Why Intuitive Eating is Making Me Sad

 Contrary to what the title suggests I like Intuitive Eating. No, scratch that, I’m absolutely fond/smitten/insert other excited exclamation here of this concept. We’ll get to my point in a minute.

And who isn’t? Look around the blog world and you’ll see dozens, hundreds, thousands of people singing the praises of this wonderful revolutionary trend. This amazing new concept that finally frees them from food worries and restriction. We’re finally allowed to eat just what we want again. Heureka! Oh and have I told you about how I intuitively ate a cupcake today yet? Yes, really, just wait for it …

Intuitive eating

Stop! That’s what is making me sad. We – myself included – are getting excited about exploring the joys of intuitive eating. We eat when hungry. Listen to our cravings. Stop when full. Only: it’s not new. It’s the oldest way of eating around. Dating from way before the first weight loss diets were invented. The way our grandparents ate. And their parents. What we do is get back to our original state. The way we were born.* The way of eating that was stolen from us by the confusing messages sent out by magazines. Blogs. Nutrional experts. Certain doctors. …

*granted, I don’t feel I ever ate truly intuitively but this is part of my own story I have yet to share.

What is making me sad is that millions of women  [and men!] have lost touch with their intuition.

What is making me sad is that we even need a term to describe the way of eating we were born to have. [That being said intuitve eating does sound a lot fancier and upscale than ‘normal’ eating so I’ll roll with it.]

What is making me sad is that we marvel at people who eat intuitively. It shouldn’t excite us but be something we do without even thinking. Just like walking. Brushing your hair. Washing your hands.

What is making me sad is that we’re willing to pay a good amount of cash for programs helping us get back to that state of mind and acting. This isn’t shunning any of these programs because while I haven’t tried them myself yet I know they worked wonders for some/many people and that’s great. The sad aspect is the fact we even need those programs.

Vapiano

Our intuition is built in like a cars engine but was since replaced with worries about calories. Doubts about which diet we should follow. Is it okay to eat x amount of sweets per day? Is gluten/sugar/fruit the devil? A whole industry is built on the fact that we’re completely confused in terms of an essential human need: food. Eating.

Why am I, why are we having such a hard time shutting out the blubber of magazines and social media and simply listen to [and trust!] our inner voice. It has no intention of harming us which I think can we’re righteously doubtful about with certain magazines …

Where does all of this rambling out loud leave me? Am I never going to mention Intuitve eating again? Far from it. Finding my way back to normal and at that intuitive eating and living is still my goal in recovery. Lost connection with your intuition? Start reconnecting. Today. It’s not easy but worth reclaiming.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The sun. Talking to a friend about potential summer holiday plans (!). Editing another family member’s work.

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No questions for you today. Just your thoughts on the issue or experiences.

It’s been too long [traveling and a decision]

Take the title of today’s Thinking out loud and the post itself in a two-fold manner. For once, it’d been way too long since my last trip to Berlin. And on the other hand, I’ve finally made a commitment that took me even longer than packing up my bags to head to the capitol again. I’d better start explaninig  before I’m loosing your attention at this point already. So either way: If you’re not interested in recovery rambles [it’s okay, we can still be friends] I’ll throw in some of the [half a bazillion] pictures I took on my visit to this wonderful city.

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

 Like I mentioned before my recent travels have been much appreciated breaks from my daily grind and also helped me stress less about food. What especially my trip to Berlin did, though, was give me that final push to take a cue from Julia. If you’ve been reading for a while already you’ll have seen the many posts about recovery in my good good links. Every single one of them was further encouragement to work on recovery – yet I still found myself stuck in some state of quasi-recovery. Not delving into it and letting go of all my worries.

Maaay and bits of June 015

During the past years of writing this blog I’ve made huge progress in my recovery that I tend to overlook at times fbut luckily I have people reminding me of it. Yet I’m still far from where I want to be: Living a happy and intuitive life.

Maaay and bits of June 049

What was I or – knowing I’m not the only one here –  are we waiting for? We will never feel 100 per cent sure about anything. No doubts whatsoever. Ready to dive heads-on into the unknown. No, it’s not going to happen. Or maybe one per cent of all humans can – lucky if you’re part of that minority. For the remainder of us it’s really about getting fed up with our situation and wanting to change. And long story short: I want to change things.

houses_Berlin

What was or is, really, still holding me back? Several reasons, actually and I’d be writing a short novel if I was to list all of them. Some are:

The fear of loosing all control. That’s a huge one. Have you ever wondered why those weight loss plans promising to loose x pounds in y weeks sell so well when you could just  loose weight slowly but steadily by eating mindfully? Because they make a promise of control. Weight gain, on the other hand, is not predictable.

