Eating by Instinct

Good morning!  I trust you have been pacing yourself in the food intake department leading up to the big day where food combinations never before tried this year, will be discovered!  I was speaking with some patients this week about the ease with which we lose the ability to determine a healthy food from a less healthy food when we start a cascade of eating poorly.

It goes without saying that this time of the year is a black hole of mindless deliciousness when it comes to food spreads - the temptations are everywhere and you can simply lose your natural innate skill on choosing healthy foods once the combining of certain dietary delights are enjoyed.  I call it Food Insanity.

It is commonly the combination of foods that create the challenge, not so much the individual foods themselves (mostly).  A pavlova for example is a perfect representation of this dilemma - a mountain of egg white and sugar layered with cream and fruits can make for a tricky enzyme selection for your digestive system.  Once that complexity of carbohydrates, proteins and fats enter the body, the rebound a day or so later can be nothing short of a post hangover recovery in your body...and what foods do you tend to go for in a hangover?

As this cascade of rebound food selection takes hold, the thought of breaking it with a raw salad, vegetable juice or alkalising nutrients is often far from your mind - but something has to pull you up or come March of 2014 - you are 5-10kg heavier, unhappier and less motivated to move your body.

Losing an instinct to eat healthy foods is dangerous territory - it sits subconsciously somewhere in the middle of accepting that low levels of energy are normal and age related symptoms like joint pain as being the status quo from here on in.  In the past 5 years, since eating for my instinct - my knees make less noise going down stairs and squatting and my energy reserves bounce back way faster - I am fitter as well.  So let's get back to eating by instinct, choosing foods that are easy to digest and nutrient rich - even over Christmas you can achieve this - here are my tips for getting it done:

1.  Instead of a banquet of foods plopped on the table with massive 30 cm diameter plates to eat from - consider a 5-7 course degustation where smaller portions over a longer time are enjoyed on side plates.  Serve the carbs first with greens between each savoury meal. This allows for complexities of foods to be enjoyed in smaller quantities which gets the enzyme order in check throughout the dining experience...and its cool to say the word 'degustation'.

2.  Before you start drinking, pop some liver herbs and a probiotic formulae in to help your system process alcohol completely and well - all reports (and my own experiments he he) tell me that this is a winner when it comes to curbing rebound foods!

3.  Keep the starchy vegetables at a minimum and most certainly separate them from the protein portion (meat, fish, turkey etc).

4.  Don't drown your enzymes with liquids when you are eating - small sips, alternating with lemon and water or apple cider vinegar in water can effectively alkalise your body between stages of eating.

5.  Take a mental note on the foods already consumed that day - does this next meal need to be loaded up or could you get by on a  small salad and lean meat instead.  Carbohydrate rich foods will commonly contribute to sluggishness before your body can use it for energy.

6.  If you are on a roll with events because of your incredible magnetism and people skills, definitely have some powdered greens in water or a fresh vegetable juice as a snack or small meal to alleviate the load.  A social butterfly like you needs to keep the engine running!

7.  Spend time using your senses with your foods before devouring it like a Savannah bound cheetah - this helps your digestive system fire up chemistry to break food down really well.  The sight, smell and small initial tastes of food is a brilliant way to control your eating impulses.

8.  As with point 7 - also eat slowly to allow for the chemistry to catch up.  Often we miss the innate cues from our nervous system when we eat fast - this is often the case if you are struggling with persistent weight problems, digestive discomfort and comfort eating.  Slow it right down, allow your saliva to liquefy the food before you swallow and keep tools down until the current mouthful has left the (stomach) building like an Elvis impersonator in Vegas.  GONE!

Remember - Christmas is a time for giving - make sure your give your body a tap on the shoulder to recall its natural state and as a general rule - eat less, not more.

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe re-entry into the New Year. Thank you for hanging in here to read my pieces, and also a great big thanks for your feedback - I love that my healthy messages are fun and easy to read for you...every little bit counts!  Take care - Nicky

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