- It is imperfect. It might be more useful to think that we are all progressing toward eating more
intuitively. It does not mean we'll always choose absolutely "healthy" or "pristine" foods. Progressing
toward Intuitive eating is gaining an understanding what our food needs are, what our body signals
are saying to us, and how to listen. It is understanding why we don't respond to ourneeds. We won't always feel as if we've had a "perfect" balance, even if we did know our needs and do our best to meet the needs. If we eat intuitively, we have a better understanding and ability to respond to our needs.
- It varies from person to person. Because our tastes, bodies, activities, emotions, and spiritual paths
are different, what our bodies require in terms of nourishment also differs.
- It is cyclical. Weekly, monthly, and annual cycles, even life cycles, change our body's need for, and
responses to, food.
- It is rhythmic. We feel pleasantly full (but not stuffed) after a meal and pleasantly hungry (but not
starving) before the next.
- It includes a wide variety of foods. Cereals and grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats, beans, nuts, and even fats play a role in normal, intuitive eating. Again, the exact balance and variety of foods must be individualized.
- It is free of obsession. It acknowledges that our compulsions are due to biochemical or emotional
reasons and any over- or under-eating is a clue to begin looking further as an opportunity for learning.
- It is nourishing to the body and spirit.
- It feels good more often than not. Good food in the right amounts and at the right times excites the senses. It provides tactile and taste sensations as we eat, and a pleasurable "full" feeling afterward.
When we finish a meal, we feel comforted and renewed - physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
- It is an essential component of self care. What better way to nurture ourselves than with the foods we need and enjoy it in the way (amounts, timing, variety, places) we require?