Intuitive Eating - my thoughts and experience

   I have something I want to share with you, because I am becoming more and more fascinated with my body's own process, and how different my diet looks than how I would have imagined if you had told me I'd be dealing with cancer at any moment before all of this. I believe that it is a true testament to listening to our wisdom, our intuition and our body at all times, but especially in times of great change.

   Way back in my other lifetime (or when I was 19 if you want to be less dramatic) when I was knee deep in my Natural Chef training, I was completely absorbed in what I was learning about cooking for and feeding people with cancer. Before applying for that training I had already been obsessed with the idea of food as medicine for treating cancer, and I soaked up the knowledge that was available to me at the time like an organic, Eco-friendly sponge.

   Fast-forward to now. Ten years later and I am actually staring in to my fridge, making the decision of what to put into my body that is dealing with cancer. Wow.

   The decision felt huge at first. Heavy. Crushing, really. What if I chose the wrong thing? Would cancer grow? Could I hope to irradiate this disease with my food choices? All of my training and reading and knowledge I have gathered over the years began to flood back to me, and surprisingly, not a lot of it resonated. There are foods that shrink tumors... I do not have any tumors. There are meals that I learned to make for patients who couldn't eat because of chemo sickness, but my appetite is fine. Nothing felt right. The information I had learned all of this time suddenly felt... just kind of wrong.

   That isn't to say that I threw all of my health-conscious ways out of the hospital window. I powerfully believe in the body's ability to heal itself, and I know that the fuel we put into the body plays a big part in that. Not just food, but what we watch, listen to, who we interact with on a day-to-day.. we are digesting all of it, and it can heal or hurt us.

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   To my great surprise, as I allowed myself to get quiet and make my food decisions from a centered and intuitive place, I didn't lean toward a cleansing, light and plant-filled diet like I would have imagined. You may have seen some of the same documentaries I have, so maybe you know what I mean. Green juices are delicious, but not something my body cries out for on the daily. Instead, I am gravitating toward these 4 things. Big time! And what I've found is that they are more on the grounding side.

All the fats, all the time!

It makes sense to me in some ways, but I'm still surprised by how often I am craving healthy fats, and how great I feel as I honor that desire. My favorites right now are coconut butter, avocados, coconut milk in the form of the delicious Rebbl drinks, and olive oil. Every single day, multiple times a day, I eat fats.

Processed food is a no go.

This seems like something to obviously cut out of any healthy diet, but I feel almost a repulsion to heavily processed foods. Tonight my kids and husband will be eating veggie hot dogs, and I can't think of anything that I'd like to eat less. The way I am honoring my body these days, is that if it isn't a 'hell yes', then it's a no, and processed and fried food is a big fat Hell No.

All the green food!

If it's green, I want it. I have suddenly become obsessed with matcha tea, anything with chlorophyll, green smoothies (heavy on the kale and spinach please!) and roasted broccoli. It just sounds so damn good! Most recently I bought a Matcha Latte from Kreation Juice in Pasadena, and it tasted like absolute heaven in a glass. The thing that is weird about this, is that I used to have to force myself to eat green food. I knew it was healthy for me, so I would make an effort, and it was a grand effort. I have never been a fan of salads and green smoothies were something I gulped down because I knew I wasn't going to eat anything else leafy or green for the rest of the day.

Collagen. (Don't hate me)

Lastly, this is something I hesitated to share, because I love our plant-based lifestyle. I am not a vegan, as I do eat eggs from my mom's backyard chickens on occasion, but my whole family is pretty damn close. Especially my husband and youngest daughter, who hate eggs. Collagen is decidedly not vegan, or even vegetarian, and it is having its moment in the spotlight these days. I was very drawn to collagen powders and had read about the possible healing effects this current superfood could have on leaky gut. Curious, I started to take a small amount every day. Soon, I noticed an improvement in my digestion and in my skin. An improvement in my skin was a huge deal, because chemotherapy had really done a number on the skin all over my body and I was struggling with painful peeling on the palms of my hands, flaky painful peeling on my face and dry skin on my cheeks that even the heaviest moisturizer couldn't do anything about. And now... all gone!

The way I drink this powder these days is by making a morning tonic of a packet of Four Sigmatic mushroom powder (I switch it up), collagen powder by Vital Proteins, a dollop of coconut butter, a little bit of raw honey to taste, and that's it! It's so easy, especially with one of these milk frothers to really mix it all up and incorporate the ingredients.

 

Every time I am going to feed my body, I do so with a lot of awareness and a lot of love. I am incredibly mindful of what feels good, and this is what has worked for me in these months while dealing with my diagnosis and finding healing. My hope in sharing this is that you will see, first of all, how sometimes when we follow our intuition it looks nothing like what we would have imagined! It might not even make a lot of sense to us intellectually, but let your higher self guide you and see what unfolds. If you are going through a difficult time, similar to mine or totally different, maybe some of what I am eating and using to heal my own body might help you. Maybe not! But in sharing I hope that it gives you a small nudge in the right direction for you.

Much love to you on your path!

xoxo