Hello, friends! It's Food/Gentle Nutrition Week over in the Abundantly Enough group that my friend Amy and I run, so I'm stopping in to share 3 tips for gentle nutrition. If you're looking to read more about the background and what "gentle nutrition" even is, read this post.
GROUND YOURSELF IN THE PRESENT
One helpful way to guide your eating is to focus on the present. The restrictive mindset tends to let the past and future dictate what can happen now ("I'll make up for this" or "I earned this", etc) but if you treat each eating opportunity as a unique event, it can help lead to natural balance.
You can ground yourself using guided meditation, a body scan, or by asking some of the questions below (or a combo of all of these!):
- Do I feel my hunger in my mouth or my stomach?
- What is my hunger level? (use the scale above)
- What foods sound good? (or, if this is too broad - hot or cold? Spicy? Sweet? Savory? Do I want my food to feel filling or light?)
When actually eating, trying to set aside at least a few mindful, screen-free minutes during a meal can help you enjoy!
If you have anxiety about treating each meal individually, visualization can help. Think about the meal or snack you're about to eat, and picture/visualize yourself enjoying and savoring the food in a calm way. How do you currently feel when you eat? How would you like to feel? What are some ways you can get there?
MAKE HYDRATION ACCESSIBLE
I find a lot of posts about hydration talk a lot about why it's important and how much water we need - and we've all probably already heard most of it. So, let's chat about how to make it easier to hydrate - even if you don't like water.
- Drink from a straw | this can help boost your intake just by making it easier to take longer sips!
- Add flavor | fun ideas include flavor drops, packets, or sliced fruit
- Make it part of your morning routine | setting a water bottle or glass next to your bed and taking some sips before you get up can be a super-easy way to start your day refreshed!
Wondering about intuitive hydration? Check out this post.
EXPLORE SIMPLE SWAPS
I want to start by noting that I think ingredient swaps get a bad rep, and sometimes it's justified. The whole cauliflower-for-pizza-crust thing makes no sense to me - it's not nearly as satisfying or tasty. Give me all the doughy texture of bread, please and thanks.
But there's some fun ways to play around with food that can up the fiber, protein, or nutrition content without sacrificing satisfaction. If you try these and hate them, get back to your roots and eat the stuff you like. Ain't no thang.
And that's it! Keeping it short and simple today since things are crazy lately, but let me know in the comments how you incorporate gentle nutrition into your life!
This post is part of the Abundantly Enough blog series, where my girl Amy Shen and I chat about all things HAES, intuitive eating, and wellness. Join us in our Facebook group for more discussion + weekly videos!
Other Abundantly Enough posts: