Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Three things we dive into in this episode:
What real fullness feels like
What intuitive eating and gentle, intentional nutrition means for you
Actionable ways to start honoring your body’s needs and leaning into its innate cues
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[04:50] On the Topic of ‘Fullness’
Fullness is about giving your body the nutrition and energy it needs to help you live your fullest and most energized life.
The topic is intimidating for Caitie as a registered dietitian and an eating disorder recovery coach.
She has counseled 100s of people as a dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor and has also been through her own journey of learning how to find a sense of fullness.
[07:13] Safety as a Foundation for Fullness
The two most important things about fullness are cultivating a sense of internal safety and gentle, compassionate structure.
Internal safety refers to having a regulated nervous system. It means that your brain is not perceiving that your body is in danger.
The brain may perceive the body is in danger when you're under significant stress or feeling exhausted and deprived.
It's difficult to hear the cues your body sends you if your nervous system is dysregulated.
[08:55] Intuitive Eating
The intuitive eating framework is what Caitie teaches during one-on-one nutrition or eating disorder recovery counseling.
Many people think intuitive eating is just about eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full or simply eating whatever you want.
Intuitive eating is actually getting attuned to your body's internal cues: hunger, fullness, functional cravings.
It is the process of removing the things that block these cues and sharpening your ability to perceive and understand them.
Intuitive eating is a peaceful interplay between following your internal cues, emotions, and rational thoughts.
Caitie: “So intuitive eating isn't just ‘eat when you're hungry; stop when you're full.’ It's the process of attuning to the cues that your body is sending you and then peacefully integrating those cues that your body is sending you with some rational thoughts and some emotional cues that might make eating a more enjoyable, pleasant experience for you throughout your life.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[10:58] The Importance of Internal Safety in Intuitive Eating
Becoming an intuitive eater is difficult if your nervous system is not regulated.
Your body won't be able to perceive and send out your internal cues if your brain perceives your body is under threat constantly.
Cultivating a sense of internal safety is a critical part of proper nutrition.
Caitie: “If you have a sense of internal safety, internal regulation, you feel good and at home in your body…you're not going to feel tempted to dive into a rigid or restrictive diet program that's ultimately going to prevent you from having good nutrition.” - Click Here To Tweet This
Cultivating a sense of internal safety also means letting go of the pseudo-safety that restrictive diet programs provide.
[12:58] The Pseudo Safety of Restrictive Diet Programs
Caitie can remember when she spiraled into the pseudo-safety of a rigid, restrictive program.
That began when she read an article about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s weight loss journey in People Magazine at 14 years old. Tune in to the episode to hear the story!
Caitie had a full-blown eating disorder in her sophomore year of high school.
She technically recovered in her senior year, but some behaviors lingered. She was never able to define what healthy eating was throughout her treatment.
In her sophomore year of college, she was still in pursuit of maintaining her weight. She eventually found herself switching between restriction and binge eating.
[17:24] The Cost of Pseudo Safety
Diets with rigid rules feel comforting. They provide you with predictability and concreteness in an unpredictable and nuanced world.
But this comfort will cost you who you are. You won't be able to live life to the fullest because you're controlled by food constantly.
Rigid nutrition costs you the ability to live a full, fluid, free, and flexible life.
Find an intentional but flexible way to eat that lets you embrace your whole life. Your source of comfort must not cost you your soul.
[21:43] Honoring Your Body’s Needs
Caitie found the resources, tools, mentors, and grace she needed to break free from disordered eating.
For the last ten years, she has embraced non-diet-approach nutrition and implemented habits that honor her body's ever-changing needs.
Caitie: “I've learned that the roadmap to feeling my body and feeling good is not going to be found in rigid rules—it's going to be within me.” - Click Here To Tweet This
It took Caitie a long time to find an internal sense of safety. She had to implement other holistic modalities that had nothing to do with food to feel regulated in her body.
