Episode 036: Intuitive Eating Summer Series Part 6: Movement + Gentle Nutrition


Are you guys ready for the LAST installment of my Intuitive Eating Summer Series??

If you haven’t listened to the last five parts, we have covered everything from ditching diets and making peace with food to the satisfaction factor, the food police, navigating hunger and fullness cues, emotional eating and body respect. I encourage you to go listen to those first, before you come back here as we chat all about incorporating movement and gentle nutrition into your intuitive eating journey.


LISTEN: Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher | Listen on Google Play | Listen on Spotify


SHOW NOTES


Just a reminder, for those of you who don’t know what Intuitive Eating is, Intuitive Eating is a self care nutrition framework developed by dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole, who has been my mentor in becoming an intuitive eating counselor, that is based on 10 principles, that has been verified by over 100 studies now to be effective in helping those that implement the principles become more in tune with their bodies, make peace with food, honor their hunger and fullness cues and nourish themselves without dieting. It’s not the hunger-and-fullness diet and it’s not a weight loss plan, but a framework to help you develop the skills to eat in a way that works for you.


To learn more about the 10 principles, check out Episode 004: The 10 Principles of IE.


Intuitive Eating Book:

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch © 2012 St. Martin's Griffin; Third edition


In today’s episode we are digging into Principles 9 + 10: Movement: Feel the Difference and Gentle Nutrition.


I decided to combine principles 9 and 10 into this episode for a couple reasons. First, they are the LAST steps of Intuitive Eating-- for a really good reason.


In order to truly step into a life where you are honoring and respecting your body and health, the first 8 principles are ESSENTIAL for having a balanced RELATIONSHIP with food. If your relationship with food is broken, every change you implement will feel like a diet, and we know from episode 1 in this series, diets cause rebellion and backlash- they don’t honor our autonomy as humans and so we see them as a threat to our freedom-- because they are.


Making peace with ALL foods and taking the morality out of food choices allows us to fully embark on the open-ended journey of finding what makes us thrive, whether it is the type of foods that truly make us feel good, the type of movement, or what kind of self care-- we need to start with a healthy relationship with food before we can go any deeper into our health journey and expect changes to last.


Further, the changes you make when you have healed your relationship with food and learned to tune into your body will likely be the right choices-- or at least on the right track, because you need to know how your body responds to choices to decide if implementing them is right for you. Gone are the days of following a meal plan blindly hoping to see radical change. Change happens when you can tell what REALLY feels good and develop the YOU-diet.


Making peace with ALL foods and taking the morality out of food choices allows us to fully embark on the open-ended journey of finding what makes us thrive, whether it is the type of foods that truly make us feel good, the type of movement, or what kind of self care-- we need to start with a healthy relationship with food before we can go any deeper into our health journey and expect changes to last.

The second reason I combined these two principles is because there are a lot more resources on the podcast and to come about these topics. I am SO passionate about helping you find your beautiful balance- in food and fitness and truly feeling good and stepping into your healthiest life, beyond diets.



Mindful Movement


We all know the benefits of regular movement for our overall health and wellbeing. But how often are you moving? Not just exercising- but MOVING?

Multiple studies from 2012 on have shown that sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. These studies are showing moving regularly is even more beneficial than having an exercise routine. The more we sit, the more detrimental it is to our health. The more we move, the more we embrace our humanness and how our bodies were made to exist. We weren’t created to be sedentary creatures!


We were made to move.


That being said, getting in regular exercise is also important. But it’s important to approach exercise from a mindful place. You should ENJOY the exercise you are doing and allow for flexibility, or you won’t create a routine that sticks, and when it comes to exercise-- consistency is important. When I say consistency I don’t mean you need to do the same routine every week. A HUGE part of mindful exercise is, just like with intuitive eating, assess where your body is at and ask what it wants and needs, that day. So building up a repertoire of enjoyable activities that encourage regular movement and exercise, is important to allow for that flexibility and consistency.


General Recommendations for Exercise for good health: - First and foremost, find ways to move more on a regular basis.

- Second, move with intention around 150 minutes per week. That’s about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This is moderate intensity exercise. If you are exercising vigorously, say a HIIT workout, Crossfit or Sprints, you can cut this is half to 75 minutes- that’s 25 minutes 3 times per week. A combination works well, too.

- Include strength-training exercises about twice a week. My note here is this is especially important for women to improve bone density and maintain muscle mass as we age. This doesn’t mean you need to start lifting- bodyweight exercises are effective, as well.


The bottom line here, you need to move-- but move in a way that FEELS GOOD. Yes, it might be hard in the moment, but make sure hard doesn’t mean painful and difficult doesn’t mean miserable. If you genuinely enjoy the way you move, and you’re focusing on how you feel, rather than purely on aesthetics, you won’t have a hard time getting in those recommendations.


More on Fitness That Feels Good: Episode 18


Gentle Nutrition


By now you probably all know my stance on nutrition: I believe nutrition is about nourishing ourselves- and this is so much more than JUST the food we put on our plates.


But the food we put on our plates DOES matter, and there is SO much power in food.


Food can be medicine, choosing foods that encourage health can be a powerful part of healing our bodies from chronic health conditions and just improving our overall health, energy and wellbeing. But like I said at the start of the show, we need to first improve our relationship with food before we even begin to implement nutrition changes, because it is ALL too easy to turn recommendations into rules and restrictions.