Similarly, weight loss is cheered on by society and the media while weight gain is by far not [considered] glamorous. This needs to change. If you’re [probably severely so] underweight there’s nothing happy or admirable about that and weight gain is indeed something to encourage – and celebrate.

Old habits die hard. Counting, Measuring. Stressing about exercise or lack thereof. It’s not easy to break the cycle.

The belief that I’m that rare unicorn.  [This post is already getting too long so click over there for an in-depth explanation].

Maaay and bits of June 065

I know what skinny feels like and I don’t want to experience any of this anymore. I’m craving freedom. Happiness. Just living life and not planning 384550 things ahead to make sure I know what I’ll be doing/eating/how and when I’ll be exercising. Just typing it all out exhausts me and again: I’m sure others can relate.

Maaay and bits of June 070

If you’ve made it this far in today’s post: thanks for reading! My intention was to be open, maybe encourage others in the same situation and make myself accountable. Inspired by Julia, Alexa and many others I’m currently working my way up to intuitive eating along the lines of Minnie Maud. I’m not expecting this to be easy – is recovery ever? – but worth it. There’s too much proof of this to stay stuck any longer. Amanda is another huge inspiration – even if she didn’t formally follow Minnie Maud she’s been encouraging me to let go of control – and also travel! – about a million times before.

Maaay and bits of June 037

Oh and to end this on a non-recovery note: If you haven’t been to Berlin before you absolutely need to go. Whenever I visit this city it amazes me anew each time. There’s so much to see, do and explore that I’ve come to the solution I need to move there one day. Now that’s some good recovery motivation, don’t you think?! [and there I failed at truly ending on a non-recovery note …]

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Riding my bike back home from the store, up a small hill and all of the sudden being flashed by bright warm sunlight. It made me smile. Big time.
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No questions today but just your thoughts, questions, experiences – whatever. Or just share what has been making you happy lately.

 

Currently… June

Hello, hello and happy Monday!

Given I can’t deny the fact it’s already June any longer: why not chat a little about currents? It’s also been forever since I joined Katie’s Monday celebration and with some marvelous things in my life despite some hullabaloo I’m focussing on the happy happenings.

MiMM_new

 

Current book: It’s another month of two- [or even three-] timing it because there are too many books and too little time. Generally, I’ve really been into non-fiction lately and after Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink!’ [read it!] as recommended by Beth I’m now reading the German author Hans-Ulrich Grimm’s ‘Die Suppe lügt’ [‘The soup lies’]. Grimm is uncovering the [dirty] truths of the international food industry and the foods we eat. I wasn’t sure there’d be much I hadn’t heard of yet but trust me: there’s a lot more. Even just a few chapters in I already know this will be foundation for an extra blog post.

Current Music:  Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

If you’re German you might roll your eyes at this one but I’ve been recommending it to people overseas left and right so if that characteristic applies to you, too: Listen to it – and thank me later.

 

Current Guilty Pleasure: Giving unsolicited nutrition advice to my roommate. Not of the kind you might guess, though. Here’s the deal: my roommate is actually one of the best examples of intuitive eating I’ve seen so far and not caring about health claims and labels. However, she feels the constant need to apologize for and explain her eating habits thereby shunning her never-ending fondness of carbs. Really, this girl would never give up on her [white] pasta, potatoes or rice – it’s awesome. Maybe my current changing attitude towards food [see current triumph] is partly thanks to her? So I’ve been doing my best letting her know she’s perfectly fine and stopping the carb worries in track. Is that even a guilty pleasure???

Current Nail Color: Essie’s Madison Ave-hue.

Essie_Madison Ave-hue
It’s my latest by Essie and I’m really fond of this shade. Actually, it was my mum’s Easter gift to me. I saw it, needed it [obviously], bought it – and let her know she wanted to gift it to me. That’s what she gets for not buying me any Easter eggs.

 

Current Drink:  Bringing out mass mounts of the bubbly [read: mineral water]. Keeping it classy over here.

