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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

"FALL IN LOVE WITH TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF"

 

The trees on my neighborhood street are utterly glowing with the reds and oranges of fall. I often find myself staring out the window or walking through the neighborhood, watching the leaves fall one by one.  

 


Nature's glow is similar to the inner glow that I feel at this time of year. The warming colors of orange, gold and crimson feel somewhat therapeutic.

 



For me, it's the little moments of presence and gratitude that makes the season of Fall so majestic. 



So today, in the spirit of the changing seasons and the majesty of watching nature let go, I thought we could take a little stroll together through the fall leaves, looking at some of the important qualities of the changing season that can lend themselves to our strength, vitality and nourishment.  



In this week's episode of SATIATE {my new podcast}, you will find some supportive and inspiring tips to bring with you as you stroll through the fall leaves towards your health and happiness:
 

  • Learn the energetic qualities of Fall

 

  • Listen to some recommendations around how to best nourish yourself at this time of year.

 

  • Deepen you understanding of Fall's complimentary organ: how to take the best care for immunity, strength and optimal health.

 

  • Check out some of my favorite self-care and nourishment practices for this season.

 


 




AND/OR


 



Interested in more?  Our upcoming retreat, EAT. BREATHE. NOURISH. in Nosara, Costa Rica (November 8-15th) is a deep dive into the wisdom of our bodies, our authentic relationships to food, health, happiness, and how to fine-tune this relationship with baby steps, practice, gentleness and growth. We have a few spots left.  View all the details HERE.


I hope these reflections help you on your quest, and if you have any comments, thoughts, questions, or anything to add, feel free to reply.  I love hearing from you. 

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

"THE AUTHENTIC SELF IS THE SOUL MADE VISIBLE"

SARAH BREATHNACH

 


For me, fall is a beckoning to nourish, tend to myself, turn inward, and let go. Following the currents of nature in all her forms has always been one of my most supportive guidance systems.


The seasons and cyclical rhythms of nature help me in governing how I move through my life, my eating, and my daily practice. Nothing feels more wise, whole and informative to me.  
 

Shifting our relationship to food and our bodies is a windy road, one where we can find ourselves lost, with no cell phone reception.


There were many times in my life when I was very confused about my eating.


One that stands out was circa 2001. Ironically, I was immersed in my masters program, studying nutrition – a typical time to get confused. The majority of my studies took place during what I referred to as my nap time empire, back in the day when naps still existed in my house.


I remember a very specific moment while sitting at my desk, Ari tucked away for a nap and Elijah down the street at pre-school: As I eagerly leafed through yet another nutrition book on my required reading list, I noticed that this very book contradicted the previous one.  


After sitting in this new confusion for a while, thinking to myself: "Which one am I going to pick? What will I suggest to my soon to be clients? How do I stand by one way, when there are so many?"


Weeks passed while I was stuck on this crux and it meant everything to me. Eventually, a truth struck me in one grand AHA moment:  "I don't have to choose.  Everyone has their own needs, wants and desires. There is no one way. My job is to support folks to find their way."


I know it may sound overly simplified now and I will admit those were some very sleep deprived days for me, but today I continually see this epidemic happening all around me.  


I sit in my office day after day with folks who are utterly confused. Many are choosing an eating style based on what their spouse, best friend, favorite magazine or yoga teacher is talking about. 

 


Yes, sometimes it works... but sometimes it really doesn't.  




Eating and nourishing ourselves has become one of the most complicated and confusing things we do in today's world – especially when we add in our busy, fast-paced lifestyles and the one way is the way approach that so much of the modern media is implying. 


Often we are left with guilt or hunger or exhaustion or just plain hopelessness.


I am sure, if you are like most of us, you have tried a few different things in your foodie life, as have I.  


So today, I thought we could shed some light on things that I find to be helpful in this conversation.


Here is a glance at some of the realizations I have had along the way, through my own insight, but also through observing hundreds of eaters with every kind of history under the sun, in my private practice, Boulder Nutrition.

 

These touchstones are reminders here because they are setting the table for our personal artistry of living (and eating) a soulful and pleasurable life, with our authenticity forging a new path.

 

 

Implementing authentic eating as practice is a healing tool for our health, our body image and our pleasure possibilities.

 

Living this way may look very different for each of us, as we are each totally unique and individuated in our expression of authenticity in our lives and in our eating. There is no exact formula for this genuine expression, but rather a gentle honoring in how it manifests and is embodied in each of us.  We may have to clear some cultural and social beliefs about how we think we should be, to then make space for how we truly arewith our authenticity and primal wisdom leading the way.

