How to Eat Intuitively: From Guilt to Mindful Eating

holding a chocolate truffle near mouth

Learning how to eat intuitively has changed my life, I went from saying "I shouldn't have ate that" to I can eat whatever I want, but it wasn't always this way. I used to feel ALL THE GUILT that would come after eating. I thought this was what all girls and women did. My mom did it, so did aunts, cousins and friends. As I got older, I noticed pretty much all the women I knew did this to some extent, so I normalized it. Eating food that was deemed as "bad" or unhealthy was to be eaten in shame. But I did change all of this when I learned how to eat intuitively and challenged my relationship with food. I am sharing how to eat intuitively with you so you too can experience food freedom.Before I discuss how to eat intuitively, let me take you back a little bit. When I went away to university, I felt the pressure to eat healthier in front of others because I didn't want their shame to add to my own. So, when I was alone, I would eat ALL THE THINGS. I would sit in my dorm room and binge on chocolate or chips and then have to hide the evidence after. I felt so guilty, like I had committed some kind of crime or something.

Binge, Shame, Restrict, Repeat:

Years later when I moved out on my own (with my then bf) I carried on much the same way. I was so ashamed of how I ate, I would hide things and only eat them when I was alone. I worried that he would catch me eating so much (on a binge) and would be disgusted. Surely he would, because I was so disgusted with myself. I did the same thing, hid my junk food and after eating it in one binge, I would hide the evidence in the garbage so nobody would see it.

Then when I went vegan, things got a little easier because most of the stuff I had been eating, I couldn't anymore. That vegan label served as a form of protection for me as it shielded me from bingeing on foods that I deemed as "bad."

Soon after going vegan, I did discover vegan junk food and I would binge on that. My one "vice" was always Doritos so when I found a vegan version, you can bet, I stocked up on it. I would eat half (or a full) bag in one sitting, I felt like I had no control. Then after, I felt sick for eating it and would be angry with myself for not having any willpower.

What was my problem with food? Why couldn't I just eat a handful of something and be done with it? The truth is, I couldn't do that because I had all these restrictions on myself. So when the opportunity to eat came up, I went completely crazy because I knew that the restriction would come again soon. This is exactly what the binge/restrict cycle is about.

But eventually I did learn how to eat intuitively and get rid of the food guilt.

So how did I change this? Below, I am sharing how to eat intuitively as a short guide to help you.

sprinkling coconut on bowl of oats

Release my food and dietary labels: 

When I decided to let go of my vegan label, I tried on many other labels after that. I tried paleo for a bit, grain free, high fat, keto (for like a day lol) and gluten free. It wasn't until I really let go of all the labels that I found food freedom. I get that some people follow these types of eating styles for various reasons and I have a lot of respect for that. However, I think that personally if you have past issues with disordered eating or disordered thoughts around eating, it may not be the best idea to label your diet.

Release dieting and it's allure:

It was hard to let go of all the dieting drama, I had been immersed in it since I was about 15 when I went on my first diet. Even when I had ditched dieting after going vegan, I still followed pseudo dieting (i.e. counting macros, eating only "safe" foods, paying the price for eating "bad" foods and restriction/cutting back when I had an event/vacation planned). When I came to realize that all these ideas surrounding food I had in my head were really messing with my self worth and making me second guess and judge myself, I knew that I had to ditch all dieting thoughts once and for all. This was not easy by any means. It's so easy to get caught up in the diet culture without even knowing you are doing it and its even respected in our culture to jump on a juice cleanse before an important vacay. But once you release this guilt and shame and learn how to eat intuitively, you will find ultimate food freedom, I promise.

Let go of food restriction:

This was probably the scariest thing for me, but I am so happy I did it and went through it. I was truly petrified that when I gave up restriction and allowed myself to eat anything I wanted, I would immediately go back to my adolescent self and eat/binge all the food. I'll admit when I first said no more restriction, I did go a little crazy with food. I gained some weight and wanted to jump back on a juice cleanse to "reset." The thing is, I was still in my head thinking that I would restrict later on so food still had this allure and I wanted to eat all of it before I restricted again. When I truly let go of the restriction and allowed myself to eat anything I wanted, I learned that it was ok to leave food on my plate. I didn't have to eat everything because if I wanted to, I could just eat again later. Therefore, there was truly no need to binge on anything.