Nutrition should be fluid and flexible because no two humans are the same and no two days are the same. We can find what works for us and feels good- generally, and allow for that to be an ever changing and evolving space we live in, rather than a rigid set of rules.


If you only remember this: nutrition should nourish- not restrict.


Nutrition should be fluid and flexible because no two humans are the same and no two days are the same. We can find what works for us and feels good- generally, and allow for that to be an ever changing and evolving space we live in, rather than a rigid set of rules.

If you only remember this: nutrition should nourish- not restrict. When I talk about nutrition, I am careful to encourage the women I work with to look at it as adding, rather than subtracting. How does it feel when I tell you you need to take away all sugar, gluten, dairy, meat and ONLY eat fruits and vegetables? Ok, that’s a really extreme example and I hope you understand that would be incredibly restrictive and hard to find balance. But as humans, we immediately resist severe restriction. So why are so many of us living in it? We often have this view that if we don’t make drastic changes or severely restrict ourselves, we’re not going to make a difference in our health.

So let’s talk about a few add-not-subtract general nutrition tips:


- Eat more real food. This means UNPROCESSED foods. Again- it’s not all or nothing. But how can you eat MORE real food?

- Nutrition comes down to three main points: variety, moderation and balance.


You need variety in the foods you eat so you get a variety of nutrients. This goes if you are an omnivore, a vegetarian, paleo, whatever your food values are-- I’m not one for labels, clearly- but no matter what type of foods you eat, variety is key.


So is balance. This doesn’t mean every meal needs to have the perfect balance of nutrients. I use the power plate as an example of what a balanced plate looks like, but it’s important to understand this is a template, not a prescription. Some meals aren’t going to have as much protein, or much at all, same with fat, carbs, etc- having an overall balance; getting carbs, protein, fat and vegetables at pretty much every meal is the best way to ensure balanced nutrition, but it doesn’t need to be a rule. Balance happens over TIME. Your body WILL guide you when you need more of one thing or another.


And lastly- moderation comes when you become an intuitive eater. When you are allowing your body permission to eat ALL foods, it’s easier to stop when you’re satisfied rather than going crazy every time you allow yourself a food that might be more of a play food. Balance and moderation of nutrients and play food is easy when you are tuned in to your body and have ditched the diet mindset.


When you are exploring making changes to your diet, do regular check-ins after meals:

-How did my body feel after eating that meal? Did I like that feeling?

-How am I feeling in my body overall, after making changes?

-How hungry did I get after- did that meal feel like it served me in the way it should?


More on Real Food without Restriction: Episode 008


How do we do it, practically?


1. Do a movement assessment. How often do you move in your daily life? How much time do you spend sitting? How can you incorporate more movement on a daily basis?


2. Check your exercise. If you’re not exercising regularly, what are your barriers to exercise? Can you create a list of 10 activities you’d like to try that might feel good?


3. Remember nutrition should NOURISH, not restrict. Once you have healed your relationship with food and learned to tune in, you can begin to make changes to improve your health without turning them into rigid rules and restrictions. Ask yourself: where do I feel like my body needs the most nourishment? Is it my energy levels? Recovery after exercise? Is my digestion wonky? Am I dealing with some inflammation?


4. Developing a habits-based mindset when it comes to nutrition. It’s not about sweeping changes-- this often leads to rebellion, just like with diets. Developing a one-habit-at-a-time mindset, with the freedom to ditch the habit if it isn’t working for you-- will help you begin to improve your health through food, one small change at a time. Remember friends: nutrition comes down to variety, balance and moderation. There is no one right way to eat.


That is a WRAP of the Intuitive Eating Summer Series! I hope this was helpful for you to begin to dig deeper into the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating to improve your relationship with food, and find what works for you, and only you. Remember there are 7.5 BILLION people on the planet- there is only one YOU diet.


Please shoot me an email if you have follow-up questions, kris@healthymamakris.com. I am planning on doing a Q+A episode at the end of the series answering your questions and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram + Facebook @healthymamakris with the progress you’re making.

Intuitive Mama starts NEXT week! Have you joined us yet?? What are you waiting for? If you loved this series, you will LOVE Intuitive Mama.


It's FREE and only available from August 26-30. After that, it will ONLY be available to Supermama Society members.



What you'll get: 

✔️ 5-days worth of audios designed to help you learn to apply Intuitive Eating to your mama life​

✔️ Topics include:

  • How to tune in when life feels crazy

  • How to honor your hunger when you feel like you don’t have time

  • How to deal with mom emotions without turning to food

  • How to make peace with ALL foods and still feed your family healthy foods

  • How to respect and nurture your body even when it’s changing 

​✔️ 1-2 coordinated worksheets to take action towards becoming an Intuitive Mama ✔️ Daily encouragement from myself and the Healthy Mama tribe through our closed Facebook group

What you'll gain: 

✔️ Practical tools and tangible steps towards tuning into your body, honoring hunger and fullness, choosing satisfying foods and ditching diets without ditching health​

✔️ Strategies to learn to cope with emotions without using food ​

✔️ The confidence to begin to make peace with all foods while still making choices that serve you and your family

✔️ Next steps for beginning the process of respecting your body exactly where you are and finding your beautiful balance

Ready? I know you are. Learn more and sign up for free.

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Headshots Marie Guagliardo Photography & Sarah Zollo Portraits