Brake the Diet Mentality by Understanding Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Dieting WilcoWellness

Facing The Challenges Of Intuitive Eating With

Interoceptive Awareness

Crash dieting rarely leads to successful weight loss, and when it does, it’s rare that the results last. Instead, crash dieting creates a mean cycle of shedding weight, then packing it on, exhausting the body with a pattern, and binging and starving the body of the calories it needs to thrive.

With regards to healthy eating, two of the biggest questions we should be asking ourselves are these: how did we become so out-of-touch with our bodies? And when was the last time we listened to what our bodies are telling us? A healthy life begins with a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is one that consistently feeds the body with what nutrients the body is asking for.

What Is Interoceptive Awareness?

Long before fast food and modern medicine came along, humans were more clued-in on the dietary needs of the body. Believe it or not, it’s possible to sense when the body needs protein as opposed to carbohydrates or when one area of the body is the cause for pain felt in every limb.

The body does not lie; however, our perceptions of the body’s requests can be easily misinterpreted. For example, if you find yourself constantly craving chocolate and sugary treats, your body may actually be requesting magnesium or more sleep. Just as well, your body may be signaling that it is mineral deficient or that there is a blood sugar imbalance.

The practice of interoceptive awareness helps people to properly perceive and interpret the various sensations of the body, both physical and emotional. The practice is often taught by therapists who work with their patients to focus attention on one area of the body at a time and thereby understand its triggers and signals.

How Does Interoceptive Awareness Relate To Intuitive Eating?

Interoceptive awareness can help practitioners focus attention on many ailments that require listening to the body, such as diabetes, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain disorders. Intuitive eating, on the other hand, utilizes Interoceptive Awareness to interpret which nutrients the body is specifically asking for.

Unlike crash dieting, intuitive eating actually gives you the freedom to eat whatever you feel your body needs without having to overthink what you can or cannot have in order to lose weight. Whereas Interoceptive Awareness helps practitioners follow the inner trails of their pain, Intuitive Eating honors the body as its own best guide to better health, rather than some crash diet designed by a complete stranger.

How Exactly Is Intuitive Eating Healthier Than Crash Dieting?

  • Crash diets make the body feel deprived by limiting the nutrients it needs. You might be surprised to learn that a little bit of sugar is actually good for the body, and the same goes for carbohydrates- both of which are the most common pieces eliminated from crash diets.
  • Intuitive eating returns power to the practitioner by allowing them to eat without restricting any particular food group when it’s needed. This helps people feel emotionally and physically satisfied as it reduces the likelihood that a diet will be broken with emotional eating.
  • The severe nutritional deficits created by crash dieting may promote very short-term weight loss. However, crash dieters become lethargic as the body fails to receive the caloric energy it needs. Intuitive eating boosts energy without abusing the body.

What Are The Guidelines Of Intuitive Eating?

In 1995, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch coined the term “Intuitive Eating.” The term’s origins reach much further back to previous concepts, though. The practice is centered upon the idea that thoughtful eating habits maintain a healthy lifestyle. The 10 basic guidelines to intuitive eating as outlined in their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, are as follows:

  • Crush the Diet Mentality
  • Respect Your Hunger
  • Make Peace With Food
  • Challenge The Food Police
  • Respect Your Fullness
  • Discover The Satisfaction Factor
  • Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
  • Respect Your Body
  • Exercise And Feel The Difference
  • Honor Your Health With Gentle Nutrition

Easier Said Than Done, Right?

When converting to an Intuitive Eating lifestyle, there will be many ups and downs at first, but with time, you will develop more faith in your ability to listen to your body and respond to its needs. Some of the main challenges associated with Intuitive Eating include:

  • Thinking about food all the time. If you are encountering this issue regularly and aren’t sure why, it’s worth it to talk it out with one of the many incredible Nutrition Specialists located in Wilco, who can assist you with understanding your emotional eating triggers. Once you find those triggers, you will be able to incorporate non-eating solutions to working through emotions, such as exercising or journaling.
  • Lacking confidence and body shaming. We are experiencing a self-esteem crisis in the United States, an issue that is positively correlated with anxiety and depression. Intuitive Eating trains practitioners to listen to the body and respect it as the temple that it is. The practice reveals the power of the body to show you exactly what changes can be made to bring greater happiness and health to your life.
  • Lost interest in food at all. It’s an effect of intuitive eating that can be alarming at first, as practitioners may worry that they aren’t thinking about the body’s nutritional needs enough. In reality, this is an effect of Intuitive Eating that tells the practitioner they are learning to use food as an energy source rather than an emotional band-aid.

