Human beings were designed to be flexible around food.

Human beings were designed to be flexible around food.

When you look at eating practices and traditions around the world, one thing is clear: human beings were designed to be flexible around food. We have survived by being able to adapt our diet to whatever food is available in a wide variety of environments. Read this post to learn how you can debunk common diet myths and rules by looking at different cultures eating patterns and practices.

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Easy No-Knead Focaccia with Roasted Garlic and Dried Tomatoes

Easy No-Knead Focaccia with Roasted Garlic and Dried Tomatoes

Don’t be intimidated to make homemade focaccia! This recipe for easy no-knead focaccia with roasted garlic and tomatoes doesn’t take any special skills, just plenty of hands off time with the dough fermenting! I love it topped with homemade roasted garlic and store bought sun dried tomatoes. It gets a super crispy crust and chewy texture!

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You Can't Fail at Intuitive Eating

You Can’t Fail at Intuitive Eating. #intuitiveeating #haes #wellness #nutrition #quote

Working with people who have spent a huge chunk of their life dieting, many of them come to me feeling like huge Failures, capital F intended. They’ve spent their life on-and-off diets, shaming themselves for “lack of willpower” in between each round. Of course, it’s the flawed system of dieting that’s the failure, not the person, but that’s not how they feel.

So it’s no surprise that when I bring up intuitive eating, this novel approach to eating, their first response is often fear of failure. I mean, if you can't manage eating with clear defined rules, how on earth are you supposed to manage it without all that structure?

The thing is, it's impossible to fail at intuitive eating. Unless you’re going into it with a diet mindset, failure simply isn't a possible outcome. And even if you are going into it with a diet mindset initially (hey, it's hard to break up with diet mentality!), you're still much more likely to become a more competent eater in the long run than if you were to start yet another diet plan.

Food, eating, and dieting is often viewed with this binary lens. There’s good foods and bad foods, healthy foods and unhealthy foods. You’re on a diet or you’re off a diet. You’ve succeeded or failed. Moving towards intuitive eating, your eyes will be opened to many shades of grey. Rather than relying on black and white rules, intuitive eating is based on 10 principles, guidelines really, that you can adapt and incorporate on your own timeline, in your own way. There’s no right or wrong. Some other things to know about intuitive eating:

  • It's not a test. No one is grading you. Intuitive eating is a tool for better understanding your body and it's needs, and eating in a way that responds to those needs. It's not a set of standards with pass/fail criteria.

  • The goal is learning. There is no outcome that defines a successful intuitive eater. If you tune into your body, or attempt to do something differently, you’ll learn, and even if the outcome isn't what you expected or desired, you'll still gain valuable knowledge. And that's a win!

  • Setbacks are opportunities for growth. Working with clients on intuitive eating, I welcome slips and struggles as learning opportunity! Think about something you do well - did you not fail dozens (hundreds, thousands!) of times before feeling competent in it? It’s a cliche, but failure is not opposite of success, it's part of it.

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It’s helpful to notice when that success/failure mentality is coming up for you in intuitive eating, so that you can challenge it. Diet mentality can derail intuitive eating, and turn this life saving changing approach into a diet. When you notice black-and-white thinking, lean in and get curious, not judgmental, about where that might be coming from.

You know what to expect with diets. Intuitive eating is unknown, so it makes sense that it would feel scary. That’s why it’s so important to have a support system, whether it’s a friend, partner, family member, facebook group, or an intuitive eating coach who can guide you. My goal in working with clients on intuitive eating is to help break down the principles and individualize them to you and your needs, and normalize what you’re going through on this journey. If you’re interested in working together, here’s more about my practice philosophy and nutrition services.

What's scariest to you about intuitive eating? 

This post was originally published in March 2016. It has been updated to give you the best content possible.


You might also like:

What I’ve Learned from Being Curious, not Judgmental in Intuitive Eating

What I’ve Learned from Being Curious, not Judgmental in Intuitive Eating

How to Challenge the Diet Mentality

How to Challenge the Diet Mentality

Three Common Stuck Points in Intuitive Eating

Three Common Stuck Points in Intuitive Eating


How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget

How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget

Intuitive eating sometimes gets translated into eat whatever you want, when you want it. It’s an inaccurate and oversimplified translation, and creates a perceived barrier for people with financial difficulties in adopting intuitive eating. If you’re on a budget and interested in learning more about intuitive eating, read this post to see how different principles of intuitive eating can be translated for financial barriers.