I stopped weighing myself:

For so long, the scale was the ultimate determinant of how small I was. It really piqued when I was vegan and I dropped some pounds and continued after that for a while too. It was so easy to see how well I was doing by how much weight I had gained/lost. I let it define who I was and it controlled me. When I finally let go of the scale and its hold on me, I was able to really find out what I valued about myself on a much deeper level. When I did gain some weight, I knew this because my clothes were fitting a bit tighter not because of the number on the scale. Gaining weight as a side effect of intuitive eating was rough I am not going to lie, but it is entirely possible to still love and respect yourself. I think I could write a whole separate blog post about this another time!

You can read more about how weight loss has nothing to do with intuitive eating over here.

standing next to window eating

I stopped tying my self worth to my dress size:

Similar to above, when I did ditch the scale, I had to also learn to stop tying my self worth to a certain dress size. I was always a size 0-2, then I jumped to a 4-6 and I had to accept my body through all of it. Yes, at first, not fitting into any of my old clothes was depressing to me, but rather than restrict/diet all over again, I went out and bought new clothes. I used to think that if I did this, it would mean I gave up, but instead it meant to me that I loved and respected myself no matter what. I needed to feel comfortable in what I was wearing and if that meant a bigger size of jeans, then so be it. I allowed myself to go through this period and yes, I had bad days where I did get hung up on the numbers but I also showed myself love and respect. My value as a human is not made better the smaller I am.

You can read more about how to show yourself love after weight gain over here.

I learned to listen to my body and my hunger:

This was probably the one thing that really made the biggest difference in going from guilt and learning how to eat intuitively. I learned how to slow down when I was eating so that I wouldn't eat too quickly without realizing I was actually full. It's funny, the hungrier you are when you eat, the more you tend to eat. However, when you eat when you are moderately hungry (and not starving) you don't need to binge on food. I also learned how to ask myself what it was I truly was hungry for and didn't judge myself for eating any of it.

How to Eat Intuitively: Your body will Know

I know that it can seem scary to allow yourself to eat anything you want because you think you will eat nothing but pizza and chips, but trust me your body will eventually get tired of those too. You can't survive off of chips and chocolate forever, your body will naturally want different foods. Just like your body will naturally want to move and be active without you needing to force it.

I hope that me sharing my story about how to eat intuitively serves to show you that it doesn't need to be scary to let yourself feel free around food. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I

I hope my how to eat intuitively post was helpful for you and made intuitive eating a bit more real. Share with me in the comments if you currently suffer from shame and guilt around foods or if you have learned to eat and live more intuitively.

