To me, intuitive eating is all about establishing a connection to our bodies and listening to the symptoms that our bodies send us on a daily base.  This stems from the realization that our bodies are absolute supercomputers. Our heart never skips a beat, blood is continuously pumped through our veins  and there is probably no smarter machine out there than our fabulous bodies. They also know exactly what they need in terms of food and they actually tell us as well, we just need to learn to listen to the symptoms. Now that’s what I call an intuitive connection!

 

 

 

How to Eat Intuitively

Do you recognize feeling bloated, low in energy, knackered or down after eating? These are all symptoms of your body being out of balance or not reacting well towards a specific product or food category.

If you feel supercharged, light and energetic after a meal, chances are that your body absolutely loves what you just ate and would like you to have more of that. 

 

In order to establish an intuitive connection with your body you need to become more aware of what you feed it with everyday. In my practice I like to use a food diary for this with my clients. A food diary is a great tool to connect the dots, understand patterns in your diet and act as an accountability partner for you. 

Especially if you deal with low energy throughout the day or struggle with your gut health it can be super insightful to write down when you felt a certain shift. These observations can really help you to create more consciousness around your diet and what kind of foods your body reacts well to what it does not like. 

Rating Your Hunger

Another great exercise to eat more intuitively is to rate your hunger. You can do this by rating your hunger before and after every meal using the following range from 1 to 8:

  1. Feeling starved, dizzy, weak
  2. Very hungry, stomach growling
  3. Quite hungry, stomach growling starts 
  4. The hunger is slowly rising
  5. Neither hungry nor full, contentment 
  6. A bit full, pleasant. 
  7. Somewhat uncomfortably full, feeling of fullness
  8. Very full, nausea and even stomach ache

 

So if we have a look at what this all means:

  • If you constantly enter a 1 or 2 before your meal, you’re probably likely to overeat and end up at a 7 or 8 after the meal 
  • If you don’t really feel hunger, so around 7 or 8 before the meal, you might be eating too much in between, so skips those snacks
  • Ideally we want to feel relatively hungry, somewhere between a 3 and 4, when starting our meal and pleasant and content, somewhere between a 5 and 6 when finishing it. 

This really is that sweet spot where our body is able to absorb nutrients and food the best. Try and remember this feeling and eat or stop whenever you experience the same feeling again.

Have Fun

Give these exercises a try and have fun doing so. Remember to not be too strict with your own yourself, it’s completely ok to not write down what you ate or how you felt every single day. None of us are perfect and Rome wasn’t built in a day;)

Putting this into practice

If you’d like to find out what healthy eating and establishing an intuitive connection with your body could mean for you, the Eat Well, Feel Good Introduction to Nutrition Course could be helpful with that. I created a fun, easy and short course for those who are looking to understand what healthy eating is all about. The course consists of 6 modules and 22 videos. I devoted an entire chapter in the course to intuitive eating as this is really one of the cornerstones of feeling great, inside and out. The course is perfect for you if you’re looking to gain some general knowledge about good nutrition that you can easily put into practice. I’m sharing lots of handy tips & tricks with you, including a food diary template, lots of delicious recipes and print outs to make your life around shopping and eating much more fun and easy. Head to the Online Course section to find out more!

Last night I made a super delicious whole roasted cauliflower with tumeric and coconut with friends which I wanted to share with you. The recipe is from Anna Jones’s fantastic new book: The Modern Cook’s Year.

We comcbined the roasted cauliflower with some potatoes and a fresh and tasty tomato & olive salad, which made a perfect combination of warming and fresh.

Turmeric & Coconut Roasted Cauliflower

There is something grand and celebratory about roasting a vegetable whole. It becomes a centrepiece, which is something I think people look for in vegetable-centred cooking. The food I make most nights celebrates vegetables in some way, but cooking them whole like this takes a cauliflower one step further: Golden and crackled, its colour intensified, in all its glory as nature intended.

Whole roasted cauliflower is something that has been finding its way on to restaurant menus the last couple of years, partly due to the cauliflower renaissance spearheaded by vegetable magician Yotam Ottolenghi. Burnished and browned, a whole cauliflower is such a pleasing thing to put in the middle of the table, with a sharp knife for everyone to cut brave wedges for themselves and uncover the buttery clean white inside, a sharp contrast to the crisp and highly flavoured outside.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients for 4 persons

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 600g new potatoies
  • 4 tbsps coconut oil
  • 3 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 organic lemon

Toppings:

  • Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
  • Cilantro
  • handful of crushed almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Fill and boil the kettle.
  2. Using a pair of scissors cut the large leaves and stalks away from the cauliflower. (You can leave the little leaves close to the florets­, they will go nice and crispy when roasted.) Turn the cauliflower upside down and, using a small paring knife, carefully cut a hollow in the middle of the stalk, so that it cooks evenly. Take a pan big enough to hold the cauliflower, half fill it with water from the kettle and bring it to a boil. Season the water with salt, then immerse the cauliflower and simmer for 6 minutes. Drain the water away, put the lid back on and leave the cauliflower to steam in the residual heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into 2cm pieces, leaving the skin on.
  3. Take an ovenproof dish or pan (that can go on the hob as well) large enough to take the cauliflower. Spoon in the coconut oil, and grate the ginger into the oil. Finely chop the chillies, discarding the seeds if you wish, then add them to the pan. Add the garlic, then place over medium heat and let the spices and aromatics cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the mustard seeds and continue cooking until the garlic has softened, then add the turmeric and a big pinch of salt.
  4. Pour the coconut milk into the spice mixture, stir well and season with a little black pepper. When the milk starts to bubble gently, turn off the heat, place the drained cauliflower in the dish, then baste it with the coconut-spice mixture. Throw the lemon halves into the side of the dish too, then scatter the potatoes around; they will sit in the coconut milk.
  5. Bake the cauliflower, basting it occasionally with the spiced sauce in the dish, for 40 to 45 minutes. You want it to catch a little on top. To test if the cauliflower is cooked, insert a small sharp knife into the middle – it should be really tender (the potatoes and cauliflower should have soaked up most of the sauce). Once it’s perfect, take it out of the oven and transfer to a serving dish, then squeeze over the roasted lemons. Serve in the middle of the table, with little bowls of yoghurt, almonds and coriander for sprinkling on top.

ENJOY!

Nutrition Coaching: What is that? And how does it work? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I have developed the Naela method to guide my clients through a 3- or 6 months trajectory. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

These are 5 practical steps to kickstart a lifetime of healthy eating that is fun & enjoyable:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Nourish⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Activate⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Enjoy⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Love ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Allow⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Nourish

It all starts with Nourish!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Once you realize that food really is medicine, you unlock the door to your ideal health, beauty and well-being. When coaching clients, I focus on foods that nourish you, make you feel energized, fit and strong. They’ll make your skin glow, your hair shine and your nails grow, because that is what nature can do for us! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

There are so many foods out there that can work wonders for you when you fill up your plate with them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Next to nutrition, we will also work with lifestyle related habits that will help you nourish your body and achieve ideal health. A healthy lifestyle is more than just a healthy diet. Both science and common sense have shown us the importance of sleep, relaxation, movement and support.

 

 

Activate

Knowledge is power. However, without action you won’t receive any results. Throughout the program, I’ll be your accountability partner, keeping you motivated and enthusiastic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Willpower and motivation are driving factors in your health journey. Together, we’ll find your intrinsic motivation, triggering certain behaviors that naturally feel good to you and do good to your body. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Food alone is not the answer, we will also have a close look at your workout regime and the foods that you can eat to boost your workout and metabolism even more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

My approach is one step at a time, in order to help you cultivate new habits that you can actually stick to. The Naela Method focuses on sustainability rather than short successes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Dividing the advice up into chewable pieces, you will be able to easily incorporate the tips and tricks into your life, one bite at the time.

 

Enjoy

Food holds much more significance than just energy or calories. It is a way to connect, celebrate, discover, relax, nourish and enjoy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I want to help you find that enjoyment of preparing food and eating the right foods that make you feel good. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I am a firm believer of positive nutrition, the principle of adding in instead of crowding out. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Once you found this perfect combination of foods that actually work for your body, there is no need to restrict yourself.

 

 

Love

Throughout the program, we will explore your relationship to food.

Together we’ll identify any limiting beliefs that keep you from realizing your goals. We will dive into your thoughts, influences and emotions around food in order to create change.

My aim for you is to have a healthy and guilt-free relationship with food, in which you permit yourself to enjoy in moderation and lead a lifestyle that makes you feel fantastic. 

 

Allow

This last step of the Naela Method is all about acceptance, balance and allowance. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

If you make conscious choices about what you consume 80% of the time, then it is perfectly fine to enjoy a little for the remaining 20% of the time – that is the mantra that my clients and me live by. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Nobody is perfect and if you really want to create a sustainable lifestyle, eating and living perfectly healthy 100% of the time simply won’t be possible. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I will teach you to intuitively listen to your body and it’s needs as our bodies are true supercomputers, smarter than any machine out there and capable of so much. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This program is all about allowing some positivity into your diet, which will automatically cut out any unnecessary cravings, kilo’s, thoughts or behavioural patterns.

This one’s a winner! It’s super simple, delicious and the perfect soup to strengthen your immune system, pick you up and provide you with some comfortable warmth on cold and rainy days. 

The soup is anti-inflammatory and immune boosting, containing seasonal veggies which your body will favour right now and is easily made. I like making bigger batches of this one so that I can treat myself to a comforting leftover lunch the next day.