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Why Am I Hungry All The Time?

Why Am I Hungry All The Time?

Honor your hunger is the second principle of intuitive eating, so as you can imagine, it’s a pretty important one. Wonky hunger cues are a common side effect of dieting, and when you’re first getting back in touch with your cues, it might feel really uncomfortable noticing hunger more frequently. On average, a human needs food every 3-4ish hours. If you’re consistently feeling hungry more often than this, here’s some reasons why you might feel hungry all the time.

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The BEST Spring Lemon-Herb Orzo Salad

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Southern Goat Cheese Grits & Vegetable Bowl

Southern Goat Cheese Grits & Vegetable Bowl

Make this southern goat cheese grits and vegetable bowl! It’s a bowl of creamy stone ground grits with goat cheese melted in, topped with garlicky sauteed spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, and black-eyed peas, then topped with salsa verde! Feel free to use any seasonal veggies you like to switch it up.

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Intuitive Eating 101: Beginners Guide to Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating 101: Beginners Guide to Intuitive Eating

Curious about intuitive eating and not sure where to start? I’ve got ya! This post covers intuitive eating basics including the 10 principles of intuitive eating, myths and misconceptions, and how to get started with intuitive eating. It also has links to my most helpful intuitive eating blog posts, plus resources for where to learn more.

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Letting go of food rules on vacation.

Letting go of food rules on vacation.

Do you wish you could go back and re do vacations without diet mentality chipping away at the fun? Since time travel isn’t an option yet, let’s vow to stop inviting diet mentality to tag along on our future vacations! Give yourself the gift of of food freedom on your next trip and learn four tips for letting go of diet rules on vacation in this post.

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Tips for Female Small Business Owners Running a Nutrition Private Practice

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Every year on the anniversary of my nutrition private practice, I share a post for aspiring nutrition entrepreneurs. This year I wanted to focus on tips for female small business owners. Last week I was on a panel for local female entrepreneurs, and I left feeling so inspired hearing about the stories of local women I admire! Reflecting on the event, I realized that getting over all the gendered crap I had picked up from society was probably the biggest barrier in starting and growing my practice.

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Mustard Green and Sausage Orecchiette

Mustard Green and Sausage Orecchiette

Mustard Green and Sausage Orecchiette! Just seven ingredients to make this easy, family friendly meal! Cook sauteed mustard greens with sweet Italian sausage and lightly caramelized onion which adds sweetness to this bitter green. Toss with ear shaped pasta for a dish the whole family will love! Takes less than 30 minutes for this weeknight meal!

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3 Easy Breakfast Snack Plates

3 Easy Breakfast Snack Plates

Breakfast snack plates are an easy grab and go way to start the day! Just pair with a glass of Florida Orange Juice to complete! Check out this post to learn how to make breakfast snack plates and get three ideas, including a smoked salmon snack plate, a protein breakfast snack plate, and cottage cheese breakfast snack plate!

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Diet Mythbusters Part 3: Women's Health and Nutrition Myths

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When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 3, we’re covering women’s health and nutrition myths.

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Diet Mythbusters Part 2: Carbs

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When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 2, we’re covering nutrition myths about carbohydrates.

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Spring Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza

Spring Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza

My black car is officially yellow, so it’s time to break out the asparagus recipes, starting with this spring asparagus and goat cheese pizza! While I am usually adamantly pro-tomato sauce on pizza, I love this pie topped with garlic oil, two cheeses, crisp-tender asparagus and thin slices of Yukon gold potatoes. Don’t be skeptical of potatoes on pizza - the crispy rounds of potato are so good! And as I’m writing this, I’m realizing proscuitto or bacon would be a very welcome addition.

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As a non-diet, private practice dietitian, there’s a lot of misconceptions about what we do, and I think a lot of those misconceptions can make people afraid to reach out for help. Will you be told what you can and can’t eat? Will you be judged for your weight or eating choices? Will you be lectured about nutrition the whole time? Learn what to expect working with a non-diet dietitian in this article.

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Vegan Peanut Ginger Cauliflower Veggie Burgers

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Homemade veggie burgers can be hit or miss. This recipe for vegan peanut ginger cauliflower veggie burgers are a hit! Made with a combination of quinoa, oats, chickpeas and rice cauliflower seasoned with ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter and fresh herbs. Enjoy over a salad on in a bun with an easy sriracha mayo!

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When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 1, we’re covering nutrition myths that never seem to die!

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