writing in a journal


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July 18, 2024
Amazing recipes! Thanks for sharing this
Richard kell
July 18, 2024
You have got it exactly right, wow well done. I used 2tsp Manuka honey to sweeten the onion mixture at 20 mins in. Your pics are excellent, NOT overcooked. Ext virg olive oil is my everyday 'do-all'. Only point beginners must attend to is add the Gruyere as late as possible and plenty of it! Sublime, sexy, wonderful!
July 18, 2024
Stack your pancakes on a plate, top with peaches, a dollop of mascarpone, hazelnuts and then drizzle with maple syrup. ‍
July 13, 2024
A really nice flavour and easy to make. I make a lot of chicken dishes with heavy, big flavours and this came out very flavourful but more subtle. It was tremendously enjoyable. Thanks for sharing it!
July 7, 2024
Hi, Great recipe. Could you please add the nutritional information? :) Thanks!
Karen Petterson
June 9, 2024
this was great tasting ! thanks for sharing!
April 18, 2024
This is one of my favorite recipes ever!!! I make this often & always make a double batch so I can have leftovers. I'll eat this for days, the flavor is so incredible. I like a lot of hoisin & ginger in mine.
April 3, 2024
Hi Jen! For this, I serve with crackers and veggies such as carrots, radish and cucumber. I also included figs in the photo, but I'd stick to veggies and crackers for this. It can be made in advance and kept in the fridge, I'd recommend storing it separately from the dukkah topping. It tastes best at room temperature so leave it out for 20 minutes or so prior to serving and drizzle with the olive oil and top with dukkah then. Hope this helps. Enjoy!
April 3, 2024
I’m goin to make this for my book club, I’m curious to know what fruits and veggies are on the board (picture) also can i make this a few days prior?
April 1, 2024
Hi Sue! Thanks for the review. There is quite a bit of butter from puff pastry, plus melted cheese so it can be a bit heavy. Sometimes, I'll blot the top of it with paper towel to remove any excess oil. If you make it again, I hope you enjoy it better the second time :)
April 1, 2024
Followed the recipe. It was ok. Perhaps a bit greasy. Used smoky gouda. Might try again…just a bit disappointing.
March 26, 2024
Hi Alison! The light orange and pink things are beets, I used candy cane and orange beets in addition to regular ones. In the opening paragraph I explained you can use any variety of beets. I also have photos of regular beets as well :)
Alison Stroebel
March 26, 2024
But there are more items on your photo plate than are in the recipe. What are the light pinky/ orangey things? They not on your ingredient list. 😩😩
March 16, 2024
This is delicious and can be used with so many things. Thanks.
March 10, 2024
Hello! Ive recently been sent down the dairy/gluten free path. Not gonna lie its not ideal. I adore food and cooking and all things food. In a very sort space of time ive tried one million + recipes, the thing is, nothing comes close to your tahini sea salt cookies. Theyr ethe most sublime thing of all time, even pre cutting every out if have thought so. Its not too dramatic To call them my saviour. In fact without them i may have lapsed. Thank you a thousand times…. I’ll continue spreading the word and try and chill on how many im ploughing through.
March 9, 2024
I made this today and it's delicious. Saving it for a healthy bedtime snack.
Teresa vargas
January 31, 2024
loved it!!
Lori Haskings-Barber
January 24, 2024
This was yummy and the instructions were easy to follow and even when I didn’t follow them I was able to save the sauce
Franklin Cardiovascular
January 4, 2024
Hello Jaclyn, Your slow-roasted salmon with citrus and fennel recipe is a culinary revelation! The method of slow roasting to achieve that perfectly juicy salmon, combined with the bright, bold flavors of the marinade, is a testament to your skill and creativity in the kitchen. I particularly appreciate the focus on simplicity and the infusion of fresh, vibrant ingredients which elevate the dish to a new level of deliciousness. Thank you for sharing this, and keep those flavors coming!
January 2, 2024
Hi Georgia! Each can is 400ml.
Georgia Morgan
January 2, 2024
Your coconut cream matcha green tea ice cream you say 3 cans ? What size can ? Thank you
Mark Bono
December 18, 2023
I was looking for an appetizer for the holiday, made this for my wife tonight as a dry run. It was awesome!!
December 6, 2023
