Often we talk about what we “should eat” or that we “have to have xyz”. I invite you to examine your language and reflect on where that thought or belief is coming from. Words like “should”, “have to”, and “must” are often reflections of internalized authority or parental voices. As adults, we get to consider our beliefs and ways of thinking and behaving. In doing so, we can choose what fits our value system and what no longer serves us. For example, maybe we were told to have a glass of milk or orange juice with breakfast as children. Or, and this is a big one, that we had to clean our plate before leaving the table. BUT, humans are the only creatures that drink milk into adulthood (with the exception of when WE feed it to others, like dogs and cats!) and many of us don’t digest dairy well. A glass of orange juice, particularly first thing in the morning, spikes our blood sugar and starts the roller coaster of spikes and drops in blood sugar early in the day. And cleaning our plate! While parenting is an understandably challenging job and parents generally want their kids to eat so they can grow big and strong, this message of cleaning our plate teaches us NOT to listen to our bodies and our hunger or fullness cues. The good news is, now we’re big kids and we get to make choices that serve us in our lives now.What to do instead? Bear in mind the nutritional value in various foods. If it doesn’t have much nutritional value, then we’re really just giving our bodies more work with little to no payoff. Ask yourself what the outcome is of individual foods, be honest with yourself and let that information inform you! Does it have protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and/or minerals that our bodies need to feel and function well? Or is it packed with additives, high amounts of sugar, fat, or sodium that depletes our energy and that we often end up storing as fat? Be a label reader and look for ingredients you know, if you’re not sure what something is, give it a quick google! The good news is, it’s OKAY to have treats, simply enjoy them in moderation. Learn to listen to your body. What foods help you feel sustained energy? (Protein is a big one here!) Which foods make your belly feel bad or zap your energy? (Processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are common culprits.) Most of all, practice slowing your eating so you have time to register fullness. Some tips on slowing your eating speed are chewing each bite 30-50 times, putting your utensil down between bites, and taking deep breaths between bites. Hone the skill of noticing when you’re satiated, this helps you choose to stop eating before you become over full. Remember, you can choose to take yourself out of the “clean plate club” and prioritize your own body messages over childhood messaging. One last note, like many of you, I don’t like to waste food. The remedy is only take what you want to eat, serve yourself smaller portions and go back for more if needed, and know that it’s okay to put leftovers away, even if it’s only half a cup worth of food! Cheers to the wisdom of YOUR body and honing your receptivity! PS If you want help with your nutrition, CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE a free nutrition diagnostic session!