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!

3 SIMPLE TIPS TO DAILY MINDFULNESS

Happy Mindful Monday! It’s been awhile since I have posted something for mindful Monday, and I miss it!

I do my best to practice mindfulness each day, because it keeps me grounded and is so good for my mental health. It’s also because staying present and mindful can be so hard in this world, and I never want to look back on my life and wish I had been more mindful. BUT I am definitely not perfect at being mindful every moment of every day, but it’s so important to me that I am aware and that it is something I work on!

3 tips to make daily mindfulness easy

  1. Start the day with 1-3 different intentions. These intentions should not be your to-do list. You may have seem my monthly intentions that I post on Instagram, and some of them are tasks I wish to complete. For my daily intentions, I like to write things more like this: take 3 deep breaths every time I remember, meditate before bed, make myself a cup of tea, etc.
  2. Put your phone away. You can’t ever be in the present moment with your phone in your face, not fully. And I am not saying that you need to ditch your phone all day, or forever, or anything. Just a realistic break at least once a day from your phone and other distractions. Take this time to be totally present in whatever is going on in the moment, and soak it all in. It feels so good! Another tip to try with your phone is to follow social media accounts that uplift you, and make you feel good. If ever you see something that makes you feel bad about yourself, or your life, click unfollow!
  3. End each day with 3 things you are grateful for, or that went well that day. This helps you reflect on the day and even start to notice these things throughout the day. I feel like some days are a whirlwind, so this reflection exercise helps bring some mindfulness and gratitude to each night.

I would love to see your intentions, gratitude lists, and everything you are doing to be mindful each day! Tag me in your posts and use the hashtag #mindfulwithchels 
 

 

CYCLE SYNCING

Cycle syncing is something I have been long interested in. It’s something you have probably seen me talking about on Instagram if you follow me there. But what is it exactly? And why should you be doing it?

Over the years I have gone through hell and back with my cycles. I started learning about cycle syncing when my husband and I were first trying to get pregnant about 4 years ago. I was using natural family planning to get pregnant, and really liked the idea of cycle syncing too, but I was honestly not that good at sticking to any of those practices in the long run.

This year, I heard about the app My Flo and had to try it out. It has helped me learn so much more about cycle syncing, and helped me stick to it. I highly recommend getting the app (and actually getting in the habit of utilizing it!).

So what is cycle syncing?

Cycle syncing is essentially syncing our daily lives with our cycles. Our bodies require different needs at every cycle phase, and it is so important to learn about these phases and practice cycle syncing.

If you think about the phases of your cycle, they are all so different, they change your hormones, how you feel, everything. They are ever-flowing, always continuing, always changing. This is feminine energy. Cycle syncing is all about embracing this in your day-to-day life, rather than fighting it as most of us tend to do.

For example: so many of us make a strict routine for ourselves, and we get upset when we do not or cannot stick to it. Like, exercise. Always doing the same things, working hard, and never tuning in to what your body may actually need that day.

It’s okay, we have all been there.

There are four phases of your cycle:

  • Follicular
  • Ovulation
  • Luteal
  • Menstrual

 

Cycle Syncing in the Follicular Phase

This is a great time for:

  • brainstorming
  • creativity
  • fermented foods
  • new exercise routines!

During this phase, I like to do a lot of my writing. I drink all the kombucha, and I usually end up having a dance party with my toddlers.

Cycle Syncing in the Ovulation Phase

During ovulation it is great to:

  • open up in communication
  • do some high-intensity workouts
  • eat raw veggies

I cycle sync my ovulation by working on collaborations, and if I am feeling up to it I will do some HIIT. Because I have PCOS, my ovulation phases can be really painful and sometimes I don’t feel up for a hard work out. I listen to my body and I will do some yoga or go for a light walk. I also load up on all the raw veggies, usually lots of carrots, celery and hummus. Oh, and salads! I always have a lot of salads!

Cycle Syncing in the Luteal Phase

This is a good phase for:

  • tackling your to-do list
  • strength training
  • leafy greens.

I am always finding myself wanting to do everything I have been thinking of doing in this phase. I always have a lot of motivation to get ish done! I love strength training, and I focus on it a lot during this phase. I loving leafy greens, and I eat them all the time. But eating extra during this time helps keep the sugary cravings at bay, so I eat kale chips, and put spinach/kale/arugula/etc. in everything I make!

Cycle Syncing in the Menstrual Phase

This a good time to:

  • evaluate the past month as a whole. What worked for you, and what did not, and so on.
  • Eat protein
  • It’s perfectly okay to consider a nap or a rest as your exercise for this time! If you feel up for something, I suggest a really gentle (maybe even short) yoga sequence, or a really light walk.

For me, every other menstrual phase is really brutal. During the really rough phase, I rest. I take extra care of my body, and try to keep myself as comfortable as possible. I also allow myself a treat if I want it, and that’s okay. When I am having an easier (easier for me, I should say!) cycle, I will do some yoga, and walking.

Through cycle syncing I have learned so much more about my body and my cycles. It has also helped me not only understand my PCOS more, but also treating it. To help make cycle syncing easy, I use the My Flo app on my phone. It gives me updates, helps me track my cycle, and more. It’s really helped me get in tune with my body this year, and I am so grateful. I highly recommend it! It’s $1.99 in the app store, and I think it is safe to say it’s the best 2 dollars I have spent.

You can also ease into cycle syncing, I did! Start out slow by incorporating some foods into your diet that are specific to your current phase. Then try changing up your workout routine, and so on. You will probably ed up like me: in love with how in tune you become to your body, feeling great, and obsessed with cycle syncing. It eventually becomes second nature.

To help make cycle syncing even easier (seriously the MyFlo app is SO helpful and informative!) you can make these “cycle syncing note cards.” Here are some super simple instructions as well:


  •  Cut a piece of card stock paper into four equal squares
  • Write one phase of each four phases on each paper
  • Write down a few simple reminders to do during that phase (for example: ovulation phase I wrote down HIIT, eat raw veggies and fruits, be communicative)
  • Hang it somewhere you will see it every morning for a reminder to cycle sync your day!


Make sure you are following me on Instagram, where I will be sharing even more about cycle syncing!

I would love to know, do you cycle sync?