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Eating consciously – How to regain our intuitive eating behaviour and body awareness

Unwellness, digestive problems and overweight, food intolerances or chronic diseases: Many people have lost their awareness of how nutrition can influence not only their weight, but also their mental well-being and health. But we can rediscover a healthy feeling for our body’s signals and a mindful connection to it. Without rules and dogmas, but through awareness and an individual feeling for the appropriate foods.

Everything we feed our body and mind has an effect on our human system. This also applies to the food we eat. It is therefore worthwhile to check and question what exactly we are actually supplying our body with and whether it is receiving the right nutritional building blocks.

We need energy every day to regenerate new, healthy cells and to maintain our vital metabolic processes. Therefore, we need a sufficient supply and variety of healthy substances, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids.

However, in many cases a balanced and healthy diet is not given. One main cause is that we have largely moved away from natural foods and instead consume too many industrially processed foods that have little nutritional value.

Return to naturalness and pure food

The negative effects of industrially processed foods have long been known: Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poorer blood counts and obesity as well as stomach and intestinal complaints. Likewise, psychological effects such as depressive moods, headaches, fatigue, mood swings, lack of concentration and fatigue.

The poor quality, chemicals and additives in our food contribute to us losing the natural sense of taste and satiety, as well as the intuitive sense of our body and the signals it sends us.

By eating an unhealthy diet, we harm our bodies, our brains and thus also influence our mood and mental attitude in an unhealthy way. This is because the additives in our food affect our hormone balance, among other things, which in turn has a great effect on our body weight and our psyche.

The following are recommendations for a conscious and healthy diet, which are based on generally applicable guidelines as well as Ayurveda*.

Which additives in food are questionable?

Trans fatty acids
This refers to the trans fats that occur as a by-product of industrial processes. Such as in the hardening of fats, the refining of oils or the deep-frying of food. For example in margarine, chips, crisps, biscuits or refined oils. Trans fatty acids promote obesity and increase the risk of heart attacks.

Artificial flavour enhancers and flavourings
Found in soft drinks, fruit yoghurt, puddings, frozen vegetables, ready-to-eat pizza, cocoa powder as well as in numerous dairy products.
Instead of using a large amount of unprocessed products to ensure natural flavour, it is cheaper and less costly to add artificial flavours and flavour enhancers. In turn, flavour enhancers are used to compensate for flavour loss. These chemicals manipulate our natural sense of smell and taste. Some flavours can be carcinogenic, toxic and mutagenic.

Artificial dyes
Are replicas of substances that occur in nature or entirely synthetic compounds. They are considered allergens and are suspected of causing cancer.
Natural dyes obtained from plants or animals are, for example: carotenoids, berry dyes (anthocyanins), beet dyes (betanin) and dyes from spices such as paprika, saffron and turmeric (curcumin).

Preservatives (labelled with an E-number)
For example, in lemonades, burgers, ketchup, baking mixes, pre-made muesli, jams, spirits, meat or packaged bread. Sie dienen dazu, die Produkte länger haltbar zu machen.

Many of the substances are considered carcinogenic and can lead to clogged blood vessels, headaches and allergic reactions, for example.
Instead, use traditional preservation methods such as smoking, drying and vacuuming. Unbedenkliche Konservierungsstoffe sind: Kalium-, Natrium- und Calciumacetat (E 261 bis E 263) sowie Milchsäure (E 270), Kohlendioxid (E 290), Apfelsäure (E 296) und Fumarsäure (E 297). These substances occur in nature and are metabolised by the human organism.

Are mostly used prophylactically, especially in factory farming. Bacteria that cause disease (e.g. salmonella) can develop antibiotic resistance in animals, which is then transferred to humans through food. They impair our natural intestinal flora and endanger the effect of the antibiotics we take ourselves in case of illness.

Bisphenol A
Contained in plastic bottles and plastic packaging. Contributes to infertility and has a negative effect on human hormone balance. Instead, switch to drinks in glass bottles, for example.

Gets into food or our drinking water when the coating comes off in pipes, canned food, beverage cans and cookware. Can lead to anaemia, muscle pain, osteoporosis or inflammation of the kidneys and liver.

Pesticides & fungicides
Are used at high levels mainly in conventional agriculture in fruit and vegetable production and are found at high levels in peppers, grapes, apples, tomatoes and lettuces. Pesticides can be causative for Parkinson’s disease, affect fertility and promote various other chronic diseases. Organic products, on the other hand, are usually reliably free of pesticides and fungicides.