It will feel like a moment of surrender when you first let go of food rules and restrictions. Listen to the full episode to hear Caitie’s metaphor for this experience!
It’s about letting go of what you think nutrition has to look like and practicing things that help you feel a sense of internal safety.
[27:15] Adopting a Compassionate, Gentle Structure
Learning to recognize internal cues doesn’t mean throwing all sense of structure out the window.
It’s about following gentle, loving, and compassionate nutrition principles that help you stay anchored while learning to listen to your body.
A restrictive mindset often results in rebound bingeing or an unhealthy relationship with food.
Tune in to the full episode to get a picture of what it looks like to follow a compassionate, gentle nutrition structure!
Caitie: “It's important to not let go of intention and planning with nutrition even though you're letting go of rigidity and control. You can still be compassionately structured with yourself.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[30:28] Tying Safety and Compassionate, Gentle Structure Together
It's challenging to incorporate a compassionate, gentle intention to nutrition without a regulated nervous system and a sense of internal safety.
At the center of it is the importance of food security.
Forgive yourself for what you did when you weren’t full.
Our body needs enough food to keep our organs functioning optimally. We also need nourishment for our mental and emotional health.
We often forget the impact of nutrition on the brain.
[34:07] This Week’s Processing Prompt
Think of a question you would like to ask a nutrition expert.
What do you hope their answer would be to that question? What does that hope show you about your relationship with food?
[36:20] This Week’s Action Experiment
Think of one thing you can ADD to your diet to cultivate a sense of fullness, instead of what you will restrict or take away. Find what feels good and do that.
Caitie Corradino MS, RDN, CDN, RYT, CPT, is the founder and lead counselor of Full Soul Nutrition. She is a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, a certified fitness and yoga instructor, an eating disorder recovery coach, and a Reiki practitioner. She is passionate about providing counseling services that are truly integrative and effect healing for the whole person.
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Caitie Corradino: I started with this desire to control how I ate as a way to source a sense of safety but eventually, the food and the way I ate took control of me. This is not an atypical or unique story like anyone who feels uncertain and unsafe and overall uncomfortable in the world, reads the rules of a restrictive diet and feels like they finally found something very straightforward that guarantees them certain outcomes. That can feel so comforting.
Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are, underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician, nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.
I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full, & alive right here, right now. Let's get into it. It would mean the whole world if you could take a few steps today to help celebrate the launch of this podcast. If you take these steps, you get a chance to join my nutrition coaching program and community called Hopeful and Alive for free.
So for free, you'll get a one on one counseling session with me, ten live group calls and access to dozens of lectures from myself and amazing guest coaches to help you trade restriction, obsession and yo-yo dieting for delicious, energizing and nourishing routines that support your most aligned life. I know, pretty big deal. Here's how you get to enter for a free spot in Whole, Full, & Alive. First step, listen to an episode.
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Hey there. Welcome to episode two of Whole, Full, & Alive. I am so grateful that you're back. I am so thankful that you're joining me for another episode, or maybe, it's the first episode that you're listening to. Either way, I am so thankful that you're here, that we're connected in some way and that I get to be here talking to you. I am back here on the microphone, solo. Again today, I'm coming to you from a makeshift podcast studio.
I'm in a hotel room in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, essentially in a little pillow fort that I've created for myself. I mentioned in my last episode that I'm currently living this sort of nomadic lifestyle. I have not been in the same place for more than two weeks for a very, very long time, and where I happen to be meeting you from for this episode is actually in the middle of a family trip. I'm just keeping it real here.
I procrastinated recording this episode for you a little bit. So now, I am coming to you from a a makeshift pillow fort podcast studio in a hotel room at 5pm on a Sunday. The reason I feel like I procrastinated this episode a little bit is because today's topic is a big one. So, I told you in the first three episodes of the show, I really want to establish why I'm calling the show Whole, Full, & Alive. So on Episode One, I talked about wholeness. I defined wholeness.
