MY INTUITIVE EATING JOURNEY

Okay, first of all I know many of you are wondering…

what is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is literally the opposite of a “diet” mindset. It’s looking at food in a much more positive light.

With a “diet” mindset the relationship is often unhealthy and people see food as rewards and punishments. Which is not a healthy way to look at food! FOOD IS FOOD. period.

Intuitive eating (also mindful eating) is asking yourself “what food does my body need right now for nourishment” rather than “what does my body need right now to look (insert adjectives such as thin or skinny).” It’s creating a healthy relationship with your food because you are seeing it as the nourishment that you need and appreciating the value that it gives. It’s really listening to your body and taking the time to eat what feels right at that time without judgement. And that might look different from day-to-day, and that is okay!

It’s stopping the thoughts of “I can’t eat anything ever but when it’s cheat day I can and will eat everything I have wanted all week/month” and starting to think “I can eat anything I want any day, anytime.” You are choosing nourishment, and seeking to find what your body wants and needs as opposed to what you think (or what someone else thinks!) is going to make you lose weight, get “fit,” be healthy… anything like that.

Simply put, intuitive eating should be you personally listening in on what your body is needing at a particular time. Being okay with that, and nourishing yourself properly. Finding your own personal balance, and living within the space that works for your without judgement.

For me, this also means eating without labels. And I am sure most of you are thinking “but you eat gluten-free, and dairy-free… so how are those not labels?”

What I mean is this: some of us have a food intolerance, or choose not to eat something for whatever reason (you don’t need to explain your choices!). That is of course fine! But I think it is important to not label myself and who I am BY they way that I eat or by the food that I am choosing to eat or not choosing to eat. To me it also means being okay with your diet changing, and being open to what your body needs. My diet changes with my cycles, with what sounds good or feels right to me. Sometimes I go through a period of eating no egg, but if I feel like having an egg I will have one.

I hope that makes sense.

It’s all about listening to what your body wants and doing what works best for you at any given time.

a small piece about my journey

As a teenager, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted. I want to be clear that this is not intuitive eating. It was not mindful. It was not listening to my body or what I needed at that time. I am pretty sure I lived off wheat toast, peanut butter, dairy, and pasta. Not very healthy. And my body was not happy (but that is another story, for another time).

I really started listening to my body’s needs, and feeding myself what I needed. What my body was screaming out that it DIDN’T want. I quit eating dairy, quit being a vegetarian, and eventually quit gluten (among other things) when I learned more and more about what my body liked and did not like.

how can you start eating more intuitively?

I know it can sound complicated, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be. And honestly, it shouldn’t be. Listen to your body, tune in to how you feel before and after you eat. If you are having some problems and thing you have something going on, you an always seek help or start a food journal to track how your body reacts to certain foods.

5 tips to start TODAY

  1. start a food journal including how you feel after eating each thing
  2. before you eat, ask yourself if you are really hungry, then ask yourself what you are hungry for. what nourishment does your body need? protein? healthy fats? veggies? raw or cooked? TUNE IN to what your body is needing
  3. ladies, start CYCLE SYNCING and eating intuitively by what cycle you are on. I also have these DIY cycle syncing cards to help remind you what you need to do and eat during each phase
  4. stop judging yourself by what you eat. find a balance that works for you, and do not compare it to others. our bodies are different, our lives are different, so what we eat and when may differ and that. is. okay.
  5. eat what makes you feel GOOD. i don’t mean eat chocolate all day every  day because you love it. i mean eat the food that makes you feel energized, healthy, and overall amazing. and then let yourself have the chocolate without judgement on occasion because your balance will make your relationship with food happier than ever.

How was all that ranting? If you read through all the Chels rambling, good for you babe! You are ready to start eating intuitively and begin a healthy and positive relationship with food.

For more, be sure you’re following along at my instagram!

EASY RAW GLUTEN FREE VEGAN CAKE POPS

You may have seen on my Instagram that we recently celebrated our daughters fourth birthday! She loves cake pops, so I wanted to create some that were a little more health conscious, while also leaving out the foods that we have issues with in our house (gluten, dairy, eggs).

while I think these are a healthier option compared to a traditional cake pop, and they are free from refined sugars, they do have maple syrup and dates. But they are a better choice than other recipes and certainly better than store bought!

