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A very common question people have when they start considering intuitive eating is how to handle food sensitivities or food allergies. They feel that to truly eat intuitively means to just eat whatever you want at any given time, without worrying about the consequences.
However, keep in mind that you still need to be careful of foods that cause an adverse reaction. If you truly have a medical condition that requires you to cut back on foods like gluten if you have Celiac or sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet because of Crohn’s disease, that can still be done along with intuitive eating.
The Misconceptions About Intuitive Eating
There are many misconceptions about intuitive eating that people assume when they don’t know much about it. All you think about in the beginning is that you no longer diet, and can just eat whatever you want. But if you have visions of spending the rest of your life homebound because you can’t stop eating cookies and chips, you have it wrong.
Intuitive eating does have a phase where you reintroduce all those foods that were off limits, in order to remove the stigma from certain types of foods you thought were bad for you. But over time, you start understanding your body, and your appetite balances out.
This means if you have food sensitivity, you don’t just eat that food anyway if you are eating intuitively. But you allow yourself to eat whatever FEELS good to you.
You Should Still Pay Attention to How You Feel
This is the most important thing when it comes to avoiding certain foods for medical reasons. Intuitive eating is about eating what you want, and when your body is hungry, with foods that will nourish your body and make you feel good. Whether that is a breakfast of waffles or oatmeal, you want to choose foods that sound appetizing, and you know will make you feel great.
This means if you have a history of getting nausea whenever you drink milk, you still keep that in mind and decide if milk is the best option, or if you should go for a dairy-free alternative.
Are Your Sensitivities Medically-Diagnosed?
A really big discovery you may find while intuitive eating is that some of the restrictions you had because of “food sensitivities” were actually just self-diagnosed. You still want to pay attention to how foods make you feel, but make sure you don’t have these restrictions just because you felt like sugar or dairy or gluten was bad for you.
If it is an allergy or intolerance that your doctor diagnosed you with, or you are put on a special diet because of a medical condition, keep eating according to those recommendations. But be honest with yourself about whether or not you are truly intolerant to a certain food.