Hello Jaclyn, I understand it when you say, "...I know how hard it is (for women especially) to look in the mirror and hate what they see". I also understand the historical targeting of women's bodies to be thin from the promotion of whale bone corsets to Spanx "shapewear". But, as a man currently using incognito mode to Google the phrase "how to love yourself when you hate your weight" (because I'm too self-conscious and embarrassed to have it in my search history) let me just say a lot of us men had parents and other toxic influences that passed along the same warped motto, "look good = feel good". I'm just beginning my journey to self love. I have no doubt it will be HARD AF, but so is looking in the mirror everyday and hating what you see. Thanks for the article - lots of takeaways to start on!
December 4, 2023
Thank you so much for sharing Kim! I'm happy to hear you loved it :)
December 3, 2023
Made this for Thanksgiving and a holiday get together and it was so wonderful! 😋 Definitely my new favorite!
November 27, 2023
Love it !! Thanks
November 8, 2023
You don't happen to know what the calories are for this blueberry oat bar do you?
Koe James
October 24, 2023
Delicious! Used cooked andouille and seared for a shorter time - and collards for the greens - it was amazing - thank you
October 10, 2023
Hi Angela! You can omit the tapioca flour here and add more AP flour (1/4 cup). Just be sure to use the spoon and level method when measuring for the best results. Please let me know how they turn out :)
October 10, 2023
Hi, recipe looks great! Just wondering if I use AP flour, do I still also need the tapioca flour, or can I sub the tapioca flour also for AP flour, or leave that measurement out? Just want to be sure I get the measurements right when I sub in AP flour. Thanks!
October 5, 2023
Thank you for a wonderful tasty recipe. Loved the flavour of the sage (from our garden) and I paired it with baby spinach also from our garden. So delicious, quick and easy. Oh and filling! 😋 Yum
Libby Evans
October 3, 2023
September 25, 2023
Hi Kimberly, I'm not sure what you mean by the taste is off as I'm not there to try it myself. You can always try adding more salt, lemon juice or nutritional yeast to taste. If it needs to be creamier, you can try adding a splash of milk (oat, soy or regular) as well. I hope that helps :)
September 25, 2023
Hi! Yes, you could prepare them a day in advance and then reheat them to serve them warm. I have tried them cold, but personally prefer them warmed slightly.
September 24, 2023
I made the roasted butternut squash sauce with nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds as your son has a cashew allergy; the taste is off... I'm not sure what to do to correct it. Any ideas?
September 23, 2023
Can these be prepared in advance ( earlier in day)? Served warm or cooled?
Pam Licht
September 15, 2023
Thank you so much for this article. I love tofu but I’m still trying to learn how to use it. I tried the air fryer method but it came out very dry and rubbery. I did spray it with olive oil and spiced it. Maybe frozen tofu isn’t appropriate for air frying. I’m trying to cut back on oils but I’ll try your way! Thank you again ‼️
September 12, 2023
Hi Bridgette! Yes, you can use regular all purpose flour. Enjoy :)
September 5, 2023
Can you just use regular flour ?
August 21, 2023
My husband and I really enjoyed this! I had to sub thick spaghetti but otherwise followed the recipe. Such a fun, different pasta recipe!
August 20, 2023
This is a delicious decadent cake! Do much like a flourless chocolate torte. Only subs I made was a flax egg, and solid heavy coconut cream for the coconut butter. Definitely keep this recipe!
May 21, 2023
This is the one! I don’t know how many of these I’ve tried, but this one nailed it! Used dried dill and Kewpie Mayo and it was so good. I found you at last!
April 7, 2023
SO YUMMY!!! I've finally made a good baked oats with following your recipe :'). I didn't add the maple syrup or banana, instead a banana flavoured GoGoSqueeze lol! I believe adding the egg is the game changer, thank you for sharing!
March 27, 2023
Hi! That would be psyllium husk powder.
March 13, 2023
Psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder?
February 28, 2023
Thank you so much for this article. I will be 65 on March 4th and have have a struggled with my weight since age 8, my parents divorce. I have had disordered eating, anorexia, & BDD just to name a few. I have gained 45pounds in 2 years after leaving a toxic marriage of 30 Years. I am also embarking on a journey of self exploration & I am enough and not let the scales define my day or life.
February 15, 2023
This is a game changer! I always throw my tofu in the freezer when I buy it… but rarely remember to thaw it on time. And have always soaked it in hot water the sink, it takes f o r e v e r. Giving this a try right now - thank you!
Justine Louise
January 24, 2023
These turned out so good! I am excited to have quick and easy breakfasts that are not toast and bagels. Thanks for such a great recipe!
January 13, 2023
Hi Venetia! LOL, they definitely flatten a bit on the bottom as they cook, but that's kinda part of the charm I suppose haha
