Big changes, Intuitive Eating + Macro Nutrient Breakdown
I’ve implemented some personal changes lately that have been so positive that I wanted do share my experience on here.
After being vegan for my entire adult life, I've recently shifted the way I eat completely as a response to how I had been feeling. I've used my training in Intuitive Eating to recreate habits around what I eat and how I move.
Here's where it all began:
The last year was really low energy for me. I didn't feel like myself and I had stepped away from my fitness routines, which has always been a big part of my sense of well-being. At first this shift towards a mellower lifestyle felt appropriate: I was simply drawn towards softer ways to move + connect with my body: long walks, mellow jogs + lots of yoga.
Like I said before, I am a student of Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive Eating is defined as: a methodology that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom.
Intuitive eating asks you to live your life in a space of allowance instead of control. Whereas in the past I would have tried to force myself to keep up the high intensity workouts, last year I used an intuitive approach to respect my body and allow it to rest as it needed. This was perfect for some time and gave me the space I needed to quiet down, tune in and let my body do its thing.
However over the course of the year it felt as if I had gone too far in one direction and fallen out of balance. My energy was getting more drained, I always tired and was losing focus and motivation in all different areas of my life.
I was actually craving high intensity workouts and really missing my community at my gym, but didn't have the energy to make them a part of my routine in a sustainable way.
The end of the year came around + with it much reflection + introversion. I realized I didn't recognize myself in this moment of my life: the habits I'd fallen into where simply not serving me nor was a I proud of them. My thoughts out loud and inside were overwhelmingly negative and I was always waiting until till tomorrow to complete what I could easily do today. My personal drainage was seeping into relationships, career and overall happiness.
Over a conversation with a friend, she reminded me of some of my favorite advice:
That if I wanted to change my future, I had to change my right now.
Change my now. Not tomorrow, not next week, literally right here and right now was when I needed to change.
I decided to go back to square one: food choice and water intake.
After doing some research, I realized that the high carbohydrate / low fat vegan diet I had been eating for years simply wasn't energizing me any more and it was actually making me more tired and sluggish than normal.
I decided to switch up my Macro nutrient ratio.
Macro nutrients are the THREE types of nutrients we need high quantities of each day: Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates.
By adjusting the ratio of these 3 main nutrient types, you shift the way food is metabolized in your body, how it becomes available for energy and how it is stored (r not stored) as fat.
For example, my recent vegan vegan diet was very high carbohydrates (oatmeal, bananas, quinoa, rice, ezekial bread, smoothies) and lower in proteins.
Two weeks in of eating high protein, high veggies + no grain, low sugar diet I feel back to myself + I have already noticed TONS of changes:
My body composition has already changed significantly (muscle to fat ratio)
I have plenty of energy to workout, socialize and engage with the people around me.
Feel more satisfied + less hungry throughout the day
energy to workout at HIIT, spin + cardio based classes
Deeper + Sounder sleep
I began the @whole30 right away to assist me in this B I G change to move from being vegan back to incorporating animal protein.
Whole30 asks you to cut out all grains, sugars, alcohol, legumes (beans) and focus on three meals per day with lots of water for one whole month. This program has been holistic and super informative to address all aspects of shifting food choice + relationship with it. I highly recommend checking them out.
I share this, not to say that a vegan diet doesn't work: because for many, many years it worked very well for me. But it got to a point that my body needed something different.
Was it hard to admit that? Yes.
My identity had become attached to being vegan and ethically I am deeply aligned ethically with veganism. But you've got to let go of things that no longer serve in order to make space for positive change.
this adds to the existing conversation that there is no one size fits all diet that will fix your problems. And if you find one that does in the present, do your best not to get attached to it in the future.
Life is fluid, your body, mind and environment are all in a constant state of flux. It only makes sense that the food we eat and the way we choose to move our body are also open to change.
Food, and our relationship to it, are layered and multidimensional phenomenons:
We eat for cultural, situational, nutritional, emotional and social reasons. Our genetics, stress levels and endocrine (hormonal) systems all effect how we eat, process and metabolize food.
Be honest with yourself about where you're at and how it relates to where you want go.
When we undertake the practice of self observation, to notice what is and isn't working, we must do so without judgement or shame for what we see.
It would have been easy for me to fall into a judgement trap of succumbing to the thoughts like, "I can't believe I let myself get here."
but i don't listen to that voice any more, because know now that those low- energy, negative thoughts only keep me more stuck in my current problem
In order to change the output (desired behavior), we have to change the input (thoughts).
So if you're looking to create sustainable and holistic change, try approaching it from an Intuitive place:
Start where you are. Check in and meet whatever you see with acceptance and love
Connect here if you want more information on whole30
Stay tuned with me if you're interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating! I have some exciting offerings coming your way!
Thanks for reading!