What does wholeness mean? Why do I feel like it's an important theme to be exploring on a show that talks about falling in love with your life and all of that. In today's episode, I want to talk about fullness, and I think fullness is a more intimidating topic for me to talk about than wholeness was, because I have a lot on my heart about fullness. What I mean by fullness is giving your body the nutrition, the energy that it needs to help you live your fullest, best, most energized life.
Fullness is an intimidating topic for me because I'm a registered dietician, and I'm an eating disorder recovery coach. I spend a lot of my life providing counseling to girls and women recovering from eating disorders, and just with people who are healing their relationship with food. So, I'm also a certified intuitive eating counselor, and I've been through my own journey with learning how to find a sense of fullness for myself and harness the energy that I need to feel alive and good and nourished.
So, I wasn't sure how I wanted to lay the foundation for this theme of fullness, but I've got a few ideas. I’ve got a few things that I will lay out here on this intro to fullness, and I hope that they resonate with you. This episode is going to be laid out just like episode one. So, I'll chit chat for a little bit, and then at the end of the episode, I'm going to give you a processing prompt, so some questions that you can ask yourself to start to process your own relationship with fullness, your own relationship with food.
Maybe start to cultivate a sense of good nutrition for yourself by processing these questions in a journal or out loud with another person or out loud with yourself, however you choose to process. Then, I'm also going to give you an action and experiment, something that you can implement in your life today to see how it goes. Plug in this specific actionable tool and see how things go for you.
I would call the actions that I give you at the end of the episodes like just actions, but I really like to call them experiments because I want you to see it as experimental. Let me plug this in, and see what happens. So, that's how this episode is gonna go today, just like all my episodes. We'll have our talking time, and then, we'll have our processing prompt time and our experiment time. So, let's get into it. Fullness.
When I think about fullness, the most important things that come to mind for me are cultivating a sense of internal safety, and cultivating a sense of gentle and compassionate structure. When I was considering what I wanted to talk about to lay the foundation for fullness, to lay the foundation for the way I want to talk about nutrition on this show, those two things came up for me first, internal safety and gentle, compassionate structure.
Now, what the hell do I mean by this? Internal safety, I think, refers to having a regulated nervous system. So if you're not familiar with this concept of having a regulated nervous system, what it essentially means is that your brain is not perceiving that your body is in danger.
So if your brain perceives that your body is in danger, it doesn't necessarily mean that your body is in danger, but it might mean that your body is under significant amounts of stress, or you're constantly pushing your body to exhaustion, or you are deprived of essential things like food and sleep and water. Your nervous system is essentially made up of your central nervous system and your peripheral nervous system.
So, your central nervous system is your brain and your spinal cord, and your peripheral nervous system is all the nerve endings that extend throughout your body. If your nervous system is not regulated, it's really really difficult for you to perceive the cues that your body is sending you. The primary thing that I teach, when I'm counseling someone through nutrition or eating disorder recovery, is this framework called intuitive eating.
A lot of people think that intuitive eating just means, Oh, eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full or eat whatever you want. But, what intuitive eating actually is, is the process of getting attuned to the internal cues of your body, getting attuned to your hunger cues and your fullness cues and your functional cravings, the cravings that your body is sending you about what type of food and how much food it wants, and how much food it needs.
We are all born with these cues naturally and intuitive eating is the process of removing the things that might be blocking those cues, and also sharpening your ability to perceive those cues, to sense those cues, to understand what they feel like. So, you don't have to follow food rules. You don't have to follow a diet plan. You don't have to follow a calorie count. You don't have to follow portion control in order to understand how to eat.
You can become an intuitive eater by getting more attuned to those cues, and then, just following some gentle, gentle nutrition guidelines along the side to sort of help you make sure you're getting your body's needs met. So, intuitive eating is kind of like this peaceful interplay between following your body cues, your hunger cues, your fullness cues, your functional cravings, your emotions, giving yourself some enjoyable, emotional eating experiences and letting food be a part of your life and be spontaneous, and then, also rational thoughts, so being rational and practical about when you eat.