 

Soulful Superfood #1:

The Why's

When we flow with our natural rhythm, we create personal freedom.

 

The more we feel into the elemental cycles around us, present for all life forms on the planet, the more we can ride the waves and rhythms in ourselves. This knowing is embedded in our true nature, our cellular DNA and our innate animal wisdom.

 

Our authentic rhythms are like a current of knowledge that is already within us. We can tap in at any time.  When we allow ourselves to flow with our natural currents, we begin to see our rhythms as a gift, as spiritual freedom and as our truest nature.

 

For example, as women, our female cycles are our road map to our own empowerment and to the sacred feminine. Each of the four seasons is reflected in the bodily cycles (moon cycle) we experience each month. By tuning into our cycles of body and earth, we are able to watch the shape shifting of our energy, our sensuality, our cravings, and our pleasures and tend to them with care and devotion.

 

Within our primal and animal feminine intelligence, when we return with reverence to the natural cycles of body and earth as our primary guidance system, over time we can soothe and remedy our lives – including our moon cycle and our monthly hormonal balance our eating, and our personal care.

 

We don't have to pick one eating style or commit to one way. We can flow, groove and evolve our eating to match the other aspects of our lives.  Our eating can become fluid, freeing, and attuned with our bodies, minds and souls.

 

As we become more balanced and authentic in our eating, our renewed relationship to food and our bodies will cultivate a higher inner awareness.  We will begin to trust our (wise) cravings and make choices that are strengthening, comforting and health promoting.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #2:

The How's

I know this approach works for me personally because it feels like a great big exhale in my body.

 

As I mentioned, we all have to find our way.  I can only truly speak from my own personal experience on this one, even though I have heard many many testimonials from my clients and my online community.  

 

So when we talk about how this has worked for me, it feels like it is not even a choice at this point. My emotions surely play a big role in my appetite, my blood sugar screams loudly when not attended to, my hormones have some pretty specific requests and my creativity and inspiration in creating food, eating food, sharing food, and teaching about food are being downloaded on a daily basis.  

 

So, when I sit and breakdown how to practice authentic eating step by step, here is what comes:

 

Find a method that supports your mind-body connection

One of the most valuable tools we can hone as an eater is our mind-body connection. Building this connection is a healing tool for both our body confidence and our creating interoceptive awareness.  Our mind-body connection increases both our sensitivity to sensorial experiences in the body as well as the perception of these signals.  

There are many ways to fine-tune our mind-body connections.  Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Incorporate downtime for reflection and rest (electronic free) each day.
  • Spend some time in nature each week.
  • Practice an awareness art such as yoga, meditation, reflective journalling, tai chi, or forest bathing,
  • Create a consistent morning ritual, intention practice or gratitude practice. (even if you only have 5 min)

 

HONOR YOUR PHYSICAL HUNGER

There is a big difference between our physical hunger and our emotional hunger.  Our emotions don't have a stomach, so they can never be truly hungry or truly be satiated.  When we take a moment to check in with our body's physical hunger cues we often get a more authentic answer.  This takes a little practice.  

Stop.  Pause. Take a deep breath.  Place your hand on your stomach.  

Ask the question:  "What are you hungry for?"

If the answer has nothing to do with food (i.e.  you need a hug, a good cry, or a nap) give yourself permission to listen.

 

Slow down + LEARN WHAT FEELING SATIATED MEANS FOR YOU

Feeling full vs feeling satiated are two very different things.  In fact, the most common reason for overeating is due to not being satiated.  When were are eating out of balance for our unique bodies and our unique metabolisms, it is very hard to feel satiated.  

Satiation occurs when we are meeting our physical needs for protein, fat, and carbs, as well as taking the time and space to eat slowly and mindfully.  

{A recent study showed when eating in front of the TV, humans are known to eat up to 50% more food per meal. }

We can't navigate our hunger and satiation cues when we are distracted, checked out, or rushed.

Satiation can also mean personal fulfillment.  When we are more satiated in our daily lives, our relationships, our jobs, and our free time, we will find a more easeful relationship with our eating.

 

learn your Metabolic Type

How you feel after a cup of really strong coffee, or a sugary treat may be very different than me. How you feel after a grass fed piece of steak or a yummy bowl of vegan lentil soup might be very different than your sister.

