Happy #21DaysOfMe Tuesday! Today we’re focusing on eating with intention. We teamed up with Cassandra Bodzak to bring you a step-by-step process on everything you need to know. Check it out below!
Congrats on making it this far into the challenge, now let’s take it up another level and get you into an even deeper, more loving relationship with that gorgeous bod of yours. I’m Cassandra Bodzak, author of “Eat with Intention” and body wisdom guide to women all over the world. I work with ladies who want to have it all in life — the exciting career, great partner, real and/or fur babies, a healthy bod and fun social life — I like to call them “wonder women” and I have a feeling you can relate. They want to live their juiciest, most lit up life but all too often their relationship with their physical being and what they put on their plate sabotages them instead of supports them. Well, I’m here to give you a crash course on eating with intention and listening to your body’s wisdom this New Year, so buckle up, grab a nice cup of tea and take some deep breaths as you read through my 5 steps to get your started below!
1. Make Peace with Your Body so You Can Tap into it’s Wisdom
One of the first things I recommend in “Eat with Intention” is starting a daily gratitude meditation practice for your body. You can listen to my “meditation for loving and accepting your body” here if you need a hand getting started. I will guide you through what I like to call “genuine body gratitude” — it’s all about tuning back into what a miracle our body is, NOT about pretending to love an area of your body you may be struggling with right now. When we go DEEP with our gratitude, we start to respect and honor our body for each incredible cells and awe inspiring process that goes on inside of us everyday to keep us alive and thriving.
When you’ve flexed your body gratitude, you will automatically start feeling more connected to body so the next step is starting an open communication with it. Your body is ALWAYS talking to you — headaches, stomach aches, those butterflies when you meet someone special, that nauseous feeling when you’re about to sign a contract that doesn’t feel right — it’s been there all along but now you are truly ready to listen to it. You can start taking moments through out the day and after your meditation to really tune into how your body is feeling aka communicating with you about absolutely everything in your life but especially how it wants to be cared for. Want to dive deeper — I explain it even further in this video.
2. Become a Food Detective
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am all about bringing the power back to it’s rightful owner — that’s YOU and YOUR body. I don’t believe in a one size fits all meal plan, exercise routine, or life to be honest. It’s all about you discovering what works for you and then making those adjustments to listen to your body so you can feel your best. I encourage you to become the detective here so that you can make conclusions specific to you and your life and one of my favorite exercises to jump into this is keep a ‘food-mood’ journal for two weeks!
Keeping a food-mood journal entails you logging not only all food + beverages entering your body for at least two weeks AND also logging how you were feeling at the time you ate and how you feel in your body about an hour or so after. I encourage my clients to not “cheat” themselves out of some good findings, ie. don’t be on your best behavior when you are doing this, it works so much better if you honestly just live your life, pizza, cupcakes, handfuls of M&Ms at the office, 3 dirty martinis on the weekend — write it all down and don’t clean it up. Also, don’t judge yourself for any of this, you are not ‘bad’ regardless of what is in that journal, we simply need to do some fact finding so that we can uncover the mystery of why you eat the way you do, what’s not working and where you can make some simple adjustments. The exercise alone is very helpful in getting you into the habit of being more mindful about what you are eating but after two weeks, it’s time to have a date with yourself and grab some highlighters to draw up your conclusions.
Where were you stress or emotional eating? What foods made you tired, bloated or had some negative physical reaction? What meals made you energized and focused? Where do you find yourself eating on auto pilot? Highlight it all and take a good look at what you can now consciously shift to your benefit!
3. Rig Yourself for Success
Picking up where we left off above, now that you know your habits, you can rig yourself for success. What does that look like? Well I’ll give you an example from my life, my weekdays are jam packed with clients, emails, shooting videos, writing, etc, and if left to my own devices I will just grab something to go or order delivery so I don’t mess up my work flow. I know that this leads to me eating food that isn’t the best and doesn’t make me feel great, not too mention is a bit costly after a while so instead, I plan out my meals for the work week on Sunday and make sure I have all the groceries in the house to make everything. What this also looks like, honoring my schedule and my desire to not spend 2 hours making lunch and planning simple recipes that I can throw together i just a few minutes and often eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch all week long. Hey, not saying you need to do that but it really works for me and keeps me feeling fueled and nourished. Sorry seamless!