Intuitive eating isn't just eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. It's the process of attuning to the cues that your body is sending you, and then, peacefully integrating those cues that your body is sending you with some rational thoughts and some emotional cues that might make eating a more enjoyable, pleasant experience for you throughout your life. If your nervous system is not regulated, if you do not have a sense of internal safety, it's going to be really, really difficult for you to become a truly intuitive eater and for that concept to even make sense to you, right?
Because if your brain is constantly perceiving that your body is under threat, you're not going to be able to hear those instincts, like those hunger cues, those fullness cues, because your body's not really going to be sending them out, your brain is going to think, oh, we have bigger fish to fry here, we're under danger. We don't need to prioritize sending out hunger cues, fullness cues, and functional cravings.
Cultivating a sense of internal safety is such an important part of nutrition for that reason, and it's also an important part of having good nutrition. Because if you have a sense of internal safety, internal regulation, you feel good and at home in your body, you're not going to feel tempted to dive into a rigid or restrictive diet program that's ultimately going to prevent you from having good nutrition. There are so many programs out there.
There are so many calorie restriction programs. There are so many food restriction programs. There are so many lose 20 pounds in 20 days programs out there, that diet companies are trying to sell us so that we stay on the diet hamster wheel, and we keep buying more and more diets, yada, yada. If we don't feel a sense of internal safety, a sense of being at home in our bodies, we are just going to feel so, so tempted to grab at those rigid, restrictive programs because they feel safe.
Cultivating a sense of internal safety in your body, feeling whole at home in your body means also letting go of pseudo safety. It means letting go of these things that feel like they're safe, but they're really, really not. I can speak to my own experience with this a little bit. I've personally fallen on my face with cultivating a sense of internal safety and really had to learn how to do so through years of actual nutrition counseling and self nutrition counseling.
I can remember the moment when I recognized that I didn't feel safe or at home within my body, and I thought that I could cultivate a sense of safety by following a rigid, restrictive program. A lot of people who don't have a good relationship with food or are stuck in the dieting cycle don't really remember the exact moment when they started spiraling into that stuff, but I actually can.
I actually can remember being 14 years old and seeing an article in People Magazine interviewing Jennifer Love Hewitt after her weight loss journey. I actually remember it being the last day of eighth grade, and I felt really socially awkward at the time. I felt really overall uncomfortable in my body at the time, was going through puberty. My body was changing. I was getting comments about it.
I just felt so, so, so uncomfy and my mom had People Magazines out on the coffee table in our home, and I saw this article that included Jennifer Love Hewitt's meal plan and her workout routine and this inspirational interview, like with her before and after picture. She talked about her nonfat yogurt and her non-negotiable time on the treadmill and about how missing a workout makes her feel sluggish.
I remember that was a quote that really stuck with me. This article was literally a how to develop an eating disorder, but I thought it was a how to be confident, happy and healthy. It really did. Obviously in my 14 year old brain, I thought that but I think that any individual who's feeling unsafe, uncomfortable in their body and just wants to feel more at home in it, would see an article like this and think, yeah, this feels safe. This feels good.
This feels like something comfortable, a home that I can kind of slide into. I remember seeing this article and kind of like making the split second decision to let it be an itinerary for my summer, before high school. If you fast forward to my sophomore year of high school, I had like a full blown eating disorder, and then, fast forward to my senior year of high school and I technically recovered from that clinical eating disorder.
But, I was still using exercise and very rigid eating behaviors to source a sense of internal safety. I went to treatment during my junior year of high school through my senior year of high school, and I air quotes, weight restored, and got myself to a place where I was like, medically stable, but I never really actually defined what healthy eating was in my eating disorder treatment process in high school.
