Welcome to this post: Intuitive Eating: A Quick Guide.
It is easy to become inundated with statements like “Don’t consume dairy products,” or “Don’t consume gluten,” or “Buy organic,” or “This is bad for you,” or “Avoid this,” or “Drink this much water a day,” or “Eat your vegetables.”
I would imagine that a lot of people hear these things and wonder “Is that good for me?” or “Is that bad for me?” or “Is it that big of a deal to buy organic?”
So many questions. All of these health conscious individuals seeking answers might get wrapped up in information that they “google,” or have heard from this website, or that TV show and never come to a conclusion on what to consume and what to avoid.
What feels right to me, in nearly every facet of health and fitness, is to listen to your body.
For example, I played soccer for several years (kindergarten thru high school) and was constantly running as is demanded by the sport. I was curious as to what foods are good/bad for a soccer player to consume. A club soccer coach of mine mentioned one day during practice that dairy products give you “cotton mouth.” Hearing this, I decided to find other alternatives to milk in hopes of avoiding dairy and trying out my coach’s theory. After several weeks without consuming dairy products, I noticed my “cotton mouth” (a noticeably dry mouth while exercising) was nonexistent.
The best judge of whether I should consume dairy or not is my body. If I can feel a positive change in functioning from eliminating dairy, then it makes sense for me to do that.
There are many more similar situations like this that I’ve experienced. For instance:
-I know that my body feels better when I do not eat foods that commonly contain gluten (bakery items, bread, etc). Bread itself makes me tired, have uncomfortable digestion, and in need of a nap.
-I know that my hair and skin have felt exponentially smoother, healthier, more nourished, and stronger since using organic shampoos, conditioners, soaps, moisturizers, and lotions. This, and the fact that I can actually identify and pronounce the ingredients has made me an exclusively organic beauty products user–I travel with all of my organic cosmetics and beauty products so that I am never forced to use products I don’t want to.
This post serves as a reminder to myself (and hopefully a helpful hint for others) that we should not undermine our body and how it reacts to food and cosmetics. If you feel sluggish after you eat certain foods, or if your skin has a reaction to your current beauty regimen, or even of you’re just not happy with the current state of your body, then I’d say its worth reevaluating.
From my experience, switching to plant-based foods and/or going organic often solves the problem.