Water_glass

The colder months see my intake dimple but as soon as it gets warm I’m in.for more regular arm workouts carrying 1.5 litre-bottles to my apartment. I may or may not have ‘borrowed’ one of my roommate’s bottles recently because I didn’t feel like dragging those extra weights along when I returned from the store. At least I asked?!

Current Food:
Strawberries. Is anybody else particular about where they get theirs? Having Friday off for once last week I had the only chance to attend my favourite Farmers’ Market. While there are what seems to be like 293848 stalls offering the sweet berries I had my heart set on one without even trying a berry beforehand. And I was so so right.

Strawberries
Buckwheat honey. Another Farmers’ Market find and a first for me. After Amanda had been raving about it forever and I’d searched high and low in every store around I finally scored a jar. Unfortunately, the beekeeper I got it from told me it was a rare one and almost extinct over here. Say it isn’t so because it’s awesome and unlike any other honey I’ve tried before.

Last days of May 033

Current Wish List: Could time please stop flying by at lighting speed?! That’s all I can say for now. More on that to come once I have things sorted out a little more.

Current Needs: Another domicile – in the US. Or just a ticket to Blend. Does anybody still have room left in their suitcases?

Current Triumphs: Continuously getting better in my intuitive eating process and feeling freer when it comes to spontaneously cooking without needing to calculate all nutrients beforehand. More on that in upcoming WIAWs.

Current Bane of My Existence: Fruit flies and (!) ants. Nasty little beasts and one of the few downsides of warmer weather.

As if they looked that cute. On another note: does anybody remember the movie?

Current Blessing: Blends. Yes, it’s a repeat offender but some people deserve every extra mention.

Current Excitement:Warmer weather. No matter how often I ramble about German weather I’m not giving up hopes on summer yet. Because my roommate is a lying liar who lies.

And that would be a summer roll[-up] of my currents. Hmm, rolls … Sushi anyone ;)? It’s clearly time for me to go to bed.

Enjoy your Monday!

Happiness inducing today: A really delicious impromtu lunch reminiscent of an old favourite I haven’t had in forever.

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Tell me your current

a) book

b) food

c) triumph

d) wish list.

 

 

Good good links #21

Happy Sunday!

Coming off age – read: turning 21 [weeks] – requires some lasting and grown-up change, don’t you agree? This week happens to mark that very date for my link loving. I’d pondered creating a header for those link collection posts for a while already and this special occasion seemed like a great day to introduce it. The reason is that while by now all of you know my fondness of flowers I’ve found I prefer a more streamlined appearance of these kind of posts rather than changing pictures. That way you immediately know what to expect from any post and it also lets all of these fabulous posts from the week shine more. Because that’s what my Good good links are all about so without further ado: here are some of my favourites from the week.

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Is Intuitive Eating always a good thing? via the Real Life RD

Why Intuitive Eating might not be the right choice for you at the moment [but could be later].

Checking Myself to Wreck Myself via Cait plus Ate

One habit detrimental to recovery/self-confidence in general that is hard to let go off.

10 Things The World Can Learn From People With Disabilities via Huffington Post

Life lessons to learn on being different, stressing less about little annoyances and embracing life every day.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Worth the Weight via Snack Therapy

Totally worth the read. That’s all I have to say. [Note: No, Carli doesn’t pay me to share her posts. She’s just so perfectly spot on with her posts it’d be a shame not to.]

10 Tips For Receiving Criticism With Grace via Lissa Rankin

Great tips on reevaluating criticism and reacting differently or not letting it get to you too much.

21 Things You Should Throw Away Right Now via BuzzFeed

With the new year it’s time to clean up and get rid of some things long overdue discarding.

10 Awesome Life Changes That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight via Mind Body Green

Goals that aren’t about cutting out [food] but adding in [pleasure].

9 Ways to Be Productive Outside of Work via the Daily Muse

Great tips on how to make the most of your time every day by making small changes to your routine.

Good good [things to make you smile]

15 Unusual Animal Friendships That Will Melt Your Heart via Bored Panda

Major cuteness alert. I can’t even pick a favourite because all of them are

Fun facts about popular New Year’s resolutions [Infographic] via HellaWella

Setting more realistic goals might help sticking with them …

Good good [food]

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Bites via Healthy.Happy.Life

A winning combination to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Soft & chewy protein granola bars  via Running with Spoons

Great ingredients and the kind of recipe that might turn even me (!) into a snack bar fan.

