A Sure-Fire (and Unexpected) Way to Become an Intuitive Eater

I’m on day 7 of a 21-day detox.  I normally do a purification program once a year, but this time I’m doing an autoimmune/leaky gut protocol (eating clean foods while taking specific supplements to create a rockstar gut environment).  While I don’t have autoimmune issues, I’ve had issues with leaky gut in the past and optimizing digestion is ALWAYS a good thing (even without specific gut symptoms). Plus, anytime I recommend something like this to a client, I want to have gone through it firsthand.

I had been contemplating when to start and was fully motivated after several clients recently bounced vibrantly into my office after completing the purification program with some really amazing results: weight loss, energy,  free from sugar cravings, better sleep, radiant skin, better digestion, more in touch with hunger and fullness, new recipes they loved, a better sense of which foods cause which symptoms and better moods… which inspired me to do my Fall cleanse (isn’t it amazing how it comes full circle? I inspire them, they inspire me).

Doing a cleanse/purification program/detox is always a good reboot/reset and flooding my body with tons of nutrients while removing inflammatory things helps me feel vital.

That’s not saying it’s always super easy. But it is worth it.

All of those above mentioned benefits are awesome. But there’s one benefit that seems to trump the rest.

As a nutritionist who is a strong advocate for intuitive eating and does not promote calorie counting or restrictive food plans, I used to be terrified of doing a detox—as I thought it would trigger deprivation which inevitably leads to binge-ing and feeling like a failure.

My detoxes are always food-based cleanses, meaning hunger is not part of the program—when you are hungry, you eat. You eat whole foods, quality proteins, tons of veggies and healthy fats. But I was still worried that if I restricted, it would backfire.

The opposite happened, and has happened with so many of my clients.

Perhaps the most beneficial benefit I have found with these programs is that it actually helps facilitate being an intuitive eater.

Let me explain.

Steps towards becoming an intuitive eater can go many different ways.  One approach is that as you begin to become an intuitive eater you allow yourself to eat as much as you want of whatever you want. Giving this kind of permission is terrifying for most people, as they are afraid they will eat 12 cakes at once and gain 1,000 pounds.

However, when you ACTUALLY give yourself 100% permission, the lure of the forbidden food loses its enticement and there’s no guilt associated with it. So while at first you might eat a lot (newfound freedom!) over time it balances out and you find yourself satisfied with just a few small, mindfully savored bites.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, it’s not.

Another approach, which seems to be the opposite of the above, and which is what I like to start with, involves the purification program which, by the way, is NOT a diet as diets aren’t effective long-term. It’s a metabolic reboot. You see, when you front-load your body with tons of nutrients and eat a very clean, anti-inflammatory diet, get any built-up toxins out of your system and for 3 weeks are limited to eating whole foods…. You not only establish a new routine (cause hey! You’re forced to cook vegetables and realize it’s easy and they CAN taste good), but you also give your body the nutrients it needs to perform crucial functions, as well as the building blocks for cells and hormones, etc. and your body will then start to crave and ask for those nutrients, and you are now able to “hear” it.

Then, eating healthy isn’t “work”….it’s INTUITIVE. When you start to introduce foods back in to your diet, you can investigate and see how they make you feel (as not everyone’s body reacts to foods in the same way), and make informed eating decisions based on YOUR unique body).

And you can enjoy your cake again, but perhaps now you don’t really WANT it as much, and are satisfied by eating far less. No willpower required.

PLUS, any time there’s a physiological imbalance or nutrient deficiency or gut issue….it can cause cravings and compulsive eating that often we attribute to us being “emotional eaters” when really there’s a blood sugar imbalance or we have leaky gut and aren’t actually absorbing our food (we aren’t what we eat, we are what we ABSORB).

Therefore, correcting some of these physiological issues through a cleanse can naturally tune us in to the intuitive eater within us.

Once our physiology is working in harmony, we can work on giving ourselves full permission to eat our “indulgent” food that we previously labeled as “bad” and gave ourselves a lot of guilt for eating. But THIS time, we savor, and make it a full sensory experience and are too busy experiencing pleasure with it to feel guilt about it.

More pleasure, less guilt, more freedom and greater feelings of confidence in our healthy bodies–THAT’S what intuitive eating is about!




Wondering if the purification program is something that would benefit you?  Schedule a FREE 30-minute phone consult.   


For  local Seattlites who want to become intuitive eaters, I’m holding a live 4-week group class beginning November 17! 

Know anyone else who could benefit? Pass it along!


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