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Intuitive Eating Series: What is IE All About Anyways?

Welcome to Jess VanCleave Nutrition, the blog! Full disclosure that I was NOT a writing or English major in college so read with caution :) The main purpose of the blog side of my business is to provide you with insight into Health at Every Size, mindful and Intuitive Eating, and family feeding tips. I may throw some recipes in here as well because food is my love language.

I hope that if you are reading this post, it means that you have heard of Intuitive Eating (IE), or are curious as to what it is. Since the foundation of my practice is in IE and Health at Every Size (another blog post on that later), I thought some explanation as to what it is would be helpful! I am so excited to share some details of this valuable resource with you. This will be a 10-part blog series since there are 10 principles. This is by no means an exhaustive description of IE and I encourage you to get a copy of the book to really dive in and become your own intuitive eater.

Did you know that we were all born to eat intuitively? Seriously. Think about a baby when they drink milk. They cry when they are hungry, are hopefully fed (from the breast or the bottle) and then they push the breast or bottle away when they are full and satisfied. They aren’t calculating calories, feeling guilty for eating too much or stopping before they are full because someone told them they have had enough. Babies are intuitive eaters.

So, what happened to most of us that didn’t stay intuitive eaters into adulthood? Diet culture happened. Diet culture is a system of beliefs that tells us that being thin is best, promotes weight loss regardless of health outcomes, demonizes certain ways of eating and glorifies others, it oppresses people in larger bodies and is literally everywhere you look. The gym, the grocery store, social media and yes even the doctor’s office. All our lives we are bombarded with messages that tell us that we don’t know what’s best for us, that we don’t know how, what or when to eat, that we need to change our bodies to look like a certain version of “health.” And thus, we are no longer intuitive eaters.

Intuitive Eating is set of 10 principles that helps people ditch dieting for good and take back their freedom around food and their body.