What you’ll need for 2: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • 1 big sweet potato, cut in 4 and sliced⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 carrots⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 organic chicken fillets (optional to use veggie chicken)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa, rinsed⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • thumbsized piece of ginger, thinly sliced ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • juice of 1/2 lemon⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, coarsely chopped⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • salt & pepper⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

optional but very nice to have: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • 1 jar of organic chicken broth (for extra minerals and iron) 👌⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Bring chicken, quinoa, garlic, ginger, and 5 cups water (or 4 cups of water and 1 jar of chicken broth) to a boil in a large saucepan. Add a big pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until your quinoa is done and the chicken is firm, 10–12 minutes.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Add sweet potatoes to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, still uncovered and stirring occasionally, until soup is thickened and potatoes and rice are tender, 15–20 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a bowl and shred with 2 forks, then return to the pot. Stir in lemon juice and soy sauce; taste soup and season with salt if needed.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Divide soup among bowls. Top with cilantro and lots of black pepper.⠀

Enjoy!

I’m a huge fan of the hawaiian inspired Poke Bowls!  They can make a great base for lunch and dinner and contain lots ‘n lots of veggies, healthy fats and lean protein.

You can choose to opt for vegan options with tofu or tempeh, vegtarian bowls with hard boiled eggs or the fish based option displayed here with either salmon, crayfish or tuna.

Simple, low carb and veggie-loaded poke bowl! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You’ll need: ⠀

  • 1 organic wild salmon fillet⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 handful crayfish (optional)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1/2 broccoli, steamed⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 handful edamame beans⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 carrot, sliced⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1/2 avocado⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 handfuls of spinach⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • some sprouts for toppings⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 3 EL olive oil ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 EL tamari ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Pepper & Salt to season ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    This dish is whisked up in approx. 10 minutes and the only thing that needs to be heated is the steamed broccoli. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    Start with marinating your salmon in 1 EL tamari and 1 EL olive oil for approx. 20 minutes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    Steam the broccoli until tender but still crispy and add the remaining veggies to a bowl. Et voila, enjoy!

Smoothies are a fantastic way to get some extra portions of fruit and vegetables into your diet. They are a great way to start your day or serve as a nutritious and delicious snack in between.

Have you tried this power smoothie already? This one is a keeper because it contains all three essential macronutrients.

You’ll need: ⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • 1 ripe banana⠀
  • 75g fresh raspberries ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 handful fresh spinach⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 100g frozen wild blueberries ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 dates⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 50g cooked white beans⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 200ml almond milk⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1/2 lemon juice⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 tbsp olive oil⠀⠀

The sweet taste of the berries, banana and dates overpowers the beans, oil and spinach, making this one a real treat!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In case this post leaves you wondering – What the heck are macronutrients and why do I need them? – then I might just have something in store for you: I’m creating an online course which will open it’s doors in January 2021. The course will help you create a solid foundation in healthy nutrition and will really help you understand what food can do for you. It is packed with practical tips & tricks and lots of handy lists and recipes to use in your everyday life. Send me a DM if you’re interested in more info and enjoy the smoothie!:)

What if I told you that you can take control of your own health, energy levels and mood through the foods that you eat? 🍇🥦🥝

Are you often tired and low in energy?
Do you catch a cold easily and several times a year?
Do you suffer from brittle hair & nails and mood swings?
And finally: Are you wondering what to eat in order to give your immune system a good boost?

If your answer is yes to one or several of these questions, then keep on reading.

Something that Covid-19 has brought to everyone’s attention is the importance of taking good care of our bodies and boosting our immune system as much as we can. A healthy and strong immune system will help you to feel great inside and out.

Changes to your diet & lifestyle will strengthen your body’s natural defenses and help you fight off any unwanted intruders like harmful pathogens or disease-causing organisms.

Once you caught up on one of these bad guys, a strong immune system will equip your body with the right tools to deal with the intruder accordingly.

There are a couple of simple and effective things that we can include in our everyday diet in order to strengthen our defences naturally.

Examples of great foods to include into your daily life are:

  • Pommegranate
  • Blueberries
  • Orange
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicum
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Fatty Fish

and many many more. Would you be interested in a more detailed explanation of all of this?

Immune Boosting Guide

I have created a free Immunity Guide, listing 10 easy steps that you can apply right away. You can access your free copy here 📖

I hope the guide will help you to feel more empowered about your own health. We only have one body, which is a pretty amazing supercomputer, let’s take good care of it!

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We all know the feeling – sweet cravings that can sometimes become so present that we can’t think about anything else.

 A recipe that I give to every sweet tooth are my Chocolate Bliss Balls. 

Bliss Balls are a healthy and filling snack in between. They satisfy the sweet appetite, are a good source of fats from the nuts and proteins and from the chia seeds. They are made quickly and what’s more is you can make them in batches and even keep them in the fridge for weeks.

What do you need:

– A food processor or mixer

– A freezer

 Preparation time: approx. 10 minutes

 

Ingredients for 12 balls:

  • 200g dates
  • 50g chia seeds
  • 50g hemp seed
  • 100g almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Put the nuts in a mixer and chop them small. Add the dates, chia seed, hemp seed and coconut oil and mix well, then add the almond butter and cocoa and mix for about 2 minutes until a thick mass forms. If necessary, you can add a little more water to the mixture.

Roll the dough into small balls, the balls can be the size of a golf ball.

Optionally you can roll some balls through cocoa powder, others through grated coconut or thinly chopped nuts, for example.