Because I never really defined what health actually looked like, I just sorted to find what healthy wasn't. I continued to use exercise and rigid eating to source this sense of internal safety that I really didn't have, that I didn't have from a young age for a lot of different complex reasons. Then if you like fast forward to my sophomore year of college, I was still air quotes recovered from my eating disorder, and I wasn't saying that I wanted to lose weight or anything.
But, I still was in this pursuit of maintaining my weight. I was still in this pursuit of eating with these rigid and restrictive rules, because that just felt safe to me, and because I was so stuck in these rigid and restrictive food rules, of course, eventually, my body fought back and was like, Hey, we don't want to follow these rigid restrictive food rules anymore. I suddenly found myself oscillating between restriction and binge eating, and always feeling out of control with food, like restriction, diet, detox, binge, restriction, diet, detox, binge, always feeling out of control, and I simply just like couldn't let go of trying to find the next diet.
Because these diets with rigid rules, these detoxes with rigid rules, these programs that just like gave me a guidebook for how to eat felt so comforting. They provided me with predictability and concreteness in an unpredictable and nuanced and scary world. But, that comfort that I got from following these rigid diet programs eventually cost me who I was. It cost me my soul, because I wasn't able to live life all the way because of how much I felt constantly controlled by food.
I started with this desire to control how I ate as a way to source a sense of safety, but eventually, the food and the way I ate took control of me. This is not an atypical or unique story. Like anyone who feels uncertain and unsafe and overall uncomfortable in the world, reads the rules of a restrictive diet and feels like they finally found something very straightforward that guarantees them certain outcomes, that can feel so comforting.
But, you do not get to live your fullest and your most fun and your most authentic and your most like values driven life following rigid and restrictive diets like that. Like, it eventually becomes impossible to honor the things that are really deeply important to you while sticking to a rigid, restrictive one size fits all sort of diet, because you end up choosing between, do I want to follow these food rules or do I want to go out with my friends tonight and have a fun night.
Do I want to follow these food rules, or do I want to allow myself to travel and experience the world and be spontaneous with meal timing and just honor what my body's asking for and craving as I go on these new adventures of life which don't even need to be traveling, right? It might just be like changing your schedule and getting a new job or going to school or whatever it may be.
Or your body might just start crying out for more food, right, because it's not meant to follow the rigid, restrictive diet. You're at a crossroads where it's like okay, do I feed my body the food it's asking for so that I can have a fully nourished brain that's able to think creatively and fully and enjoy life emotionally or do I follow this rigid, restrictive diet that just kind of feel safe, right?
You definitely, definitely should never be eating in a way that costs you your soul. You should never be eating in a way that makes you choose between the diet and your most authentic life. Any source of comfort that makes you choose between the source of comfort and your fullest life is just pseudo safety. It's just pseudo comfort. In my last episode, I talked about a breakup that I went through earlier this year.
In that relationship, I wasn't getting what I desired, or what I needed to, like, truly feel safe, but he stayed in it for a very long time, because I was getting this sense of comfort from the relationship. But, it wasn't the kind of comfort that let me keep my soul. It wasn't the kind of comfort that let me like, honor who I am and be my full, authentic self. I had to let go of the coziness that that relationship provided and surrender a bit so that I could search for a sense of comfort that let me be true to myself at the same time.
That's what I'm saying with rigid nutrition. It gives us the sense of comfort, but it costs us the ability to live a full, fluid, free and flexible life. We can't leap into all that life has to offer if we're chained down by rigid food rolls. We need to find an intentional but flexible way to eat that lets you embrace your whole damn life, and source your sense of comfort from a place that doesn't cost you your spark, your spontaneity or soul.
I know I'm saying the same thing a little bit over and over again, but that really is the main message I want to get out here. I finally found the resources, the tools, the mentors, and the grace that I needed to completely break free from disordered eating, and I discovered intuitive eating and I embraced a non diet, approach to nutrition. I learned to listen to my body. Throughout grad school all the way up until now these last 10 years, I've been implementing habits that honor my body's ever changing needs.
