‘Normal’ Eating

2 Jul

Have you ever wondered what ‘normal‘ eating is?  Yeah.  Me too.

This question comes to my mind a lot both as yoga teacher and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.  What is ‘normal’ eating?  What is nourishment?  Can eating and nourishment be (de)coupled?

Registered dietitian Ellyn Satter is quoted in the NYtimes for her definition of normal eating.  Below are some exerts:

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life

I appreciate these.  There is not a carb or -ism or rule to be found.

And, yet, is it really THAT simple?

Is ‘normal’ eating really about listening to our needs in the moment and honoring them with compassion?  The yoga of eating if you will…  (<—READ IT! :P)

Having spent time investigating my own nutrient needs (in good times and bad), I’m quite certain that there no STANDARD PRESCRIPTIVE DIET for ‘normal’ eating.  But, what does exist is a ‘normal,’ or better said, nourishing eating for every individual person.

Because my needs (raspberries please!) are uniquely my own, what is normal to me most certainly will not look or feel normal to you.  

And, why should they?!  

But.  

We can practice making nourishing choices in our daily diets and then ‘normal’-ize these choices.  

The question then begs:  How do you find your nourishing choices?  What do you listen to?  And, how do these choices manifest in your (normal) eating?

Let me know!

One Response to “‘Normal’ Eating”

  1. Genevieve July 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    This is great Jamie! I am going to print it out for my patients right now! Can’t wait to reconnect via phone sometime. xo

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