• Sydney Cochran, MS, RD, LD

Day in the Life of Intuitive Eating


Many of you have told me how helpful it was to see how intuitive eating plays out with my last "day in the life" post. Since it seemed useful, I plan to try doing these once per month or so.

Before we jump in, just a reminder that these posts aren't intended to tell you what you should eat. We are different people, so we have different needs and preference. They are simply a tool to help you see what it might look like to eat intuitively - to make choices while considering hunger, fullness, satisfaction, schedule, availability, preferences, nutrition, etc.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I tend to go through phases with breakfast. It was toast with peanut butter and banana forever. Then oatmeal with banana and peanut butter. Then back to toast but with peanut butter + jelly. And, most recently, toaster waffles. I was out of toaster waffles this week so I thought about whether I wanted sweet or savory. I was leaning toward sweet, but neither toast or oatmeal sounded satisfying so I thought savory might be my only option. I was thinking about making roasted potatoes with eggs when I remembered we had everything we needed for pancakes! I love pancakes on the weekend when I actually have time to make them (this was Saturday). These whole wheat greek yogurt pancakes are my favorite. They're incredibly fluffy and feel a little more filling than typical pancakes because of the added protein and fiber. I often double the recipe so I can have them for a few days afterward too. I tend to prefer peanut butter with breakfast because I like the taste and I feel like it keeps me full longer but it just didn't sound as good this morning so I stuck with standard butter + maple syrup. Plus, a glass of milk on the side. I've found that I have to have either milk or peanut butter with breakfast (if not both) for it to actually stick with me longer than an hour.

After breakfast, we headed out to pick up groceries and do laundry. We went to Target, then decided to get flu shots when we stopped to pick up a few things at Dillons, which took much longer than expected. By the time we dropped off our recycling and finished up our shopping at Aldi (...with another trip to Dillons because I forgot a few things the first time around), I was getting pretty hungry!

We had 3 pieces of leftover BBQ chicken pizza from the night before, so only enough for one of us to have that for lunch. I asked my husband if he wanted it or if he wanted a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (which seems to be our go-to Saturday lunch). We're both pretty indecisive at times but I told him both were meat + cheese + carbs, so I was fine with either :) He had the pizza and I made grilled ham + cheese on sourdough with an apple while I unloaded groceries. I felt like I wanted something else with this but I wasn't really sure what. Chips sounded good but we didn't have any so I just stuck with this.

Maybe an hour later, I still felt kind of hungry or unsatisfied but was really having trouble figuring out what sounded good.

I had a coupon that essentially made this Naked juice free at Dillons and had grabbed it for that reason while we were there. I thought I maybe just had taste hunger, so I drank half of this to see if that helped. It tasted good but I realized I was actually still physically hungry. I was leaning toward something salty but all of my salty snacks were in my desk at work! :(

I ended up settling on the last of the greek yogurt with some granola because I knew it would fill me up. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the taste but it did fill me up for the next few hours.

Saturday is our date night and it was my week to pick where we went. I was really craving something fresh so I looked through a few menus and salad kept jumping out at me. I love this southwest salad at Cowboy Chicken, so that's where we went. About halfway through, I realized they didn't add the tortilla strips, so there wasn't much there in the way of carbs and it wasn't very filling as a result :(

We've been watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix lately, so our evening activity was baking a rolled cake and watching the finale of the first season. I was craving something with carbs when we got home since dinner was lacking but couldn't wait until the cake was done, so I ate a few handfuls of Halloween M&Ms while we baked and that hit the spot.

Once it was finished, I had a slice of our cake (red velvet with white chocolate cream cheese frosting!) and a glass of milk. And then I was still just a little bit hungry, so I had another piece and that did the trick :) I'm not always hungry after dinner but I pretty much always eat something sweet because it tastes good. Sometimes I'll also eat a more substantial snack too if I'm really feeling hungry.

There is no "right" way to eat intuitively. It looks different from day to day based on what's available, what sounds good, and what your schedule looks like. I hope this offers some encouragement if you're working toward becoming an intuitive eater!

#intuitiveeating

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