January 13, 2023
How do you keep the ball shape? Mine turned out like turkey igloos !!
January 8, 2023
Hi Michele. You add it in step #2 just to season the chicken a little.
Michele Baptiste
January 8, 2023
At what point did you add the kosher salt?
January 7, 2023
I love these recipes, cant wait to start cooking! Thank you for sharing!
January 7, 2023
wow, these pancakes look so delicious and yummy. I just love this recipe. thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us.<a href="">jukitchen</a>
December 23, 2022
Thank you for this recipe. I modified it a bit because I wanted to have it for breakfast. I only used 1 1/2 tsp of sugar and used oat flour in place of AP flour. I omitted the chocolate chips and topped with an all fruit jam after it finished cooking. Delicious and nutritious. Love it!
Lisa kinnaird
December 10, 2022
Am going to make your Thai Meatballs in Red Curry Sauce!!
Gary And Debbie Houck
November 30, 2022
Great stuff!
November 19, 2022
I replaced the chorizo with the impossible sausage, and it was still delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
November 14, 2022
Thank you so much for sharing Jeanette! Aren't easy meals that look fancy the best ;)
November 14, 2022
Thanks Alexandra! My husband loves it too and he loves his cheese lol.
November 14, 2022
Thanks so much for sharing Josh! It's such a great weeknight meal. Enjoy it tonight :)
November 14, 2022
This recipe slays... since you've posted, I've made variations on it at least four times. Going to make it again for dinner tonight.
Alexandra bull
November 10, 2022
Made this recipe for my boyfriend and I on Halloween! It is the perfect fall dish. It is easy to make vegan, nut & gluten free if you use gluten free pasta and do the sunflower seed substitute. My non-vegan boyfriend loved it so much they have asked me to make it again! It is so creamy & has the perfect crunch with the sage and pumpkin seeds.
November 2, 2022
Very easy, directions are clear, like recommended product names. Making this for dinner. Pre-dinner tasting fantastic flavours♥️♥️
September 21, 2022
Hi Marnie! You could use about 3 to 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
September 21, 2022
Hi, how much nutritional yeast would you suggest instead of cheese?
September 21, 2022
Absolutely LOVE this recipe - it's delicious (especially for those that like a hint of spice)!! My finance and I are obsessed and it's become part of our weeknight recipe rotation. It has a limited number of ingredients, it's quick to make/cook, but despite all of that - looks and tastes like much more time was spent! Thanks for the great recipe Jaclyn!
September 3, 2022
Do these burgers taste at all like beef? Thank you.
September 1, 2022
Just tried your recipe. Holly Hanna..... was that good! I know how to cook but you must try this one. I'm new to the this way of cooking but now I'm a believer. Keep them coming and I'll be trying them. Thanks ! G
August 2, 2022
This was delicious!!! It takes some prep time but each portion is packed with flavour! Will definitely make again ❤️
July 31, 2022
I made this yesterday and HOLY MOLY it hit the spot!!! It’s been so hot and muggy out here, so I was craving something light, cool, and filling. This recipe did not disappoint. The flavor of the peanut sauce was delicious. It had been a while since I prepared something with such color and flavor, which made eating it that much better. I will definitely make this again and try your other recipes too!! 😍🙏🏻❤️
July 25, 2022
Hi Henrik! Thanks for letting me know you made them. Depending on the size of your food processor, it can be a lot to pulse all at once, so maybe working in batches is better. I'm glad you liked them and they firmed up for you :) Enjoy the rest!
henrik bechmann
July 25, 2022
Yep, they firmed up nicely. I'm freezing four, and looking forward to having the other four, dressed with sauerkraut, pickles, mustard, vegan mayo, onions, banana chiles, and maybe even ketchup. Yum!
henrik bechmann
July 25, 2022
Well I ended up baking them for 23 minutes (@400F). They're delicious! A bit soft, but I'm hoping they'll firm up when they cool. Texture is good too. Thanks for this!
henrik bechmann
July 24, 2022
Seems like a good and tasty recipe. But I had to add a generous half cup of water to get any kind of movement in the food processor. I substituted flax seeds for hemp (what I had). The mixture was a bit loose because of the water, but still formed nicely into patties. Baking for 15 min at 400F. Looking forward to them!
July 23, 2022
Hi Roxanne! So for the meatballs photos with feta, I just used regular olive oil. But for the one photo with the red looking oil, that was olive oil mixed with fried green onions and Aleppo pepper. I have that recipe in full on my Instagram account - if you head over there, you'll see it -
July 21, 2022