The Big Vegan Bowl via Oh She Glows

All good things combined in a bowl – could it get any better?

Garlic Ginger Bok Choy via Apple of my Eye

One of my favourite vegetables turned into a simple, fresh and creative side dish.

Falafel Pie via hello, veggy

Chickpeas galore and an interesting spin on the traditional crust.

Cool Ranch Roasted Chickpeas via Vegan Yack Attack

Great snack for the next movie night.

 

Happiness inducing today: Great conversations with my mum.

 

How did your first full week back at work get along?

What were some of your favourite reads from the week?

 

When a binge turned into a blessing

When you’re reading this I’ll have gone back and forth between whether or not to post this for a while. My final decision to publish it came when I remembered how it have been just these kind of honest posts by other bloggers like Heather or Sarah helped me in terms of recovery. They made me feel understood, less alone in my struggles, realize it’s okay and not feel ashamed because I ‘slip up’ at times. That being said …

It’s time to talk about Christmas once more. Only not in the way I did before. While not lying when talking about Christmas before I focused on the marvelous parts of it leaving out the not-so-awesome happenings.  Because that’s life. We all know that life has its ups and downs but it’s up to each of us to make the good parts those we remember at the end of the day. Hence why I chose to highlight my favourite parts of Christmas, the ones I should remember when thinking about it later again  – the blessing and joy of spending time with my family – instead of grieving over the bumps in the road. The reason I’m bringing up one of the less stellar moments now is the lesson I learned from them which in itself holds a lot of positivity.

Fast forward to Christmas Day – the day of the amazing walk on the beach – we had the traditional cold dinner buffet at my grandma’s house. I truly love my grandma but these kind of dinners honestly don’t rank on my list of favourites. While I assume I enjoyed them a lot more years ago when I was still eating meat action they aren’t a taste experience these days. Beautifully arranged plates of vegetables, cheese, yogurt-based dressings and bread basically sum up the vegetarian fare. Probably not the most unsatisfying meal if you eat all of those. However – and yes, call me picky for this one – I know I’m someone who needs warm meals and when lunch is replaced by cake and cookies a dinner like this really doesn’t cut it for me. I’ve tried it numerous times before – only to notice it doesn’t. Adding to this ‘problem’ is trying to stick to vegan dishes when my fully vegan cousin’s around. Explaining the whole background here so I’ll just keep it to saying I added the additional pressure.

Remember me mentioning this not being a taste experience? This – among other occasions – was what I factored in when making my resolution to ‘Just live’. Breaking the day down it was actually about bonding with the family. The main memory and major happiness for me that day was feeling [and, yes, even exclaiming it aloud] joyful and blessed. For once not worrying about my future but living in the moment. And that’s what mattered.

Source

Despite what happened after dinner: I binged. Binged on the chocolate ice cream I’d restricted myself from because my cousin had been around and I kept telling myself I’d eaten enough treats before already. While I’d have rather done without the scenario above it helped me learn more about myself again. Going overboard on ice cream was a sign. Just when I started typing this post I remembered a passage from Intuitive Eating which I’ve been rereading during the past weeks. Though then referring to the use of food in a way to deal with emotions I feel it fits in this context, too. The authors call those sudden ‘slip-ups’  after eating normally for a while  “a strange gift”.

“Overating is a sign that  stressors in your life at that moment surpass the coping mechanisms that  you have developed. […] So, you revert back to eating as a familiar way to take care of yourself. […] When you find this happening, it may be a signal for you to reevaluate your life and find ways to put more balance into it.”

Interpreting it in the context of my experiences I assumed I’d eaten enough throughout the day only to see I hadn’t. So maybe, yes, it was a blessing my intuition came through taking care of the ‘issue’. We can’t learn if we don’t struggle. If I’d gone for a bowl of ice cream in the first place when the rest of the family was having it I’d likely have kept it to an ‘normal’ serving size instead of going overboard. And I’m not going to lie. There are still days  when I continue to ‘slip up’. In fact, I did again after the ice cream incident. That time, though, I already felt calm. let go and ate more knowing it was a sign I needed it.

It really is. Nobody said recovery was easy but I feel [and hope] that every of my struggles will serve as a learning experience and ultimately help me proceed on my way to recovery. Every step forward counts.

Happiness inducing today: My mum reassuring me on a work-related issue.