We all have such unique body chemistries, sensitivities, likes or dislikes, histories, hormonal balances/imbalances and metabolisms that with any investigation it would only make sense that food will react in our bodies in different ways.

We can fine-tune our diets to match our unique bodies, our goals for our health, and how we want to optimize our personal metabolism and energy. 

Metabolic typing is the very complete and science based system that I use to learn how to customize nutritional needs for the individual.  This information gives us a "recipe" for how to fuel our unique body chemistries – to feel more satiated, energized, and nourished.

 

RESPECT YOUR BODY

Food is often used as a way to punish or reward ourselves (or both).  We tell ourselves we "deserve" it, when in reality the act of binging on potato chips leaves us feeling worse than when we started.  We find ourselves eating our emotions, stuffing our feelings with food, or numbing ourselves and our suffering with sugar.  

Respecting out bodies with our eating involves feeding ourselves in a way that leaves us energized, uplifted, inspired, satiated, and loved.  

 

TAP INTO THE CYCLES OF NATURE

The cycles of nature act as a wonderful backdrop for eating.  Each season is fresh with it's customized goodies, it's flavors, and it's energetics.  Within the seasons, nature goes through everything on the spectrum – from full bloom to death and decay. These are the pulsations of life.

According to Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, each season comes with a unique energetic quality, nourishment, complimentary organ, emotion and action. Synchronizing with each season’s expression is like medicine for the body, mind and soul.  

Your authenticity lies in your primal animal being which is and always has been nature.  

 

practice: The way out is always in

Take inventory and care of your inner landscape. Rather than avoiding a situation, a feeling, or a truth (which often turns into acting out in our eating) allow the space, time, and reality of the situation to move through you completely. The uncomfortable feelings will pass. Strong feelings are intimidating and even scary at times, but they also have a habit of sticking around until we face them.

We are a culture that often looks outside of ourselves for the answers. While I am a firm believer in getting the support I need, I have also found that even asking two different friends, therapists, or sisters for the same advice can lead with two very different suggestions (even opposites). Include asking yourself for advice. You know the answers. Only you know what is best for you and what aligns with you.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #3:

Reflections from the Yoga of Eating Retreat

 

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Here is a beautiful interpretation of how our authentic eating and living can really impact our health and overall life experience through the eyes of one of our Yoga of Eating retreaters. This (spontaneous) share is so beautiful and appreciated.

"On our retreat, women come from all over the country, varying in age by about 40 years. Everyone had unique reasons for coming, but despite all our different backgrounds and current life affairs, we all had some a similar goal. We all wanted to find a way to relax and find balance in our relationship with food and our bodies, by allowing ourselves this time away from everything else.
It’s sad to recognize that most of us feel pretty inadequate much of the time. There are so many demands that just pile up and up and up….it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit lost. The thing that really hit me during our talks was that we are all dealing with this same, deep burden in different ways. For some of us it’s eating disorders, for others, it’s over-working to the point of depression and exhaustion. Some of us might be able to function in the day-to-day just fine, but there is a lingering feeling that something is missing.
Taking a deeper look at our authentic feelings and how they relate to our eating patterns is totally eye-opening. We might choose to stuff ourselves with food due to a struggle with communication, by using our mouths to push everything down, instead of getting feelings out. We may use food as a shield, to hide from the world under extra weight. We may crave certain types of foods for comfort or as a distraction because we don’t know how to sit with an uncomfortable emotion.
The great news is that acknowledging these unhealthy habits is the first step towards turning them around. Being in a group of women sharing their hearts like this really makes you realize you’re not alone – we all have our shit. We all have issues. It’s how you decide to handle them that matters and nothing is set in stone.
At one point during the weekend Sue brought up the idea of flavors and how they relate to feelings or emotions. For example, spicy foods can evoke warmth and passion, and we often turn to sweet foods for comfort and love. This hit me like a lightning bolt. I realized that some days I feel like I’m giving the world 110%, I’m trying my very best to be loving and kind, but I don’t feel like the world is giving that back to me. Days like this really stress me out and get me down, and I find myself looking for comfort in sweets.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth in general and I don’t need to feel a bit blue to get a hankering. But, after really thinking about this concept for a while it makes sense that those cravings become much stronger on the days I’m in need of a little extra comfort.
Ailsa Cowell
Food to Feel Good
 

 


 

Join us for our next immersion illuminating the self-care, yogic, and food-centric aspects of the feminine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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