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What “Gentle Nutrition” Means to Me

If you’ve read the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, you know that one of the principles of intuitive eating is to practice what the authors call “gentle nutrition.”

So today, I thought I might briefly share with you what “gentle nutrition” means to me.

BTW, this post is going to be brief because my laptop will only operate in tablet mode. On the one hand, it’s operating, and I’ve missed blogging. On the other hand, it’s annoying to type on this touchscreen keyboard. 😒 A new laptop will be acquired after final grades have been entered.

The more I learn about nutrition, the more I realize that the best way to be sure that you’re getting what your body needs is to 0eat everything. And plenty of everything, at that.

Have you seen the World’s Healthiest Foods website? The website does contain some rhetoric that could be triggering to someone in recovery from disordered eating. But if you just look at this one page, I always appreciate seeing that the 100 foods this guy chose as “most healthy”–a sort problematic designation, but we’ll go with it for the moment–include a lot of things most folks in the US eat on the regular.

Sure, kale and sea vegetables and salmon and quinoa and flaxseed are all on there. But so are potatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, bananas, wheat, eggs, milk, cheese, beef, and peanuts.

Let’s now remember that thus list isn’t by any means comprehensive. There are lots of other foods that add nutrients to your diet. I can’t believe he hasn’t included cocoa and chocolate! Dark chocolate is full of iron, magnesium and fiber.


Since I eat a variety of foods every time I eat, and I eat about 5 to 6 times most days, there’s no need to be concerned that most days, I also eat one or two “fun foods,” as my dietitian called them–foods that aren’t always super dense in micronutrients. I don’t need to be concerned that Nutella isn’t the most nutrient-dense food if I eat everything else, or at least everything else my body will digest–my salmon and potatoes and carrots and green beans and bananas and cheese and peanut butter and oats and raisins and sweet corn.

Please note: I’m not a trained dietitian or nutritionist. This is what I’ve come to understand about nutrition, as guided by the help of professionals. If you need nutrition advice specific to your needs, please see a certified dietitian or nutritionist.


Linking up with Amanda to share these thoughts for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.


What does the “gentle nutrition” part of intuitive eating mean to you?

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  1. Interesting! I’ll have to check out that link. As someone who does not believe that dairy or meat is a healthy option, it’s always surprising to me to see those items listed under healthiest foods lists. (I’m not saying that to make anyone feel judged or upset! Just a personal belief!)
    I definitely agree with you (and your dietitian!) about the fun foods thing. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in finding nutrient dense foods, etc that we lose the joy of eating!

  2. Quill says:

    Ah comuter oblems making tying difficult – I can relate to that from the time several years ago when my comuter’s “P” key jammed, so everything I wrote at the time was a little difficult to read (as simulated here). I’ve had to relace the keyboard on my current comuter 3 or 4 times, last time ordered 2 so I have a sare in a box ready to install…
    My thought on this is that when looking for “healthy” food, they’re always looking for “exotic,” uncommon, difficult to find, expensive, and often not very tasty things. There seems to be this attitude that if it is cheap, common, or edible, it’s not healthy, certainly not a “superfood,” that advertising buzzword used by those who target gullible hypochondriacs. Many common grocery store foods – broccoli, corn, potatoes, just about any fruit or vegetable, and so on, are plenty healthy. Forget all the dietician stuff and use common sense, something I fear many have forgotten how to do. Likewise, I think a healthy body knows not only how much it needs, but what it needs. If you’re craving something – broccoli, steak, spuds, citrus fruit, even sweets – it’s because your body knows it needs those nutrients. Go with your gut – literally. This does get a tad problematic for me when I crave purslane, which I’m sure is very healthy, in the dead of winter and can only get it in the summer.

  3. Emily says:

    I absolutely love the idea of gentle nutrition and eating a bit of everything, as long as you’re not allergic; I have to go with the mindset of no foods off limits, because if I do start to limit foods, it starts to quickly become an obsession, and it’s just not healthy.

  4. Kaylee says:

    Hope you get the because I can’t imagine trying to type everything on a tablet or smartphone!

    Over the summer, my dietician and I went over gentle nutrition and I really connected with it. For me, it’s being gentle with yourself. Giving yourself what you need–physically, emotionally, mentally, etc in the moment. But simultaneously being okay with not doing that if the circumstances prevent you from doing so.

  5. Cora says:

    I truly think this is the best measure of making sure your body gets what it needs – to eat everything. Or at least a great vast variety. I think back to my vegetarian days of mix matching grains and other foods to ensure you are getting enough protein. Everything works together…if you let it.

    I love the reminder that eating that row of Oreos won’t detract from the goodness your body takes from the salmon and brocolli. Gentle nutrition to me, means having large variety in my day.

  6. Alyssa says:

    I have heard the term gentle nutrition. I need to read more into it. I like the label of food foods too. Similar to what I call foods as soul-nourishing foods. 🙂 Including those into my diet is just as important as including broccoli and smoothies!

    1. Joyce says:

      “Gentle nutrition” is one of 10 principles of intuitive eating in the book Intuitive Eating. 🙂

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