I've learned that the roadmap to feeling my body and feeling good is not going to be found in rigid rules, it's going to be within me. But, in order to be able to sense the cues that my body is sending me for what it needs to eat, I have to find that sense of internal safety within myself. It took me a long time to get there. I had to read the intuitive eating book many, many times and listen to things like the Food Psych podcast, which was like the first podcast that actually introduced me to intuitive eating.
I had to implement other holistic modalities that had seemingly nothing to do with food, in order to be able to feel regulated in my body. Because when you first let go of these sort of comforting diets, it feels like a little bit of a moment of surrender. It feels like this moment when you're just completely letting go of this comforting thing even though, it's pseudo safety, right? It's not true safety.
But when you first let go of food rules and restrictions and decide that you want to become an intuitive eater and learn to listen to your body, it feels like a freefall for a moment, and the best metaphor I can compare it to is when I was in Montana earlier this year on a solo leg of my nomadic life, I got to my Airbnb. It was my first night in Montana, a pretty foreign place for someone from New York City.
I was in this Airbnb alone on the top floor of a three storey apartment building and this huge blizzard came in. It was insane when it felt like the roof was gonna fly off; pieces of the roof actually were flying off the furniture on the balcony of this Airbnb was like flying at the sliding door window. I had to bring it inside. I remember just laying in the bed of this Airbnb on my first night solo in Montana, only a couple of weeks post breakup, feeling pretty fragile, just like the wind was ripping around me and all I could do was surrender.
Like, all I could do was get in the bed and do breathing exercises that made me feel safe in my body. All I could do was rub some lavender oil into my hands and do what I could to calm down while; I had to surrender because I couldn't leave the Airbnb. I didn't have anywhere to go and I wasn't going to be able to safely get anywhere even if I did and had to just listen to the storm rip around me.
As I was in this moment of surrender, I realized that this is what it can feel like when you first let go of food roles and rigid diet programs if you're used to being on them. It can feel like there's a blizzard ripping around you and you're like, all my body cues are starting to come in at once. I just need to be able to take it one moment one day at a time. What you need in that moment is to use tools that help you source a sense of internal safety, a sense of a regulated nervous system, so that you can slowly start to get your body cues back online.
So that kind of the way I talk about laying in bed and just listening to the blizzard rip around me and hope for the best and just regulate my nervous system, it's like, you let go of the food rules. You let go of the calorie counts. You let go of what you think nutrition has to look like, and practice breathing exercises, practice things that help you feel a sense of safety internally, so that you don't have to source that sense of comfort externally.
You can slowly but surely start to get reconnected with your body again. So, that's the first part of finding fullness that I want to share with you is sourcing a sense of internal safety in a regulated nervous system is so important because you need to be able to hear what your body is saying to you to become a truly, healthy, intuitive eater.
If your nervous system is dysregulated, if you're stressed out, if you're anxious, if you're starving, if you're tired, your body isn't going to be able to communicate with you because your brain senses that it has bigger fish to fry, and it's not necessarily sending you those cues. Even if it was, you wouldn't be able to sense them. So, that regulated nervous system and that internal safety is so important, and it's important to recognize that you might be trying to source that safety from something outside of yourself, like a diet.
You might be trying to source that sense of comfort from following rigid food rules and calorie counts and things like that, but the comfort is actually going to come from within. I hope that this actually is a nice sort of segue from episode one about wholeness, and I hope that I can kind of dive into this concept a little bit more as this podcast continues. But, I want to dive into the second part of today's episode, which is compassionate, gentle structure.
So, that I believe is the second most important thing, or just another important piece of the foundation when it comes to finding fullness, finding a sense of sustainable, good nutrition, compassionate, gentle structure. So, this means that as we're learning to listen to our body to recognize our hunger cues, our fullness cues and our functional cravings, we don't have to just throw all sense of structure out the window.