Hi! The topping on your whipped feta looked delicious. It appeared to be more than olive oil. Or maybe an infused olive oil? Do you mind sharing that recipe? I can’t wait to make this recipe. Appreciate the tip on room temp feta.
July 19, 2022
Make these now! Once you buy your ingredients, this is the easiest recipe to's so hands off! I started the beef in the instant pot an hour before we wanted to eat and prepped the toppings while all of that was cooking. I used stewing beef and a home-made taco seasoning. I didn't have any beef broth so I used half of a bouillon cube - worked just fine! The enchilada sauce was store bought (Frontera brand) and it was delicious. Highly recommend the Monteray jack cheese - I used some Violife mozzarella that I happened to have at home but I can see how the sharp taste would add to the overall flavour.
July 18, 2022
Hi Carolyn! I'm so glad you are loving my recipes, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I don't provide nutritional information as it doesn't align with my brand or how I personally choose to live my life, having had a disordered relationship to food in the past. I hope you understand :)
July 13, 2022
I love your recipes and have tried them! What would be GREAT is if you could include the nutritional value with calories. It would be beneficial to those of us trying to lose weight. Thank you, Carolyn
July 11, 2022
Just made this for my family today. I can’t have gluten or dairy but they can and this got a RESOUNDING stamp of approval! Love the simple ingredients and it tasted fabulous! Thanks for such nourishing recipes ❤️ 😊
July 3, 2022
Thanks for this! I came across this recipe very late in life, at a family meal. I liked it better than my mother's potato salad of my childhood, and better than my sister's which came from her in-laws. DH likes it very much. Win, win, win! Tip: if you don't want to steam up your summer kitchen nor fight the mosquitoes for the grill, pressure cook the potatoes!
May 12, 2022
I am on a short vacation and came across this recipe, looking forward in making this. It looks really good. Can’t wait.
Whitney Mullenax
April 22, 2022
I have these cookies in the oven right now (2nd time making them in a few weeks). They are perfection and will be a great gift for some coworkers tomorrow. I made the recipe as is, great texture! I saved some for me too, don't worry ;)
Olivia Garcia
April 15, 2022
I love the ingredients in these recipes… Can’t wait to start them all!!
April 14, 2022
Don’t sleep on this wing recipe. It is soooo good! I can see this being a staple for game days, casual dinners or honestly…any day. Such a crowd pleaser as well. Oh and please don’t skip the dip. It’s unreal stuff! I was grabbing random things in my kitchen to eat it with once the wings were done.
Christa Campbell
March 28, 2022
The simplest recipe to make a delicious desert! I left out the cacao and just made vanilla coconut flavor and it was heavenly. I plan to add different flavors in the future; cacao with Orange or raspberry essence, vanilla salted, caramel flour de sel- the options are endless. Glad to find a keto friendly treat that can be made easily at home.
March 24, 2022
When do you add the mushrooms back in the pot?
February 13, 2022
These were good! I've been curious to try making a miso dessert for a little while now, but wanted it to be grain free. I've found that almond flour based chocolate chip cookies always have some kind of nut butter, and since I just use peanut butter, it's like a PB cookie. The miso did a great job replacing nut butter and achieved a great, chewy consistency! It's definitely strong, although I'm sure white miso would have been more mild. I used dashi miso, which in hindsight sounds pretty gross.. the cookies were not at all fishy tasting, but just bold and kind of salty/savory. I think next time I'll try a little less miso. I have a tendency to use less sugar than a recipe calls for, but I definitely needed it in this one to balance the miso flavor. I just used regular butter too, not ghee.
Susan Renee Hennings
January 12, 2022
Yes, I like it a lot. Lentils are nutritious and inexpensive.
January 2, 2022
I’m just learning about adaptogens and trying to incorporate them into my “healthy arsenal”. Thanks for the info!
December 27, 2021
This is the first cinnamon roll recipe i've actually gotten to work! I let the dough rest in the fridge for 4-5 hours and then rolled and filled it, then let it rest in the fridge over night and it worked great for an early morning bake. I looked through the whole recipe and you never mention what temperature to bake at. It just says "place in your preheated oven to bake" I baked at 350. Also it would be really nice if the caramel sauce recipe was included here. All in all totally delicious, worth the effort, and I will be making this again.