My [non-]resolutions for the new year

First and foremost: Happy New Year! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve with family, friends and fireworks. Oh, and food. Because there’s always food and it’s What I ate Wednesday so let’s talk about it a little more.

wiaw fall into a good new year

Out with the old, in with the new: While I haven’t made any real resolutions [yet?! – who says you can only resolve at the start of a new year?] I noticed some changes in the way I eat that I’d like to keep up in 2014. I haven’t talked about recovery on here in some time as I don’t want to focus on this alone on my blog. However, it’s the first What I ate Wednesday of the year meaning we’ll talk about food in anyway. So why not share some of the progress I’ve made during the last year? Additionally, there’s quite some backload of pictures from last year after taking some time off from blogging during the holidays.

Keep trying new foods and switching it up.

Strudel

Like my first [savoury at least] Strudel as part of a family dinner. Krautstrudel [cabbage strudel] with bell pepper cream sauce to be more specific. Getting my mum a vegan cookbook for Christmas I’d simulatenously gifted her to prepare a meal from it [clearly totally altruistically 😉 ]. In case you’ve ever prepared strudel pasty you know the works that goes into it … but totally worth it. Admittedly, the recipe called for store-bought phyllo pastry yet I couldn’t get it so subbed puff pastry and The whole family – this time involving not only my parents but my sister and her husband, too – raved how good it was. My dad’s only ‘complaint’ was that we [or just he?] could have done with a second strudel.

Altwiener Krautstrudel

There are already plans of another strudel appearing on the table soon – and on the blog afterwards, obviously. Overall, trying new dishes is important as I have a tendency to get stuck in ‘safe’ routines eating the same dishes over and over. Not like I didn’t enjoy them anymore. But life is only so long and boredom – be in with food or any other part of life – is just not desirable. Here’s to changing it up more often in 2014!

Enjoy meals with others.

Rotkohl_dinner

Christmas dinner was a meal completely prepared by my grandma and mum so I didn’t have any control over what went into the dishes. And I didn’t care. While I’d have liked to be involved in some kitchen action just for the fun of it and cooking for myself and others it was nice to just sit down to a great meal. Featured alongside my grandma’s Rotkohl which I can’t stop gushing about were potatoes and my mum’s first homemade seitan turned into a hearty hash.

dinner

‘Twas a lovely feast. In contrast to last year’s Christmas Eve dinner I was yet more relaxed and I didn’t fuss about vegetables completely lacking [the Rotkohl is on the sweeter side]. No prepping an extra side of them to fill up on but simply eating what everbody else had.

Just eat.

No labeling foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’.

Flips

[Note: I don’t always plate my snacks but in case you ever did you’ll know that even something as simple as chips tastes even better when making the extra effort. We’re worth it.]

No fretting over indulgences.

Christmas_cookies

 No fussing about macros. No ‘making up for it’ if I eat a little more just because it tastes good at times. Though I’d been randomly snacking around earlier, too, it’s only been during the last few months [or weeks?] that I relaxed more about them. Not trying to add them up or cut down on my intake at another point. It’s also the first time in years I’m keeping a bag of Erdnussflips [think peanut Cheetos] around – they’re a kind of trigger food for me so I hadn’t trusted myself around them before. Basically, I’m trying to eat more intuitively again. I’ve started re-reading the book sometime ago. Actually, though, it was because I’d already noticed some positive changes in my mindset and simply felt like refreshing the reminder that it’s all okay.* Because it really is: food and eating can be so simple if we don’t give it too much attention and …

most importantly:

Just live.

Just live_2014

No matter how awesome food is I don’t want to let it be something it isn’t. During the past years there were many opportunities I passed because I let food become the focus. My ‘plan’ for 2014 is to easen up, accept that there won’t always be the most incredible food offered at get-togethers or other chances to socialize. It’s truly the people that should matter most and that’s what I want to prioritize. Maybe I’ll still pass on some invitations – here’s to setting realistic goals – but even if I manage to get out a little more and embrace what life has on offer it’s progression.

* [I plan on posting about my thoughts on Intuitive Eating sometime soon.]

Happiness-inducing today: Heading out for the first walk in 2014 with my mum in a minute.

 

Did you set [non-]resolutions or goals for 2014?

What are some of your favourite memories from the past year?

What were your most memorable foodie moments? Just because it’s Wednesday and there has to be a food-related question, right?! [And maybe I’m curious.]