Find your trouble zones and create your own little hacks. Common ones I have helped clients with include: always in the car around lunch time and grabbing fast food, shifted to finding a ‘fast food’ restaurant with healthier options — Chipotle – honored her current work conditions while finding something more nourishing than McD’s. One client had a habit of grabbing a cupcake and a tea after particularly stressful days —I helped her see that her craving was actually a desire to be sweet to herself after a rough day and we came up with a list of self-care practices for stressful days like getting a manicure, having a tea with a close gf, going to a restorative yoga class, or taking a bath when she got home. Once you see your patterns, you have the power to make some small shifts that really hold the space for you to make the most loving choices for your body (and yourself!).
4. Make Your Kitchen a Sacred Space
Sorry, you didn’t think you were going to make it through “Eat with Intention” day without hearing about the magic of cooking, did you!? Your kitchen is the most magical room of the house! It’s where you literally go for nourishment — what could be more crucial? If you are not someone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen, I highly suggest making it a sacred space. What does that entail? Make your kitchen very YOU. Put colors, pictures, and items out that feel good to you. Keep it clean and organized so the energy feels clear and open — it’s a creative space where you can have fun playing around with new recipes or trying out the ones in your favorite cookbook, ahem, “Eat with Intention”, ahem, so keeping it clean will feel like you have a blank slate to work on. Bonus points if you want to grab some palo santo sticks or sage and do a little ceremonial energy clearing after you clean the fridge out!
Once your kitchen FEELS sacred, I promise you will have so much more fun cooking and cooking for yourself is where so much of the magic is at. Making meals with love and infusing them with the intention of pure nourishment is one of the greatest ways you can love and care for yourself. Each recipe in my book has a mantra with it because I love infusing different meals with different intentions and pairing the ingredients in a recipe so that their natural properties support it.
5. Honor the Wellbeing Trifecta with Your Daily Rituals
Lastly, I leave you with perhaps my most important teaching of all, one that has a whole chapter in “Eat with Intention” — the Wellbeing Trifecta, aka the foundation for your skyscraper life. You want that juicy, lit up life we chatted about earlier? Relate to the ‘wonder women’ I coach? Well the wellbeing trifecta is the key to it all. You have it all as long as you’ve created a space to hold it and your food, meditation and self-care are the trifecta that allows you to show up for everything else in your life as your best self. Now, we’ve got you covered on the food front after you food-mood journal and healthier hacks, you’ve got a two for one if you are using the body gratitude meditation to heal you relationship with your body because it will also double as your morning meditation practice so now we just have to get you a self-care ritual to add to the mix!
A self-care ritual can be anything that feels restorative and nourishing to your soul. Some of my favorite include: going for a long walk in the morning sunlight, going on a hike, taking an epsom bath as I wind down for the night, getting a manicure or a massage, or just curling up with a good book and a cup of tea on my couch. What fills your cup up? Put it on your schedule, at least once a week but bonus points if it’s something you can do even more often, make a recurring date with yourself — it’s good for your health!
Most of all, when times are crazy, things are busy at work, that guy just dumped you, your fighting with your mom, there’s a natural catastrophe going on in your backyard, whatever it may, remember that your wellbeing trifecta will anchor you down and support you through it. These are the times that you train for! You get into these practices on a daily basis, and on good days they will be so easy to do because you are going to be so obsessed with how amazing you feel afterwards but on some days, they’re going to be harder to stick to, you’ll be temped to slack and it’s THOSE days where your wellbeing rituals will save you. I promise.
You’ve got this lady! And if you need more help, you can find me here.
Today’s Challenge: Post a pic of your anti-diet lunch—we can’t wait to see it! Use #21DaysOfMe to tag us.
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Cassandra Bodzak is the founder of Aprecity.com (your spiritual gym membership), author of “Eat with Intention” and a holistic success coach to wonder women all over the world. Say hi to her on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. And of course, if you want dive deeper, check out her amazing book “Eat with Intention.”