I’ve spent so much of my life, doing the right thing.
I was always a good girl.
Making sure, I didn’t break the rules and following instructions to the letter.
As an athlete, I would follow the right eating protocols for my body type, because the nutritionist told me too, and even when I felt heavy and bloated and didn’t feel great eating specific foods (even if it tasted great) I would continue eating these foods, because our nutritionists recommended it, and in the proportions, we were told too, because it was deemed best for my energy level output, with the amount of training and soccer games I was playing.
No one ever mentioned the idea to me, that if it didn’t feel good, then perhaps, these foods may not be right for me?
This wasn’t even a concept, that was spoken about in the 1990's, so I just did what I was told.
As an elite athlete, my choice to follow this eating protocol, was met with resistance at home too, because, this was a new & foreign concept in my family home. My Mauritian heritage, meant that we loved our fried foods & Mauritian treats, and eating more raw veggies and salads was really weird and out of the norm.
As a new mama, I would read all the books that I could get my hands on, to learn more about being an amazing mama, so I would get it right – I've always been a high achiever, and this was one role, I didn’t want to stuff up.
No one ever mentioned to me, that my mama’s intuition, was way more important than any of those books that I was reading. I believed, that other’s opinions, mattered over mine, so I didn’t give much precedence to my own voice.
I didn’t feel strong enough, to voice my concerns, and generally just fell in with the status quo of things and accepted things as they were.
It wasn’t until my first born, started, having tummy issues, at 2 years young, that no one could evenv help diagnose, that I started to piece a few things together.
When she was a baby, I had mentioned to a loved one, that I noticed her belly was abnormally large. Something didn’t feel right, but because, I always valued other’s opinions higher than my own, and my loved one didn’t see it as a concern, I let the matter go. My daughter would spend her first 7 years of her life, having tummy issues, which no one could really help me with healing. We visited paediatric doctors & gastro-entorologists, and I felt even more resistance. No one took my opinion, seriously, no one accepted that there was a problem, because she wasn’t in any obvious pain and basically, threw their hands up in the air. Yet, as her mum, I knew something wasn't right, and I wasn't about to give up, even if the medical fraternity couldn't help me.
The doctors weren’t at home, when she was struggling to go to the toilet. My husband and I were the ones, watching her struggle. I was very frustrated, my daughter deserved the best care possible, and for the first time, I took this matter into my own hands.
My mama’s intuition, was telling me, I was right, over, everyone else’s opinions, and I knew that I had to figure this situation for myself. No one cares more about their child, than their parents, and this love for my daughter, led me to explore alternative ideas, I’d never considered before.
My intuition led me, to look outside of the traditional healing options. I found a naturopath, who cared enough to help me on my journey, and helped my daughter so much. I signed up for an online holistic health coaching course, to learn more about food, so that I could help my daughter’s health and in turn, we did indeed improve Gigi's tummy health and helped improve my own health as well.
It was during my time, studying with IIN, that I was introduced to the concept of intuitive eating - Was this even a thing?
I had been studying the topic of intuition, with well-known spiritual teachers, and eating intuitively, was never mentioned in this medium. I had never even made the connection myself, that I could use my intuition, to help me decide, what I needed to eat.
Using your intuition, to trust what foods, may or may not feel right for you?
It took a minute, for me, to fully understand what this meant.
This time, I didn’t just believe what I was reading. As this information, resonated deeply with me, I decided to put it into practice for myself, in my day to day life, and it was an easy thing to do.
I started asking myself, in a restaurant, what I felt like eating, before I even looked at the menu. Then I would order what I felt like, instead of getting side tracked, with all the other tempting options.
I also started to feel better, eating what felt right for me, and not eating, if I didn’t feel hungry, even if there was food in front of me to eat.
I started paying attention, to how I felt after eating each meal – When I felt bloated, I’d reflect back, to what I had just eaten, and after doing this conisistently, it has now become a natural thing for me to do. When I started paying closer attention, to how I was feeling after a meal, I started to notice patterns emerge, which foods, were causing me bloating, discomfort, and tummy pain, and which foods actually boosted my energy levels and helped me to feel light and alert.
I NOTICED THAT THE FOOD I ATE, DIRECTLY IMPACTED, MY MOOD!!!!!
I also noticed that when I ate too much gluten, I had a tendency to fall sick more easily and my belly felt uncomfortable afterwards.
Same with sugar ( and I love sugar). So I started to decrease the amount of sweets I was eating.
Dairy didn’t want to be my best friend either, so I reduced her intake, and now just eat butter and sometimes cheese. My body doesn't even like ice cream anymore, even though my taste buds do!
My body is not a fan of alcohol anymore, so alcohol isn’t a part of my life anymore.
I learnt that my body loves a little protein depending on how much exercise I’m doing and she also loves, lots of veggies, fruits and water.
I still make time to indulge in my favourite desserts like pavlova & french chocolate eclairs, and I'm known to enjoy my much loved frozen coke slushies in the summer time, as eating and drinking these bring me so much joy – I always say, do more of what makes you happy! I just stop when I know my body’s had enough.
I even, started, to incorporate intuitive eating at home, with our family dinners. I often, create the main portion of dinner, and then serve a few separate side dishes of veggies and/or salads, for my family to decide what feels right for them. I try my best, to be understanding when some one says they don’t want to eat what I’ve cooked (it can be hard, if you’ve just slaved over a hot stove though, not to feel hurt), because I know we all have our own unique needs, but I don’t offer an alternative, I just let them know, to grab something for themselves, out of the options we have in the fridge or in our pantry.
This intuitive eating thing really works for us, yet, it’s not really spoken about in our wider community, and I believe that so much of our eating protocols, would change for the better, if we all started to tune into our own unique needs.
Here’s the thing, I’ve noticed when I’m out with a group of people at a restaurant.
No one ever orders the same meals, do they?
Each person, orders what they feel like eating.
This is called eating intuitively, you’re already doing it beautiful.
We can use our intuition, in all parts of our lives!