We're not just going to eat on a whim all day long. We can follow some gentle, loving, compassionate nutrition principles that help us kind of stay anchored while we're learning to listen to our body a little bit more. So, this compassionate structure is not going to look like, don't eat past 8pm, right? It's not going to look like don't eat white bread. It's not going to look like don't eat, I don't know, what's another food that's typically demonized by society.
Don't eat dessert, chocolate, whatever. It's not going to look like don't do this, don't do this, don't do this. It's going to look like what is the minimum that I know my body needs in order to get minimum energy requirements for the day, and what can I add to my diet in order to make sure I'm getting enough nutrition instead of what's the upper limit that I'm going to put on what I should eat for the day, right?
Because that sort of restrictive mindset is going to result in often a rebound binging or just not going to be good for your relationship with food. There's so much more I can say about that, but it's also not going to look like what are you going to subtract from your diet. It's going to look like firmly, confidently and compassionately saying to yourself, Okay, I'm going to have fruit with my breakfast.
I'm going to incorporate a serving of vegetables with my dinner. I'm going to throw some spinach into my favorite smoothie, adding, right, and then it's also going to look like I'm going to make sure that I eat every four to five waking hours because I know my blood sugar is going to get low if I don't. It's going to look like I know I need a carb source, a protein source and a fat source at all of my meals in order for my blood sugar to stay balanced and for my body to get the energy that it needs logically.
This is what gentle nutrition is. This is actually one of the pieces of the puzzle when it comes to eating intuitively. It's important to not let go of intention and planning with nutrition even though you're letting go of rigidity and control. You can still be compassionately structured with yourself and this is something I want to get into so much more on future episodes. I am so passionate about helping people cultivate a sense of structure without rigidity.
I am so passionate about helping people focus on health and well being through nutrition without creating rigid rules and restriction because it is possible. Not only is it possible, it's also necessary if you want to take care of your body fully. However, it's really difficult to incorporate this sort of compassionate, gentle intention to nutrition if we don't have that first step of a regulated nervous system, and a sense of internal safety, right?
I mean, this also implies that you need food security as well, right? If someone is food insecure and doesn't have consistent access to enough food, enough energy, they're not going to have that regulated nervous system because their body is going to feel dysregulated. It's going to be in that food scarcity set. It's not necessarily going to be sending hunger cues and fullness cues because the brain, the nervous system knows that it has bigger fish to fry.
So, this compassionate structure, when it comes to nutrition, is definitely an important principle of fullness that I want to talk about on this podcast. Also, it definitely is sort of like a second step in terms of the two things that I'm talking about today. We can start thinking about gentle and compassionate structure and gentle intuitive nutrition if we don't first have regulated nervous system and internal safety.
Now, before I dive into today's processing prompt and experiment and sort of wrap up, I just want to close by saying one thing, forgive yourself for what you did when you weren't full. That is something I said on Episode One, too, about wholeness. Forgive yourself for what you did when you didn't feel whole, and you are just trying to source a sense of wholeness from something outside yourself, and that thing was taken away from you and you felt threatened and you act it out, right?
Forgive yourself for anything you may have done when you weren't full, when you were hungry, when you are malnourished. Our body needs enough food just to keep our heart beating and our lungs breathing, and to keep our brain functioning optimally. We also need to be nourishing ourselves fully for our mental and emotional health and our sense of enjoyment and our sense of living a life that is full.
I started recording this podcast yesterday, but I had to stop for the day because I was just hungry for dinner. I couldn't get myself to record this podcast when I wanted to because I wasn't full. My brain was not getting the blood glucose that it needed in order to be functioning creatively and to sit here and talk to you for a sustained period of time. I think a lot of us forget the impact of nutrition on the brain.
The brain is an organ, just like you need energy to keep your heart pumping, and to keep your lungs breathing. You also need energy to keep your brain thinking thoughts that are logical. It is so common that our brain starts going to a deep, dark place, and we're like, oh my gosh, what's going on with me? Am I okay? Often, what we need is just a meal or a snack.