What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating is about re-learning how to listen to your body’s internal cues when it comes to hunger, fullness and satisfaction. It is about letting go of old restrictive ways of thinking and eating. The only thing that is eliminated with intuitive eating is dieting. Intuitive Eating is not a free ticket to fill your body with junk. It is about re-learning to eat like a child who eats when they are hungry, stops when they are full and eats a variety of foods both healthy and unhealthy without shame or guilt.
What is the 10-Day Challenge?
The 10-Day Challenge is about making the commitment to practice the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating for 10 days. My thought process in creating this challenge is to provide tools to help you be successful in meeting your intuitive eating goals, support along the way with others who are rediscovering their internal cues with regard to eating and to inspire you to practice the 10 Principles because they work! By the end of the challenge you will be able to feel your body better and will be able to have a better understanding of how to implement a hunger, fullness and satiety scale into your day. You will be able to see the benefits of daily intention and gratitude and you will be able to have more self-acceptance and self-compassion. Intuitive Eating is about finding balance and really listening to your body. It requires you to let go of the many distractions that prohibit you from reaching your goals and lead you to emotional and unconscious eating. This 10-Day Challenge does not require you to restrict any foods. Infact, it encourages you to add “play foods” to your day which will show you that you can stop when you are full when you are truly listening and honoring your intuition.
What are the guidelines of the 10-Day Challenge?
The 10-Day Challenge has 10 simple guidelines that will help you to implement the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. You will begin by making a list of healthy foods/meals and “play foods” that you would like to eat for the 10 Days. You will go out and buy these foods and prepare them for the 10 days. You are not restricted to this list. Instead, the list is simply a tool that will help you to prepare your meals in advance and plan your snacks in advance so that you can grab them when you reach your body’s hunger cues.
For 10 days you will ADD the following:
1. More Real Foods (Juice+ Trio Capsules and 1-2 Complete Shakes are recommended).
Principles One and Ten are about eliminating diets and feeding your body foods that nourish it and make it feel good, strong and healthy. Diets lead to overeating, diet backlash and keeps us feeling trapped in our heads. Gentle nutrition is about picking foods we enjoy that will help our body to feel stronger and healthier and work to their optimal level. Juice+ trio capsules and Complete Shakes are recommended, but are not required to do this challenge. Juice+ Trio Capsules are dehydrated fruits and veggies that are a great addition to your daily food intake. Being a busy hockey mom and professional career woman, I found it difficult to incorporate the amount of fruits and veggies into my day. I was introduced to Juice+ by a friend who is a health coach and heard many great things about it. It has also been recommended to several clients of mine by their health care professionals including naturopathic doctors. Plus with every adult purchase, your child gets Juice+ gummies for FREE as a participant in the Child Health Study. What I like about Juice+ is that there is no “diet” that goes with it in order for the capsules to be effective. The shakes are delicious too and are a great meal replacement or snack replacement that will leave you feeling healthy and strong. Each day I will post a new shake recipe (i.e., Blueberry Muffin Smoothie, Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie, Chocolate Almond Cherry Chip Smoothie, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Apple Crisp Smoothie, Pina Colada Smoothie, Carrot Cake Smoothie, Peach Cobbler Smoothie, Rasberry Chip Smoothie & Chunky Monkey Smoothie). It was never my intention to incorporate Juice+ into my Intuitive Eating journey, but it is something I have been adding to my daily intake of vitamins and minerals and I am finding that I have less cravings for junk foods and they leave me feeling satisfied and full longer:) During this challenge, I recommend 1-2 shakes a day. The goal is to add more nutrition and keep you feeling more satisfied and full throughout the day. You will only add what you intuitively feel called to add.
2. Play Foods.
Principles Three, Four and Six address eating foods that we enjoy, making peace with all foods and allowing ourselves to incorporate “play foods” into our daily intake of food. Research has shown that when we allow ourselves to make peace with the food we’ve deemed as “ bad” or “unhealthy” we are less likely to overeat them and more likely to honor our hunger and fullness with regard to all foods. By making peace with food and allowing “play foods” we feel satisfied each day and are less likely to “give up” on trying to eat healthy foods. We are more accepting and compassionate with ourselves. You will be encouraged to ADD several “play foods” into your 10-Day Challenge. For example, if you are craving chips, then you will be encouraged to ADD some chips to a meal. If you are craving ice cream, then you will be encouraged to ADD ice cream for a snack one day or even a meal. If you allow yourself these foods on a regular basis and take the shame out of them, then YOU WILL find that you can stop eating them and may even find that you do not want them as much as you thought you did.
3. Satisfaction Discovery Tool.
Principles two, five and six are about re-learning how to listen to our body’s natural cues with regard to hunger, fullness and satisfaction. Research suggests that when we honor our hunger, stop when we are full and eat foods that satisfy our cravings that we are less likely to overeat and more likely to find our body’s natural weight. Using this tool will also help many to be able to re-discover their internal cues as they may have gotten lost from all the overeating, dieting and restricting we’ve done in our lives. The Satisfaction Discovery Tool is the tool used to assess hunger, fullness and satisfaction with your meals and snacks. By practicing utilizing this tool for 10 days, you will learn firsthand, the benefits of assessing hunger, fullness and satisfaction at each meal. You will be equipped with this tool at the start of this challenge and encouraged to utilize it throughout each day when you eat. Again, you do not have to do this perfectly.