Industrial sugar
For example, in soft drinks, sweets, ready meals, prepared delicatessen salads as well as sauces, spreads and jams, packet soups or packaged bread.
Sugar is usually „disguised“ and can be recognised by the amount of carbohydrates it contains. Due to its processing, industrial sugar no longer contains any nutrients and has a very high calorie density. Likewise, increased sugar intake activates the hormone insulin, which increases insulin levels in the blood and interrupts the fat-burning process in the body. An increased insulin level can have a pro-inflammatory effect and promote the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic gastrointestinal diseases or Alzheimer’s disease.

But what do we need instead?

What is needed is a mental return to what nature provides us with as pure products and that our body does not need anything more to keep itself healthy and vital. And the fresher, more digestible and nutrient-rich the food is, the healthier it is for our body. Our food should therefore be easily digestible and consist of the highest quality, unprocessed, natural foods possible.

Once awareness has been created about what is actually added to our food, the next step is to rethink our own habits and inclinations. A first step is to stop buying foods that contain said harmful substances and switch to natural products.

These healthier natural products can be used:

  • Natural mineral water of good quality, spring water
  • Direct juices with 100% fruit content (those who also want to minimise fructose in their diet should consume juices only rarely)
  • High quality oils (linseed oil, high quality olive oil, sesame oil or ghee)
  • Whole grain products (pasta, rice, bread. For baking also wholemeal flour, buckwheat, chickpea or rice flour)
  • Greatly reduce the consumption of „heavy“ foods such as milk and meat products (e.g. only once a week) and make sure that they are of organic quality and species-appropriate animal husbandry. For example, oat or almond milk can be used as vegetable milk. When cooking, use coconut or rice milk
  • Instead, go for more legumes such as peas, chickpeas, lentils, beans, mung beans, also psyeudo cereals and flakes such as oatmeal, quinoa and millet or polenta (nutritious and filling) and amaranth
  • Fresh, seasonal and local organic fruit and vegetables (many organic farms offer a delivery service)
  • Eat „colourfully“, i.e. use different colours and thus different varieties of vegetables and fruit. Especially include green varieties in your diet (lettuce, broccoli, avocado, kale, beans, spinach). Green vegetables are rich in antioxidants, folic acid, vitamins and fibre
  • Organic berries (especially blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • Sprouts (cress, fenugreek, soybean sprouts)
  • Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • Seeds (linseed, hemp seed, sesame seed)
  • Nuts (macadamia, almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts)


More basic recommendations:

  • Take breaks between meals
  • Eat the largest meal at lunchtime and something light and digestible in the evening
  • Incorporate as many different tastes as possible into the daily menu
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or limit their consumption
    (in addition to the well-known unhealthy properties of alcohol, alcoholic beverages contain many unnecessary calories and stimulate the appetite)
  • Pay attention to the total calorie intake for the day.
    For people who want to lose weight, it is not necessary to completely avoid carbohydrates or fat, for example. What counts is the daily balance of calories.
    If you eat more calories than you consume over a longer period of time, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories over a longer period of time than you burn during the day, you will lose weight
  • Recipes should cover a wide range of nutrients and combine a good combination of healthy fatty acids, carbohydrates, fibre and proteins. There are many books and cooking suggestions on the market
  • Take more time for the main meals and consciously anchor them in the moment. It helps to put the smartphone aside, not to eat in front of the TV or „on the side“, but to be mindful and present with the food
  • If you have a sweet tooth, use natural sweeteners such as fruit, dates, sultanas, figs, bananas, maple syrup, honey or rice sweetener. Remember that sweet cravings are the body’s call for energy and it is your choice what to eat now
  • And last but not least: it helps not to be too strict with yourself. The 80 to 20 principle is perfectly adequate for a healthy diet. That means you can give in to the call for a good burger, a quality pizza or a few favourite sweets and then enjoy them without a guilty conscience


*Ayurvedic nutrition: Ayurveda is a millennia-old holistic science of the human body, mind, soul and psyche. Professional and doctor-led Ayurvedic practices can be found in every major city.

Ayurvedic measures can help to detoxify and regenerate the body. In an Ayurveda consultation, the individual constitutional type is determined and the foods that are currently most beneficial and healthiest for one’s own metabolism are identified. This results in dietary recommendations that are precisely tailored to the person.

For those who would like to undergo a basic cleansing of their body, an Ayurvedic cure (e.g. Pancha Karma cure) is recommended. During these cures, a clarification also takes place on a psycho-spiritual level.

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