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Going with your gut

(article, Marissa Lippert)

Every few months, I’ll go through a period where a recurring topic arises with nearly every client I work with or every individual I have a conversation with. The most recent topic is, in essence, “eating based on instinct.” 

Call it instinctive eating, call it intuitive eating, call it innate or fundamental. Call it what you will, but there are quite a number of us who have gotten away from this inherent mindset around food and eating after being swept up in the wave of crash dieting and weight loss: all the minutiae that go into tracking every calorie, fat, and carbohydrate gram, as well as sodium and sugar content. 


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It’s exhausting, it’s certainly not fun, and most importantly, it often steers us away from the end goal of eating well (note the emphasis on well).  

Let’s take a moment to muse over “eating with instinct.” Culinate’s articles, columns, Fritters, and recipes embody instinct with the site's focus on fresh, seasonal, healthful food and drink — and at the same time aim for enjoyment of every last bite and sip (one of the many reasons I’m such a fan). Too often, we get wrapped up in everything but that which we should really be considering — what a food tastes like, how wholesome foods make us feel, and what we’re craving or not eating enough of (or too much of). 

[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="Eat artichokes while they're in season."] 

Bottom line? We sometimes miss out on what our bodies are trying to tell us. It might sound ambiguous, but it can have incredible effects. Remove the packaged, processed, artificial, and "diet"-focused products and eat fresh, whole, flavorful foods instead. Magically, our energy levels shoot up, we’re sleeping more soundly, sugar and carbohydrate cravings drop off, and our portions shrink but somehow leave us more satisfied and fulfilled. 

And as an added bonus, we tend to lose some of those extra pounds without even thinking about it — all from real food. Amazing, huh?  

Spring and summer are the ideal time to test “eating to your ideal.” Go ahead and reap the benefits, both in health and taste, of seasonal, nutrient-rich produce — such as artichokes, strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, spring peas, and sorrel, to name a few. 

You might find your taste buds and your thoughts quite pleased and thankful, all because you trusted that hard-to-define thing called “instinct.”

p(bio). Marissa Lippert is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in New York City.

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