties, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, which had large, hard seeds, like the ones in this photo below.

That`s how they used to look like just a few hundreds or thousands of years ago! Schocking!

wildban

moderban

Fruits like peaches, watermelons, nectarines are also 64 times bigger and sweeter nowadays.

Genetically modified foods, or GMOs, inspire strong reactions  but humans have been tweaking the genetics of our favourite produce for millennia, selective breeding is a slower process whereby farmers select and grow crops with those traits over time.

The fruits we buy today contain way more sugar than ever before, is it still natural to humans? I`m not saying that we shouldn`t have any piece of fruit anymore in our lives considering that they contain lots of vitamins and minerals and they are still a way better option than any other processed food you can find in the supermarket but just be conscious about the amount of sugar it contains and moderate your portions.

Give it a thought 😉