Breaking The Diet Mentality For A Better You

The beauty of mastering Intuitive Eating through Interoceptive Awareness is that it gives practitioners their life back and shows them what foods they should shop for to improve their unique body’s wellness.

By breaking the diet mentality, practitioners learn to distinguish between emotional needs and nutritional needs and to stop letting food distract them from living their lives.

Pancreatic Health: Tiny, But Mighty List of Beneficial Herbs

Pancreatic Support

From regulating blood sugar levels to restoring damaged tissues, this list of beneficial herbs will help you better understand and take care of your pancreas! 

What is the role of your Pancreas in the body? 

The pancreas is actually a gland that creates juices that help break down foods in the digestion process. The digestive juices created by your pancreas travel via little ducts that empty into your small intestine. On average, your pancreas makes around 8 ounces of digestive juices every day. These juices are filled to the brim with enzymes to help the digestive process work smoothly. The pancreas is also involved in:

  • Promoting the production of hormones that support and regulate blood sugar levels
  • Digestion of starches/carbohydrates and the breaking down of proteins
  • Digestion of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K)
  • Supporting the immune system by fighting off parasites in the intestines
  • Modulating the intestinal inflammatory processes in the intestines
  • Reducing swelling of the mucous membranes
  • Transporting harmful waste products
  • Improving circulation and dissolving blood clot-forming deposits

Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow and divide abnormally and form a tumor

These changes can be inherited or they may be due to something we were exposed to during our lifetime. Researchers have noted a few precursors to be aware of which may increase the likely hood of pancreatic cancer:

  • Hereditary – having a relative who was diagnosed
  • Acute or chronic pancreatitis
  • Smoking
  • Obesity – diets high in red and processed meats
  • Over the age of 60


Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Digestive health problems are to be taken seriously. The best thing is to be proactive regarding intestinal and pancreatic health. If digestive pain or intestinal issues go on for long periods of time the outcomes can be very serious and hard to treat. A shortlist of concerns to be aware of would be:

  • Experiencing frequent bouts of intestinal pain
  • Jaundice – the build-up of bilirubin causing the eyes and skin to turn yellow or orange
  • Tenderness in your abdomen
  • Bad smelling bowel movements and/or bowel movements that are yellow or orange
  • Gas and stomach bloating, Indigestion, and cramping in your Abdominal region
  • Diarrhea, loose stools, loss of appetite, and weight loss
  • High blood sugar
  • Recent on-set of Diabetes

If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. It’s most likely that your body is expressing these symptoms because of another underlying issue. It’s essential to speak with your doctor to get to the root of the cause and treat if needed. 

Pancreatic cancer is not easy to detect

The most important thing a person can do is be proactive. Know your family history and get genetic testing early on so you are aware of the possibilities. Address your diet early on in your life. Healthy lifestyle changes can improve a vast array of complications that may arise during our life journey. For more in-depth information and a great support team go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  

On to the Mighty List of Beneficial Herbs!

The good news is, adding herbs to your diet supports the digestive process and can add a little creativity to your menu. Many people ignore their pancreatic health until something goes wrong. Protecting this little gem nestled among our gallbladder, spleen, and liver is important. This can be done with a few simple changes and a few additions to your diet.


We encourage you to be creative and incorporate this list of foods and herbs into your recipes. Help restore your pancreas and aid indigestion.