4. 30 Minutes of Movement.
Principle nine talks about how exercise can improve overall functioning. You will be encouraged to get rid of old ways of thinking with regard to exercise and you will be encouraged to explore intuitive movement for 10 days. Intuitive movement is movement that YOUR body is craving. A 23 year old gymnast is going to crave much different movement than a 54 year old woman. You will be encouraged to try new activities and rate your movement to help determine what kind of activity you enjoy. Once you’ve determined your movement or movements of choice, then you will be encouraged to incorporate at least 30 minutes into each day. Movement may range from walking or jogging on a treadmill to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It may include swimming in a pool, cleaning your house or doing yard work. There are all types of different movement we can incorporate into our day that will help our hearts to be healthier, our minds to be more focused and our bodies to feel more energized.
5. 8-10 Glasses of Water.
Need I say more? Principle 10 addresses gentle nutrition which includes proper hydration that aids the body in being able to flush toxins and digest the foods you are eating properly. You will be encouraged to drink water throughout the day for 10 days just to help your body to feel the impact of proper hydration. When you are done the challenge you are welcome to go back to old ways, but I promise you will notice the difference you feel as a result of proper hydration.
6. 7-8 Hours of Sleep.
I know…I know. This one is going to be the toughest. Principles seven and ten talk about honoring your feelings and honoring your health. How do we expect ourselves to feel good emotionally if we are tired and groggy from a poor nights sleep? Research shows that we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night to be able to function and perform at our optimal levels. Many of us struggle with getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. We live in an extremely overly scheduled and committed culture and we struggle to get all the things we want to do or need to do in one day. So for 10 days I challenge you to plan for 7-8 hours of sleep. If you don’t fall asleep that is okay. The important thing is that you are resting your body, mind and spirit for 7-8 hours which also allows our bodies the quiet time it needs to digest properly.
7. 10 Minutes of Meditation.
Meditation has been proven to change the brain and reduce overall stress, anxiety and depression. Did you know that it has been proven to be just as effective, if not then more effective than taking psychotropic medications for anxiety, depression and mood disorders, only without the side effects? Many of us struggle with the long-term impacts that stress has on our body, mind and spirit. For 10 days you will be encouraged to listen to a 5 minute morning meditation and a 5 minute evening meditation. I will provide you will video meditations (they may even be live if I have the courage) each day that will help you to set daily intentions and goals that are directly related to your intuitive eating journey.
For 10 Days you will ELIMINATE the following:
For many, diets lead to weight gain. Diets mess with our minds, control our thinking, lead to shame and guilt and in the end, for many, diets lead to weight gain and for some they lead to disordered eating. For 10 days, you will eliminate all rules and knowledge with regard to food, weight loss and diets. For 10 days, you will practice being grateful in the body that you have that gets you from A to B and you will work on conquering your inner critic bully that tells you that you need to lose weight. For 10 days you will be free from the diet mentally and be free to eat whatever foods your body wants while practicing the principles of Intuitive Eating. But keep in mind that Principle Ten is to honor your health with gentle nutrition. So again, Intuitive Eating is not a free ticket to binge eat or splurge on “play foods”.
For 10 days you will let go of any expectations you have with regard to Intuitive Eating. I know you are confused because I told you what you can expect to gain from this experience. But for 10 days you will free your mind from expectations of weight loss, expectations of becoming a perfectly clean eater and for some, expectations of failure. For 10 days you will let go of rules and expectations with regard to when and what to eat. You will live moment by moment and you will practice asking yourself if you are hungry, if you are full and if you feel satisfied. And if the answer at the end of your meal is no, then you will ask yourself what it is that you need to eat and how much in order to reach those goals.
For 10 days you WILL NOT get on the scale. You will commit to 10 days of freedom from the number on the scale. The scale has been one of my biggest enemies. It defined me and impacted what I ate and how much I ate. If I lost a few pounds, then I felt like I could give myself permission to “celebrate” or my head would tell me that I had plenty of room to eat what I wanted and in turn I would over consume food as a reward. If I gained weight, then I became extremely anxious and would over-consume food to calm my anxiety. This is not intuitive at all. So for 10 days, put away the scale.
Juice+ and Complete Shakes
To learn more or order your Juice+ Trio Capsules or Complete Shakes, go to www.mindbodyspiritcounseling.net and click on Juice+. You can read my testimony and click on the link to order your Juice+ today. If you are interested in FREE Juice+ gummies for your child, please contact me for details on how you can join the Child Health Study.
***If you are interested in joining a 10-Day Intuitive Eating Challenge, please join the Intuitive Eating Support Group NH on Facebook. There I will provide you will all the information you need to get started as well as your 10 days of smoothie recipes and 10 days of morning and evening meditations.
For more information on Intuitive Eating or to see a list of the 10 Principles go to intuitiveeating.org.
Peace and blessings,
Katie LaPlant, LICSW