The Intuitive Source of Eating

Article written by Daniel Max, Holistic Health Counselor, Yoga Instructor, Shiatsu Practitioner, owner of Sense of Self

Triathlon Event  There are two major hemispheres in our brain through which we process our experiences. The left hemisphere governs rational and logical thoughts or reasoning. The right side of the brain is stimulated when strong emotions are experienced and matters of the ‘heart’ are processed.

If we look at the nutrition world today, we have access to an endless amount of books and articles by nutritional experts educating us about their “formula” for health. Most avenues approach nutrition as if it were a math equation of calories and grams. This is a very logical left-sided (in other words; ‘masculine’ or yang) way of thinking.

While this is extremely valuable information, it only represents half of the information necessary to understand our health.

There are many more factors involved in the way our bodies assimilate food. The right-side brain (the ‘feminine’ yin side) may be more receptive to understanding our body’s signals, recognizing what our body lacks to support health and balance. While logic may view cravings in a negative light, a more holistic approach sees cravings as the body’s signal in search of balance.

There is a huge component in diet that is an intuitive way of eating: this was also true for our ancestors who knew which foods would best treat disease or maintain health, and when would be the best time or season to eat each food.

Where do these cravings and intuitive information originate?

The enteric nervous system (ENS) has been described as a “second brain” and is embedded in the lining of the gastrointestinal system. Our gut brain has qualities that are very similar to the head brain in the way in which it communicates with the body through the nervous system. Researchers have found that the gut sends more messages through the channels of the nervous system to the brain than the brain does to the gut. Connecting this to diet, we can learn that rather than have the head inform the belly what to eat, we should be developing our natural capability of understanding what the belly is telling the head.

`In Eastern culture, the midsection is considered to be the center of both our spiritual and physical wisdom. It is the same section that is our center of gravity.

As a culture we have lost sight of this center. Most of us live in our head. We can see it in our posture. We move through life thrusting our head forward instead of resting it on the support of our spine. As a result ,we commonly suffer from tight muscles at the back of the neck and shoulders. We have forgotten to move from our core both in body and lifestyle. We disregard our ‘gut feelings’ and count on external information more than feeling and intuition to understand our nutritional needs.

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