How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget
What happens when you are craving a certain food but unable to afford it? Intuitive eating is all about making food choices based on your hunger cues that differ at different times, days, and throughout your life. Eating this way is the opposite of dieting since you are not restricting yourself based on certain food rules and goals. You are freed from a strict plan and made to become more in-tune with your needs as you grow to become aware of your hunger and mindful of your fullness. While this practice may be beneficial for many people in battling against diet-culture, for those with histories of disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and for those who may be taking medications that interfere with hunger, this way of consuming food may not be the most appropriate. This is because hunger cues may be disorganized; making it difficult to make choices to properly fuel your body.
However, intuitive eating is still an incredible method to help people heal their relationship with food. As Nutritionist Shana Spence shared in a recent Real Talk podcast, always buying fresh produce and food labeled as organic can be costly. Well-known for their high prices, Whole Foods Market, is often the large grocery store chain people think of health-concerned individuals shopping at. But buying food with these idealized labels does not make the food any better or healthier. Frozen vegetables, fruit, and meals can be just as nutritious and are often put on the market at a lower price point. Buying shelf-stable items such as canned soups and pasta or long lasting produce such as potatoes can also effectively cut costs. Although buying sustainably caught seafood and meat may be advertised as being much better for the environment, it may be unrealistic from the cost viewpoint to always afford these options.
The podcast also used any example of a woman stating that she did not enjoy the taste of vegetables and experiencing guilt for this. Unfortunately, society has established certain ideals about food that make certain food groups seem better than others. They also have labeled certain food groups as bad and to be avoided. This is affecting peoples’ mental health and preventing people from satisfying their cravings and fully enjoying their favorite foods.
People shouldn’t be made to feel shame and guilt for their food choices as all humans need to eat. Eating is also a very social activity and enjoying conversation at restaurants or celebrations with family and friends can be challenged by these negative thoughts. It is important that we encourage each other to follow our intuitions and eat whatever it may be that brings joy to our experience.
"How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget! Why Expensive Food Isn't Always Healthier with HAES Nutritionist Shana Spence." Real Pod, hosted by Victoria Garrick, Dear Media, 7 July 2021.