As a nutritionist, so often clients come to me anticipating I will tell them “what to eat” – sometimes they hope for it, sometimes they dread the idea. However, I see my role very differently, one where I help them reconnect and build trust with their own internal wisdom.
You see, we’re all born with the innate desire to nourish ourselves. When given the opportunity to explore foods and provided food in a regular and timely manner, we tend to notice that certain foods give us quick, readily available energy, while others are more satisfying. In other words, we are able to distinguish what our body needs when we give ourselves a chance to tune in and listen. Each of us has our own hunger patterns, food preferences and dislikes, health needs and genetic predispositions.
By creating space to be truly mindful around the eating process, we find that our internal nutritionist guides us. Sometimes that nutritionist says “I need some veggies” and sometimes it clearly says, “I need some ice cream!”. After mindfully acknowledging when we’re hungry, it can be helpful to close our eyes and tune into what we are hungry for. Once we identify what we’re hungry for and give ourselves permission to eat it, we can sit, taste, chew, savor and enjoy each bite – allowing our internal nutritionist to let us know if the food is meeting our needs, and when we actually feel content.
You see, our internal nutritionist isn’t simply about nutrition – it’s about allowing food to fuel our body, brain and soul. So stay curious, connected and nonjudgmental as you explore what your internal nutritionist whispers to you!
Christie Caggiani is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Her mindfulness-based, non-diet approach allows clients to identify, understand and move beyond their eating struggles, as they reconnect with their internal signals of hunger and satiety. She is passionate about teaching clients to eat intuitively and move joyfully. For Sacred Treehouse, Christie has designed a series of fun and educational nutrition and cooking workshops for both children and teens. She also offers cooking and nutrition workshops for adults.