I think you guys are going to really like this recipe. when I posted a photo of them on stories, you wouldn’t believe how many replies I got asking for the recipe!

They are:

easy to make

only 8 simple ingredients

made with REAL foods

refined sugar free

sweet and satisfying

soft and chewy

and absolutely a hit at parties!

I hope you love these. Remember to use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram so I can see your creations!

healthier cake pop recipe

2/3 c soft, pitted dates

1 c almond flour

1 1/2 sprouted walnuts

1 t almond extract 

1/4 c coconut oil

1/4 c coconut butter 

1/2 t pink salt

1/4 c maple syrup

“icing”

1/3 c melted coconut butter 

1/4 c melted, and cooled coconut oil

1/2 T maple syrup

optional: beet root powder for color

Add everything except icing ingredients into a blender or food processor, and mix until you have a semi-doughy texture.

roll into balls and pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. take out and stick a cake pop stick in them. put back in the freezer.

add all your icing ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. dip or drizzle over cake pops. store in the freezer, or fridge if you are going to eat them quickly!

13 tips to eat clean on a budget

I get asked all the time for tips on how to feed a family healthy within a budget. It’s probably one of my most frequently asked questions! It can feel overwhelming and for some people, almost impossible to feed a whole family healthy on a budget. Especially if that budget has no wiggle room or is fairly tight.

There are several ways you can save money on groceries, but we do prioritize our food budget over anything else. However, I understand that some families simply cannot o that, so I am going to divide these tips into two categories: the first are tips I personally use for my own family, and the second are tips I suggest to people who really want to find a way to make clean eating fit within their current budget. This is great for anyone who is switching to eating clean and organic.

1. MEAL PLAN & USE INGREDIENTS YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND

This will also help you waste less food, which is something I love as I hate food waste! Every week when I meal plan and prep, I am sure to use the items we already have. Especially produce, so it doesn’t go bad. If there is ever something I know I am not going to use, I will cook and freeze it for another time, or to use for smoothies.

2. PURCHASE DRIED BEANS

Buying organic dry beans is so much cheaper (and healthier!) than canned or boxed. This way you can also sprout or soak them, making them easier to digest. You can even find organic beans and lentils in bulk!

3. BUY PRODUCE IN SEASON- OR FROZEN

I stick to what is in season almost always. That means I don’t typically buy fresh berries in the winter, so I opt to buy them frozen!

4. BUY IN BULK

Buying organic goods in bulk is a huge money saver! I also do a large portion of my shopping at Costco because they have great prices on bulk organic items and produce.

5. Make a list

Don’t head to the store without a plan! That can lead to you buying things you don’t actually need, or forgetting items an having to make extra small trips to the store, which will often mean you go outside of your budget.

6. Set a budget and stick to it

Figure out what kind of budget works for your family. I always hear people talking about how much they spend a month, but I suggest setting a weekly grocery budget. I find it easier and more realistic.

7. Make some things yourself

If you have the time, making some things homemade can safe a lot of money. Plus, homemade anything is way yummier than store bought, right?!

8. Shop once a week

Shopping and budgeting for one week at a time is a system that works great for me, and I highly suggest it!

PART TWO

1. Cut back on packaged goods

you can buy a lot of that stuff in bulk, too.

2. Don’t shop hungry

I will be honest and say I do this WAY too often and end up leaving with packaged bars or things like that.

3. Use the dirty dozen list, if you need to

The dirty dozen is great for people just switching to organic, or for people who can’t afford to shop 100% organic, because let’s face it, it’s expensive af.

4. Buy items that are on sale, and plan a few meals around that

If you planned to eat brussels sprouts, but get to the store and see the broccoli is a better price, switch to the cheaper priced veggie. Things like that.

5. Track as you go

Keep track of your spending as you shop so you keep yourself accountable on where you are at! I have seen people tracking on a notepad as they go, which I think is a great idea!

 

I would love to hear what your tips for eating healthy on a budget are. What things do you do that works for you and your family? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!