When the recipe calls for 3-4 garlic cloves, do you stick to that amount? With a smirk, we agree a few extra won’t hurt! Besides making our pasta with a little extra “zing,” this herb decreases the amount of sugar in the blood while bumping up ample insulin levels. Achieve these goals by eating 2-3 crushed up garlic cloves per day by dunking cloves in your tea or “spicing” up your dinner. 


You don’t have to hike into the wild to find this beneficial herb. It is known as one of the most therapeutic and medicinal properties on the planet. Goldenseal lowers blood sugar levels and aids the general function of the pancreas. It’s also known to be an anti-bacterial, laxative, antiseptic, tonic, muscle stimulant, anti-inflammatory agent, and antispasmodic. It’s truly “a mouth” of benefits!

Olive leaves

Tell your pancreas to get on a “full-body” detox with olive leaves. When taken regularly, this extract will aid in healthy liver, thyroid, and pancreas function. It has anti-inflammatory properties that will help lessen pain and swelling caused by pancreatitis. Some studies have shown olive leaves may help hold back the growth of cancer cells if taken consistently. Quite literally, it makes cancer sells “leaf” you alone! Pun intended! 


This savory kitchen staple goes well in many things. Acting as a natural phenolic antioxidant, sprinkle it on your breakfast eggs or dash in a dinner dish. This healthy property makes it valuable to treat oxidation caused by diabetes. It’s believable that oregano has a robust antihyperglycemic property that handles long-term complications arising from diabetes. 


We’re not talking about the backside of a pony here! Horsetail is an essential herb abundant in silica, which aids in the health and restoration of damaged tissue. When the pancreas has damage due to inflammation, make a call to your local pharmacy or vitamin shop. 


Gentian is a beautiful flower that doubles as a pancreatic health promoter. The roots help get the pancreatic juices flowing to create a healthy digestive system. 

Cedar berries

Found in southwest America, these berries look similar to grapes and possess nutrients to help the entire body. Seeds and pods help regulate the pancreas’ normal function, thus promoting blood sugar levels’ stabilization.


A common remedy in India, haritaki is believed to prevent cancerous tumors in the pancreas. Some studies suggest that taking haritaki extract may lower blood sugar levels, which adds value to diabetes people.


How we wish people wouldn’t spray dandelions that are wild and free in the backyard! This familiar yellow weed is known to hold an effective fight against pancreatic cancer cells. Some studies suggest dandelion root extracts may cause cancer cells to die while not affecting normal cells. Brew up some dandelion tea to flush out toxins in the intestines and restore damaged pancreatic tissues. 

Licorice Root

Licorice root dates back to traditional Chinese medicine. It is laden with anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce pain and swelling. It’s an excellent remedy for various disorders associated with the pancreas. It is common to find licorice root in a tea form at local brew shops or grocery stores. 


Healer for centuries, calendula offers antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and anti-genotoxic compounds. It’s known for its effectiveness when fighting off cancer. The bright orange and yellow flowers are reason enough to keep this healer in the home. 


Go ahead! Make a “sour face,” it’s good for the pancreas. This powerful fruit helps keep the pancreas running smoothly by stimulating the release of vital digestive enzymes. Squeeze a bit into your water or top a salmon; it will add health benefits for years to come! 

Your pancreas is small but mighty! Please do not ignore it until something goes wrong. It is vital for the endocrine and digestion process and can easily be overlooked. Do your best to take good care of yourself and your pancreas. Please always remember that if you have any health concerns, consulting your doctor is essential, and under no circumstance should you replace or adjust your medication without consulting a professional health consultant.

For local recommendations, check out our nutrition and meal planning within the directory. Interested in a professional Functional Nutrition appointment, we recommend Dr. Carsrud DC, MS, DABCI, DCBCN at Lakeline Wellness Center. Dr. Carsrud has led health podcasts for Peoples Pharmacy and is often invited to speak at medical conventions. As a doctor, he is dedicated to finding out the root cause of your concerns respecting the fundamental interconnections that maintain optimal function for the body and mind. 

Related read: Essential Oils for Blood Sugar Levels

Dr Josh Axe: Pancreatic Enzymes Benefits for the Gut & Immune Health